Mentorship Project: Phase 5

This project has helped me grow in all areas as a designer. Working with someone outside of the program provided a new and exciting experience and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with Hannes. Initially going into this project, I was having a hard time deciding who to reach out to as a mentor. Part of my problem in the beginning of this year was trying to figure out where I want to focus. This project has helped me hone in on a focus moving forwards into my career. Hannes helped me realize what I am best at and enjoy most; branding projects where I can integrate my illustration skills.

The most challenging part was color, illustration, and the homepage website design. Something that I am learning about myself is that in some projects I get to a point where I start asking a ton of people for their opinion on what I am designing. I think it is good to get other opinions, BUT I usually do this at a point where personally I know it is not good enough. I seem to be looking for reassurance or people to say otherwise. I don’t even know why I do this. I am not sure this totally makes sense in writing, but in my head, it does. So, I am learning and growing from this. When I reach this point in a project, it is time for a break and some breathing space from the project.

Choosing the colors for this project was a crazy process. I couldn’t seem to find the right combination of colors that also had the right feel. I didn’t want to choose colors that were too girly or too crazy.  I wanted that happy medium. The final combo was green, pink, and yellow. Pink – Harajuku girl influence, green – for veganism, and yellow – Happy color!

I wanted to use the illustrations on the homepage but it was seeming much too busy and illegible when I experimented with this. I ended up choosing one of the characters to use on its own.




Hannes has taught me to be even more persistent than I already am and to keep going with ideas and experimentation. He challenged me in an encouraging, helpful, reassuring way. The way he gives feedback makes me want to keep going and do even better.

I realize that my project has many tweaks to make it portfolio ready but I am so proud of what I have accomplished and created so far. I can’t wait to implement my critiques and expand on the idea!








Mentorship Project: Phase 4

In this phase, we began the graphic assets for the project. It was for sure the longest and most challenging part of the process for me. I struggled with choosing type as well as the illustration, and color choice.  I wanted to create a set of graphics that would work across different materials and represent the brand well. Hannes encouraged me to showcase my illustration style and create a new series of illustrations that could also be used as a pattern. The thought of incorporating illustration into my branding project excited me!

Although I was excited to develop illustrations, I realized when I illustrate for school projects I can get more stressed, feel more restrained, and second guess my illustrative design choices. Versus when I am illustrating for fun and can be freely me. I told Hannes this and he totally understood! I think that making this reflection was valuable in moving forwards with using my illustrations for projects. Being aware of these feelings, observing why, and trying to let go and be me! Hannes encouraged me to really show my style and have fun with it!

I first developed a series of illustrations in my regular line style and tried playing with colour. But I got the “no” from Hannes haha. He wanted me to branch out and experiment more. I scratched these illustrations and went back to the drawing board. At this point I was getting frustrated and didn’t have a clear vision of where to go next.





Hannes was very helpful in helping me find lots of different illustration inspiration. He sent me different branding projects with illustrations that had also been used as graphics across collateral. In this phase Hannes discovered one of my old illustration styles through my Instagram and encouraged me to revamp that style for this project.


Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 9.57.43 PM


Back I went to drawing! We discussed a collage style with an “LSD trip” sort of feel to really bring forth the crazy Japanese style I wanted to go for. Pulling inspiration from Japanese fashion and illustration that doesn’t make much sense. After HOURS of drawing and refining with Hannes I created something we thought could work.



I’m stoked on this for now, although I think it still needs refining for my portfolio. I then took this illustration and applied it across my collateral; Business cards, Food truck, menu, website, and a couple packaging examples. In this phase I was pushed pretty hard by Hannes. There were frustrating days when I didn’t think I was going to be able to create something good enough. Although I am grateful for how hard he pushed me because it helped me develop something that I wouldn’t normally do.

Here is my final food truck! I think it would definitely stand out in Vancouver. Can you picture me ROLLIN?! 😉




I don’t think I have ever worked so hard on a project. Especially in this phase. In terms of work efforts and grading myself I would give myself a 10/10. As far as results, probably an 8/10 because I think there is room for improvement and I wanted to do even more collateral.





Mentorship Project: Phase 3

Today Hannes and I met at my favorite coffee shop in Gastown, The Coffee Bar. Great place for meeting people because there is a long bar style seating at the back that’s pretty quiet.




During this phase I presented my name ideas and first round of logo sketches to Hannes.


Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 1.49.45 PM

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 1.50.01 PM


We discussed my top 3 name ideas, the pros and cons and brainstormed ideas for taglines. I was pretty stoked on naming my food truck “Homie Rolls.” The idea behind this was that my sister and I (our last name is Holmes) would be running the food truck. I wanted to call it “Holmie Rolls” but we agreed that the L would confuse people. So Hannes suggested I call it Homie Rolls instead and in my banding story I could specify why I came to that name.

After Hannes left I began sketching more right away. I thought that y name would for sure be Homie Rolls so I did a second round of sketches based on this name.





After I talked to some others and showed them my ideas I decided I actually wanted to change directions. I thought it was a little too complicated and plus it sounds a little weird when you ask a friend to lunch. “Hey man! Wanna go to homie rolls?!”

Anyways, I took a turn and went with the runner up. Roru, the Japanese word for rolls. Playing with the food truck wheels and the fact that we serve sushi rolls. I like how this word looked typographically and thought it had potential for a good logo wordmark.  When sketching I arranged the letters in a circle and saw a face! Then I had the idea that I could create an emoji or an animation out of the mark I had created. For the main logo I could use a wordmark and on the website or digital platforms I could rearrange it, creating an emoji or animated character!







I am enjoying working with Hannes as my mentor. What I have realized so far about his mentorship skills is he is supportive of ideas but also pushes me to go further. The way he does it is refreshing. Instead of saying my idea is not good enough, he approaches it from the perspective that it is good but could be pushed further and I can do even better. I find this motivating and it really makes me want to push my ideas further.

I am excited to see where the logo goes in the following week!

Mentorship Project: Phase 2

Today I met Hannes for the first time. We met at Blenz coffee on commercial drive (Hannes works out of home).


I came to Hannes with a list of my ideas and thoughts for the project:

  • I want to improve my branding and design skills for my portfolio
  • Rebrand a restaurant? I am very passionate about food and I think this could be a lot of fun. Maybe a Japanese (I went to Japan last year and fell in love) restaurant or sushi restaurant?
  • Rebrand an ice cream shop? or create my own? Vegan ice cream shop! (only a couple in Vancouver)
  • Come up with my own fashion brand? – Design the look book + logo
  • Wine brand targeted to youngsters interested in wine. (19-25) logo + wine labels/packaging
  • Create my own vegan restaurant? – something original with a twist (menu design + logo + togo menus + web?)
  • Vegan food truck run by my sister and I. labels + logo + menu + food truck + web
  • Potato food truck. All things potatoes (this includes yams)
  • Healthy vegan wine bar (could be a food truck) serves appetizers and drinks
  • Brand a Kombucha cafe?
  • Personal training service targeted towards young girls. Help with meal prep, small daily workouts, mindful. (attainable everyday practices not intense crazy unattainable personal training). Business cards + logo +web + workout flyers +checklists

We worked through the list, discussing pros and cons. Next we brainstormed together and he gave me some insight into the design world. What I initially appreciated about Hannes is how he encourages ideas, thinks about the pros and cons, but doesn’t shut me down.

Here is some of the initial brainstorming + notes.



I went home, reflected on our meeting, and nailed down my final idea for the project: A vegan sushi food truck!


Mentorship Project: Phase 1

My mentor for this project is Hannes Ottahal. He is an award-winning art director and designer who has worked at Vancouver’s top agencies including Rethink, DDB, 123 West, TAXI, Cossette, The & Partnership and Blast Radius. He is now working as a freelancer!

Hannes and I began the mentorship project by communicating over email. I sent him my portfolio as well as a personal branding project to help him gain a better understanding of me as a person and designer. He looked over my work and asked me this initial question:

“I see you’re passionate about art, but since art is not design, what passion does your current work reflect? Have you considered how your passion for art can translate into a portfolio project?”

Surprisingly I found this question difficult to answer so Hannes gave me a suggestion:

“Brainstorming will help gain a better answer to this question. No one will be expected to fully nail this at your age as you’re likely to expand on your passions and interests as time passes and you experience new things/people/environments, but for now…Put down any and all things that interest you and try to figure out why they are on the list.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 1.24.05 PMThis small exercise proved to me to be extremely beneficial in helping streamline what I wanted to focus on for this project. (Sometime my brain can be a bit all over the place. Especially when I get overly excitedJ) I haven’t thought about my passions in a while, sitting down and writing them out was refreshing and a good reflection of my current self.

Hannes provided me with one of the best pieces of advice I think I have gotten so far in this program, I wish someone had told me this piece of advice earlier:

When beginning a project consider a cross-section. Create a brand that provides a service/product that people not only benefit from but also combine it with your passions/interests that make the world a better place. I.e. create awareness for something important (women’s rights), a sustainable product (vegan), part of product price goes to charity (helping people).

After receiving this email, I knew Hannes was going to be an awesome mentor!

Reflecting on this advice, I want to find a way to do this for absolutely every project and job I do. It may not be possible if I am working for someone else but I want to try and make it possible.

And so this project began!


Montreal Travels 2017

I would like to start off this blog post by rating my overall experience on this trip. Despite the fact that I was very disappointed with the conference I would give Montreal 2017 travels a 10/10! Well…maybe a 9/10, because the continental breakfast sucked, especially for a vegan. But other than that I had an absolutely amazing time!

The best part of this trip for me was all of the tours that we got to go on. It opened up my eyes and heart to what I can see myself pursuing in the future. I would absolutely love to do an internship at one of the studios we visited next summer. Montreal is my second favourite city to Vancouver and I can definitely see myself living there in the future! The fact that we got to visit more than one studio was great because it allowed us to see what different companies look like, how they function, what they specialize in, and what they offer. Honestly, before the agency tours and presentations I wasn’t even sure what it looked like to be a designer working for a company. My mind was blown after the first experience at Deux Huit Huit. (Of course the free beer, chips, and candy in their beautiful boogie studio contributed to the mind blowing experience!) The tours brought me excitement, education, inspiration, and a drive to develop my portfolio and hopefully intern at a super cool studio like one of these next summer! I would also love to learn French, so I’m thinking of taking French as an elective next semester.

It was great to go to the illustrators’ studios as well and see what a typical day looks like as a freelancer. Very different than working in a big agency!  I thought I could see myself working as an illustrator some day but I realize that working with other people in an agency and being able to collaborate with others may be a better fit for me. I am a very social person and I think I would get lonely working alone in my house everyday.

I am not going to talk much about the conference because I didn’t attend many lectures. I was very disappointed with the organization of the conference, I hated the app (it made my phone die every half hour), and most of the lectures I went to were targeted towards architects. They did not generate passion, engagement, or excitement within me.  I would give the conference a 1/10 and would not recommend it at all. I am grateful for the fact that the conference was in Montreal because if it weren’t for this conference we would not have had the incredible opportunity to go there.

Another highlight for me was spending time with my class mates. I am so lucky to have such wonderful people to learn, share memories, and grow with. My favourite day was when we went to Phi. (A Virtual Reality Art Gallery in Old Montreal). WOW! I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE HOW CRAZY, FUN, ENGAGING, AND INCREDIBLE IT WAS! It was my first experience with virtual reality and it made me feel both scared and excited for what it will bring in the future.

Finally the food. WOW! Montreal is a a hub for vegans. I was in heaven most places I went to eat. My favourite restaurants that I would highly recommend anyone go to, even if you are not vegan include: LOV, Omnivore, Copper Branch, Tommy’s, and Aux Vivres.


I could probably continue this blog and make it into a long paper or even a book filled with memories and stories but I won’t. Instead I suggest that you get on a plane and fly there to experience it for yourself. Especially if you are an artist because Montreal is one of the most artistically inspiring cities I have been to (and I have been to many cities). So go eat a shit ton of vegan food, get inspired by the street art, visit art galleries, experience some virtual reality, and make Montreal memories that will last you a life time!



A COOL First Nations Project

We began this project by going to see a first nations interactive play about reconciliation with First Nations. The play had a major emotional impact on me and I realized my lack of awareness and knowledge about the issues between non-indigenous and indigenous peoples. This play got me both excited and nervous for this project.

The research process began as we tried to narrow down what aspect of reconciliation we wanted to focus on. During my brainstorming process I found it helpful to discuss the sensitive topic with both friends and family, observing their reactions and knowledge about indigenous people. When discussing with my sister, she mentioned some of the boy’s reactions to learning about First Nations culture in class. They were not excited and one of them said, “Oh god we’ve already learned this stuff.” This hit me hard. I thought, “Why do high school students have such negative mindsets? Is there a way to change it? What if we could excite them about learning more and inspire them to move towards reconciliation? We can’t reach reconciliation without being educated and knowing about the past. Their history is ours too.” I felt strongly about educating high school students and creating something that would inspire them to understand the significance of reconciliation with first nations.

Upon research we found an appalling fact; most Canadian textbooks have only 64 words on what happened with first nations. High school teaches us almost nothing! The truth about how little knowledge most of us have hurts! Yet this truth became the spring board of our project.

The incredible Indigenous culture is still thriving today, and our team decided to do an Aboriginal / First Nations festival event to showcase this. Similar to Aboriginal day, but aimed towards youth; creating a fun, cool, hip experience that would inspire and excite them. Our team decided to brand a festival event, and went for a more vibrant, bold, and exciting aesthetic. Since our target market is high school students, we decided to use two fonts: one called Flood Std to grab their attention, another called Avenir Next for clean minimalism and legibility. The inspiration in our color palette lies in the three colours of the Aboriginal flag, red, yellow, and black. We added green for life, energy, and renewal, and blue for stability. The graphic shapes used across our platforms were created based on the distinctive style of the northwest coast First Nations art which uses limited art forms and patterns. We based the graphics off of the three main shapes found in their art; an ovoid (a rounded curvy rectangle), the U-form (a wide filled in letter U), and the S-form (a thick letter S). These shapes are used to form animals, humans, and legendary creatures.

We cannot move towards reconciliation if we do not acknowledge, become aware, and learn about what happened in the past. All our booths/activities found in the festival are set up around this concept. Moving the youth from booth to booth in an order that we believe is best for education and inspiration. Starting with the darkest hardest to hear aspects (blanket exercises), experiencing some of their cultural practices (food trucks, beading, tattoo booths, nature walk with plant education through the park), and ending the festival with exciting fun experiences (drumming circle, campfire, storytelling, roasting bannock). Moving through the festival; learning, creating conversation, and ideation around reconciliation.

If we were to execute this as a real festival, we would make sure to collaborate with many first nations to create our collateral and design the festival. We don’t want to appropriate their culture so this would be a vital collaboration and it would be even more beneficial to our learning experience about First Nations people.

We chose a wide variety of collateral, since there were three of us in collaboration. I created the posters, tickets, wristbands, and a tattoo booth. Jominca conquered the map, icons, tote bags, and pins. Finally Ashely took on the website design, creative brief write up, rationale, layout, and compilation of our files into one pdf file.

The project was A LOT of work but it was extremely fun, educational, and well worth it! Our collaboration was on point, helping each other with opinions and ideas about one another’s collateral. I think we divided the work load well and each created unique yet cohesive pieces. I was grateful to work with such a great team and I wouldn’t change any part of our execution process for it went very smoothly!

I would give myself an A for this project. I spent a lot of time trying to create an interesting image to use across all my pieces. I am happy with the shape I created using first nations forms. Target audience is something I struggle with so I really tried to focus on creating something that would appeal to youth and I think I accomplished this. I think I handled the information and type well to create hierarchy and interest. I am very happy with the outcome!

Click to see our pdf! liveson_final