Recycled fibres enable limitless creation in the 3D-printing world

September 30, 2016 // - - - - - - - - -

Disclaimer: I originally wrote and published this article while working at MaRS Discovery District. The original article can be found here and has been reposted on meganstulberg.com for portfolio purposes. Words have been slightly altered to correlate with the date of publication. 


In July 2015 I attended Electric Runway, an evening that brought together high-fashion designs with hardware accessories to explore the intersection between fashion and technology.

I was blown away by the runway show’s visually captivating elements, like the peacock-inspired outfit by little dada of Site 3 coLaboratory. However, I was most intrigued with the show’s purposeful wearables, including the LED turn-signal gloves by Zackees, the heart rate–monitoring smart earrings by Ear-O-Smart and the electroluminescent-filament hooded sweatshirts by SOVO. Even the event’s attendees were decked out in lit-up wearables: their own handmade LED name tags.

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LED gown by Diana DiNoble Starkers! Corsetry at Electric Runway.
LED gown by Diana DiNoble Starkers! Corsetry at Electric Runway.

When Amanda Rebecca Cosco, the curator of Electric Runway, announced that Daniel Christian Tang‘s elegant line of precious metal jewelry was 3D printed, I was in disbelief. He creates the jewelry by pouring molten silver or gold into a plastic mould of a 3D printed wax model.

Daniel’s work is groundbreaking. Since most basic and early 3D printed wearables actually look as though they are 3D printed, they are often treated as novelty trinkets that don’t resemble fabric or metal closely enough to be worn on a daily basis by the average consumer. However, Daniel’s fine jewelry demonstrates that the ongoing advancements in 3D printing are resulting in a paradigm shift to a 21st-century consumer-oriented focus that allows for biotechnologies and do-it-yourself (DIY) culture to flourish simultaneously.

3D printed wearables are quickly evolving from mostly theoretical plastic garments worn on the runway to soft fabric-mimicking materials that consumers can wear in daily life.

AFFORDABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY ARE HOLDING BACK THE 3D-PRINTED WEARABLES MARKET

Many consumers cannot justify the high and ongoing cost of printing 3D filament, regardless of whether it is for professional or personal use. Plus, technological obsolescence—even for 3D printed prototypes—is inevitable. It’s part of the human condition to perpetually crave new things. Even if a gadget still works, it will soon be replaced by something newer and shinier. For example, there’s a good chance that the second-generation Apple Watch will be released by 2016. What do you think will happen to the first-generation models? They’ll likely end up in a landfill somewhere, just like most unwanted technology.

Is there a way to move forward in this industry without seriously damaging the environment and our bank accounts?

3D-Printing Innovation Night at ReDeTec’s headquarters
3D-Printing Innovation Night at ReDeTec’s headquarters

REDETEC’S SOLUTIONS IS SIMPLE: RECYCLE

Dennon Oosterman, the CEO of ReDeTec (Renewable Design Technology), explains the benefits of ProtoCycler, the company’s new desktop 3D filament recycler. Instead of having to continually buy expensive new filament, ProtoCycler users can substitute waste plastic.

This waste plastic can come from the 3D printer itself, from rafting and support materials or even from printed prototypes that are no longer wanted, or it can come from post-consumer waste such as coffee cup lids and plastic bottles. ProtoCycler grinds down the plastic waste, then extrudes it all into a spool of filament. The filament (an ink equivalent) is compatible with most 3D printers on the market today.

ReDeTec has printed trinkets, flowerpots, shower curtain rings and a prototype print of the ProtoCycler machine itself in its lab.

PROTOCYCLER’S ROLE IN 3D PRINTED WEARABLES

Although ProtoCycler doesn’t specialize in wearables, Dennon vouches that it can cover a full range of recyclable plastics, including flexible ones.

“As long as it’s in plastic, you can literally print anything,” he says.

ProtoCycler has been used to print stretchy wristbands and their friend in the business Structur3D has printed orthotics. Dennon used ProtoCycler to 3D print his own cufflinks from plastic and then “spray-painted them with a chrome finish to look like metal, as the plastic is strong enough to hold the sleeve together,” he explains.

Dennon also notes that you can transform 3D printed wearables into smart wearables by embedding a Wi-Fi chip or something similar into the item.

ProtoCycler allows for 3D printed wearables to have an at-home exchange policy. If you 3D print a wearable and it doesn’t fit quite right or it’s not your style, you can just “toss the old prototype in there, grind it up and try it again a little bigger or smaller until it’s perfect for you,” says Dennon.

Users can customize their wearable’s colour and style as many times as they’d like. This is a huge technological innovation for the future of fashion, allowing for limitless creation and personalization.

ProtoCycler has applications in the practical realm of health as well.

It belongs “in classrooms for the education market, for fanatics who run their own small businesses making custom goods, and in the wearables world. [It belongs] where a prototype needs to fit and be uniquely creative, like for prosthetics for children who outgrow them too quickly, and for animals that you otherwise couldn’t buy them for,” Dennon adds.

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3D PrintAbility’s 3D-printed prosthetics at the Accessibility Innovation Showcase at MaRS

“The world has a huge push on sustainability for a very good reason right now,” says Dennon.

“It’s hard because, as a culture and as a species even, we like new stuff and want to progressively move forward. Imagine if you were wearing the same clothes now that you were wearing 10 years ago. That would be ridiculous! But think about all of those clothes from 10 years ago. What ends up happening to them? We want to be able to take anything—clothing, electronics, cars, buildings, really anything—and reuse those materials as efficiently as possible. You could have a new outfit every single day of your life that’s unique, genuinely new and fits you perfectly.”

ACCESSIBLE TO WHO?

The two places where ReDeTec sees ProtoCycler really making a difference are classrooms (for students of all ages and in all disciplines) and homes.

“Kids love to learn by doing—they love to learn by making things. Since there’s a huge push for STEM and STEAM fields of education, 3D printing is being incorporated into curriculums all over the world,” explains Dennon.

For consumers who already have an interest in DIY culture, weekend projects or even woodworking, investing in a 3D printer (and a filament recycler) is the logical next step.

ONGOING POTENTIAL OF 3D-PRINTED WEARABLES

Considering its environmental and financial benefits, ReDeTec’s ProtoCycler has the potential to change the future of wearable technology.

“We live in this world where you can literally, with the click of a mouse, turn garbage into anything, and that’s really cool,” adds Dennon, optimistically.

3D printed wearables are still in their honeymoon phase. This is all just the beginning, with a bright future to come. 3D printers are the latest home investment piece for wearables and I’m considering them 2015’s equivalent of a sewing machine. Incorporating a recycling system into 3D printers just makes them that much more functional, creating a “worth-it-in-the-long-run” mentality.

HOW I MOVED TO A DIFFERENT COUNTRY IN 3 WEEKS

August 17, 2016 // - - - - - - - - -

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I don’t even know where to begin, really.

I haven’t published anything on here in a couple weeks, which at first glance probably looks lazy. But considering I’ve packed up my life and moved to a different country on a whim, it’s not that bad.

I moved to Los Angeles at the beginning of August. I accepted a job offer, gave two weeks notice at my office, trained my replacement, got out of my lease, sold/tossed/Bunz traded most of my belongings, moved out of my apartment, prepared a *lot* of paperwork, booked a one-way plane ticket, threw a going away party, got my visa and then moved to the United States. This all happened in the second half of July. Things haven’t entirely hit me yet, so maybe that’s why I’ve been putting off talking about it in detail.

A lot of friends and followers have been asking questions about the move — both out of genuine support and for personal gain — understandably, since Canadians are often looking to move across the border and vice versa. So I thought the best way to address it would be to write out an in-depth explanation that doubles as a blog post. Get your body ready, because this is a long one!

HOW DID I MOVE?

I got a job offer. There’s no way around it, so if you’re reading this hoping I’ve found some sort of loophole in the American immigration system…sorry! You need to have a job offer, be married to a citizen or attend school here.

I have a TN-1 visa, which coincides with NAFTA and is what I’d recommend looking into if you’re Canadian and have gotten a job offer in the states. It’s a temporary work visa which means I won’t be here forever. But it’s made Los Angeles home, at least for the time being.

WHAT AM I DOING HERE?

I’m working for FHY INC, doing all things digital for Ferrecci USA! It’s a men’s formal wear line, so not *exactly* my forte but I’m already acclimating well. They have some killer accessories that I’ve been incorporating into my wardrobe and embracing an androgynous look with, like the black ranger hat I’m sporting in Silver Lake below. I’ll also be getting back to my freelance hustle as soon as I possibly can — more on that later.

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WHY DID I MOVE? 

I could say I moved solely for my career, but that wouldn’t be honest.

Around this time last summer, I was working my first “real” job after graduating from university. After 3 months I had grown accustomed to my day-to-day routine. Then I found out a week before my contract was due for renew that it wasn’t being extended, and suddenly my future looked unsure. Responsibility-free, I impulsively booked a trip to tour the west coast by myself and left a few days later. I climbed a mountain in Vancouver, failed to find Frasier Crane in Seattle and got chased by gutter punks at sunset in Portland. My trip ended in Los Angeles, where I fell for somebody after 5 days. He and I have been together ever since.

Yuck! Gross! Cut to a vomit-inducing scene from a rom-com featuring a couple crying at an airport, but that’s what happened. We stayed together despite the distance, while he looked into moving to Canada. He ran into some visa issues on his end, so that plan fizzled out. Things were left up in the air for a long time, and then I started considering making the move on my end instead. I initially didn’t want to even think about leaving my friends, my family and everything I’d ever associated with the feeling of “home”. 

But then I started really looking into it and weighing my options. I work full-time in social media and digital marketing, and that field has so many more opportunities in Los Angeles compared to Toronto. Out of curiosity, I applied for a few positions in Los Angeles — and I heard back from multiple, despite living 4000 miles further than most applicants. From a career perspective, it makes sense for me to be here. I’ve heard Los Angeles equally referred to as “the land of broken dreams” and “the land of opportunity”, but I’m going to stay positive and believe solely in the latter. 

As a going away present to myself, I got a little tattoo on my arm that my friend Brian drew. It feels symbolic for this next phase of my life, exploring foreign territory and all. 

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WHAT’S GOING TO CHANGE?

  • Less materialism. I moved here with two suitcases and ditched the rest. I’m no packrat, but that whole process sucked way more than I thought it would. Anything I really need, I can always replace as I go.
  • More self-care. The sunshine has already persuaded me into getting back into running, and I’m going to figure out what the heck Bikram yoga is.
  • Less of a ballin’ lifestyle and more packed lunches. Los Angeles is pretty expensive, which I low key knew but apparently was in denial about.
  • My blog Vegan Girlfriend will keep on keepin’ on, but is now being coordinated internationally. Aine and Alex will be holding down the fort in Toronto, while I build our footprint in Los Angeles’ vegan community.
  • Less illustrations, including both personal and freelance pieces. It’s a temporary hiatus, I swear! I don’t have a desk or a scanner right now, and I’m already going stir crazy without having that outlet. I tried to switch fully to digital overnight and drew some very sad looking tacos, so I’m hoping to figure out a solution ASAP.

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IMMIGRATION TIPS:

1. Get an immigration lawyer. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people try to do it on their own. You can set up an initial call or meeting with them to discuss your options, and usually won’t have to commit to a fee until you’re ready to proceed with your visa application. Additionally, having a job offer might not be good enough, which a lawyer will help you determine. The visa I have only covers certain job types, and you need to be able to prove that you’re qualified for it. You want to work alongside an immigration lawyer so they can make sure your paperwork is in order. The last thing you want is to have your visa rejected last minute due to a minor wording issue, which happened to a friend of mine.

2. Budget. Make sure you can afford to make this kind of move before committing. Consider factors like hiring movers, shipping existing furniture vs. buying new furniture, rental deposits, a plane ticket, health insurance, transportation and taxes. The exchange rate is something to keep in mind, too.

3. Take everything into consideration. If you haven’t visited the city that you’re moving to in person, do some extensive research. For example, I’d been to LA before so I knew that not being able to drive would be problematic (a non-issue in Toronto). I prepared accordingly by checking bus routes and comparing Uber rates.

4. Figure out what you can’t do in advance, and what you’ll need to do right when you land. In the 48 hours following my move I set up a new phone plan, applied for a social security number and sorted out health insurance.

5. Exercise and get lots of sleep. It may sound silly but trust me, this process is insanely stressful and you need to look after your body so you don’t spontaneously combust. I had so many panic attacks that I felt like I was 17 again.

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I’m settled in, for the most part. Things feel strange…in a good way? I’ve felt very homesick (Miss you, Mum) but it has only been two weeks so I’m sure it’ll get easier. I’m sad but at the same time very content. I wrote a good chunk of this nestled next to my boyfriend, two roommates and two dogs while watching John Oliver and eating tortilla chips. It’s crazy how quickly things can change. For comparison: I have a piece drafted with the title “A Room Of One’s Own” à la Virginia Woolf from two months ago all about how much I loved having an entire apartment to myself. That will likely never get posted now, but that’s okay. Because like I said…I’m content.

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I remember when I met Ama, but at the same time…I don’t. In the summer of 2013, we both attended a mutual friend’s birthday party. I thought she looked familiar and figured I recognized her from Instagram or something, so I walked up to introduce myself. She responded firmly with “No, we’ve met before”. And that’s the first thing I learned about Ama. She is very blunt and very real, and that’s something about her that I admire to this day. After that I started writing for Fat Girl Food Squad, curated an art show with her and Yuli Scheidt, sought her out for advice when I started freelancing on the reg, and now we’re actually really good friends. 

Whenever I mention Ama to anybody who also works in Toronto’s media sphere, they’ll almost always already know who she is. Even last week I ran into her at the WWF’s inaugural Pandamonium fundraiser and my +1 said afterwards, “Wait, that was Ama Scriver? Everybody in my office loves her”. She’s becoming a household name in Toronto when it comes to sizeism and fatphobia advocacy, and if you haven’t heard of her yet…you will soon.

My Q&A with Ama is the first in my “Girl Crush” series, where every so often I’ll feature a different female entrepreneur that I’ve met and admire.

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Q: As a full time freelancer, what’s a typical work day look like for you?

A: I’ll usually wake up between 8 and 8:30am, check my e-mails and make a to-do list for myself. Being freelance, I have various different publications and clients that I work on, with different deadlines and expectations. The thing about being freelance is that, you get to make your own schedule and go at your own pace. If anyone tells you that being your own boss is easy, they are lying to you. It’s hard work, but it’s hella fucking rewarding and fun. I love the fact that I get to work with so many amazing individuals on so many incredible projects. My days are busy and challenging and worth it.

Q: What was your first “step” into the body positive movement?

A: I would have to say that my first baby steps into body positivity would have to be thanks in large part to Tumblr. Without communities like Tumblr (and now Instagram) –  I would not have understood or realized what body positivity or fat activism was.

Q – What article, photo spread, public chat, panel appearance, etc. are you the most proud of and why?

One of the moments I’m most proud of is the NOW Magazine cover shoot that I did alongside Fat Girl Food Squad co-founder Yuli Scheidt in December 2014. It just recently won the People’s Choice Award for the National Magazine Award. That cover was so important because it showcase two fat bodies visible (and happy) in printed mainstream media. All too often fat bodies (and fat voices) are made to feel invisible in media. We are marginalized, shut out and told to remain hidden.  This cover gave us a platform and an opportunity not just attempt to breakdown some of those stereotypes, but also share some of the advocacy work alongside so many others. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this, but participating in any kind of activism work can be very mentally and emotionally exhausting.  With a lot of participation and dialogue online, sometimes it can be very lonely and doubtful to know the message you’re delivering is really making an impact. So I feel incredibly honoured and privileged to be recognized when people have asked me to teach workshops and speak at conferences across Canada and the USA (at Venus Envy in Halifax, University of Toronto in Mississauga, Allied Media Conference in Detroit, etc.) has been so incredible as well. It demonstrates and showcases to me that the message and work I’m doing is impactful and meaningful, even if just in a small way.

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Q: It seems like you have (for the most part, correct me if I’m wrong) strayed away from food blogging to pursue focusing more on fat culture/activism. What can you say about the connection between the two, and how was the transition?

A: No – I still do food writing, quite regularly. However, I have changed the type of food writing that I do, quite dramatically.  For starters, I have strayed away from restaurant reviews of any kind, as I have found that there are a lot of politics attached to these types of pieces.  There is quite a divide between ‘bloggers’ and ‘journalists’ – so I’d rather not get caught in the crosshairs of that, as a personal preference.  What I really love to do is focus more so now on profiles.  This can be of producers, chefs, mixologists or it can focus on a trend that is happening. For example: I have just recently pitched a publication on one of the first tea farms to exist in Canada. Another story I just recently pitched was about the Syrian refugees and their breakfast traditions. To me, these food stories have more oomph that the previous stuff I was writing. With that being said, because I’m pitching a lot of it – it comes down to if an editor sees value in these pitches or not, and sometimes the pieces don’t even see the light of day.  Regardless, I’m still doing a lot of food writing for View the Vibe and Foodism – but more or less, I’ve tried to expand my palette to other opportunities and larger stories.  My biggest goal for this year is to have something produced in print.

Q: Admire you SO hard for quitting your day job to pursue your dreams. What made you take the plunge?

A: I actually wrote an entire blog post dedicated to it: http://www.amascriver.com/view-glass-ceiling-sucks/ – I think this post summarizes why I left. I basically didn’t like the person I had become and I hate being sad all the time. Everyone thinks that money makes you happy, but sadly it’s not the answer to all your problems. Every since I have left and started working on my own terms, I have seen a dramatic change in my mood and my outlook on life.  Even today, I had an appointment with my therapist where I was discussing with her just how much I’ve changed in the last three months (since leaving my job).  I know it sounds cliched, but don’t continue to do the things that make you unhappy.  Follow your heart and the rest will follow.

Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to overachieve with body pos culture?

A: One of the things I find incredibly frustrating is that there is still a lot of sizeism and body shaming that happens within the body positivity community that is passed off as ‘activism’. While I get that fat activism and body positivity are not one and the same, there are a lot of overlap between those two communities and a lot of snarking and dismissing going on of others lived experiences. I feel like for many, these experiences creates further divide, more shame and can be incredibly harmful rather than helpful.  We must come to understand (and accept) that all bodies exist in our society and we need to continue to view them as positive and worthy and continue to empower them.

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Q – Who are some bad ass body-pos babes that you admire?

In no particular order:
Alysse Dalessandro
Jodie Layne
Ariel Woodson
Sam Dylan Finch
Aarti Olivia Dubey
Stephanie – Nerd About Town
Jill Andrew and Aisha Fairclough

Q: What’s your favourite thing to write about?

A: I would have to say just life in general – there are so many different things to write about – so many stories to tell.

Q: And on a completely unrelated note, any summer plans?

A: Hoping that I can get away to Montreal, but we’ll see. At the moment, nothing fancy planned.  Also, how it is almost July?!?

 Photo credit in order: Patrick Tomasso (1st and 2nd), Caroline Brassard  and Rochelle Latinsky. 

GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO CREATE

June 23, 2016 // - - - - - - - - -

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I didn’t know it at the time, but I learned to use art an as emotional release when I was a teenager. It took me a while to realize this because I was drawing long before anything “bad” happened to me. I went through a macabre-style phase following my sexual assault in high school, drawing cartoon-like pools of blood around pretty faces like a halo. I hacked together a mixed-media collage piece based around the term “fuckpuppet” the first time I was ghosted after intimacy. I literally threw paint at a canvas when I was cheated on. Creating artwork can channel anger, helping to digest and heal real life trauma. I am okay today for this reason.

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I’ve simplified my style as I’ve matured. My work used to be cluttered with over-the-top details, fine lines, patterns and absolutely zero negative space, which accurately reflected my jumbled mind. I’d completely absorb myself into each piece. I’d draw for hours without stopping, pushing through hand cramps and lower back pain, to prevent myself from thinking about anything “real”. That disconnect was exactly what I needed at the time.

I also used to work solely in black ink, and now I purposely try to incorporate colour as much as possible to reflect my change in mental health. Instead of choosing sombre tones and shadows to express turmoil, I now use colourful and cute typography to open up about my most vulnerable feelings and intimate thoughts. I’ve switched to clean lines for a clean mind, but the overarching sentiment stays the same.

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Nowadays most of the illustrations I create are for commercial purposes — and business is really good lately, so I’m in no position to complain. It just means that I have to find time to create personal pieces in order to not lose sight of why I started drawing in the first place.

I now create illustrations with my audience in mind as the priority. I view sharing my therapeutic illustrations online as a sort of visual advice column, if that makes sense. It’s why I created an illustration for Tumblr’s mental health campaign last year. Just because I have a negative thought, doesn’t mean it has to stay negative. I can channel negativity into creativity.

At the end of the day, reading a comment such as “Thank you, I had no idea how much I needed this today” or “I set this as the wallpaper on my phone as a daily reminder for self-care” makes everything worth it. It’s the best kind of therapy I’ve ever had, and if others can benefit from it as well?

Win/win.

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You can view the rest of my illustration portfolio over at cargocollective.com/meganstulberg.

A ROADTRIP TO CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

June 9, 2016 // - - - - - - - - - -

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I’ve grown quite accustomed to divvying my time between Toronto and Los Angeles. My partner resides there and, as long distance relationships often go, you both split your life in two to create parallel lives together. Both places feel like home to me in very different ways. In Toronto, I’m the workaholic that I’ve spent years building myself up to be. In Los Angeles, my desires are to eat, explore and see as many new things as possible. The idea of being able to hop into a car and drive across the state, getting glimpses at vastly different cultures in each small town you stop in, is something I’d never experienced before I travelled there.

So that’s exactly what we did. During my most recent week-long visit, we made a relatively impromptu decision to pack up and take off with Zach’s rescue pup Pixel for a weekend trip along the coast. We spent the drive listening to basketball podcasts, eating salty snacks and stopping every so often to watch the waves.

Scroll down for a list of my favourite spots that I discovered in Los Angeles and central California this time around. 

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-Dinosaur Coffee in Silver Lake. Really good Americanos, charming baristas and their drink menu casually boasts “Butts Butts Butts!” without any explanation, the latter of which which sealed the deal for me. The back wall features a floor-to-ceiling art installation mixing gathered hanging fabrics and neon pink typography. 

-Santa Barbara County Courthouse. We stopped in Santa Barbara for lunch and afterwards plopped ourselves on a large patch of grass outside of the County Courthouse, an eye-catching building with Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture. We lounged there on a sunny Saturday afternoon, so multiple wedding parties were trying to take group photos at the same time. Plump infants in frilly dresses kept waddling over to play with Pixel, soon chased by whichever uncle was supposed to be watching them. Bonus points for the all-pink-everything floral boutique I spotted across the street.

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My Airbnb in San Luis Obispo. San Luis Obispo is a small town that was nicknamed “the Happiest City in America” by Oprah and lives up to its well-deserved reputation. We stayed in an AirBNB that “quirky” doesn’t even begin to describe. Every corner of this open-concept loft (ceilings and floors included) held something unusual, whether it be the fridge covered in a collage of celebrity faces, the Barbie dolls sitting on the bathroom shelves, or the dozens of licence plates decorating the walkway up to the house itself. Despite its eccentricities, it instantly felt like home to me and I slept much better than I usually do. I felt strangely sentimental leaving the next morning, and gave our host Pete a tight goodbye hug. 

Venice Beach Boardwalk. Self explanatory.

SunCafe in Culver City. Best vegan spot I’ve hit up in Los Angeles so far, with the exception of Shojin Sushi and probably Hugo’s Tacos too (those churros, though). We went for lunch here after hiking up behind the Hollywood sign, so we were covered in dirt but served with kindness nonetheless. I can honestly say that they have the best green smoothie I’ve ever, ever had, and that any I’ve had since has been disappointing. 

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Bishop Peak in San Luis Obispo. We hiked up a volcanic plug and took in a beautiful view of the town. I kept pausing along the way to remind myself of where I was and to appreciate every moment. I climbed a big boulder at the very top of the peak and carefully posed for a rap squat photo on top of it. Photo intentionally not included in this post.

Upstairs Bar at the ACE Hotel in downtown LA. When we got to the bar around sunset, the first thing I saw was a girl in a bikini, splashing around the pool by herself and having the time of her life. That’s a sentence that would be pretty much non-existent back in Toronto. LA is weird, you guys, but wonderful in its own way. 

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Anything you’d add to my list? Tell me in the comment section below! And for more photos from my trip, follow me on Instagram here.

ILLUSTRATIONS & INDIE88: FIELD TRIP ’16 RECAP

June 6, 2016 // - - - - - - - - - -

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Earlier this spring, a colleague tagged me in a Bunz Trading Zone post looking for an illustrator to work on a project with Indie88, an indie-rock radio station based here in TO. I sent an email and the rest followed suit.

Flash forward to last week, when She Does The City asked me to do some media coverage with mega-talented photographer Yuli Scheidt at Field Trip Music & Arts Festival. I found out the next day that Indie88 would be handing out one of my Toronto-themed illustrations as postcards at Field Trip! I was jazzed about this coincidence, and to have the chance to snag a few postcards at their first “public appearance”.

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If you’re reading this and are like “lolwut”, let me explain. Field Trip Music and Arts Festival is held annually at Fort York, a historic site on the outskirts of downtown Toronto. Essentially it’s two days straight of eating, drinking, hula hooping, giggling at pretty girls in flower crowns, watching bands perform and admiring the other artistic installations and activities that the festival has to offer. You can find more details on Field Trip’s website here.

I was exhausted by the end of the first day, but in a good way. I did all of the things! I ate vegan mushroom poutine from The Portobello Burger food truck, a personal favourite I discovered last fall at RiotFest. I also drank copious amounts of freshly-squeezed lemonade, took advantage of Wild Altar‘s plant-based installation wall for a photo op, and witnessed Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew sing a questionable-but-sweet song about butts on the kid’s stage.

indie88westendfixedsizingcolouryuli-scheidt-SDTC-FT2016-JULYTALKThe highlight of the festival for me was finally seeing The National perform. They’re one of the few bands that have the ability to create music that physically hurts my heart to listen to. The same thing happened when I saw Daughter at the Phoenix back in 2012: my chest grew tight and my eyes welled up as my mind flashed to various noteworthy experiences I’d had while listening to their music. While listening to Matt Berninger croon “I Need My Girl”, I thought about when I watched their Saturday Night Live performance at a stranger’s house in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. During “I Should Live In Salt”, I thought about my 4th year morning routine of listening to their 6th studio album while walking to campus and chain-smoking. During “Sea of Love”, I thought about the summer when I started biking to the beach on weekend mornings, plugging in and watching the sunrise.

The first memory recalled above, I was with my partner of the time but was unhappy. The second, I was alone and unhappy. The third, I was alone and happy. Binge-listening to The National during my early twenties helped me appreciate independency and mental clarity, and for that I will always appreciate them. Experiencing that realization all over again was not something I expected from attending Field Trip, but was definitely a welcome reminder.

If you didn’t attend Field Trip but want to cope one of my illustrated postcards, keep an eye out! Indie88 will be handing these out at events all summer long.

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All photos (except for the subpar one I took of the postcards) were taken by Yuli Scheidt

  • Hi, I'm Megan! I'm a lifestyle blogger, social media specialist, illustrator, writer and vegan recipe maker-upper based in Toronto. Let's work together: megstulberg@gmail.com.
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