January my month of joy and happiness

Usually, I find January is the most difficult month of living here in Toronto. The streets are full of either snow or ice and weather sometimes reach to -20C and the sky is always grey.. Some morning it was hard for me to leave my warm bed and bundle up to take the bus and subway to go to my studio. However it changed since the first day of the year.

During the Christmas holiday, I had an idea of making art out of the paper shopping bags I had saved.

My idea was to remake them as one of a kind art. I first draw and then cutting image on them.

I would choose an image to go with either with the logos or the color. Often, I added some of my own whimsical take on their name or design.. As soon as I completed the first one I knew I had started something enjoyable and fun. Ideas just started to flow as soon as I picked up the bag. Pretty soon I used up all the bags I had saved and I need more.

Gap as Crab

Gap as Crab

Luckily, my studio is close to the biggest shopping mall (Eaton Centre) in downtown. During the mid afternoon, I would walk over there to look for bags from the trash bins. This three levels mall has about three hundred stores so discarded shopping bags are plentiful. It was like my own free art supply store but never know what type of bags waiting for me.

Whenever I found a nice or interesting one, I had that feeling of excitement and joy. An hour later I would be back at my studio and eager to work on the bag make over.

Some morning, I was so focus on what I wanted to do with the bags I would get up at 5am when it was still dark outside and arrived at my studio at 8am. My cold, grey January days seemed easy to deal with.

Starbucks shopping bag

Starbucks shopping bag

I haven’t touch my paint brushes all month and been only focus on my “Shopping Bag Make Over”. So far I had completed 36 of them and each one is different from the others and my month of January was full of joy and happiness.


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