Creative Directors' Speakers Series: #2 It Takes All Types To Do The Job

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 11:30pm to Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 1:30am

Does one size of (AD GRAD) fit all?

Creative Directors from Public Relations, Digital, traditional Ad agency, experiential and branding firms come and share their work, perspective and insights:

Our panel:

Joel Arbez – Executive Creative Director , Grey Canada
Jon Toews – former Executive Creative Director, Critical Mass
Andrew Simon – Executive Creative Director, Edelman Canada
Jonathan Smith – Executive Creative Director, Pigeon Branding
Graham Lee – T1 Agency, Chief Creative Officer, CD at T1 Motion

Q & A to follow.

Brought to you by the Advertising Program, OCADU.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street, Room 190 (Auditorium)
Creative Director Speakers Series

Raine Qian

What do you enjoy most about your work?

What I enjoy the most is, with technology and design, I’m building applications that will be used by thousands and millions of people and will make their everyday life easier and happier.  


What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

To be honest, I think the most challenging aspect is people. You need to empathize with your users – empathize with how they feel, think and why they behave in certain ways. You need to understand your clients, understand their needs and goals and how to best communicate with them. You need to know your team. Know how to efficiently and effectively work with cross-functional teams.

Alex Bowron

What do you enjoy most about your work? What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

Writing is what I enjoy most, and writing is also the most challenging. Sometimes I spend hours on one or two sentences. For the most part, I still have to fact-check and edit my own work. I love studio visits, especially when they feed into a collaborative or experimental piece. I learn a lot from the artists I work with. The most challenging aspect of my work is maintaining momentum, especially when other parts of life creep in to demand my time and attention.

What skills or relationships developed at OCAD U helped you participate in your field? Is there anything you would have done differently?

Aside from my exposure to art theories and theorists, the most important thing that I learned at OCAD U came out of critiques. We were taught in the Sculpture/Installation program to really look at art. We had to describe what we saw, formally, without any personal baggage or interpretation before we were allowed to get into anything subjective. As for relationships, I left OCAD U with a few friends for life, including several of my instructors. 

Amy Leaman

What were your policies regarding internships, volunteering, and paid work?

I’ve only worked for free when it meant building something from nothing. So, for example, I would never work for free for a large design agency (and now, owning my own agency, I would never ask someone to work for free). However, I have in the past collaborated with friends to work on events and projects that would likely not yield any profit. 

What skills or relationships developed at OCAD U helped you participate in your field? 

I think OCAD taught me to think critically about design in a way that I wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere. I had a handful of really influential courses and teachers that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I was often a voice of dissent in my program and pushed to do things that I weren’t part of my program. I wouldn’t change that, though, because my whole business now is built around challenging authority and the status quo!

Hillary Predko

Are there skills or relationships you developed at OCAD U help you participate in your field? Is there anything you would have done differently?

The emphasis on theory and critical dialogue at OCAD U has really influenced the way I approach my work. I'm always reading and this helps me contextualize the things I make, whether they are an object or an event, within a discourse of material culture and changing approaches to production. 

Working with Kate Hartman, and the team at the Social Body Lab has really influenced the way I think and work as well. The lab is always focused on how people relate to technologies, which has helped me internalize human centred design methods. The work I was involved in at the Social Body Lab has always been interesting and challenging. I worked on a project to develop fashionable cycling lights, along with fashion designer Angella Mackey. The project is called Vega Edge, and we went on to raise $34 000 on Kickstarter, and produced all the lights in Toronto and shipped them around the world. 

If I could have done anything differently, I would have collaborated more with other students at OCAD U during my time there.

Erin Loree

How did you get started in your career?

I believe that I'm still at the beginning of my career, so it's a bit difficult to pinpoint where it began and how it got started. Everything I've ever done has played a crucial role in the creation of where I am now, as a person and an artist. The entire process felt (and still feels like) a huge whirlwind of trials, errors and risk-taking decisions. 

I will say that at OCAD U, I developed the drive to work extremely hard to create the life that I wanted for myself. I spent endless hours in the studio developing my work and establishing the relationships with people that would sustain and support me throughout my career. OCAD U was a launchpad that helped me to make important connections with artists and gallerists. 

Andrew Nam

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.

Marco Bertuzzo

Why did you choose to attend OCAD U?

I found myself drawn to OCAD U because of it’s creative and almost electric atmosphere. All the other facilities that I toured seemed mired in tradition and the status quo but at OCAD U I felt that there was a feeling of people trying to drive for more, and to push the boundaries of art, design and themselves to do things in new and better ways. How can you resist something like that? It is still a feeling that draws me to OCAD U

Please briefly describe your current job or practice.

I am currently working as an arts instructor as well as a practicing artist while I gear myself up for my master's program in London, England at Central Saint Martins. 

Elise Windsor

What do you enjoy most about your work? What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

I work pretty slowly. I think about everything constantly. I have folders of images I find online. I spend way too much time on Pinterest. Deadlines are really helpful for me. I start really ambitious projects and always think I can do them on my own, but invariably I need a second pair of eyes. Being in school again right now is exactly where I need to be. I am experimenting with new things I have never done before due to the excellent facilities at Concordia. The last photo I made was in the Winter, and it was roughly 6ft tall by 23ft long. It took a lot of me to do, so I haven’t taken a photo since, but that to me is sort of liberating. 

Currently I’m working on a number of very hands-on sculptural projects. They are related to the photos I’ve already made - still the same ideas - just different ways of dealing with them.

Alex McLeod

What are the key responsibilities you maintain for your practice?

My main responsibilities include making sure everyone has what they need. Firstly I have to make sure I am making good work, and that the printer gets it in time to deliver to the framer.  If I'm doing an interview or commission I have to make sure that party is getting my full attention and that emails are answered promptly.  There are certainly obvious tools like software and hardware that I need, but anything that I'm unfamiliar with I can usually learn about through the internet.  Networking is essential to build relationships with other artists, curators and collectors. It's one of my favorite parts of the job!