Catching up with 4th year Graphic Design student Samiya Karim

Samiya Karim, 2020

Samiya Karim is a recent graduate of the Graphic Design program and after four years in the program she is happy to be able to call herself a Professional Graphic Designer.

We came to know Samiya from her time working with us in the LZ. When Samiya was not on the job, she could be found in the LZ working on multiple class projects. Last May, she co-curated an exhibition for the Learning Zone Gallery called House of Oriental: Northern Style: An Exhibition of Works Exploring Pan-Asian Canadian Foods. Also, a fun fact about Samiya is that she knows a lot of weird trivia about internet culture as well as pop culture.

We caught up (virtually) with Samiya recentyly to talk about her thesis project and more.

LZ: What influenced your decision to major in Graphic Design?

SK: I really want to say something witty and enlightened but truth-fully I really enjoyed making memes and making peoples’ days brighter

What did you enjoy most about the program?

Graphic Design is a program that really allows you to be a jack of all trades, you can explore illustration, motion, packaging, and really make the degree your own.

Reviving Bloordale, Samiya Karim 2020

Can you tell us a bit about your thesis idea and how you decided on it?

My thesis idea revolves around recognizing the role of small businesses in the make-up of the neighbourhood. Toronto as a rapidly growing city is experiencing gentrification faster than ever, and those being most affected are Toronto’s BIPOC community. Bloordale in particular is a place that is close to my heart as my family had established their first roots there when we arrived in Canada. It is particularly sad to see these immigrants’ businesses disappear that often would give us access to a piece of our motherland in a foreign country. This project is intended to preserve that history and the memories of Bloordale’s diverse neighbourhood.

 During this time of physical distancing, do you feel that social media is more important to your work, and in what ways?

I feel it is both important as well as hindering. I feel that a huge part of my work is missing an essential part of human interaction as it is dealing with place, however I recognize that social media has the power of spreading my work much faster.

What do you do to relax?

I find building houses in the Sims is a great way to be relaxing. It’s something that I find great as a way to get rid of any creative blocks as well as distress. If I am looking to relax in short term, I often find myself meditating.

What are your next steps after graduating?

Honestly, my first step is finding a job that pays well so I can support my family. My second plan was to take a vacation to New York or LA but I’m afraid that would not be happening soon.

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

There are a lot of things that are happening in the world right now, but all the new changes will hopefully be for the better!

Samiya Karim postcards, 2020

 

08

06 2020

Student Profile: Mia Đặng

Mia Dang, Illustration student 2020

Mia Đặng aka Miapear will be graduating this June from OCAD U’s Illustration program, with hopes to complete her minor in photography soon. Mia joined the LZ team two years ago and during that time we had the opportunity to collaborate with her on poster designs and other LZ activities, it was great to see her dedication and fun approach towards creativity shining through.

Art has always been my hobby as I painted cast figures every weekend as a child until grade 5

For Mia, studying art did not become a career consideration until the age of 18 after she was encouraged by her oil painting teacher to apply to the design program. Studying Illustration was a natural fit for Mia. Since the age of five Mia found ways to be creative by drawing, doodling, painting cast figures or working on art projects with her friends for fun.

Last month we sat down (remotely) with Mia and asked her a few questions:

LZ: What influenced your decision to major in Illustration?

MD: I initially applied for graphic design; however, my portfolio seems to fit into the Illustration program better. I found myself having fun with turning quotes and ideas into imagery and drawing, which led me into switching my application decision.

LZ: What do you enjoy the most about the program?

 MD: I enjoy the endless support from the Faculty and the community we have in Illustration. Everyone is very nice and helpful when it comes to critique and giving feedback. Another aspect which I like is the wide scope of Illustration field information we have access to in 4th-year courses.

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

I find myself working very productively all by myself in my studio. My working/creative space consists of books and art prints for inspiration, chill music, coffee or tea, a very neat table and tons of art supplies.

You said that you are interested in becoming a children’s book illustrator. What lead you in that direction?

I have always enjoyed babysitting my cousin’s kids since the age of 7-8. I love kids so much that when I found out that I could become a children’s book illustrator and read those books to them, I couldn’t think of anything else. Besides, I have a little brother who just turned two, so I can’t wait to make books and read to him.

Mia Dang, Spring Things

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I do read for pleasure in my free time. I love romantic poetry and novels. Adolescence-centred graphic novels are also my favourite. Some of my favourite graphic novelists are Lucy Knisley, Jillian Tamaki, and Eleanor Davis. I also read self-help books to motivate myself to work and not to give up. I highly recommend The Pursuit of Dreams by Dr. Dragos Bratasanu. It’s a great read.

Who are your favourite photographers?

I have a few female Vietnamese portrait photographers that I love which are Dạ Miêu and Linh Bay Bong. You can easily look for them on Instagram. They are excellent at capturing women’s essence and intimacy.

How has the COVID-19 Pandemic affecting your routine?

I have always stayed an introvert and I spend most of my time at home. So, the quarantine doesn’t have too much negativity on my daily routine. The only things that affects me are getting art supplies, shipping out orders for my shop and getting groceries. But these tasks are not frequent so I don’t find it hard to adapt.

During this time of physical distancing, do you feel that social media is more important to your work, and in what ways?

Due to the virus, shows and fairs have been cancelled which decrease my exposure to the public. So social media has been a lifesaver these days for my works to be appreciated and showcased. People use Instagram a lot more these days which gives me more chances to sell and promote my works.

Does your work have a specific message or theme?

I want to spread the message of staying a child and look at things through a child’s perspective, which is why my works are bold and vibrant in colours with many character designs based on things we see every day like animals, fruits, nature…

Can you tell us a little bit about your thesis project and why it was important to you?

Like I mentioned, I love working with kids and children’s materials. So I came up with a thesis topic regarding children’s psychology during the summer of 2019. I also got to spend sometime with my grandmother back home in Vietnam and noticed that she was having mild symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

With the art direction of my thesis professor, my project Inverse Retrogenesis came to life; it explores the similarities of early childhood psychology and Alzheimer’s disease symptoms to subvert the perception towards aging process. This project is so dear to my heart since it shows how much love I pour out for kids and the elderly. Growing up as a Vietnamese in Asia, I’ve encountered how careful adults and children treat their elderly; however, I don’t see that so much in the Western culture. I feel like if I grow old here in the West, I’m just gonna end up in the long-term care home. As a result, through the thesis project, I want to affect how people think about aging and perhaps make people think twice about how they treat their elderly. Getting old is as similar as growing up. We love kids and emphasize with them so much, why not the elderly?

Mia Dang, Habit 2020

What are your next steps after graduating?

I want to find a full-time job in a publishing company. Ideally, the position of a book cover illustrator as the starting point would be great. Then, I’ll work my way to get my books published. Along with the stable job, I will also grow my Etsy store and make that the second source of income.

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

Yes. I want to give advice to my fellow OCAD students. Don’t ever think that your art is not great or tell yourself that you’re small. Just put yourself out there. Start creating something for yourself first. We always have to start somewhere so start right now and you are more than enough.

I’d like to thank Heather Evelyn for giving this opportunity to share my love of art. I appreciate this so much.

You can see more of Mia’s work on her Instagram and YouTube channel @ Miapear.

 

 

04

06 2020

2020 Zine Workshop series with Marta Chudolinska

So much has happened since we last saw you. COVID-19 has impacted how we used to move about our daily life on campus. Seeing familiar faces by the elevators or while passing through the halls has moved online. The university has jumped into action during this difficult time, keeping students, faculty and staff informed and connected more so now than ever.

While community quarantine remains in place, we wanted share some fun photos from our digital album of our zine workshop series held this past January and February.

Zine Workshop Series, 2020

Each year the Learning Zone hosts a series of zine workshops for OCAD U students. The workshops are a fun hands-on experience led by Marta Chudolinska, a comic book artist and zine maker.

Learning DIY skills like binding or block printing adds a special handmade touch to your zines, artists books, multiples, posters or other material that is part of your creative process, and opens the door to the industry of self-publishing.

 

26

05 2020

Storying Online Exhibition

STORYING

APRIL 15 – JUNE 1, 2020

Storying: Online Exhibition

View the online exhibition here

Over the winter semester 2020, OCAD U faculty Penelope Smart and Pam Patterson and 25 students of CROS 2002 Contemporary Issues: Art Today met on Thursday afternoons to explore the concept of identity — the solid, evaporating, congealing, fractured, token, sincere question of Who am I? within contemporary art practices. Our inquiry took on many forms: personal writings and responses on issues of representation and difference, memory and imagination, and the mediation of the world through technologies. Together, we mapped frameworks of the self through readings, peer discussions. presentations and gallery visits, working toward a fluid, unscripted, collective expression of our findings: a group exhibition of individual works that speak to identity as a myriad of stories we tell ourselves (or are told) about who we are.

“Storying”-as-exhibit was set to open in the Learning Zone on April 2nd, 2020. As Covid-19 became a reality for the OCADU community and across the globe, we pivoted to OCAD U’s digital platform. It is exciting and meaningful for us to share these works — as self-expression in the here and now — with online audiences during this extraordinary time. It has never been more important to stay connected and curious about other people. How do our personal experiences, histories, creative talents, and daily hopes and fears work to both keep us apart and bring us closer?

This website serves as an online exhibition and creative portfolio of the course. Please explore the multidisciplinary works — spanning painting, drawing, textile, sculpture, animation, music, AI tech and video — of students by clicking the names in the menu on the left. You can also read short artist statements including poems, lyrics and creative texts, which accompany and illuminate each work.

Thank you for visiting.
— Penelope Smart, curator and tutorial leader

Exhibition Statement: “Storying” is an exhibition by students in CROS 2002 Contemporary Issues: Art Today. Individual works spanning a variety of media query identity as a creative act — a thing to be made, re-made, told, written, erased, re-written, documented and performed. Works consider how questions of authorship and authority shape the stories we tell about who we are.

Exhibiting Artists: Anam Feerasta, Bernobayobaylee/ Lee Reid, Carla Sierra Suarez, Carmen Mahave, Chris Mullrooney, Emily Flynn, Esther Liang, Fabina Germain, Fuyu Liu, Jerry Zhou, Kaia Fortis Scott, Lou Davis, Lucas Kim, Madison Burke, Philberta Mak, Raf Dan McEwan, Tony Leung, Violet Liepins, Zhenhao Sun

Professor: Pam Patterson
Project curator: Penelope Smart, Tutorial Leader
Assistant curator: Temple Marucci-Campbell
Web design: Marta Chudolinska

A special thank you to Marta Chudolinska, of the OCADU Learning Zone, for her positivity, helpfulness and technical and administrative knowledge and support.

 

14

04 2020

Geometry in Art and Design Workshop with Nabeela Malik

Geometry in Art and Design Workshop Nabeela Malik

On Tuesday March 10th we hosted the Geometry and Design Workshop led by the very talented Nabeela Malik. Nabeela, last joined us in the Learning Zone in 2017 when she led a hands-on Arabic Calligraphy Workshop .

Students at work from the Arabic Calligraphy Workshop

Students at work from the Arabic Calligraphy Workshop

At this March 10th workshop, Nabeela explored geometry in art and design following 2D geometry based from Islamic geometric art.

This workshop was designed for students to learn 2D geometry based from Islamic geometric art. Students learned  artistic and mathematical aspects of geometry, and how geometry can be implemented in art and design. Nabeela demonstrated methods and techniques using two simple tools: a compass to draw circles and a ruler to make lines. Starting with a circle as the starting point for precisely creating other shapes with multiple sides. It was a fun workshop exploring building and overlaying of shapes to create complex geometric compositions.

Thank you Nabeela, for leading this amazing workshop and teaching new and creative skills to compliment any students’ practice!

Visit www.nmcustomart.com to check out Nabeela’s portfolio!

Student-Led workshops are funded by the Ontario Post-Secondary Access and Inclusion Program (OPAIP) administered by the Writing & Learning Centre. These workshops are free, including materials, and are open to all current students.

 

07

04 2020


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