SCARBOROUGH TO ETOBICOKE
AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN
2013 APPAREL DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION
Commission by The One clothing for a very Toronto-centric summer tank top. Born and raised in Scarbrough before moving into the city, this was a cheeky project close to my heart and my mental. The idiosyncrasies of borough slang is deeply ingrained and difficult (though hilarious) to explain, immediately recognizable to some and meaningless to others. Languages of childhood, adolescence, recess & skipped classes, hip hop & reggae, neighbourhoods, parks & street corners, playtime & hustles, first beefs, best friends & crewdems, backyards, front stoops, parents' basements, countless countries and islands from which we all coalesced, the second and third generation redefining the borders of Village, of Family, of Community. Creating our own common grounds. Left behind, at times, for the real world, subdued out of necessity, out of formality, but never far from exchanges with familiars, and possessing ability to spark bonds of recognition between strangers. Gathered from my vocabulary, and anecdotal conversations with friends, it was a few months of research and illustration. Just when I thought I was getting caught up, in would come a flurry, like "Damn! How could I forget that one, I used to say it every day." Now, these words: most I know, either specific to my hoods or T.O. in general. Some I don't, they were prevalent in, say, North York, or Etobicoke. You grow up here and take it for granted, you move here and learn, it is both inclusive and exclusive. For GTA and the borough, I represent. Can't front like it's complete, but still, guy, it's rich.
THIS IS DEDICATED TO THE ONE WE LOST IN THE BEN JUNGLE