HS Doc Club: Room Full of Spoons


In April the HS Doc Club is showing a documentary on the cult following of the so bad its good film The Room. The doc follows Rick Harper and his team on their journey across the globe as they experience this midnight movie phenomenon, meet with the entire cast and crew of the The Room and piece together the story behind its enigmatic director Tommy Wiseau.

My poster is based off the iconic (or infamous?) billboard Tommy Wiseau put up for over 5 years promoting the initial release of his film.

More info on the screening at HS Doc Club

Wild Rivers “Do Right” Single

Toronto folk band Wild Rivers reached out to me to work with them again, this time on an image for a new single they were aiming to release about a week later before they headed down to Texas for SXSW.

During our initial conversation, they had a rough demo to send and some lyrics, but were still in the studio so nothing was totally final. We talked about the inspiration of the song, and where they were as a band and kind of winded up on the road trip idea. Maybe it was the looming multi-day drive down to Austin on their minds, but the conversation kept turning back to the idea of the car ride on a long trip being just as important as the destination. Road trips are not a race, the long drive with your favorite people is the reason for the trip!

Sketches and colour roughs


“Do Right”

HS Doc Club: The War Show

The War Show Robert John Paterson Illustration Design TorontoThis month the HS Doc Club is working with Hot Docs on the Ban This Series festival. It will feature free screenings with films based out of the seven nations currently banned from the US. The War Show follows a Syrian radio host and his friends as the country experiences a mass repression and revolution.

I wanted the image to be super obviously Syrian, so I started with the flag. I felt it was important for people to recognize where this film was from and what its subject was going to be based on. I then wrapped a radio in barbed wire to show both the war aspect as well as the main characters vocation. I didn’t start with the idea to restrict colours to solely the ones used in the flag, but as the image developed it became clear to me less was more, and to just let the type and flag speak for themselves.

More info on the screening at HS Doc Club

Intercontinental Wrestling Champion

Intercontinental Wrestling Champion John Paterson Illustration Design Toronto

To celebrate Northern Contemporary‘s One Year Anniversary, they reached out to a handful of artists that showed there previously and asked them to make something special. I took this as an opportunity to create something that Ive always wanted, a wrestling belt!

This started out much smaller in scope and less complicated than it eventually became, I wanted to do a screen printed series or possibly a collection of iconic wrestling titles. Then I got the idea to really try something new and instead drawing layers to print, draw the layers and have them laser cut on wood.

After I got all the pieces back from the laser guys (Hot Pop) I had the long task of organizing and layering the panels. The I got some old Pro Wrestling Illustrated Magazines and cut out every photo of an Intercontinental Champion I could find. I decided to focus on the ‘Continental Championship because as a kid it was my favourite and unleashes a somewhat unhealthy amount of nostalgia. In a way, taking on a month long project like this would only be doable for me if it was something I could get obsessive about. Anyways, after cutting out all the guys I collaged and glued everything together. I applied a few coats of slightly tinted clear coat to specific parts so when they are all assembled different areas would fall back on not compete with each other.

The version of the championship Im specifically paying tribute to is the Reggie Parks Intercontinental Title. Aside from a few design tweaks, this version was used from 1986-1999. While doing the collage phase, I made sure to only represent wrestlers than held the title between those years.

Ive done a few things similar, but this is by far the furthest Ive pushed the idea of a 3D or mutli-surfaced piece. I fully intend to do more stuff like it

Check out the event on FB Northern Contemporary One Year Anniversary Show

Franca: Chaos and Creation

Franca Chaos and Creation Robert John Paterson Illustration Design TorontoFranca Sozzini is one of the most influential people in fashion. She was the creative director of Italian Vogue from like 1990 to 2016, creating hundreds of controversial and awe inspiring spreads and who knows how many culture defining trends along the way. To represent that in one image is overwhelming, so I took the collage route. Instead of one thing, I made a list of about 15 and then tried to tastefully arrange them. Referencing fashion, lifestyle, Italy, super models, consumerism, and photography.

More info on the screening at HS Doc Club

Hot Docs: Curious Minds Weekend


Hot Docs and The Globe and Mail teamed up to present Curious Minds Weekend, a 3-day speaker festival showcasing ideas and discussion. Featured speakers include Naomi Klein, Gigi Gorgeous, Dan Savage, Craig Kielburger and the Cast of Orphan Black.

The main direction from them was to include a podium or mic stand so people would clearly know this was a speaker series and was distinctly different from the usual documentary programing. Starting their, we developed the concept of all the little icons each representing a different speaker or subject and connecting them all with brain synapses. I felt it was important to not only show the topics, but to illustrate how these discussions could be linked and overlap each other.

More info on the series at Hot Docs

The Flatliners T-Shirt Pre-Order Exclusive

The Flatliners Robert John Paterson Illustration Design Toronto

How freaking great are The Flatliners? I was soooo excited to be asked to work with them on their new album Inviting Light pre-order package. Before I started, had a chat with the guys about what the new album was about and some of the themes they wanted represented. The main topics were age, responsibility, mistakes made and lessons learned. Inviting Light was going to reflect on youth, and what it is to grow up and grow as a punk band. After a bit of back and forth we settled on this candle burning at both ends concept, the eye in the middle represents the grit and focus to move forward with chaos around.

The Flatliners Robert John Paterson Illustration Design Toronto
Check out some of the pre-order packages (while supplies last) here

HS Doc Club – Jingle Bell Rocks

Jingle Bell Rocks Robert John Paterson Illustration Design Toronto

Its that time of year again, tis the season for the annual HS Doc Club Holiday Party. This years event will pair Mitchell Kezin’s Christmas Song documentary with an after hours party at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. For the event poster I aimed to simply combine those two things in an interesting iconic image. Swapping out a traditional wreath with a coloured vinyl record with a bow and some Christmas lights, I feel like both the subject of the film and the tone of the party are equally represented. Like some of the previous showcase screenings at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 50 posters were printed and given away to the first people to the screening.

Jingle Bell Rocks Robert John Paterson Illustration Design Toronto

I also created a short looping animation to screen before the film while people are taking their seats. In the film biz these are traditionally called “Dead Cards”, because they are a single frame but hold on screen for long amounts of time. Because Im hilarious, I called mine an UnDead card because its animated, again very hilarious.

For more info, as always check out HS Doc Club


Money Sense Magazine

Money Sense Robert John Paterson Illustration Design Toronto

Grateful for the opportunity to do an illustration for Money Sense Magazine. The article I was assigned was about how some of the most widely used financial planning software weren’t the most user friendly programs to use. Often times users are given so many pieces of information that decision making is actually impeded rather than streamlined.

I pitched a few ideas focusing on people using over complicated machines and ideas relying on the decision making process, but ultimately we decided to go with a more simple approach (fitting). The final shows a hand and flashlight highlighting a small portion of an info graphic. The section the user sees is positive, but some of the figures just outside their line of sight show a more complicated and possible negative interpretation of data.

Heres a link to the full article Money Sense Magazine

America Votes!

America Votes Robert John Paterson Illustration Design TorontoThe HS Doc Club is changing things up this month, instead of a film they are organizing an election viewing party. Political posters have always been a great source of inspiration and motivation for me, so I jumped at the chance to create something special. Using a very Americana colour pallet and type, I created this poster showing an over sized hand putting a ticket into a White House shaped ballot box. Very simple solution, but gets straight to the point.

For more info, check out HS Doc Club