Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Scrawl just got an update. Now online is the work of Vancouver-based graffiti artist and illustrator DEDOS.


Doo dee doo. Just a monkey cooking up some hot dogs on the campfire. (I realize this is entirely the wrong season. I really should have given him a toque. Or something. Cut me break, would you? And any resemblance of the firewood to a logo is purely coincidental and something your brain made up to confound you.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Shouldn't You Be Stealing?

I'm really into mash-ups: the hybrid that results from taking two songs and putting them together with clever sampling, "stereo" effects, volume adjustment... uh... splicing and mashing and what not. I know, I'm super technical today, but bear with me, ok?

Anyway, today happens to be Dean Gray Tuesday, a day of civil disobedience as sites around the world host American Edit, a mashup album of Green Day with various other artists. I've listened to bits and pieces so far, and it's well worth acquiring - especially as Warner has served the DJs with a cease and desist.

Record labels refuse to consider that mash-ups are separate entities, and separate albums. There's plenty of evidence to support the fact that mash-ups at worst don't hurt sales, and at best promote sales of numerous artists at once. But whatever. That's way too technical for me today. Just go download it already.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


After a weekend of running around southern Ontario, I'm back at work, developing some custom typography for a wordmark. More on that one soon.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I'm Not Making This Up

We're listening to a Bluesgrass tribute to Metallica.

It's kind of awesome, actually.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Concepts from the "So Not Going to Happen" Pile

Yeah, I actually presented this concept. One of the other designers thought it was seriously hype. My boss looked at it, laughed and then said: "Well, that's sort of going in a different direction". Granted, it wasn't quite what the client wanted.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Good Lord! I just realized I've been wasting my time with this drivel for over three years. Cripes. Apparently, I'm not busy enough. Regardless, thanks for stopping by.

It's That Time Again

It's quickly becoming a tradition. Sumit's probably the only person I know who gets a personal photo shoot every year for his own birthday invitation.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Streets of Calcutta

Friday, October 28, 2005


About four people will understand this post and find it funny (Hi Ian, Rhea, Elle and Nick!). You other three can check out that other post about the music poster instead.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Once in a while, you get to do a project where the client tells you that anything goes and you've got complete creative freedom. Sometimes, you show the client concepts and the first words out of their mouth are "Oh. I didn't picture it like that." which basically means that you didn't have the freedom that you thought you did.

Sometimes, however, you present your concepts, and the client says: "Damn. That's awesome." and you know you're in for some fun.

This one worked like that. I was asked to do a poster for a classical music recital - specifically, a recital which was a partial requirement for a Masters in conducting. I settled on a 1960s thriller/drama movie poster aesthetic, some garishly bright colours, hand-rendered type and illustration, a slight homage to Saul Bass, and a wacky title.

Some of the rejected taglines were "He always strikes... IN TIME" (my favourite), "You're Out of Time", "Always in Time", "Strike in Time" and "It's the Fucking Vortex of Doom".

Monday, October 24, 2005

Work Lately 2

Things have improved. I've moved on to sketches which have people. Tiny, very depressed people.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Work Lately

I swear that it seems like all I've done this week is make fiddly little website-redesign sketches like this:

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bad Influence

My poor niece. Given the uncles that she has, she never had a chance. It's not the first time either.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fragments, Part Two

It's been a while since I posted the teaser to this post. In the end, the client chose to go with a simple, clean black background version, not the one seen below. It's always interesting to see what a client will think of a more "creative" idea, and whether they'll go for something a little unusual. That wasn't the case here, but I think it's incredibly important to present the client new ideas. Otherwise you end up doing the same things again and again, and they expect the same things again and again.

Friday, October 07, 2005

At Last

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

And now for something completely different...

I drew a Jawa from Star Wars. You know. Whatever. He's cross-hatched. What? No, I'm not a loser. Shut up.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Monkey Interlude

This is, of course, a monkey in a bowler hat smoking a cigarette.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Here's a thumbnail of a poster concept that's currently in progress. I'll post the final once the job is entirely done.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Startup Company = Lack of Scanner

A lot of my recent design/musing has been in my sketchbook, and with no scanner in the studio, it means I'm quickly running out things to post. There's some cool studio work I've been putting together, but it won't be able to go public for a while.

Having said that, I'll be making updates either tonight or tomorrow morning. Slide photos from Italy coming up!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

From the Ground Up 6 (The Last Part!)

Some final notes, and the image with its parts overlaid to illustrate how it was composited.

- The dirt was dug up with a chunk of concrete (visible at the top left of the mound of dirt) at 1 in the morning, in front of a condo showroom. I still haven't figured out if Elle, who was shot this, was enjoying herself, or just putting up with me when she decided to tag along.

– My apartment hallway isn't as dim as it's shown (hooray for in-camera trickery!), but it's still a little creepy. My laundry room is downright terrifying.

- That's my arm. No thinning/slimming was done - I'm actually that skinny. That said, I did bring out the tendons, veins and creases of my hand. You might also notice that I removed the shadow from my thumb.

- I'd originally wanted to create some kind of contraption to allow this photo to be entirely real, not a Photoshop composite, but we had just under a week to turn this project around, so there wasn't any time.

I'll try and get a photo of the final brochure online soon.

Monday, September 12, 2005

From the Ground Up 5

And the final, composited image, part of this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

That's right – my arm has the very distinguished honour of being the main creative element for this year's Midnight Madness series: a horrible zombie arm breaking out of the ground. Complimentary, I know.

Friday, September 09, 2005

From the Ground Up 4

A now, an arm:

Thursday, September 08, 2005

From the Ground Up 3

The finished, carefully arranged dirt:

And the hallway in my apartment building, made to look all scary-like:

This is going somewhere people, I swear.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

From the Ground Up 2

More dirt. This time being dug up. All part of that top secret mission.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

From the Ground Up

Shot this the other night. More on that top secret mission once the job's gone to press.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Yeah, see the thing about that is...

Well, the client rejected the hand-lettered type that I created for their "Fun-a-palooza" event on the grounds that it was "too fun".


Almost Better

Stitches came out today! I had contemplated taking a photo of my thumb pre-stitches, but then thought that might be gross. More soon, including some photos from my weekend break to Ottawa last weekend.

Friday, August 12, 2005

A String of Bad Events

Well, it's been a shit week. Work has been insane, with me leaving the studio last night at 3 am. I have tendonitis in both my left bicef, and rotator cuff. I'll need physio. I also managed to seriously cut myself with an Xacto knife (think scalpel), and required five stitches for the newly-created flap in my thumb on Wednesday night.

And now? Scrawl's messed up, in a big big way. All the work from 2003 onwards seems to have disappeared somehow. Style in Progress, the latest update of over 30 images, is gone. The images are still there, but the database entry is gone.

I'll be repairing slowly. Yes, I mean both my thumb and Scrawl.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Scrawl: SIP 2005

Scrawl just got a major update, featuring works from Style in Progress 2005 - an annual graffiti jam held in Toronto. Go check it out.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Toy Monkeys

One of my favourite illustrators, Gary Taxali, recently introduced a limited-edition Toy Monkey, which he's producing through his new company Chump Toys. Gorgeous stuff!

If you're in Toronto, Magic Pony premiered the toy a little while back, and will be getting more in stock soon. They've got some photos of the launch (accessible from the home page) on their site.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

We Interrupt These Travel Photos...

The new job's actually great - I just couldn't resist a dramatically-shaded monkey.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Problem with Photographers

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Arno by Night

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Afternoon in Matera

Monday, July 18, 2005


Friday, July 15, 2005


Somehow, in the downtime, the server lost the folder of photographs from Italy. Expect to see them coming back online slowly as I re-upload them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Morning - Friday, July 8th

Don't remember much. Was headed to work, turned onto Bay street, and then woke up in an ambulance nearly an hour later. Was lucky I didn't break anything, but still spent the next couple of days in and out of the hospital.

No photos for a bit, kids. I'm tender, sore and raw still. Server's down as well but I hope it'll be back soon.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hallway in Vernazza

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Battersea Power Station

Streets of Maratea

No Photo Yesterday

Sorry I missed yesterday. This week is going to be really busy for the studio, and subsequently me, but I'll try and make sure to post two photos today. Also, watch the comments as I'll be posting stories and context for the photos.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Sunset in Maratea

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mountains in Basilicata

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Piccadilly Square

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Pantheon, Rome

Monday, June 27, 2005

Matera, Italy

Friday, June 24, 2005

Wow. That *was* fast.

That freelance work I mentioned just turned into an offer of employment. Wow. So. First round of drinks is on me, tonight at the Madison, 6:30 pm onwards.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Woah. Moving Fast Enough?

Cripes. Interview on Monday became freelance work for Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday evening, freelance contract was renewed for the week. Today? Had another interview this morning which I thought would be useless, but is shaping up to be quite considerable. More meeting on Monday at the latest.

Server problems mean no photos yet, kids. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Yipes. It's On.

Got back from Italy last Monday and was mostly useless last week. Did, however, manage to turn my apartment into a disaster and secure an interview tomorrow morning! Just finished my business cards, hence the late-night post. Photos from the trip soon!

Friday, May 27, 2005

On Packing

As I pack my masses of camera gear for my trip, I wondered to myself: is there a Zen of shooting? Where less equipment is better? Where one achieves ultimate photographic perfection by ridding oneself of distractions? Hmm...maybe that should be a Buddhist way of shooting then, not Zen.

Cripes. I apparently need clothes for this trip. Right. Back to packing. And by back, I mean starting.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Damnit, I want a cookie. And I want it NOW.

In conversation tonight, my rather brilliant friend made this comment:

"What is it about interacting with my parents on an adult level that secretly makes me want to throw a tantrum on the floor?"

I couldn't agree more sometimes. Especially when it's 1 in the morning and you're working on a project that said parents sent you at the last possible moment. Mom? Dad? Remember the part where I'm leaving the country on Friday night?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

It's Over

Last day at Oxygen was today. All done and gone now, I'm officially unemployed. Why the hell aren't I drunk off my feet? Oh right – that was Friday night for my birthday shenanigans. Besides, had I got drunk tonight, that would have made it three Tuesdays in a row. Hmm...something to be said for that.

Expect lots more monkeys, more Daleks, and maybe even some Skinny Monkey soon. I'll probably redesign my website as well. Oh, and did I mention I leave for London and Italy in a 9 days? Right. About taking trips without having a job...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

More Work

Did I mention I'm also responsible for the new incarnation of the oxygen design + communications site? I realize it's not beautiful CSS and table-less design, but hey, when you've only got a little over 16 hours to make a site, you make do.

Latest Work

My redesign of + stacey brandford photography just went live today. Check it out kids: XML-driven Flash. Oh, and pretty pictures too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Robert Clark, a professional photographer who's worked with such clients as National Geographic and Time Magazine, is working his way westwards across Canada and the US from Coney Island. He's documenting his trip by shooting exclusively with the new Sony 1.3 megapixel cameraphone.

Check it out.

News from the Front. And Waffles.

Just some news for those who I haven't had a chance to talk to yet.

• I'm soon to be gainfully unemployed. Having quit my job, my last day is the 17th.
• I don't have another job lined up. I'm looking. Feel free to drop me a line: gov @ interbaun.com
• Of course, this is somewhat inopportune, as I'm leaving for the UK and Italy on the 27th.
• Birthday plans, this Friday at Cobalt on College Street. Be there!
• No new Dalek stuff. Sorry.

Some of you know of my passion for waffles (shut up!), so there's good news. Thanks to two kind friends, I'm now the proud owner of a beautiful, chromey waffle-maker. Anyone up for brunch this Sunday?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Best Baby Ever

My niece with my little brother's latest acquisition. She turns 1 in August and it's already begun, proving that my obsession must be genetic. Yes. That's it.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ladies, Please Take Note

Once again, thanks to Matt for his usual brilliance. I'm now accepting orders for the t-shirts:

"Reclusive workaholics are hot."

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Still MIA

Stuff is still going down, so I apologize for the lack of updates. It's already the end of April, and I'm going to be looking for new employment as soon as possible. This weekend is going to be devoted to prepping my professional photography portfolio, creating leave-behind pieces, business cards, and updating my design portfolio. I'm almost out of time.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Criminal Art

It's not actually criminal, so much as controversial and unconventional.Banksy is an British artist (his stencil work is particularly gorgeous. Love the monkeys wearing sandwich boards. Love 'em.) who happens to skip the usual process involved in getting one's work into galleries. Brilliant.

That's it for a while, kids. I've got some stuff happening that's going to be occupying my time, so I'm sorry that I'll be MIA.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Way Too Much Work

I seem to post snippets of instant messaging conversations quite a bit. Isn't that bad Blog form? Regardless, witness the brilliance that is Sumit, upon discovery of special characters:

Friday, March 25, 2005


For those of you tired of monkeys (ahem, Kelly), some recent photography:

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dr. Strangmonkey

Squee was entirely right and as such, Professor Monkey has been renamed to Dr. Strangemonkey. Here's yet another of his comments on my work from Friday:

Cultural Divide

My co-worker K today made this comment about the music today:

"Ohmigod I love this kind of music – like the entire Bollywood style!!"

What was she talking about?

A REMIX OF THE KNIGHT RIDER THEME, with tablas in a pseudo-Banghra style with JAY-Z doing vocals overtop. Yeah.

I pointed out to her that it was the Knight Rider theme. She looked at me blankly and said: "Oh, I don't watch many Bollywood movies."

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Professor Again

The Professor, as he appeared on Friday's sketches:

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Professor

The Professor Monkey showed up a long time ago, but for some reason has never shown up here. Well, this week of Nike put an end to that. Here's the first in a series of three:

Monday, March 14, 2005

A Summary of Last Week

About those updates

Sorry kids. We've got an intern using the computer to which the scanner is hooked up, so I haven't been able to post any witty drawings or amusing designs. If you're desperate for an update, just refer to the post below. Yup, still in the midst of Nike madness.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

projects 3

In the continuing series of "Nike Monkey" escapades:

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


This roh-butt is malfunctioning and bor-ken, which happens to be a metaphor for a particular bor-ken website. Please note that the roh-butt doesn't have any LEGS TO STAND ON. Haha ha ahahh aha. Oh man. It's 10:45 am and I'm ready to go home.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Archived posts have been updated to my new host. All the content should be back, for those of you rooting through the archives. If you find something broken though, drop me a line/comment.


Slightly irreverent and funny birthday cards are a tradition here at Oxygen. So it seemed fitting that for Marawan's birthday, to pay homage to both him and his favourite movie, Scarface. Take a look at the original movie poster here (Google Image search), and then check out what I came up with:

Yup, I'm still fat from never having been dethroned. ;)

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Anyone notice that chrisgovias.com just got a big update? I've almost got a template going, and you can sort of see how I'm going to be breaking it down. Soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

That Guy!

Remember that post a couple of days ago about Gene Kelly? It was done by stitching Kelly's face onto the bodies of three breakdancers who provided the moves in a recreated set. Very cool.

Even cooler is this little bit of info I dug up. One of the dancers is that guy from Kollaboration (Windows Media Player - if you haven't seen this, watch it)! I know! His breaker name is Elsewhere, and there are some details here and a great interview here.

So cool. I want to be a roh-but dancer. Or have a VW. Or just be a Dalek. Yeah. That last one for sure.

Monday, February 14, 2005


There was another option which had a gaping hole in the monkey's chest. I settled on this one as it's far more tasteful.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Recently, a friend asked that I send her five travel photos with accompanying stories. The first:

We left Bologna in the mid-morning, stepping out of our hotel and into the sunlight. The air was still slightly chilled from a weekend of mists, but it was refreshing, not uninviting. A day for moving, for traveling, for going places and for absorbing where one had just been.

As always, confusion arose as to the direction of travel. Hanne insisted that as she had come by train, she knew best. Matt wanted to consult a map. I sat, waiting for the odd couple to finish their bickering, content to watch the day go about its business.

A direction was finally settled upon. Our suitcases sustained the abuse of cobbled streets, the kicking and scuffling inherent in a bus ride, and the last steps to the train platform.

The ride itself was uneventful. Matt and Hanne spent the time plugged into an iPod, their matching headphones amusing me enough to render them somewhat outrageously in my sketchbook.

Firenze itself was unimpressive at first, as probably most "ground-level" entrances are to unfamiliar cities. The train station was like so many before it, the streets the same, the cars, the crowds. Except that it wasn't quite true. The crowds were a proliferation of English-speaking people. It seemed obscene compared to the "true Italian" feel of Bologna, where without our stumbling knowledge of Italian, Matt and I would have starved. Ironic that in the city that was most revered for the pinnacle of Italian culture and art, we heard the most English.

A trip to the Duomo, a shoe store and a gelateri were on the itinerary. Neither Matt nor Hanne were in the most culturally-minded mood, and I saw no reason to complain. With a single day in Firenze, I was not at all inclined to wait in outrageous lineups for obstructed glimpses of beauty.

Having purchased ridiculously expensive sneakers, the likes of which I'd see far cheaper in Edmonton, Matt thought it best to sit and relax in the piazza before finding somewhere for an espresso. I left both him and Hanne sitting on the steps of the Duomo and walked the piazza and outlying streets at my own pace. I shot leisurely, almost conservatively, defying the bustle of the piazza, insulting the rush of the tourists. I waited for the sunlight to return, or the crowd to break. I stood and let the people move around me. I paused while those who are too busy for their own good busied themselves. I'd often thought that serenity comes through enjoying what one is passionate about. Firenze was just the start of that philosophy coming true for me.

I shot a great deal of architecture, signs, curiosities. Nothing really that struck me though. I walked back into the piazza, switched to my long lens, and waited.

And found this:

Amidst the hustle and bustle of relaxing, in among the tourists with their itineraries and schedules, there was someone else, taking a moment, standing unconcerned.

I only managed one frame before he pushed his bicycle along and was immersed in the crowd.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Regal and Majestic

For that most recent job that made my brain hurt, I did countless hours of Photoshop, taking creative and making it fit into environments seamlessly. So it was fitting that I became the Photohop King, and even more fitting that this came out of that 4:30 am morning: