VCC School of Instructor Education

Do you have years of experience in your industry? Have you ever wondered how to take all that knowledge and experience and transfer it into a new career? Recently I have been taking the PIPD at VCC. It is a great way to take your knowledge and transfer it into a classroom.

Check out the Facebook page for more up to date info.

One of the most important points I recently read is that we continue to learn throughout our lives. There is no cut-off date. 

Get absorbing new ideas! 

New phases in learning and communication

What does education look like in 2017? What are the goals and expectations of new students? These are my concerns and goals as a professional educator. 

Recently my learning partner and I had a chat about this very idea. We both come from technical backgrounds and are taking the PIPD program for similar reasons. We are both learning how to take years of experience and expertise and bring it into the modern day classroom. Even though we are living in different areas of British Columbia and are working in different vocations, there are many similarities to our goals. For example, take what we know and apply it to a new breed of students or how to use new technology with our work flow. Jamie Cote used an example of "Trends in Plant Operations" to explain how computer maintenance management systems can be connected to your smartphone. It is safer for overall operations and far more efficient than the old paper model. New students are going to be naturally tech savvy and able to quickly learn and use a system like this. 

The same with design and media students. Typically well versed in technology, but will need to find ways to transfer those skills specific skills into a business model. We have to bridge our experience with their technical abilities and teach communication. 

It is very exciting to be building new training platforms and developing new content for students. It is a necessary process in our lightening fast society. Working with a learning partner in a different industry offers us a chance to see how a similar lesson would translate in their classroom, and vice versa. It also gives me hope that changes in education are happening. 

Good luck to all my fellow PIPD educators on their journey. 



A picture is worth a thousand words.

How often have you heard this phrase? It is true, a powerful image or graphic can be the way to grab your readers attention. It sends an instant message, which is more important than ever in our world of instant news, weather and sports. 

This is one of the reasons why we need to keep using freelance artists and photographers to support our media. It keeps the message real. It keeps the message honest.  Whether it is a political cartoon or a recent photo of your community, they both matter to the reader.

Authentic and original works needs to be persevered. Support local media.

Tattoos and artists

A year ago I started a series on west coast tattoo art. I love the art of tattoo, and I love hearing about peoples lives and history. How did you end up in Vancouver? Where were you born? Why did you get that tattoo? What did you choose that artist? 

My goal is to speak to as many people that talk to me. Interview and photograph as many artists as I can. Document all of it via the Georgia Straight. I want to leave a historical trail of where we are at this point and time in our world. 

If you want to tell me your story email me


The genius of Barry Blitt

If there was one thing positive that came out of the 2016 US Election, it is the increased circulation and readership that publications like the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as breathed new life into the political investigative journalists jobs in Washington.

Barry Blitt is so perfect with his portrayal of Donald Trump that you do no even need a headline. Now that is the power of illustration, and you cannot find that on a stock site.

This is the power of print publishing.

Not dead yet.


"Most print newspapers in the United States will be gone in five years according to a new academic study." The first line from the Guardian story in a December 2011. 

They are definitely a bit off with their prediction. Here it is 2017, and sure there have been cutbacks and retirements, it definitely is grim, but there are still a lot of newspapers being printed and read. Advertising revenue is down, but a structure still exists. A structure that includes years of experience in research, editing, journalists, creatives, distribution and support staff. They are all being trained for digital platforms. 

Is there still hope? Well maybe. Good content. Trust. Unique ideas. Beautiful design and graphics. There is a market for lower end advertising, which is traditionally print. Your target audience is solid. Online advertising reach is bigger, but with little substance. So let's see what the next 5 years looks like for print media.


Current Trends in the Media

This blog post is an opinion piece.

I have worked in the media for a long time and I have seen it change dramatically over the past ten years. We are in fascinating times and who knows what it will all look like at the end of the day. 

The current state of the media in 2017 is fluid. I am not sure many people could have predicted how quickly the internet was going to turn so many business models upside down and inside out. For years people have been predicting the end of the newspaper. Life expectancy has been estimated anywhere from 0 (it is dead) to 5 years. The reality is that no one really knows. Every media agency is being forced to incorporate all kinds of digital and social media platforms in attempts to stay current. The business model is now changing, along with content production and journalism. Photographers, writers, designers and illustrators have all been forced to adapt to the new media climate. 

The basic problem is this: The amount of money generated from print advertising will never equal the amount of money generated by online advertising. To make matters worse you have an audience with an insatiable appetite for online content. 

Recently, I listened to Canadaland, a podcast hosted by Jesse Brown. He likes to refer to newspapers as "legacy media", which always sounds like a bit of a criticism. None the less, this podcast brings up some good questions that I feel we all need to be concerned about. What happens when there are so many cuts to the media that reporters can no longer do their job? Serious problems arise when a government is no longer held accountable or a community is in need because of a crisis. Good media requires time, and right now time is very short supply. We are all required to do a lot more with a lot less. Does this warrant a bail out? Or should the industry be let to slowly fade away?

Some people may wonder why anyone would want to stay in this industry. It can be an exciting and rewarding career. You benefit from reading and learning everyday. Anyone who is curious or care about their community would enjoy the pace and feeling of achievement. You can make a difference in the world.

The only way to survive is to be current. Stay current, stay curious and stay educated. Use your expertise and experience, combine that with new technology and you will have a winning combination. Be open to changes and be fearless. The companies and individuals who are ready to embrace change will be the ones who survive and thrive. Don't run, don't be afraid.

I believe that humans desire for information will continue to support reliable and honest media. As we head into a more digital future I think we will see audiences demand honesty. Their loyalty will show with readership and clicks, because in the end our traffic will always be measured.

Message or comment if you want to discuss anything to do with the media.
Only a respectful dialogue will be tolerated.

Best, Janet



Hello, my name is Janet and I am graphic designer

I was born in Toronto before Youtube or Facebook. Since I was very young I loved to draw. Curious George, Bugs Bunny, Dr. Suess and Dr. Dolittle were all repeatedly borrowed from the public library. Growing up in Toronto in the 70's and 80's was a special time of transformation in music, arts, fashion and the media. In Toronto I went to George Brown College where I received a diploma in Graphic Design. During the punk rock era of the 1980's we were pretty edgy and redefined everything we possible could. Going to shows, taking photos, and making sharpie posters was a typical weekend in Toronto. Kensington Market, Queen Street West and after hours clubs were explosive creative scenes. I feel very lucky to have experienced that time and place in history.

Part II. When I moved to Vancouver in 1992 it was still a tiny small city. There was a huge boom in animation and video game production. Again, I was able to work with, and meet some brilliant creative individuals in those industries, plus take away another slice of creative experience. This was a time when you could still find an affordable apartment. 

Now it is 2017. After 20 years working in the media I can look back in awe of all the changes that technology has made in our everyday lives. There is only one solution. Keep trying new ideas, keep testing new designs and keep moving forward. I spend half my week at the Georgia Straight assigning photos and illustrations, and the other half of my week teaching young adults how to grow and learn how to be amazing designers. (The second part I can take no credit for, they are great to begin with)

Adapting to change and pushing for kindness in our world is my motto.