What is your official job title?
Visual Web Designer for Call it Spring
Give us a brief overview of what you do at CIS?
I design and maintain the CIS website, and newsletters with my teammates Chris Berthe, Cristina Farinelli, and Shaylah Bezeau.
What brought you to CIS?
Growing up I was always a little bit creative. If I wasn’t drawing something, I was building new toys out of lesser ones à la Dr. Frankenstein. It wasn’t until my parents brought home our first beige, clunky, marvelous PC and I booted up MsPaint for the first time when I was 10 I knew I was addicted.
If you could create it on a computer, I was creating it: pixel art, illustrations, music, websites whatever I could churn out. When I found out I could learn,work and play on those shiny new candy coloured iMacs in art school, I wasted no time in enrolling in the program. I even volunteered at the digital lab to give me an excuse to spend extra time designing on a workstation reserved just for me while mentoring other students. I took a ton of classes including art history, design history, film studies, videography, photography, print, industrial design, and drawing, but digital design always stuck.
My first job was designing graphics for a surf company. I worked closely with a merchandiser to develop artwork for boardshorts, clothing, print and branding. It was an exciting time for me because for the first time, I was able to see artworks I was creating being enjoyed by people. After 10 years working in the industry, with various companies, I eventually was able to expand my abilities to design a men’s collection including the garments, artworks, labeling, and trims. Working closely with overseas suppliers and even visiting the factories was an incredible experience.
Working for CIS seemed like the next natural step because I was able to bridge my experience in the fashion industry, and my love for digital design into a career that I love.
What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part of my job is being able to be inspired daily by the incredibly talented and dedicated people I work with across departments. But I’m also lucky to work with an amazing team. Chris Berthe, CIS’ front-end developer is always teaching me something new and he never ceases to amaze me. Cristina Farinelli, CIS’ Marketing Coordinator’s energy is infectious and keeps the team running. Shaylah Bezeau CIS’ Merchandiser’s positivity keeps us grounded.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Being able to adapt to changing situations at a moment’s call from a design perspective is tricky, but the problem-solving aspect of creating a site in collaboration with our front-end developer that has the ability to react with agility is part of the fun.
What are the greatest misconceptions about what you do?
That I’m some sort of hacker? I’ve never hacked the FBI database, and never will!
Fill in the blanks.
If I weren’t DESIGNING I would be DEAD.
What advice would you offer up to someone pursuing a similar career?
Never stop learning. Always keep yourself inspired. Do it with passion and authenticity.
We heart Justin’s face.