Magical mystery beards and special twigs: take a look inside Jay Dart's wild imagination

Who is your alter ego? Meet the purple bearded lumberjack behind the fanciful world known as Yawnder.

Who is your alter ego? Meet the purple bearded lumberjack behind Yawnder

Jiggs is Jay Dart's alter ego that lives in the colourful fantasy world known as Yawnder. (CBC Arts)

Where does your mind go when you think of a fantasy land? We found out where this artist's daydreams take him (besides his own home, about an hour outside Toronto in the hamlet of Ashburn).

Jay Dart, a self-described "drawist," envisions a land of lumberjacks with multicoloured facial hair and psychedelic trees against a landscape of snow. But it isn't just his own vision quest that helps Dart get trippy ideas -- he draws inspiration from his purple bearded alter ego named Jiggs.

"It's not really my choice when I hear him," says Dart, "It's just that voice you can tune into when you tune everything else out."

Watch the video:

Meet Jay Dart's alter ego

5 years ago
Duration 4:08
Drawist Jay Dart brings a colourful new world to life with the help of his purple bearded alter ego Jiggs.

The land of Dart's dreams, that houses Jiggs as well as an entire cast of other characters, their magical mystery beards, a twig library and some "geistwood" logs, is called Yawnder.

These Magical Mystery Beards from Jay Dart's Yawnder each hold special powers according to their colour. (CBC Arts)

And recently, that universe has expanded. After Dart's two-year-old son began drawing his own toddler scribbles alongside his dad, the artist found that he needed to build a new part of Yawnder, informed by his son's colourful drawings. The result? An alternate world that lies through a mysterious door in the woods, where Dart's travelers can embark on further adventures. Of course, that land is called "Beyawnder."

In this video, you meet Jiggs and travel through Yawnder and Beyawnder. Wear a jacket - preferably plaid.

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists online or on CBC Television. Tune in Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT).


As a young child, March Mercanti would play with his action figures for countless hours because he was obsessed with telling stories...to himself. Currently, March is a filmmaker living in Toronto, ON. He works at CBC Arts creating documentaries for artists across Canada.


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