Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sandy Nichols

ACAD instructor and alumni's newest book release is a true classic, literally, Alligator Pie Board Book written by Dennis Lee and Illustrated by Sandy Nichols. Dennis Lee's classic has been released in a slice of Alligator Pie-sized for little ones! 

One of the best loved Canadian poems of all time, "Alligator Pie" established Dennis Lee's reputation as "Canada's Father Goose" when it appeared in his classic poetry collection of the same name in 1974. 

Now Lee's timeless rhyme is paired with striking artwork by Sandy Nichols, winner of a nationwide competition to find the perfect illustrator for the iconic poem. This special 40th anniversary board book will stand up to re-readings for years to come and is a must-have for every baby and preschooler's library.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Kyle Chow

Whenever we visit the Inglewood area of Calgary I feel like I'm visiting the main street of a charming town filled with unique one of a kind shops. One of those charming shops is plant. A terrarium shop created by ACAD alumni and graphic design instructor Kyle Chow. The concept is to bring a little of the outside in and make beautiful and contemporary plants accessible, Lovely! visit

Monday, September 15, 2014

Matt Luckhurst

While in San Francisco this summer we were fortunate to have the opportunity to stop by the offices of Airbnb and visit with graphic design lead, and ACAD alumni, Matt Luckhurst.
Adding to the fortuity of the visit was our timing, just the day before Airbnb had released a brand new logo and identity, and we could sense an excitement in the building. Rebranding an already established organization has to be a challenge, and not for the faint of heart.

Walking through the studios of Airbnb felt akin to walking through ACAD's own studios, the walls were plentifully adorned with documentation of the design process for the rebrand. It reaffirmed how relevant a studio based education is, and how fortunate we at ACAD are to have faculty who have worked tirelessly to promote, sustain, and expand this educational model - although I think ACAD could follow Airbnb's example with large, fully stocked kitchens in every studio!

It's informative to see the transition Matt has made from the spray paint stained hands on the mean streets of ACAD to a leadership position in the industrial chic startup studios of Airbnb. A constant is his creative spirit. Well established as both a talented designer and illustrator, Matt's young design team at Airbnb reflect's this synergy of drawing and design as they are all just as comfortable with both disciplines. An ongoing project features drawings of every employee in the company - no mean feat with the company growing at a rapid pace.

After graduating from ACAD Matt continued his education at the School of Visual Arts in New York earning a masters in graphic design. The professionalism, work ethic, and creative process Matt developed at ACAD served him well at SVA which also lead to contact with some of NYC's top graphic designers, specifically Brian Collins. After several successful years with Collins and Ogilvy & Mather, Matt traded the hustle and bustle of New York City for a different type of hustle and bustle in San Francisco.

A Little Extra - 

As part of these profiles I figured I would add my own personal take on some possible reasons why artists like Matt Luckhurst are able to realize their creative goals. My first contact as an instructor with Matt was in a 3rd year illustration class. The project was to do 4 drawings exploring different value plans. The first couple of years at ACAD are focused on the foundations of the creative process, building an understanding of the basics of drawing, painting, and design. The final couple of years the focus gradually changes to students finding their own visual language or voice. This transition can be jarring for many but for Matt it was instant. While many students focused on the technical requirements related to the value plans, a large part of Matt's attention went to creating funky characters and expressing them in a cool way - baseball characters as I remember. Looking back, this emphasis on style was Matt's way of 'branding' the project in his own way, and reflects how his career has enfolded thus far.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What Up?

School is back in session and I am excited to talk about what's up with our students and alumni. I have some great stories to share but I'm always looking for more. If you are an ACAD alumni and have some work to show, experiences to share, or events to promote let me know! mike at randmcollective dot com. Our first post will be tomorrow!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Jon Temple

ACAD grad Jon Temple has a whole lot of great stuff packed into his portfolio, his work successfully touches on traditional mediums such as print and new mediums such as web design or apps. See more here

ONE NYC from Jon Temple on Vimeo.

Ruth Lee

2014 Graphic Design grad Ruth Lee has had a super run as a student and it will be exciting to see how she handles the turns as a professional!

Michelle Morean

As the bearded fellow below suggests there are many hidden treasures in the drawing and illustration of ACAD grad Michelle Morean. Visit her site to discover more:

Monday, May 5, 2014

James Lorincz

ACAD alumni James Lorincz will be showing recent works at the Midtown Gallery 9250 Macleod Trail SE. The opening is this Saturday from 2-6 pm.


“I love the challenge of striving to capture the figure in paint. Whether in a portrait, scene, or moment in time, the use of the human form to portray the intangibles, for me, the most rewarding type of expression. These most recent works have fostered a new appreciation and exploration of the endless benefits of working in oil. Some of these works incorporate layers of various stages of development and all, hopefully, retain some of the energy and spontaneity of alla prima painting.”

MAY. 8 – MAY 31, 2014


Friday, May 2, 2014

Brandon Wilson

ACAD illustration grad Brandon Wilson's love for cartooning, sculpting, and stop motion is clearly evident in his work. Over his four years at ACAD Brandon has fashioned his own comedic visual voice and it will be exciting to see where he takes it. To see more evidence visit

Marie Massolin

The first image below by ACAD design grad Marie Massolin features her collection of business cards, it is a good representation of her work. It has a touch of whimsy balanced with concrete design thinking - and a lot of good old fashion consideration of craft.  See more at

Nini Lee

Recent ACAD grad Nini Lee's work comfortably straddles the line between design and illustration. In her final semester at ACAD she came up with idea to design a yearbook for herself and fellow students. It is wonderfully designed with great photos by Nini and fellow student Rachel Park. Visit to see more.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sarah Gonzales

Sarah Gonzales, a 3rd year School of Communication Design student at ACAD, is currently showing an exhibit titled Raman Room in the Marion Nicholl Gallery until the 25th of April. A staple of art students everywhere the subject is quite topical locally, there was a recent article on the subject in The Calgary Herald recently (here).

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thea Suzanne

I am pleased to introduce the work of this years graduating class. Starting with Thea Suzanne.
Visit her site: to see more.

Javier Olivares

2014 graduating student Javier Olivares is a creative thinker, visit his website to find out more.

Micaela Dawn

Micaela is a graduating student from the Character Design stream at ACAD. Her work can be seen at

2014 Portfolio Show

Design industry folks its that time again,
the 2014 Portfolio Show!

Here is the Blurb:

April 24, 2014 | 6:00 - 9:00 PM Nexen Tower Garden Court | 801-7 Ave SW Alberta College of Art + Design

Graduating students from the Visual Communications Design and Photography programs will be showcasing their work at the ACAD Portfolio Show on Thursday April 24th from 6–9 pm at the Nexen Tower Garden Court at 801-7 Ave SW.

“The School of Communication Design at the Alberta College of Art and Design has an exceptional track record of producing some of the world’s leading professional creatives in the fields of advertising, graphic design, character design and illustration. Our award-winning alumni are competitive internationally and can be found in every major marketplace in North America.” Alison Miyauchi, Chair, School of Communication Design, Alberta College of Art and Design

"ACAD is one of North America's great creative secrets. Year after year, the ACAD experience provides raw creative talent with the opportunity to develop into great creative professionals," says Jason Delichte, VP Creative Director, Critical Mass

"ACAD's Visual Communications program consistently produces highly talented and hard-working creative professionals who go on to succeed both nationally and internationally," says Naoko Masuda CGD, President, Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, Alberta South Chapter

The show will feature over sixty portfolios of graphic design, advertising, illustration, animation, character design, and photography. The students will be in attendance to present their work and to answer questions. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available throughout the evening. This year’s portfolio show poster was designed by Jenessa Drebnisky, a 4th year School of Communication Design student. The ACAD Portfolio Show is presented by: Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (Alberta South Chapter), Alberta College of Art + Design, Critical Mass, Century West Management Inc., and Spicers.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lauren Tamaki

A question students exiting (or entering) college hopefully ask themselves is, "What do you want to do with your life?" You can see in Lauren Tamaki's work the answer is pretty clear - do what you like!  Lauren's interest in fashion, people, and style is expressed enthusiastically through her lively drawing.

As part of a recent exhibition at RandM Collective we featured three successful alumni of ACAD that are making a mark through the use of pattern in their work. Lauren is a graphic designer and illustrator out of New York City. A graduate of The Alberta College of Art and Design she currently works at NYC design studio Arch & Loop. She previously worked in house at Bumble & bumble. Her distinctive line and wash style of illustration has been commissioned by GQ, Wall Street Journal, and Cole Haan.  The wallpaper pattern below was designed for B&b.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Down in the Jungle by Lyndsay Wasko

Congratulations to 4th year ACAD illustration and design student Lyndsay Wasko for getting her Kickstarter book project funded. The picture book titled Down in the Jungle is about an adventurous child named Jake who travels to faraway lands in search of treasure - but discovers that the best kind of treasure is much closer to home!