Ian Pettigrew: (hand) Made Hamilton

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I was born and raised in Toronto, and came out to Hamilton around 14 years ago. I’ve spent most of my career in advertising, and around the same time I moved here I decided i’d take the plunge and try my hand at photography fulltime. I still do lots of design work, but photography remains my true passion.


You’ve got a new book coming out this summer, tell us about that. 

After the success of the first book last year (hand) Made Hamilton, I just decided a second edition was warranted that turns the focus more on people helping within the community, as well still as artisan makers and small-business owners.This book, (Home)Made Hamilton, will showcase these people in similar format. I’m hoping to get closer to 100 people this time – i’m at 20 so far with lots of people lined up. Hopefully we’ll get close to 100.


What inspired you to turn your lens to the Hamilton community from this perspective?

Hamilton reminded me of Toronto in the 90s, with a burgeoning arts scene, and incredible restaurant and bar scene. And many of the people in the book were actual transplants from Toronto.Just the food scene itself rivals Toronto on all levels. Thats something I thought should be celebrated.


Where will folks be able to buy it?

Right now it’ll most likely be same as the first edition, sell through pre-sale at GoFundMe. This new book, though, the plan is to have a launch party this time, invite everyone from BOTH books and have it as a networking event, as well as celebrating the culture and diversity of Hamilton.


(Follow Ian on Instagram at @ianpett to stay up to date)


Any other work you’d like to tell us about? 

Nothing particular comes to mind. People can find out more about my personal projects, like for Cystic Fibrosis, on my website:  http://ianpettigrew.com/projects/


Why Hamilton? What do you love about the city? 

I grew up in downtown Toronto in the 80s and 90s, and Hamilton gives me this same vibe that I sorely miss. That Toronto is long gone, sadly. And maybe I do look back upon that time with a Pollyanna view, but I see Hamilton as being similar in many ways. Exceptional small businesses, great artisanal makers, and vibrant bars and restaurants. For the most part I see a lot of goodwill and collaboration among lots of these businesses. I was also drawn to the waterfalls here, which I have always loved for my photography.


What neighbourhood are you living in now and why did you choose it?

My wife and I live close to Locke St., which we love. Also close to Hess as well. Its a fun, vibrant neighbourhood thats close to everything we need. And just a short walk up to the mountain brow with fantastic trails and waterfalls.

Follow @ianpett on instagram