Proving that following your passion cures the biggest fears. As the Jewelry Design student put her faith into OCADU, she found joy that she dreaded she’d never find. 

Do you fear change or do you welcome it?
To be honest I probably do fear change, yet at the same time I think that it is a vital part of life that helps you grow as a person… so while I somewhat fear it, I welcome it.
What program are you in?
Currently I’m in second year of jewelry design, Material Art and Design program. I chose this program as I wanted to study a course that teaches not only the artistic or designing side, but also the hands-on, technical aspect of jewelry making. This course is a perfect mixture of both, which is why I enjoy it so much. I love the fact that I can design and make something entirely by myself and then wear it!
What is your background?
My background is Japanese and Polish, but I was raised in London, England. I moved to Toronto in 2016. Being proud of my background and having to grow up in a very multi-cultural environment, I try to express that diversity in my work. But I would say my number one cultural influence would be from my Japanese side.
How did art/design become a part of your life?
Well, I guess art has always just been in my life since day one. My whole family is into the arts and my parents have always encouraged me and my brothers to be creative. Rather than playing with toys, we would always be drawing or making something with our hands! When I was younger I would also always watch my grandma, who is a dress maker, sew and make clothes. That was and still is a huge inspiration for me. This eventually made me want to study fashion design in a school in London and it was in this school where I realized my fascination with jewelry design, which then led me to where I am now!
What was your first experience with OCAD?
I knew about OCAD from my brother who was studying Industrial Design here before me. Although at first I was considering studying at a university in London, I decided to come to Canada as I had always wanted to study abroad. I attended the open house, where I had a tour of the school, the jewelry studio etc. From then on I knew I wanted to study here.
How do you feel about formal education?
In some cases, especially in the arts field, formal education is not really needed. But if you want to study something specific that requires skills that you can’t learn by yourself or if you want to study something very technical like jewelry making then formal education is worth it.
Do you think OCAD is benefitting you?
Yes I do, I have learnt a lot even for the short amount of time I have been here. Not only academically but being here has helped me develop more as a person in many ways.

What other creative things are you doing outside of school?
Outside of school, whenever I have the time, I like to work on my personal jewelry projects. I am currently trying to set up a mini jewelry studio at home. My side hobby is making clothes as well as revamping thrifted clothing!
What do you aspire to do when you graduate?
After graduation, I would like to get into the jewelry design industry, perhaps work at first to develop more knowledge and skills in the trade. But my dream would be to work abroad since I don’t like staying in one place for too long! I would love to go back to London too.
What do you hope to get out of your education?/What have you gotten out of your education so far?
So far I have just learnt the basic skills in jewelry making but by the time I graduate, I hope to learn all the advanced skills needed to create jewelry and keep up in the industry. I think this industry, as with most art related industries, is highly competitive and you really need to be able to stand out. So hopefully by the end of these four years, I would be able to create jewelry that is of high standard and also unique, that people would want and wear. I would love to see someone wearing something I created.
Has OCAD been what you’ve expected so far?
 So far it has actually been better than what I expected. At first, before I started, I was nervous that OCAD wasn’t the right choice, and that I should have gone to a school in London since it’s known to have a higher reputation, but now I don’t have any regrets coming here since I am enjoying it.
Who were you before university? Who have you become?
Before coming here, I wasn’t sure of what I was doing or what I wanted to do. I didn’t have any idea of what my future holds. I knew I wanted to study fashion or jewelry design, but couldn’t decide between the two and was always doubting my decision. But after my first jewelry class I knew this is exactly where I should be and I realized what I really wanted to do in the future. Also coming here meant moving to a completely new country and living away from my parents, which has made me a lot more independent, as well as allowing me to discover more about myself. As a result, I became more comfortable and confident in myself.

 

Photography by Christian Malong and Alyssa Staios