Skip to main content

A culmination of some Courtney Wotherspoon’s initial roughs for Smirnoff’s Canada Day bottle design.

Courtney Wotherspoon has done everything from helping design a café to designing the typography for a Cougar footwear ad to creating album art for the indie band Provincial Parks. The Toronto-based illustrator, graphic designer and interior decorator has a highly layered, playful aesthetic that always manages to look clean and fresh. When it comes to sketching, she rarely if ever begins with an exact idea that goes linearly to the finished product. "I tend to be more of a doodler," she says.

Here, she discusses how her sketchbook figures in her creative process and describes how one recent project went from the page to the finished product.

"When I went to school [at the Pratt Institute in New York], it was hammered into us that a sketchbook always had to be on you and in use. I have a three-by-five [inch] Moleskine in my bag at all times, and I'll also work in the five-by-nine size, depending on what size bag I have on me. I'll usually sketch what's around me. I'll look around and draw what I'm seeing. I'll do signage or lettering or food that I'm eating. It's so easy now to go days at a time without picking up a pencil or touching paper. It just feels more honest to me to draw something on a piece of paper. It's like a little exercise to keep working that muscle.

Story continues below advertisement

"Smirnoff came to me to illustrate a limited-edition Canada Day [vodka] bottle, keen on the abundant, layered illustration style that I create. Mixed-media drawings, layers of Canadiana and lettering, all done in 360 degrees. It was a dream. There were dozens of drawings, sketches and layouts passed between the art director and me before we got to the final product. By the end of the process, I had a stack of drawings with nowhere to live. This is a culmination of some of those initial roughs, by way of scissors and glue stick."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter