In the Admissions & Recruitment Office, we’re really luck to get to hire some recent OCAD U grads who represent us out on the road. You might have met Lauren – she’s goofy and funny, smart and talented and shared some thoughts about her work and her time at OCAD U. She graduated last year from the Photography program.

When I asked Lauren to write a little about herself and her job working with us now, and here is what she came up with:

Before coming to OCAD I did not have the confidence in my art, I was very surprised when I was accepted and did not want to pass up this chance. I am hoping that through speaking to other unsure artists I can help them realize their potential. Although I went into first year feeling a bit out of place I took every opportunity to explore as many mediums as possible to give my practice a good foundation. I dabbled in mans different areas before I found my niche in photography.  Although I will admit I was not the greatest in my class in the other mediums I found that this exploration has given my photography an edge that I would have never had without it.

I loved my time at OCAD so much becoming a recruiter was a no brained for me. Every step of the way I learned much more than I would have in a traditional classroom setting and I am super excited to get to share some of my stories with you aspiring artists and potential future Ocadians!

Why did you decide to attend OCAD U?

     I chose OCAD because I wanted to be creating art, not just theorizing about it or discussing it in a lecture hall. The fact that 75% of your courses at OCAD are actually in the studio making things sold me instantly.

What was your favorite class at OCAD U and why?

     I’m finding it hard to pick just one class that was my favorite, I think it would have to be the special cross-disciplinary course I took in the summer. The class actually moved to Artscape on Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island for a week and you were there to be inspired by the island and create a piece that was informed by your time there. Living on the island with fellow OCAD students from a bunch of different programs was a great experience in itself but being able to create art that reflected my time there was amazing as well.

Was there something that most surprised you about OCAD U?

     I think the connections I made with my professors was the most surprising, they actually treat you like equals and I formed lasting friendships with most of them which is a rare thing to have happen in a university setting.

Tell us about your work:

     I am a photo-based artist, meaning my work is based in photography but I also like to push the boundaries of traditional photography by adding a mixed media element to most of my pieces. My artistic practice is forever evolving and growing and the subjects within the art work may differ but the themes and concepts behind each visually disparate work remain the same. I am attempting to disrupt preconceived perceptions and understanding of situations, objects and moments to force the audience to reconsider the subject in a new way that otherwise would have gone unseen.

The Grange foodcourt across the OCAD U is a classic lunch and snack spot – what was your go to?

     They make amazing perogies at Helena’s Magic Kitchen. (editors note: they do, it’s true!)

What is your favorite neighborhood to hang out in Toronto:

     I have to say the Distillery District, good place to just wander around, they have great bakeries for pastries and cool restaurants for grabbing drinks with friends. Its also a cool place to take anyone that’s visiting from out of town.

Thanks Lauren for sharing your thoughts with us!