Student Profile : Cassidy Tam

LZ: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the art you create?

CT: My name is Cassidy Tam and I am in Material Art and Design (MAAD). I was raised in Hong Kong and I have been in Toronto for 4 years. I love textile and fabric arts. I do a lot of sewing, knitting and make jewelry.

What influenced your decision to major in MAAD?

Before I came to Toronto I was told that fashion design at Ryerson was a really famous program. But when I came to Toronto I discovered that there was the MAAD program and I knew that this was the right program for me. At Ryerson I could do fashion but here I found I could actually make my own textiles.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Life experience because when I create artwork there is always meaning behind it.

What are your favourite tools to work with (brushes, paint, software, etc.)?

My hands.

What is your working style (do you work on multiple pieces at once, work best under pressure, etc.)?

Have fun. I am a person who can’t work under pressure so I need a lot of freedom in the process. If I start earlier then I have more time to play.

Do you set goals for yourself?

Yes everyday, week, month and year.

How do you promote yourself?

My personal blog, Twitter, online jewelry store, CassMart’s facebook pageetsy and  my jewelry portfolio.  Recently I participated in an art show A First Time for Everything at XPACE.

What advice would you give first year students?

First year may seem disappointing but try and keep positive cause you will find these courses are helpful to you. Be patient.

What are the most useful skills you have learned at OCAD?

When you want to come up with an original idea you can make a chart for the subject, for example a chair. You make a column for man made and one for nature. In the nature column you can add whatever is in nature that functions as a chair and the same for man made and combine them together to create new ideas.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing students today?

I can speak based on my own experience. I was in the pathway at OCAD [English Language Pathway for ESL students in first-year design] and I found that I was more advanced than those students because I have been in Toronto for longer.  I had trouble working with them since they are new to Toronto and western countries; they were less open minded both in language and design.

What is the best art tip you ever received?

Relax when you make art. I found that when I make art for myself I enjoy the process a lot and get good results. When I create for assignments and I am stressed the results don’t turn out well, I end up hating my projects.

What 2 art supplies could you not live without?

My camera and my sketchbook.

What is your favourite technique you use in your work?

I play around with a lot of techniques and ideas but one of the things I like the most is photo transfers onto fabric.

Is there another medium you would like to work in?

Professional printmaking, I am debating if I should do a minor in printmaking.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

When I am super relaxing I listen to jazz plus have coffee and dessert. This is when I make art.

What do you do to relax?

Wondering around on the street like a modern women.

What are 3 likes and 3 dislikes of yours?

Likes: the sounds from creasing paper, eating, kids

Dislikes: insects, superstition, chopsticks

What is your favourite place to eat around OCAD?

Café Crêpe.

What is your favourite thing about studying in Toronto?

It is much less stressful than in Hong Kong and teachers are always respectful. The definition of what is successful here and Hong Kong is really different.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

When I first came to Toronto I went to Georges Vanier Secondary School where they have a special art program. I had a lot of opportunity to figure out what I wanted to do during that time. This is when I first started making art seriously. It was my starting point but during that time I was also living in the darkest period of my life. Those terrible experiences inspired me a lot and my design.

What upcoming projects can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I have illustrations called elehubird and I will be turning those illustrations into toys, jewelry, fabric, etc.

What are your plans when you graduate?

I can’t wait until my wedding ceremony.

What is your dream job?

I hope one day I can teach kids art and design.

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

Life is too short so just enjoy what you love doing and please love yourself.

Check out some of Cassidy’s work:

About The Author

Jessica Goodman

Other posts by

Author his web site


04 2011

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