“greetings from yawnder”


Today we’re taking a little trip into the woods, to a magical place called “Yawnder”. I’m talking to Canadian drawist {that’s an artist who draws}, Jay Dart. You can listen right up there under that bearded log driver, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

I’ve been a fan of Jay’s work for years, but I’m embarrassed to say it wasn’t until his most recent show,  “Greetings From Yawnder”, that I finally began to understand his work, and more importantly, the secret meaning behind it.  The “Field Guide to Yawnder”, a lovely little book that he created for the show, is to thank for this. It’s insightful, insanely detailed, and a true field guide complete with maps, glossaries, definitions and introductions to characters that I want to be friends with… like Jiggs and his trusty dog Floyd, for example. Jiggs is Jay’s muse/alter-ego who travels Yawnder searching for creative inspiration:


I want to go to there. Geist trees growing ideas, “Beyawnder” where you’re free to be as creative as possible, and a land called “The Unknowns” … nobody knows what happens there, obviously. This is the part in the podcast when I made Jay read his own poetry. I love this, especially the bit about the referers:



Hilarious and so smart! If you have no idea what this is about, then you haven’t listened to the episode yet. What are you waiting for!?

Next, this is the self-published book, “Wanderer of Yawnder”, that Jay was telling me about. I have a copy and it’s so lovely, magical, and beautifully made:


Note the author: writing credit to Jiggs! LOVE. Speaking of love… magical mystery beards, and branch libraries:


So simple. So Magical. That last framed piece is the branch library that Jay made for my Land of Nod collection.

Oh, the geist trees. The entire idea behind these rainbow-hued beauties is absolutely brilliant:


Sigh. Wouldn’t you love to spend an afternoon in Jay’s mind?

Aaaaand here we are… we’ve arrived in “Beyawnder”. This wonderful, creatively-carefree place is a collaboration between Jay and his little boy. One of them is in charge of scribbles, the other takes care of the wanderers:


Yep, anything is possible in this wonderful little corner of the map.

Now, we thought we were finished and then I realized I forgot to ask about these fabulous album covers that Jay designed for his friend, and talented Canadian musician, Donovan Woods:


Ah! I love all of them, but that geist tree cut-away?! So, so good.

And finally, in case you want to see his ginger beard, a photo of Jay mid-install at Galerie Youn in Montreal {they were the first gallery to represent his work, and he’s forever grateful.}


I think I see a bit of Jiggs in that photo of Jay, can’t you? Thank you so much to Jay for taking us to Yawnder; Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; and you guessed it, big high-fives to you for listening! Now normally I say, “there will be more art for your ear next weekend”, but I’m in Hawaii at the moment and didn’t get organized enough to have an episode ready for next week… but there will be one waiting for you the weekend after that {I promise!}.

Other links:

  1. Galerie Youn, Montreal
  2. University of Guelph
  3. Elspeth Pratt, sculptor/professor
  4. Toronto International Film Festival
  5. “Beautiful Losers” documentary
  6. “Greetings From Yawnder” Show, Art Gallery of Sudbury (Feb 3)
  7. Jay’s next show, Wall Space Gallery, Ottawa (May 5)
  8. Jiggs’ site (yes, Jiggs has his own site)

ps. “Log Driver’s Waltz” for all of you true Canadians out there:

comments (15)

  1. Julie /// 01.29.2017 /// 11:22pm

    Love Love Love this work!! Really enjoyed delving into Jays wonderful world!! And love the libraries!!
    Is drawist a real thing btw?

  2. the jealous curator /// 01.30.2017 /// 9:49am

    julie – a drawist is a real thing… granted, i think jay came up with the term, but i think we should go with it!

  3. Laureen Marchand /// 01.30.2017 /// 9:47am

    And to have it all capped off with the Log Driver’s Waltz – this girl is pleased completely!

  4. the jealous curator /// 01.30.2017 /// 9:48am


  5. Caren Kreger /// 01.30.2017 /// 2:15pm

    This work is so beautiful and inspirational. I think Jay needs to team up with Wes Anderson and take Yawnder to the big screen!

  6. Rachel /// 01.31.2017 /// 4:22am

    This has to be one of the most magically wonderful episodes.

  7. deb ferguson /// 02.05.2017 /// 8:42am

    Listening while cleaning up art supplies. A most welcome background to this task. Thank you. I LOVE this interview.

  8. Janae Easton /// 02.12.2017 /// 8:09am

    Such a great episode. I loved how dimensional his characters and stories are. They remind me of the intense worlds of so many of my favorite outsider artists, Henry Darger and Adolf Wolfii. I just ordered both of the books.

  9. the jealous curator /// 02.12.2017 /// 12:46pm

    oh great! i love his worlds too… wish i could wander in yawnder 🙂

  10. Lauren Gray /// 02.13.2017 /// 8:08am

    Well I know whose work I’m looking at whenever I need some uplifting! I totally just got transported to a happy fantasy world, and that rarely happens. Love it.

  11. samantha andrews /// 03.08.2017 /// 7:53pm

    Love the podcast and this episode was particularly great! What was the book Jay mentioned? It was about how we are so free with art making as a child then get self conscious – I think!

  12. the jealous curator /// 03.09.2017 /// 7:51am

    hi samantha 🙂 hm, i can’t remember. i know he was talking about the film ‘beautiful losers’ … was it that? if not i’ll go back and have a listen (or call jay and see what he says!)

  13. Kim Duhaime /// 05.08.2017 /// 2:45pm

    I totally love Jay Dart’s work! I’m so glad you interviewed him, it was great. And coincidentally, I’m planning on seeing his show when I’m in Ottawa this weekend. I really hope to see lots more of his stuff in the future. Part of the reason is that I think Jiggs lives in my town 🙂 I’m off to look for a geistwood forest (I’m pretty sure I know where to find them, now that I know a bit more about them).

  14. Imaginative Trees | OH THE ART PLACES WE CAN GO /// 06.04.2017 /// 9:03am

    […] my latest blog obsession, The Jealous Curator , I discovered Canadian self proclaimed drawist,  Jay Dart.  Dart has created a series of drawings about an imaginary world called Yawnder. In these […]

  15. joanne Neville /// 07.25.2017 /// 1:11am

    I just love this, his illustrations are brilliant, I love the story they tell…brilliant 🙂

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