art & illustration

collections from GED to BFA, 2008-present

I have been creating art for as long as I can remember - being soft spoken, I applied an interest to arts over theatre in high school. My practise for illustration seriously started around the age of 10 and I continue to consider myself amateur in most aspects. I applied my interest in art to two degrees, graphic design DCS and photography BFA. I didn't want to apply for just an illustration program because I wanted to expand my knowledge in other aspects, especially in technology / digital art. Both degrees had various art classes where I ended up learning a lot outside of the core program. During my college studies, I realised there are endless other ways to create art with more than just a pencil, such as woodworking, silkscreen and linoleum printmaking. After graduating, I went into Concordia University where I learned even more techniques, and especially fell in love with intaglio / printmaking.

Muskoday First Nation

DRAW300 - 2020

The compositions within this series are of spaces within and around the reservation that make me feel homesick when I'm away, and nostalgic when I'm there. I was influenced by the teachings of illustrator Aaron Blaise, and background art in animation film and anime, especially Studio Ghibli. Background art almost always goes unnoticed but it is crucial to bring the picture alive. Being an artist that mostly creates photo-realistic graphite art, I went out of my comfort zone by using watercolour and less detail. I see myself recreating this project in the future after practising my sketching and watercolour techniques. Additionally, I would display this in an actual perfect-bound publication, rather than this unbound mockup.

My family comes from Muskoday, a First Nation reservation, but I grew up off-reserve due to my dad working in the military. After being posted to Quebec, we visited home less frequently – once a year or every few years.
The first spread opens with the differing visuals of the plane take-off from Montreal and landing in Saskatoon, and the driveway into our family’s private property. The second spread introduces the audience to the Bears - my uncles, auntie and dad. From there, the pages depict everything else I miss: the food, the outdoor activities and all the animals. The final spread concludes the visit by saying my final goodbyes to everything on the drive back to the airport.

I contemplated making many scenes for this book, but I wanted to express the feeling of it being short-lived because I never stay longer than a week, these days. I wanted to show my appreciation towards my family because I have been lucky enough to have their support and encouragement throughout my art education. They are my biggest motivators, they can always leave a smile on my face and my ribs hurting from laughing so much. They taught me the value of respecting others, and taking it easy once in a while - something that can easily be forgotten when you live in a big city.

Bear Snooze, 2020

A linocut print representing myself and my dad sleeping, referring to our family name, Bear. I grew up being told I have my father’s nose and my step mother would tell me we fall asleep the exact same way, moaning and groaning until we’re snoring away. This series implies the changing of the seasons and the fact that we’re always napping/can sleep anywhere, anytime.

Brothers, 2019

A duo-plate intaglio print of 5 editions which would be distributed to my immediate family members and grandparents. This composition titled "Brothers" is an indirect double portrait of my two brothers. This project was hand-printed in my home studio using not a printing press, but a spoon. This was the final project created in the class PRIN 211: Intaglio I in my third semester at Concordia. It demonstrates my understanding for learning the various techniques of etching, aquatint, spit-bite and chine-collé.

Tranquil Toad, 2019

With social anxiety, comes the fear of talking in crowds. For this project, I compiled a list of things that make the most unapologetic amount of noise. Things that don’t care about who hears them or who it annoys. Eventually I decided to go with a frog/toad because they make the most unapologetic amount of noise throughout the day and night. However this project is ultimately inspired by my late brother's affinity for frogs.

Alice / A.I. Self-Portrait, 2019

Completed for the class DRAW200, this assignment was influenced by Alice in Wonderland and we were prompted to use extremely contrasting scales in two self portraits, one very small, and the other at large scale.

Draw for me Digital, 2018

My first attempt at digital illustration apart from line drawing for the class DRAW200 in my first semester at Concordia U.

ged archive

Various illustrations and other media exploring my interest in art at an early age from 2008-2015 for art classes and in my free time. 

In reference to digital images found online, my initial practise mostly consisted of graphite photo-realism portraits and reproducing existing art to experiment with other media.

Self Portrait, 2014

With reference to a photograph taken for the purpose of this exercise, I practised seeing light and studying shading in graphite illustration in my first self portrait.

René Magritte Reproduction, 2013

In reference to Magritte's Perspective: Madame Récamier by David, this piece was an exercise in practising graphite illustration.

Arctic Monkeys T-Shirt, 2014

Expanding my artistic techniques, I printed the Arctic Monkeys logo at home with an HP Printer, carefully cut out each letter using a utility knife, then ironed onto a plain black t-shirt.

Cardbody, 2013

Created using abstract art techniques learned in class, this piece reflected my struggles with self-image at a young age.

John Lennon Portrait, 2008

My "first" graphite illustration, made by following a YouTube video of someone else doing the drawing in real-time.

Various Illustrations

Graphite Pencil, Ink, 2012-2015

In reference to digital images found online, my initial practise mostly consisted of graphite photo-realism portraits and reproducing existing art to experiment with other media.

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recent projects

Optical Illusions

A photographic representation of Social Anxiety

Gen Robert L Scott Logo

Vectorization of a low-quality image to become the organization logo

Copyright © 2020 Jenell Bear - All Rights Reserved