Stream Keepers - Colouring Page

Autumn is finally here! Every year I am stoked for the crispiness of fall. Time to break out the wool socks, beanies, sweaters and gumboots. I’ll miss those warm mornings and long days, but there is something to be said about just getting cozy and creative in this less chaotic time of year. This year I have a studio to retreat to when the weather gets rocky which is something I certainly look forward to!

October being the month of fall colours and Halloween, I did up some wild salmon for you in their more ‘ghouly’ stage of life. The return to spawn to the river from which they came. Starting from tiny eggs buried in beds of fresh water rivers, they go through many stages of fresh water life before venturing out to the open ocean for a few years before making the trip back. Between deforestation and destruction of natural habitats, fish farms, sea lice, natural predators, human industry, climate change, rising ocean temperatures, pollution and other threats, these incredible fish have a tough life. Wild Salmon are a foundational species to life on the Pacific Northwest. Wild Salmon have been a huge part of First Nations culture for ages. People and many species of wildlife depend on the marine-rich nutrients that wild salmon provide. Salmon watersheds provide clean drinking water, and because they are composed of flowing rivers and dense forests, they absorb carbon to slow climate change! The commercial fishing industry also supports local economy and communities along the Pacific Northwest. Wild Salmon are important for so many reason and I am glad to see more and more organizations fighting to protect them and restore their habitats.

You’ll see this page in Tofino Time magazine this October. Please feel free to download from my site as well, but please… pretty please… leave my contact info on the bottom if you are sharing them in your business, or other public spaces. :)

** I love doing these colouring pages and I hope you do too. I am so happy when I see them printed out in restaurants, or used in schools, and I love to see people colouring them! The other day however, I went into one of my favourite shops in the city and saw kids colouring one of my pages. Normally I would be so stoked to see that, but this time honestly I felt cheated and disappointed. The line of contact information at the bottom of the page was cropped off! Now I completely understand that images posted on the web are at risk of this, and perhaps it was an honest mistake, but I have included that contact info at the bottom of every upload so it was definitely deliberately cropped. That info is my calling card. That is so if someone sees the pages and likes my work, they may hire me for a project. I do not get paid for the hours of work these pages take, nor do I charge to use them, but that ability for ‘exposure’ (yup, artists hate that word), and the projects that may come of it is in essence how I do get paid for them. If you want me to keep doing these, then please, all I ask is you leave my info at the bottom of the page. If that is too much to ask, then I will just have to stop giving them away for ‘free’. **

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Deep Sea Drift - Colouring Page

It is September already… what the heck!? Fall routines are around the corner… back to school shopping, fall sweaters, mushroom picking, and earlier sunsets. Tofitian’s are excited to be able to catch a breath after a busy tourist season once again. Even though I don’t work in the tourism industry per se, I still feel the pressure of everyone who does. Between keeping up with stock for the market and the shops that carry my work, and trying to remain creative while holding down the fort at home while Adam (who IS in the thick of the industry) is out on the water 10-12 hours per day can be a challenge. Not to mention clients needing work done, art shows, and holiday season preparation etc. Short stolen moments to enjoy the summer season in the form of a quick swim, beach walk, or ice cream cone is about all I got in this year… and now it is September.

Even though I love the temperatures in the summertime, fall IS my absolute favourite time of year. Cooler temperatures, wool sweaters and cozy socks. I get caught up on all my admin work, client projects and get to spend more time in the studio. I look forward to holiday preparation and if all goes well, may get an opportunity to enjoy the hot sunshine a couple of borders down. We’ll see…

So with school starting around the corner, here are some jelly fish (Moon Jellies, and Lion’s Mane jellyfish to be more specific) to colour. You’ll find it in the latest Tofino Time magazine too! Enjoy!

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Feathers and Fins - Colouring Page

We’ve had a convocation of about 6-7 Bald Eagles flying around in the harbour often these days. It is very distracting from work as it is really fascinating to watch them (it also seems to be making all the gulls a little unsettled). They all seem to be full grown, so not sure why there are so many that seem to hunt/fly together as I know they tend to be alone or in pairs. Anyway they are beautiful regardless!

Summer has been busy with work, and sadly not enough play as of yet. I am also thick in prep and painting for the Pacific Board Art show coming up mid August, which is a really fun change and having a studio space actually makes it possible to do! Lots of client projects and busy Saturday markets so its nice to do a little something for me.

Pacific Wild will be receiving 30% of all art sales at the show so in the spirit of the wild (and inspired by all those eagles), here is August’s Colouring page for you! Look out for it in August’s Tofino Time magazine too!

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OTTER CHAOS - COLOURING PAGE

I am a little mind blown that we are just about in July already. I fear this summer it going to sneak away from me before I know it! Last month was a busy one… market mode is officially on now, and as much as I try in the summer to scale back on client illustration projects, it has been hard to do this year. Lots of fun projects makes it really tough to say no… so I inevitably say yes to too much. Before I know it another colouring page is due and I am out of print and card stock. I am wearing too many hats right now… haha!!!

Otter chaos... July’s colouring page inspired by one my favourite creatures - Sea Otters. Whenever we head out on the water out here we often see them, either singles or in rafts like this... floating on their backs with babies or their lunch on their bellies. These little ocean hero’s play an important role in keeping our kelp forests healthy. Sea otters love to eat Sea Urchins, which if left unchecked, will ravage the ocean floor and eat all the kelp holdfasts. That may not seem like an important role, but Kelp Forests provide hiding spots and habitats for a huge variety of invertebrates, marine mammals, fish and even birds!  As these fascinating floating fuzz balls rarely come to shore, the only time you can be lucky enough to see them is out on a boat. ;)

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Forest Forager - Colouring Page

I can’t believe it is almost June already. The weather is getting warmer, the whales and bears are out now, and the streets and beaches are already packed with visitors. I just got back from a week in NYC which ended up being a great idea as it really kept the busyness of Tofino in perspective (the theme for this colouring page). Walking through the streets of Manhattan require speed and purpose in order to blend in… the complete opposite of the laid back cruisey nature of this west coast town (if you try to stop in the middle of the sidewalk there, you basically get run over by the person behind you). I loved it there though… museum visits, a huge variety of food, a multi-cultural immersion, amazing subway system, friendly and helpful locals (despite the hefty amount of tourists). For a place so hectic and overwhelming, the people had so much patience with the visitors. That was definitely a take away from my visit and something I will reflect on when I need get somewhere in a hurry here in the summer. ;)

But back to perspective… I’ve got a black bear foraging along the shoreline for you for June’s colouring page. This is the primary location you will find bears at this time of year (except maybe on the side of the highway driving in). It is a good idea to remember that bears are the locals here and we share our wild spaces with them. If you do see one, give it plenty of space. Don’t go running up to it attempting to feed it or take photos with it (yes, people DO that). If you love them as much I do, DON’T FEED THEM. “A fed bear is a dead bear” means that a habituated bear (one ‘comfortable’ with people’) is more likely to be euthanized if they inadvertently cause problems. Bears have a wicked sense of smell, but terrible eyesight. If you are hiking in the forest, try not to surprise them. Make noise if you are in a bear area! I know its hard… they are beautiful animals, and its such a cool feeling to see one in the wild. Just try to remember, they are WILD animals and it is best to see them from a safe and relatively undetected distance (ie. a boat).

Feel free to download it here or open up a Tofino Time magazine and give it some colour yourself. :)

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First Coin Design for the Royal Canadian Mint!

Soooo, guess what? Yeah thats right… I’ve been MINTED! I can’t tell you how proud and honoured I feel to have designed my first COIN for the Royal Canadian Mint. Not in a million years (as a small town west coast island girl) did I ever think this would happen, and I’ve been bursting at the seams with this little secret for the past YEAR. The final product may be small in physical size, but it is definitely one of the BIGGEST highlights to my career thus far. 

As you know my usual subject matter is much more nature oriented, but this was a really interesting challenge to do. I have a full history around boats and ships… everything from growing up around or on the water most of my life, to my parents being involved with the Merchant Navy and Cruise Ships, and even my great great great uncle worked on and survived the sinking of the Titanic! I grew up hearing many maritime stories, and was surrounded by shipping paraphernalia so I certainly felt a familiarity with it. 

This totally unique shaped, special edition, 2oz pure silver, commemorative coin is designed to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the St.Lawrence Seaway (you can even see my tiny initials at the bottom right). It was definitely difficult trying to envision what my drawing would actually look like as an engraved coin during the process, but the engravers did such an incredible job and brought it to life! THANK YOU so much to the Royal Canadian Mint for including me in their collections. There are only 2,000 made so I’m ordering mine right now. Haha!! 

Ebb and Flow - Colouring Page

Decided it was time to revisit an old friend, and an integral part of our rugged, rocky landscape.

Bull kelp is still one of my favourite marine plants. It grows and thrives in rough coastal waters literally ‘growing’ with the flow of the current. It's held down by a little root ball that anchors it to the ocean floor. The stem then grows and reaches towards the surface from 30 to 60 feet long at a rate of up to 10” per day! It eventually enlarges and forms a single, round float with many as 30 to 64 long thin blades that grow from it to form a golden brown canopy on the water's surface… perfect for creatures to hide in, or to use as an anchor to stop them from drifting too far (like sea otters do).

You often see piles of bull kelp on the beaches after the winter storms tear the kelp from the seafloor, washing it ashore. Kids drag them around as little beach pets, and my puppy is always trying to eat it... and then often throwing up later so I’m not a fan of that part. Haha! I love how they gracefully move in the water, their blades like mermaid hair.

Look out for it is this months Tofino Time magazine.  I haven’t included this one in my new colouring posters, but maybe next print run! Enjoy!

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West Coast Swell - Colouring Page

I’m a little blown away that it’s the end of March already. Feels like this winter was pretty amazing. Only 6 weeks of stormy weather this year, falling during that stretch when Finlea, my older daughter, came home for Christmas. She only barely ‘tolerated’ boat life so the stormy stretch was Murphy’s Law like timing. Now being almost April, and I feel the urge to decorate the boat with spring flowers and hopefully soon start slapping some Cetol on the cabin sides. I also get to show you all a BIG SECRET next week that I’ve been holding close to my chest for a YEAR now.

This colouring page was taken from a poster illustration I did recently for this years CSA Canadian Surf Nationals competition. I had some fun colouring it so I figured you would too.

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The 'Otter Side' of Tofino

Yes I know… the river otters again, but they’re so cute to watch until they start crapping all over the dock. I still love them. The last few days, as I have returned from the shower, they’ve just sat there... blocking my passage to the boat. They stare at me as if to say, “where do you think YOU’RE going?”  I don’t back down. I just snap back at them... “move over varmits, mind your manners!” There are 5-7 of them at a time... a pretty big wharf rat pack if you ask me. I think it’s time I give them names.

These characters HAVE had me thinking how cool dock life is down here at Fourth Street though, and it is about time I gave you all an introduction to the ‘otter’ side of Tofino (har har)… the side that isn’t often thought about when you think about this magical place. Tofino (according to Google images and most media articles) is a place of wilderness and mile long beaches, beautiful sunsets, clustered specks of surfers in the waves and world class food. It is a tourism destination for sure, and a perfect place to unplug and get out of one’s busy city life. Visitors to Tofino flock here from all over the world, saving their pennies for months for their annual (or singular) visit, and they need to book ahead (like MONTHS) or they will be out of luck for prime accommodation here. Annual rainfall aside, I never to take for granted my daily beach walks, or dockside sunrises and sunsets, as it fills my creative well on a daily basis.

Fourth Street Docks inhabit a micro-culture of its own here in Tofino. For wildlife, we have river otters (as you well know by now), raccoons, sea lions, eagles, ravens, crows, seagulls, kingfishers, swallows and a myriad of other birds (of which my daughter’s besties Cedar and Toby are the local birders and can tell you more than I can). We even have Orcas visit the harbour on occasion too which can be a treat in itself.

Wildlife aside, there are many interesting people with really unique backgrounds and cultures of their own too. We have a whole dock full of crab fishermen who are up before the crack of dawn, and still going well into the evening. You’d never guess you were in Tofino when their day is wrapping up as the smells of spices in their cooking and the chatter and laughter on the docks at the end of the day makes you feel like you are stepping into another country. In the summer months there is a constant coming and going of sport fishing and whale watching boats. Gangs of eager tourists in their big floater suits with their “zoot, zoot, zoot…” (like a loud pair of corduroys) sound is all you hear when that wall of bright red comes piling down the dock. We have a brilliant silversmith who makes beautiful First Nations jewelry on his boat, THE Tofino choir conductor and her little dog Peepa, heaps of oyster farmers, T’aaq-wiihak/Commercial fishermen, as well as smaller dinghies and skiffs from offshore and/or off grid families who commute to Tofino regularly or head off to other islands for work. Our finger is usually pretty quiet (except for the otters and the guys who head off to Vargas to build the new Cedar Coast Field Station each morning), but in the summer months bigger sailboats and power boats will start to show up. Only the hardy ones come here as it is a really long way from the popular cruising grounds of the east coast of Vancouver Island. Oh… and there is Luke and Maddy who are running the harbour and navigating this eclectic crew of people (bring them donuts…really… they deserve it). I am sure I am forgetting a TON of people (sorry if you are reading this and I missed you), but these are the ones I see most regularly down here and came to mind. I could easily go into more detail but I am by no means a writer and I wouldn’t do them justice! Essentially, Tofino Harbour may seem quiet compared to everywhere else in town, but it is a busy working harbour. Between the float planes, and all the boats zipping off to wherever they are going, there is no end to entertainment down here. This is my home and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

So here are some otters… and a cameo of my ‘six knot studio’. ;) This colouring page can be downloaded for free here or on Tourism Tofino’s website, as well as in the pages of Tofino Time magazine’s March edition. Enjoy!

Black and White - Colouring Page

Killer Whales, Orcas, or Kakawin (in Nuu-chah-nulth) are making headlines these days. The Southern Resident Killer Whales (comprised of J, K and L pods) that live in the waters off BC’s Gulf Island’s and Northern Washington are threatened. With their populations dwindling, efforts are being made to educate the public on how to help protect these beautiful creatures. Threats include toxins in the ocean, noise pollution and reduced Chinook salmon stocks (their preferred diet). In the spirit of #oceanoptimism, some ways you can help the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) : https://www.whaleresearch.com/orca-conservation

Here in Clayoquot Sound we often get visited by Bigg’s (Transient) Orcas. Unlike the larger family groups of Resident Whales (which show up on rare occasion), Bigg’s Orcas travel in smaller family groups and hunt marine mammals (seals, sea lions, porpoises etc.). Sometimes, we are lucky to get front row seats as they cruise by Tofino Harbour!

I decided to celebrate these beautiful marine mammals for February’s colouring page. Keep an eye out in next months Tofino Time magazine and on the Tourism Tofino website.

Globe Sustainability in Business Expo - HSBC Project

Last winter I had the opportunity to paint live at the HSBC booth at the Globe Sustainability in Business Forum and Expo in Vancouver BC. Pin Point Productions did a great job time lapsing the 3 day event. This is only a small part of it but you can see there sure were a ton of squats done over that weekend. Simply amazed at how 22 hours of painting can be condensed to 45 seconds! Wish I could work that fast… haha!!

Logo Design Process + Pricing Guide

The work that goes into a good logo is understandably a mystery to most people. My goal as a designer is to come up with a concept that contains the most amount of meaning to you in the least amount of elements, effectively creating a clean design that represents your business in the most memorable way to your clients or customers. In order to help you understand whats actually involved, I decided to break it down so you’ll have a better understanding of my process. I know it may seem like a fairly broad range, but generally most of the logos I have done can take from 15-40 hours ($900+) with the average small business being between 15-20 hours ($900-$1200). After you've taken a gander at the following, please feel free to fill out my branding questionnaire (button at the end) so I can get a clear idea of your project!


PROCESS 

STEP 1: CONCEPT AND CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT // 4-6 HOURS

This is the research stage of the process. I go through your questionnaire where I learn more about your business history, design requirements, personality. I’ll check out your Pinterest links or instagram. I will create mood boards for my reference, where I will collect ideas until I have an A-ha moment!

STEP 2: SKETCHING + INITIAL CONCEPT PRESENTATION // 4-5 HOURS

This is the fun part for me. I get out my pencils and paper, or my iPad and I will scribble and doodle some ideas. Don’t worry… I won’t show you a napkin with a bunch of scribbles on it. I will clean 3-4 initial concepts up nicely for you and then send them to you via email.

** REVIEW FEEDBACK, MODIFICATIONS AND REVISIONS **

Changes and modifications and re-formatting. This is where I would repeat the previous step or move forward. Time is dependent on amount of work.

STEP 3: LAYOUT AND ASSEMBLY // 6 - 12 HOURS

Once you (and/or) your team has had a chance to review the designs and have chosen your favourite, I’ll then take that and render it (drawing any illustrated components if applicable). After that I will carefully select fonts (or hand script) and work on the layout, initial ‘brand’ colour choices. I will then format 2-3 versions to present to you.

** REVIEW FEEDBACK, MODIFICATIONS AND REVISIONS **

Changes and modifications and re-formatting. This is where I would repeat the previous step or move forward. Time is dependent on amount of work.

STEP 4: FINAL FORMATTING

Here is where I take your new logo, and format it in a variety of formats for different uses (print and web). See deliverables below.

OTHER // 2-3 HOURS

Client communications and meetings. I am always happy to keep the lines of communication wide open so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


DELIVERABLES

What you’ll receive when it all done!

  • Unlimited usage rights - this means you can use on any media (print, web, signage, apparel and other merchandise etc.) for an indefinite amount of time.

  • 2-4 Colour Versions (where applicable) - Full colour, Greyscale, Black (single colour), and white (singe colour) for overlay on colour or images.

  • Print and Web formats - Vector PDF (for print media, indefinitely scalable), high resolution (300dpi) JPEG and transparent background PNG (for print), low resolution (72dpi) JPEG and PNG for web use in all the versions.

  • Brand Style Guide with colour codes (CMYK, RGB, Web Safe RGB), font names, and file reference.Any Fonts that are ‘purchased’ for your logo will be extra, but I don’t often need to do that unless you are set on a particular font I don’t have.

  • All files will be uploaded to a Dropbox folder for you to download. If you would like me to save the files on a USB stick, please provide one at your convenience or I can pick one up and add it to the invoice.

Let me know if this falls within your budget, or if you do have a budget in mind please let me know and I can see if I can work within it. The button below is a little homework for you… a branding questionnaire that you can fill out and send back to me at your convenience. The more information I can get initially, the more efficient the design process will be. :)

“We had the pleasure of working with Claire at Tourism Ucluelet for a rebranding project to refresh our logo of our major resort town in Western Canada. After an in-depth RFP process we narrowed down our search to Claire. She delivered outstanding communication, amazing work on time, and on budget. She is top notch talent you can rely upon when doing important work at the highest levels. It does not get any better and we could not recommend her enough!”

— Brent Hohlweg - Tourism Ucluelet Marketing Manager

Winter Hideaway - Colouring Page

Happy New Year! As the holiday season wraps up, many of us in these cold, damp and stormy climates start dreaming of 25 degrees, warm bones and a hefty shot of vitamin D. It is also a time to clear the slate, and buckle down and prepare for the upcoming season. With lots of new projects happening in 2019, I am definitely looking forward to this year (although those who know us know we always seem to be in a state of flux)! Thank you all for your support in 2018 and prior, and I wish you all a fresh new year full of juicy adventures, wild experiences, wow moments, big changes, creative mind blows and general awesomeness!  

Here is a peaceful underwater scene for your colouring pleasure… a little more chill than the stormy surface it had been lately here on the west coast!

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'Tis The Sea-Son Colouring Page

River Otters. We have a gang (or ‘romp’) of about 6 or 7 otters that hang out on the docks here at 4th street. They can be an intimidating at times as they don’t scare easily and are very familiar with all the folks down here… not to mention they seem to enjoy making messes on everyones boats. I discovered something interesting about them today though… did you know that River Otters sometimes eat BIRDS? I startled one this morning munching its breakfast on the dock. I couldn’t recognize what kind of bird it was but it was brown, and almost the size of the otter itself. It stared me down for a while, then quickly grabbed its breakfast and plopped back into the ocean so I could pass.  

This holiday themed colouring page is dedicated to my furry little ‘friends’ that are part of the population of 4th street dock. My instagram video the other day showed a darker side of them, so I figured I otter lighten it up!

Happy Holidays everyone!

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Inktober 2018

Starting a few years back a cool illustrator named Jake Parker started an Inktober Project. The purpose of this project was 31 days and 31 [ink] drawings based on different prompts through the month of October. Each year people post their #inktober drawings on instagram and other social media platforms, and every year I just watch and get inspired by them. This year I decided it was time to take on the challenge myself and here are a few of mine. I only made it about 21 this year (you can see them all on my Instagram feed @clairewatsonart), but I plan to make it to the end in 2019!!!

Coastal Ravens - Colouring Page

A little break from Inktober madness for a colouring page as we have storm force winds heading our way today for the first storm of the season. I figured its getting time to cozy up with some pencils and get at it. Drawing line work on a rocking boat provides its own challenges, but I still enjoy looking out the wheelhouse windows and seeing the weather stir up the clouds and the seas. I always know storms are coming as there are flocks of grounded seagulls on the breakwater. Around the docks you’ll find plenty of birds… Seagulls, Crows, Ravens, Eagles, Kingfishers, Herons as well as a ton of smaller birds. Ravens are one of my favourites. They are beautiful and mysterious birds, but don’t turn your back on them. They are known to unzip back packs, open coolers and take your snacks away. Smart as a whip these tricksters are!

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Surf Season in Tofino - Colouring Page

This weekend kicks off surf season in Tofino with the annual Queen of the Peak surf competition, so I felt it fitting to embrace the oncoming big wave season for October’s colouring page. Sisterly shredders come from far and wide to take part in this women’s only surf competition, inspiring young girls to get out there and have some fun in the waves. I’m just happy enough to sip my coffee on the beach and watch them rip (MUCH warmer... haha)!

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Sure the ocean seems ‘blue’, but if you look closely it is full of colours. There are hues of sunny day blues and greens, stormy shades of dusky grey, or the reflections from boats and land. My personal favourites are the early morning purples, as well as the pink and orange sunsets! What are yours? This page will be in October’s Tofino Time magazine, the Tourism Tofino website and my own website so have some fun with it and let’s see what you come up with? #tofinocolour

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September Steller Sea Lions - Colouring Page

This summer has been a bit of a whirlwind and I cannot believe I am working on Septembers page already. I do apologies for August's LACK of page in Tofino Time. Between my brief holiday escape and some important articles that needed the space, I missed a month! No worry... back on track here. #tofinocolour

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