Duration: I’ve been working as a freelance illustrator since 2014.
Location: Toronto, Canada.
Education: I graduated from OCAD University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in design.
Career path: After graduation, I was interested in working for magazines, and I worked as a graphic designer and art director. I started out in Montréal at Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute, and then moved to New York to intern at music and fashion magazine Nylon. It was in New York where I met Edel Rodriguez, whom I interned with. I then relocated my life and work to Europe, first going to the Netherlands and then to Berlin, where as the art director for a public relations and advertising agency, I worked for many clients, including the European Commission. During this time, I still had an interest in art and kept a sketchbook, and my work was displayed in several group art shows. I returned to freelancing in 2014, taking on contract work as a graphic designer and art director and assisting in curating gallery shows and managing day-to-day projects as illustrator Christoph Niemann’s studio assistant.
My inspiration for becoming a full-time illustrator stems from my desire to constantly draw what I observe and to create concepts based on experiences that people can relate to. But most importantly, being in a studio with full-time illustrators, such as Christoph and Edel as well as my sister Hanna is what made me realize that being an illustrator is possible.
Artistic influences: Surrealism, visual irony, collages, Dadaism, music, movement, patterns, geometry and dance. I’m also inspired to create visuals based on current events.
Favorite projects: My video collages. The combination of illustration, collage and moving images enable me to develop an idea in a matter of seconds in order to create a story.
Work environment: Currently, I have a work/live situation. I work across two tables; one is for my desktop and Cintiq, and the other is for painting and photographing collage pieces. I live in downtown Toronto, so it’s nice to go for breaks in surrounding cafés and meet with friends.
Aspirations: To produce more video content using a combination of illustration and collage. I’d also love to work for a fashion brand, paint a mural, write and illustrate a book, collaborate with a musician, and create stage designs.
Philosophy: Use experience and observations as content. Keep learning and practicing new skills. Be persistent and take chances.