Celebrate Mother’s Day!

This Mother’s Day, create a gift that is truly impressionable and simply beautiful for mom with these delicate and personalized Mom Bracelets.

Choose from a selection of charming hand-selected Personality Beads, Genuine Swarovski Crystal Birthstones, Initial Charms and delicate Mom Roses, fashioned together to tell a small story just about her.

These bracelets can be customized exactly to your liking with your selection of both choice and quantity of these very special beads and charms.

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Each bracelet comes standard with tiny Barrel Crystals in either black or white, with your desired quantity of Year Rings and the Mom Rose of your choosing.

A year ring represents the number of years you have shared together with Mom and come in either Silver or Gold.

Each Mom Rose imparts the nature of motherhood and your relationship to the receiver. There is a rose to suit every Mom, whether that mother is your sister, your aunt, etc.

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The Kindred Mom Rose is a special chrome silver rose that betokens that extraordinary mom who is a friend, a mother that you admire, or an adoptive mother.

Swarovski Crystal Gemstones Click to enlarge
Personality Beads Click to enclarge

Taylor your bracelet with a Genuine Swarovski Crystal Birthstone and as many Initial Charms and Personality Beads you like.

Standard Mom Bracelets are $60.00 CD
Charms and Beads are $5 each.
Enhance your Round Swarovski
Birthstone to a premium Cube for $8.
Enhance your Initial Charm to a rhinestone
charm for $8.

October Opal Birthstone now available!

Contact Nina Spade at
inquiries@ninaspade.com 
– 416.894.3755
to order!

Get yours today before May 14th!
Happy Mother’s Day from Nina Spade Studio

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MIX’D by Nina Spade

So I am certain that many of you have been curious about the new label that I’ve branded on many of the new jewellery designs. Well, consider this my formal introduction to it.

When autumn arrived in 2016, I admittingly experienced, for the first time in my life, my first run-in with the infamous Creator’s Block. And it could not have come at a worse time—during the beginning stages of a new and exciting idea I had for a jewellery line. This is the reason for the Nina Spade dry spell of late 2016, and it brought with it a depression that was invisible to others, but very present within myself. I’m pleased to say that I am vanquishing this block with self-determination, self-love, a lot of meditation, a lot of support, and many hours forcing myself to just keep creating, no matter how much I hated what I was ending up with, because eventually the flow would materialized.  Everything is still in a very raw and elementary stage of composition and inspiration, but as an artist, this is one of my most favourite stages to be in, because with persistence and passion, only growth can follow. I can’t wait to see where it all leads.mixd2

As summer dwindled, I found myself reflecting on my skills, and what I have produced over the past 14 years. What I had concluded was that my versatility as a designer was my greatest strength, and as much as it might sound like aptitude and dexterity gives someone a lot to work with, it begins to feel stagnant after a while IF it is the only thing you are doing. How lucky am I to be able to accommodate and create jewellery for just about any personality, age, psyche, unique taste, creative preference, special occasion, etc. That’s huge. But as an artist, that isn’t enough for me.  I still wanted to be able to provide my vision and creations to clientele looking for something custom and something exclusive, while also designing pieces that reverberated, related to, and represented an entire faction. Exclusiveness is noble, but it was time for me to begin thinking about creating pieces that were inclusive.

This is precisely when I came up with my new jewellery line, MIX’D.

What it is? What makes it unique? Well, each piece of jewellery I make for this line has been hand-crafted intentionally with an unconventional and exciting mingling of materials. This line was designed specifically for women, being that my largest clientele demographic are women. The objective of each design is to resonate the same multifaceted spirit of all woman, rather that articulate just one kind of personality. This line is inclusive because each design contains the pervasive psyche of all women.

Different materials translate the many different idiosyncrasies of being female; Basic and modest mediums such as resin, plastic, basic metals, etc., impart the side of a woman that should also be celebrated (incomplex, plain, and dare I even say threadbare), and is just as real and authentic as any other side. Even Iris Apfel isn’t decked out 24 hours of the day. And to keep up with trying to look put together or like you have all together ALL the time can be incredibly exhausting and inauthentic. But at the same time, this is just a facet of who we are. We are both ‘frumpy AND fantastically fabulous’.
mixd3
This is what I am trying to convey when I add things like pewter to a piece that also has Aquamarines and Sparkling Swarovski. There is little about ‘cheap’ materials that make them refined, and they are considered, for the most part, shabby and less valuable in comparison to things like gems and gold. By marrying them with more refined components, each piece possesses the same complexity women share. Their value immediately increases. Their simplicity is beautified. And like a women, the design possesses the same authenticity as its wearer.

Gemstones, wood, pearls… natural beads express a woman’s natural and organic being. Genuine Swarovski Crystal and glass and precious metals conveys elegance, refinement,
and beauty. Compounding and incorporating all these elements together signifies the miscelaneousness, intricacy… and wonderment of women and all her sides.

THIS was what manifested from my desire to create inclusive jewellery. I NEEDED to create a line that spoke to literally everyone; a 40-year-old powerhouse career mogul; a 16-year-old ingénue, exploring her methods of self-expression; a mother of 4; someone like you; someone like me. There is a lot of myself in these designs, specifically. That is due to just how passionate I feel about themmixd1, and that energy is absorbed into every pin, bead, charm, and clasp I use.

I look forward to continuing to create pieces that make people feel special, and make them feel more like themselves. We all want to be understood. We all want to express ourselves effectively. And we also want to feel that the sides of ourselves we are most critical of are not only just a part of who we are, but also a park of what makes us awesome.

Keep on the look-out for more designs from my MIX’D by Nina Spade line, and remember to celebrate your authentic self and every side of it, because we are all a mix of magic, mystery, and magnificent… whether confident in 4 inch heels or in sweatpants with Creator’s Block.

 

Spade On The Street – Jaclyn Forbes, Much Creator & Lifestyle Vlogger

Tripod in tow, camera bag in hand, handmade jewellery all gift-wrapped, and umbrella sandwiched between my teeth, I’m racing down St. Patrick on foot, and I’m late. After breaking through what felt like a flock of OPP officers casually blocking my path as I zoomed down the sidewalk—smashed into, yelling ‘thank you!’ (!?) as I passed—I eventually reach Queen, slowing my legs down to a brisk pace. It’s June, and I’m approaching Much Headquarters. The usual faction of ink-clad skin, plaid, band tshits, and Kensington market 3-for-15 shades part partially as I walk towards the building with that tell-tale CP24 truck bursting out the bricks in the loading yard, wheels still rotating and body paint rusting away. My eyes eventually land on the riveting woman who is waiting for my arrival just outside the front doors; my Spade on the Street focus of the day, the multi-talented Lifestyle Vlogger and Much Creator, Miss Jaclyn Forbes.

She’s casually and genuinely brushing off my tardiness (try waiting behind someone trying to turn right onto College and then Dundas from University, I don’t know why I didn’t just drive in the middle lane) as we enter the building, and signs me in at the front desk. Fresh-faced, relaxed, and with effortless good posture, she’s cool and excited and fluent in wit, and I adore her even more in those past 7 or 8 minutes of talking and getting to know her better. We are eventually greeted by Alyssa Petru of Much Digital Studios, and she leads the way upstairs to the Fishbowl (which has impeccable lighting, I might add. You can’t blame me for being excited about that, I am a cliché with a DSLR).

Jaclyn has been involved with Much as a Creator since 2014, heading forward with ease and strength that is carried by her natural charm and amiable essence. She is also best known for her dedication to her riveting, educational, and incredibly fun Youtube Channel, encompassing her love of make-up, pop-culture, and delicious vegan delights, amassing over 24,000 subscribers, and more than 860,000 combined views in ONE YEAR… a testament to her entertaining nature. Her videos feature things that she loves, to make-up and fashion tutorials for your go-to musical festival look, and more.

In June, you could catch her and other Much Creators (AND… former Spade on the Street segment feature, Toronto Photographer, Nick Wons) on the red carpet at this year’s 2016 iHeartRadio’s Much Music Video Awards, welcoming the likes of Gigi Hadid, Alessia Cara, Tegan and Sarah, Nick Jonas, Shawn Mendes, and more.

As we settle into the Fishbowl, she finally opens her jewellery goodies, revealing her custom-requested Peach Glass Choker (part of her Bestival 2016 look, and also featured in her June 2016 Favorites Video), as well as a special Quartz & Labradorite necklace that caught her eye. It’s not surprising she has great taste.

The fishbowl is sweltering for me in the heat of summer, and I down a bottle of water while the camera is snapping. Jaclyn doesn’t have a bead of sweat on her. Cool to the bone.

She is a natural infront of the camera, which only further confirms what I suspect to be an ever-growing and successful career in her future. It was such a delight to get to know her. Keep on the look-out for her as she continues to create a platform for herself as one of Toronto’s leading faces in pop-culture and beauty, whether though Much or though Youtube. All the best of luck to you, Jaclyn, and thank you for your contribution to Spade on the Street. Enjoy the jewels!!

 


Q:
 What is the most rewarding thing about your craft?

JF: There are so many different rewarding parts about what I do. Of course, there are those self-motivating, everyday rewards, like when I finish editing a video that I’ve worked really hard on, or finishing filming a dream video (like when I filmed the 5 Second Challenge video with Hailey Baldwin and Tyler Posey- it was one of those ‘pinch me’ moments), but I think the most rewarding part of my craft is interacting with viewers and hearing their stories. No matter what aspect of my video making process I’m working on, ultimately I’m always thinking about my viewers.

Whenever I upload a video, and it gets to the part where it says “99% uploaded”, I still get these little butterflies in my stomach from excitement. I am always so eager to share my content with my subscribers and I can’t wait to read their comments. Ultimately, what I do wouldn’t be possible without my viewers. It’s definitely a two way street!! I think one of the best parts about YouTube is the comments section and the sense of community it creates. I love hearing feedback or having discussions with everyone on there. I think YouTube is a platform that really relies on that. To go even further, of course, interacting online with people who watch my videos is great, but meeting those people in real life is one of the best feelings.

The most exciting part of what I do is meeting those people and hearing their stories or how my videos have inspired them. It’s so rewarding to hear that what I’m doing and that the videos I’m creating are having an impact on the people around me – or maybe not even around me for that matter! It always blows my mind when I read comments from viewers saying that they’re from a country half way across the world. The reach you have with YouTube is limitless, and to think that someone, who in some cases might not even speak the same language as me, are watching my videos is extremely humbling. To think that these are real people, not just usernames or faceless accounts, is insane to me.

I think that sometimes it can be easy to forget that each user I’m interacting with or replying to in the comment section are real people. It sounds silly, but it’s true. Most of my interaction happens online, which is awesome, but it really is something else when you finally meet that username face to face. It’s surreal, honestly. I’ve said it since the beginning of this journey, if my videos can make at least one person smile, or spark an interest in someone or even just entertain someone and allow them to take their mind off something, then it’s all worth it. Knowing that what I create is influencing someone else’s life positively is the most rewarding thing.

Jaclyn Forbes:
Instagram
Twitter

Spade On The Street – Tom Archer, International Travel & Wedding Photographer

What would seeing the world mean to you if you could see it all?

What if there were no limitations to the places you could go? The adventures you could have? The people you could meet? The things you could see? If you could climb the tallest mountains, or visit some of the harshest landscapes… how would it change you? How would it shape you? How would it shape your view of the world? They say that the greatest relationship you should ever have is with yourself, and in order for it to be fulfilling, you have to nourish it. What better way to do that then to broaden your horizons, and willingly partake in all the world has to offer. The reverence, and the respect that I have for anyone with integral, unadulterated wanderlust, is whole and unconditional. To those who make a career out of it… a living out of it… a lifestyle… you are inspirations to those who may perhaps feel obliged or stuck in their own routines and societal expectation. A spirit full of genuine adventure animates our own bravery and reminds people that nothing is impossible.

This special Spade on the Street piece is happy to highlight its first international submission. I feel honoured to feature in this latest segment yet another outstanding artist and friend within the realm of photography, Travel and Wedding Photographer, Tom Archer.

As per his penchants for traveling, I met Tom and his family almost ten years ago while vacationing in the Caribbean. Hopping on a plane and venturing off to far and distant destinations has been in his blood for as long as I have had the pleasure of knowing him.  Having grown up in a small village in Essex, UK (about 2 hours north of London) he showed a big interest in drawing from a very early age, eventually getting into photography in his early 20’s whilst travelling the world. He began a career as a Police Officer at the age of 21, and went on to do that for the next three years, eventually quitting in order to travel, spending 2.5 years away from home, further solidifying his passion for photography. That was 6 years ago, and he has been doing this ever since.

Like myself, Tom is self-taught in his craft, which I find singularly marvellous, as he is UNBELIEVEABLY talented. It truly does blow my mind what he does with a Nikon D810 and a Nikon D750, his favourite lenses being a 24 – 70mm f2.8, and 70 – 200mm.

Tom has created some of the most outstanding photography that I have ever seen. His wedding photography is, by far, the most romantic, magical, and transcendent images of love that truly do leave a person in awe. Incredibly, he has shot weddings on 5 different continents.

Check out all of Tom’s outstanding photos on Facebook, Instagram, and on his absolutely superb website.

I would also like to thank him and his equally talented girlfriend Julia for taking the liberty of shooting and submitting such wonderful photos for this very special segment, as traveling to the UK was, sadly, not an option for me at the moment. Nonetheless, I am grateful and excited for Tom’s globe-trotting inspiration. He has certainly planted many a seed. Let’s see how quickly they sprout.

 

Q – What is most rewarding about your craft?

TA – There are many things I love about photography and I could write an essay talking about them all. My main love though is capturing that moment in a freeze frame that will last forever. I think you get so caught up in moments (whether it be witnessing an amazing sunset or marrying the love of your life), that you don’t get the chance to stop and appreciate it. Photography freezes that moment and makes it last forever so you can go back and experience it again and again. Every time I see the smile on a bride and grooms face as they go through their wedding photos it makes me realise why I love what I do so much.

As you know I love to travel and shoot weddings all over. I think I have been to 78 countries now. I love to keep fit, I love to explore, to read, and to watch films. My room is full of books which I never have enough time to read! I taught myself photography and learnt from studying famous photographers’ work and by shadowing a couple of photographers at a couple of weddings. Oh, I have an obsession with ice cream too and eat way too much!

Collaboration with Toronto-Based Fashion Photographer, Katiuska Idrovo

A big Thank You to Katiuska Idrovo Photography for such a wonderful collaboration and submission to Issue 7 of Borealis Mag!

Follow Katiuska on Facebook & Instagram, or at katiuskaidrovo.com

Interested in a collaboration with Nina Spade Studio?
Send an email to inquiries@ninaspade.com!

Be sure to follow @ninaspade on INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, & GOOGLE+

Stay tuned for more coming soon, Nina Spade Studio Fans!

Spade On The Street- Nick Wons, Freelance Toronto Photographer

There is something to be said about trying to share a bit of a person’s story when that story is far too vast to narrow down. That something is, “It’s hard”. How does one try to encapsulate the magnitude of experience had by someone who has spent their every moment treading in an alloy of expedition and adventure? It is certainly not easy. Where do you begin, really?

Today, I’m here to introduce to you Freelance Toronto Photographer, Nick Wons.

If you live in Toronto and are part of one of its thousands of creative communities, you understand that the dynamic of these collectives are always very close knit, in the sense that everyone knows everyone, or knows someone who knows someone. Networking and creative comradery is something I find very special about this city. Emersion into the population of whatever niche you are involved in is to meet creative individuals of all walks of life. And more often than not, you cross paths with someone with such a profoundly grande, impactful, and unforgettable dynamism. If you know someone of this calibre, you know what their presence is like; step asides, all Alphas in the room, because the commander and chief has been designated.

Raw, open, pulsating… this person is like the lava stream you can’t peal your eyes from while watching from the solid rock bed that surrounds, catching the heat as they move. And if you know Nick, or have seen his work, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The dude’s blood is T.O+, therefore he encompass this rhythmical combination of Homespun Urban Animus, Gentleman Rapscallion, and a Wicked Sage Rudeboy. He’s hard to forget.

Our own meeting dates back to the beloved days of Loaded Fridays at Inside, Down One Lounge, and when Toronto Jungle was a Nina Spade staple. It takes a certain type of respected, genetic debauchery to keep up with it, and I’ve since understandably bowed out of the lucid scene aspect. Nonetheless, I will forever remain, at heart (and through my Sol Republic’s and bright orange bandanas), a ‘ginjie junglist’.

Nick gracefully and vociferously commands the Drum N Bass community here in Toronto, as well as frequents the Montreal scene, capturing titillating events on his DSLR, and charming comrades with his jocularity. With a sizeable creative projects and collaborations catalogue, he has experienced working with some of the City’s finest. The inventory can include the likes of TELEFILM Canada, TIFF, ETalk Canada, Montreal Gazette, Narcity Toronto, and more.  His talent has lead him to shoot the likes of Skrillex, Action Bronson, Bag of Trix Crew, and an extended list of celebrities, musicians, and performers, claiming to “feel at home” amidst the hustle and bustle of events, festivals, night clubs, and red carpet events. And for me to sit here and attempt to list his credentials is not possible. He has, successfully and masterfully, done so much.

One thing that I must certainly make mention of, is his magic on social media. Dubbing himself ‘The Puddle King’, Nick probes Toronto neighbourhoods, armed with his gear, to shoot the fabric of our City, having a particular fondness for puddles and reflections. His Instagram (@nwons) is a marvel that must be followed, as well as his additional social media on Facebook and Twitter. Also, be sure to check out his photo collaborations with Eckhart Soul, ANSER, and Vice x Virtue.

I met up with Nick in late October to not only shoot his segment, but to also discuss what I feel is a true testament to his creative savvy and capability: His involvement with Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s annual all-night celebration and multi-exhibition of art installations. Its exhibitors includes well-known, independent, local, and international artists, and our 2015 edition featured the likes of Inside Out Project artist, JR, having installed one of the top 5 featured exhibits of the evening. Nick was selected to shoot JR’s installation, and over a beer, and followed by a righteous meal at Barsa Taberna in Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence district, we discussed precisely how he was able to land the gig.

And so, Spade On The Street’s first interview segment was born.

 

Nina – So tell me about the shoot you did for Nuit Blanche, how did everything unfold? How did you manage to get that gig?

Nick – First off, I hate heights. Absolutely hate heights. So I have been shooting for The City of Toronto for 5 years now. This year, JR was one of this year’s featured artists and so they gave us the option to choose, and I had missed the boat on asking who I wanted to shoot. I want to shoot JR, and they said well unfortunately, it has been filled, and I was like, uh! I love his work, I follow it all, they said okay, let’s see what we can do, maybe we can speak with the photographer, and try to switch it up. I was like, awesome. So, we go in for a briefing, and in my head, I pictured that they were going to do something there, at city hall, because if you ever look at JR’s work, it’s always shot from above, and it is always big scale. Initially, their plan was to project images that he had shot ONTO Nathan Phillip Square, so there was originally no wheat paste installation, so hearing that, it crushed my hopes and said, you know… I figured that there’s sure to be something cool I can get out there on social media. It wasn’t until the night before Nuit Blanche that… okay, I get on my social media, as always… get on my Instagram, Scotiabank is one of the people I follow, so I see them on my feed, and they post, “Getting Ready In Nathan Phillip Square.” And they show a photo of wheat paste being put down on the ground with people’s portraits that JR had been doing.

Nina – And that’s when you found out about the change in presentation.

Nick – Exactly. So I was like ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,’ I mean, this was 8 o’clock at night, the night before… city hall is closed. And I need to try and get in touch with the right person ASAP because I need to get access to shoot this from above, because I know the angle, and there’s the fact that they are using a wet liquid to apply these portraits of people onto the ground… If you’re lighting it from 360 degrees the way that they did, you’re not going to shoot a single image of the installation that won’t have light reflecting off and glaring in your face at some point in the photo. So I was like, okay… I need to go to the roof. I put together an email and I emailed the reps at City of Toronto and told them-

Nina – This is the night before?

Nick –  The night before, yes! So I said something like, I know that this is crazy last minute… at this point now, I think it might have even been 10pm the night before… knowing me… anyway, *laughs* so I said “We have got to get this shot. I just saw what Scotia Bank posted, this NEEDS to be documented from above, no ifs, ands, or buts.” They get back to me and mentioned shooting it from a window, but the windows have on them this… anti-bird-whacking material….

Nina – *laughs*

Nick – You know, that stuff on the windows, they’re like these little dots that are inches apart…

Nina – ‘Avian repellant’.

Nick- Yeah! So there’s no way you can shoot a photo through that window without getting at least one of these dots in your photo. I tell them again, this is the situation, this is what I need… I can’t be speaking to security, and they tell me I can only shoot this from a window. I CAN’T shoot this from a window, it NEEDS to be unobscured. I got a reply telling me they’d see what they can do. No promises, but we’ll see. And I said “Okay…. do what you can…. but at the end of the day? THIS is going to be the shot you want. And it will be the shot that, if you don’t get it, you’re never going to get it again, and you will regret that you never got it. And it’s always going to be one of those moments…”

Nina – Precisely.

Nick – I like to NOT have those moments in my life.

Nina – *laughs*

Nick – so at least I said something about it. My email was sent off to officials. We didn’t get a reply until 2 in the afternoon, day of Nuit Blanche. I needed to be on location, and shooting at 7pm. In 5 hours from then, I had to be at city hall, get up there, and shoot it. So the shot is taken at about 7:30-8:00 at night. And man, it was just so awesome. After I sent my final shot to them, I was like “and here you go”. I gave it to them that night, and said “I told you, it would be awesome.”

Nina – But it really was awesome.

Nick – Thank you. So that opened up to me asking them, “So, now that I’ve done this at night, can I shoot up there during the day?” And that is one really valuable thing that I have learned too, from this experience… you really don’t know what you can get away with until you ASK.

Nina – Absolutely. And that’s truly great advice.

Nick – Yeah, and I think that a lot of people are afraid to ask in many cases and it’s like, sure you can try to go about other ways of doing things, whether you’re exploring buildings or… I actually know somebody who’s a rooftop photographer in Toronto…. VERY controversial…. And instead of putting himself in a position where he could be charged with things like mischief, or a break-and-enter, he asks, you know? If you have a criminal charge on you, you can be indicted for anything in America, for instance, if you want to cross the border, and if you get a charge and you go to the states, they’ll say ‘we don’t want your kind here.” Anyway, so I ask, and I’ve got a lot of places that I have been permitted access too. I can’t talk about it right now, it’s confidential, but I got the permission to. I asked. They are high profile places that have been shot in the past, but the people who organize everything aren’t pleased with the shots that they have-

Nina – And they’re entrusting you to take new photos because they know you have the know-how, and know how good your work is.

Nick – I got a portfolio to show for it. I’m not just a dude with a camera. I’m actually a skilled professional who wants to come in and document it and make it worth your while.

 

Nina – One of the things that I was having a look at was other photographers from Toronto who are similar to the ones we’re talking about—rooftop-photographers. Those men and women who grab their cameras and scout the city for those perfect shots. And one of the things that I’ve noticed is there are similarities in their chosen locations. I do see a difference between your own style, and everyone else’s of course when you’re shooting the same locations. What do YOU think differentiates yourself from those who shoot like you, or maybe even mimic your method?

Nick – Hmm, interesting. Um. I mean, image wise, it’s tough to say. I don’t think there is much that differentiates me, other than it’s my personality. It’s my style and assets, you know. We have different editing techniques of course, I do try to look at things differently that the next guy… whether it’s my puddles, or my reflection shots, which is something I’ve really sort of become known for now. That’s the thing, it’s like it’s certainly my personality because I deal with clients and image wise… I get to tell MY story. I kind of share the way I see things and the way the world is the way I look at it. And we have all walked different paths, and if my photos are something that people can attach themselves to, and really appreciate and get a FEELING out of them–

Nina – Do you enjoy that there is this sort of ubiquitous connection between Toronto photographers?

Nick – Yeah!

Nina – There’s sort of a connected community there.

Nick – Totally. There is. I mean, there’s a lot of really good people out there shooting. Sometimes there’s a lot of ego, but when you strip it down, there are some really good people in the photography community in Toronto, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of them, and MORE as time goes on of course. Instagram has actually been a big one for me. Instagram has connected me with SO many Toronto photographers. It’s crazy. I’m going out this Saturday with four photographers I meet at a shoot for a clothing company that I got in contact with because they started liking my photos, and gave me a bunch of stuff to shoot people in. Instagram is a great tool. A picture speaks a thousand words. I mean, that’s more than I can fit in a Twitter 140 character limitation. Twitter doesn’t speak to me *laughs*. But Instagram does. Instagram is my twitter.

Nina – So here is the golden question: What is most rewarding about your craft?

Nick – The power that an image can have. That’s huge. It can invoke such a wide, wide, wide range of emotions. If a photo is personal, it can bring back so many memories, good and bad. To a person knowing the situation regarding a photo, and have a tie to the image, or even people who never had any connection with anybody in the image, or the situation…. I’ve lost a lot of friends in my life. I’ve been grateful to have been able to photograph a bunch of the friends that I’ve lost. After they pass, you know, it sounds really terrible to say it, but people don’t really learn the value of images of people until they’re dead. And it’s that sort of thing, you know… to see friends, family, loved ones… you use your images as an anchor. It’s something that can be grounding, and bring back good memories. It’s something people can come back to. I mean, that is incredible…. Wow…. I’m at a loss for words now even thinking about it… you know, images like that are better than any magazine spread, better than any paycheque…. It’s like that joke meme that goes, “I’m a photographer: My superpower is I make people immortal.” That whole thing really rings true when the sad things happen. And, of course, the GOOD things. I tell people “I’m going shoot you right now, you know. You’re never going to age. This place is never going to change in this photo. I’m going to capture this moment, and we are going to come back to it always.” Everything is going to stay the exact same. I’m able to capture, for a lot of people, including myself, a lot of emotion. The ability to be able to lock that down for people and give them that-

Nina – To take a finite moment and make it infinite…

Nick – Yes, I take seconds and I push them out for eternity. Not even seconds…. One two-hundredths of a second. One one-thousandth of a second! That power is just unreal. It pays the soul, which is most important. Its stuff like that that makes me keep doing what I do.

wons.ca

Spade On The Street – Ola Mazzuca, Multimedia Journalist & Project Manager

When I am asked what my goal is by taking on my Spade on the Street project, my answer is broad, as there are many reasons as to why I am as passionate about this endeavor as I am.

I live and love in a city booming with young professionals and artists that are taking their ‘chip bag of resources’, tilting their heads back, and tapping every crumb down inside them. And being a young professional Torontonian myself, to shine a spot light on this type of attitude is compulsory. In many ways, it is part and parcel to your spirit as an artist to support your creative comrades and counterparts, as there are still these dated, though well-intended, expectations from different generations and demographics that encourage people to not take risks and just find ‘safe employment’. Forget your dreams, forget your desires. And nevermind, who can blame in this volatile world that we’re living in.

That is the thing about this world; there is both failure and success. When you turn on the news, or pick up the paper, or scroll down on what’s going on this week in the world, you’re met with an abundance of ‘bad news’. That is simply because no one would tune in if it the news was good all day, everyday. Call it the obvious human nature of being fascinated and attracted to negativity, the macabre, struggle, trials and tribulations. Bad news sells. Negativity strategically places a veil on what is going on in the world, menacingly warping your perception of the bigger picture. It instills fear and stifles your drive to do something ‘different’. However, the state of the world is not as bent out of shape as we see it, and a balance in having hope, happiness, success, motivation…. It is so key.

Hope, happiness, success, and motivation are abundant. And it is very easy to get lost in the mix of things and forget they’re there.

I created Spade on the Street to INSPIRE others in a world that tells them that following your passions is too risky. I wanted to share with EVERYONE that there are so many remarkable individuals, whether struggling or not, who are perusing their passion, and they are LOVING IT and cannot imagine themselves doing anything else but what they love.

Ola Mazzuca, this Spade on The Street session’s featured young professional, is a shining example of just the type of individual I am talking about. She embodies the exact spirit which elucidates what I call the ‘main ingredient’ in the recipe for success. I have watched her evolve over the years, whetting her appetite for every angle and every plane of Toronto culture, and accumulating the building blocks of professionalism and creative venture through her love of media, music, food, and travel.

Growing up just north of the city in The Village Of Kleinburg, she holds a Bachelor degree with Ryerson university for Journalism, and is an extraordinary communicator through her passion and skill for writing, having been showcased in Noisey by VICEHellboundExclaim!Post City Toronto and Large Up, with surly more to come. I encourage you all to follow and be inspired by her pursuits and discoveries. You can read more on her Website, as well as follow her on Twitter.

While sharing a samosa after her shoot on Gerrard Indian Bazar, we got to chatting about what it means to live creatively and to be integral about your creative passions. We also got to talking about some of the principals relating to having a quality life that recently-passed Motivational Speaker and Author, Wayne Dyer, shared with his fans and for those he has helped. Dyer, I have found, has and continues to be a favorite amongst many youth and individuals in our generation, having a knowledge and wisdom that resonates with young people. Ola reminded me of the title of a book he had co-wrote with his daughter Serena. The title is “Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You”. This simple statement echos that fire that burns inside those who are bent on sharing the passions that are inside them.

I thank her for an enlightening, inspiring, and energizing morning together. It is obvious that Ola is the type of person who is connected to her inner music, and lives intrinsically through this philosophy, even if it means choosing a more challenging path. But according to her, it is so worth it. And I absolutely agree.

Q – What is most rewarding about your craft?
OM – I have many, multifaceted crafts, that consistently grow and progress through each experience. As I utilize them, often simultaneously, in my work, I guess you can say that the rewards are endless. My crafts are a gift, and they are shared with others with purpose.

As a culture journalist, I have been able to tell people’s stories through various platforms and mediums. When I was a Features Editor of a women’s lifestyle magazine, I curated the music column, which was dedicated to highlighting strong Canadian female artists. Every time I secured one for an editorial, following the interview and editing process, I realized that they all had one thing in common: they had experienced adversity and overcame in triumph. Their stories were then shared through their craft. That’s what I continuously seek in my work – to share the purpose of another. Whether it be an up-and-coming artist or a legendary band, to faces of the Caribbean Diaspora (a kind-of not-so-recent found passion), my intention is to craft a meaningful story, in hopes that someone will cry tears of joy, smile or laugh at something nostalgic, and share with the world. I’ve also been able to share my voice, too, as the manager, co-host and producer of BanTOR Radio – a podcast I started this year, in partnership with an important person in my life. We work collaboratively by applying our talents and parallel zeal for music and journalism.

As a brand and project manager, it’s the same deal. I’ve worked with such a diverse group of clients, organizations and communities. In each and every experience, however big or small, I have learned invaluable lessons and acquired great skills.  I have a fervent passion for social issues and am an advocate of accessibility, mental health and promoting diversity in all its forms. One of my most rewarding experiences was spearheading a major accessibility initiative at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, where I helped develop, deliver and implement art programs for people living with special needs. I documented the entire project over the course of two years, which was transformed into The Art of Inclusion – a best practices guide for other arts and cultural organizations to establish similar programming and practices in their work. Nothing compares to witnessing positive impact unfold in communities that need progress the most.

With my clients, I strive to deliver fluid results in representing their craft, so that they can reach their audiences with purpose. Most are in the arts and culture industries, so I am always brainstorming and collaborating with them in the process. This is highly rewarding, as it gives me the opportunity to learn about a different field or facet of their life. They are all incredibly hard-working, innovative professionals with an immense amount of drive for what they do. This inspires me.

When people ask me, “What do you do?” it’s tough to answer, especially when you’re a self-employed entrepreneur. I conclude a long explanation of my unconventional routine and vast interests by simply responding, “Pursuing my passions.”

Spade On The Street – Caroline C-ko Tattersall, Professional Tattoo Artist

With the obvious rise of Tattoo popularity over the past decade or so, it is far easier to get drawn into the magic and beauty of the art form. All kinds of people, all walks of life… politicians, doctors, school teachers… have tattoos. It is difficult, sometimes even surprising, to meet someone who doesn’t have, or hasn’t thought about getting one. How remarkable is it to watch the transition of a craft that used to be taboo evolve into a social and cultural norm that now rarely raises an eyebrow. In fact, it is celebrated, appreciated, and made a marvel. Perhaps one could call me impolite, but I very much enjoy sitting and working in a cafe, walking down any street in the Downtown core, meeting new people, and riding the TTC and/or driving around the city, and STARING and admiring and deciphering and absorbing and analysing and taking in other people’s ink. I certainly doubt there isn’t a soul who lives in any urban infrastructure, where the population is mainly young professionals, that has not done this at least once.

Being as enthusiastic as most people, I find myself very much enamoured by the art. Like most things, it takes raw talent to master, and that comes with dedication, practice, experimentation, courage, and even a certain amount of instinct to stand out as an artist. I remember getting my first tiny tattoo at 18 years old. Despite it’s macro size, and predictable location, I loved it so much, and still love it today. Over the years, many more have made it into my collection, and like most people, I am keen on the practice of client loyalty to one, or perhaps a small handful, of professionals. It is so unbelievably wonderful to be able to say that I have known my artist since I was just shy of 14 years old.

Caroline Tattersall has only been tattooing professionally now since 2012, but is incredibly gifted at what she does. I have had the privilege of watching her love of drawing and art unfold and evolve over many years, now having revolutionized into tattooing. Although living in Toronto with her two dogs, Taco and Nacho, and her equally-talented and fantastic husband, Peter John Belej of TCB Tattoos in Queen West, you can find Caroline in the Trafalgar/Uptown Core of Oakville at the reputable Good Point Tattoos shop.

What I think makes Caroline stand out as an artist is her ability to not ‘specialize’ in one particular style. Her credentials, technique, and styles have ranged from ‘watercolour’, portraits, dot work, sailor, and much more. My favourite is her flair and propensity for pretty pieces done in bold, bright colours. Her versatility is something that is not only evolving, but will no doubt propel her towards further and inevitable success. to see more of her wonderful work, you can also follow Caroline on Facebook.

Her segment took place on a very beautiful day in the park, accompanied by both Peter and her fantastic pooches. I thank them both for such a delightful afternoon, and I am eager to watch Caroline further herself as an artist. I remember in highschool asking her on many occasions to draw for me. Looking back, I thank her for her patience, because I must have been so annoying. But she always did, with enthusiasm and humour. And I am so pleased to be able to treasure, years later, her incredible art on me, and be able to do so every day. Art that is meaningful, bold, beautiful, and special. Just like Caroline.

Q – What is most rewarding about your craft?

CT – I got into tattooing because I wanted to see where I could take my artwork. I’ve always had a love of drawing and noticed over the years that I showed improvement the harder I worked. It is truly one of the only careers where you can physically see your progress. I am interested in seeing how my artwork changes over time. Tattooing is such a head game, there is a lot of self-doubt and inner criticism that can negatively affect you on a daily basis. I remind myself that it is my brain creating something, not me, I’m just an observer. That way, when someone shoots my work down, I don’t take it personally. Being able to take rejection is a huge part of my job and I want to soak up as much criticism as possible and apply it to my next tattoo.

That being said, the other rewarding part about tattooing is the interactive aspect of it. I have met some amazing people through tattooing that have made me feel so accepted and loved and inspire me to keep doing this for as long as I can. You realize that it takes so little to make someone feel important, and I try to treat all my clients as though they are friends. I’ll sing and dance a lot during the tattoo just to keep my head in a fun and creative mood and my clients don’t seem to mind, it usually makes people laugh!

Yes, there are days that I feel exhausted from the work load and it can be tiring when working with difficult people. But for the most part, I work with talented artists, and we generally get on well and have a laugh all day. I come home tired, yet so satisfied from a hard day’s work, and to boot, there’s money in my pocket. I wouldn’t trade this career for any other kind of job.

Spade On The Street – Kate Bland (“Nail Kandy Kate”), Freelance Nail Artist & Technician

“If you got cool nails, you wake up, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m happy now!'” – Maisie Williams

Nothing like a fresh set of beautiful, bright nails to make you feel like a million bucks. Although I do not dye my hair, nor wear too much make-up, my absolute favourite aesthetics to treat myself to is a great manicure, complete with brand-spanking-new and funky fingertips.  And if you share this joy with me, then you would love what Kate Bland, AKA, Nail Kandy Kate, can do.

A 1st place winner of the Canada Nail Cup mixed media category, and with a background in Make-Up Artistry, Kate studied at Sheridan College, applying her skills as a make-up artist for films and photo shoots in and around the GTA. Her love of cosmetics began when we was quite young (she shares with me that her mother relayed Kate wanting to own her “own cosmetics company”… A statement she claims to no longer recollect). Overtime, this love for make-up evolved into a passion for nail art, which she has been vehemently perusing and emerging into over the past 5 years.

She has been invited to take part in an exciting, educational, and inspirational weekend, The North West Nail Tech Retreat, on Vashon Island, South of Seattle, coming this October. The weekend seminar is an experience expected to bring together a variety of talent looking to expand their skills and share their own experiences. A flight fund for Kate has been organized with Go Fund Me, called the Flight Fund For Nail Camp. I encourage everyone to click on the link and make a contribution!

Her wonderful creations can also be seen on her Instagram account, @nailkandykate. To book an appointment or consultation, please contact her via email: kate@nailkandy.com

No matter your personality or personal tastes, her nail creation is truly special, and she is able to cover a wide range of tastes. She has manifested themes such as Honey, Mermaids, Fruit, Flowers, Penguins, Paris, and even Birthday nails. Her easy-going nature becomes overshadowed by her affection and zeal for what she does; her eyes light up when asked about what sort of elements she uses to create her designs, where she draws her inspiration from, and all that is in between. Be sure to keep an eye out for for, as her talents continue to ripen. If you’re from Toronto, and you love unique, exquisite, one-of-a-kind nails… Kate is your go-to girl!

 

Q – What is most rewarding about your craft?

 

KB – Lots of things! The ability to create ever-changing pieces of artwork that are tailored to each client’s style and personality. That “WOW” moment when my client can’t believe I painted such tiny portraits of their cats onto their nails (and they actually look like cats). Although my canvases are much tinier than most other artists’, the options for how I can decorate them are practically unlimited which lets my creativity and imagination run wild. I also enjoy being able to provide a service that is purely about having fun and doing something nice for yourself. In the grand scheme of life, I know that nail art and getting your nails done is completely frivolous and unessential, but it’s important to allow yourself things like that. I feel like many people take things so seriously, and nail art is a small escape from the stresses of the world. I mean, you can’t be too serious with unicorns or googly eyes on your nails, right?

For myself, when I do my own nails, my style and personal taste are constantly evolving and I love the fact that nail art is only ever temporary. It can be inspired by an emotion, an event, a season or even just a color that I’m into at that moment and by the time I’m ready to re-do my nails I will have moved onto something else that has piqued my interest.

I can be a bit hesitant to commit to things with any permanence (note: I don’t have any tattoos and you wouldn’t believe the amount of research and thought I put into even the simplest shopping purchases). There is something satisfying, perhaps cathartic even, about creating a piece of artwork that you know will inevitably be removed and destroyed, and this is an aspect of my life I can be carefree about. I think it helps me cope with the fact that nothing lasts forever, things change and that’s okay. Thankfully I have photographs of all my work so it never truly disappears 🙂

 

JEWELRY GIVEAWAY

Good day, Nina Spade Studio Fans!

Today is a special day, as I will be having an absolutely fantastic JEWELRY GIVEAWAY contest on Instagram starting from today, Monday August 31st, and ending Monday, September 14th, 2015.

Enter to win a one-of-a-kind jewelry package:

– Visit Nina Spade Studio on Instagram
– Follow!! @ninaspade
– Repost the photo of the JEWELRY GIVEAWAY PACKAGE of your choice with the hashtag #ninaspadegiveaway, and tag @ninaspade. It’s that easy!

Quick note: This contest will be running until September 14th, 2015 and the winners (3 winners, 1 for each giveaway) will be announced at 12:00pm EST. You also must be 18+ years of age, and you must have an open, public profile to enter.

Good Luck to all, and stay tuned for more wonderful new designs!!

– Nina Spade