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Garth Laidlaw is a local storyteller who channels his narratives into writing, painting, and animation. Garth studied animation at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, where he earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts. Since then he has balanced work as a freelance animator and illustrator with his personal projects.

I sat down with Garth as he was celebrating the self-publication of his first childrens’ book, Sayni and the Windowjet Brothers, and the completion of his first graphic novel epic, Paperless. Garth told me this is very indicative of his process and that he has no shortage of stories to tell: he always has five or six projects that he is working away on. No matter the medium, whether it is painting, writing, or illustration, his projects are brought together by a love of narrative. “Storytelling is the crux that unites all my interests,” Garth explained.

The idea for Sayni and the Windowjet Brothers was born while Garth was traveling in Tanzania, Africa. Garth explained how, from the name of the Windowjet Brothers and a sketch of the brothers enjoying some tea, a whole world developed. Sayni and the Windowjet Brothers, which was named a bestseller by The Bookshelf and the National Post, is about the importance of finding your passion and following your unique path through life.

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Sayni and the Windowjet Brothers ‘follows young Sayni as she seeks to find her passion in life by searching for pieces to build her life’s compass. Every child’s compass must be made very precisely, and each one is unique. As each compass develops, its child can follow theirs and find their way to a life of fulfilment and purpose. Sayni faces confusion when the opportunity arises to settle for a ready-made compass from a factory. Will she grasp the opportunity to own a completed compass, or continue in her struggle to build her very own? One thing’s certain: the Windowjet people will have something to say!’

Sayni and the Windowjet Brothers is available now through The Bookshelf or online, see here for details.

Garth works to explore and question our culture with his art. This is especially true of his graphic novel Paperless, a passion project that Garth has been working on for many years. Paperless is an Orwellian dystopian story of surveillance and government control. Garth explains that the dystopian genre creates a space to critically analyze our culture and what our future could potentially look like. The wealth of material promises Paperless will be an epic story, which Garth looks forward to telling for some time.

To stay connected with Garth and his work he encourages you to sign up for his newsletter or follow him on social media.

Also, to support Garth in continuing to develop his creative projects keep an eye out for the rebranding and relaunching of his Patreon on November 1st, which will now include all of his artistic activities. Find Garth’s Patreon here.

Patreon is a fantastic way to support artists and allow them to focus on the work that is most important to them. Garth explained that he is excited to have a platform for those who believe in and want to support his art; he said “Guelph has been very nurturing and supportive. It has a great, very strong community.”

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