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PHOTO: DASHA ZOLOTA

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Makeup Carmen Rachel using MAKEUP BY MAKEUP FOREVER Photography Dasha Zolota Stine Danielle Natalia Balcerzak Contributors Nicole Schmidt Ashley Cochrane Victoria Stunt Colleen Marasigan Alfea Donato Jackie Hong

Managing Editor Susana Gómez Báez Layout Designer Jessica Tsang Models Ben Murphy Deidter Stadnyk Nathaniel Alexander Jonathan Dorogin

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“Out of all my competitions my biggest achievement was winning Wedding Dress Wars,” says Ryan Joelson, a fourth year Fashion and design student. “I was the underdog running up against very experienced designers.” Joelson designed a wedding dress in four days, having only ten minutes to measure the bride. The competition was televised on Slice Network, broadcasting Joelson and his work to their many viewers. “My work is very labour intensive. I’m notorious for shoving 50 yards of tulle on a skirt,” says Joelson, which accurately describes his winning dress. Joelson is a business-driven fashion student who is keen to show off his work, believing that being competitive is the only way to make it in the fashion industry. In Joelson’s second year at Ryerson his work was already being recognized. Joelson designed a four-piece outfit for the Telio Design Competition that was selected to show in Montreal Fashion Week. “I think that competition really fired my passion,” says Joelson. “I am very competitive.” Not long after winning his first competition he competed in the annual Danier Leather Design Challenge. He designed a beige jacket with petal-decorated shoulders that included removable chain additions. The jacket placed top ten in the competition. Joelson’s competitive drive to succeed in the industry pushed him to enter his work in more competitions. Fashion Cares displayed Joelson’s designs in 2012, awarding him the Community Achievement award for his work and landing him the title of Canada’s Most Promising Designer. “A lot of people ask me how I have time for the extra work I do,” says Joelson. “But I just go for it.” Joelson has recently submitted a proposal to Ryerson’s Communications Business Management Competition with a plan to open a custom design studio specializing in bridal and evening wear, hoping to use the potential winnings to start his own business. By Ashley Cochrane Photo (top): Stine Danielle Photo (bottom) courtesy: Ryan Joelson

Fourth-year performance production student Nina Platisa is the true embodiment of an artist — she’s a designer, musician, jewelry maker, woodworker, and soon-to-be documentary maker. “Anytime I get interested in a craft, or anything, I really want to do it well… I seem all over the place, but I promise you, I get things done,” Platisa says. Platisa, 21, favours a simple, clean style whether she’s making clothes, necklaces or bedside tables, and is a fan of Nordic design. “When I went to Sweden [this past summer], I definitely loved what they were wearing,” Platisa says. While in Sweden, Plastisa — who was born in Belgrade, Serbia — discovered that the Yugoslavian government never funded arts projects that could have united the nation. This inspired Platisa’s thesis, a folk costume that combines elements of costumes from former republics of Yugoslavia into one. Platisa’s also planning on making a documentary about her idea, where she’ll visit former Yugoslavian republics, meet with folk costume makers, and bring them together to create a dress. “It’ll be the first time in a long time somebody from each of those countries has made something together, which means a lot to me,” Platisa says. Platisa is also sings, and plays piano, guitar, and ukulele. Her music has been featured in short films, and on television and radio. She doesn’t limit herself to a genre when creating music, but said that artists from the‘60s and ‘70s, like Janis Joplin and Cat Stevens, inspire her. “That music is never going to leave my heart… The way that people felt about art and music at that time was really genuine,” Platisa says. Creating art out of passion, not solely for profit, is a philosophy Platisa lives by. “I just give a shit about everything that I do… There’s a reason for what I make, [not just] money and attention.” By Jackie Hong Photos: Stine Danielle

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AURA DEMERS third year, new media

When Laura Demers was walking up to the stage for her second performance in Mexico, she realized she had lost her voice. She got on stage and shook her head at her bandmates. She could only get through four songs until she had to stop and apologize to the crowd. Then a man in the crowd yelled out, saying all he wanted was to hear her sing. “It was an amazing experience. Having the crowd sing with us and accept that mistakes happen… They just want to have fun,” says Demers. She continued the rest of the show. The third-year new media student is a singer-songwriter. She traveled to Mexico in February to put on two concerts. It was her first time playing live. “It was a really big [scare] at first, that turned into something that showed me that I can do something I was initially terrified of,” says Demers. She thinks she evolved as an artist in Mexico. “I have a friend who jokes about it. He says I left a girl and came back a woman.” One show took place in Mexico City and the other in Morelia, a city about four hours away. There was about 300 people in each crowd. Demers said her music is indie-pop, with a rock influence when performed live. “It can be for the person... sitting down with some friends drinking coffee, and it can be for the person dancing at a party while socializing around the room. It really is what you want it to be,” she says. Demers and her bandmate have been approached by someone who would like manage the group. They’d help them to get work visas to play large festivals, like Corona Capital, in Mexico. “Half of my life is in Mexico, and half of it is here in Toronto,” she said. Demers has no gigs planned in Toronto as of yet. She said after such a successful time playing live in Mexico, it’s making her antsy. “I think that if you enjoy my music… then come share that experience with me. I like just chilling out and having fun and sharing that experience with others.” By Victoria Stunt Photo: Dasha Zolota

OWARD WAN fourth year, radio & television arts
Howard Wan has wanted to pursue film for as long as he can remember. But when it came to deciding which path would lead him in the right direction, he found himself confused. “I was always watching films and always interested in film,“ said Wan. “My heart has always been set on it, but I didn’t know which route would be the best to. It was during a Ryerson campus tour when things began to fall into place for Wan. His tour guide, who happened to be enrolled in RTA, convinced him that he should apply for the program. Despite the fact that RTA may not seem like the obvious choice for someone who wants to make movies, through the program, Wan has gained experience and built connections that have allowed him to do what he loves. Over the past few years, Wan has worked on many different projects, but the most recognized of them all is his involvement in a trailer for Call of Duty’s Modern Warfare 3 called “Find Makarov.” Wan worked with a large crew, including a fellow RTA grad and friend, shooting behind the scenes footage for the trailer. Soon after its release, the video went viral on YouTube, gaining over nine million views. Wan says that the most rewarding part of working on the project was seeing how people reacted to it. Since the release of the trailer, Wan has been working on a variety of different projects. During one of them, a camera operator who worked on the 2009 hit, Avatar, gave Wan some advice that he’s been trying to follow. He told Wan that before the age of 25, he should experiment as much as he possibly can. He advised him to try things he’s never tried before because by doing so, he may discover a new passion. “I’m taking this time in my life to try new things, work on new projects, and get as much experience as I can,” said Wan. By Nicole Schmidt Photo: Natalia Balcerzak

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have had it any other way. After applying to Ryerson’s interior design program on a whim, and getting accepted, the once science-driven student unleashed her inner artist. “It was very difficult in the first year because the program is so art-based and I had so little previous knowledge and experience of art,” she says. “So for me my artistic side has really come out in the past two or three years.” Despite popular belief, McGroarty wholeheartedly believes that interior design is based off of artistic principles. With a combination of planning and designing, she understands first hand the process needed for a final product. “Because it’s obviously design-based there are definitely very artistic elements. For most projects, we’re required to produce a series of presentation drawings that, in real life, a firm would produce for a client of what the potential space would look like,” she says. “These drawings can be very artistic as you have certain liberties in creating the space to follow whatever concept you’ve come up with.” It’s that same design development process that McGroarty hopes to pursue in her future endeavours. One day, she hopes to find a firm that upholds the same process and beliefs that she does. Today, the fourth-year student is now the chair of this year’s interior design show, managing to balance both her extra-curriculars and her thesis. As the chair of the show, McGroarty is busy making sure the show is presented as more of an art gallery than it is a student exhibition. And while time is critical for this student’s final year, McGroarty is also currently working with two other students in an upcoming competition to design a food court for a non-profit food centre in Toronto. With a few interviews lined up upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a field she has fallen in love with. But first, she plans to visit Copenhagen to finally get a glimpse of the sites she’s been learning about through the years in art history. By Colleen Marasigan Photo: Dasha Zolota

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UCY McGROARTY fourth year, interior design
While most people were shocked at Lucy McGroarty’s decision to drop out of the University of Windsor’s biochemistry program, she wouldn’t

Karen Cochrane created an instrument, and those who play it are able to master it in seconds. But this instrument isn’t anything like your typical guitar. “It almost feels like magic to people,” she said. Cochrane’s instrument tracks one’s body movements, and through those movements, music is created. It’s called a Play On. The fourth-year new media student programmed an Xbox Kinect to recognize body movements while a fellow student Olivia Kolakowski composed the music. It was their final year thesis project. Cochrane studied music growing up. She took singing lessons and piano lessons at a conservatory, and said learning both took years of practice. With this project, she wanted to make music more accessible. “Creating an instrument that you can literally learn how to use in five seconds is phenomenal,” said Cochrane. She said it is also designed to get people dancing. “It’s a great way to explore your body,” she said. “We wanted people to be more aware of their movements. The best way for people to be aware of their movement is to get an auditory response from them.” To use Play On, you stand on a mat and look at a screen. When you move your arms, a melody and harmony is created. When you move your feet, you make a beat. The faster you move, the more complicated the beat gets. There is also a projection on the screen that makes shapes to go along with the music you are making. Cochrane said she loves to watch people use Play On for the first time. “It’s kind of disappointing to know how it works because you don’t have that same experience of people being able to be wowed by [the art piece].” Although the piece took a lot of technical expertise, Cochrane insists she is an artist, and not a computer scientist. Her career goal is to work with musicians to create different technology-based instruments for them. She’d also like to see the artists put the Kinect to use in live performances. Right now, she’s waiting to hear back from grad schools. “Being an artist is being able to wow people and to make people feel like… it’s magic. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world,” she said. By Victoria Stunt Photo: Stine Danielle

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AREN COCHRANE fourth year, new media

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For third-year fashion communications student Kate O’Reilly, fashion has always been a constant. Growing up with a trunk full of Salvation Army costumes, O’Reilly was known to play dress-up every day, alternating between 20 or more outfits. Years later she transformed her hobby into a career. As a stylist, O’Reilly is busy balancing her school work, along with her involvement in this year’s Mass Exodus, and creative photo shoots. While it seems she may always be on her feet, her hard work has evidently paid off. “Fashion is based on what your medium is and how you’re able to challenge yourself through that, and I feel that fashion styling is an art form because every stylist is channelling themselves through the clothes that they put on the model,” she says. “The clothes are really my medium to build a form of self-expression and that’s exactly what any artist does, or actor does, or photographer does.” For O’Reilly, her canvas is one that reflects the world of theatrics and movies. Through her work, she hopes to illicit a “gasp” moment, with outfits that boast the imagery of an “epic-movie moment.” “Basically what I want is a reaction. I want that when you see that the clothes that I put together, you’re caught in the moment, that I’ve built a character, drawn from theatre, from movies, from theatrics of fashion film,” she says. “Unless I achieve that I’m less than satisfied.” It’s that same self-expression that has landed O’Reilly a summer job in Vienna, Austria. During the summer she’ll be participating in various photo shoots throughout Austria and neighbouring countries. However, despite her over-the-seas trip, O’Reilly hopes that one day she’ll have a closer-to-home opportunity in Montreal. By Colleen Marasigan Photo (top): Stine Danielle Photo (bottom) courtesy: Patrick Lacsina

It was a duel between sports and studies, and in the end, academics won. Third-year photography student Sebastien Dubois-Didcock represented Canada as a fencer at the World Cadet Championships in 2009, but instead of devoting his life to fencing, he decided to pursue academics instead. “Sport can only take you so far,” Dubois-Didcock said of his decision. He has been fencing for six years and coaching for three. He started when, at age 10, his mom signed him up for a fencing summer camp. “She told me it was hitting people with swords, and when you’re 10 and you hear that, you don’t refuse it,” Dubois-Didcock said. The 20-year-old received his first camera from his dad at age 12. “I’ve mainly been attracted to arts in general, but I never necessarily had a talent for drawing or painting. Photography just kind of came [the] easiest,” he said. Dubois-Didcock, who’s fluent in French and English, shoots with a Canon 5D Mark II, and prefers to take commercial, crisp images that communicate clearly. In particular, he’s interested in food photography. Both his parents work in the food industry, and he grew up surrounded by it, which he said gives him an edge. “It’s something I’ve grown up to understand and see differently than most people,” Dubois-Didcock said. Over the past year, Dubois-Didcock has been creating cinemagraphs meant to be displayed on iPads. Cinemagraphs are photos with movement incorporated into the compositions — for example, an otherwise still portrait of someone could have the eyes moving. Dubois-Didcock chose iPads to show his cinemagraphs because they’re easy to incorporate into displays. He wants to surprise audiences with his work. “[They’re] basically those paintings in Harry Potter,” Dubois-Didcock said, and noted that although the fiction series wasn’t the inspiration for the project, he wanted to create the same effect. Dubois-Didcock didn’t know he was nominated for the Arts Top 10, and was surprised his commercial style got him noticed. “[My work] isn’t the most conceptual… but I work hard for what I do,” he said. By Jackie Hong Photo (bottom): Natalia Balcerzak Photo (bottom) courtesy: Sebastien Dubois-Didcock

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“Let’s get Duffy,” said the five-year-old version of Joshua Stodart during an elementary school production of Annie. This line was the first of many to come from the eventual-Ryerson theatre student. Stodart, now 21, has since moved on to bigger roles. One of these includes his lead performance as Kingsley in the Theatre School’s most recent production of The Piper. But acting isn’t the only thing Stodart has been up to. He’s also been busy building his own theatre company called Ale House. Ale House takes a traditional approach to Shakespeare, focusing on the engagement of the audience through live, classical performance. The idea for the company came to Stodart two years ago while in a pub with his friends discussing theatre. He had been disappointed in what he had seen recently and was keen to turn things around. “We saw the possibilities,” says Stodart. “[the idea] came from the spirit of trying things ourselves.” The company has grown a lot over the past two years, earning a positive reputation among the theatre community. But Stodart says that it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The company’s first performance took place in a loud, overcrowded bar, making it difficult for anyone to hear what the actors were saying. But later performances of Macbeth proved to be far more successful. “We filled the house every night,” says Stodart. “That was the beginning — we really established ourselves by the end of the school year.” Ale House continues to grow, and as it does, new opportunities arise. Stodart says that he’s currently looking into touring high schools and building a globe stage — a type of theatre associated with Shakespeare that originated in London, England. “I don’t know what this company will lead to and I don’t know where I’ll go, but I’m just going to keep pressing on. There’s no rush,” says Stodart. “That’s the attitude I take on for acting, directing, and life.” By Nicole Schmidt Photo (top): Stine Danielle Photo (bottom) courtesy: Joshua Stodart

Justin Friesen was five when he played a boy encountering a pedophile in Major Crime. “I had it explained to me mildly… very strange experience,” says Friesen. Since then, the fourth-year film student has had a number of onscreen appearances — including a Superbowl Doritos commercial and a Tim Hortons ad that still gets broadcasted. After taking a film course at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Friesen was inspired to pursue directing. He purchased a $2,500 camera and started making short films with his friends. At the 2012 Air Canada enRoute Film Festival in November, Friesen won an award for People’s Choice and Achievement in Documentary for his film, Let’s Make Lemonade. Let’s Make Lemonade followed Lemon Bucket Orkestra, a Toronto music group that describes themselves as a “Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Party-Punk-Super band.” “As much as people criticize the film industry, there’s a demand for unique content and stories that haven’t been told before,” says Friesen. “Life’s too short not to have fun, that’s the thing I tend to gravitate towards.” For aspiring filmmakers, Friesen advises them to learn by doing. “There’s no right way or wrong way to do films,” says Friesen. “Don’t follow the rules, do what you want and don’t take no for an answer.” As a winner at the enRoute festival, Friesen’s film was shown on Air Canada flights for a month, and he was given two plane tickets to anywhere in North America. He plans to go to Los Angeles and start working on a documentary about Toronto subcultures and a film “about a girl in a surfer punk band who has an existential crisis at 25.” By Alfea Donato Photo (top): Natalia Balcerzak Photo (bottom) courtesy: Justin Friesen

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