With spring on the way, it's got me thinking about the cherry blossom festivals, or 'Hanami', that take place in Japan and around the world. What better way to emerge from winter than with some research into the topic, and a brand new illustrated map of Japan's most popular spots to celebrate the spring bloom.

Objects Have Stories



Sharing wall space with some fantastic folks as we gather for "Objects Have Stories". The work of 22 illustrators will be shown at MADE in Toronto for the month of December, with an opening on Friday, November 28th from 7-10pm.
All items are one of a kind. 
"Illustrators tell stories as no one else can, and Julia Breckenreid has assembled twenty-two top-tier Canadian illustrators to do just that. This award winning roster has created one or more original objects for you to peruse and consider."

hurray for infographics!

What can I say, some things just get me kinda jazzed...and infographics are one of those things.

They can be a perfect opportunity for a unique type of storytelling, creating a narrative that combines both design & illustration.

The last couple of issues of Reader's Digest (Canada) have been a joy to work on, with Art Director Annelise Dekker. Together we've explored each assignment thru the visual solution of an infographic. The first piece deals with brain exercise, keeping the mind nimble with daily challenges like learning a new language. The second piece illustrates the increase in prescription drug abuse.

This is a new approach for me, and I'm loving it...more infographics please...!

Global Brief


Like so many illustrators, I have a little wish list of clients, designers and art directors that I hope to one day work with. Louis Fishauf, one of Canada's most respected graphic artists & designers, has long been on that list.

An assignment came my way recently for Global Brief, a top-tier international affairs magazine, and with that, a chance to work with Louis. My resulting illustration accompanies a piece on Canada's potential role as an influence for change in international decision-making.

Yep, I'll be adding this one to my list of significant experiences, and collaborations... and as well, moving Louis' name from 'wish list' to 'favourite client' list.



Working with Gayle Akler of Sparkplug Marketing & Communications, I was recently commissioned to create an illustration to showcase the Life Sciences startup Scintelligence, whose purpose is to "work directly with industry, academia and other key stakeholders to bring prospective partners together...".

The concept was all about growth and digging deeper, so with that, I set off to combine natural elements and scientific iconography to convey the message. The elaborate promotional package housed an actual shovel (with a sprinkling of dirt no less!) 

A Sketchbook for the Varley

 Summertime is the best time to explore your creativity, especially if you are a kid.

Cheryl Rego of the Varley Gallery in Markham approached me recently to design & illustrate a sketchbook for their summer art camps. Each child enrolled receives their very own book to record their thoughts, ideas and creativity... all in one fun place!

And why stop at one? we decided to run a couple of different colour choices for these budding young artists...

staying afloat


This piece was created for the Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation (OSSTF) to depict the challenges educators face in navigating the politics & systems of grading students.

curl up with the latest issue of Taproot...



The theme for this latest issue of Taproot Magazine is "wood". As we all cosy up with the cooler weather, what could be more evocative of the season than images of split logs, chimney brushes & flickering flames? I decided to combine this imagery into a repeat pattern, inspired by wood stacked against the back fence. You can see my work in the current & final quarterly issue for 2012. Congratulations Taproot as you wrap up a successful first year in print!



The art even inspired a new tea towel design, my collection just keeps on growing... :)

Marketing Magazine's top 10 list...




This week, Marketing Magazine releases it's top 10 list of Marketers & Media Players for 2012.

The concept behind this artwork was to create some anticipation for the announcement by printing my sketch on the cover, and the finished art with the revealed winners on the inside the pages.

Who could resist the adorable Target pup as the star of the piece?


Retreat with Taproot...


This is one of my favourite new magazines to hit the shelves.  Taproot is a beautiful, thoughtful, quarterly publication that celebrates local living through writing, photography and the arts, both fine & domestic.

I have had the pleasure of working directly with it's editor, Amanda Blake Soule, who also shares her world as Soule Mama in her numerous books & blog. 

My illustration (below) appears in the current fall issue, aptly titled: Retreat, and accompanies a lovely piece of writing. The story captures the precious moments of connection between a father and daughter as they share through storytelling.

accidental pattern



After a few days of paper cutting, my desk is covered in scraps of paper. I often save the 'positive' shapes that I have cut, and stick them to my computer. Little graphic silhouettes of colour dance around the edge of my screen. Quite by accident, as they are randomly placed, they will often inspire other projects.  

This little bird has been in view for a few weeks, but as soon as the sprout went up beside it, I could see a lovely pattern happening. This could be a really sweet wallpaper in a nursery...