AIGA 2016 Conference in pictures

IDEA Grad 18 headed to Las Vegas, Nevada this week for the AIGA 2016 Conference. It was a mind-boggling 3 days of intense creative input. Along with the concentrated listening and note-taking there were some lighter moments:

Convocation 2016

Convocation2016ACongratulations to our 2016 IDEA graduates!

Today celebrated an impressive accomplishment but also the closing of a chapter, accompanied by goodbyes. This year’s crew marks the end of a particular era: they’re the final graduates of the 3-year IDEA Diploma program (the next will be our first Bachelor of Design graduates, in 2018). We’re proud of them, and their dedicated effort over the past three years. Several are already working in the industry, and a quartet will be continuing their design studies abroad. We wish each and every of our twenty-three grads every continued success and happiness.

A Clean Sweep!

Fantastic results for our IDEA illustration students in this spring’s CAPIC’s RODEO8 Competition. CAPIC is the Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators, and RODEO is open to photography and illustration students across Canada. The IDEA domination in the illustration category here is total! To be specific:

Alice Zeng (First Place), Abbey Johnson (Second), and Lera Nyukalova (Third). Alice won for her poetic water-themed poster (above), Abbey for her digital illustration “Kvothe”(below), and Lera for her illustrated background for a mentorship project with Atomic Cartoons this past spring, titled “Crime Scene” (bottom).

Also, hats off to the seven finalists, every one an IDEA student: Max Littledale (twice!), Maria Centola, Lera Nyukalova (again), Pamella Pinard, Crystal Woo, and Alice Zeng (again). See all the images here.

Brava! Bravo!



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.

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