Arts·Logo

Snow doubt about it, this is one cozy take on the CBC Arts logo

Happy holidays from CBC Arts! Meet Malika Pannek, the Toronto-based artist/entrepreneur who designed our latest logo.

Happy holidays from CBC Arts! Meet this month's featured artist, Malika Pannek

Child-like gouache painting of a winter cottage illuminated from within to reveal two people and a brown dog gathered around a Christmas tree. The windows are in the shape of the CBC logo. Outside it's snowing. A large coniferous tree is decorated with lights and a cartoonish deer stands outside the house.
CBC Arts logo design by Malika Pannek. (Malika Pannek)

Every month, we feature a new take on the CBC Arts logo created by a Canadian artist. Check out our previous logos!

Plenty of folks give and send holiday cards, but few of us know about the artists who make them. 

Malika Pannek is the founder of The Paperhood, a Toronto-based stationery company that sells greeting cards and other pretty things across Canada and the world. But she's also responsible for creating the designs. It's Pannek herself who hand-paints the illustrations that appear on the company's prints, puzzles, calendars and more. 

"I try to infuse my art with vibrant colour and whimsy, but also nostalgia," she tells CBC Arts, and on the subject of nostalgia, Pannek happens to be the artist behind this popular tribute to CBC Radio's long dash — R.I.P. She was even on As it Happens earlier this fall to talk about it. 

Her most popular cards, however, tend to feature snapshots of city life. Pannek has captured neighbourhoods in Ottawa, Montreal, New York — and, yes, her own home turf in Toronto. According to her, when she draws a city scene, she wants to conjure "a warm feeling of home." And that's something her logo design does, as well. 

Pannek painted this cozy CBC Arts winter cottage in gouache, and she told us more about her work when we reached out to her by email.

Photo of a framed poster resting on a wooden shelf flanked by potted plants and books. The poster is of a gouache painting of a Toronto street scene.
Toronto neighbourhood poster by Malika Pannek for The Paperhood. (Malika Pannek)

Name: Malika Pannek

Age: 42

Homebase: Toronto

Let's talk about your logo design! What inspired the concept?

I wanted to create a cozy Canadian scene full of feelings of home, family and the holidays.

What are some of your favourite subjects to draw?

I love painting Canadian city scenes. I like looking for charming areas in cities and discovering the character that different styles of architecture give to a place. It's something I've really explored in my card designs and the paintings for The Paperhood's annual Soul of the City calendar. But the buildings are just one part of it. It's really the people — and in some cases, the urban critters — that breathe life and fun into the scenes.

Gouache painting in a naive style. Depicts Toronto's Queen Street West neighbourhood during the holidays. The street is packed with people with shopping bags and the shop windows are illuminated. A streetcar rolls down the street.
Toronto's Queen Street West, as illustrated by Malika Pannek. This holiday scene appears on one of her greeting cards for The Paperhood. (Malika Pannek)

What's the project you're most proud of?

I'm really proud of two puzzle designs I recently created. One is of a bustling Kensington Market scene in Toronto, and the other has a similar vibe, but it's set in Ottawa's Byward Market. 

They're both 1,000-piece puzzles, which means the original artwork is really large. I'd never done something so big and so detailed. I'm really happy with how they turned out and we've had great feedback about them.

Flat-lay photo of an illustrated jigsaw puzzle that is partially solved. A person's hand is visible, placing a piece in the puzzle.
That's not even the entire puzzle! Here's a glimpse of the Kensington Market puzzle Malika Pannek illustrated for The Paperhood. (Malika Pannek)

Are there any arts events on your radar this December? What are you excited to check out?

The One of a Kind Show in Toronto is always on my radar this time of year. While The Paperhood has a booth this year, I won't personally be exhibiting because we just had our second baby. Instead, I'll be able to go and enjoy all the amazing artists, makers and designers who come from across Canada to show off their talents.

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm always working on new card designs and we have some ideas for a new puzzle next year, but I'm really looking for a new challenge and I would love to illustrate a children's book. It's a project I put on the back burner years ago and haven't had a chance to pursue again.

What's your favourite place to see art?

Since I live in Toronto, I love going to the AGO and immersive events such as Nuit Blanche.

Who's the last artist you discovered online?

Gemma Koomen. I love her dreamy storytelling style of paintings.

Framed poster on a white wall. The poster is of a gouache painting of a Montreal street. Walk-up apartments are visible. A person rides past the buildings on a bicycle.
A Montreal street scene by Malika Pannek for The Paperhood. (Malika Pannek)

What work of art do you wish you owned?

Probably something by Sarah Golden. Her abstract paintings that involve collaging are so beautiful.

Where can we see more from you?

You can find me on Instagram (@the.paperhood) and on our website (www.thepaperhood.com).

This conversation has been edited and condensed.

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