#EmbraceEquity with judge VANESSA IDDON

A Q&A with 2023 Photography & Illustration judge

March 8, 2023

#EmbraceEquity with judge VANESSA IDDON

In recognition of this year's International Women's Day (#EmbraceEquity) we wanted to celebrate all the talented hard-working women in our industry and so, we approached the women jurors of our three 2023 Awards competitions – Photography & Illustration, Design and Student - with a Q&A. We wanted to provide them with a space to discuss their experience in the industry today as well as share their advice to up-and-coming creatives.


Vanessa Iddon, Senior Designer, Perfect Day, St John's, NL

How did you end up in the industry?

I’ve always had an interest in design and visual art, and even used to create promotional “billboards" for the yearbook club in high school. I would draw or hand-cut construction paper illustrations and lettering to advertise school dances. That interest in Art and illustration led me to study Art History at Queen’s University. From there I moved across the country to study design in Newfoundland and Labrador, and have been working professionally in the industry at a boutique studio in St. John’s for 9 years.


What were your goals as an up-and-coming creative?

My goals as an up-and-coming creative were to find and form my creative voice in a way that makes me happy. Design and Art is a lifelong learning experience, and every project I work on improves my skills and working process. I always strive to tell a story with my work, and hopefully, people are positively impacted by that story. It’s important for women to have platforms to tell their stories, and the more we make that the norm in design the better the industry will be.


Do you feel the creative industry has evolved when it comes to fairness to women in the workplace?

That’s a tough one, honestly. I think there have definitely been improvements over the years, but it still happens that clients respond to you differently when you’re a woman. Or your work is credited to a male colleague. Or a client comments on the way you dress. However, having a team who respects you and your work is paramount to combating those biases. I trust in myself and my work to speak for itself, and if a client doesn’t respect that we're happy to end those relationships when necessary.


What is your advice to young creative women seeking a career in the industry today?

Find your confidence; your perspective is innately unique, and that will help you make make make (every project you work on makes you a better designer). Find your voice; don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself or your work or your ideas. Find your people; peers or colleagues who value you and respect your work.