Thank you to Car Beddice, Sabrina Chan, Danielle Hitchcock, Denis Leclerc, Diego Lopez, Lawrence Ly, Slava Motovilov, Andrew Oliver, Mikey Richardson, Elana Rudick, Iliana Sergeev, Setareh Shamdani, Nikki Shih, Kelly Small, Chelsey Stuart-Duval, Wilson Wong, and Ben Wu!
If you have any questions about the program or you would like to be a mentor, email .
Car Beddice, Associate Creative Director at Cossette in Vancouver
Carling has worked in advertising and design for over a decade; most recently as an Associate Creative Director (ACD) at Cossette, Canada's Advertising Agency of the Year three years running. Car has worked with global giants and bespoke start-ups—including Canadian Western Bank, Destination Canada, Instagram, Jetlines, Kabam Games, McDonald's, Telus, Tim Horton's and Tourism Yukon. In the agency world, they have been involved in making countless presentations to stakeholders and clients. Throughout their career, they have made invaluable connections in the LGBTQ+ community, leading projects like the national rebrand for PFLAG Canada. They are an advocate and diversity leader in their professional and personal lives.
“As your mentor, I will share insights and experience in the design tech industry, while giving guidance on how to pursue your design career in tech. I will support the development of your résumé and portfolio, making sure they have everything that employers are looking for. I will also share tips and insights on how to prepare for interviews and how to present and rationalize your work.”
Sabrina Chan, Senior Interactive Designer at Unbounce in Vancouver
Sabrina is a multi-disciplinary designer specializing in interaction and communication design. Her expertise lies in interaction/web design, UX/UI design, art direction, branding, design thinking, user research and web development. Since graduating from the Communication Design program at Emily Carr University of Art and Design 4 years ago, she has been working at Unbounce, a tech company in Vancouver. Sabrina also has a UX design certificate from BrainStation. Apart from her passion for design, she spends a lot of her time (and money) on food, discovering the best new local restaurants and dessert places.
Danielle Hitchcock, Principal & Creative Director of Twin Design + Art Direction in Hamilton
With over 15 years in the design industry, Danielle has experience in branding, signage, wayfinding, editorial design, invitation and stationery design, book design, visual identity, web design and copywriting.
Beyond traditional design realms, she has participated in, facilitated and led workshops in strategy, foresight and innovation for Western University and the United Way. In the signage and wayfinding field, she creates comprehensive signage analysis, site audits, elevations, sign location plans and message schedules. When she's not creating beautiful work for her clients, Danielle can be found chasing her twins and doing yoga / pilates / meditation (to calm down from chasing said twins). She hopes to resume her love of travel before the kids are 20. (She's been to 18 countries across 3.5 continents and would love to add to that tally.)
"Together, we will explore ways to find and develop your unique attributes and deploy them to your advantage. What is your creative process? Are you a doer or a thinker first? How do you deal with a design problem? Are you shy or bold? Do you like to work alone or as a team? Are you intimidated by co-workers or clients? Print, Web or Social Media? At the end, you’ll have a better idea of how you fit in the graphic design industry."
Denis Leclerc RGD, Creative Director and Principal at Costa Leclerc Design in Toronto
Denis has more than 25 years of experience and is comfortable managing projects in both English and French. He has worked in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto before starting his own business in 1989 that would become Costa Leclerc Design. His experience in marketing and his artistic approach guide CLD’s strategy as well as the development of interactive initiatives, visual identities and integrated brand campaigns in either official language. His active collaboration with several professional associations and his participation in numerous international design conferences attest to his enthusiasm for visual arts and graphic design. As a visual artist, Denis has more than 60 exhibitions and numerous installations.
"So you want to make a dent in this world? Let's talk about how you can leverage strategy, clear communication and design to redeem the stories you tell in the marketplace and make our world a better place."
Diego Lopez RGD, Creative Director at Compass Creative in Stoney Creek
With experience in research, brand strategy, copywriting and marketing, Diego has spent the last decade helping brands of all sizes (from Porter Airlines, Manulife, Costco and beloved local brands) find clarity and express authentically, so they can better connect with their audience.
“As your mentor, I can offer my perspective and experiences on navigating an unconventional path through the design industry, and nourishing strong relationships with non-designer colleagues along the way. Given my unique position of being both a professional and a recent graduate, I’ll work alongside you to develop new career goals and to learn from each other. Let’s figure it out together!”
Lawrence Ly RGD, Multidisciplinary Designer in Toronto
Lawrence is a multi-disciplinary designer and budding researcher with a decade’s worth of experience designing for government, not-for-profit and research organizations, including in-house and freelancing. Having recently graduated from OCAD with an MDes in Design for Health, he’s focused on reframing social and healthcare challenges through the lens of design and combining visual communication with a systems approach to shape the future for a better world. Nothing gets his heart pumping faster than a well-executed wayfinding system or vintage signs decked out in neon lights.
"You can’t do it alone, that’s why there are friends, teams, families, communities, cities...and mentors who can help illuminate your path. It's okay to ask for help. Dreaming of working as an in-house designer for a global firm with thousands of employees? Or, perhaps joining a marketing team? Corporate is not as boring as you may think. Let me show you how to land, excel in and keep your job. Oh, and while we are at it, we can also chat about cars."
Slava Motovilov RGD, Designer in Toronto
Elana is Founder and Creative Director of an award-winning studio that specializes in crafting thoughtful and engaging designs. She is passionate about providing her clients design solutions that will cohesively communicate their brand. With a firm belief that the “why” is more important than the “what”, Elana has tackled diverse projects for clients in the retail, cultural, pharmaceutical, educational, not-for-profit and corporate spaces.
"As your Mentor, I would offer assistance building and refining portfolios to show design thinking across disciplines and offer tips to junior designers as they look for their next career moves."
Iliana Sergeev RGD, Founder of IS Design Labs in Toronto
Iliana never lost her child-like drive and endless curiosity. As the founder of a multi-disciplinary design studio, Iliana’s passion for problem-solving and communication is not bound by definitions, as she pushes the line where graphic design meets dimensional experiences. Her current focus is on branding, re-branding, environmental graphics and art. She is a visionary designer with years of work experience spanning numerous industries - marketing, advertising, entertainment and interior design.
"The possibilities of what you can do as a designer can be simultaneously exciting and overwhelming. I can help you navigate this process by sharing my learnings from having explored various fields in design, and together we'll work through the options that interest you and are suited to your goals and strengths."
Setareh Shamdani, Design & Insights Manager at Doblin/Deloitte in Toronto
I care deeply about ethical design and am a constant advocate of the people impacted by my work, finding every opportunity to amplify their voices in both the process and the outcome. I have explored intersections across art, design, engineering, technology and business, all while maintaining a strong focus on inclusion and accessibility. My work has taken me from being the design lead of a Toronto-based health and sleep start-up, to collaborating with speech and language therapists at hospitals in London (UK), to organizing a design and technology exhibition in Tokyo, to designing and managing campaigns for social profit organizations in Vancouver.
“As your mentor, I’m here to use my 15+ years of experience as a commercial creative and researcher in the area of ethical and inclusive design to support your work and career toward a practice that brings you fulfillment and success - as YOU define it.”
Kelly Small MDes RGD, ECD at Grassriots Inc in Toronto
An ad industry ex-pat, Kelly’s work spans commercial creative direction, classical communication design and design research centred on work-life at the intersection of capitalism and ethical creative practice. They are also the author of the recently released book The Conscious Creative Practical Ethics for Purposeful Work.
Chelsey Stuart-Duval RGD, Creative Lead and PR Coordinator at ES Sports | Alison Sheri & Elena Wang in Montreal
“As your mentor, I want to help you with your creative process and share some of my experiences as a BIPOC in this industry. We can work together to discover your strengths and see what opportunities are out there for your unique talent.”
Wilson Wong, Founding Partner at Everbrave in Calgary
Wilson is a creative chameleon. As a founding partner of Everbrave, he has one eye firmly focused on helping local to international clients transform their brands from good to legendary.
* Note: Wilson would prefer to mentor someone who is BIPOC
Ben is an experienced Multimedia Artist with over 10 years of experience, driven by technology and art. His skills include projection mapping, holograms, interactive solutions, kinetic displays and he is able to apply innovative concepts to final solutions to improve user experience for clients.