Today we're meeting Bess Callard, Pure Green Magazine's official Illustrator. Bess' work is clean, timeless and fun - you can see more from Bess via her shop English Muffin, which specializes in children's illustrations. Her playful yet sophisticated illustrations will be gracing the pages of our new issue (coming May 24 in case you didn't know, wink wink!!!), adding a new layer of fun and detail to the magazine. We can't wait for you to see!
Hi Bess! Please Introduce Yourself.
Hello Pure Green Magazine readers! It's so nice to meet you. I'm Pure Green's new illustrator, Bess, and as I type this have a desktop full of PGM illustrations that I'm working on for the next issue! I live in the lovely city of Montreal with my wonderful husband, Charles, and our lovable albeit slightly nuts dog, Tyke. We moved to Montreal last summer after having spent three years living in Vienna, Austria — one of the most beautiful cities in the world, where we ate apfel strudel, spoke rudimentary German and strolled in the hillsides. Before our move to Europe, I lived in Toronto, the city everyone loves to hate, but I love to love. I just turned 30 last month and am proud to say that illustration is my second career. After years of studying and working as a contemporary dancer, I made the decision to go back to school for graphic design and began the transition to this new and exciting life. I am passionate about what I do and so thankful that I get to wake up every morning and set about making the pages of Pure Green a little brighter. I can't wait to share with you everything we've all been working on for the next issue!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
That's easy! Merikarvia, Finland. The world is full of amazing places, places to explore and learn from, to be inspired by and to discover, but one of the biggest things that I realized when we were living in and traveling around Europe was that without friends and family even the most amazing of cities can feel lonely. My mother's side of the family is Finnish and my aunt, uncle and cousin live in Finland. Merikarvia is where their and my grandparent's cottages are. Two wooden buildings among tall spruce trees on the edge of the sea, fresh fish, a traditional sauna, days spent blueberry picking and in the winter ice swimming, and my family. It really is a little slice of heaven.
Best book you've ever read?
When I met Charles, ten years ago, we had both just finished reading Ann-Marie MacDonald's novel, Fall on Your Knees. It is a poignant story about the relationship between the Piper sisters and their father set in rural Cape Breton. I remember on our first date we were both so surprised when the other listed this book as their current favourite, so of course it has held a special place in my heart ever since.
The one item of clothing you own that you couldn't live without.
Uh-oh. Now the truth comes out. There exists no piece of clothing that I couldn't live without. After getting rid of over half my wardrobe when we moved to Vienna and the other half when we moved back to Canada, I pretty much live on the essentials. Skinny jeans, long sleeve t-shirts and cardigans. Would you believe that my mom is a fashion designer?!
What does living green mean to you?
To me, green living means respecting and loving your environment. At our house we take small steps to do what we can, that means recycling, washing clothes in cold water, hanging laundry outside in the summer, choosing items at the grocery store that do not come with loads of extra packaging, buying organic when we can, using cloth grocery bags, cleaning with eco-friendly products, etc...
As we gear up to vote for a new federal government in Canada next month, I think that's another place where we can do our part for the environment. While I may not be able to change policy and make large scale decisions on the future of the planet, the leaders of the government sure can. Being environmentally literate and exercising my right to vote is another way that I strive to live a greener life.
1. Vintage Apple Crate, from Etsy
2. Eco Pencils, from Cute Tape
3. Windsor Oxford Deluxe Bicycle from BikesDirect.com