MC Debut Artist // RANDM COLLECTIVE
Mike Kerr and Renata Liwska are the co-founders of Randm Collective, which is a local illustration collective who have been promoting illustrators and illustration in Alberta for the last 2 years. They have been creating some amazing waves in Calgary and internationally, and we are excited to showcase them as our Debut artists for the May MC.
RandM Collective’s mission is to promote and celebrate all things illustrative through exhibitions and events in collaboration with artists from any discipline communicating through the use of illustration.
We sat down with Mike Kerr to hear what the collective is up to. Catch them at the May 1-3 MC, where they will be showcasing their work, as well as running an interactive drawing station.
Tell us a bit about who you are as Randmcollective are and what you do.
The R in our name is for Renata Liwska, a NY Times bestselling children’s book illustrator. And the M is for Mike Kerr, an illustration instructor at ACAD. Collectively we are big fans of illustration, not only the stuff we do, but other artist’s work too. Having been an instructor at ACAD for over 15 years I have had the unique opportunity to see many, many amazing Alberta artists grow and flourish. And through Randmcollective I hope to get others to experience this too. We have a strong tradition of successful illustrators in our province and I don’t think too many people are aware of the impact they have had worldwide, our mandate is to celebrate and promote all things illustrative in and from Alberta. For Market Collective we are also showcasing two of those artists from our collective, Byron Eggenschwiler and Kyle Metcalf.
I love when artists can work together and support one another and be part of inspirational collaborative projects. How does community contribute to Randmcollective’s “It’s a Jungle Out There”?
We are super inspired by the artists around us, and it is our hope to share that inspiration with the greater community. “It’s a Jungle Out There” is a collaborative project with some of our favourite artists including Byron and Kyle. It gives us the opportunity to work with these amazing people and share their art with others. And we are excited to share a couple of them in person at Market Collective.
Working with people is always an adventure! Any good stories you have had in making “It’s a Jungle Out There”.
Working with people is definitely an adventure, but working together with artists … from experience we’ve found that to be an adventure and then some. So in putting together “It’s a Jungle Out There” we designed it so that the artists could work together, but individually. All the contributors were super excited to work together on the project but the reality is that illustration is best done alone – and we all wanted to do our best. We wrote “It’s a Jungle Out There” with that in mind and it resulted in a pretty good story.
Tell us a bit about the Draw Here interactive piece you will be doing at the next MC.
Draw Here is something we started doing at our art shows to give everyone a chance to be in the show, artist or otherwise. It’s basically artist trading cards but we have template cards with basic shapes (usually animal silhouettes) to draw on. It makes it fun and easy to draw something, no matter your drawing skills.
What exciting things are on the horizon?
A big reason we are excited to be involved in Market Collective is that we have recently signed a two book deal with Bloomsbury Publishing in New York. It’s for a children’s picture book called “Crafty Llama” and it’s about a Llama who knits (of course) and sells her crafty creations at a craft fair. This is the first book we have done together. I am writing it and Renata is illustrating it, and we are hoping that experiencing a craft fair first hand will give us loads of creative inspiration.