books2011John Doe
TourBus 2010
Topographic Flux 2010
books mags 2010

Copyright 2013 Derek von Essen


This section covers the highlights of design, photo and art projects I'm involved in. In 2012, I designed books for Teresa McWhirter's Five Little Bitches, Jim Christy's Sweet Assorted, The Yearning Journey by Elder Campbell Papequash and Sensational Victoria by Eve Lazarus. Also designed a few subTerrain Magazines (including No.63 packed with my photo-illustrations). A long string of design work for Ballet BC, from posters, print ads, transit ads, a slew of signage and other stuff for their 2012-13 season, while now prepping for 2013-14. A new addition to this site is the fine art section. For years, it was hosted at and all but recent work will remain there.

A great book with historical punch, Vancouver Noir 1930-1960 (by Diane Purvey and John Belshaw; Anvil Press) for which I designed, with access to hundreds of choice archival photos. As part of Vancouver's 125th Legacy Book Project, I designed the cover for A Credit to Your Race by Truman Green (Anvil) which was finally re-issued after decades in out-of-print obscurity. Check the DESIGN section for a few more updates.

Tons of site updates in the PHOTO section (Slumbrr, Portraits, Untitled) with many new pieces also added to the DESIGN section (all of them!). Most recently, John Doe's new album Keeper (coming out end of August 2011), a few book designs including novels Hard Hed by Charles Tidler, Nondescript Rambunctious by Jackie Bateman and a book of poetry The Song Collides by Calvin Wharton (all from Anvil Press). The Ballet BC 2010-11 Season wrapped up and some posters are also in the DESIGN section.


Hop back on The Tour Bus from October 27-November 7, 2010 at The Cultch in Vancouver, BC. Expanded exhibition with new prints!
Just released is A Room in The City (Anvil Press) a book by photo documentarian Gabor Gasztonyi for which I spent the better part of this year designing. Also this year I created the branding identity for Ballet BC and designed a number of pieces including their season program guide, upcoming posters, and other publicity materials for their 2010-2011 season.
Upcoming events and exhibitions include Timeraiser Vancouver on September 23, 2010 where you can bid on one of my framed photo prints. Same goes for Arts Umbrella Splash Art Auction. More info and updates to my paintings can be found at
Topographic Flux, an ongoing painting, photo and video exhibition is showing at Leonardo Galleries from March 22-April 17, 2010. Topographic Flux captures that moment of change when a place becomes a new place. Not a before and after snapshot, but the glimpse in between.
Updates to the design section are in order as I've designed and shot new book covers for Philip Quinn's The Skeleton Dance (Anvil Press) and Heather Haley's Three Blocks West of Wonderland (Ekstasis Editions). A subTerrain Magazine double issue (#54/55) is out with a dozen or so editorial photo/illustrations and cover art that I created for them. A great mag, buy one (and another for a friend).
Property of the City of Vancouver - a new photo series debuting as a slide show at the Vancouver Public Space Network's PubliCity magazine launch for issue #1 on Sept 30th at Centre A Gallery.
subTerrain Magazine issue #53 on the stands now with my cover photo + design. I forgot to mention the same thing for #52 & #50 as well, including a photo essay.
Recently published are Marguerite Pigeon's Inventory and Dennis E. Bolen's Kaspoit! both through Anvil Press with my photography and design as cover art.

A Verse Map of Vancouver (Anvil Press), an anthology with 100 of British Columbia's best poets. Edited by Vancouver's Poet Laureate George McWhirter, it includes close to 200 of my photographs and I designed this book cover to cover.
Yep Roc Records release John Doe & The Sadies Country Club LP and CD designed by yours truly.
Recently published are Jim Christy's Scalawags and Jim Oaten's Accelerated Paces both through Anvil Press with my photography and design as cover art.

A solo exhibition of the Tour Bus series, opens at the Isabella Egan Gallery (212 Abbott St, Vancouver) from September 25-October 14, 2008.

The Tour Bus series is the art feature in the latest issue (#49) of subTerrain Magazine on the stands now.
Just published: Elysium by Pamela Stewart (Anvil Press) with my photos and cover design work.
Horizons + Intersections is going to China! Selected as one of the films to represent Canada during the World One Minute Exhibition, H+I #2 is off to Beijing as part of the Cultural Olympiad at the Today Art Museum from June 6-28, 2008. Then, H+I #3 goes to the 809 International New Image Art Festival (809 INIAF) in China from July 25 - August 5, 2008.
Horizons + Intersections III exhibition from February 1-14, 2008 at the East 3rd Gallery (1898 Main St). A projected video loop (sound by Don Pyle) will be showing (10' x 16') accompanied by still photography.
Geist Magazine #66, an exceptional magazine and often a potent read so I'm pleased to have my photo as this issue's cover image. Photographed at Toronto's YYZ, it's part of an ongoing series.
The Vancouver Review #14 printed Frame 343 from Horizons + Intersections III as part of their art centrefold in the summer 2007 issue.
Horizons + Intersections III gears up for its debut in Toronto at the Bau-Xi from May 5-19 as part of the Contact Photography Festival. In addition to my photos and video projection, included will be paintings and drawings by Val Nelson, sound by Don Pyle and an in-depth essay written by Aron Vinegar. Horizons + Intersections III has opened up an interpretive response I'd only dreamed of capturing.

For paintings and other art projects, visit

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