2016 grad Maria Centola has landed an interesting summer job – hand painting a salmon sculpture for the City of Coquitlam’s 125th anniversary. Congrats, Maria! We’ll post a photo of the finished piece, which goes on display in July.




It’s always a fun day when we get to see the first year students’ favourite pieces of work and hear their feedback about the program. And have pizza for lunch! Here are just a few samples of the lovely work.

2016 IDEA Talks Joelle 2016 IDEA Talks Megan 2016 IDEA Talks Rae 2016 IDEA Talks Sierra


D&AD Award for 2015 Grad!

Congratulations to Lilian Leung for winning a D&AD New Blood Award! Lilian is an IDEA 2015 grad, who went on to the University of Hertfordshire in the UK to complete her degree. Here is a small part of her winning project, “Born”.

Lilian writes: “Born is a skincare product that challenges traditional beauty ideals by valuing self-care and personal passions. Born comes from being motivated about about what one does and stating beauty comes being able to talk and share that passion with others…” Read more here:

Born3 Born2 Born1

IDEA student wins Georges Haroutiun Scholarship

We’re very pleased to announce that Grad 16 student Shyronn Smardon won one of three new Applied Arts Georges Haroutiun Scholarships! The $3,000 award (design category) also comes with tickets to the Applied Arts Magazine 30th Anniversary Gala in Toronto where the awards will be presented and work shown in front of Canada’s top industry creatives. Shy responded to the brief to design a book jacket to raise awareness of the effects of climate change.

Shy says: “To illustrate how each of us can play a role in climate change, I wanted the reader to see change—literally—through the use of thermochromic inks (inks that are activated by heat). These inks reveal a simple message that future climate predictions are not static, but that each of us, through personal adjustments, can encourage change. The theme was then extended through different covers for several provinces, each reflecting the prominent climate action needed in those communities.”

Big congratulations to Shy for this wonderful achievement!

Shy_AA1 Shy_AA2

Following their intuition

George Littlechild holds up student work

Cree artist George Littlechild leads a workshop for IDEA students

 Nanâskomew (thanks) George Littlechild!

What a treat for the IDEA School second year class when, Alberta born Cree artist, George Littlechild came to spend the morning with us. This was part 2 (read part 1) of a wonderful collaboration with aboriginal students and faculty at Capilano University. Many thanks to David Kirk, one of Cap’s first nations advisors, for suggesting and organising the workshop with our students. Until George walked into the room, we had no idea what the workshop might entail. We all have apprehensions about appropriating first nations art and culture, as our previous first nations class project revealed, so we were a tad nervous. More

IDEA Students win Lexus Challenge!

Lexus recently invited students from Canadian schools to design an auto show display for the new Lexus RX 350 SUV. We are proud to announce that IDEA students beat out teams from OCAD and Concordia with their concept “Pulse”, a design that was influenced by the car’s sculptural quality. The student team – Shy Smardon, Monica Maher, and Stephanie Brennan – were flown to Montreal to see their concept realized, and to receive their $5,000 cheque. Nice work, team! And kudos to Lexus for running this contest in a fair manner, compensating the winning teams from all institutions in addition to the final prize money.

Lexus Design School Challenge

Stephanie checking out the installation in Montreal

Lexus Design School Challenge

Stephanie and Monica missing Shy at the cheque presentation


Spring Open Studio Day Feb 20

Early admissions have just ended, but late applications don’t close until April 20 – so there is still plenty of time to find out if the Bachelor of Design is for you!

Have all your questions answered at our spring Open Studio Day, which begins with an Information Presentation at 1 p.m. We’ll walk you through the features of our program and follow with tours of classroom studios. We’ll also show recent examples of successful entry portfolios.

Don’t forget to bring your portfolio or sketchbook for some friendly feedback from our faculty. Download directions and campus maps here.

Illustration by Berny Siu

Ramen Cat postcard series by 2015 grad Berny Siu

Jim Rimmer Scholarship Win for IDEA student

We’re delighted to announce that grad16 student Ben Stone won a Jim Rimmer Community Scholarship for Design Award, sponsored every year by the GDC and Hemlock Printers, for his Storytell project. Ben was given his award as well as a beautiful framed Jim Rimmer print at the GDC’s inspiring Practivism event last Friday. This scholarship is open to all design students in BC. Our congratulations to Ben!

Ben receiving award from GDC and Hemlock

Photo courtesy Daniele Cotellessa


Part of Ben's submission for the Jim Rimmer Scholarship

Part of Ben’s winning submission for the Jim Rimmer Scholarship

Part of Ben's submission for the Jim Rimmer Scholarship

Part of Ben’s winning submission for the Jim Rimmer Scholarship

IDEA gets cosy with indigenous filmmakers

IIDF and IDEA forging friendshipsSay jazz hands!

Students from IDEA and IIF met for the first time this week. When David Geary and I decided to bring our two classes together, we had no idea what would happen. IDEA second years will be undertaking a project with a First Nations focus next term and having met some of David’s Indigenous Independent Filmmaking students last year, I thought bringing them together with our students would be a great way to build a bridge between our two programs.

As the IIF students are working on scripts for their first short film. David suggested the IDEA students might have some production design ideas that could be useful to his emerging filmmakers. After a brief intro from David, on what production design is and some trailers of Aboriginal movies old and new, like Smoke Signals and Boy, the IIF students huddled with IDEA students and discussed their projects.

An hour later in the First Nations student lounge, the students chatted over lunch about their respective courses, projects and ways they can continue to collaborate. Thanks to David Geary, Clay Little, First Nations Liaison Officer and Elder Ernie George from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation for their support.

IDEA Open Studio: Saturday, Nov. 14th

Are you interested in a career as a graphic designer, art director, illustrator, concept artist, UX or interactive designer (to name only a few of many choices)?

Please join us for our fall Open Studio Day, which begins with an Information Presentation at 1 p.m. in Arbutus Building, Room 125. We’ll walk you through our program, year by year, and follow with tours of classroom studios, and friendly portfolio feedback from our faculty. We’ll also show recent examples of successful entry portfolios.

If you’re considering applying to our program, even just curious and information gathering, this is a great chance to experience the environment where it all happens.

Download directions and campus maps here.

We look forward to meeting you on November 14th!

Cristian Fowlie, IDEA Graduate 2015

Cristian Fowlie, IDEA Graduate 2015

The Portfolio Advantage, through Continuing Studies at CapU

The Portfolio Advantage, through Continuing Studies at CapU

This fall, Continuing Studies at Capilano University offers two courses that comprise The Portfolio Advantage: Drawing and Design Basics I, starting September 23rd, and Life Drawing starting October 8th. The former is ideal for students looking to apply to a post-secondary design program like IDEA but equally suitable to anyone curious to explore their creativity in drawing and design. The latter course is devoted entirely to drawing the figure, and would benefit anyone applying to a fine art, design or animation program, or simply seeking to draw with greater confidence.

Several successful IDEA program applicants have enriched their entrance portfolio with work produced from these courses. If you’ve been meaning to make time to prepare or improve your entrance portfolio, these courses are fun, directed, and bring results.

More information about both courses here.

Grad Spotlight: Cristian Fowlie

2015 IDEA graduate Cristian Fowlie just snagged a Merit (for his illustration, “New Energy”, pictured left) and three Honourable Mentions in the international student competition for 3×3: The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration. This is Cristian’s second year of seeing his work recognized in this tough-to-crack competition and respected journal.

He’s also landed a plum illustration gig: the cover of the current issue of Vancouver magazine (right). Both bode well for his future – and rapidly growing viewership.

Bravo, Cristian!

Convocation 2015

TaylorLeeValedictorianThe students of Capilano University’s Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts were represented this afternoon at convocation by valedictorian (and IDEA graduate) Taylor Lee (above).

Taylor spoke about finding her way to a creative career, in spite of naysayers, self-doubt, and half-hearted stabs at biology and engineering. In the end, though, passion won out. “We know what it’s like to be told we can’t, that if we follow the path of becoming a creative of any kind, failure is inevitable… Failure is inevitable, no matter what field you’re in, passion and determination are what’s going to help you get up and try again. My classmates and I are graduating today… knowing that wherever life takes us, we’ll be doing something we’re passionate about.”

Congratulations to our 2015 IDEA graduates: an exceptional – and exceptionally cohesive – group. To say nothing of kind, resourceful, talented. We’ll miss you and enjoy your future successes with pride.

Photo Credit:

Program Co-Coordinator Carol Aitken with the 2015 graduating class (photo: Jeremy Lim)





Rodeo7 Winners

IDEA students Jeremy Michael’s “Girl in Grisaille” (above left), Jessica Ngo’s “Disconnected” (above right), and Tierney Milne’s “Sierra Club Annual Report Cover” (lower left), scored First, Second and Third Place respectively in the Illustration category of CAPIC’s Rodeo7 Contest this spring. The annual competition is open to illustration and photography students across Canada, and is followed by a group exhibition in Toronto later this spring.

Making us equally proud: Four of the seven Runners Up were ours, too: Berny Siu Chow, Cristian Fowlie, Vivian Li and Tierney Milne.

Bravo and brava!


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