Category Archives: Musing’s

Monthly thoughts, inspirations and musings from our Creative Lead, Maria Mendoza.

YHE Valentine’s Day Memories

In the spirit of  “heart season” we asked our team to share their favourite Valentine’s Day memories. Here are just a few:


Kurt: When my best friend and I were both single, we would spend Valentine’s Day together every year. One year, as a joke, I bought her a mug that had a ring on the handle. The gag is that when you drink from it, your finger slides into the ring and it looks like you are engaged. She took one look at it and cried. Fortunately, the following year she was in a solid relationship and all was forgiven.  


Grail: 18 years ago on Valentine’s Day, I met a great guy. The next year, on the 1 year “anniversary of meeting” he planned a scavenger hunt around the city with hidden clues leading me to all our fav places. So, I married him!


Meg: That time YHE worked with Virgin Mobile to plan a Richard Branson Valentine’s Day appearance in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics. It was a weekend full of butter tarts, sushi, tutus and athletes. And of course, what Virgin promo would be complete without having to hire a few  “sexy angels”?



Sara: Why do I love Valentine’s Day? Because it’s my birthday!

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Queenie: My first memory of Valentine’s Day and the new intricacies of love was taught to me courtesy of The Simpsons. From “I choo-choo choose you” to “Let’s bee friends” I know all I need to know! Right?

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Shannon: One year, my middle daughter lost a tooth on the 13th of February.  She told me she didn’t have a gift for me for Valentine’s Day so I should put her tooth under my pillow.  Then I could pretend the quarter that the Tooth Fairy would leave for me was actually a gift from her!  Obviously, the Tooth Fairy visited us both that night!


Beth: One of my favourite Valentine’s Day moments was when I was twenty-something. I had mentioned to my boyfriend that I dreamed of living in the 50’s, enjoying late night meals at diners or going to see drive-in movies. He really took it to heart. On the 14th of February he invited me over to his condo, where he had transformed his kitchen into a 50’s diner!  There were candles everywhere, singing roses, vintage Coke bottles, endless rose petals, home cooked burgers and fries and decorations galore! Although I have had many special Valentine’s since, this was one of my favourite surprises. He showed me how important I was to him by making my dreams come true.


Comment below and tell us your favourite or funniest Valentine’s Day memory!


Maria Musing’s … Valentines Day

Monthly thoughts, inspirations and musings from our Creative Lead, Maria Mendoza.


This month, I wanted to do something a little different, and less personal. I thought my musing could be a gift for everyone else to do what they want for this Sunday. You can take them and send an email to that person you love, or print it out and personalize it for your hopeful Valentine. Some I drew by hand, some I created entirely digitally, but all were made with love. They’re for the different people in your life, and don’t even have to be used just as a Valentine’s card. Tell those in
your life what they mean to you!

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Maria’s Musings …25+75

Monthly thoughts, inspirations and musings from our Creative Lead, Maria Mendoza.


I painted this 2 weeks ago while I was ​experiencing what I considered to be​ my quarter-life-crisis. I was dreading my 25th birthday for months, thinking that 25 was the age at which you should have your life together. At the time, ​this painting ​was representative of how my life was 25% done. I had experienced some serious changes the year before: I moved out of my parents’ house and into a condo, bought furniture for the first time, got a dog, moved into an apartment and fell out of love. I did a lot of growing up and I did it​ fast. I needed a moment to stop and breathe, but it just didn’t seem to be happening.

​Finally, ​on October 18 2015, it was my birthday. The night before, I hosted a party in my new apartment and all the clarity I ever needed came to me. I gave a toast at exactly midnight and saw my closest friends from different parts of my life gathered around supporting me. I remembered how each of them helped me through conflict: that bad day at work, that time I had my heart broken, the day I ​was terrified to move out on my own, that time I was in a fight with another friend – all of it, over. And I realized that the pressure I put on myself to “be an adult” (whatever that might​ mean) was just all in my head.

Now, I see this painting as a representation of the fact that I still have 75% of my life to go. The different colours show the ongoing journey I’m taking to learn, create, laugh and just live. I used to be so worried about what I hadn’t done yet but​ now all I’m thinking about is how much more I’ll get to do.

So here it is: 25+75 by Maria Mendoza.

Maria’s Musings …

Monthly thoughts, inspirations and musings from our Creative Lead, Maria Mendoza.



One of my favourite things to draw is lips. Never just lips smiling or closed and relaxed, but lips emoting and making interesting shapes​. There’s so much texture and detail that go into lips. If the eyes are the window to the soul, then lips are the window to the heart.

I could spend days perfecting every little ridge and reflection of light. But, as ​previous ‘musings’ have revealed, ​I get so caught up trying to draw objects perfectly, that it could be a never-ending task and I still might not get the result I was hoping for.

So, to move away from my comfort zone again, I tried a stylized drawing. More of a sketch than anything, although I did spend a lot of time using the eraser when any little line didn’t fit with the effortless​ aesthetic I was going for. Ridiculous, but true. Most artists will understand!

It was difficult moving away from realism, but I knew this was the best thing for my artistic growth. So I pushed through. It was a very tedious labour of love and a constant fight with myself to stop striving for absolute realistic perfection.

So here it is and I couldn’t be more proud of the end result.

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Maria’s Musings …

Monthly thoughts, inspirations and musings from our Creative Lead, Maria Mendoza.


This month I wanted to explore some current trends in the graphic design world: watercolour textures. The subject of my musing this month is Japanese singer Utada Hikaru. I was a nerd growing up and she sang on the soundtrack to one of my favourite video games – Kingdom Hearts. She’s also adorable, so I created this piece from a photo, using this textured technique.  I love the way it brings movement into the digital paint splatter I created. I am ​really hoping to use this technique again ​on a​ client project that fits this style​.