Posts Tagged ‘student profile’

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

14

08 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.

15

06 2018

Student Profile: Aicha Niazy

Aicha Niazy

In April, we had a chance to speak with 4th year Graphic Design student Aicha Niazy who was busy putting final touches on her thesis project.

Aicha’s personal style has been very much influenced by her culture, religion and background stemming from her wanting to know more about these things

I would not say art school is what influenced my style but it’s other factors that influenced my artwork and graphic design style, like my culture, my religion, my background. I wanted to know more about these things about my culture and my background and questions in life in general so looking into these things has in a way suddenly or indirectly directed the type of work I do. For example, if you look at my thesis it’s all related to that, my culture, background and history.

LZ: Hi Aicha, it’s nice to meet with you again. Our last interview was in 2015, you were in your first year at OCAD University. This year you are graduating from the university with a BDes in Graphic Design.

AN: Yes, I am, hopefully

What did you enjoy most about studying graphic design at OCAD University?

I enjoyed some of the approaches that some of my profs had. Some of the courses were very interesting because I probably had a different expectation of what the course was going to look like, but then it was very different from what I was thinking. It was something new so, I enjoyed that although I can’t say it for all the courses. When I look back from first year to now, I see the progress and even those profs also see my progress.

 Is there another medium you would like to work with?

Yes, textiles. I think in my first interview I mentioned that small business that my mom, my sister and I started. That is what I want to focus on when I graduate. It’s mostly in textiles but I also have to do a lot of graphic design in branding and corporate identity work related to that but it’s very nice to merge the two together. I like creating pattern design, this is something I’m interested in, and surface design whether it’s for textiles, wall paper, or it could be for anything really.

Have you seen an evolution of your design practice from first year at OCAD U to present?

I feel like there is definitely, like I said before from first year to now, I have learned so much but even say that not just since the first year at OCAD but the first year at UTM. I went in not knowing how to use any of the software but that is what I learned and when I came into OCAD, it was even further into the practice itself, it was learning more about graphic design, but it was not like oh here this how you have to design something—it goes here and goes there—no it was not like any of this so it was a very good exploration and direction from the profs so you end up developing your own style in your work that is different from someone else but you are both learning but everyone ends up doing something—the style differs based on a lot of other things—everyone has their own influences—things whether they are aware of or not influence their work the way they are thinking so I absolutely do see a progression first year to now.

You have an assuredness in what you are doing and are very confident, you are open to learn more…

Absolutely, I’m open to learn more, always, forever—also that confidence comes after the very, very end after I’ve done my research, I begin with lots of questions, lots of confusion, lots of, I don’t know where I’m going a lot of my projects are hugely very open at the beginning, very broad, where do I  even begin, then slowly when I’m done, not done, its not ever done when I do a lot research and look into everything, then I’m okay, I know what I’m doing.

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

I enjoyed my time at OCAD!

 

12

06 2018

Student Profile: Aruvi Rajasingham

Aruvi Rajasingham

For the last two years, it has been a great privilege to have Environmental Design student Aruvi Rajasingham working in the Learning Zone as a Student Monitor. Many of you most likely have encountered Aruvi across campus either as a long-serving Student Peer Mentor for Campus Life, or busy with environmental design installations for GradEx.

Aruvi has been interested in the design process, ever since studying technological and industrial design in High School where she learned about making wallets out of duct-tape, and paper airplane making.

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

AR: This program offered me the opportunity to explore with many different types of materials and 3D design. I really enjoy the design process of experimenting, prototyping and making 3D objects, that was my interest in the design field, specifically environmental design. It was something new to me and I wanted to give it a try.

What did you enjoy most about your program?

I enjoyed the flexibility in the approaches towards your work. It is not a definitive answer in what you have to produce. You can be explorative in the project that you are given and creative with materials and design thinking.

I would say the people too, especially when I started to engage more in group projects. It was fun to work with different people.

Why did you choose OCAD University?

I choose OCAD because after researching other programs at universities I was excited that I could make things (studio environment). OCAD offered a hands-on experience and studio access. I could make things in an environment that allowed me to be experimental.

Through researching, I was looking for what other programs interested me, I knew that it had to be hands on. I found OCAD and it had this program. If offered me hands-on and studio. It excited me a lot that I could make things. I only applied to Toronto schools, so that I could commute from home. For financial reasons.

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

 I like working near a window with natural daylight.

I’ve noticed that you have been involved in many collaborative projects at OCAD U. Do you think that collaboration goes hand in hand with innovation?

Yes, it does. It makes a fun way of learning. Everyone has a diverse set of skills. They have knowledge about something that you do not know about. Working in a team already puts you in a situation with many different people, and a lot of ideas that can come from that.

Working with the Steam collective on the Steam Canoe Installation, I did not know a lot about building but by being part of the process you learn things – seeing things and being there.

The Steam Canoe, Beaches Winter Stations Installation (Winter 2016)

Any final thoughts that you would like to share with us?

It’s always nice to get involved around the community in something you are interested in. It’s a fun way to meet new friends and learn, even if it’s volunteering.

11

06 2018

Student Profile: Amanda Lam

Amanda Lam, Student Profile 2017Congratulations to our Learning Zone Student Monitor, Amanda Lam. Amanda has successfully completed her 4 years at OCAD U with a Bachelor of Design. Although, Amanda was born in Canada she moved with parents to Mauritius when she was four. Her exposure to the design world came at a young age because her dad worked in advertising and her uncle was in the graphic design field. Both her dad and uncle are now owners of their design company.

 

 

 LZ: What influenced your decision to major in Advertising?

AL: My dad told me that OCAD U was a really a good school and his creative directors studied there, so I should consider studying there too. When I came to Canada to study advertising it was primarily because my dad really encouraged me, but I ended up really liking OCAD, the design world itself and going into advertising.

Learning advertising at OCAD was really fun but also challenging. It was not what I thought it would be. At OCAD, the focus is on big ideas, concepts and how to bring an idea further and bigger. That’s what I really like about advertising; it puts the idea both squarely with problem solving of a business, and with the design and creative side — that’s fun.

With OCAD, I was exposed to real world clients and briefs and ended up winning the OCAD U Advertising Collaboration Masters Presentation, which was even more motivating. It was the first time I had the opportunity to work on real-life briefs, and it makes me want to do it more.

I’ve learned the importance of networking and making connections. Now that I’m graduating, I notice how more than ever how important it is to talk to people. For design there are a lot of opportunities, it’s just a matter of getting passed being scared about having no experience — just doing it even though you don’t know how to — that’s how I started. You make mistakes, but you have support from profs, parents, and friends to help you out.

Awkmob, Amanda's thesis group

My thesis group named ourselves Awkmob Agency because we bonded over awkward stories. Our group was considered the underdogs and nobody expected us to come in first and second in the Thesis Masters Presentations.

What did you most enjoy about your program?

I love the challenge. In the beginning, I went into the program thinking that I knew what advertising was about, big ads, fun ads but once studying advertising I learned things like copywriting, typography and the importance of design and a call into action. Brands want to see a return investment and getting your target to do something such as the poster may look nice but then what? It can be challenging.

I also liked all of my profs at OCAD, they were real world working people like actual creative directors. It was nice having their view on the industry especially because we are not close to that yet since we are still in school — they would be that step into the advertising world.

What was the most challenging about your program?

I think that advertising is very competitive and that competitive nature of advertising is reflected in our program, that was challenging. Seeing students from the other programs really friendly or chummy, kind of supporting each other but in our program, it is more like competition.

Coming up with new ideas that have not been done, it is something that any designer faces. In such a big world it’s kind of hard to come up with something completely new.

Amanda Lam, Bite project

What do you most look forward to after graduation?

I was looking forward to going back home to the island, to the beach and resorts, and under the sun, but because of the pressures of finding a job, I’m staying in Toronto.

I’m looking forward to finding a job that I will actually like, and to keep on learning. The working world will be so different from being in school, so that is exciting, and a new challenge. Hopefully seeing my work out there, on T.V. or online — that would be cool.

What will you miss the most about OCAD University?

Being able to talk to different design creative students from the different programs at OCAD U. When you go to Grad-ex, you get to see all the students’ work, that you don’t see all year because you are in your own bubble — it’s cool to see other projects and what they are doing. Most of my friends are from illustration program so I’m going to miss them as they will still be here doing a 5th year and I will miss my job at the Learning Zone.

 

09

06 2017


Use of this service is governed by the IT Acceptable Use and Web Technologies policies.
Privacy Notice: It is possible for your name, e-mail address, and/or student/staff/faculty UserID to be publicly revealed if you choose to use OCAD University Blogs.