During my childhood I spent hours watching my father practice his Chinese calligraphy, which is not only an art form, but a means of self-expression. To me, the thoughtful brush strokes in calligraphy are a creative process akin to painting and design. The way that each character appears to originate from a picture seemed to embody his personality.
This early fascination with calligraphy fuelled my desire to become an illustrator. To pursue this passion, I enrolled in the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, which provided me with a solid foundation in the discipline. The four-year design program was extremely rewarding and I discovered that design allowed me to apply different artistic solutions to the world of visual communication. By 1983 my dedication had paid off and I graduated from ECCAD with Honours. Thoroughly enjoying the quality of education provided by the college, I studied photography for an additional year.
Over the next 25 years I successfully established Vertex, my own design firm, specializing in assisting clients in bringing their ideas and concepts into an art form that communicates their message and is well received by their target audience.
In those two and a half decades the design industry has undergone numerous transitions. In the early years, before the widespread use of computers for graphic design, the design process was very distinct. The designer came up with an idea, which was then executed by the production artist. As a designer, I find the creative conceptual process the most enjoyable.
That process completely changed when computer technology combined the creation and execution stages. Although desktop computers and design software reduced time and cost for the industry, over reliance on technology greatly diluted the designer’s creativity. The truth is, the core of design is the creation of an idea, which is developed over time. Technology is a speedy means to implement and produce the idea. It does not replace design.
As my career progressed, I found myself increasingly inspired by Mother Nature’s ability to continually re-invent itself. The masterpieces it creates are the epitome of art and design. Realizing that capturing fresh air and stimulants of nature would bring new dimensions and colours to my graphic design, I turned my studio into a miniature botanical garden. Its influence took my design to new heights, which led to my appointment as the creative director of Zamage Digital Art Imaging Inc. in 2004. This company was established in 1999 to integrate fine art with digital imaging technology, providing it with a niche in creative sales of branded giclée canvas, museum-grade gallery wraps and paper-printed fine art products.
My involvement in Zamage is definitely an exciting adventure, as it provides me with an opportunity to work with an elite team of international experts with diverse artistic backgrounds. This exposure to a large variety of projects will give visual communication a new interpretation, adding depth to my multi-dimensional design. A new frontier indeed.