Commercial artist and illustrator Candace (Jimmie) Sepulis has a thing for the number three. She’s interested in the grey, life in between, the binary. What exists between day and night? What develops from this and that? What are the relationships among past, present and future?
With a bachelor of arts in philosophy from the University of Guelph and an architecture degree from Dalhousie University, Sepulis, now based in Guelph, is a multidimensional creative thinker and artist. Her work spans various media and combines heart, longing and sentiment. She is a self-taught illustrator known for charming depictions of urban buildings in Halifax, Guelph and Toronto. Her art and design work includes quirky queer Valentine’s Day cards, skateboards, posters for Guelph’s Hillside and jazz music festivals, and the cover of Kate Bornstein and S Bear Bergman’s anthology Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation.
What interests Sepulis isn’t what meets the naked eye — it’s the lines and innuendos between. For her, the white space around a subject is just as important as the subject itself.
“Like a good story in which you read between the lines or a pause in a piece of music, it’s moments in between which are the most revealing – these are the places when we release constraints on either end that our passions and creativity are liberated. We can be anything.”
She’s also incredibly business savvy and is the principal behind Ballyhoo Media, an illustration and design company specializing in advertising and branding.
Last year she received a YMCA-YWCA of Guelph Women of Distinction Award in the arts and culture category, and she recently caught the attention of the organizers of TEDxGuelphU, an independently organized technology, entertainment and design conference coming up at the University of Guelph. Sepulis is set to deliver a talk entitled Ambiguities and the Number Three, a presentation of pre-Socratic ideas, her own creative work and her fixation on triads. It will be a combination of her personal experience, her background in philosophy and her artwork. In her abstract, she writes, “Society’s definitions of self and circumstance are often based in binary, black-and-white. We either are, or are not, nothing in between. Nature would suggest otherwise.”
With 2012 kicking off with an invitation to give a TEDxGuelphU presentation, Sepulis is certain she’s on the right path.
“Like many folks who are self-employed and following their dreams, it’s definitely a long road with ups and downs. It is incredibly flattering to have been spotted by the TEDxGuelphU folks in the first place,” she says. “Then to have made it through the subsequent interviews and short-listing was icing on the cake. As a whole, it’s reassurance that I’m on the right track and doing good things – and I guess for that matter, I’m doing interesting things that are worth taking notice – and that feels great. It’s exactly where I want to be.”