NOOKFEST ARTIST PROFILES // CAITLIN TAGUIBAO

Caitlin Taguibao is an artist with the PATCH Project, an initiative which partners with artists to transform unused public spaces into galleries for all to enjoy. At this year's NookFEST Community Arts and Music Festival, Caitlin will be creating a mural piece on the back wall of 2000 Danforth Avenue.

NOOKFEST ARTIST PROFILE // STEPHANIE BOUTARI

Stephanie Boutari is an artist with the PATCH Project, an initiative which partners with artists to transform unused public spaces into galleries for all to enjoy. At this year's NookFEST COmmunity Arts and Music Festival Stephanie will be creating a mural piece on the back of 2038 Danforth Avenue, home of the Nooks DANFORTH. 

NOOKFEST MAKER PROFILES // AGATA SICZEK OF SIMPLE PANTRY

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a creative side that needed an outlet. I enjoy creating things and working with my hands, but it has been a challenge to find something that I can create, share and be proud of.

For the last few years, cooking has been a huge passion of mine. I desperately wanted to become professionally involved with cooking. However, I struggled with the idea of working in a sweaty kitchen restaurant and making minimum wage. I dabbled with different ideas and projects, and had some amazing experiences along the way. I also met a lot of different people that inspired and influenced me. I knew that if I created something, I wanted it to be simple and easy for others to do it too. I believe that everyone can cook, you don’t need professional training. You just need to know the basic skills and if you’ve got that you can work wonders in your kitchen. That’s why I encourage my customers to have fun and be creative with the jar recipes. Add some fresh ingredients to the recipe, or garnish the finished product with something special for a dish that's sure to impress.

NOOKFEST ARTIST PROFILES // ARTIST NAZ RAHBAR OF ARTCAVE

I’m an artist and educator. Art is what I do! I’m making art, teaching it, or thinking about it. I think art is powerful and fun. I don’t know how not to Art! I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University, and a Bachelor of Education from York University with a fine arts focus. Currently I’m completing a Masters of Fine Arts at York University.

NOOKFEST MUSICIAN PROFILES // MARKY MONDAY

Marky Monday is known to fans as the new age Fred Penner, Mr. Dressup, and Mr. Rogers all combined in one.

Marky Monday is a children’s character created and performed by Mark William Pezzelato. Mark began working with children in 2001 as a professional drum and guitar teacher. Eventually his teaching evolved into creating songs and entertaining. By 2011 Mark was performing in festivals and private parties as Disney’s Mad Hatter, turning heads wherever he went with his unique approach, creating original songs on the spot to entertain audiences of all ages.

SHERI STRANGER OF BLUE ROCKET GIFTS

I am a Canadian-born artist and designer who seeks to delight, engage and entertain with my series of playful and cheeky greeting cards. I hope that my funny cards remind us to notice life’s simple pleasures, such as the joy of a good pun or play on words!

CATHERINE OF SASKATCHCUSHION

In 2014 I was looking for something to do that would allow me to be a stay-at-home parent after my second child was born. I originally had the idea to make Saskatchewan-shaped pillows a year earlier, but life has a habit of getting in the way so I just put it on the back burner. 

As I was nearing the end of my pregnancy I realized that it was now or never, so I bought an embroidery machine from Kijiji, sketched out some maps, designed some labels and found a place to have my fabric printed. I was 36 weeks pregnant when I made my first cushion. 
It's nearly 2 years later and I have sold over 1500 cushions!

ALICIA ZOFIA

Hey! My name is Alicia Zofia and I am a self-taught artist specializing in watercolour painting. My style can be described as a unique combination of realism with an abstract sense of colour. Although I mainly paint with watercolours, I have an irrefutable passion for all things colourful and creative, and I love to play and experiment with all forms of artistic expression!

I only recently moved to Toronto and I feel so grateful that I was able to become involved with the NOOKS community this summer. I travel and move around a lot, so having the opportunity to connect with like-minded artists and artisans so quickly after relocating to a new city has been amazing and inspiring. I have had a difficult time remaining sedentary up until this point in my life, and although a nomadic sort of lifestyle has served me well by stimulating new artistic inspiration and prompting me to focus more on self-development and self-love, I can’t stop dreaming of finally having a more permanent place to paint, create, and call home. Who knows, maybe Toronto is that place of my dreams!

LEANNE GRUENDING OF BYOND THE LOOKING GLASS GEMS

All of my designs are inspired by mantras, which are quotes from some of my most favourite books and each collection (jewelry season) is inspired by the book those quotes come from. I began with Alice in Wonderland (which is where my flamingo logo comes from) and and I just finished off The Alchemist for my Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Each collection has cohesive elements from the novel. For example, Alice in Wonderland was filled with light, innocent and loving stones like Rose Quartz, Moonstone, Aquamarine, Chrysocholla, Citrine, Amethyst with accent elements like hearts, teapots and charms with other whimsical elements. The Alchemist was filled with circular elements and tassels to compliment the plot of the novel with warm, adventurous stones like Sunstone, Turquoise, Citrine, Labradorite and Amazonite.

RANAE of FAIRE DE LA MODE

From the beginning I sought to define the Faire de la Mode brand as an inclusive sisterhood, a celebration of girl power, representative of women of all backgrounds and orientations-- something I found lacking in the fashion industry and have personally experienced myself as a woman of colour.

HEIDI-MARIE OF LUANA'S BOOKSHELF

I'm Heidi-Marie, the founder of LuAna's Bookshelf. LuAna's Bookshelf is dedicated to raising money for schools all over the world by empowering children to help take control of their own education. I travel the world with and find poor schools in desperate need of funding. Together with the children of these schools, I create a storybook to sell and raise money for their school. No two books are the same. Every illustration within the book is a collaboration, each element drawn by different children from the school. The books also contain special elements relating to the specific country they were created in, and each book is printed both in English and the language of the children printed just below, allowing the reader to experience the many languages of this world. By being part of the creation of these books, the children feel that they are in control of their education and their future.