When a story is told, the imagination wakes up. Storytelling is an important aspect of all of my work, and I enjoy stories inspired by everyday experiences. I like to explore and celebrate life through the work I do. Much of my work is playful and colourful and invites the viewer to engage.
Drawing is the foundation of all my work, whether the final product is rendered in line or not. I spend much of my time drawing in sketchbooks, for research and exploration. Usefulness is also an important aspect of my work as I find great satisfaction in creating work to meet a specific need or solve the unique problem presented.
Mary Haasdyk is a Calgary-based illustrator. She received her BFA from Alberta College of
Art + Design and has also studied illustration there. Growing up both in Calgary and South Africa has given her an interest in cultural diversity as well as in people. She enjoys drawing and painting both traditionally and digitally, often building up layers of each of these to create her work. She also enjoys visiting the zoo and making lists.
Community engagement is a vital part of public art in a community. Receiving input and discovering what the residents themselves love about their own neighbourhood - what they take pride in and value - would be essential to create work which helps to celebrate their community.
A possible approach to receiving this vital input would be to hold an event, possibly a come-and-go-cafe style event, where residents could learn about the project and share the things they value and love about their neighbourhood. This would provide essential information and inspiration to develop designs. Areas of input could be: subject matter, colour scheme, and mood of image, such as celebratory or commemorative.
See the full artist roster and read more about the Painted City initiative.