Summer in the Learning Zone = zines, books & fun

OCAD Zine Library

Summer in the city of Toronto can warm up very nicely with a host of cultural and diverse events and festivals. It’s also a great time for students to catch a breeze, relax and read. Which inspired me to ask the Learning Zone team a few summery questions.

Dylan North, Faculty of Design: Illustration.

Dylan North. Breeze, 2016

In recognition of International Zine month, what’s your favourite zine from the OCAD Zine Library?

I’ve read many of the zines in the collection…so I’ll just choose a personal classic; College Type Funnies by Chris Kuzma and Patrick Kyle.

What else has been on your summer reading list?

I haven’t been reading any books recently but I always love to kick back with a design annual from the 80s or 90s; Society of Illustrators, Graphis Poster, Graphic Design in Japan, JCA Annual and American Illustration to name a few.

Where’s your favourite place to cool down around or near campus?

The ROM on Tuesdays but the Learning Zone always has the air conditioner on blast.

Khadija Aziz, Cross-Disciplinary Art: Life Studies.

Khadija Aziz. Untitled, 2016.In recognition of International Zine Month, what’s your favourite zine from the OCAD Zine Library?

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin’ Sad by Adam Gnade.

I like this zine because Adam Gnade gives his readers a pep talk to overcome feelings of sadness and anxiety. He uses light, humourous, and real-talk language to address issues like how to deal with critics and haters in person or online, self-doubt, and positive and toxic friendships, to name a few—all of which students especially art students are very vulnerable too.

What else has been on your summer reading list?

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor.

Achor emphasizes the importance of focusing and acknowledging positive psychology, which means to invest our time and resources in understanding what makes humans happy, and then asking ourselves how we can make ourselves happier.

One exercise Achor mentions is to note three good things of each day at the end of that day. Write them in a notebook, your phone, or best yet—do this with a friend to hold each other accountable for being happier. This keeps us constantly and consciously looking out for the positive parts of our days. We become actively engaged with our positive energy and wake up wondering what will be on our list tonight.

Where’s your favourite place to cool down around or near campus?

My absolute favourite place to cool down near campus, even in the winter, is by the lake near Harbourfront, and my favourite way to get there is through Simcoe St.

Tetyana Herch, Cross-Displinary Art: Publications and 2016 Publications Medal recipient.

Tetyana Herych. Collage, 2016

In recognition of International Zine Month, what’s your favourite zine from the OCAD Zine Library?

My favourite zine from the zine library right now is 3 Minute Girlfriend by Zeesy Powers, made in 2007. She put out a Craigslist ad, advertising that she will be your girlfriend for three minutes at xpace, on a specific date, between 1 to 6pm. The rest of the zine is various responses that she has received from users. It’s kind of really entertaining to read the amount of responses she generated just by including a cute picture of herself.

What else has been on your summer reading list?

I keep on bouncing from book to book but right now I’m enjoying The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick. It’s a lot better than The Book on Information by James Maiangowi.

Where’s your favourite place to cool down around or near campus?

My favourite place to cool down around campus is the library!

Tom Colleran, Faculty of Art: Drawing and Painting.

Tom Colleran, Self-Portrait, 2016In recognition of International Zine Month, what’s your favourite zine from the OCAD Zine Library?

I like the zine Feels Like Lavender by Madison van Riijn. Madison was part of my social group when I lived in Guelph. I enjoy reading stories written by people that I know and to see what kind of work they do. I like her style of linework used in this zine.

What else has been on your summer reading list?

I’m in between books right now. I’ve finished two Tom Robbins books, Half-A-Sleep in Frog Pyjamas and Skinny Legs and All. He has a good ability to mix his crazy theories into story lines a nice mixture of comedy and thought provoking ideas. I also enjoy looking through the American Illustrators and American Photography design annuals.

Where’s your favourite place to cool down around or near campus?

The Learning Zone, it’s pretty cool but I also enjoy just sitting on my front porch.

OCAD U Library Services: Learning Zone

Looking for a cool space to escape from the heat? Our summer hours are Monday to Fridays, 10 am to 6 pm until August 17th. The OCAD Zine Library is open to the public during these hours so, drop by and discover your favourite zine.

 

 

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07 2016

Student Profile: Dylan North

Dylan North, OCAD University Illustration student

Dylan North is currently finishing his 3rd year in the Illustration program at OCAD University. Dylan’s main focus is primarily in 2D digital illustration, he also enjoys experimenting with many different digital image production techniques including 3D animation and sculpting, motion graphics and music production.

Learning Zone: How long have you been interested in art? How long have you known that this is something you want to pursue as a career?

Dylan North: I’ve always been interested in art but it wasn’t until later in high school that I started devoting a lot of time to expanding my technical facilities beyond simply cartoons and Flash animations. That said, I did not think this was something that I would do as a career. Then I stepped back and looked at what I had been doing ever day for years and realized I was making a lot of images and enjoying it a lot. I guess around that time I started leaning away from a potentially strictly academic post-secondary study and started thinking about a career in the arts.

What influenced your decision to major in illustration?

I wanted some sort of structured environment to hone my skills at. I wanted to be a part of a community of creatives where I’d hopefully learn about techniques I had never explored. I wanted to get out of my miniscule farming town, so I chose Illustration at OCAD U. I felt that I would fit most comfortably in the design stream.

What is your creative process? 

Right now it’s usually pencil thumbnails to work out composition then really loose linears then I scan those in and start a tight linear in Photoshop. Sometimes my vision for an image isn’t clear enough in my head to draw it so, I’ll use 3D software to bash elements together and fly around the scene until I see something that clicks. An image can come from a whole multitude of processes though. Often I will explore an assignment in every medium I can and cross-pollinate the ideas until there’s some clarity to my vision.

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What do you enjoy most about studying illustration?

I enjoy the people the most. Studying illustration can be a really personal thing because you are constantly trying to find out how you uniquely visually communicate but then you go into class and realize everyone is going through a similar developmental process and there’s always laughs to go around.

What inspires you?

Used books stores and libraries – you can find old text books, monographs, journal articles that all inspire you in certain ways. The Internet, movies, comics and manga, history, language, memories… everything! It’s good to be learning something and be inspired to make an image at the same time.

Where are you most productive? Tell us a bit about your creative space.

My creative space is in a small apartment in a room that can’t hold all of my things but it’s a good environment to work in because I can play some music, have a video playing, flip through books I love and work at my own speed. I’m most productive in a place where I have sources of inspiration at hand.

What are two of your favourite tools that you could not live without?

My tablet and computer.

What is it that excites you most about the tools you work with? Is there another medium you would like to work in?

I like working on a computer because I can infinitely iterate. While retaining old versions I can skew and distort the work without anxiety of ruining it. Of course, I enjoy painting and drawing so I’m always working on getting better at traditional art techniques. I want to embrace mediums like acrylics, gouache and oils but I don’t have a consistent command on them yet.

Working digitally lets you take the image in the direction that you need to go in a short time plus material cost is low and you don’t need much physical space.

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Has attending art school helped you to develop your own personal style? If so, how?

Whatever style I may inherently have will come naturally through creating many images and through my personal execution of an idea. Art school helps you see how varied we all are as artists and I guess it reveals to you the kind of styles you’re not interested in pursuing.

Is there any illustrator or artist from the past or present that have influenced your style?

Too many to name. I think every image I’ve seen has influenced me in some way.

Last year you were an exhibitor in Zine Dream, how did you get started in zine making?

I decided that I wanted to give a try because I like how open the DIY/zine scene is to personal expressions and reflections. I had some illustrations and comics that I thought other people might enjoy so I got some risograph prints and stapled up short zines. I had a lot of fun. It was really inspiring to meet the other artists and a few people actually bought my things, that was cool.

How do you promote yourself?

I try to maintain an active social media presence, Dylan-North.com.

Is there anything else you want to share with us, any final thoughts?

Thank you for asking me about my experiences here.

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18

07 2016

Zine Collective exhibit on until August 18

This year the OCADU Zine Collective worked on a variety of print projects about self-care for artists, including a collaborative zine and a poster series promoting taking time away from work to de-stress.

This summer the Collective also put together an exhibit of zines and Risograph posters to promote the work of its members.

IMG_6218Featuring work by Jenn Woodall (pictured above), Kai Lumbang, Jon Vanneste, Clara Lynas, Tetyana Herych and Bree Rappaport (pictured below), the exhibit is installed to allow the audience to interact with the work and read the zines right on the wall.

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July is International Zine Month, so the summer exhibit not only celebrates the work of OCADU students but also the zine community in general by featuring work from American artists Ty Stilwell & Sara Olivier. The zine collective exhibit will be on display until the end of the summer semester.

The Learning Zone accepts exhibition submissions from students, faculty and staff on an ongoing basis. Click here to find information on how to apply to exhibit your work or to curate a show in the Learning Zone.

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07 2016

Library Services Learning Zone open until April 21 & returning spring/summer semester

Congratulations students! You are nearly at the finish line. The winter semester is winding down and preparations for GradEx: OCAD U’s 101st Annual Graduate Exhibition are gearing up!

There are plenty of events and exhibitions happening on campus, so please be sure to check out OCAD U’s event calendar.

Drop by the Learning Zone this week not only to study or to meet-up with your cohorts between exams—we are hosting events and exhibitions until we close April 21. We will reopen for the spring/summer term.

OCAD University Creative Writing Presents National Poetry Month Reading April 19

Celebrate National Poetry Month and join OCAD University’s Creative Writing Presents: National Poetry Month Reading at Library Services Learning Zone Tuesday April 19 from 7 p.m. to 10 pm.

Lilian Allen will be hosting this event with open mic and Q & A featuring Banoo Zan, Andrea Thompson, Armand Garnet Ruffo, Robert Priest, Mary Rykov, Catherine Black, Carrianne Leung and Lisa Myers. For more details visit: http://bit.ly/1SlONrF

All welcome!

Career Development Workshops

Career Development Workshops: Resume/CV, Portfolio & Interview Skills Drop-In Clinics will continue this week. It’s a great opportunity to jump-start your career or brush up your resume for a summer job or exhibition.

We've Met Before by Maya Ben David; XPACE External Space February 16 to May 9, 2016

Maya Ben David’s We’ve Met Before will be exhibiting at XPACE:External Space hosted in the Learning Zone until May 9. This video, programmed by XPACE is presented in partnership with the Images Festival and generous support from the Ontario Arts Counsel. http://bit.ly/1qz9mEl

OCAD Seed Library

Although the first day of spring began March 20, it only now feels like spring. With the warmer temperatures and the sun shining, gardening is now on the mind of many. Visit the OCAD Seed Library in partnership with the Toronto Seed Library and check out a few seeds, sprout a plant, harvest some seeds and return new seeds to the seed library.

OCAD Zine Library New Zines signage

The OCAD Zine Library presents New Student Zines. At the OCAD Zine Library there is something for everybody and also an awesome space to read zines and take a restorative break from studying.

OCAD Zine Library: New Student Zines

Zine titles on display starting with bottom shelf: Magical Girls, Shit my co-worker says!, the Roomba Suicide Diaries, BAD Bipolar: Bipolar Affectiv Disorder Vol. 1, That story about the one time I dyed my hair and got so high on myself I made a whole stupid zine about it, Marie and WorryWart, Study Buddy, I love Kanye, Take Heart: Self Care for Artists & Designers, Wet N Wild.

 

17

04 2016

Exchange Students Rumble Exhibition

Goodbye, Farvel, Adiós, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, hyvästi, Hadet—there are so many ways to say goodbye!

Exchange Student Exhibition; April 15 to April 21

The Exchange Students Rumble Exhibition will be hosted in the Learning Zone from April 15 to April 21. Students from OCAD U partner institutions in China, Australia, the UK, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany and France will be exhibiting new works created during their enriched experience at OCAD U.

Please join us and the exchange students, in celebration of the end of winter term at the opening reception, Friday April 15, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

UPDATE:

Exchange Students Exhibitiion April 15

Thank you to those who attended and supported the Exchange Students Exhibition Friday night—it was great fun.

 

 

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04 2016


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