Why did you choose to attend OCAD U?
I wanted to be an engineer at very young age but was always better at drawing than math. I admired engineer’s work process but drawing was what I was good at, and so I pursued the creative industry. I had to decide between Sheridan and OCADU, but ended up deciding on OCAD as I felt it had more creative freedom explore and find what I want.
Please briefly describe your current job / practice.
I'm Senior Motion Graphic Designer at Bell Media. I create and lead any motion design needs for company, from redesigning a channel to launching a new app; my job is to suggest and create perfect graphic direction. A recent project of mine was creating new branding for projects such as M3, BNN, Space and CraveTV. I also redesigned graphics for shows like CTV's Marilyn Denis Show and Kevin Newman Live.
How did you get started in your career?
I got into motion design while I was in my third year. I found myself more comfortable trying to lay ideas on storyboard than anywhere else. Designing on screens felt less restrictive with endless possibilities. The added dimension of designing with time was very interesting because I was able to play around with more dimension.
Around that time I met a few directors from CTV who came to our motion graphics class to do presentation. I kept in contact with them for around 2 years sending portfolio and resume, after which I was able to get a foot in the door as a freelancer post graduation.
Did you volunteer or work in your field while you were a student?
During my studies, I worked in Print shop as part time designer. I’ve done many freelance works with ad agencies and personal clients, as well as an internship at the design studio called "Reactor Art and Design".
What were your policies regarding internships, volunteering, and paid work?
As a student, I feel learning is important but many times its relevant work experiences and your portfolio that gets you the job. During my schooling, I strongly believed any related work experience is be a gain. I tried to take on many volunteering and design project as possible and to not worry about the rest. The important thing to remember is that your experience needs to be relevant.
What do you enjoy most about your work? What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
I enjoy my work because I am able to work in variety of channels and with a variety of projects.
Usually as an in-house designer, experiences can be limited to certain styles but luckily I was able to keep pushing my creative boundary because there were multiple channels with different design styles. The most challenging thing about my work is finding a balance between corporate goals and creating aesthetically pleasing designs - I believe both are equally important.
What skills or relationships developed at OCAD U helped you participate in your field? Is there anything you would have done differently?
I had lots of experience in the ideation process while at OCAD U. Conceptualizing storyboards and being able to present them in an effective manner was the biggest asset I gained in school. Nonetheless being proficient with technical skill is equally important, though if I had done anything differently it would have been to learn more about the technical side of my practice. I would suggest researching what the most important techniques in your desired field are, and then to become familiar with all the software, their shortcuts and intricacies.
What are the key responsibilities you maintain for your practice?
For the motion design industry, there are certain softwares you must learn, for example Adobe After effect and Maxon Cinema4D. I would recommend watching video tutorials on a regular basis with the time you have outside of any project you're working on. Some other advice I've learned in my years is to; keep all the process file valuable as your final file and archive it well, get to know your competition and contemporaries around the the world, and to meet and converse with others who work in the industry. Show them your reel and ask what could be done to improve your work, rinse, and repeat. Once you have good work sample and great connections it become much easier to start and flourish in your career.
What are your personal and professional goals for the coming years?
I'm trying to expand my skills in 3D motion design and create some self-scripted and designed short motion pieces. I would also like to get my hands on some work in the UX motion design field. My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this September and hope for us to travel more in the future.