Sunday, October 13, 2013

How Kids Books Are Made Thursday Oct 17 from 5-8 at ACAD

ACAD is presenting a panel discussion featuring alumni who illustrate children's books. Kim Smith, Jacqui Lee, Renata Liwska, Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli, Jessica Phillips, Lincoln Agnew, Joy Ang, and designer/publisher Janine Vangool will talk about the business of making children's books.

Thursday Oct 17 from 3-5pm in the Stanford Perrott Lecture Theatre at ACAD / 1407 4 Ave NW

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Alberta Illustration Awards - Sept 26

Aaaand were back. Another school year has commenced and we are beginning the school year with a celebration and exhibition of illustration at my studio RandM Collective. We are featuring around 50 artists, most of which are ACAD graduates. I'll be posting profiles on the artists in the coming days.

Alberta Illustration Awards - September 26, 2013 at RandM Collective on the lower level of Art Central in downtown Calgary, 100 7 Ave SW.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Nic Wassill

Nic began this animation in his final year at ACAD in 2011 and continued working on it under an AFA grant. It's fascinating to see where he has taken it since then.

The Black Monk - Nic Wassill © 2013 from Nic Wassill on Vimeo.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Omar Lalani Opening this Thursday June 13th

This Thursday we are showing the work of ACAD alumni Omar Lalani at our studio RandM Collective.

The exhibition will feature original paintings by Calgary artist Omar Lalani. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to feature the first solo exhibition of art work by this talented young artist. The show will introduce new works by Omar and feature his expressive paintings on paper.

for more info visit

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jacqui Lee

Another ACAD alumni has a children's picture book coming out this month.

This time it is Murilla Gorilla illustrated by Jacqui Lee. It is to be officially released tomorrow (May 30) and published by Simply Read Books.

Murilla Gorilla, the jungle detective, is woken up by a new case: Ms. Chimpanzee’s muffins were stolen. But who did it? It’s up to Murilla to find out... as long as she can find her badge first! Murilla may seem like a hopeless detective—disorganized, messy and always thinking about her next snack—but out of her mess come some pretty good ideas, and some pretty funny moments too.

It is Jacqui's first book and looks worthwhile investigating! Visit the Simply Read Website HERE for more. And see more of Jacqui's work on her website,

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Macy Hippsley

Macy is one of a new generation of designers with their feet firmly set in both design and illustration. 

There was a time when these two were separated,  But happily we seem to be growing out of that, and many successful designers do both comfortably nowadays. 

Macy's work shows that they can co-exist in harmony and in fact flourish when working in tandem. 

 See more:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Alicia Wu

For Alicia the final semester of art college has brought into fruition a style of illustration that works very well for her.

It's great to see a student reach this critical mass with their work as the end of art college leads to new beginnings.

Check out the fruits of her labor on her website:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nicole Gueldenpfennig

I miss out on teaching a few students out of every graduating year, Nicole is one, so I will have to let her work speak for her - which it does very well!

Her bio mentions that she went to art college after working in the industry as a production artist, the combination of her earlier background in the 'nuts and bolts' of this business combined with what she has learned about the creative 'energy' that fuels it will no doubt serve her well as she moves back into the work force.

See Nicole's work here:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Joy Ang

ACAD alumni Joy Ang's new picture book, Mustache Baby, has been released this week and it looks pretty darn cute!

 Here is the blurb for the book: When Baby Billy is born with a mustache, his family takes it in stride. They are reassured when he nobly saves the day in imaginary-play sessions as a cowboy or cop and his mustache looks good-guy great. But as time passes, their worst fears are confirmed when little Billy’s mustache starts to curl up at the ends in a suspiciously villainous fashion. Sure enough, “Billy’s disreputable mustache led him into a life of dreadful crime.” Plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and cartoonish illustrations make this the perfect baby-shower gift for a mustachioed father-to-be.

Read more about the book HERE.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Matt Sliwon

The transition to new media is a challenge even now that it's been around for a while and really isn't all that new. Matt has overcome that challenge by jumping head first into it, whether experimenting with 3d motion graphics or creating a completely functional touch interactive and motion animated tablet magazine application.

This engagement in new methods of communication combined with a strong traditional graphic design background suggests a pretty exciting future for this young designer.

Art Is Dead - Motion Tests from Matt Sliwon on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2013 Grad Show

ACAD's 2013 Grad Show opening night reception is happening this Thursday, May 16 from 4-8 pm. From what I have seen walking through the main mail at ACAD today it's going to be an excellent show.

For the School of Communication Design's part of the show, instructor Tivadar Bote asked the students to design a poster specifically for the show and I am excited to see what the students have come up with! There will also be a table showcasing some of the students portfolios.

 May 16 - 25, 2013
ACAD | 1407 14th Avenue NW

Opening Reception
Thursday, May 16, 2013 | 4:00 - 8:00 PM

Exhibition Hours
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday through Saturday
Show runs until May 25.

Here are some snapshots of the VCD work as it is being
put up by a volunteer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Maaike van Lambalgen

Maaike is a graduate of this years Character Design stream at ACAD. As you might infer from her major, Maaike's interest's begin with characters and she's had lot of fun (and worked super hard!) exploring how they can be utilized in an array of applications from cute bears for an app game, mystical owl creatures for a kid's picture books, energetic mascots for sports, to heartless witches removing ... hearts.

Check out more on her website:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dylan Smith

You know how some people seem to be naturally interesting. The things they say are engaging, or have resonance, or are funny, or are just ... interesting. Dylan has that quality, and his designs and illustrations reflect it.

Naturally a part of it is, as the saying goes 'you have to be interested to be interesting', and you can see that curiosity in Dylan's work and the subjects he explores with his designs. But also he's just interesting, and I am interested in seeing what he does as he moves forward from art college.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ed Kwong and Sled Island

You might have seen the sweet advertising for the upcoming Sled Island Music and Arts Festival. The wolf design was created by our own ACAD alumni Ed Kwong, Nice!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Marta Tomasir

In trying to come up with the right word to describe Marta, words such as energetic, passionate, and, I want to say, force of nature come to mind (although that last ones not quite right because she's good at collaboration too). I've highlighted from her own bio some adjectives that describe Marta well. "I'm an ambitious designer on the verge of receiving my B.Des in Graphic Design from ACAD. I am Looking for an opportunity to work within a team environment by learning and growing my skills as a designer. When working on projects I make sure to always have fun, while maintaining a strong concept in my work and a top notch level of professionalism."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dylan Mason

From Dylan's website/blog: This picture is from the first classroom I stepped in at ACAD. It’s the visual communications room for my Design fundamentals class. My teacher was Karl Geist and he introduced me to the school. I remember he asked me what I was interested in and I said Swiss design. I was completely unaware of any design history or what that actually meant; at that point I was just basing everything I knew about design off some posters I had seen on the web. I sat underneath the windows and light would pour in from outside. I started my education at ACAD in that room. And last week, four years later when I finished my final critique, I walked into that room and sat down to think. I thought about where I was in the beginning and where I am now.

Everyday (year one) from Dylan Mason on Vimeo.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Final Project

By the last month of classes, students are mostly focused on putting together their portfolios, and/or they're running on fumes (it was rubber cement fumes in my time, but things have smartened up since then). So I though it would be good to do something different for the final project. Graduating from art college is another beginning and not an end! And like a good drawing it should start with a sketch. So to begin with I gave them a short writing assignment, write a short story based on a memory from childhood, and then draw it. 

Here are the super sketches they came up with in just a couple of hours:
(1) by Joanne Leung, what lurks under the sand box, (2) by Maria Stoian, tells a tale of a recovered hat and a lost friend, (3) by Nick Johnson, depicts a common fear for kids, (4) by Lyndon Navalta, a melancholy tale about an old pet, (5) by Dylan Mason, something to do (in an abstracted way) with the game connect four, (6) by Jenny Bonar, a sweet story about a new pet, (7) by Sara Borowski, a tire swing incident. Sara didn't like this sketch much, which is something I particularly like about sketchbooks. I think it's great, an undiscovered treasure which I hope she will rediscover if she looks back at this sketchbook someday.

I've posted more here -

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Jenny Bonar

A big question for many an illustration student is, how do I develop a style? For the lucky ones, like Jenny, I think the answer can be deceptively simple - be yourself! 

Jenny mentions in her bio that she is from small town Alberta and you can see it in her work by the subjects she chooses to illustrate, the stories her pictures tell, and the emotions her brush strokes stir. There is an old fashioned sentiment in her work, but it's expressed in a way that is totally today.

Check out more at :