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!!


 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:

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!

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 – Benjamin Tillmann, Visual FX Artist

The beauty and wonder of films and animation can take you on adventures that go well beyond a story; the composition and construction of the visuals behind what is on the big screen are obviously paramount in the delivery of a motion picture, and should evoke a ubiquitous sense of being very much a part of the unfolding feature. They are an escape from the redundancy of life. Film is a beloved, magical art that is ever evolving, always expanding with new innovations and technology, and continues to capture humanity’s heart after decades of uncanny and spellbinding amelioration.

I give credit to Ben Tillmann on being what I like to call an expert on the subject. Truth be told, I also give him credit for being one of the most multi talented and adventurous individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. A few of his credentials include lighting and composition for numerous animated films (a personal favorite of mine being the Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov produced animated film 9). And whether it’s racing competitively with the Canadian Dragons in Tanjong Beach, Sentosa, to indulging in his penchants for travel and photography, he is an inspiring person who truly is living life to the fullest, utilizing his incredible gifts, and following his dreams. After not seeing him for over a year, I was lucky to be able to spend a day with him during his current visit to Toronto this week, allowing for not only the occasion to catch up with the person who I have affectionately coined my ‘Pen Pal’ –a catch up inevitably includes a fair bit of fun, an equally fair amount of eating, and a venture to the cinema–, but also allowing for the opportunity to relay to all you Nina Spade Studio Fans his Spade On The Street segment.

Thank you Ben for your contribution to the Spade Blog. Continue to inspire those you encounter in life with your vivacious and artistic spirit.

Q: What is most rewarding about your craft?

BT: “– Entertaining and transporting people to other worlds — even if only for a few hours — and possibly even inspiring them in the process if I’m lucky —

…And that I am constantly learning and becoming better at what I do on a daily basis.
……And that I get to use both sides of my brain.

Okay, there are lots of reasons why I do what I do for a living. Most of it has to do with the fact that I’m still a kid at heart and even though I’m not telling my own stories, or in complete creative control of the projects I work on, I do get to be part of a team that creates worlds. Worlds which have the potential to inspire the imagination of children, both young and old, on a daily basis, in all corners of the earth. It can be pretty staggering and humbling when I actually sit down and think about it.

I also get to work with bleeding edge technology. So bleeding edge that when I’m not troubleshooting tools/proprietary software designed by our studio, I’m testing the possibilities of new tools from other companies months before they’ll hit the general population. It forces me to constantly be evolving as an artist and pushes me to be better today than I was yesterday and even better tomorrow. It also has me constantly switching between left and right brain thinking so I don’t have to abandon the technical and problem solving side of life which I get a kick out of to fully pursue my artistic dreams.

Now would probably be a good time to mention that I’m a visual fx artist (lighting TD/compositor/surfacing artist) for ILM/LucasFilm working in their feature division.

— Capturing the beauty in a split second of time before it’s gone forever —

These days, when I’m not at work, I’m most passionate about my photography. Especially when I’m on vacation. I don’t buy souvenirs. They don’t actually represent the emotions I’m feeling or the emotions of the location I’m in. You can’t reduce a person or a sunset or an ancient buddhist temple down to a piece of plastic. It’s just not possible. Especially in Asia where every market seems to have the exact same souvenirs on display outside of stand after stand after stand. Even a photograph doesn’t capture the true beauty of the moment, but at least it can capture a small taste of what I was feeling or what my subject was going through at that exact point in time. And I’m getting better with each picture I take too.  Maybe one day I’ll actually be able to snap a photo and think to myself, ‘yes, this is the entire moment, encapsulated in a single frame of time’.

(*cough* shameless self advertising *cough*)

— Escaping for a moment —

Moving to Singapore forced me to quit my band and, in an instant, leave that entire world behind me. It was one of the hardest things I had to do when I moved out here  Music is an intricate part of my life and has been for as long as I can remember. I have no idea how old I was when my parents signed me up for piano lessons, but I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t play. Although I no longer get the adrenaline kick I got from entertaining a room full of strangers — or an empty room with a single person, depending on the night — I still play bass and guitar several times a month, usually after a long day at work, or during a rare lull on weekends, to escape from whatever is currently holding me down in reality. Losing myself to rhythm and chords and sound and not having to think, but rather just do is almost more rewarding than any of my other artistic releases. Plus, I’ll occasionally be lucky enough to have a friend or two within earshot that I get to entertain as a small added bonus.

— Seeing my thoughts expressed on the page —

Which is evident by how much I’ve already written. I started writing when I moved to Singapore as a one way conversation with my family and friends back home. That way they could go through the experience with me even though they weren’t experiencing it themselves. It’s almost been 3 years now and I still write almost every night. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better, and that I actually have followers on tumblr leads me to believe I’m not half bad. Although I really don’t do it for anyone other than myself. It is totally 100% self serving and I’m okay with that.  It’s actually gotten to the point where I’m legitimately coming up with ideas for screenplays and/or novels, but that would require putting the blog on hold…”


What Does P.L.U.R. Mean? – A Perspective On EDM Culture, And It’s Pervasive Moto.

Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect, the respective definition of the compendium PLUR, is a motto coined by a generation of people with an affinity for EDM culture. A quintessential dance party is a pageant in unto itself, littered with young people in elaborate, hand-made, brightly coloured costumes, jewelry (otherwise known as Kandi), floral crowns, toutous, and sunglasses. Themes can be seen. Some as recognizable as unicorns and superheros. Some themes stretch the imagination, such as Steam Punk, garden gnomes, and even Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Nevertheless, it is a spectacle to see and a sensation to not soon forget… marinating in a sea of fun fur and day glo.

VELD Music Festival, Downsview Park August 2nd & 3rd, 2014

I was tickled this week to do a bit on this phenomena. What prompted this animus was the recent and very sad deaths of two VELD patrons, and the hospitalization of 13 others during the massive dance festival last week. What also prompted me to write about it was witnessing both the public’s reaction to it, as well as people I have encountered personally.

Hosted in Toronto, VELD accommodates a staggering 50,000+ electronic dance music fans from literally all over the globe to celebrate EDM culture. An aspect of EMD culture that some of it’s participants engage in, is the consumption of alcohol, and the use of empathogenic and psychoactive drugs, such as cocaine, cannabis, and the amphetamine MDMA (also called Ecstasy, E, or Molly). MDMA, particularly, is a drug said to evoke feelings of euphoria, and increase the user’s energy, as well as empathy towards others. Because of EDM culture’s high-paced music festivals, and it’s PLUR maxim, MDMA has been the most popular stimulant experimented with at these concerts.

It was unfortunate to hear of the deaths of Annie Truong-Le, 20, and Willard Amurao, 21, who both were said to have taken an unknown substance which killed them and had 13 others hospitalized. Both of them were young, and according to many other articles pertaining to this story, both were good people. Smart people. Kind, courteous, and ambitious.

I was sympathetic towards a lot of the criticism that was received by this tragedy, and understood where the negative responses to it had seeded from. And yet, I was also taken aback by it. When unfortunate things such as this happen, I feel that it is strongly because of minimal understanding and education behind the use of drugs and alcohol, and that when these things occur, it has little-to-nothing to do with the overall intelligence or acumen of the victims, precisely when their judgement is already impaired or compromised. These otherwise intelligent people made a choice that they themselves did not conceptualize would result in such a detrimental consequence.

To assert that these human beings were asking for it, that they were stupid, and that they were dumb, is profoundly naive. They were human beings who made a terrible mistake. It is hugely disheartening to me to not only witness others judge this so harshly, but ultimately to hear those who themselves are advocates and partakers of EDM culture (a ‘tribe’ encouraged and inspired by PEACE, LOVE, UNITY, AND RESPECT) express what I perceive to be a disappointing insensitivity towards the victims, going so far as to assume that there was 100% crystal clear coherence behind their decision, and therefore, they are “degenerate”. They are “losers”. Or, most unkindly, that they are “E-tards” (an offensive term that refers to someone with an MDMA habit that borrows a disrespectful appellation from people with mental disabilities).

This is what I find most disappointing of all; The choice few who have forgotten to be compassionate towards this tragedy… the ones who understand that whole aspect of PLUR. Those two people who were lost had families and friends who are now survived by them, and are naturally suffering because of that loss. Should we not be more sensitive towards that? Should we also not be in support of one another? This is a mass that is cognizant to the nature of human; they are accepting of everyone, showing kindness and support, and demonstrating true recognition of others, finding common ground and being influential advocates of good will.

No one is perfect.

I would hope that those who are so quick to judge find themselves in a fortunate position to discover their own unique way of understanding the beauty behind the PLUR motto, and promote an alternative response to this adversity with something that is constructive.

What exactly is PEACE, LOVE, UNITY, and RESPECT? Well, for one, I believe that all four of them are are fundamental ingredients to a good life for yourself and for others. I think that to embody these qualities yourself is just as important as seeking to find them in others. I firmly believe that we are all capable of all four of these beautiful attributes, despite our flaws and insecurities. And I firmly believe that these things can’t technically exist ulterior to yourself, unless you believe in these attributes for yourself first and foremost.

To EDM patrons, it is a mindset which aids in the manifestation of fun! You meet strangers and connect with them. You dance with them, you get to know them, you accept them. Watching two people exchange Kandi bracelets for the first time in my life while attending this concert made me smile from ear to ear. It may seem incredibly cheesy, but I found it to be heartfelt.

One of the most important parts of the ‘kandi’ culture is the process of gifting it. As a jeweler, I naturally find it amusing. It’s a handshake that signifies acceptance, followed by:

1. Two people making peace signs (Peace)
2. They form their hands into hearts (Love)
3. They join their hearts (Unity)
4. They slide their bracelets from hand to hand (Respect)

This is then usually followed by a hug and then the creation of a conversation. How can you not love that?


I had a fantastic week this week. Perhaps it was because I was feeling the PLUR. I was also very much motivated to share that same feeling. Of course, there is power in numbers, and so I asked some the ART BEAT participants if they would help me out. PEACE, LOVE, UNITY, and RESPECT are all equally important, however I asked those who participated to choose two out of the four and tell me what made them especially important. I loved each response.

I am so thankful towards each of these wonderful people for their inspiring and lovely thoughts. And with that, I leave you all with this:

We all must remember to practice kindness in our everyday lives. The ‘Grind’, as I like to call it, can easily get in the way, sometimes allowing us to forget to chose our words better, and speak of others more kindly. It is easy to forget to do that… to speak and act with respect… at those times that, perhaps, we ourselves are feeling vulnerable and insecure, angry or stressed out, a little bit threatened by life, or scared to lose what we love. And sadly, it is even possible to be intentionally hurtful, mean, and even malicious when we’re feeling guarded, putting our life on hold in an attempt to cause others pain. However it is so vital to emulate that which you seek for yourself. Being kind, believe it or not, takes courage sometimes. Be mighty. Hold onto joy. Always stand up to those who are unkind and stand up for those who may not have the voice to. Most importantly, lead by example; show peace towards those who are unkind. They’re usually fighting a hard battle within themselves. People like that need peace the most. And to those people, I only want to share with them mutual respect, understanding, and well wishes that we all just once and for all be good to one another.

I would imagine…. that the families of those who passed away and even to those who were hospitalized received more support, understanding, and love than they did negativity and a lack of understanding. When times of turmoil arise, the true of heart and the kindest of the kind are the first ones to give their love, support, and positive words and actions.

While attending the concert and witnessing this outpour of truly genuine connection, I found myself inspired by it. I wanted to remember the all-natural euphoria that I felt that day, dancing with a treasured friend and wonderful strangers alike. There was a moment in which a combination of beautiful colours (Navy, Red, Aqua, Ivory, Peridot, and Gold) in abstract soft and sharp patterns were being displayed on the screens on stage. I remember thinking how beautiful they were and how complementary, and even ‘in synch’, they were with the moment and everyone surrounding me.

From that, I created a piece to never forget that moment. And although it looks nothing like Kandi… it is a small but sincere tribute to that day, to the friends and families who lost their loved ones, and to all those seeking to both give and get a little PLUR in this big old show we call life!

Drugs and alcohol abuse can alter and deteriorate the lives of both their users, and their family and friends.
There are way in which you can help to increase awareness in order to support those affected by drug and alcohol abuse.
Spread the word about helpful organizations such as these:
Ontario Drug and Alcohol Helpline
Canadian Centre for Addiction

Spade On The Street – Tanios Nims, Abstract Spray Paint Artist

If you want to bask in the spectral dance of colour and light of far off galaxies and solar systems, you need not a telescope should this man happen to be around. Tanios (Tony) Nims, an Abstract Artist from Vaughan Ontario, has a beatnik approach and niche medium to expressing his creative enthusiasm; creating extraterrestrial worlds with the use of spray paint.

He is one of the many artists featured in this summer’s ART BEAT, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him captivate and hypnotize surrounding large audiences as he strokes aerosol cans of chroma, metallics, and darkness across a canvas with speed and precision. It is a pantomime of macrocosm creation, resulting in wide-eyed onlookers and BEAUTIFUL far-away worlds that have now been pulled down to earth by his alchemic skill. After seeing him work, I absolutely had to tell the world about his magic, and I am privileged to be able to share a little bit about him with you all today.

Q: What is most rewarding about your craft?

TN: “There are several things I find rewarding about my paintings, internally and externally.
Internally, I find it pleasing how one can manipulate and control the excursion of millions and millions of paint particles out of a can to create a larger picture. This is what constantly happens in the universe, billions of stars spewing out to form a larger picture- like our MIlky Way, or any other beautiful galaxy. I also find it satisfying that the unlimited amount of possibilities for colors, sizes and atmospheres portrayed in my paintings reflect the unlimited amount of possibilities for different worlds in our universe. Considering almost every star in the sky has multiple planets rotating around them, evolution and planetary circumstances of another world, in another galaxy, could be accurately depicted in one of my paintings unintentionally.
Externally, explaining my concepts to people is a rewarding matter, because there are many people who don’t really know or understand how vast and infinite the universe truly is, but are trapped and blind in their own little world of Earth- 1 out of 8 planets, circling 1 out of billions of stars, circling 1 out of billions of galaxies. The unique and technical process I use to make this art is very inspirational to people and I enjoy sharing it because it demonstrates the classical approach to most crafts in life- practice makes perfect. I discovered this craft browsing YouTube and was blown away from the skill and speed street artists have in cities across the world. I wanted to reach their level, but I knew I had to start from scratch, so I went out and bought a couple spray cans. Soon enough, I found myself spending hundreds of dollars on paint and practicing day and night.”
“My name is Tanios Nims and I was born 18 years ago in Beirut, Lebanon. I was raised in Canada ever since I was 2 and have been engaging in creativity since then. Creating things out of Lego, K’nex and PlayDoh was my childhood. I’ve been to a couple art schools in my elementary years, including Woodbridge Art School and Gallery, and KLIM School of Art. I appreciate these two schools for teaching my basic techniques of art and exposing me to new mediums. I can also appreciate the 4 years of taking art at St.Jean de Brebeuf Highschool taught by one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Gidaro. I will treasure my sketchbooks from my youth for the rest of my life.”
Instagram: SprayTheCosmos

Facade Academy Presents: ART BEAT In Kleinburg

Every Thursday evening since the first week of July, I go to take part and experience what I have coined as my ‘Summer Romance’. Tucked away just North of the City of Vaughan is the Village of Kleinburg, a beautiful little town that sits just along the Humber River, and was founded in the late 1800’s. The town holds this serene, relaxed atmosphere, and embodies true small town spirit.

Kleinburg ART BEAT

Starting back in July and moving through August, Kleinburg hosts a wonderful on-the-street outdoors event called ART BEAT, which has assembled a variety of talented visual artists, designer, photographers, performers, and musicians. Nina Spade Studio is ART BEAT’s hand-crafted jewelry and accessories exhibitor. Organized by Faҫade Academy’s Creative Director and Owner, Mina Spremulli, the event has attracted locals and tourists from all over to experience Kleinburg’s wonderful shops, restaurants, cafes, and beautiful surroundings, as well as the exhibits and contributing artists.

This year features:
Alessandra S’Alessio – Freelance Artist & Interior Design Student
Ashley Campana – Visual Artist & Instructor
Dominick Petrungaro – Photographer
Kimberly Grovu – Freelance Artist
Luisa Pariselli – Professional Freelance & Tattoo Artist
Nicholas McMaster – Professional Freelance & Tattoo Artist
Niloo Inalouei – Freelance Figurative & Abstract Artist
Tanios Nims – Freelance Surrealist Artist

And features
Vincent Spremulli – Creative Coordinator/Freelance Artist & Art Instructor


With so much to experience, it has become more and more popular with each passing week, attracting larger numbers of visitors and giving summer-fun-seekers an absolutely wonderful way to spend a Thursday evening that is filled with live music, BBQs, live street art, face-paining, activities for children, and so much more. One of my favorite things to do before setting up my display is having dinner or a desert at one of their many outstanding restaurants and cafes; From Pizza Margherita at Avlyn Gardens Ristorante, to fresh fish and chips at Chartreuse, to a giant gelatto and an espresso at Dolcini by Joseph. It’s wonderful to walk down the street and wave back at now-familiar faces. When I am set up and people approach, I have had an absolute endless amount of the most marvelous positive feedback. It has brought me a gracious joy to watch people enjoy trying things on and taking treasures home. The opportunity for profound, sincere, imaginative, and astute conversation with kind strangers and fellow artists occurs several times each evening. I live for that.

To hear people share how wonderful their evening has been, and how talented every artist is is a real testament to the creative vision of ART BEAT’s coordinators.This entire event has been such a huge success, and truly the highlight of all my summer projects.

ART BEAT is being held every Thursday evening from July 3rd until August 28th, 2014.
Come visit Nina Spade Studio, as well as all of the other talented artists, and enjoy a little small town fun on a Thursday evening!

For more information, visit:
Facade Academy Events
Kleinburg Community Events
SNAP Vaughan East
York Scene


Spade On The Street – Jasmine Virginia, Frontwoman of the Prog-Rock band, Polarity

 From her silver-belled vocals, her profoundly wise and charismatic soul, and all of the gold in between, there isn’t a single thing you couldn’t adore about this rock vixen.

I had the utmost pleasure of meeting miss Jasmine Virginia in 2008 when I was invited to a show in Mississauga where her and her four bandmates (Mike Smith – Bass, Mike Sitana – Guitar, Jason Swait – Guitar, and Eric Zimmermann – Drums/Percussion) were performing that evening. Their talent is truly unprecedented, unique, raw, and undoubtedly rocks down to the bone.

I am honored to call her my dear friend. She is an inspiration, and spreads light, love, wisdom, and grace wherever she goes. She has a natural talent for making the world a better place with her contagious positivist, and uplifting spirit.

Q: What is most rewarding about your craft?

JV:  “Writing songs, singing and performing.

Writing songs breathes melody into the poetry of my soul. The melody then explores an ever changing landscape of chugging guitars, intricate rhythms and ethereal music weaving it’s way around the soundscapes giving voice to the depth and texture of the human experience.  My intention when writing is to both expose my most raw honesties, fears, dreams and truths as well as to release my most empowering of revelations, all in hopes of providing others a relatable voice that helps them to transcend their own suffering. It’s a healing give-and-take I’ve learned my soul can’t live without.
Singing for me is a direct line of communication to my highest divine spirit. It’s an unbelievable meditative release of energy. When singing, you can only focus on the moment and when in the flow, I’m aligned with something higher; I’m both my most vulnerable and powerful self and it’s completely exhilarating. Singing in public use to be my biggest fear and has now become one of my empowering actions and greatest joys.
Performing, because I’m on stage with four of my best friends, having the time of my life. It’s the pinnacle point of years of practice and writing, hours, months and days in our jam room and many nights of dreaming. We aspire to give our audience the chance to suspend their worries, fears and doubts for the period of our set as we lay it all out on the stage for them. We want our audience to leave a Polarity show with an experience they won’t soon forget and some residual electric energy that made them feel something deeply… in a world where often times we’re encouraged to feel numb, we feel blessed to be in a position to make people feel.

The most humbling aspect of being a musician/vocalist is having listeners reach out to POLARITY or myself to let us know we’ve impacted their life in a positive way. It’s the icing to my life.


Bit about myself, where the band originated, album progress, some hobbies, interests?
I’ve been sining for as along as I can remember and founded POLARITY with the guys in 2008. We’re currently in studio recording a beefy new album with twelve songs which we all feel is the cumulative work of seven years as a band. We’re amped to have grammy winning Producer David Bottrill overseeing the project as well as having our long time friend Chris Creglia producing the album out of DNA recording studios. Upon the albums release we’ll be touring the world and rocking audiences around the globe. You can check out our two other albums on our website if you’re unfamiliar with us.
I also recently founded the website ; where I aspire to make it a hub of embracing life itself as a creative expression. As it develops you’ll find everything from healthy eating and workout ideas to poetry, art, and blogs from fellow health enthusiast friends and artists I admire.

May we all continue to embrace creativity as a means to making our life sparkle. 🙂

Spade On The Street!

Good Afternoon Nina Spade Studio Fans!

Let me share with you my newest blog project, Spade On The Street.

I will be posting some fantastic segments in collaboration with young (up-and coming & established) artists, professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyday big-thinkers who share the same vision about making the world a better place through their craft.

I will be recruiting the likes of musicians, performance artists, experts on healthy living, small business owners, photographers, visual artists… maybe even some fellow jewelry artisans… and many more!

Each young professional will receive their very own Nina Spade Studio hand-crafted piece to keep as their own in an effort to support cross promotion. Included in each segment will be a small bio, as well as contact info and upcoming projects, and a golden question;

What is most rewarding about you craft?

The goal is to not only spread the word about these exceptionally outstanding and admirable individuals, but to also inspire and to motivate other young artists and professional to follow their dreams and achieve their independent aspirations.

I am so thrilled to have already received several submissions, and am so excited to begin posting about the incredible people I’ve met on my own journey, and for those to come in the future. Inspiring art, creativity, professionalism, and fun is the ultimate goal of this project, and as an independent artist, I am a firm believer in supporting others in the artistic and small business community.

Those of you who are interested in participating in my Spade On The Street segment, please feel free to make a submission to

Can’t wait to spread the love!

Keep locked in for my first Spade On The Street segment, coming real soon!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Spade On The Street