What do you do with a degree from OCAD University?
Become the Chief of Surgery at Women's College Hospital
John Semple (painting and sculpture, 1973)
John Semple is the chief surgeon at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital, where he specializes in post-cancer breast reconstruction. He’s also a professor in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and the chair of surgical research at the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. But he began by studying painting and sculpture at OCAD U. followed by medical illustration at the University of Toronto, and an M.D. at McMaster University. “A training in art is really a training in observation. It teaches you how to be aware and how to see,” Dr. Semple told The Globe and Mail, who featured him in a nationally published series on creativity in innovation. “And that’s certainly something you can use extremely well in medicine.” Although an artist’s manual dexterity — and a deep knowledge and respect for the medium, “whether it’s Florentine marble or living human tissue” — is an asset to a surgeon, Dr. Semple believes the world of scientific research can benefit from an artistic education. “The idea that creativity is part of everyday thinking is something I use all the time,” he says, “specifically in my capacity for dealing with abstract ideas.”
Lead an advertising agency
Carl Jones (AOCA, Advertising Design, 1984)
Carl Jones is the Vice President Executive Creative Director at GREY Canada. Jones began his creative career at Toronto’s Vickers & Benson and MacLaren before moving to Mexico City in 1993. There he worked on an Alka-Seltzer campaign that became the country's most awarded of all time. In 2003, Jones created the advertising campaign for the Dali Lama's visit, and his 2004 campaign for Frito-Lay was the first Latin American commercial ever shown during the Super Bowl, and was later voted as one of the year's top five commercials in a USA Today public poll. BBDO Mexico became the most awarded Mexican agency during Jones’s 10 years there, and four-time "Agency of the Year" award winner. During his tenure as General Creative Director, he also helped Y&R Mexico become "Agency of the Year." As the country’s first art director to be elected president of the Mexican Circulo Creativo, he also led Y&R to win its first Gran Prix in the Circulo Creativo as well as its first Cannes lion.
Illustrate covers of the world’s top magazines
Marcos Chin (AOCAD, Illustration, 1999)
Marcos Chin is one of the most sought after illustration talents in the world. He operates a studio in New York City working for such clients as The Globe and Mail, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, New York Times, Sports Illustrated, LavaLife, and many others. In 2006, his work was chosen from 6500 international submissions to be featured in American Illustration 25, a prestigious traveling exhibition, which included a book launch and symposium in New York.
Flourish in the fashion world
Sunny Choi (AOCA, Communication & Design, 1976)
Now working full-time as a painter and running a Toronto gallery, Sunny Choi is highly regarded as one of North America's leading designers of women's clothing. She has established her brand in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barney's and Nordstrom dressing celebrities such as Alison Krauss, Susan Sarandon, Daryl Hannah, and Sharon Stone. After graduating from the Seoul National University with a Fine Arts Degree, Choi continued to study communication and design at OCAD U (then OCA). As a freelance illustrator, she worked for high-end boutiques and advertising agencies, and as an OCAD U illustration instructor.
Immortalize the Queen of England
Phil Richards (AOCA, Drawing & Painting, 1973)
Phil Richards has worked full time as a visual artist for more than 35 years, with numerous solo and group shows. He has created everything from intimate portraits to large-scale murals for facilities such as the Congress Centre in Ottawa and the Eaton Centre in Toronto. Portrait commissions have included a former premier of Ontario for Queen's Park, the former president of the University of Toronto, chancellors of the University of Western Ontario, and the CEOs of Scotiabank and London Life. The Government of Canada commissioned a new portrait by Richards of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, which was unveiled during her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Found a crafts studio that becomes a major employer – and be a leading artisan, yourself.
Donald Stuart (AOCA, Textiles, 1967)
Donald Stuart is one of Canada’s leading gold and silversmiths. His unique designs, handcrafted from precious stones and metals, combined with other materials like wood and stainless steel, are sought after in Canada and abroad. Stuart is also the founder of Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio in Baffin Island, the largest of its kind in Canada and one of the region’s main sources of employment. In addition, he is recognized for being the founder of the weaving, jewelry and metals programs at Georgian College of Applied Art and Technology. Stuart is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004.
Revitalize a neighbourhood
Christina Zeidler (AOCAD, Integrated Media, 1997)
Christina Zeidler has been the developer and president of the Gladstone Hotel since 2003, focusing on the renovation and revitalization of the building in an emerging area of Queen Street West through a community-based approach. She was the creator of the Artist-Designed Room Project (inviting 37 local artist/designers to implement individually designed hotel rooms). In addition, she is a film and video artist with more than 20 titles in distribution, which have shown internationally at festivals and appeared on television. In 2003, she was named one of Toronto's 10 best filmmakers by Cameron Bailey, and she won the Best Canadian Media Award at the 2004 Images Film Festival for her films Machine Guts and Kill Road. Her video and photo installations have shown at Lennox Contemporary, Katherine Mulherin Art Projects, and Zsa- Zsa, and she has participated in the Toronto Alternative Art Fair International (TAAFI), Nuit Blanche at OCAD U, and the Albright Knox Beyond/In Western New York Biennial.
Create international motion graphics, music videos and films
Philip Rae (BDes, Graphic Design, 2008)
Since graduating, Rae has forged a successful career, both with Corus Entertainment, one of Canada’s most successful integrated media and entertainment companies, and with Uomo Studio, an international design firm in which he is a partner. During his thesis year he investigated how design can influence one’s wellbeing. His project, “The Living Room” is a concept for a hospital room of the future. His design encourages patient contentment and comfort, and expedites the recovery process for patients in medical care through the use of light, image, colour, air, and sound. Rae’s work helped him to win the medal in Graphic Design for top-performing student. At Corus, Rae creates motion graphics for broadcast for networks such as YTV, Viva TV, the W Network, CosmoTV and Movie Central. At Uomo, he creates music videos and designs for independent films, including the videos for “Search,” by Vancouver-based hip hop artist Moka Only, and “Heaven’s Gates & Hell’s Flames,” by Scarborough duo The Carps, as well as the documentary film The Eye of Egypt by Toronto-based Fantom Power Film.
Represent Canada at the world’s most prestigious exhibition
Shary Boyle (AOCA, Experimental Arts, 1994)
Shary Boyle is a Toronto-based artist whose practice includes drawing, painting, sculpture and live “projected light” performance. In 2005, she presented a celebrated art/music collaboration with Feist at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, researched the origins of European porcelain in eastern Germany, performed “live drawing” for the Sonar Festival in Barcelona and maintained a painting studio in Tampere, Finland. Boyle was named winner of the win of the $25,000 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award in 2010 and was selected to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale, art’s most historic and most prestigious exhibition, in 2013.
Report on the news, make commercials, and capture a city
Christopher Hutsul, after graduating from the OCAD printmaking department in 1999, became a staff writer at the Toronto Star. He left the Star in 2007 to launch a career in commercial filmmaking, including the humorous “I’m in bed with a nasty clown” ad for Telus Learning Centre. Between shoots, he continues to draw and work on large format linoblock prints at his studio in Kensington Market that capture iconic scenes of Toronto’s cityscape, including OCAD U’s Sharp Centre for Design.
Take photographs that win national awards
Louie Palu (AOCA, Photography, 1991)
After graduation, Louie Palu relocated to New York City on a scholarship, where he interned with documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark. He later returned to Toronto where he worked for six years as a staff photographer at The Globe and Mail. In 1991 he began what would result in 12 years of field work documenting the working lives of miners. In collaboration with writer Charlie Angus he published the critically acclaimed body of work Cage Call: Life and Death in the Hard Rock Mining Belt, which was a finalist in the Leica European Book Publisher's Award and won a Critical Mass Book Publishing Award. Palu was recognized in the 2007 Applied Arts’ Photography & Illustration Annual with both Photojournalism Single and Series prizes for his Globe and Mail published “Kandahar City Suicide Bombing” image and his “Teenage Sewer Cleaners” series of images.
Make bold statements about the environment and indigenous culture
Mary Anne Barkhouse (AOCA, Integrated Media, 1991)
Through her sculptural/installation work, artist Mary Anne Barkhouse explores issues of environmental concerns and indigenous culture. Barkhouse is a member of the Nimpkish band, Kwakiutl First Nation and is a descendant of a long line of internationally recognized artists, which includes Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and Charlie James. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, Barkhouse’s work can be found in the collections of the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Banff Centre for the Arts and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. In addition she has public art installations at Thunder Bay Art Gallery, University of Western Ontario in London, McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Millennium Walkway in Peterborough, Ontario.
Work in journalism as an editorial cartoonist
Gary Clement (AOCA, Environmental Design, 1991)
Clement is a writer, illustrator and is Editorial Cartoonist for the National Post. In addition to the National Post, Clement’s work has been published by Saturday Night, Chatelaine, The New York Times, How, Yale Medal Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Time, Fortune, Civilization, House & Garden, The Chicago Tribune, Courrier International and The Guardian. Clement’s work is widely exhibited, and he has received many prestigious awards including the 1999 Governor General's Award for Children's illustration.
Run your own gallery
Wil Kucey (BFA, Criticism & Curatorial Practice, 2005)
Wil Kucey is an independent curator based in Toronto. Owner and curator of Le Gallery, Kucey’s practice focuses on the promotion and exposure of emerging artists in critical contemporary practice with stress on the exploration of the porous discourse of art/design production. Kucey was named Best Young Curator for his “uncanny knack for ferreting out a diverse range of the best young up-and-coming artists in the Toronto area.”
Be celebrated as a top theatre designer
Dany Lyne (AOCA, 1990)
Theatre designer Dany Lyne was awarded The Siminovitch Prize — Canada’s top theatre prize — in 2006, worth $100,000. At a young age, Lyne had worked in interior decoration, graphic design, and typography. An introduction to theatre course at OCAD U pointed her in the direction she works in today, in set and costume design. She has worked extensively in Europe and North America, including shows in Canada at the Canadian Opera Company, the Stratford Festival and Soulpepper Theatre.
Design furniture and products that make living better
Scot Laughton (AOCA, Industrial Design, 1987)
Laughton designs furniture and products for the residential and commercial markets, with clients including Keilhauer, Nienkämper, Pure Design, Du Verre and Umbra. In 2003, he became design director of Lolah. His Swell table designed for Lolah received an ICFF Editors Award at New York's 2002 International Contemporary Furniture Fair. His work has been selected for IDmagazine's Annual Design Review and has also appeared in Metropolis, Azure, Intramuros, FRAME and Ottagono. The Royal Ontario Museum and the Design Exchange in Toronto have acquired his work for their permanent collection. In 2003, he was named Designer of the Year by the Interior Design Show, Toronto.
Sell 1.5 million children’s books and be lauded with the Order of Ontario.
Barbara Reid (AOCA, Illustration, 1980)
Author and illustrator Barbara Reid’s first picture book The New Baby Calf, by Edith Newlin Chase, was shortlisted for the Canada Council Prize for Illustration. More than 20 books later, other awards include the UNICEF Ezra Jack Keats Award, The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, the Mr. Christie's Book award, and the Elizabeth Cleaver Award. The Party, which she wrote and illustrated, won the Governor General's Award for Illustration; Fox Walked Alone was named to the IBBY International Honour List and was a Blue Spruce Award selection. Most recently, she received Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Award for Perfect Snow. Her books have been published in Canada, the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Finland, Norway, China, Germany, Brazil, Korea and Thailand.
Bettering People's Lives with Prosthetics
Jay McClennen (AOCA, Sculpture, 1989)
Jay McClennen has worked as a prosthetic artist for major films such as the X-Men series, K-19, Truman, Nixon and many others. For his work in Hollywood, he has received Emmy and Hollywood Make-up Artist Guild nominations and won Gemini and Saturn awards. Jay is now a Certified Clinical Anaplastologist in Durham, North Carolina where he creates realistic silicone prosthetics to improve the quality of life of patients affected by facial or body differences caused by trauma, ablation surgery or congenital defects. Also trained as a forensic facial reconstruction artist, he has done several facial reconstructions for the Ontario Coroners Office and the Ontario Provincial Police helping to put a face on unidentified human remains. Jay is currently the President Elect of The International Anaplastology Association.
Build a Green School in Bali
John Hardy (AOCA, General Studies, 1974)
Hardy recently gave a TED talk in the U.K. about his extraordinary Green School project in Bali, Indonesia. Founded by Hardy and his wife Cynthia, the Green School is inspired by the Three Springs design concept. Created by Alan Wagstaff, it envisions a village containing all the ecological, biological, and sociological elements needed to promote a sustainable, holistic and quality lifestyle. The Green School is located in an undeveloped jungle, bisected by the Ayung River, where the site is farmed and landscaped with involvement from its students and the surrounding community. The school structures are all built primarily from bamboo, a local, natural, renewable resource. The school combines a traditional curriculum, including such subjects as English, mathematics and science, with a sustainable, holistic approach that has made it a model of sustainable education.
Map the galaxy
Jayanne English (General Studies, 1984)
As an Associate Professor in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, Jayanne English studies the motion of gas in galaxies in order to understand the processes that cause galaxies evolve with time. She also explores the visualization of astronomical datasets, producing striking astronomy images using data from optical, infrared, and radio telescopes. Before her graduation from OCAD, she had already begun the B.Sc. program in astronomy at the University of Toronto and went on to graduate studies in Australia. She creates models of regular spiral galaxies from radio telescope observations, studies groups of interacting galaxies using the Hubble Space Telescope and acquires data to assess the amount of dark matter in galaxies. Jayanne also creates art works, particularly interactive New Media pieces such as "Seeing is Believing."
Develop a website that accurately calculates car costs
Garus Booth (BDES, Graphic Design, 2009)
As a founder and creative director of PriceMyRide.com, Garus Booth needed to create a dynamic website that would allow users to calculate the monthly expense of potential car ownership by inputting key data such as insurance, fuel, ownership costs, and personalize those expenses to their driving lifestyle. A major challenge for designers in the online entrepreneurial space is creating great user experiences while building a modular, minimum, viable product. In this case Booth faced an additional hurdle: with so many disparate sources for car information, the numerous calculations involved in a car purchase can be cumbersome and sometimes difficult to understand. Since the purpose of the site is to enable users to know their all-in cost before purchasing, the end design had to deliver the most accurate number with the fewest number of user inputs. For Booth, the project was as much a user-experience problem as it was a number-crunching exercise. PriceMyRide.com has garnered positive media attention, with recent features in the Toronto Star, on CTV, and CBC Radio.
Earn money by designing money
Gary Taxali (Communications & Design, 1991) and Laurie McGaw (AOCA, Communication & Design, 1977).
Gary Taxali is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in many major magazines. He has exhibited in many galleries and museums throughout North America and Europe including The Jonathan LeVine Gallery and is an Associate Professor at OCAD U. In 2012, The Royal Canadian Mint released a special edition of six Gary Taxali 25-cent coins. In addition to original art uniquely created for the coins, each representing a life milestone such as marriage or birthday, Taxali also did the typography using his font Chumply. In 2006, he received the prestigious Gold Medal in the Advertising category for the 48th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Illustrators of New York.
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