When 29-year-old Denis Leblanc created "Dirty Bug" during a four hour classroom challenge in his graphic design class at Selkirk College, he had no idea that he’d see the image published in CMYK Magazine’s winter issue.
"I check out all the design magazines regularly and that’s how I found out about CMYK’s contest. I submitted $85 and 15 images – a combination of photos, graphic illustrations and web designs." One of the images Leblanc included was his in-class creation "Dirty Bug".
CMYK is a well-read magazine in the Canadian and American digital arts communities. It features high caliber art work and promotes up-and-coming designers. A new contest runs in each quarterly issue and influential professionals in the field judge the applicants’ designs. Winning images are showcased in the magazine - which reaches 70,000 people in the industry.
What was Leblanc’s reaction when he found out that he’d won? "I was pretty excited. I didn’t expect it at all. I entered the contest for fun."
Kerry Pagdin, one of Leblanc’s instructors at Selkirk’s School of Digital Media and Music, is not surprised by his win. "Denis has that special combination of creative talent, technical ability and self-motivation. I’m thrilled to see his work published."
Web design, 3-D modeling, animation, video and graphic design are the foundation of Selkirk’s Digital Arts and New Media Program. At Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus, students work towards a two year diploma that gives them a broad spectrum of knowledge and prepares them well to enter the booming and ever-changing field of new media.
"Roughly 70% of the graduates from our program find work directly in the industry," says Jason Taylor. He heads up Selkirk’s School of Digital Media and Music. "Some grads move on to more education - to get a degree."
Recent grads are working in film, animation, web design/development, print design, marketing and branding. Others start their own companies.
Leblanc isn’t the type to wait until graduation to start his career. He is already a busy entrepreneur by anyone’s standards. While completing his second year at Selkirk part-time, he has started his own design house called Studio Snapsize. Leblanc also runs a small skateboard company. He started Fruit Union Skateboards in 2007, the same year he started at Selkirk College.
"I create graphics for skateboards that I have custom-built in Quebec and I sell them to clients here in Nelson." The Kootenay spirit is alive and well.
To find out more about Selkirk College’s Digital Arts and New Media Program visit selkirk.ca or the student showcase site at selkirkmedia.com.
First published on January 28, 2009