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TIFA Blog

Experience #FestofAuthors21 through Art

Published on November 1, 2021

A shadow drawing of a child reading a book. Surrounding the child is swirls and colour loops

During the 42nd edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors, over 300 Canadian and international authors and artists generously shared their stories and the inspiration behind them. We heard from many viewers about all the ways these conversations and performances inspired their own creative work. Local Toronto artist Kaz Ogino started sharing with us the drawings she created while listening to authors, poets and performers share their passion of storytelling.

 Explore Kaz’s drawings below, and read what inspired them, in her own words.


Alan Cumming Talks About His Baggage

Art by Kaz - Two line drawings with half faces, shadows and shapesArt by Kaz - Three line drawings with leaves and shapes.

These pieces were drawn during the reading by Alan. I move my pen in a continuous line to the sound and sense of the words I’m hearing. This stage I call ‘taking a line for a walk’. The finishing work is about image, often but not always, envisioned by the content piece read. Here I used two images: Alan’s portrait by Christian Hood including the colours of the tartan in the portrait, and the second images are falling leaves, from Alan’s earliest memory and maybe influenced too by the season happening outside my window 🍁🍂😊.


Toronto Poetry Slam

For drawings making up the word POET. This piece is from the TIFA & Toronto Poetry Slam event. My 22 drawings from this event suggested the alphabet and with a bounty of performance poetry events offered, I’ll have material for several versions and to keep my ‘line walking’ 😊

I am also a hobby numerologist. Each letter is represented with a number from 1 to 9. For example, S is 1, and I surprisingly found a home for the drawing of the poetry from slam poet Symbolik. These serendipitous connection are ramping up even higher through my enjoyment of the TIFA events.


The World of Upside Down, Inside Out Superheroes with Sophy Henn

A shadow drawing of a child reading a book. Surrounding the child is swirls and colour loops

Kid’s books are among my favorite genres, both for their perspectives and art. I think that the Pizazz series is right up there with Shel Silverstein for excellence of story, illustration and design. Sophy’s playful page layouts are so inspiring and seem to literally animate the story.

A famous Picasso quote, also echoed in different ways by many well known artists goes: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”


Bonus: Toronto Festival of Authors 2021 (an English Madrigal poem)

A festival of authors on parade
11 days of brilliance to hear and inhale
Spell binding, head scratching and ideas to scale

Authors, performers, and teachers by trade
Wisdom, experience, and concepts unveiled
A festival of authors on parade
11 days of brilliance to hear and inhale

Readings, interviews and spoken word played
A cornucopia of talent on a large scale
And from the word smiths, a holiest of grails
A festival of authors on parade
11 days of brilliance to hear and inhale
Spell binding, head scratching and ideas to scale


Kaz Ogino headshotKaz Ogino is a Japanese-Canadian artist living in Toronto, Canada. See more of Kaz’s art at artbykaz.ca or on Instagram @artbykaz.ca.


While these events are no longer available to watch for free, you can still check out the events from the last three days of the Festival here.

A shadow drawing of a child reading a book. Surrounding the child is swirls and colour loops

TIFA Blog

Experience #FestofAuthors21 through Art

Published on November 1, 2021

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