How Artfully Artless is crafting death back to life

Artfully Artless is an independent business based out of Calgary, Alberta run by ACAD art student Amanda West.

“Artfully Artless began in August of 2013 with a few insect specimens and some bones being the first listings in the shop,” says Amanda West.

Bugs, bones, jewels and stones are just a few of the arsenal this creative soul uses to recreate artistry through the imaginative use of cruelty free insects for crafts.

“I first opened the shop in 2011 but I never listed anything,” says West.

“After a few years of scavenging and gathering parts, I found last summer that my impulsive collection of deceased critters was getting out of hand, and I was running out of space for all of it,” West adds.

Amanda uses cruelty-free insects harvested from local farmers/picked herself/etc. for use in her jewellery.

“It’s more of a way of living for me,” West says.

“I don’t kill thing nor do I let my family kill things in the house or in my presence,” West mentions.

“I would not buy something killed for the sake of art, so I would not sell something that is killed for the sake of [it]” West says.

So the idea came to fruition to take the form of death and bring it back to life.

“Perhaps someone would appreciate my bugs as much as I did,” says West.

Amanda has always been known throughout the city for her innovative and awe-inspiring artwork.

“I still study at ACAD actually,” says West.

“It’s fantastic being surrounded by other artists with all sorts of styles and means of inspiring,” West adds.

“I can honestly say I never thought I’d grow as much as a creator,” says West.

To create something that was once living and give it a new breadth of life is a skill most of us are drawn to but wouldn’t have the urge to attempt.

“Almost everything I make incorporates nature in some way,” says West.

“Nature is beautiful in its living form and even after it passes on, there is this sort of shell that remains,” West adds.

“The animals that I get my bones from have either died naturally, or have been taken by the road, by hunters, by hitting windows, or have been killed by other animals,” West says.

“I’d rather remember them, and honour them, than bury them and forget,” West says.

While Artfully Artless is picking up success online, Amanda sees a bright future for the business.

“Artfully Artless is a brand that I hope to allow other creators to sell their work under. It’s not easy to get your own business started, and if I can help others get started in selling their work, I’d be happy,” West says.

For her facebook page please visit: https://www.facebook.com/ArtfullyArtlessCraft 

Young Galaxy: A Profile

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Young Galaxy is an indie rock/dream pop Canadian group that originated in Vancouver, B.C. in 2005.

Their sound is compared to Pink Floyd and Luna with elements of shoegaze and electronic-oriented soundscapes.

Originally on Arts&Crafts records (A recording company staple based out of Toronto), they have been releasing under Paper Bag records in recent years with a noticeable stylistic shift towards dance music elements.

Catherine McCandless features a more prominent role as a lead singer.

I watched Young Galaxy perform at SAIT’s The Gateway on September 21st and to my amazement saw a very minimal set up using background projections as an added element to a dream like set list.

The crowd gathered as they hit the stage and everyone was hypnotically entranced holding their gaze upon Catherine’s captivating eyes.

“She sounds like Dolores from The Cranberries,” I heard one audience member say.

The fours would hit the floor and everyone was crooning and dancing with their hands waving like flags.

Doused in 90’s vibes, even down to Catherine McCandless’ outfit of leather overalls to the swept back short hair, the crowd couldn’t help but move to the swaying dream pop resonating throughout the venue.

She gave a deadpan stare and moved elegantly with a shaker in her hand that seemed automated everytime she shook it but instead was rhythmically moving to the beat of the drums.

When they released their self-titled debut album back in 2007, their music was quickly being recognized for its well-crafted songs that carried you to a place you’ve never been to.

Even when you think you haven’t heard them before, you might have caught their tune “The Sun’s Coming up and My Plane’s Going Down” in the Canadian film “Y.P.F (Young People F**king)”.

It’s to no one’s surprise that they’ve accredited praise release after release while expanding their sound to incorporate electronic elements such as midi drums in their foray of instruments.

Their music has shifted in tone but hasn’t lost its edge.

They’ve adopted a more “impressionistic” writing style, says Stephen Ramsay (guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist), instead of using the verse-chorus-verse progression commonly found in all types of music.

Their new album Ultramarine, which was longlisted as a nominee for the sought after Polaris Music Prize, is available in your local music stores.

You can catch Young Galaxy continue their U.S. tour from September 27th through November 10th.

Check out “Embers” from their self-titled release and “Fall For You” off of Ultramarine.

Website: http://younggalaxy.com/

by: Dylan Streifel

Getting a Little ‘Risky’ with Cale Zebedee

Risky Endeavor is a 3 piece group consisting of Cale Zebedee (Bass), Paul Gervais (Drums) and Ryan Landon (Guitar) who are looking to storm the world with their melody driven, good-time-vibe rock and roll.

Cale Zebedee plays bass and shares vocals with Ryan. I sat down with Cale to find out just how “risky” his band could get.

“I’ve always been playing bass since I started [music],” says Cale.

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They originated in Calgary, Alberta contributing to the small but strong and proud music community.

“Music’s a risky endeavor,” says Cale.

“You put a lot into it and hope for something to come out of it,” he adds.

Cale has been in many bands but wishes to have no other affiliation than his current project. Risky Endeavor is looking to make a bigger impact on the music scene.

“We are going to take it as far as it takes us,” Cale shares.

“Until it doesn’t fit us anymore, we don’t care. We would still jam because we are all about having fun but being serious,” he adds.

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Cale is not a stranger to the road either. He has already been on tour across Canada.

“I love the road. There is honestly nothing better than waking up in a new place every few days,” he says.

“The only constant is change,” he shares wisely.

“It’s a whole different lifestyle, but there’s just such a romance you form with it,” he mentions.

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 “I honestly would love to do some Risky touring but we have a few other things to worry about before we do that,” such as getting well known in their hometown first and foremost.

Risky Endeavor is influenced by some of the greats and some not as well known.

Jesse Lacey (lead singer of Brand New) and Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters) are among some of their most favorite acts today.

“They just do it for me,” says Cale.

“Ryan Landon is really influenced by Modest Mouse (an indie rock group based out of Washington), and Matthew Good (based out of Vancouver), he shares.

“We all love Matthew Good,” he says proudly.

There are bright futures for these talented young men.

“Risky is going to record for a few months and work on a 2014 release of an EP,” he shares as an insight.

“We really wanted to release something this year but we want to give people the best that we have, so we have been holding off and perfecting songs,” he mentions.

You can catch Cale, Ryan and Paul at their most favorite venue Vern’s Tavern on 8 Ave SW most of the time and at Dickens Pub on 9th Avenue SW coming up.

“Our show’s on the 30th (October). It’s with a bunch of really great touring bands and I feel honoured to be on the bill.

Trace The Sky (members of Dead Eyes Open and The Perfect Trend) from Vancouver, Sharks on Fire from Vancouver, and Old Townes from Edmonton.

“It’s at Dickens Pub. It’s the day before Halloween so we are probably going to dress up,” says Cale.

If you’d like to get dressed up, get risky and get rowdy, be sure to grab your tickets before they run out.

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