What led you into design?
Microsoft Word and Sailor Moon. As a child of the 80’s, I was fascinated by the (then new and innovative) computer! At school, I was the one kid who used Microsoft Word Formatting Functions and who was (so) proud of submitting 3D rainbow-colored assignments. At home, I would spend my evenings in front of the TV with my older sister watching… (you guessed it) Sailor Moon! We were both mesmerized by the beautiful imagery and would often pause the show to sketch what we saw. Her drawings were always more beautiful than mine, which motivated me to keep on practicing my drawing skills (to finally beat her). When came time to choose a college major, I chose Graphic Design as a way to merge my two passions together. This allowed me to explore both my nerdy (computer) and artistic (drawing) sides.
What does a typical day look like?
I start every morning with a warm cozy bath - I use this moment to visualize my upcoming day and to think of everything that I’d like to accomplish. (Admittedly, I also sometimes just re-fall asleep and think of... well, nothing.) I then spend a bit of time hanging out with my dog Maya, my girlfriend, and her 8-week old puppy (who’s actually nibbling on my toes as I type these lines). The dogs and I are usually amongst the first ones at the office, and I start my day catching up with my colleagues and surfing the web for inspiration.
My day then consists of designing websites, meetings with clients, internal creative sessions, and overlooking our team of designers and developers. The team will usually spend lunchtime together as we catch up on our Hockey Pool (we’re from Montreal, Go Habs Go!) and other random things. On the evenings, you can find me at a bouldering gym, grabbing drinks with friends, or teaching Web Design in college.
What’s your setup?
Where do you go to get inspired?
I love browsing Behance, Awwwards and my Twitter network for inspiration. There are so many talented and inspiring designers out there (shoutout to Dust Leblanc, my co-creative director, and all-time designer-man-crush). I also look for inspiration in other disciplines such as print design, movies, and tv series. To me, there are tons of similarities between making a film and designing a website: both have the same purpose of telling a story and creating immersive, sometimes extraordinary, experiences for its audiences using animations (PS - have you seen the latest Spiderman movie? Woah!)
What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?
By Caterina Bianchini Studio
What pieces of work are you most proud of?
Awwwards - It was so cool to be able to work on a project that addresses the design community and for a brand that I love and highly respect! Having very limited resources for this website, we gathered an all-star team to quickly work on this. We had so much fun with this project and let our creativity run wild with: 3D, WebGL, Interactive Voting System, Instant Gratification, Artistic Direction, Motion Design…
Yelvy was another fun project to work on. This was a personal project that I did with one of my good friends (who also works at Locomotive as a developer) for his cool fashion brand. We walked into this project with unrestricted creativity (as we were our own client). How cool is the scrolling effect?
Designing a website for talented photographer Mathieu Levesque was awesome. Since I already had amazing content to work with, my goal was to create a website that would come and support and highlight Mathieu’s incredible work, without stealing the show. In order to make the website fun to navigate, we incorporated animations and micro-interactions while keeping it clean and typographic.
What design challenges do you face at your company?
Working at a web agency means constantly working with different clients and on different projects. Before starting to design any website, it’s important for me to take the time to dig into our clients’ minds to understand the purpose behind the project and to dive into their world in order to create a product that will not only be beautiful, but that will also answer their long term brand and business objectives. In the span of just a few months, I get to learn everything about stem cells, electric bikes, mixed martial arts, and the benefits of cannabis for skin. The diversity of projects, people and odd topics that I get to work with can be challenging, but also so satisfying for my curious mind. This is definitely one of the reasons why I love working at Locomotive - it allows me to constantly learn about new things, but also to be quick-thinking, adaptable and open-minded.
What music do you listen to whilst designing?
Any advice for ambitious designers?
Explore, don’t be scared of trying (different) things, trust yourself, never be complacent, keep on learning. I started my career in a tiny print studio where I would spend most of my time designing (boring) print jobs. One day, the studio (somehow) got its first web mandate. This forced me to (self) teach myself web design, Flash, After Effects… and led me to where I am today! I also believe that the more well-rounded you are, the better a designers you’ll be - learn UX, learn to code, learn motion design. The more you understand, the better you’ll design.
Anything you want to promote or plug?
The awesome human beings that I am lucky to work with at Locomotive. They rock.