Trina Vanaalst was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta where she still resides with her husband Nick. Currently working in a busy optometric office, Trina also freelances marketing and graphic design on the side.
Self-taught in traditional mediums, Trina's love affair with pencil and charcoal drawing started at a very early age. Although Trina studied Interactive Digital Design at the Grande Prairie Regional College, and is fluent in various computer mediums, she still prefers working with watercolour pencil, gold leaf and foils, and tries to merge her love of travel and photography as often as possible.
Trina draws inspiration from the human form, in particularly eyes, which stems from her work as a licensed optician and contact lens practitioner. Merging fashion and science in her career in the optical industry further feeds her interest in art and how to express her art through a variety of different ways both traditional and graphic.
Next to art, and her husband Nick, Trina's other passion in life is travel. She has traveled to numerous remote parts of the world in search of fulfilling her need for adventure. Most recently, she went camping in a remote area of the Okovango Delta in Botswana and White Shark viewing off the coast of South Africa.
On her first pair of Fluevogs:
I was introduced to fluevog by a fellow Fluevoger who has been Voggin' since the early 90's. Following in the steps of my shoe guru Lisa (no literal pun intended), I treated myself to my first pair of Fluevogs on my first trip to Vancouver eight years ago.
Being the traveller I am, who takes a little piece of each place that I visit home with me, my Vancouver trip proved to be no different. My little piece of Vancouver was a pair of John Fluevog Shoes. I remember it like it was yesterday, walking into the Granville store... it was love at first sight. The object of my affection... a little orange number. The shoes were a pointed toe clog with a delicate rose painted on top that were handcrafted in Vancouver by Ken Rice. And to further prove that fate had in fact intervened that day, the shoes were the last pair of that design left in stock and they were my exact size. You know how the saying goes "If the shoe fits, wear it!!" And I have, every summer since. The shoes still have the capability to turn heads and evoke comments from passersby and are truly the most coveted piece of footwear in my collection.
On entering the FluevogCreative contest:
I entered the creative contest after my last trip to the Calgary Fluevog store. Just like my first trip to Fluevog and all the other times after, I again fell in love. This time her name was the Truth Melanie. After trying the boots on I knew that we couldn't be apart for long. Unfortunately, as life sometimes has it, my husband had just started schooling to become an Air Traffic Controller and there was no room in our strict budget for Melanie. Besides begging (which I try not to do often), borrowing (no one I know lends their vogs) and stealing (I am a law abiding citizen), my only other option was to win the shoes. I entered the contest the first day that I saw it posted, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.
On how long the creative took:
The creative has been in the works for the past 11 years, ever since Y2K. The acrylic painting that was used as the foundation layer of the piece was actually a painting that I did in a painting class as a still life study in college in the year 2000. However, after reading about the munster brief and coming up with my vision, the rework of my original art work took one morning, a pot of coffee and a couple of PVR'd episodes of Dr. Phil. Who would have known that my project in a painting class from 11 years prior would be destined for such fame by being incorporated in my winning design for the Fluevog Creative Contest.
On the inspiration behind her winning ad It's Alive!:
My inspiration for the Munster Creative was taken from characteristics of the shoe. Having attributes such as a "coffin heel" and a name such as "Munster" it was hard not to conjure up visions that didn't include the stuff that horror movies are made of. The foundation layer of the piece was an acrylic painting which was then further altered in photoshop. Both with the imagery of the shadows and through colour I wanted to convey the shoes as having a sinister side... An idea of "a monster/munster" in the making. With Fluevog bringing back the "Munster" as a special 40th year edition, I liked the link of the parallel of the actual resurrection of the shoe to that of the visual resurrection within my design. I truly feel that I succeeded in illustrating my idea that the Munster is back and alive in my design "It's Alive!"
On what the dreams and future hold for Trina Vanaalst:
I have an interest in travel and have a bucket list a mile long. Some things that I have crossed off my list are; backpacking through the Grand Canyon, watching a Yankees game in Old Yankee stadium, humanitarian work in Guatemala, walking amongst windmills in the Netherlands, Floating down the Nile in Egypt, having coffee with my favourite person in the rice terraces of Indonesia, and camping amongst zebras, giraffes, and elephants in remote parts of Botswana. I hope to cross the Taj Mahal in India and the sites of the Himalayan mountains in Nepal off my list next.
I find that my dreams are always evolving and are constantly being redefined. There is so much in life that I dream to do, that it's hard for me to confine my dreams to one paragraph on a piece of paper. I think the best and simplest way to collectively compile all my dreams into one thought would be to say; that I dream to hold onto my love, health and happiness. And if the almighty above could work in some prosperity along the way I wouldn't mind that either : )
Keep an eye out in Bust, Juxtapoz, UTNE, Vice, and Wax Poetic magazines for Trina's winning design in print.