Surfing the Sea

Established 1995

My Story… — July 7, 2015

My Story…

Since I haven’t introduced myself in the last post, I’ll do it right here.

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My Art vs. Artist

My name is Sabrina Gardiner, born in 1995 in the north of green England. From the fledgling age of two years old, I always loved to put my pencils (or at that time, a felt-tip pen) on to pieces of paper to reveal the machinations of my imagination to the outer world.

Once I’d grown out of the phase of scrawling uncontrollably about all over my canvases (which included walls), I began to morph those marks into intelligible characters. My specialism was creating fan stories of my favourite cartoon characters, personifications with flags and educational books.

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The big change came for me when I turned 11 years old and moved to the far-flung country of Colombia. During the year and a half I lived over there, some of the mainstays of my characters would develop, as with a fascination with the months of the year that would last me a good couple of years.

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As I grew into my teenage years and returned to England, I needed to create more realistic characters while at the same time keeping that unmistakable fantasy feel. At this time, I had re-ignited my interest in geography after going on a road trip around the south of England, and so began on a mission to personify every place in every country, beginning with my green homeland.

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Completing (or mostly completing) my personification throughout England, the next logical step would be to go stateside and get on to personifying the United States. But I added a new twist that I hadn’t done with England – personify each state as well as the cities and towns they contained. This allowed me to explore even deeper into the country’s geography by looking at the cultures of each state to see what made each one different.

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But the real passion of mine started with me taking a detour at the cinema when the movies I was watching got mixed up. From there, I came across Canada.

Initially creating just one character as I did not expect to become too interested in Canada, the country suddenly began to take over, effectively ending my exploration of the States. At first I did not want to become interested as I wasn’t too much into Canada, but it then grew on me, eventually becoming my most favourite country.

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As I began to work more and more with Canada, a personal goal of emigrating over there began to form, which I still hold today and hope to realize in the near future. Every new artwork I create for the country makes my wish stronger and more determined to make my Canadian dream a reality.

Although I’ve been drawing characters for as long as I can remember, I only recently started to bring them to life on the screen. Initially creating short animations to hone my animating skills, these then evolved into fully-fledged episodes, one of which I am hoping to create a voiceover for. My ultimate dream is that these will eventually transfer to the small and big screens to capture the imaginations and inspire generations of animators to come.

And live in Canada, of course.

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The Wedding of the Year 2018 — July 11, 2018

The Wedding of the Year 2018

You’re invited… to the wedding of the year!

But I’m not talking about Harry and Megan. 😉

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Celebrating Canada’s 151st — July 1, 2018

Celebrating Canada’s 151st

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Vancouver Burnaby, Victoria Johnson, Ottawa Carleton, Toronto Lester & Regina Bethune

Last year was Canada’s 150th year of independence, a huge milestone in its life. While this year is a little more muted, there will nevertheless be a patriotic, shining sea of red and white washing across the country as it celebrates its 151st birthday.

Following a similar theme to last year, I again used some of the main characters of Canadian Boys in this proud display of Canadianness. To be more precise – from left to right – Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, Toronto and Regina.

Everyone is attached to the Canadian flag in some way or another – most are carrying the flag, but Regina is wearing something slightly different from her usual garb. She’s dressed out in the colours of the flag, complete with white maple leaves (since if they were red, they would blend in and not be easily noticeable). Since Toronto is a singer, I made it appear as if he is singing the national anthem, with his hand – and flag – on his heart.

You may have noticed that the characters look slightly different to how I’ve drawn them in the past, with altered designs and differing skin tones. This is part of an initiative to diversify my characters and art more, in order to not make them all look samey and look like they were drawn by a conveyor belt rather than by a human. It’s also a great way to show off Canada’s wonderful diversity that makes it a great country to visit and live in.

Happy Canada Day! 🇨🇦

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IAMP/PC One-Shot: New Scotland, New Brunswick — June 24, 2018

IAMP/PC One-Shot: New Scotland, New Brunswick

“Hey Nova Scotia,” New Brunswick began. “I love you so much…”

“Oh wow, thanks, Bonnie.” Nova Scotia smiled.

“…that I named one of my towns after you!” grinned New Brunswick.

Nova Scotia blushed. “Oh really?!”

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Pride Month 2018 — June 21, 2018

Pride Month 2018

June is Pride Month, a celebration of LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer+) people and love everywhere. Even in our supposedly more ‘enlightened’ era, there are still some countries out there which frown upon or even totally criminalize same-gender love and marriage, and of course homophobia – as with any other form of discrimination – is still rampant in society.

But we mustn’t let negativity and bullying get to us – whether we are LGBTQ+ ourselves, or an ally. Pride is all about celebrating love in all its colours, and reminding the rest of the world that hate will never win.

I’ve joined in with the celebrations with two special artworks, both starring prominent LGBTQ+ couples of my own creations:

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Truro Deuville & Yarmouth Clements

Truro and Yarmouth of A Nova Scotian Way of Life have been inseparable since their kindergarten days, but in more recent years they’ve become increasingly attracted to each other. Marriage is even a possibility given the recent wedding of a certain royal couple, so watch closely for any news about these two!

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Amherst Croft & Springhill Horton

Amherst and Spinghill of Canadian Boys have been together for a much shorter time than Truro and Yarmouth, but they’ve already forged a bond for life. They were married not long ago, as you can probably tell by Springhill’s emerald ring. They’re just like any other married couple, with both looking out for each other and putting on regular displays of affection. I’m hoping for this to pave the way for even more same-gender couples to come about in my stories and art.

Love is love.

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Father’s Day 2018 — June 17, 2018

Father’s Day 2018

Fathers helped to create us; without them, none of us would be here. Even if they’re only celebrated on one day of the year – which is today – they’ve always been around for us, even if it’s not a physical presence.

Because of this, I’ve drawn some special art for the occasion:

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Pictou Denoon & Stellarton Bridges-Drummond

Probably the most famous father figure in the Canadian Boys series, Stellarton is dad to Pictou, the protagonist of my first novel Once Upon a Time in Canada. Although his mother Port Hawkesbury mostly cares for him, Stellarton does have his fatherly duties for Pictou. Here, he shares a

I had drawn a version of this before, but decided to draw it digitally to add extra effects, like the starry gradient background. The stars tie in somewhat to Stellarton, as his name starts with ‘Stella’, which is Latin for star. This reflects the etymology of the name of his hometown, which was named for a kind of coal which gave off star-like sparkles when ignited.

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The town of Stellarton, Nova Scotia

To finish, here’s a celebratory poem by Keith Garrett:

FATHER’S DAY

Down through the years, there have been many types of fathers,

Unfortunately, some get lost with what it takes to really be a dad.

Sad as it is sons and daughters grow up without and not knowing,

Thoughts and questions are held onto that may eat at with sadness.

This father’s day let’s honor and praise the men who do stand strong,

To the ones who are new and too those who have been at it for a while.

You were there when first you saw his little face and a smile of a lifetime,

You were there when her tiny hands touched your heart forever, young father.

You were there walking her down the aisle when again her life began,

You were there when a son stood at the altar hand in hand with his bride.

Through the bumps and bruises, good times or bad, it was you strong as a rock,

To you on father’s day, the ones whom never give up, you are dad, a father.

Happy father’s day,

Keith Garrett

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