You’ve been on a steady and focused path to your current position since graduating from Ryerson Fashion. Can you share any tips or advice on how you were able to work your way up the publishing ladder?
There’s no special secret. It’s really comes down to working hard and being willing to go the extra mile. Publishing often involves tight deadlines and long hours. One of the things I learned early is that the best people don’t need to be asked to work late; they just stay until the job is done. The other thing I’ll say is that you have to enjoy it. Amidst the stress, you need to find the opportunity to laugh everyday and have fun with your team. That makes all the difference. I laugh with my team every day.
What do you find are the most enjoyable and challenging parts of your job?
What I really love is the ability to create something real — images and content that I can share with the world. I also love the rush of doing the best job I can on a non-negotiable deadline. With social media, we can get almost instant feedback on something like a photo shoot. It is very satisfying when our readers like what they see. The most challenging part of my role is that same deadline. Publishing doesn’t care if you’re sick or ready for a long weekend — the work stops for no one!
What kind of experience or qualities do you look for in someone you’re hiring?
There’s really no substitute for hard work and passion. A positive attitude is also important, as is an open mind. I think it’s important to be able to take feedback as well, as none of us are perfect and we’re all still learning. Finally, it’s really important to be collaborative, as the vast majority of our work is teamwork.
We’ve been lucky to have you as a guest speaker in our classes here and I’ve heard you mention that our program really prepared you for the industry. What were your favourite courses?
The courses that really had an impact on me were the second-year graphic design classes I took [communication design]. That’s where I really discovered my love of design. I remember applying the skills from that class right away in all my other courses. Those skills helped make my projects feel more polished and professional. The impact they had on me was immediate.
How do you hope your career will continue 10-15 years down the road?
To be honest, I really don’t think that far ahead. I do the best job I can today and let the future come as it will. The truth is that no one knows exactly where print and publishing are going. As an artist, I feel like it’s my job to welcome that change by learning as much as I can about emerging media and technology and remaining open-minded. I’m excited to see where we’ll end up.