Lissa Constantine: Q&A Thursday
Lissa Constatine’s bio reads like a description of a character in a novel: “Native Montrealer, former Zinc bartender, late-night bustier beader, roving Mercury Lounge cigar girl, Clarence Street fire survivor, self-taught award-winning graphic designer, mother, business visionary and connector.” She started Birddog Design in 1995 and made her mark designing most of the ByWard Market’s hip resto logos. Now with the Birddog Design team, she helps business owners market their companies. She is also cooking up Eat Me Ottawa! with long-time friend and co-conspirator Catherine Landry of Cherry Pie.
OCS: Who are your style icons?
LC: Tilda Swinton and my mother and this cool woman I follow on Pinterest — she picks the best asymmetrical clothes!
OCS: What’s on your bedside table?
LC: Buddha, books I’m reading all at once and lip balm.
OCS: Best home accessory?
LC: [My partner] Michael.
OCS: Best recent fashion find?
LC: Azure beaded bracelet bought at the Westlands dukkas in Nairobi.
OCS: Whom would you invite for dinner if you could choose anyone in the world?
LC: Someone who is interesting and interested in the stories of others regardless of their fame or fortune (or lack thereof).
OCS: You can see the debut of any piece of music in history. What would it be?
LC: Something classical that overwhelms and makes me cry — Samuel Barber’s Agnus Dei.
OCS: What’s your earliest memory?
LC: I was three years old. I distinctly remember the song A Bridge Over Troubled Water because the couple across the road would play it full blast every night and dance to it in their living room. They were my friends’ parents — they were in their twenties.
OCS: Your biggest fashion faux-pas, when, where and how?
LC: Rocky Horror Picture Show in Montreal — getting up on stage and ripping the a** out of my jeans — we’d sewn the legs up too tight! No one really cared of course!
OCS: Proudest moment?
LC: When [my daughter] Avrie was born!
OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?
LC: Our coffee table — made from a huge piece of Quebec pine taken from an interior wall in our house. It’s 120 years old.
OCS: Qualities you most admire in a person?
LC: Candor, wit and loyalty
OCS: Who would you most like to design for?
LC: Someone who trusts us 100 per cent and lets go!
OCS: Describe a perfect day off (it can be anywhere in the world).
LC: A hot day next to a cold body of salt water.
OCS: Favourite visual artist, living or dead?
LC: I don’t have a favourite — I have moments with lots of different ones.
OCS: Favourite local artist (if different from above, and doesn’t have to be a visual artist)?
OCS: Best book you read in the past year?
LC: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay made me want to go live in the North.
OCS: Favourite food?
LC: Oh so not a fair question!
OCS: Most-oft-played song on your iPod or MP3 player?
LC: Kate Bush — 50 Words for Snow — and Patrick Watson
OCS: Wine, beer or both?
OCS: Mac or PC?
LC: That’s not even a question! I just think that as far as a user interface goes there is no competition. I bought my first Mac in 1990.
OCS: Fine dining or plain old diners?
LC: Chef-owned tasty holes in the wall.
OCS: Best restaurant in Ottawa?
LC: My best memory of a meal was at The Whalesbone Oyster House.
OCS: Person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest that you live in Ottawa?
LC: Our thriving and growing indie scene.
OCS: Fave blog or website?
LC: The Sartorialist
OCS: Twitter, Facebook or both?
LC: Both, for different things
OCS: What’s your guilty pleasure?
LC: McDonald’s soft serve
OCS: Favourite place to spend time?
LC: Riding my bike along the Ottawa River in the early morning or at sunset.
OCS: How would you like the world to remember you? What would your eulogist ideally say?
LC: I’d like it if people remembered me because I made them feel good and because I gave more than I took.