Myron Zabol Talks Photography

Black and white photograph of a woman dressed in a Chanel suit
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 11:30pm


Toronto based photographer Myron Zabol has had a career in commercial and fine art photography for over 30 years. He has been honored with numerous awards for his work, from the Toronto, Montreal and New York City Art Directors Clubs; the National Magazine Awards, The New York Film Festival and The Canadian Society of Magazine Photographers. The majority of Myron's work featured people and places as editorial content, conceptual fashion and advertising. In 1992 he was given a United Nations Environment Marketing Awareness Award for his participation with the Kenya Wildlife Fund.

Zabol is also the author of People Of The Dancing Sky, an innovative photographic book that shows the Iroquois people as they live today, through the filter of their resilient traditions. With his expertly captured images of faith-keepers, jingle dancers, chiefs, clan mothers, children, lacrosse champions, potters and teachers, Myron offers a unique view of the "People Of The Longhouse" and their time-honored way of expressing spirituality through dress and decoration.

Myron Zabol’s photography has been featured in both group and individual exhibitions. Selected works are in collections in Europe, Asia, USA and Canada. The center of his creativity is an ability to communicate through personal encounter, visual experience and spiritual conflict.

Image: Chanel, Paril, 1988

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Room 630, 6th Floor 100 McCaul Street

Advertising students win Merit in prestigious One Show’s The Young Ones

A photograph of a hand that looks injured, calloused and scarred.
Friday, May 30, 2014 - 4:00am

Third-year Advertising students Alec Carluen, Anna Chen, Neha Patel and Anton Mwewa won Merit status in New York’s prestigious One Show’s The Young Ones award competition this spring.

The team’s concept, “Fashion Desubsidized,” featured a campaign for international fashion brand Organic by John Patrick, a business eager to bring to life the idea of consumer “attraction rather than promotion.” Taking this into account, the team decided to focus on the lives of people affected by unethical fashion practices rather than the fashion itself. Their print campaign tells the stories of characters working in the garment industry around the world as they pertain to mainstream fashion, using hands and an editorial-style layout.

The Young Ones Awards are held in conjunction with The Young Ones Festival, held during Creative Week in New York, where events provide students and graduating seniors with the opportunity to network with top agency professionals, receive feedback on their portfolios and experience the industry’s current and best work.

Artist Talk: Christopher Stevenson

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 10:30pm

Talk Photography & Workshop

Christopher Stevenson has been working in advertising and editorial photography. He had worked with clients such as The Bay, BMW, Capezio, Davids, Holt Renfrew, Toyota, Elle Magazine, Fashion Magazine, Toronto Life, Mclean's Report on Business, etc.

Venue & Address: 
Central Hall 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario


Maria Soroka at Grad Ex 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.

Maria Soroka’s medal award-winning project, Localosity, is a transmedia campaign. Here’s how she describes it:

My thesis explored creative advertising as a method to engage mainstream audiences in the local food narrative and foster greater human connectivity between urban consumers and rural producers. Through a crafted transmedia campaign, with a special focus in modern, user-friendly digital platforms, a unified brand experience unfolded wherein the major obstacles of consuming locally were eliminated and ongoing revenue was generated for local farmers.

What inspired you and motivated you to do this project?

I was feeling discouraged by the prospect of becoming further immersed in an industry that promotes vast levels of waste, deep malnutrition and negligent consumerism. I saw my thesis project as an opportunity to use advertising to build a consumer/product relationship that was inherently meaningful, healthy and positive.

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

I learned the most from the labyrinthine creative process of configuring a broadly social, economical and environmental initiative into a focused and engaging, consumer-facing platform.

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

I am most proud of the naive thoughts, questions and ideas that were kindled and extinguished in the process of designing my final concept.

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

I felt motivated to continue creating work that is both publicly and personally important.

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

My fondest memories are in the relationships I built while completing my degree. I will miss ample and ongoing exposure to ideation, creativity and critique.

What are you planning to do next? 

I’m currently working as an Art Director at Leo Burnett. I plan to pursue a master’s degree, and one day build my own company.

Find out more about Maria Soroka:

LinkedIn Profile


Brendan McMullen. Photo by Christina Gapic.

Brendan McMullan’s medal award-winning ad campaign concept for a soda company, Pursue the New, celebrates the stories of strange soda flavours and those who drink them. Here’s how he describes it:

My advertising thesis was entitled Pursue the New. Its objective was to get people to chase Jones Sodas again and frame the drink as an indulgence by getting people to pursue new and unfamiliar flavour experiences. I brought it to life in an entertaining and fun way by telling the stories of the Jones family of strange flavors and those who drink them and celebrating anyone willing to Pursue the New.

What inspired you and motivated you to do this project?

I was motivated by the brand I chose. Jones Soda is fun and eccentric. Choosing it gave me the creative liberty to literally do and make whatever I thought was cool and entertaining. Not everyone has the chance to do that in their career. Jones Soda’s quirky essence made it easier to be excited about working on the same thing every day.

The idea of tackling a soda company was an enticing challenge as well because of the stigma around the category. Blowing up its strangeness really positioned it as something you consume in moderation, guilt free.

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

I learned the most from having to transition from a completely strategy focused fall semester to a completely creatively focused spring semester. It was difficult to go from one to another when you spend so much time on strategy before creative. I had to break a personal barrier between being caught up in a very rational strategic process and having to start coming up with crazy creative ideas. It taught me a lot about what mindset I had to be in.

What aspect of this project are you the most proud of?

My project was always changing, past the day I handed it in and up until the day I pitched it to a group of peers and industry folk at the Masters presentations. I’m proud that I never settled and never got comfortable. I was able to kill ideas that muffled the message I was trying to deliver and completely change my delivery days before the pitch. I’m proud my campaign adapted and got stronger when obstacles came up.

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

Despite dreaming of ending my university career as a medal winner, when I heard I won I was in disbelief. There was such a high calibre of both work and character in our program that I felt many of us deserved to win. I had been proud of my work and work ethic before but never as much as I was that day. It felt very validating to have my work appreciated by my teachers (and now colleagues).

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

I will miss the ability to show up every day and get to work creatively with my best friends: people who push me, inspire me and make for one hell of a good time. I know I’ll have the chance to work with different creative minds in my career, but I may never have the chance to collaborate with my best friends like that again. My peers and friends motivated me creatively in ways I never imagined.

What are you planning to do next?

I’m staying in Toronto indefinitely, hailing from Montreal. I believe I have a future in advertising in this city. I’m currently interning at an agency I respect a lot and hope to take in as much as I can one day at a time. I aspire to always work for an agency that pushes creative work and has brands that I can get excited about.

Brendan invites you to check out his website, let him know your thoughts and connect on social media.

Advertising alumni dominate the Cannes Young Lions qualifying competition

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 4:00pm

OCAD University Advertising alumnus Justin Luu is heading to France this summer where he will represent Canada at the Cannes Young Lions competition. The event is part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (formerly the International Advertising Festival), the biggest annual awards show for those working in the creative communications, advertising and related fields. It takes place June 15 to 21, 2014. The Globe and Mail sponsors the Canadian qualifying competition.

The Young Lions asks individuals age 28 and younger with experience in the advertising and communications industry, to work in teams of two on their entries. OCAD U Advertising alumni dominated the event, winning five out of 12 medals:

Gold: OCAD U alumnus Justin Luu (with Carol Hung) of Rivet Global
Silver: Allie Keith (BDes, 2008) and Cindy Habana (BDes, 2010) of JWT Toronto

Silver: Ihar Turtsou (BDes, 2012), with Michael Appleby of Grip Limited
Bronze: Dylan Silvestro (BDes, 2012) and Edward Buchi (BDes, 2012) of Vitamin T

Bronze: Alice Blastorah (BDes, 2011), with Shiran Teitelbaum of BBDO

The Young Lions Cyber and Print teams were tasked with creating an ad within 24 hours; the Media teams developed an innovative media strategy within that timeline; and Film teams were asked to create and edit a 30-second commercial within 48 hours, all for environmental group the David Suzuki Foundation. Some 200 teams competed in the four categories.

2014 Globe and Mail Young Lions and Young Marketers were announced at the Canadian Media Directors Council conference in Toronto on May 6.

See all the winning entries.