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It’s been wonderful to be asked by curator Melissa Bennett to show a selection of my book illustrations at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. The show will be at the Design Annex and open in time for May 8th’s Super Crawl night and will run until August 29th, 2015.

Hair Do - Jacqui Oakley Illustration


Sherlock and Austen Ink Drawings - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Anne of Green Gables - Book Covers - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Anne of Green Gables - Book Covers - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Shear Murder Book Art - Harlequin Books - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

A great way to kick off the month ahead, the great people at Nook (mainly Julia Brekenreid, Steve Wilson and sometime collaborator Jen Hsieh) have planned two events to bring you original work and objects that inspire. The Illustration community in Toronto is packed with incredible talent & here’s an event showing off the great work, so do come and see what’s available and bring friends!

Friday December 6th will be the art show & the print sale will run on the Friday night 6-11pm and through to Saturday December 7th 11am-6pm. They’ll be lots of great prints and artwork to buy for holiday gifts or a treat just for yourself! At these sales I never make any profit since I’m always buying up the great art from my fellow illustrators.

Nook is located at 156 Augusta Avenue, Toronto ON M5T 2L4 in Kensington Market.

Nook holiday show - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Here’s a selection of a few of the prints that’ll be on sale at the Nook sale. I’ll be bringing most that are in my Etsy shop and there will be deals!

Woodpecker - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Nook holiday sale - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Gorilla Print - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Whale print - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Carnitas print - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Lion print - Jacqui Oakley Illustration


DOS Art Show Wrap Up July 29th, 2013

The DOS show on Friday July 19th at Toronto’s Evergreen 15,000 sq foot Brick Works warehouse was amazing. Not only did I get to show with 39 talented artists, this time I actually got to sample some of the delicious food from restaurants Big Star (Chicago, USA) and La Carnita (Toronto, Canada). Huge props have to go out to Clay Rochemont (HXfour), Andrew Richmond from La Carnita (and his very busy kitchen staff), One Method & Hashtag Gallery for all the work they put into this. Sorry if I’m missing anyone. I know an event this size took so much time, work and enthusiasm to pull off. Amazing work everyone.

DOS Jaguars - art by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson

This was the 2nd year the show was put on (hence the clever name DOS) and the DJs, restaurants and the artists were paired up in collaborations, or “battles”. It was an awesome experience being paired up with my husband Jamie Lawson (from Poly Studio). It could have been a disaster if we got too competitive with each other but it worked out perfectly. We each started from a silhouette of a jaguar head’s profile and then went our own ways with each of our our 3ft x 3ft paintings. At the end they had similar underlying sensibilities in colour and graphic shapes making for a cohesive pair, but the detail added to each made them look unique.

Below: Close up of Moon Jaguar and Sun Jaguar by Jacqui Oakley (Hamilton, Canada)  -vs-  Jamie Lawson (Hamilton, Canada)Jaguar - DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

Earlier in the night and after an insane but brief downpour, the crowds start to form at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works. Prime taco time with the shorter line-ups!

DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

I couldn’t resist doing another paper mask for this show, so of course this one had to be a Jaguar. I’ll post some process shots for this fella soon.

Jaguar mask - DOS - paper art by Jacqui Oakley

Here’s the crazy great line-up for the show:

DOS poster - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Here’s some detail shots of the Jaguars. Each of these pieces focused on South American mythology of the Jaguar. According to Mayan beliefs, the journey of the sun across the sky and the darkness of night represented the infinite journey of human consciousness and its transformations. Mayans believed the big cat’s spotted coat represented the night sky. I focused on the Moon Jaguar, traveling throughout the night sky, showing the stars in his spots and battling in the underworld, hence the night blooming flowers, night creatures and insects that feed on corpses.

Jaguar - DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

Jaguar - DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

Jaguar - DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

For Jamie’s piece his Sun Jaguar focused on the Jaguar traveling throughout the day sky and focused on pattern and shape from the intensity of the sun’s rays. The Aztec calendar had 4 suns or cycles of creation and destruction. The first, most primordial sun, was represented by the ocelot or jaguar.




Earlier in the night the crowds started gathering in the ‘art corridor’. This place got packed pretty quickly as the night went on. Nice to see so many people introduced to such a variety of good work.

DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Bryan Espiritu (Toronto, Canada) paired up with  Hydro 74 (Orlando, USA) to do their versions of Ouija boards:


Below: Dubelyoo (Atlanta, USA) & Gene Pendon (Montreal, Canada) shipped this canvas between the two countries to create a stunning tribute to one of the greatest fighters in history.


Below: Eduardo Bertone (Madrid, Spain) -vs- Doublenaut (Toronto, Canada). Great to meet Eduardo who traveled all the way from Spain for this.

DOS - art by Eduardo Bertone

Jamie and I were so happy to grab a print of this great piece by the talented Doublenaut brothers. These prints are still for sale at Hashtag Gallery.

DOS - art by Doublenaut

Below: Loved these pieces by Mike Giant (San Francisco, USA) & Tom Gilmour (London, UK)

DOS - art by Mike Giant & Tom Gilmore

DOS - art by Mike Giant

Below: the wall mural completed the night before the show by Peru143 (Toronto, Canada) & Skam (Toronto, Canada)

DOS show - Peru143 & Skam

Below: these two were not a pair in the ‘battle’ but they’re both pretty striking faces by Andy Kittmer (Muskoka, Canada) & Nick Simhoni (Toronto, Canada)

DOS - art by Andy Kittmer & Matt Darling

Below: One of my favourite pieces of the night by Carson Ting, AKA Chairman Ting (Vancouver, Canada)

DOS - art by Carson Ting

Then we ate! Sadly we didn’t get a chance to grab food from Chicago’s Big Star but we did manage to try a few treats from Toronto’s own La Carnita, one of the event organizers.

DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

DOS - Jacqui Oakley IllustrationBelow: Incredible sculptures by Kwest (Toronto, Canada) nicely paired up with Bacon’s (Toronto, Canada) large paintings:

DOS - art by kwest

DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

The Brickworks is still filled with old ovens and paraphernalia from the days when it was a working brickwork factory.

DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

DOS show - art by Jacqui Oakley

The floor got packed at night.


DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Jamie Lawson tempers the heat of his Jaguar with an ice cold paleta:

DOS Jaguars - art by Jamie LawsonMe with my Jaguar Mask:

Jaguar mask - DOS - paper art by Jacqui Oakley

My Jaguar drawing that I sold as prints for the night. I’ll pop it up on my Etsy shop soon and it’ll be at the Hashtag Gallery DOS closing show on Friday August 2nd. Make sure you pop by the see all the DOS work.

Jaguar Sketch - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Thanks for all your work putting this Clay (HXfour)! Great work everyone:

Mike Giant (San Francisco, USA), Tom Gilmour (London, UK), Sam Flores (San Francisco, USA), Joseph Martinez (Denver, USA), Zach Johnsen (Portland, USA), Johnny Crap (Montreal, Canada), Joshua Davis, Chuck Anderson (Chicago, USA), Faith47 (Cape Town, South Africa), DALeast (Beijing, China), Eduardo Bertone (Madrid, Spain), Doublenaut (Toronto, Canada), Dubelyoo (Atlanta, USA), Gene Pendon (Montreal, Canada), Bryan Espiritu (Toronto, Canada), Hydro 74 (Orlando, USA), Matt Barnes (Toronto, Canada), David Glantz (Toronto, Canada), Eric Quebral (Muskoka, Canada), Rcade (Toronto, Canada), Taka Sudo (Vancouver, Canada, Graham Curran (Los Angeles, USA), Ben Tour (Vancouver, Canada, Vladimir Kato (Toronto, Canada), Kwest (Toronto, Canada), Bacon (Toronto, Canada), Skam (Toronto, Canada), Peru143 (Toronto, Canada), Chase Tafoya (Los Angeles, USA), Dresden The Barbarian (Los Angeles, USA), Che Kothari (Toronto, Canada), Nick Simhoni (Toronto, Canada), Jacqui Oakley (Hamilton, Canada), Jamie Lawson (Hamilton, Canada), Andy Kittmer (Muskoka, Canada), Angie Fey (Toronto, Canada), Matt Darling (Toronto, Canada), Nancy Rose (Toronto, Canada), Shingo Shimizu (Toronto, Canada), & Carson Ting (Vancouver, Canada)

If you missed the first event, here’s my post with shots from UNO. Can’t wait to see if there will be a TRES!

I’m happy to be participating again in the next La Carnita / HXfour art event DOS where I’ll be showing art alongside a lot of talented folks (see the great line-up below). If the art isn’t enough they’ll be four battling DJ’s and two battling Mexican restaurants Big Star (Chicago, USA) and La Carnita (Toronto, Canada). It should be a fun night filled with great art, music and tacos at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works, a 15,000 sq foot warehouse.

Last year’s UNO show was crazy. It ended up drawing a massive crowd of 3000 people to the old factory located in Toronto’s Don Valley. This year should be even better. Here’s my post with shots from last year’s UNO.

I’ll be partnered with my husband Jamie Lawson (from Poly) and we’ll be focusing on the emphasis of Jaguars in South American mythology. Here’s a sneak peek & cropped version of our 3 ft x 3ft paintings. We’re really excited to see how these will look in person side by side.

JAGUAR - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson

Thanks for all your work putting this Clay (HXfour)! For more information about the one night only event go to La Carnita. Here’s some information on what I’ll be up to in the show:

DOS poster - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Here’s a little sketch so far, but this time we’ll be going a a lot bigger with large painted canvases and maybe even a cardboard mask…. Stay tuned for more process shots on my Instagram.

Jaguar Sketch - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

A sneak peek at the Jaguar paper mask I made for the show.

Jaguar Paper Art Mask - by Jacqui Oakley

Here’s some reference material that got us excited about this subject including Jaguars found in Mayan art. Directly below is the image of the Mayan Lord Bird Jaguar.

Mayan Art- Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Below is Yaxchilan lintel 25, Maya, Late Classic period (AD 600-900) from Yaxchilán, Mexico now in the British Museum.

Lady Xook, on the bottom right of the panel, is in the hallucinatory stage of the bloodletting ritual. She conjures before her a vision of a Teotihuacan serpent. Some scholars suggest that the serpent on this lintel, and elsewhere, are depictions of an ancestral spirit or founder of the kingdom. The identity of the figure coming out of the serpent’s jaws is ambiguous. The inscription names the protagonist as Shield Jaguar II.

Mayan Art- Jacqui Oakley IllustrationAs it happens Mayan motifs were popular in Soviet times in Russia. Who knew? Here’s some examples of these beautiful cards. Many more can be found on the site, English Russia.

Soviet Mayan Themed Playing Card - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Mayan Art- Jacqui Oakley Illustration


After UNO comes DOS, an evening of collaboration in art, music and food. Goes down Friday,
July 19th at Evergreen Brickworks and tickets on sale June 1st. Stay tuned for more details and
see below for the full line-up.

Mike Giant (San Francisco, USA)  -vs-  Tom Gilmour (London, UK)
Sam Flores (San Francisco, USA)  -vs-  Joseph Martinez (Denver, USA)
Zach Johnsen (Portland, USA) -vs-  Johnny Crap (Montreal, Canada)
Joshua Davis (New York, USA)  -vs-  Chuck Anderson (Chicago, USA)
Faith47 (Cape Town, South Africa)  -vs-  DALeast (Beijing, China)
Eduardo Bertone (Madrid, Spain)  -vs-  Doublenaut (Toronto, Canada)
Dubelyoo (Atlanta, USA)  -vs-  Gene Pendon (Montreal, Canada)
Bryan Espiritu (Toronto, Canada)  -vs-  Hydro 74 (Orlando, USA)
Matt Barnes (Toronto, Canada)  -vs-  David Glantz (Toronto, Canada)
Eric Quebral (Muskoka, Canada)  -vs-  Rcade (Toronto, Canada)
Taka Sudo (Vancouver, Canada)  -vs-  Graham Curran (Los Angeles, USA)
Ben Tour (Vancouver, Canada)  -vs-  Vladimir Kato (Toronto, Canada)
Kwest (Toronto, Canada)  -vs-  Bacon (Toronto, Canada)
Skam (Toronto, Canada)  -vs-  Peru143 (Toronto, Canada)
Chase Tafoya (Los Angeles, USA)  -vs-  Dresden The Barbarian (Los Angeles, USA)
Che Kothari (Toronto, Canada)  -vs-  Nick Simhoni (Toronto, Canada)
Jacqui Oakley (Hamilton, Canada)  -vs-  Jamie Lawson (Hamilton, Canada)
Andy Kittmer (Muskoka, Canada)  -vs-  Angie Fey (Toronto, Canada)
Matt Darling (Toronto, Canada)  -vs-  Nancy Rose (Toronto, Canada)
Shingo Shimizu (Toronto, Canada)  -vs-  Carson Ting (Vancouver, Canada)

DJ Platurn (Oakland, USA)  -vs-  Grandtheft (Montreal, Canada)
Don Valley  (Toronto, Canada) -vs-  Brains4Breakfast (Toronto, Canada)

Big Star (Chicago, USA)
La Carnita (Toronto, Canada)

Hope to see you out!


Another Season Opener is upon us. On April 3rd Garrison Baseball Bat Company will be holding another Season Opener art show at Toronto’s Steam Whistle Brewery and I’m happy to be one of the 31 artists participating. There are many exciting events happening and even a live performance from The Beverleys! Garrison Baseball Bat Company will also be raffling off one of their hand crafted bats signed by the Toronto Blue Jays with all proceeds going to the Jays Care Foundation. Hope to see some of you out.

GCbatCo Season Opener - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

As with the last show at Smash Gallery in the Fall, each artist has been given a beautifully crafted wooden Garrison Baseball Bat to do with as we please. It’s going to be fun seeing what everyone has come up with. Since I had such fun with the cardboard Monkey Totem at the last show I decide to do yet another sculpture. Here’s the start of it…

Owl process - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Here’s the brilliant line-up of artists for the show. The talented Darren Booth will also be showing again. It’s great to still be in art shows with art college friends.

GCbatCo Season Opener 2 - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Here’s a little more info about Garrison Baseball Bat Company: founded in 2012 by Dave Murray, C.R. Fieldhouse, and Ryan Christiani, Garrison Creek Bat Company combines style and design with a quality, handmade aesthetic. This distinctly Toronto trio have teamed up to create uniquely crafted bats that boast simple, elegant design, and beautiful presentation.

If you’re curious about the great art from the last show, here’s my blog post about it here. Everyone did such an amazing job, and what variety from baseball bat weapons, to sprinkles, to old-timey carnival strength testers! I’m sure this time will be even better. Hope to see you out Wednesday April 3rd! I guess I better get sculpting that cardboard.