Maggie Laurin, the artist and owner of Made by Maggie has been creating illustrations of iconic Kitchener-Waterloo locations for the past several years after attending art school at Conestoga College.
“I grew up in Kitchener and love it still — I still live here — and I just started really noticing this trend of how many different landmarks across the region really meant different things to different people. And it was kind of cool just how people could resonate with different landmarks in a fun illustration way,” Laurin said.
It all started with custom home illustrations of her parents’ house where she grew up and her husband’s house where he grew up, which they gave to their parents as gifts.
“It just kind of spiralled from there — people were like, “Oh, can you draw my house? Can you draw my pets?” And then, from there it turned into people requesting different landmarks, and then it kind of just blew up” Laurin said.
Laurin describes her style as whimsical and fun. “It’s pretty loose, it’s not too serious, which I think kind of reflects myself. I don’t take things too seriously, or at least try not to, and I just try to have a lot of fun and lightheartedness,” Laurin said.
She’s noticed how many local landmarks have impacted people’s lives and how illustration can help them remember important points in their lives.
“Victoria Park Pavilion, for example. There’d be people who wanted a print of it because they got engaged there or they had a first date there or their dad used to take them there as a kid and it brought so many fond memories. I’m a pretty sentimental person myself. I just really love the idea of how Kitchener has such strong roots, and how the roots just keep spreading,” Laurin said.
Laurin has said her favourite KW landmark is the Schneider’s Sign.
“It also happens to be my best seller, I sell out of it constantly. It’s amazing how much it speaks to people, and how it kind of means the same thing to so many people… I put ‘almost home’ on the neon sign because… you’re almost home, and it means so much to so many people.”
Laurin also does custom illustrations of people’s homes and cottages which she finds hold a lot of sentimental value for her clients and brings people back to memories of their childhood.
“I have so many different drawings of different homes in the Waterloo Region alone, all the different architectural styles. I love doing the homes as well because I just love how it really brings that warm fuzzy feeling to people. It’s not just a drawing of this or that, it’s something that you can put on your walls and it not only looks kind of cool and unique, but it also has a lot of deep meaning,” Laurin said.
Laurin’s illustrations can be found and purchased on her Etsy shop Made by Maggie.