Feature

MEET GRAD EX 2013 MEDAL WINNER, ASHLEY MACKENZIE (ILLUSTRATION)

Ashley Mackenzie at Grad Ex 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Ashley Mackenzie at Grad Ex 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Part of Ashley Mackenzie's project, Dangerous Ideas. Image by Ashley Mackenzie.
Part of Ashley Mackenzie's project, Dangerous Ideas. Image by Ashley Mackenzie.

Ashley Mackenzie’s medal award-winning project, Dangerous Ideas, is a work that investigates our reaction to science and thinking. Here’s how she describes it:

My thesis was called Dangerous Ideas which explored controversial concepts proposed by various scientists and intellectuals, using visual metaphors to investigate how these ideas can make us so uncomfortable and encourage people to think about them.

What inspired you and motivated you to do this project?

I had read The Best American Non-Required Reading 2007 over the summer and there was a chapter dedicated to a series of responses to the question “What is your dangerous idea?” Apparently Edge.org does one of these every year and everything is archived online so I went through and found common themes and ideas and continued doing research to find the concepts that I thought were the most intriguing or relevant.

What part of the process of creating this project did you learn the most from?

I definitely learned the most from going through the actual ideation process. The concepts I’d chosen were very challenging since in many ways they were rather abstract and it was difficult to find a way to visualize them clearly in a unique way without relying too heavily on cliche.

What part of the process of creating this project are you the most proud of?

Those times when I finally managed to nail down the sketch matched the idea. It was certainly the part of the process that I spent the most time on and while it was the most stressful part it was also the most satisfying.

How did you react to the news that you won a medal for your work?

I was really surprised! I was there the morning just before the judging touching up my display and looking at everyone’s work I couldn’t help but be amazed. Everyone put in so much work, it was such a strong year and I was incredibly honoured to have won.

What’s your fondest memory from your studies at OCAD U, and what will you miss the most?

I really liked working on the Wallspace since I never really spent much time working in the actual school outside of class time. It was nice running into people who recognized my work and also just have people drop by to say hi. I’ve also never painted anything on that scale before so it was both exciting and terrifying but I think it went pretty well. I’ll definitely miss the critiques since it’s so hard to find such easy access to the wealth of visual knowledge and help you get from your peers and professors once you leave, and I think it’s certainly one of those things you take for granted when you’re in school.

What are you planning to do next? 

I’m hoping to start freelancing, trying to get some editorial jobs and maybe publishing. I’d like to work on some personal projects, get back to drawing and sketching since school’s kept me too busy to really indulge my sketchbooks.

Find out more about Ashley Mackenzie:

Portfolio 

Blog




Ashley Mackenzie at Grad Ex 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Part of Ashley Mackenzie's project, Dangerous Ideas. Image by Ashley Mackenzie.

Ashley Mackenzie’s medal award-winning project, Dangerous Ideas, is a work that investigates our reaction to science and thinking. Here’s how she describes it:

My thesis was called Dangerous Ideas which explored controversial concepts proposed by various scientists and intellectuals, using visual metaphors to investigate how these ideas can make us so uncomfortable and encourage people to think about them.

What inspired you and motivated you to do this project?

I had read The Best American Non-Required Reading 2007 over the summer and there was a chapter dedicated to a series of responses to the question “What is your dangerous idea?” Apparently Edge.org does one of these every year and everything is archived online so I went through and found common themes and ideas and continued doing research to find the concepts that I thought were the most intriguing or relevant.

What part of the process of creating this project did you learn the most from?

I definitely learned the most from going through the actual ideation process. The concepts I’d chosen were very challenging since in many ways they were rather abstract and it was difficult to find a way to visualize them clearly in a unique way without relying too heavily on cliche.

What part of the process of creating this project are you the most proud of?

Those times when I finally managed to nail down the sketch matched the idea. It was certainly the part of the process that I spent the most time on and while it was the most stressful part it was also the most satisfying.

How did you react to the news that you won a medal for your work?

I was really surprised! I was there the morning just before the judging touching up my display and looking at everyone’s work I couldn’t help but be amazed. Everyone put in so much work, it was such a strong year and I was incredibly honoured to have won.

What’s your fondest memory from your studies at OCAD U, and what will you miss the most?

I really liked working on the Wallspace since I never really spent much time working in the actual school outside of class time. It was nice running into people who recognized my work and also just have people drop by to say hi. I’ve also never painted anything on that scale before so it was both exciting and terrifying but I think it went pretty well. I’ll definitely miss the critiques since it’s so hard to find such easy access to the wealth of visual knowledge and help you get from your peers and professors once you leave, and I think it’s certainly one of those things you take for granted when you’re in school.

What are you planning to do next? 

I’m hoping to start freelancing, trying to get some editorial jobs and maybe publishing. I’d like to work on some personal projects, get back to drawing and sketching since school’s kept me too busy to really indulge my sketchbooks.

Find out more about Ashley Mackenzie:

Portfolio 

Blog