On July 27, 2107 I had the fun and pleasure to create some art in a 3D environment at UnLondon. It was a meetup that included ping pong, food and drink and of course the VR experience.
I saw an article on CBC TV last winter on just this and thought that's exactly what I want to do! Thanks to UnLondon for having the facility and equipment available. At this point, being my first time using the interface, I got used to it and the controls to create basic items. I look forward to creating more intricate art and will be checking online what other artists are doing in this environment. I have always been a forward thinker, having read Nicholas Negraponte's book, Being Digital back in the 1990s.
I am a very curious person and am very excited how technology will give us another outlet for creativity. I hope to be old and grey someday creating wonderful works of art not only with VR but whatever technology that will come that we just don't know about yet.
With over 25 years experience as a graphic and web designer, and as a design instructor, I am letting others know about me to see how I can help others with their creative needs.
I have a beautiful studio with the technology and software that I need to provide solutions for my customers. As a design instructor as well, I can help with visualizing what a client needs and how to do it. As a multi passionate person, and work at helping clients transform beyond their current status.
I taught design for 10 years and how to utilize Creative Thinking techniques. Creative Thinking is not only for designers or artists, but for anyone who is in business and wanting to have new ideas and create solutions for their problems, it's' not always about art.
I look forward to hear where your "pain points" are and how I can help you or your company.
I had lunch with a friend recently and I was asked if and how I was keeping in touch with technology. As someone who has a graphic/web design background, I realized that I know more than I am telling people. She asked me about Google Analytics and I told her how I registered for the account and how it gives me info on my website. It is very interesting to see not only the demographics of who comes to my site or bounce rates, but also where they are coming from. I was able to block certain geographical areas (like Russia). How do I know all this? I am a very curious person, always have been. If someone else has already done it, it is on the internet.
In the past, I had to set up a registration form for a gymnastics club in town and had to deal (before it was common place) how to send the info to an email account. I used a php script called formail.php and even though I am not a programmer, I know enough about syntax of various programs to edit the file and send the data to the right email with the appropriate Subject header in the email. I did this back in 2002.
I am surrounded with friends who are computer geeks and it never takes long until we are talking about the latest technology. I am always interested in the latest software for either app building or other emerging technologies. It is interesting for me to see how VR is gaining ground. Personally, I am looking forward to voice activated holograms to surf the internet, play games and generally carry out many of our daily tasks.
My background as an Industrial Design graduate is a help because I learned about usability and ergonomics way before UX was a buzzword.
Keeping on top of technology is always going to be something that I like to tinker with. I am a creative thinker and that what helps me keep curious, and there are still so many more things to be curious about.
If you are not aware, Kaizen is the Japanese concept of continual improvement.
In the past, when I experienced the newness of computers in the home and of Desktop Publishing, I was blown away on how I could edit my text electronically and not have to deal with Letraset sheets.
There have been so many changes over the decade on web platform, what technology is utilized for digital design. Gone are the old Macromedia and Aldus programs. Most CMS webdesign platforms have all that you need built in, not like the collection of programs from different vendors were collected to create sites. Not that is totally gone, I am still trying to keep on top of what the latest technologies are the industry standard. Someone keeps moving those chess pieces.
I am still excited to know that there are so many more changes ahead of us. I look forward to having VR and AR more mainstream. Animated GIFs have made a bit of a comeback. I personally am waiting for holograms to be brought in to our UI and UX experiences. Our phones may someday be our personal computers with their ability to host our powerful software programs and your monitor and keyboards are peripherals.
As a continual learner and very curious person in general, I love to think of processes. My training as an Industrial Designer has taught me to be a lateral thinker. My passion for Graphic Design has taught me how to get across an concept in the most clean and understandable way possible. Can people understand the message? How will they navigate? What do you want them to learn or get from the experience? I am very fortunate to be surrounded with like minded friends where when we do get together, we talk about the latest technology and geek out.
My experience with Ladies that UX, Women in Communication and Technology, TechAlliance and as a MYNY mentor at Fanshawe College, has helped me stay curious and want to work through processes.
The fact that our learning curve is still in its infancy when it comes to technology, I look forward to continually be challenged in the years ahead. This is a truly exciting time for the curious.
Adobe Illustrator was created in 1987 and I started using it in Sept. of 1991 and started teaching it at Fanshawe in Feb. 1992. As a freehand illustrator, I loved how I could create scalable vector art. Scanning stuff and cleaning them up in Illustrator is something that I really had fun playing with.
I can't believe the time that has passed and I am still using my Adobe software programs. The highlight for me was visiting Adobe headquarters in San Jose in 1994. I drove down the El Camino Real and say so many big software giants of the day and some that are still around today.
One thing that learning this software has taught me is that design tools change all the time and it continues today. I just came across a drag and drop way of creating my own apps. Soon it will be virtual worlds and voice activated everything including major biometrics included in all aspects of our life.
I look forward to the next 30 years.
Feb. 2017 marks the 25th year since I created my first course for Fanshawe College night school - Adobe Illustrator. I was given less than 3 weeks to put together a 30 hour course. I took the opportunity, and week by week, I created the course and attained my experience teaching in front of a class. Two years later I created the Photoshop 30 hour course and the first Electronic Graphic Design course which was 54 hours in length.
I continued to teach for a total of 10 years where I finished my last 2 years teaching at the daytime Design School at Fanshawe College. With both my art and technical knowledge, I created a Portfolio Creation course for Urban Design students and taught Creative Thinking to Graphic Design students. During this time I was very active teaching corporately as well.
For over the past 2 years I have been trying to find what (as I joked with my daughter) what Mom wants to do when she grows up. Anyone who knows me knows that I have been actively engaging with the digital design sector in London with no success. I have wanted to teach at Fanshawe College again but am not given any hours.
Over 5 years ago, my husband and I built our dream home which we designed and where we were the general contractors. We were able to design it exactly as we wanted it. That included an amazing art studio and gallery. Last fall I started advertising Paint Nights at my studio and teaching art lessons. I had success with the paint nights almost right away but it wasn't until after the new year where I now have 2 students to whom I am teaching art, not bad for January. I am getting more requests for various types of classes and am looking forward to creating courses that people want.
Everything that happened this year so far is screaming to me that this is what makes me happy and is financially beneficial. I really miss teaching and that IS what I do best. I plan to teach for the next decade and impart on others the fun and play with creating art and design while adding all the details that I have learned as a BealArt and Fanshawe Design graduate.
I am so grateful for all the people who have believed in me and have supported me in this endeavour. We have always told our children to do what you love as a job and I think I finally have relearned that myself.
I had quite a progressive year with moving forward with my digital design knowledge. I finally got Wordpress under my belt, eventually being given a blank server space and loading the theme and all the plugins that I like to work with. I realized that I do want to continue to base myself from home as far as freelancing goes. I also realized that I really miss teaching and will be expanding that part of my business in the new year.
One thing that has been on my mind for a few years has been my background of UX design. As an Industrial Design graduate
Paint Nights seem to be quite the craze right now and I am very fortunate to be set up to do them in my studio. I have just expanded my ability to seat from 7 to 14 people at a time. My paint nights so far have been a blast and since I love to teach and be in front of a class, I am right at home.
Paint Nights are set up for people who don't paint. The method on how the painting will be done is thought out ahead of time to make the evening go smoothly.
I am able to offer BYOB to my clients. Other locations can cost up to $45 for a session (usually 2 hours) and then you buy your drink above that. I charge $35 per person and everyone can bring their favourite wine or cooler. You can even bring your own food if you want to do a group party.
It's hard to believe that we moved to Thorndale from London in late April 1996. As both of my children eventually attended Leesboro PS, I found myself volunteering a fair bit. I helped with facilitating the Chess Club, supported our son in participating in school plays and created graduation videos for both the children's grade 8 graduation class. We were so happy with the school and community and to this day feel blessed that they had a happy, safe environment to grow up in.
My husband was a Scouts leader when there was one in Thorndale, and often he couldn't make it back from Toronto to attend a Scouts meeting. I often stood in for him and will never forget being greeted at those meetings by all the cubs as "Mrs. Rusty". My husband and I have always believed in the fact that it takes a village to raise a child and were there for many kids who we felt needed an extra hand.
I was also a member of the Thorndale Revitalization Committee, where we were headed by Ralph Stephens and Bill Ross who fought to separate our needs from the whole of Thames Centre. Through the RED grant, we were able to implement the light standards on main street as well as all the trees planted there. I designed and created the banners on the light standards as well as design and supervision of the making of the Wye Creek Park sign next to the hardware store. I have had one of my paintings over the fireplace at the Thorndale Library since it was expanded from it's former self.
I remember being on lots of Christmas and Fall Fair floats representing either the Scouts or Leesboro PS. Going tobogganing in the winter with the Cubs and supporting the Sparks with their fundraising efforts.
As my children attended university, I have been less involved but I am very proud of I Love Thorndale and how it is offering a real community connection to all residents. From my days with the Thorndale Revitalization Committee, I know how important it is for Thorndale to set itself apart from Dorchester. I hold no ill will to them in any way as they have a vibrant business community. It's just that I feel Thorndale needs to stand on own. When I first heard of the start of ILT, I told them that they were an important part of the community and wanted them to be very successful.
I have started advertising my company with ILT and offer my help in any way to continue to make it a vital part of the community. It is exciting to know that Thorndale is growing and it is becoming more feasible for me to focus on Thames Centre and area to grow my business.
This local focus will also allow me volunteer again and be more active in the community.
I am a very blessed person. Throughout my life I have always been allowed to follow my creative dreams. It is difficult for me to think that we have been in our dream home for over 5 years now. We took 2 years to design and almost 2 years to build our home that essentially was placed in the middle of a corn field with no water or electricity. We were the general contractors on the build and it was definitely a labour of love.
Within this past month, I was speaking to my good friend and neighbour Sharyl, and I was thinking about the work that I wanted to do. She spoke up and reminded me that when we built our home, I created an art studio above the garage with lots of light and double sink for cleaning brushes to teach art from home. I have been looking beyond my backyard and as the book The Alchemist states, sometimes you don't need to look further than that.
The other part of me misses teaching. I taught for 10 years from design foundations to digital design. I not only taught but was a curriculum developer, creating courses from scratch. I still have a lot of passion for teaching and so I have started to position myself to teach art/design and computer graphic software from my home. I live in Thames Centre, just north east of London which has a population of about 17,000 people. Thorndale itself, where I live, has 2 new subdivisions slated to be built within the next 1-3 years. These are all other reasons to focus in my backyard.
I am still a designer and artist, two things that I will always be doing because I am passionate about them. Being on my own since 2002 from a work perspective, I realize that an office job outside my home is not the best option for me because I am used to being on my own and I really enjoy it.
Our home also lends itself to be a bed and breakfast and could be a location for art retreats. My husband and I have agreed that we want to leverage this beautiful location.
So now I look forward to this next year as my business grows. It is interesting that Paint Nights are so popular right now. I have already hosted one and have 2 more in November that are booked. Diversification is something that I thrive on and love the fact that I am often doing very divergent things.
I thank my family for their constant support. Without them, like many other entrepreneurs, I would not be able to follow my interests and passions.
I am so excited for the future. Wish me luck!
This blog is to showcase my ongoing work.