Investing In Our Future

October 31, 2018

Investing In Our Future

Winning design category entry in Applied Arts 2018 Student Awards - a fictitious type specimen book for Dalton Maag's font family Aktiv Grotesk, by Humber College Graphic Design program student Jordan Jackson.


In our recent Fall 2018 annual, Cossette ECD Katie Ainsworth discussed the ongoing financial problems juniors face in Vancouver. From increased monthly rents to decreased salaries, the problem continues to affect everyone (not just juniors). In hopes of combatting this, Ainsworth listed a number of ways of how employers can help juniors out. Recently, we've noticed that Ainsworth’s message has taken root in the visual arts community, with events and opportunities aimed to help students and juniors. Now more than ever, it is clear that there are organized efforts to preserve the longevity of our industry (which rests in the hands of students). 


A great example of this is RGD’s DesignThinkers, Canada’s only annual conference for visual communicators. The two-day conference was in Toronto last week. Each DesignThinkers has a theme, Speak The Truth being the one for this year. However, one could easily mistake it for "Investing in your future through forward-thinking and engagement." Especially with the number of students that come each year.


For this year’s turnout - typically about 20% of total attendance - the student attendees were a mix of individuals and organized groups, with many coming from out-of province. Even thought the biggest student groups came from Ontario’s colleges, including Conestoga, Sheridan, George Brown and Algonquin, several schools from across the country helped to send students, including Red River College in Winnipeg and McKenzie College in Moncton.



Winning entries in Applied Arts 2018 Student Awards in packaging design (above) and magazine design (below) by Dana Mevorach, Humber College Graphic Design program student.


For its part, the RGD has a discounted student rate for both membership and the conference. The fact that students come from across the country - even if they have to pay for it all entirely out-of-pocket, indicates the value students see in networking and community engagement - an extra boost outside of their education. 


Here at Applied Arts, we focus on giving students as much recognition as we can. We have a dedicated annual Student Awards for high school and post-secondary students. And what better way to boost your portfolio than being published before you graduate! So when we saw a few of our Student-Award winners at DesignThinkers, we were beyond excited. See the work of those who stopped to speak to us here.


One student, Marvin Veloso (who also was a DesignThinkers volunteer), was already seeing the benefits of entering. Within two weeks of the annual being published, he already had two job interviews lined up. In fact, Veloso was sought out by one employer after they saw his winning piece published in our student annual. This goes to show that having your work published and in the hands of potential employers can only further your success.



Marvin Veloso's winning entry. In the first two weeks of the Student Awards Annual being published, Marvin has already gotten two job interviews as a result of this fictitious Indian Motorcycle campaign -- one of those is for a well-known Toronto design firm that contacted him.



Applied Arts also hosts a free, two-day Creative Futures Expo, which is a school fair augmented by speakers and interactive exhibits. This year, we launched a virtual speaker series specifically for post-secondary students about to graduate with tips, advice and insight on launching their careers (read more below).


And that's what all these efforts are all about. Getting the next generation job-ready and set up for success. We continue to be amazed and grateful at the level of support we get from our industry colleagues, who volunteer their time to speak at our student events. It seems that our industry leaders are ready and willing to ensure the future of its juniors and students.



Winning entries in Applied Arts 2018 Student Awards for an opioid awareness complete ad campaign and therapeutic product packaging program by Tyler Wong, Alberta College of Art + Design, Visual Communication Design program student.


Efforts can also be accredited to the instructors and professors of each visual-communications program. We’ve recently learned of an instructor at McKenzie college, Faron Dawe, who surprised his fourth year graphic design students with an individual copy of our Design Annual on their first day of school. Dawe went to the trouble (not to mention expense) to provide his students with an issue full of inspiration and information on their potential employers and future colleagues. If this isn’t an indicator of the promise for the future, we don’t know what is.


More on Creative Futures Expo and Grad Week Virtual Speaker Series:

If you are looking for more information about where to study visual arts and working in the visual arts industry, check out our Creative Futures Expo, taking place in Toronto from November 19-20. Here you will learn first-hand what it takes to land your dream job and how to maintain it. You can talk to reps from more than 25 schools and attend speaker session Q&A’s with those working in the industry. For post-secondary students, we are also hosting a Grad Week Virtual Speaker Series starting November 14, including several live webinars and a free-to-enter Creative Challenge with prizes including a john st. design internship, Miami Ad School Toronto scholarships and cash awards from Applied Arts.