Wheel of Fortune

Toronto illustrator Chris Simonen describes his experience creating the colourspokes image for the cover of dandyhorse in spring 2010

By Chris Simonen

Dandyhorse couldn't have remained out of my hands for long. A really attractive, bike-centred magazine based in Toronto, frequenting all the same spots I do – it’s a match made in heaven.

Everything's so exciting these days – it’s the moment in our lives to do what feels right. If for you that means making sandwiches, handing out flyers, or shouting through a megaphone at the corner of Bloor & Bathurst, well – you better do it. For me, two summers ago, it meant drawing every component of my bike as I built it up from a graciously donated frame. It was about this time that dandyhorse and I started co-mingling. First I saw it from a distance, but soon I was drawn in. Before I knew it, we were riding right next to each other like it was the most natural thing in the world, and soon, I was featured on its cover.

Now it's been a smashing success. Nothing comes without work, but the more you put in, the more that comes back to you. I still feel driven by the colourspokes image I made for the cover – maybe now more than ever. The great thing about the colourspokes is that it keeps changing as it spins and each moment has the possibility of becoming a beautiful image – a snapshot in time. I hope that in the not-too-distant future, I'll have some long-lasting prints of some of the more memorable instances of the changing spinning wheel. I know people like physical things to keep and hold and remember and to imbue with lots of feelings. But for now I only have two versions available for sale as giclée prints on watercolour paper. These are the most similar to the one on the cover of dandyhorse, but supplies are limited. Contact me quick if you want one of these first-printing gems! If you're too late, don't despair – God allows U-turns! And just by pedalling with the right intentions in your heart, you can create your own magical wheel.

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