New vendor alert! We have your new favourite kind of cookie at the Royal Bison this season: wood cookies! Edmonton based artist, Jovi Klak, digitally or hand paints expressive mandalas on wood cookies with vibrant and unusual palettes! Catch her at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, Follow Jovi on Instagram (@jovi.klak) to view more of her work, and read on to see where her inspiration comes from!
Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Jovi Klak: I am compelled to create because it allows me to stay present. If I encounter something that moves me, there is an urge to capture its colours and patterns. I’m also hungry to improve and know I’ll feel terrible if I stop.
RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
JK: I’ll be using a different type of wood for my cookie paintings. I spent one day this spring chain-sawing and sanding a fallen Poplar on my parents’ farm. Getting materials from a familiar area makes me appreciate the pieces more. With the upcoming holiday season, I’ll also be printing greeting cards and making ornaments.
RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
JK: I often gather colours from my surroundings, but am drawn to vibrant, moody, and unusual palettes. I enjoy combining expressive lines with orderly details and consider the wood’s original pattern when painting cookies. I ultimately believe everyone’s work is different (even if using a similar approach).
RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
JK: I can be quite introverted, but I make time each week to have a drawing night with a friend. It’s great bouncing ideas and not working in a bubble. I’m looking forward to meeting more creatives at Bison!
RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
JK: I’m inspired by so many people and things. The rhythms and compositions of Gustav Klimt’s work. Thick brush strokes from impressionist paintings. Henna artists painting limbs in the streets. Marimekko patterns. Patterns on thrift store clothing. Patterns found in nature… So. Many. Patterns. I do have a creative crush on Joan Sherman though. She is an Athabasca-based artist who paints, sketches, and writes about the natural world she loves. A portion of her art sales go towards supporting wildlife habitat conservation, and for over a decade she has sponsored 50+ high school students to attend a week long Visual Arts program. I was one of those students, and it felt really great knowing that there was a creative advocate in my hometown. I also met Joan years later at a craft fair, where she gave me a sketchbook and championed me to fill it. This woman oozes encouragement and good vibes—who wouldn’t have a crush on that?
RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
JK: Making prune buns! My father’s side is Polish and prune buns have been a staple family dessert for many years. They’re pretty much a fried donut with prune filling—ahhh bliss. And yes, I know they’re prunes—but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it ;)