Skip to main content

Illustrator Lauren Tamaki turns her brush on herself with a her own holiday wish list

Art start

Omar Lalani and I studied together at ACAD (now AUArts) in Calgary and it’s been a joy to watch him evolve. His canvases are wild with urgent mark-making and layers of meaning. I was waiting for a bigger place to house one of his glorious paintings, but I will delay no longer.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Ziltch by Omar Lalani, $2,400 at Lalani Jennings Contemporary Art (

Pyjama dressing

My shift from “hard pants” to glamorous loungewear was fully realized when I moved my studio back home in 2020. I’ve amassed a nice Soft Focus collection but have space for this silky set.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Soft Focus The Contessa set, $298 through

Glass act

By the end of a workday, I have at least four cups of liquids on my desk (coffee, seltzer, paint water, wine) and I’d love to have this shimmering vessel in the mix.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Sirius Glassworks Iridescent Nassau cup, $60 through

Be jewelled

Erica Leal’s resplendent earrings are tiny stained-glass windows by way of Gustav Klimt. While my fingers are regularly festooned in Leal’s rings, my ears are crying out for her unique glamour.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Erica Leal Golden Age earrings, $1,075 through

Floral delivery

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The only things worth drawing are flowers. A flower subscription is a constant stream of inspiration.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Hand-tied bouquet flower subscription, $375/delivery once a month for three months through

Game play

I read somewhere that procrastination is a huge part of the creative process, which makes me feel less guilty about putzing around. My husband and I constantly play my current procrastination tool of choice, backgammon, using a well-loved thrift store board and I wouldn’t mind an upgrade.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Crisloid Anchor orange tournament attaché, US$335 through

Paper chase

One day, they’ll find me under a mountain of Moleskine books. I dabble in the entire range but always come back to the perfectly textured sheets in the watercolour sketchbooks.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Moleskine watercolour album (21 by 29.7-centimetres), $44 at DeSerres (

History lesson

Black artists were largely absent from my art history education and I’m filling in the gaps in my knowledge. I’m eager to acquire this survey of multidisciplinary artist Faith Ringgold, who created everything from political posters to quilts.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Faith Ringgold, American People by Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari, $100 at bookstores and online (

Shape shift

Altarik Banks’s sensuous forms remind me that I need to take more figure drawing classes. Pick up one of his ceramics at Souvenir, a trove of inspiring wares.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Homa Studios Torso vase, $118 at Souvenir (