Taking the Pulse of 2021 Young Blood Award Winners

Q&A with 2021 Design Awards Young Blood Winner Zoé Arseneau

June 29, 2021

Taking the Pulse of 2021 Young Blood Award Winners

Mosaic North America, QUATREAU PACKAGING, Young Blood Packaging Design - Series, 2021 Design Awards winner.

Zoé Arseneau is Bathurst, NB based graphic designer and art director who works at Toronto-based Mosaic. Navigating timezones isn't the only thing Arseneau is adept at as she has worked with brands such as Tishman Speyer, Toyota, Canopy Growth, and Buckley’s. The Ryerson University alumni is a 2021 Design Awards winner in the Young Blood category and took some time to talk about her creative process, being adaptable, how she deals with that ever-present inner critic, and more. See more of Areseneau's work on her website here, her Instagram here and her Pinterest here

Can you walk us through the specifics of creating this piece (specific winning piece)?

Our clients at Canopy Growth came to us to help them launch their new CBD beverage, Quatreau, into the US market. The brief was simple but challenging. Make the brand and the packaging work as hard on Instagram as it does on shelf. No easy task. The inspiration for the design came directly from the brand strategy (which evolved into their tagline) “A wave of calm.” The use of fresh colours spoke to the different flavour profiles while the ombre was representative of a subtle wave you might see while walking on a beach. Simple, but we feel, effective.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I’ve always loved the idea of having a distinct artistic style, but I think being able to adapt to different asks and explore various styles makes you a stronger designer. In the same way that being multidisciplinary is an asset, so is the ability to cater to different clients through experience in multiple design styles. That being said, I’m a sucker for minimal, flat design and have been drooling over delicate, high-contrast serif fonts.

Where did you go to school? How did your scholastic experience shape your creative career?

I went to school at Ryerson University in their Creative Industries program, where I got to specialize in graphic design, fashion and business. The program is very broad, and students can pick from a variety of creative modules. Working with and learning from students and professors in a variety of creative fields allowed me to understand creativity from different perspectives and face design challenges from a multidisciplinary point of view.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in your field?

While I also am just starting out in my field, what I learned very early on is that everyone at every level of this industry doubts themselves. From juniors to EVPs, we’re all dealing with some form of imposter syndrome and learning and adapting as we go. So tell your inner critic to buzz off, remind yourself of your worth as a creative and just do your thing.

How do you stay creative/inspired?

I think the key to staying creative or inspired is to accept the times when you are not. When your job is quite literally to be creative, it can feel like a major failure when you inevitably hit a creative block. Sometimes admitting that you’re stuck is hard, but I find that chatting with other creative folks can be really helpful—not only in validating your struggles as a creative but also in exchanging ideas and working through design problems. The usual Pinterest, Behance and rummaging through vintage packaging at antique shops are also highly encouraged as potential inspiration-strikers.