April 17, 2015

Blog has MOVED

Alas, all good things must come to an end. 

The Arting Starvist is no more. 

Find updates on my whereabouts on the News section of my website, 
or by following me on Instagram. 

June 9, 2014

Residency at KIAC in Dawson City, Yukon

I just looked through my blog and it is looking pretty lacklustre, as of late. It's not because I haven't been up to much - just the opposite in fact! I'm fresh off of spending part of April and most of May in beautiful Dawson City, Yukon, at the incredible KIAC (that's Klondike Institute of Arts & Culture) artist residency. After that I was the artist-in-residence for two weeks at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse in Montreal, and I am currently writing this from Residency #3 at beautiful Sparkbox Studios in Prince Edward County, Ontario. But for the sake of brevity, I'll stick to the Yukon for this post. 

Here is a random smattering of images that in their own imperfect way document what was arguably one of the best months of my life in recent memory. I drew a ton, made great new friends, saw gorgeous wilderness, and had some seriously great moments of self-discovery. The Yukon is a very special place. Dawson 4---> 

Beautiful contemporary carvings in the Whitehorse airport, done by people in their early twenties! Mad skills. 

The plane couldn't land in Dawson City due to fog cover, so it continued on to Inuvik and Old Crowe, and landed in Dawson later in the day. I didn't mind - free aerial tour of the arctic!

Old Crow is a fly-in only community. I told my mom I went there and she said, "Oh, that's your second visit. I went when I was 7 or 8 months pregnant." What? Crazy, mom. 

The residency begins. Did I bring enough pens???
(Okay but seriously, it is kind of terrifying going to make art in a place where you know you cannot buy new materials if you run out. Embrace the unexpected, I know - obstacles lead to creative problem-solving, which can have great results. But my inner control freak totally insisted on packing over 200 pens and pencil crayons. I am so not Zen.)

Lucky enough to go not once, but twice, to Tombstone National Park. The first time everything was covered with snow and the mountains looked like Lawren Harris paintings. It was the quietest place I have ever been. 

There were 2 more hours of sunlight a day by the end of my month-long visit. Including dusk and dawn, it basically got dark from 2 am - 3 am and that's it. I hear that by solstice you can read outside 24 hours a day. I loved it.

Experimenting with collage. Quelle surprise!

The entire town looks like a Wild West movie set. People are almost bizarrely friendly. So much fun!

I could spend every day here. And...I am sure many do. Can't get over how great this bar is.

After the river broke up we had a pic nic on an iceberg. So Canadian, right? Actually no one I know has ever done that. 

My obsession with antlers was satiated every day. 

More collage. An almost ridiculous amount of cutting up flowers = so many Radiolab podcasts listened to.

Dilapidated buildings are everywhere and are mysteriously beautiful.

No trip would be complete without a visit to the cancan girls.

I actually got a lot of drawing done. I finally proved to myself that art *and* socializing are possible. There ARE enough hours in the day (when the days are 23 hours of light long...)
View of the town from Moosehide Slide. It is stunningly beautiful. I've never seen a sky so blue!

More patterned animal drawings on the way!

The fruits of my labours. Finished about 10 drawings and am crazy prepared for some serious collaging!

The other artist in the house with me was Sarah Smalik. After our artist talks we threw a dance party! It was extra sweaty because no one could figure out how to get the storm windows off. It was also kind of weird having a dance party while it was still super light outside. 
1:30 am on my last night. Waaaaaaah! Eternal sunlight is the best.
The little drawing I left as a gift for the walls of KIAC. Every artist leaves something when they go. My personal favourite is Shary Boyle's self-portrait from 2002.

Prints & Inks: Exhibition in Ottawa June 20-22

Jp and I will be showing some of our recent risograph prints (printed by Paper Pusher) at the upcoming Prints & Inks Exhibition in Ottawa. We are thrilled to be invading Canada's capital with some of our weird and pretty patterned/geometric work.

Presented by Spins & Needles, Prints & Inks is taking place at the multidisciplinary collaboration venue, IdeaSpace in downtown Ottawa June 20-22. Full details below.

What: Prints & Inks 2014 presented by Spins & Needles
When: Friday, June 20, to Sunday, June 22, 2014.
Opening Party: Friday, June 20 from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Weekend Hours: Saturday, June 21 to Sunday, June 22: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: IdeaSpace (131 Bank St., Ottawa), (top floor)
Admission: Free
Curated by: Melanie Yugo, Spins & Needles Creative Director

This weekend-long show will feature the work of exciting Canadian talent in print, illustration and design, alongside a pop-up shop, hands-on print activities, and a late-night art party. Work by Spins & Needles Silkscreening 101 workshop alumni will be on display. Original, affordable artwork, limited edition prints, clothing, zines and other print items will be available for purchase.

We’ll be at the new multidisciplinary collaboration venue, IdeaSpace, top floor.


Opening night is Friday, June 20 from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.,with resident DJ Jason Skilz spinning underground beats, cash bar and hands-on print activities. Works will be for sale and several artists will be in attendance.


The show is open to view on Saturday June 21 and Sunday June 22, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.


The Spins & Needles print lab will be up and running throughout the weekend. Silkscreen your own Prints & Inks poster or experiment with the other screens available.


Featuring 30 selected artists, illustrators and designers from the capital and other Canadian cities working in the diverse field of print and graphic arts. A mix of emerging and established talent, many of whom are showing in Ottawa for the first time. Curated by Melanie Yugo, Spins & Needles Creative Director.

Raymond Biesinger (Montreal)
Andrew Benson (Edmonton)
Diane Bond (Ottawa)
Bookhou (Toronto)
Gregory Brunet (Montreal)
Julia Dickens (Toronto)
Michael Haddad (Ottawa)
Merle Harley (Halifax)
Josh Holinaty (Edmonton)
Danny Hussey (Ottawa)
Kid Icarus (Toronto)
JP King (Toronto)
Jenn Kitagawa (Toronto)
Jadyn Klassen (Winnipeg)
Eunice Luk (Toronto)
Kirsten McCrea (Toronto)
Drew Mosley (Ottawa)
Elyse Moir (Halifax)
Alicia Nauta (Toronto)
Le Pire Shirt du Monde (Montreal)
Popolo Press (Montreal)
Ross Proulx (Ottawa)
Luke Ramsey (Pender Island, BC)
Marta Ryczko (Toronto)
Amery Sandford (Halifax)
Stephanie St-Jean Aubre (Gatineau/Montreal)
Jill Stanton (Edmonton)
Guillermo Trejo (Ottawa)
Anne Tessier (Ottawa)
UNIK Print Shop (Montreal)
Colin White (Ottawa)


www.spinsandneedles.com | @spinsandneedles
Hashtag: #PrintsandInks
Facebook: Spins & Needles

April 3, 2014


Just got word that I got an Ontario Arts Council grant to pursue my Werewolf Ladies series. Very excited to begin working on this project I have been dreaming of for the last 2 years!

February 24, 2014

Red Dirt T-shirt - help give clean drinking water

Red Dirt is a t-shirt company that raises money for clean drinking water through a partnership with water.org. $5 from every shirt sale goes to give one person in a developing country clean water for a year; $25 gives one person clean water FOR LIFE. Today they are releasing a shirt with one of my more spring-like drawings on it.

Check them out: http://www.reddirtshop.com/into-the-garden-tee-by-kirsten-mccrea-womens/

February 21, 2014

Hot Topic Feminist Archive residency at Galerie La Centrale Powerhouse in Montreal

Officially announcing that I will be in Montreal for 2 weeks at the end of May for a residency at LA CENTRALE galerie Powerhouse. I'll be interrogating the meaning of feminist archive and looking at the successes and failures of my attempt at creating an alternative cannon through my project Hot Topic. There will be open discussions and room to collaborate and critique - please be in touch if you are interested in this idea.

December 27, 2013

Fortune Seller at the AGO

Peer into your past on January 2nd and get some art for free. I will be performing as 'Fortune Seller' at the AGO's First Thursday Event, giving art prints away in exchange for a story. The topic of the story will be dictated by a magic crystal ball, and the topics vary from the benign to the lewd... so come ready to whisper your deepest secrets and best tales into my ear and walk away with something to hang on your wall in return. It happens January 2 - a perfect time to confess your sins and cleanse your mind in preparation for the new year ahead.

All of Walker Court will be set up as a giant Bazaar with participating Long Winter artists. It will be the most bizarre bazaar you've encountered!

Tickets and information: http://www.ago.net/ago-first-thursdays-january-2-2014

October 17, 2013

No sooner did I post this than the poster for the show arrived in my inbox. Head to one of Montreal's true gems, Monastiraki, on Saturday November 9 for a sweet show featuring artists from Quebec, Belgium, and Ontarioooo!

MONASTIRAKI - Le Petit Monastere
5478 St-Laurent
Montreal, Qc, 

October 16, 2013

MUDGUM from Belgium

A 2-colour version of this drawing is currently being screenprinted as part of the new book MUDGUM, produced by the Yumyum Collective in Belgium! Can't wait to see the finished product when it launches in November at Monastiraki in Montreal (the screenprints will be exhibited there and at Livre au Trésor in Liege, Belgium). The line-up of artists is stellar: Simon Bossé, Patrick Doyon, Ben Tardif, Ginette Lapalme, Vincent Giard, Kirsten McCrea, Trio Magnus, Julie Delporte and Marc Bell.

Learn more about Yumyum at www.yum-yum.be

October 15, 2013

CANZINE October 19 & 20!

I'll be presenting at the CANZINE Symposium this Saturday with my partner-in-crime, Jp King. We're giving a whirlwind talk on Best Tabling Practices (or, How to Get What You Want and Give What You’ve Got at a Fair).

Other great talks that day include Shannon Gerrard speaking on Nano publishing and Guillaume Morrissette and Alyson Mitchell talking about how to survive bad reviews.

See more at: http://www.brokenpencil.com/canzine-symposium-for-indie-culture-makers

And on Sunday, stop by the Papirmass table for great deals on back issues and a contest!

August 28, 2013

Word up to the 80+!

I'm pulling together a new contributor's page for Papirmasse, and holy moly guys: I have published the work of over 80 artists and writers over the last 4 years! And what a 4 years it has been. Currently gearing up for 2014 and I can tell you already that our content is going to BLOW YOUR MIND. Very, very, very pleased with all that has come and all that is yet to come. Thanks especially to the wonderful people who have shared their work over the years. Long live print!

August 20, 2013

Vote for this Tegan & Sara Bandshirt

Help a girl out and vote for my Threadless design at the Tegan and Sara Challenge. What can I say? I think this drawing would make a wicked band shirt, and also: I want $2,500. 

July 29, 2013

Getting organized

kirsten mccrea kristen mccrae art artist toronto montreal edmonton canada illustration design

I have compiled an epic to-do list for Papirmasse for the next four months, along with help from our new Production Manager, JP King of Paper Pusher. After this shot we put each task in chronological order! Thank you Scott Belsky for writing organization books for artists - I am finally where I have always wanted to be on in organizational terms! Now to tackle that weird pile of forgotten laundry at the back of my closet...

July 26, 2013

Dan-D-Noser at The Hole NYC Summer Reading Room

Yay! My new book Dan-D-Noser (along with several other Paper Pusher titles) will be hanging out at The Hole Gallery in New York all summer, sitting alongside pieces by the likes of Miranda July and David Shrigley. They've transformed their Bowery gallery space into a massive art book reading room. If you're in NYC this summer be sure to check it out! Many thanks to Harley Smart, Anteism and Paper Pusher.

June 13, 2013

Papirmasse and Paper Pusher at The Commonwealth / Go Home Magazine

My skull drawing is in the latest issue of Go Home magazine, a new arrival on the Toronto arts landscape. More than a magazine, they are also the people behind The Commonwealth, a new Toronto-based collective whose aim "is to bring together Toronto’s independent creative communities, with a focus on DIY, small press, and independent print and publishing. Through curated events, The Commonwealth will help local creatives join forces to promote the DIY and small press scene as a whole."

The latest issue - pick it up at Type Books and other fine retailers
The Commonwealth put on a zine fair in the sweaty, sweaty Sterling lofts last week. Jp held down the fort as I stayed up all night long enjoying an impromptu bachelorette party (thanks ladies!). Here are some photos of the night, all taken by Charles Yao (who is not only a great photographer, but also the designer of the fantastic Little Brother Magazine, run by Emily Keeler).


Risograph Royalty: Jp King of Paper Pusher and Jesjit Gill of Colour Code

Many more photos at http://gohomeprint.ca

Gettin' MARRIED + Paper Pusher & Papirmasse at Broken Pencil's NXNE Zine Fair!

If you are sensing a theme from the last three posts... yes, Paper Pusher and I are collaborating a lot more. That's because (spoiler alert) I just married JP King, the paper pusher himself. We joined forces when we moved in together a year ago, but as our wedding date approached we both realized that we really want to make this whole small-press thing a team sport for real. We have been exhibiting and tabling together more (at events such as The Commonwealth and this weekend's NXNE Zine Fair), and we will be soon announcing a few other very exciting collaborations.

kirsten mccrea jp king artist art artists toronto canada montreal edmonton illustration graphic design contemporary

For those not in the know, Paper Pusher is a small printshop (run out of our home) that specializes in artist-made products and prints using a risograph. Basically a never-ending stream of incredibly talented people come traipsing up our stairs, and I get to see their beautiful files turn into incredible prints like this:

and this:

and this:

 and this:

and this (my new book - more on that soon):

Jp King is also an artist who makes beautiful collages like this:

and crazy contraptions like this Exquisite Corpse typewriter machine (pictured here at Art Metropole during their recent book symposium):

All this goes to say: this weekend we are tabling at the NXNE zine fair, put on by Broken Pencil!

There's a nice blog post about it here, with a full list of vendors: http://www.brokenpencil.com/news/broken-pencil-and-nxne-present-a-small-press-arts-fair

But all you need to know is:

Ryerson’s campus (Gould Street, across from Balzac coffee)  
Saturday, June 15 
11am – 4pm

Hope to see you there!