Roy Liang was one of the first artists to work with Tara Davis in her shop. She had met Roy at the many Craft shows he had been a part of putting on over the years. Anyone who has met Roy knows that he is Too. Much. Fun! You may know him as an infectious DJ, or like me you may have one of his coin purses. My well used coin purse has depicted on it, a historic image of what appears to be a group of men in the 1940’s gathering around a billboard sign that says “Welcome To Transcona, The Hub Of Eastern Manitoba.”
I love when I pull out the purse in my new home of Edmonton, and someone squeals with knowing delight, remarking, “I’m from Winnipeg! I lived in Transcona as a kid!” I have been thinking I need an upgrade lately, and the other day I was super excited to see a post on social media of Roy’s new coin purse designs featuring the short lived Garbage Hill sign that took the city by storm recently. The large letters spelling G-A-R-B-A-G-E H-I-L-L were mysteriously planted on the side of the hill-turned park in Winnipeg, in the same manner as the famous well known Hollywood letters. The sign was removed days later just as mysteriously, and now this fleeting moment has been added to the cannon of “Winnipegisms” that flavour the mythological qualities of this fair city.
Much of Roy’s work features prints of images of Winnipeg history and culture, with a nostalgia and a healthy bit of tongue in cheek. When asked what keeps him going through his years of making, Roy explains that he loves showing his work at craft markets and meeting people. “Watching their expressions when they see something I made that is sometimes strange and unusual. It's usually a good expression!” Some of what he loves to do is revisit things that he made a long time ago and has been really excited lately about silk screening on leather. It’s a tricky thing to do!
Roy has a keen interest in fashion and design so I decided to ask him the hypothetical question, “If your two little dogs were fashion designers, what would their style be?” He replied, “They would definitely be vintage inspired designers.” I was delighted to discover that he has acquired some vintage puffy nylon jackets that he is converting into winter vests for Duchess and Boo! (Tara… is Princess Snuggle Bunny going to be that stylish this winter?) One is a 70’s vintage jacket and one is an 80’s vintage style jacket! How adorable! Does anyone else want to see a line of doggo accessories made by Roy??!!
Look for his work under the label Winnipeg North of Fargo, at Tara Davis Studio Boutique and at Craft markets around the city! Be sure to follow him on Instagram @winnipegnorthoffargo
*Side note* If you want to send a little something to a dear pal who has moved away from Winnipeg, I can let you know first hand that Roy’s work is the perfect little something to show love to those of us who will always have Winnipeg in our hearts!
Written by Kelly Ruth
Displaced Pegger, now learning to navigate inclines in her new home of Edmonton, AB