MARTK'D Sneaker Design Tournament

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 3:00pm to 7:00pm

OCAD University is proud to collaborate with MARTK’D which celebrates art on sneakers.  The partnership was formed to execute a creative engagement initiative in the form of a sneaker design tournament.  The tournament will give 40 of Toronto’s up-and-coming high school artists from the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board the opportunity to showcase their creative skills through live competition in front of an audience. Artists will use VANS sneakers as a blank canvas and Sharpies to create their own designs, to be judged by audience members and special guests.


The format is as follows:

Two qualifying rounds will consist of 20 artists each, 40 artists in total.

The top four artists from each round, voted on by the crowd, will advance to the finals.

The eight finalists will compete to become named the ‘Sneaker Design Tournament’ champion!

The MARTK’D ‘Sneaker Design Tournament’ champion will receive an educational scholarship + merch.


WHAT: MARTK’D- Sneaker Design Tournament  

WHEN: Wednesday October 12th 2016, 11:00am – 3:00pm

WHERE:  OCAD University, Great Hall, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto, ON

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, Great Hall, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto, ON
416-977-6000 ext. 4869
40 Artists. 10 Schools. 3 Rounds. 20 Mins to Create. 1 Champion. Poster with event info and sponsors

Industrial Design student needs your vote in Sneaker Championship!

Rendering of sneaker by Artur Wrona, design student
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 4:00am

Artur Wrona, a second year Industrial Design student, has made it to the second round of competition in the World Sneaker Championship held by Pensole Footwear Design Academy in conjunction with Foot Locker.

The top 64 designs were announced Sunday March 20, voting continues through Thursday, March 24. Entries come from all over the world, including Poland, Hong Kong Sweden and Mexico.

Wrona describes his sneaker design:

“Inspired by Vancouver’s urban and natural landscapes, this lifestyle sneakerboot features a premium wool felt upper along with a lacing system that wraps around the perimeter of the midfoot allowing the wearer to lace the shoe in as many different ways as he can imagine.”


Useless Beauty: Notions of Beauty and Utility<br>Part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche at OCAD

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche
Saturday, October 4, 2008 - 11:00pm to Sunday, October 5, 2008 - 11:00am

Useless Beauty, curated by OCAD Professor Johanna Householder and Jennifer Rudder, features work by artists KC Adams, Lois Andison and David Krippendorff that addresses notions of hybridity, gender, race, beauty, utility and fashion. The exhibition is presented in part as a response to ORLAN’S week-long residency at OCAD (part of OCAD’s Nomadic Residents program), and her video reading, presented at approximately 9 p.m.

The Works in Useless Beauty:

KC Adams: Cyborg Hybrids and Cyborg Hybrid Accessories
Winnipeg artist KC Adams explores the intersection of technological and socio-cultural evolutions. Adams presents a cross cultural-technological ideal, an intriguing interplay of contemporary race politics and analytical detachment. Useless Beauty showcases Adams’s Cyborg Hybrids photographic series, in which the artist theatrically stages celebrity-like portraits of models with mixed Aboriginal and European ancestry. The images belie their subversive and specific political edge. Her puns and double entendres, hand beaded and chosen by Adams’s subjects, speak to a shared politic in a way that is layered with cultural significance and poignancy. With her Cyborg Hybrid Accessories, Adams further animates her photographic works by subverting our obsession with portable, personal technologies with a sharp political and satiric edge.

Lois Andison: Camouflage 1 and 3 and maid of the mist
Toronto-based Lois Andison’s sculptural works examine the relationship of technology to nature and the body. With Camouflage 1 and 3, Andison proposes a kind of wearable technology that enables its wearer to employ actions of natural display, still only partly understood behaviors. Camouflage 1 is a stunning hybrid: a dress with an elaborate Elizabethan collar covered with Queen Anne’s Lace. The collar responds to a visitor’s approach by clicking into a series of positions, spectacularly articulating both seduction and protection. Camouflage 3 literally extends this metaphor in a couture garment with an extendible/retractable neck that spouts smoke, referencing both Sybiline riddles and prophecies and the joke of a woman blowing her top.

With maid of the mist, Andison twists a hatter’s steaming block into a complex metaphor for the female psyche by piercing an iconic portrait bust with holes that emit steam, finding a compelling vision inside the notion of a steaming brain.

David Krippendorff: Behind the Curtain and Night of 1000 Stars
Perhaps the strongest metaphor in the classic film The Wizard of Oz is the illusion of power. In Berlin-based artist David Krippendorff’s work Behind the Curtain we are presented with the slowed down movement of the curtain that hides the wizard himself. Here the “moment of discovery” is frozen — the curtain never opens to reveal the impostor behind it. The endless and mesmerizing motion creates a sense of expectation, which is never fulfilled.

One of the first signs of human existence found in outer space was the transmission of television signals. Space has therefore “witnessed” our existence through endless television shows, films, newsreels and soap operas. Krippendorff’s video Night of 1000 Stars considers human significance in the context of the infinity of space and time, in contrast to the greatest of Hollywood aspirations — to be a “star”.

About Johanna Householder, Curator, Useless Beauty
Co-curator and OCAD Professor Johanna Householder, is a multidisciplinary artist and writer. She is a founder of the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art which takes place in Toronto, Oct. 23 to Nov. 2, 2008. With Tanya Mars, she co-edited Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance by Canadian women, in 2004.

About Jennifer Rudder, Curator, Useless Beauty
Jennifer Rudder is the Curator of Gallery Stratford. From 2003 to 2007 she was Director/Curator. Rudder is Editor of the monograph Ordinary Marvel: Susan Kealey, published in 2003 by YYZ Books in Toronto and Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, Alberta. She served as contributing editor for the art publications MIX and Canadian Art, and has written for Fuse and Lola magazines. As an independent, Rudder has curated numerous exhibitions including Crime and Punishment for the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, Ontario which toured to Gallery 44 in Toronto and the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Jennifer was Executive Director of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition for five years and Director of YYZ Artists Outlet between 1983 and 1993. She is currently completing a Masters of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto and is an Instructor at Brock University.

Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

INFO SESSION: Toronto Fashion Incubator "Fashion your Future" Program

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 10:00pm to Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 12:00am

Sign up for Information Sessions on Eventbrite and select the session to attend (there are two other sessions available at other times/sites):

On Tuesday June 14th, the Material Art and Design program is hosting a half an hour info session with Nicole Ladanyi from the Toronto Fashion Incubator about the "Fashion Your Future Program" which is a summer "accessories business boot camp where you will learn how to develop your own accessories line, learn from industry professionals, and get the opportunity to receive up to $3000 in micro grants." 

Venue & Address: 
Room 215 , Fibre Studio - OCAD U

"Not Just a Fashion Show"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 1:30pm

I just wanted to share with you what a wonderful night the “Not Just a Fashion Show” was on Friday. The show featured 100 wearable art forms made by twenty-three students from all three undergraduate faculties and across 12 of OCAD U’s programs! The show was sold-out and the energy was palpable! 

This student-led project was developed and curated by Ali Haider (GD) and Jasmine So (ID) with strong support by MAAD Instructor Tarah Burke, myself, and generous funding from the Office of the President.

Here is the list of students who showed work (many more students modeled and volunteered):

Aine O'Neill, Industrial Design                                                                                                             

Amie Blechta, Drawing and Painting                                                                                                    

Arpanaa Logedas, Illustration                                                                                                                         

Ava Cochrane, Photography                                                                                                                    

David Yun, Industrial Design                                                                                                             

Elizabeth Aguilar, Drawing and Painting                                                                                                    

Hatley Walker, Material Art & Design, Fibre                                                                                      

Hillary Dube, Material Art & Design, Fibre                                                                                      

Ilan Max, Industrial Design                                                                                                             

Iman Khan, Graphic Design                                                                                                                

Julia Yeh, Material Art & Design, Fibre                                                                                      

Kaitlyn Smith, Graphic Design                                                                                                                

Kevin Dela Cruz, Industrial Design                                                                                                             

Kristi Chen, General Arts                                                                                                                     

Madeleine LeBlanc, Material Art & Design                                                                                                   

Miranda Victoria, Material Art & Design, Fibre                                                                                      

Mudassir Iqbal, Digital Futures                                                                                                                 

Rachel Clarke, Industrial Design                                                                                                             

Suki Lai, Material Art & Design, Jewellery                                                                              

T'mikah Fridal, Advertising and Wearable Technology                                                                  

Sheldon Storey, Sculpture and Installation                                                                                            

Ali Haider, Graphic Design

Jasmine So, Industrial Design                                                                                                             

Our thanks to President Diamond, Tarah Burke, Daniel Drak, Robert Pisano, Mary-Ann Lee, Laurie Wassink, Brent James, Lance Straun, Michelle Jelsma, Katie Browning, Security, Christine Crosbie, and many more!

See some photos here:

Our hope it to mount the show again next year!

Best wishes,





Wearable art show attracts capacity crowd

Woman modelling a dress with LED lights
Wide shot of auditorium fashion show
Male model
Three models
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 4:00am

OCAD University’s auditorium was transformed into a quasi-catwalk on Friday April 22 for Not Just a Fashion Show. The event spotlighted 100 wearable works of art created by 23 students from 12 programs. Mirrored masks, sparkling crystals and LED-infused fabrics added a glow to the outfits, which ranged from whimsical to highly functional.

The high-energy student-led project was developed and curated by Ali Haider (Graphic Design) and Jasmine So (Industrial Design) with support from faculty members Tarah Burke and Dorie Millerson and funding from the Office of the President.

Student models wore the outfits by designers from across all three faculties:  

  • Aine O’Neill, Industrial Design
  • Amie Blechta, Drawing & Painting
  • Arpanaa Logedas, Illustration
  • Ava Cochrane, Photography
  • David Yun, Industrial Design
  • Elizabeth Aguilar, Drawing & Painting
  • Hatley Walker, MAAD
  • Hillary Dube, MAAD, Fibre
  • Ilan Max, Industrial Design
  • Iman Khan, Graphic Design
  • Julia Yeh, MAAD, Fibre
  • Kaitlin Smith, Graphic Design
  • Kevin Dela Cruz, Industrial Design
  • Kristi Chen, General Arts
  • Madeleine LeBlanc, MAAD
  • Miranda Victoria, MAAD
  • Mudassir Iqbal, Digital Futures
  • Rachel Clarke, Industrial Design
  • Suki Lai, MAAD, Jewellery
  • T’mikah Fridal, Advertising and Wearable Technology
  • Sheldon Storey, Sculpture/Installation
  • Ali Haider, Graphic Design
  • Jasmine So, Industrial Design
  • Yovska, MAAD, Fibre

Not Just A Fashion Show

Friday, April 22, 2016 - 10:00pm to Saturday, April 23, 2016 - 2:00am

A student-led cross-disciplinary wearable art show coming Friday, April 22nd

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St. Room 190 Auditorium
Not Just A Fashion Show poster with event info and photo of model with hand jewelry

How to become a fashion photographer

In my years in the fashion industry, I've learned a lot both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

Here are some things I've learned about fashion photography:

1. Fashion is one of the most exciting and creative types of photography you can actually get paid for.

2. The wilder your concepts, the more fun the production can be for a team. We make insane sets sometimes, for just one shot!

3. The reward of working with gorgeous clothing, shoes and accessories from world-famous designers every day is pretty special.

4. Sticking to your creative vision is key, but also being able to work collaboratively makes all the difference.

5. When that magical moment happens on set, where everything falls into place and you really know why you're doing this job, it's worth all the work.

6. Make sure your models are happy and fed. You can see an unhappy energy in photos instantly.


Thinking of becoming a fashion photographer?

If you want to be part of this world, here are my four tips:

1. Be nice! Be easy to work with, open to other's ideas, yet firm in what your vision is. No one wants to work with someone who can't roll with the punches.

2. Have a very concise vision for your portfolio. Don't have landscapes, and dogs, and people and cars. Curate your portfolio for the editor you are going to meet. Make sure your work reflects the brand of the magazine.

3. Constantly make more work. Even if you're not being hired to shoot, do creatives. Even my biggest photographers still do creatives to keep them moving forward.

4. Think outside of the box. Shooting in a studio all the time is easy. Going to a location and pushing yourself to learn lighting in an outdoor setting will take you leaps and bounds above the rest.


There's a lot of work that goes into the post production for your photos.

Here are my tips for making your photos look as great as possible:

1. If you're not a good retoucher, hire someone to do it for you. Retouching is a huge thing in fashion. If it's not done well, your work suffers.

2. Learn lighting. No great fashion photographer has ever made it by just shooting in natural light. Take courses on lighting, rent lighting and try everything until you can master that perfect light.

3. Use great lenses. You can rent professional lenses for about $40 per day. There is no reason to use your kit lens when you have all those amazing lenses to try out.

4. Make sure your images are tack sharp (unless you're going for a dreamy look). Images that are soft or out of focus are unusable for print in our publication. Make sure you know your f-stops, shutter speeds and focusing before you get into shooting with models.

5. Be excited about your work. You won't sell me on your work if you don't believe in it. Be passionate, and know who your influences are, because you will be asked who inspires you!


Erin Seaman teaches Introduction to the Business of Fashion Photography at OCAD University's Continuing Studies. She has been working in the photography industry for over 15 years, and has gained extensive knowledge in both film and digital backgrounds through her experience working and shooting in a commercial environment. Erin has owned her own studio, shot for a large range of companies such as Calvin Klein, the Globe and Mail, HELLO Canada and Toronto Life. She holds a BFA from OCAD U and is photo editor at FASHION Magazine.