My path as an artist...
As far back as my memories can take me, I've always had a deep love and respect for art in all forms... visual, written, audio, performance, dance, just name it! I am constantly pushed by the drive to create and love applying good design everywhere, and to everything possible.
At a very young age I began experimenting with any medium I could get my hands onto - but strangely enough my art naturally took on a marketing direction. While many kids at the time played with treasure trolls - I would set mine up on a shelf like a window display with a theme, backdrops and props. During the holidays I would take poster paint and paint the scenes from holiday colouring books onto our windows - similar to what you see outside many fast food restaurants today.
During my late teens, I found my art was leaning more towards a digital direction as I started learning more about graphic design so in my early twenties I enrolled in a pencil drawing course and reconnected myself with more traditional visual arts again.
I have an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil so I’ve also bee having a blast learning new mobile drawing tools and experimenting with combining my drawing skills with the latest technology.
In my spare time today I still draw with pencil and/or ink and occasionally paint. I also enjoy creating special effects makeup, costuming and am a self-identified crafter.
My path as a graphic designer...
As I alluded to above, my love for design started at a young age. I grew up running around printing presses at our local newspaper where my father did the majority of the layouts for years. Having a flare for computers at a young age, I quickly adapted my own art into the layout and design concepts I was learning there, as well as into the basic computer programs available at the time and behold - my love of graphic design was born.
After graduating from Advertising in 2001, I gained 3 years experience at an advertising agency. There I indulged myself into the world of print, pre-press requirements, and ever tightening deadlines. At some point - I have done almost every step of the printing process from the design to handing over the plates that I made and the ink that I mixed directly to the press operator.
Later I went on to broaden my ever growing skill sets by learning web design and web graphics. This strange and flexible world was the complete opposite of the print world I was accustomed to but I still managed to pick up a fairly diverse skill set. I continue to use this knowledge to aid me in the creation of web graphics and when planning design that will cross a multitude of media.
I have also applied my broad skill sets in the field of project management when I was employed by a packaging company in 2005. There it was my job to; coordinate approvals and printing, manage inventory, and handle the overall logistics of various programs like SC Johnson - Glade and Chapstick.
The combination of all these experiences is the foundation that my freelance graphic design service is built on. I believe that it’s the combination of my passion for design with a strong commitment to community that fuels my home business into a full-time design house.
I've committed myself, and the design work I produce, to the following concepts:
• Form + Function = Good Design
• healthy messages
• inclusion and representation
• clear communication
• consistent branding
• positive imagery
• enjoying the process
My path as a musician ...
In combination with with my early love for visual arts, I also had an early love of music and performing. I taught myself to play keyboard and as a child and would often figure out how to play show tunes like "Memory" from Cats and the theme to Phantom of the Opera. I also studied tap, jazz/modern and ballet from a very young age until my early teens and in high school was heavily involved in drama and school productions.
In my early twenties I bought myself a guitar, taught myself how to play before joining a band with a couple of my friends who were also learning guitar at the time called "Upper Canada". After a couple years, I had my first live gig playing an instrument on stage for a one-time performance with a group of friends called "Zombie Apocalypse".
Shortly after that performance I joined a band called "Just A Phase" (originally "Cum with Muffs") as the bassist. We played one live show but had a good setlist of originals that were very a style of a harder grinding variation on pop-rock.
I also joined another band as the bassist that had a very active schedule, and was signed to Blocks Recording Club called "Tomboyfriend". We recorded two discs and making music with this group was an artistic dream that unfortunately came to end end in late 2012 when the group dissolved. It was an incredible ride playing with this group for almost 4 years with memories and experiences that I'll cherish for the rest of my life.
From there I occasionally helped fill the shoes as part of a backing band for a talented local vocalists "Amy Kate & The Ashleys". I also had a short run with a riot girl group called "Damage Over Time" and was happy to expand my musical contributions to back-up vocals. Although I claim to be more of a back-up "screamer" than "singer".
I also continued to make music with the guitarist from Tomboyfriend, and formed a band called "Broken Puppy". We recorded one disc and played various Toronto bars.
Currently, I make music with a talented group called “Bex and the Disappointment” - a rocky group with a strong lead vocals and a tight back band. We currently play every month or two around Toronto and are working towards recording our original tracks. Please visit bexandthedisappointment.com to learn more and hear us live!
My path, in general...
I live in downtown Toronto with my partner, and our two senior cats (Minder & Basil).
When I'm not submerged in a design project, I also play bass guitar and can be found playing here and there around various bars Toronto with Bex and the Disappointment.
I use to sit on the Board of Directors and help organize the annual Toronto Zombie Walk until we had to put the walk to the grave after 2014 due to funding issues.
I also love crocheting, costuming and movies. In the summer I can be found either dancing with friends, or camping, or both!
One can usually pick me out from a distance because I'm almost always wearing black and have purple/fluorescent hair.