Meet and Greet Lunching Creatives – Part 1

I don’t know about you, but I am excited to connect and reconnect with some great creatives in a a couple days. Our tally for lunch will be thirteen peeps. In trying to figure out the logistics of such a large lunch group, I thought I would provide a quick bio of everyone so we can avoid the awkward initial introductions. Meet 7 of the 15 here in this first post.

To start off, I think I will go in order of how I met or been introduced to each creative. I am not great on dates but I think the first is:

Janine Vangool. She may not recall, but I first met Janine while taking a class at the Alberta College of Art and Design on the Business of Freelancing. She was friends with the instructor, a very fun illustrator, and volunteered to come out and share her experience with putting together a portfolio. From then, I was hooked. I admired her work and her casual strength when it came to being a solo freelancer. Her work spoke for her. Since then I followed her design journey to her UPPERCASE studio and paper goods store which is now the hub of her growing publishing empire. Between the variety of books she has published, the accomplishment that is my inspiration is her UPPERCASE magazine. If you haven’t taken a boo… as a creative you are missing out. In my brief interactions with Janine, I find her to be truly: genuine.

Next, was Jennifer Feurer. Lover of CSS coding. It is so fun to chat it up with Jen when she gets talking code. She lights up. Of course as I am a print designer her conversation is a little above my head – but it is always great to connect with someone on what they are most passionate about. She is a full-time freelancer whom I met when we both worked with the MOMpreneur magazine. Her background includes work in the film industry which is cool. I will let her elaborate on that. If there was one word I could think of to describe Jen it would be: sparkly.

The next on my list would be James Hearne. He is an amazing illustrator whom I met at a MOMpreneur trade fair where he dabbled in selling his illustrations on clothing. I was admiring his work and we got chatting. That followed with what I think was the beginning of my ‘creative socialization’. His trademark style brings a smile and overall ‘goodwill’ feelings (which works since he does a lot of christmas designs). He moved to Canada from Britain a few years ago and hasn’t looked back. I have found James to be kind, inquisitive and overall the perfect word to describe him is: jolly.

While doing work for the University of Calgary’s Teaching and Learning Centre, I met Jennifer Stack, a copywriter whom actually lived in my neighbourhood at the time. Since then, I brought her aboard the MOMpreneur train – what a ride. It was working with her in the last hours and minutes before upload I learned to appreciate her amazing skill at massaging the english language into brilliance. I love how you know what is on her mind because she is so open and supportive and an ear that has saved my sanity more than once. When I think of Jen, what comes to mind is: Jello. Just like the treat, you can’t think of it without smiling.

Michelle Woodard was introduced to me through the TLC after she took on the role of communications and I learned it was she who was responsible for the Calgary Zoo newsletter at the time, which I admired it’s simplistic and informative design. She is an amazing writer, easy to talk to which translates well to speak of her interviewing skills. Michelle’s time with the Calgary Zoo has opened up her client base to other similar organizations and she is filled with information about animals in the wild and the challenges they face. She has graced my office space in collaborating work and well simply just another person to work with. When I think of Michelle, the word that comes to mind is: warm.

A couple years back I attended a Photoshop seminar and met up with fellow graphic designer Shanna Cremers. I spoke a little about her in a previous blog. But in summary she is a great no-nonsense designer expecting her first child October 5. Soooo will she make it to lunch? We’ll see if she is sporting the belly or the baby or perhaps she may opt to sleep. We have kept in touch and managed to meet up about once a year since – if she makes it to lunch that will be twice in this year alone. She has an amazing head for business and experienced working ‘on-the-clock’ as well as freelancing. This gal loves to bake and started her own blog – so a word to describe Shanna would be: sweet.

I love the reality of the six degrees of separation and through Shanna and the wonders of the internet, I was introduced the the amazing illustrations of Patrick LaMontagne. While in Canmore this summer, Shanna showed me the works of Patrick on sale in a store in Canmore – which one of which won him a Photoshop World Award in 2010. Amazing Photoshop paintings of animals with a quirky caricature style. They looks like photographs but not quite! I attended his WACOM webinar and was inspired by his presentation. I look forward to meeting him in person! A word that comes to mind: inspiring.

Part 2 – meet the net 8!

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