Smart, strong willed and slightly neurotic, this first-year advertising student has nothing in mind but absolute victory. And nothing will stop her in the mission for success.
Do you fear change or welcome it?
I tend to fear change when it’s unexpected. Obviously, change is inevitable, but I feel like if I don’t feel ready for it and I can’t fully prepare myself, change can really scare me.
What program are you in?
I’m in advertising, and it’s my first year. The program attracted my interest because it’s a great intersection between art and design, and the study of human nature. In a way advertising is the perfect medium to explore what makes people tick. The connections between different groups of people, what drives them. And I’ve always wanted to do that with the work I produce.
What is your background?
My family is from around the Caribbean, but I am a second generation Canadian. My parents grew up in the GTA and I grew up in the GTA. Sometimes I find it difficult to balance both sides of my cultural identity. I can feel the western influences taking over me in many aspects of my life, the way I speak, the things I’m interested in and even my design practices. Striking a balance between being Canadian, Caribbean, and I identifying with the general Black population of the GTA has proved quite a challenge. I went to a suburban high school, and excelled in community engagement and arts and design. I was a real overachiever. After high school, most of my oldest friendships fell apart suddenly, due to some very sensitive, unfortunate circumstances I was placed in. Most of this foundation that I had built for 10 years was gone, and I was forced to build my relationships from the ground up and try not to be jaded and bitter about it.
How did art/ design become a part of your life?
The first time I knew I wanted to pursuit art was probably in 3rd grade. I was the person anyone went to if they wanted a picture they could colour in, or a portrait done of them. My little entrepreneurship-self decided that I wanted to sell the portraits instead of giving them out, so I sold them for 25 cents each! Since then I took every art and design class my high school offered, was president of my school’s art council, and worked on as many collaborative projects as I could get my hands on.
What was your first experience with OCAD?
I was in a split grade art class in 11th grade, so as I was going through this class I was having conversations with people who were applying to art schools and OCAD came up. My art teacher was actually against the idea of me going to OCAD at first, I think because she sensed I was kind of socially stunted and wanted me to have a traditional university experience. But she eventually came around after realizing that being in a place with like minds, with a clear sense of competition and drive was the best for my career.
How do you feel about formal education?
This might not be a popular opinion, but I actually really value formal education. Even if your goals don’t require it, or you don’t see it as a necessity to your wellbeing, if one can afford to get formal structured education, I feel it could be a great way of expanding what you feel you already know into knowledge and perspectives you may not have previously considered.
Do you think OCAD is benefiting you?
For sure. This is exactly what I want to be doing at this point in my life. I have so much to learn, and what I have learned already has been incredibly eye opening
What other creative things are you doing outside of school?
No big projects in the works right now, still getting used to first year. But I do a lot of sketching in what little free time I have, and I want to start taking up photography.
What do you want to do after you graduate?
Definitely art direction. But I’m also interested in the research side of advertising. Collecting data on the consumer, things like that.
What do you hope to get out of your education?
I just want as much information as possible. I want to learn everything I am able to. Not just about advertising, but about all aspects of visual practice. So far, that seems to be what I’m getting.
Has OCAD been what you’ve expected so far?