Thank you to Mélissa Deschênes, Vanessa Eckstein, Alison Garnett, Bob Hambly, Nicola Hamilton, Paddy Harrington, Barry Quinn, Cai Sepulis, Hans Thiessen, and Lauren Wickware!
If you have any questions about the program or you would like to be a mentor, email .
"Whether it's starting your own business, freelancing, client relations, staff relations, software questions or anything to do with the creative process, I'll coach you along the way and add my geeky sense of humour to it all. Je suis aussi disponile en Francais."
Mélissa Deschênes RGDMelissa is a co-founder and Partner in Design de Plume where she works on design and illustration projects while providing creative direction and inspiration for the entire studio. Design de Plume is an Aboriginally-owned, Sudbury-based, independent graphic design firm run by passionate, forward thinking designers. Their diverse background covers a range of sectors including mining, educational, medical, retail, not-for-profit and finance.
"As your Mentor, I would offer insights both from a national and international perspective, while sharing expansive conversations and love for what we do."
Vanessa Eckstein RGD
Having lived and worked in Buenos Aires, LA, NYC, Mexico City and Toronto, Vanessa brings a unique international perspective to her work. In 1998, she founded Blok Design, which partners with leading thinkers in the fields of architecture, film, industrial design and contemporary art to produce work for top global brands including Pepsi, Nike, the Miami Art Museum and Unicef among many others.
“As your Mentor, I would share my knowledge of the digital industry, advice on navigating a creative career path and establishing best practices to follow within the work environment."
Alison Garnett RGD
Alison has a hybrid design-focused background that includes experience across live events, traditional advertising and digital marketing campaigns…even a stint as a mixologist. At SapientNitro Toronto, Alison guides creative teams from concept to execution of finely crafted technology and UX campaigns with strategy at its core for clients such as Porter Airlines, Cadillac Fairview and Holt Renfrew.
"As your Mentor, I would offer assistance in improving your creative process (research, mind-maps, concept development, etc.); refining, presenting and defending a visual identity; and enhancing the business side of your practice (promotion, proposals, presenting)."
Bob Hambly RGD
Bob is Creative Director of Hambly & Woolley, a multi-disciplinary design firm he co-founded. Over the past 22 years, the firm has received over 350 national and international design awards. His creative mind is always at work at H&W, where clients benefit from his fresh perspective, eye for detail and knack for personal service.
"As your Mentor, I would share my knowledge (and love) of magazines. I would offer assistance building and refining an editorially-focused portfolio and advice on navigating the publishing industry."
Nicola Hamilton RGD
Nicola is Deputy Art Director (and resident magazine nerd) at Chatelaine, Canada's iconic women's media brand. Previously, she was Associate Art Director of the internationally-recognized city weekly The Grid. Her work has been recognized by the D&AD, the Society of Publication Designers (SPD), the Society of News Design (SND) and the Canadian Magazine Awards.
"As your Mentor, I would offer insights on the industry in Toronto and internationally as well as guidance on how to identify their own personal goals and then find the right kind of opportunity to fulfil them."
Paddy Harrington RGD
Paddy is founder of Frontier, a creative exploration company consisting of a magazine, studio and ventures group. An award-winning writer and filmmaker with degrees in literature and architecture, Paddy has spoken at Brown, Harvard and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. His clients have included The New York Jets, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and the Holy City of Mecca. Formerly, Paddy was SVP, Design Innovation & Digital Creative Director at Indigo Books and Executive Creative Director at Bruce Mau Design.
"As your mentor, I would work with you to make your ideas bigger, more visually ownable and able to span different media and the globe."
Barry Quinn RGD
Barry Quinn is Chief Creative Officer at Juniper Park\TBWA. He started his career as a designer at boutique design firms, but mid-career recognized there were many where opportunities designers were being left out. That’s when he started creating design practices within ad agencies. The goal was to embed brands with a core idea and give them the visual vocabulary needed to spread and own that idea. He co-founded the firm Juniper Park\TBWA.
"I would love to share how I got from A to B, the art of putting yourself out there, being seen, navigating the creative process (and clients) and overall how to work with who you are to make those next steps in reaching your goal"
Cai Sepulis RGD
Cai is a self-employed lone gun in the world of advertising and design. With a background in philosophy and architecture, Cai is a firecracker of ideas and creativity, specializing in branding, packaging and illustration. Her youthful whimsical style has caught the attention of numerous big brands and she’s worked along side the agencies/teams behind Second Cup, Nordstrom, HotDocs and numerous breweries to create unique packaging, campaigns and graphics.
"If you’re hungry to push your work, think bigger, win awards, break into advertising and/or laugh till your face hurts, then I’m the mentor you’ve been dreaming of!"
Hans Thiessen RGD
Hans is Associate Creative Director of Design at Rethink. He throws curveball ideas, sweats the details with OCD impulses and eats a bowl of laughs for breakfast. His work has been recognized with a D&AD Black Pencil and a variety of other metallic pats on the back from Cannes Lions, One Show, ADC, Type Directors Club, Clios, LIA, Graphis, Coupe, ADCC and Communication Arts. His clients include Uber, EA and Nike.
"As your Mentor, I would share my experience moving from arts administrator to graphic designer to business owner, offer guidance for practicing professionalism and aid in building a strong print-based portfolio."
Lauren Wickware RGD
A graduate of OCAD and Parsons The New School for Design, Lauren’s experiences in the visual arts and publishing fields inform her perspective, enabling her to engineer meaningful design concepts that powerfully develop awareness, spark interest and have longevity. Working with clients ranging from individual artists to international corporations, Lauren’s publication designs have been recognized by ADCC, AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers, Alcuin Society, Coupe and the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.
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