Just my type

Last week’s whirlwind days at FITC were followed up with a handful of portfolio reviews with prospective employers…and I thought May was going to be calm and quiet?! Its an exciting time and though I’m still thoroughly exhausted and have yet to make up for missed sleep from this past semester I’m pretty thankful for all the new experiences that seem to successively come up as each day passes. Another reason for being so thankful? I made the mistake of mentioning how ‘tired’ I was to a new mother yesterday…talk about a reality check! Happy Mother’s Day indeed!

So new beginnings, new challenges and feeling ready for the unknown…whatever that may be. It also doesn’t hurt that this weekend the sun decided to come out to play…patio season is definitely here and I’m already daydreaming about this year’s camping adventures.

Speaking of which, hopefully one of my trips of the season will be for Scott & Victoria’s camping wedding extravaganza! I’m working on their invite this month and hope to capture their un-traditional and playful wedding plans on paper. Looking for a type treatment that matches and think I’ve caught onto something that can work…

Relatable fish…likely of the Pepperidge Farm goldfish variety

Just remembered this…the one solid moment at the end of the day at FITC when I felt completely akin to a complete stranger in the crowd. After Gmunk’s session on how the graphic content was created for TRON Legacy he fielded some questions from the audience. There was an 8-year old (or so) kid there and he put up his little hand, said something adorable about loving TRON and asked if he’s seen ‘Reboot’ the TV show. The answer was something like “No, sorry little guy, I don’t usually watch kids cartoons but I’ll definitely check it out” while in tandem I said to my friend Kathryn who looked puzzled by the reference “Reboot?! I loved Reboot! I use to watch it all the time on YTV!”

Wow.

I have yet to fact-check this, but I’m pretty sure whatever episodes of Reboot this kid has watched arelikely  re-runs and possibly recorded on VHS by his parents, but that was my huzzah-I-have-something-in-common-with-someone-else-here-in-this-room-moment. Typical PChan. Oh my.

Get started little fish

For the last two days I’ve been attending FITC Toronto getting inspired (and to be honest at times pretty intimidated) by the amazing creative ideation and technical execution of interactive projects by designers/developers in the digital space.  Its the 10th anniversary of the Toronto conference and I remember hearing about it in its first year which happened to be my first year at YSDN and throughout my years focused on print I never thought this conference was for me…but this year I couldn’t find any reason to not go being eligible for a student rate with an additional Sheridan discount. A steal of a deal at about $225 after taxes for a 3-day pass considering I’ve paid to attend design conferences in the past for about the same for a single day.

Common thoughts running through my head while listening to sessions? “Woah that’s so intense…how the heck did they do that?!”, “Oh so you’re going to show us how you did that? Why yes I’d love to see your process.”, “Umm… okay so I’m not familiar with almost all of those programming languages you listed, but I’m madly taking notes in my Moleskine in order to Google them later.”, “Oh so you’re going to give out your code to us too?! I don’t think I’ll be able to understand it with what I know today, but so cool of you to think to do that.”, “I think I’m loving this crowd’s vibe even though I feel like a fish out of water in this crowd.”

Sessions attended so far with links to their sites…
– Harnessing the Abundance with Mike Creighton / todaycreate.com / mikecreighton.com
– Marketing Your Skillz with Daniel Schutzsmith / graphicdefine.org
– New Tools for HTML Animation with Mark Anders / adobe.com
– Design I/O: Interactive Installations and Experimental Storytelling with Theo Watson & Emily Gobeille / zanyparade.com/v8 / theowatson.com / openframeworks.cc
– Integrating Flash and HTML5 with Mike Chambers / mikechambers.com
– Interactive on Readers & Tablets with Ted Patrick / tedpatrick.com
– Tron GFX with Gmunk / gmunk.com
– The Most Awesomest Talk Ever with Jamie Kosoy / bigspaceship.com

Most memorable take-away so far was from my first session of the conference with Mike Creighton about utilising familiar and unfamiliar resources in the design process. Great presentation illustrating key points supported by case scenarios of his own personal project, “Flow” that looks to bridge the gap between analog and digital in art-making. Mike’s last point was on the importance of getting started (something I struggle with in many of my own personal projects) and recognising the fact that no matter what you will fail, but that nothing will come to fruition if you don’t start. Tune out the noise, forget judgment and drop-kick your insecurities at the door. Pretty inspiring stuff for this fish out of water. Looking forward to the last day tomorrow!

Also, I totally fell in love with Emily’s illo style and what she and Theo did for an augmented magazine cover (print meets interactive say what!). Check them out in more detail here: http://zanyparade.com/v8/projects.php?id=28

Emily Gobeille / zanyparade.com

Emily Gobeille / zanyparade.com

Emily Gobeille / zanyparade.com

Emily Gobeille / zanyparade.com

Have you met my new old friend Jack?

I’m at war.

My body has decided to give out on me after 8 months (or arguably more) of being run ragged. Speaking of war this reminds me that I actually read Sun Tzu’s Art of War before starting a job once…more on that another day.

Despite my productive post-grad show morning of running errands and a lovely lunch out with two (now former) classmates the afternoon went in a downward spiral of sneezing and the chills. So on this Royal Wedding Day I’ve resigned myself to pjs in bed and catching up with all the prime time TV I’ve been missing. The Glee Barbara Streisand suburban mall dance number was pretty fabulous and I don’t know why more of my everyday life isn’t filled with moments like that.

As for last night’s show at Creative Niche it was a huge success! Julie from Sweet Jules did an amazing job catering the event with delicious apps that everyone was raving about…a well fed crowd is a happy crowd. We saw about 150 industry folks come through to check out our work and everyone turned on the schmooze. I’m sure we’ve all been preparing to talk about our work intelligently but I think with all the tunnel vision you forget that beyond hoping someone will actually not hate it (ie. throw down the mouse and walk away screaming “you’re a joke!”) people will actually like it, give you helpful feedback and suddenly you get that sense of validation you didn’t even know you wanted. Photos of the event to come soon! I didn’t have a camera on hand, but I’ll be sure to snag a few off someone else’s FB album and post them soon.

I got a chance to chat with folks from studios/agencies/etc big and small, got to reconnect with a YSDN grad from my year and of course enjoyed a few good stiff drinks after the show wrapped. We all dragged our exhausted selves over to the Rivoli for celebratory drinks and deep-fried late night bar apps. With some prompting and without much protest I was reacquainted with JD and was surprised that he wasn’t so unpleasant when on the rocks rather than shared straight from the bottle at a high school house party. Issues of the night discussed in length? The pros and cons of not being carded when standing next to your 22 year old classmate, how to succeed in business by thinking and acting like a man, and just how good these sweet potato fries and spicy mayo really are…no seriously have you had any?…they are so so good.

The weekend forecast? Dinner with the extended family with a belated chocolate bunny delivery for the little ones, a testosterone-filled-cauliflower-earred-night of watching the GSP fight followed by a Sunday afternoon bridal shower. One guess which of the three I’m most excited for…..and if you guessed anything involving ribbons or tulle I suggest you go back to my earlier reference at to the start of this entry.

Bueller? Bueller?

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferris Bueller

Somehow its already April 28th and the last nine months of my life have suddenly flown by. I hope to chronicle some of those weird and awesome moments in this new blog but all that can wait for another day because today is reserved for toasting my fellow classmates and the amazing faculty of the Sheridan’s Post-Grad Web Design Program at tonight’s grad show at Creative Niche.

Nine months ago I took a huge leap, left my full-time gig as Assistant AD at Chatelaine and traded in paper for pixels. Along the way I helped launch a start-up design studio with my other half, volunteered as a tutor teaching seniors basic computer skills, contributed to Sheridan’s award-winning student mag, and experienced the challenges and triumphs of freelancing.

Much thanks to Gillian Chubb, Sean Patrick, Mark Cheung and Sheila Greenland for your dedication and support in helping me get to where I am today. Because of you four I never doubted for a second that I was completely insane for leaving an awesome job to be a student again. Congrats to all my fellow grads and thank you for an awesome year together!

Want to know more? Check out our grad show site: http://nmdss.sheridanc.on.ca:16080/~webdesign2011/