Meet the 2021 Photography & Illustration Judges

Creative Inspiration comes easy to this lot

January 5, 2021

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Meet the 2021 Photography & Illustration Judges

Get to know our 2021 Photography & Illustration jury.

It's a great group who are more than up to the challenge of identifying stellar work. To find out what makes them tick (and so you could get to know them better), we asked a series of questions like: What's your biggest source of creative inspiration? What advice do you have for the next generation of creatives? Tell us something most people who work with you don't know. What's your favourite way to unwind? What's the secret to your success? Name your current obsession. 
 
We hope their answers delight you as much as they did us.  

 

 

Clare Chow, Independent Graphic Designer, Toronto

My one piece of advice to the next generation of creatives is ... Don’t design for awards, design for the audience you want to speak to.

I'm currently obsessed with ... I've been feeling rebellious lately. I'm currently really drawn to work that breaks the mould of what you see a lot on the design blogs, work that makes you a bit uncomfortable at first, maybe you even hate it a little, but then it grows on you.

 

 Marcella Coad, Creative Director at Amazon in Seattle

Something people don’t know about me, that helps me unwind, is needlepoint. It’s like painting by numbers with thread - very calming and meditative.

 

  Phil Copithorne, Partner, Creative Director at C&B Advertising in Calgary

My creative approach is pretty simple: In an industry where the product is very temporary, I push for ideas that last a little longer. I want to create campaigns that sell, reflect well on a brand, and are rewarding in some way to the people we force it upon.

 

  Francis Desrosiers, Co-Founder, Creative Director at Harrison Fun in Montreal

My biggest source of creative inspiration is anything but graphic design.

My one piece of advice to the next generation of creatives is to be silly, absurd and have fun! 

 

  Sarah Foelske, Artist & Illustrator at Make Nice Design in Los Angeles

My biggest source of creative inspiration is ... real life. I use my art as an expression for current events.

My one piece of advice to the next generation of creatives is ... enjoy the journey of your career. The journey can be much more fun than the destination.

Something most people who work with me don't know is ... I like large headphones.My favourite way to unwind from work is ... laughing with my daughter.

I think the secret to my success is ... persistence. 

 

  Kristian Hay, Co-Founder & Creative Director at ZAK in Vancouver

My biggest source of creative inspiration is ...My partners and I are always pushing one another to do more, to get better, to go the extra mile. Being around people who are highly motivated and can offer a different perspective on the work you’re involved in always keeps me inspired creatively.

My one piece of advice to the next generation of creatives is ...Find out how to balance life/work early on if you can. It’s so easy to get burnt out in the hustle and bustle of your creative career, but your career isn’t what defines you. You’re more than the sum of your work and I’ve always found that to be super important!

Something most people who work with me don't know is ...Not much really, I’m an open book!

My favourite way to unwind from work is ... Definitely a couple of pints with the other ZAK boys. Fridays at 4PM, you can often find us on the office couch watching stupid videos on YouTube with a beer in hand haha. Other than that, I skateboard a lot when it’s nice out and play hockey (pre-COVID times)!

I think the secret to my success is ...Surrounding myself with the best people, and people that you trust. Like really trust - you can say when you think something is absolutely garbage without feelings getting hurt. People often say don’t get into business with friends, but I can’t imagine it any other way.

I'm currently obsessed with ...Thinking of ways to integrate motion into projects. We always find that bringing motion into a project adds so much life and dynamism - always a fun challenge to try and tackle.

 

  Jason Hill, Creative Director at Target in St. John's

Jason joined Target in 2018 as CD, and a has steered the agency to its best awards year ever, and Strategy Small Agency of The Year. He oversees creative on all accounts, including much loved and awarded Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism. Jason began his career in a few small – but award-winning – boutique agencies in the UK, then moved to TBWA. In 2002 he relocated to Canada where he worked as an AD and ACD at some of the best Toronto agencies, including TAXI, Zig and CPB. During his career, Jason has produced many award-winning campaigns for brands like IKEA, Viagra, Virgin, AXE, Crime Stoppers and Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism, and has been awarded globally in many shows including Cannes and The One Show.

 

  Gary Holme, Director of Art & Content at Mass Minority in Toronto

My biggest source of creative inspiration is looking at the work of others, whether flipping an advertising award book, or standing in front of a painting in a gallery.

My one piece of advice to the next generation of creatives is never leave the office before your boss does. If they’re there working, you should be too. Ya know, after we all start going back to the office.

Something most people who work with me don't know is I became a Creative Director at a large multi-national after my 3rd year in the business. I mean it was a recruitment ad agency in LA, but still.

 

  Jinah Lee, Senior Art Director (freelance) at BBDO in Toronto

I think the secret to my success is, as cliché as it sounds, giving 110% to everything I work on, being kind and most importantly, having fun with people while at it.

 

  Joanne Lefebvre*, President and CEO at Paprika in Montreal

My biggest source of creative inspiration is …Travelling. This is the time when I feel I am totally available to learn, enjoy, experience, appreciate everything that's happening!

Something most people who work with me don't know is …I am always working on my next trip. Before I leave, I read hundreds of magazine articles, travellers’ comments, blogs;  I go on specialized websites, compare destinations, hotels, restaurants. I even write to most of them to inquire about the best way to experience our stay, our dinner, etc.  And I book everything in advance. Sometimes double or triple book!!! When I come back home, I take the time to put some comments on my itineraries, take out the bad stuff; replace them with better ideas and share them. I have a few followers who always wait for me to come back from my trips to go to the same countries the year after.

My favourite way to unwind from work is … Travelling or planning my next trip.


I'm currently obsessed with … Travelling again when it will be possible and safe!

*Photo by Geneviève Caron.

 

  Natalie Mathers, Associate Creative Director at john st. in Toronto

Natalie is an Associate Creative Director and Art Director at john st., with 10 years of experience in the industry, including stints at Leo Burnett, Cossette, Anomaly, and others. She’s created both award-winning and buzz-making work. She also makes art out of trash and has written a song or two. She enjoys work that feels thoughtful, aesthetically pleasing, and clever. Talk to her about short films, building community, cool bands, art, and design.

 

  Danielle Murrell Cox, Designer, Author & Illustrator is the Founder of DMCMTL in Montreal

My biggest source of creative inspiration is ... my everyday life, my family/friends, & the music I listen to.

My one piece of advice to the next generation of creatives is ... keep doing the things you love. No one has all the answers, but when you do the things you love, things tend to fall in place.

Something most people who work with me don't know is ... I’m half English, my mom was born in London (my other half is Bajan/Barbadian)

My favourite way to unwind from work is ... eating a good meal with good people while sometimes watching a rom-com movie. 


I think the secret to my success is ... my mother & grandmother’s teachings: never give up and keep asking questions.

 

  Jordan Poirier, Creative Director at Concrete Design in Toronto

As Creative Director at Concrete, Jordan directs all aspects of the branding process, from strategy through to creative execution. In his over 15 years at Concrete he has lead branding projects for clients from a wide range of sectors such as Norco, Pizza Nova, Woodbine, Red Earth, Azure Magazine, and Cougar in addition to rebranding iconic Canadian retailers Joe Fresh and MEC. His work has won numerous design awards throughout North America and Europe.

 

  Howard Poon, VP, Design at DDB Canada in Edmonton

My biggest source of creative inspiration is the enthusiasm and energy of people making change in the world.

My one piece of advice to the next generation of creatives is to hone their craft.

Something most people who work with me don't know is that I’m an introvert. 

My favourite way to unwind from work is to get lost in a book.

I think the secret to my success is that I openly trust in others. 

I'm currently obsessed with being fully present and not living for the future.

 

  Cédric Rossel, Co-Founder & Art Director at WePlayDesign in Lausanne, Switzerland

My one piece of advice to the next generation of creatives is...be curious about everything even about boring things.

I think the secret to my success is… to think I haven’t succeeded yet.

 

 Christina Yu, Creative Director in Toronto

My biggest source of creative inspiration continues to be films and trashy tv.

Most people who work with me don't know that I like watch rom coms.

My favourite way to unwind from work is working out.

I think the secret to my success is listening.

I'm currently obsessed with online auctions.

 

Find all their full bios in our Call for Entry.

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