OtB: First Day on the job

It’s always an adventure.  Yesterday I schlepped my little crate of paint cans and doo-dads down to my spot opposite the CN.  I debated not going as the weather was threatening to storm, but you never know with these things.  I didn’t want to lose a day of painting.  Sure enough, all’s well until I’m ready to cross the street to the box and BA-BOOM!  Took shelter at the local Pizza Pizza and enjoyed a slice in midst of the drizzle.  Luckily, we only had about five minutes of the stuff.  I primed the box in under half an hour and got most of my composition figured out over the next two in perfect sunshine.

Quite unlike my experience on Wellesley where I was inundated with local curiousity, not so many folks on Front popped their heads in to see what I was up to (or whether I was there legally, which was a big one last year).  When someone did stop to chat, I informed them that I was taking inspiration for the design from spontaneous sources, and they were free to contribute an idea if they liked.  Someone requested a dollar sign (his exact words: a “Dollar dollar bill yo”).  A lady informed me that just last week she was thinking of that picture of a wall where you see someone peeking over the top.  My very first request came from the Pizza Pizza crew.  One employee suggested I draw a slice.  I couldn’t make it advertising of any kind so while a nice big slice is the first thing I drew, I think I’ll paint it green or something to differentiate it from the brand’s bold orange.

Some guy comes up and asks if I can put his dog walking business on the box.  I say no.  Just kidding, he says.  “What’s this all about, anyway?”, he asks next.  “It’s a city-wide initiative by the City of Toronto to get artists to design some traffic signal boxes.”  “How do I enter it?”  “Oh, are you an artist?”  “No”, says he.  “I just want to know how I can get my dog walking business on there.”  Politely, I reply “I’m afraid I don’t think that the City of Toronto would have any vested interest in advertising your dog walking business.”  Not one to be deterred by the obvious, he inquires whether he can write something on a box anyway.  “Sure”, I say.  “We call that graffiti.  It’s illegal.”  Not to mention putting up graffiti with your actual contact info doesn’t usually work out so well.  Sullen, back he stalks into the concrete jungle.

I’d hoped to finish up a day or two after starting, but this week is turning out weird.  Looks like Monday next week will be our next painting day.  Feel free to drop in!

The finished product: https://theyxchange.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/otb-finito/


Figure inspired by Snow’s design (small and out of focus on the left).





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