Student Profile: Tom Colleran

Tom Colleran, 2016

Those who have visited the Learning Zone would have met Tom Colleran, one of our many talented LZ Student Monitors who have provided valuable services for us. Tom will be graduating from the Drawing & Painting program this summer. Tom’s main focus with his artwork has been portraiture and figurative paintings and drawings. Coming to OCAD U was a natural fit for Tom as he grew up drawing.

I spent a lot of my childhood on a farm, a farmhouse and we did not really have cable or internet, we had very slow internet. We would spend most of our time drawing. My grandfather would have a lot of photocopied articles and the backside were always blank so we would get big stacks of paper that we could draw on. My grandpa, when he saw me draw he would be pulling me aside to show me the great masters. I got more interested in pursuing it more seriously later on.

Salfie

LZ: What 2 art supplies could you not live without?

TC: A good supply of Willow charcoal and a good kneading eraser.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

One of my favourite authors is Kurt Vonnegut. I like his blend of humour, satire, history and science fiction.

Goldfish. Tom Colleran, 2015

What do you do to relax?

I play a lot of guitar. I am in a band with my sister.

Do you have a favourite contemporary artist who you appreciate a lot?

The one artist that got me excited was Eric Fischl. He also works from photographs. Fischl was part of the Neo-expressionism movement that popularized working with the figure again in the late 60s. His paintings have some dark and perverted imagery—and he does some really nice portraits too.

David

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

Take your time at school. When I started I was really concerned with getting through everything and taking as many classes as possible then I slowed down. Give your self enough time to do things. Having less projects gets you excited by the projects you do have and that is a big help. That is one of my many experiences from OCAD that I will transfer to my art practice.

Subway scene

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08 2018

International Zine Month 2018

International Zine Month

This month is International Zine Month (IZM)! A global celebration of zines and independent self-publishing, founded by Alex Wrekk creator of Stolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY Resource for Zines.

The OCAD Zine Library marks this month on the calendar with a special zine display highlighting a few of the 2500 zines that are in the collection.

The OCAD Zine Library was launched in 2007 by then student and artist Alicia Nauta “to inspire people…educate and entertain”, we hope that visiting the zine library during IZM will do just that.

International Zine Month July 2018

Food Blog by Anna May Henry

Mad Mulatta by Brittany Couch

Canada: Some Subjective Perspectives, no author

Indigenous Visual Culture Program: Comic Writing Workshop with Walter Scott by various authors

Chojin Club Vol. 1 by various authors

We Are Not White Lesbians by Nia King

Queer Enough by Jamie Q

Back to Nappy: Guide to Beautifully Regressing to Natural Hair by Roechelle Adair

Small Time Magic by Wren McDonald

Forever: A Collection of Love Letters, no author

To view more zines visit the online zine library catalogue found here.

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07 2018

Make A Page For Our Zine

Make A Page For Our Zine, 2018

Make A Page For Our Zine is a participatory zine installation, installed in the Learning Zone Gallery for the summer. Inspired in part by Collage This Wall: Interactive Collage Experiment Installation (2012) and International Zine Month.

Collage This Wall was an interactive collage experiment installed in the Learning Zone during the summer of 2012 which drew participation from members of the OCAD U community and public to create and share a personal collage.

International Zine Month represents a global participation of DIY ethos that encompasses zine making and independent publishing. Various events like zine making workshops, readings and festivals are held and celebrated annually in the month of July.

Make A Page For Our Zine engages with this same process, inviting interactivity and collaboration in the zine making process.

At the conclusion of this project, the pages will be compiled, stapled and made into a zine then added to the OCAD Zine Library collection.

The process facilitates the creation of ideas, and captures the collaborative work.

On until August 15

16

07 2018

OCAD University Zine Library Open House

 

Art Book Week. OCAD U Zine Library Open House promo

Come visit and browse a collection of over 2500 zines, from uniquely handmade multiples, minicomics, poetry chapbooks, perzines, and much more! We will have a special display of recent acquisitions with a focus on Indigenous voices, decolonization and multilingual publications.

When? Tuesday July 10, 10 am to 6 pm at the Learning Zone located at 122 St. Patrick Street, Level 1, also accessible from 113 McCaul Street.

This event is part of Art Book Week, a week-long series of events and activities that parallels the Toronto Art Book Fair. Art Book Week 2018 takes place from July 4 – 11 at various locations across the city. The goal of Art Book Week is to celebrate the unique artists’ book community in Toronto, as well as increase the visibility of new and exciting projects, spaces, and artists. www.torontoartbookfair.com/art-book-week-2018

 

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06 2018

Student Profile: Nikole Hidalgo McGregor

Nikole Hidalgo

We enjoyed Integrated Media student Nikole’s energy and passion while she worked here at the Learning Zone for the last two years. This energy and passion also extended into her artwork that can be viewed on her Vimeo channel.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the art you create.

I am Nikole Hildago McGregor, I come from Peru. I am a feminist and a Mestizo woman. I make video work that is connected with both my identity and my political views, views that are also related with social change.

How long have you been interested in art? How long have you known that this is something that you wanted to pursue as a career?

When I was growing up I was really good at math and sciences. I really like to do crafts but I never saw that as something I wanted to do for a living and dedicate myself to. I studied biology for 5 years but I honestly did not like it. So, moving to Canada was an opportunity to take over a different route with something that I would actually enjoy and do not hate every single second. I took a design certificate program and worked with a team designing a logo for a minor hockey team. I really like designing and doing art direction but wanted more creative freedom. So, I look for a place where I could do this thing that I was craving, that was art and developing my skills. I learnt of the Integrated Media program at OCAD U, that offered me the opportunity to work with computers, animation, film and design, a program that brings art and technology together.

Where does your inspiration come from?

As I mentioned, I am feminist and Mestizo Latino woman from Peru, which is still a chauvinist country with older views about the roles of women in society, and still dealing with issues like ownership of the female body – as if it’s not her own. These kind of themes are really important to me.

My work always turns the eyes towards the current situation in Peru, but that is also present in the first world, like the United States, were Planned Parenthood centers are being closed because of how politics move in order to control women. I find that most of my work tries to make reference to what inspires me the most. When I work on in a project I want to communicate my ideas and feelings. I avoid using narration because I speak Spanish and English, but I want my pieces to be understood by everyone. I try to make points about the feelings and insecurities and the internal struggles that women face.

Which two art supplies could you not live without?

I love paper.  Even with my stop motion animation, I made the whole wardrove and custom designs are made out of paper. I adore the different weights and textures. Also, for my own creative process, I can’t live without clay, it is a substrate of my craft, and I consider it enriches my creative process

When you came to OCAD you knew that you were going to be involved with film/video making, but did you always have a love for animation or was that something that developed later?

It developed afterwards. I did not have any kind of artistic instruction previously. I did not know how to grab a pen or pencil for drawing, it was so weird. You need to at least know a little bit about drawing for animation. When I applied to Integrated Media, I said yes I can design in a different way, like for making film because you follow the same principles of design, colour, repetition within the screen,  so obviously I started taking more film courses. But little by little I realized that I like the power of creating everything by yourself. You need a team for making a film but for animation there is a certain flexibility about it and you can do it by yourself.  Of course, it will take all of the time in the world! It was quite a discovery, and I learned to carve, to paint, to draw, because of animation. I am really keen on aesthetics, so I would spend weeks learning the skills before getting into the animation process. Animation is a great tool for talking about really difficult and painful subject matters. You can be really symbolic about it without having blood and death directly full on your face.  You can be subtle and say deep, sad stuff in a really beautiful way and that’s a power that I wanted to be able to wield.

What did you enjoy the most about Integrated Media program?

I find that Integrated Media allowed me to discover myself in a way that other programs would not have been able to—it gave me so many options to strengthen the skills that I already had, and it also opened doors for discovering new ways of making art. All the instructors that I had were amazing, inspiring artists, great professionals, practicing artists. I don’t know if I was lucky but everything about the program allowed me the possibility to call myself an artist today. I find it such a complex word, what does it even mean to be an artist?, to me its the ability to grab different tools and create something that is meaningful to today’s society.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?

When I talk about myself, I say that I’m a filmmaker and animator, and I know that there are a lot of nuances on those two terms. My practice is media based but what I present on the screen is informed by all the tools I find around me. An artist should not be limited, and if you have the opportunity to really explore other substrate then why not, it will just enrich the final practice. Communication is also important to me, so I try to portrait the subject matter in meaningful, lingering ways making use of the visuals. I believe I am capable of highlighting important issues with the art direction of a short.

Is there any artist from the past or present that you appreciate a lot?

Jan Švankmajer. He works with film and animation. He makes gigantic puppets, sometimes he does puppetry, stop motion animation, and he works with clay and wood. He writes a lot and I like the way he describes his work—he does not make objects come to life but he listens to the objects telling the stories that the objects want to tell. It’s so rich. I find his work inspiring and connects a lot with my art practice.

What are your plans when you graduate?

I would love to keep doing what I do. I have had the incredible honour to show my pieces around the world. I’ve been showing in Europe, South America and here in Canada. I have been invited to the La Truca Film Festival in Colombia in the middle of the year because they have a special panel with female empowered filmmakers, and my film is also showing in that festival.

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

If you are a student, take advantage of that because you can create pieces that are really important and meaningful to you, and you have the opportunity to have the feedback from your instructors and that feedback is invaluable.

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06 2018


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