For our first prompt we were asked to introduce ourselves to a fellow studio-mate by creating a gift for them. My first step would be to meet the studio-mate I was paired with, Erik, so I scheduled a Zoom call for us to chat during class. Having recently graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman in Industrial Design, Erik would soon be moving to Vancouver to join us for class, in-person, so meeting during class turned out to be the most mutually convenient time period.
Our differing time zones lead us to talking about the awkward sleep patterns that develop during school and how this might be a silver lining to any jet lag Erik might have once he landed in Vancouver. This got us talking about the creative work Erik completed conceptualizing time as a part of his undergrad. Finally we chatted about our natural interests in art and design and I listed off a number of museums and galleries in Vancouver worth checking out once he got here.
Coming out of our chat, I knew that I wanted to make the gift something Erik could use, making the move to Vancouver. So when I visited a barber that week, something especially useful caught my eye: a stack of neighbourhood directory pamphlets stacked at the reception counter. I came up with my idea of making Erik an illustrated map. I was relatively new to Vancouver myself, I figured I could give Erik the experience of becoming better acquainted with the city and som of the places I love.
I made a trip to Michaels to buy sketching paper, a drafting ruler, an X-Acto knife, some cheap and cheerful markers and double-sided tape. I used Google to aid in drawing different drafts of the map. First drafts only featured only roads, then a draft of only landmarks. I then layered them over each other to trace a final drawing. In a crunch, I even used my windows as a light table.
In class, I presented the map to Erik over Zoom: Some Places I Love in Downtown Vancouver. I explained my process and the way I chose the landmarks Erik could visit for a short walking tour around the downtown core: some art galleries, two bakeries, and the Gastown Steam Clock. I made sure to include some landmarks that were open twenty-four hours. This way Erik would have no trouble visiting them, with jet lag or any awkward sleep patterns that inevitably come with school.