In honour of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) starting up today, I have the privilege of turning you over to Vicky Lam who was recruited to bring this years ad to life… only to then melt into a puddle. I’ll let her explain. - Alex
Every summer, Nathan Phillips Square plays host to the largest and longest running outdoor art fair in Toronto since 1961. The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is a sure sign that summer is well under way and is a great chance to see hundreds of local artists at an iconic Toronto landmark. This year, art director and graphic designer, Una Lee, contacted me to help bring her vision to life.
I was excited to work on a local project that would help give exposure to hundreds of talented artists. However, the challenge was apparent – how could we make our shot look like a blistering hot summer day with melting ice cream? And ice cream letters to boot? The reality was that it was only the beginning of February in what seemed like the longest and coldest winter Toronto has had in years. So, I enlisted the expertise of stylist, Christina Yan. Christina and I have worked on a couple of typography projects before as well as a couple of shoots involving ice cream. It only seemed fitting that we collaborate once again when the two ideas finally collided in one shoot. After much deliberation and preperation, we worked with fake ice cream, as well as real ice cream components to get the look for a still image and also animated .gif. With the help of dry ice, a large chest freezer, letter stencils, lots of ice cream, and a family value pack of Crisco, we embarked into this new territory together.
From there, we ended up with this:
And here’s a close-up of the great textures Christina created:
The last challenge was to shoot a melting animated .gif. Shooting an animated time-lapse meant there was no room for error and no turning back. We had to use real ice cream to make it happen. We weren’t completely sure just how typographic ice cream shapes would look as they melted, but here it is:
After two days of careful preparation and styling, we ended our shoot with a giant puddle of melted ice cream on the studio floor:
Many thanks to Una Lee for having us on board for such a fun idea, and to Christina Yan for figuring out how to make the impossible happen! Be sure to check out the TOAE this weekend and support local artists. Enjoy the summer sun while you’re at it, and maybe grab an ice cream too.
Photographer: Vicky Lam
AD: Una Lee
Stylist: Christina Yan
Assistants: Michelle Brussolo, Brendan Klem
All Images © Vicky Lam
**Editors Note** We (I) deeply regret the loss of perfectly good ice cream used for this shoot. If you wish to contribute to the memorial, in lieu of cash we (I) would ask that you send pints of Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s to 70 Ward Street, C/O Alex. We (I) thank you for your support at this difficult time.