by Matt on March 6, 2014

Well folks, the results to our SHOW US YOURS contest are in! Before we make our big announcement, a huge thanks to everyone who participated and a shout out to those of you who ‘Liked’ the entries.

Drumroll please!

GABRIELLE GALLANT! You’ve won a print of your choice* from anyone on our roster! Here’s a look at Gabrielle’s creative space.

My creative space happens over breakfast or brunch (usually at Ardmore Tea Room in Halifax, NS).
© Gabrielle Gallant

Once again, a big thanks to all our entries – and although new ‘Likes’ won’t change the result – take a click on over to the contest gallery and check out all the creative spaces.

* Time to cross that bridge Gabrielle – Check your email.
Image © Gabrielle Gallant



    by Matt on February 25, 2014

    It’s 11:45pm on a brisk but clear winters eve. You and your date are wrapping up a lovely night out together. With the weather such as it is, and having spent your time filling up in one of downtowns trendy eateries, you decide (much to your dates excitement) to extend your evening with a walk through the park.

    Over flirty laughs you mutually agree that your spaghettini Aglio-e-Olio was most definitely that, and hold hands under the pathway lights. Snow beings to fall gently, bringing the two of you closer together. If ever there was a time for a romantic embrace – you know it is now.

    But that spag garlic. It’s all your date’s going to remember from your romantic moment. If only there was a way to combat the pungent aroma protruding from your face. Alas, the following image can never be you, because you forgot to Practice Safe Breath.

    © Nikki Ormerod

    But there’s hope for you yet, and it comes in the form of a lovely lady named Nikki Ormerod.

    Kids, you gotta remember to Practice Safe Breath. It’s a scary world out there, you never know what people are putting in their mouths. ;D

    Jokes aside, a really big thanks to Andrew and everyone at Sid Lee. Just like our last time out for Dentyne, it was a great day on location and our talent definitely helped us all keep hot and steamy. ~Nikki

    NikkiOrmerod_Dentyne_SidLee-WinterPrintPhotographer: Nikki Ormerod
    Client: Dentyne
    Agency: Sid Lee
    Art Director: Andrew MacPhee
    Print Producer: Emily Paterson
    Photo Producer: Kirsten White
    Hair & Make-Up: Cait Mizzi
    Stylist: Kate Corbett
    Snow Boss: John Stevancec
    Assistants: Aric Guite, Peter Olsen, Bryan Ulrich, & Jason Gordon

    A special shout out to John Stevancec, who took a break from his normal Producer role and stepped in as “Snow Boss” while on location. The weather on shoot day wasn’t quite as serene as Nikki’s image suggests, and so John saved the day with some top notch snow details and well placed snow blankets.

    © Nikki Ormerod


    NikkiOrmerod_Dentyne_SidLee-BTS03Images © Nikki Ormerod


      5+ | IAN SCHWEY

      by Tom Nesbitt on February 21, 2014

      Our latest installment of 5+ features industry veteran Creative Director, Ian Schwey.

      I first met Ian when he was over at JWT, and we continued to have the pleasure of seeing layouts come in from him while he was working at ZIG and most recently Doug & Serge. An award-winner (Bessies Gold, ADC Gold, Cannes Silver, One Show Silver, etc.) and one of the funniest guys in the room, Ian is also an amateur magician – who knew!

      Nikki Ormerod and I had the pleasure to hook up with Ian for lunch and a chat at The Burgernator down in Kensington Market for what Ian called “one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten”. So kick back and have a scroll though the 5 things that keep Ian Schwey at the top of his game.

      © Nikki OrmerodIan Schwey © Nikki Ormerod

      There are many things that inspire me. Some are expected, others, not so much. As in, don’t ask, I can’t explain. All I can tell you is that they all do something for me… just not always sure what.

      Things my kids say
      Now I know a lot of parents will say that, as all kids say some very cute things. But one of my kids in particular, Rowen, my middle son, really speaks words that often leaves me speechless. Here are a couple examples:

      © Ian SchwayDaxton (7): Do you think anyone has ever seen God?
      Rowen (5): What’s my sense of God? I think the first person in the world saw God and that’s it. That’s what my sense told me in my quiet vision.

      (Driving, half way between Ottawa and Toronto:)
      Daxton: When will we be home?
      Rowen: We’re already home.
      Daxton: This minivan is our home?!?
      Rowen: This continent is our home!!!

      Ian: Rowen, where do you want to have your 5th Birthday Party? Chuck E Cheese, Laser-Tag?
      Rowen (4): I’d like to have my birthday party in an invisible Hall of Justice inside my mouth.

      Stand-up Comedy
      I love listening to comedians that see things in similar ways to me, confirming that perhaps I’m not totally alone in my bizarre interpretations of the world. And I love performing stand-up as well, though I’m not currently doing it as much as I’d like. Getting that reaction from a crowd is incredible, and again getting approval that I’m not alone with my twisted mind is somewhat reassuring. I think. And my humour that doesn’t make its way into my TV spots, usually ends up in my ‘act’.

      For some inspiring hilarity, I’d recommend Mitch Fatel, Steven Wright, Jeremy Hotz, Mitch Hedberg, and the obvious, Louis CK.

      © Ian Schway

      Films by Neil Labute or Todd Solondz.
      Unsure why I have a thing for dark and disturbing dramas. There’s just something about watching the discomfort, as these well-written films examine the complex dynamics of human relationships in unconventional, unsettling, and sometimes cruel ways. Perhaps after watching them, I’m inspired to be the complete opposite of the films’ characters.

      © Ian Schway

      Flavoured KitKats
      Yes, they inspire me. They demonstrate that in life, there are no boundaries. Why stop at orange when there is kiwi. And pineapple. Passion Fruit? Hells yeah!!! We work in the communications industry where walls need to be broken every day, so why not look to the almighty KitKat chocolate bar for inspiration. In Japan alone they have well over 200 flavours! Here is just a small sample of my personal collection.

      © Ian Schway

      I love discovering random signs posted. I love seeing them in their purest form. Without a strategy that was slaved over for months. No focus groups. Just an individual with a thought, a paper, and a marker.
      This first one I really love.

      © Ian Schway

      Oh sure, we’ve all seen Korean bronze statues go on sale for 60% off, or maybe even 70% once in a blue moon, but when, WHEN I ask you, have you EVER seen Korean bronze statues go on sale for a whopping 85% OFF?!?! This is a sale not to be missed!

      Here’s another one I really enjoy. Not hand-made, but the name of a business:

      © Ian Schway

      Is it a good auto repair? Well… I wouldn’t go so far as to say good… but decent, it’s a decent auto repair. No need to over-promise. I appreciate honest advertising.

      I also once saw a babysitter’s sign, name, phone number, etc, stapled to a wooden pole. I thought that was great. Why not put the lives of your children into the hands of someone that comes highly recommended by a telephone pole!

      If you’re a member of the advertising world, get inspired by things, and want to share them with the world; shoot an e-mail my way and let’s talk. Many thanks to Ian for sharing some of his inspirations with us all!
      Images © Ian Schwey



        by Matt on February 18, 2014

        It’s been some time since paying visit to his mind, and so today we excitedly show off some recent creative work from Andrew B Myers.

        Mum’s the Word© Andrew B Myers

        Rainbow Road© Andrew B Myers

        Lights On/Lights Off

        © Andrew B Myers © Andrew B Myers

        Taste the Rainbow© Andrew B Myers

        I Believe in the Loch Ness Monster© Andrew B Myers

        Check out more from the mind of Myers over on his website.
        All Images © Andrew B Myers



          by Matt on February 13, 2014

          With week one wrapped up in Sochi, and Canadian athletes doing so well to make us proud at home, we thought it best to shine the spotlight on some podium worthy work from Matt Barnes and Red Bull.

          As most are aware, in addition to giving you wings, Red Bull is a massive global sponsor of all things extreme. What you may not realize though, is that their athletic endorsements range in sport much wider than most other sponsors – bringing rock climbers, volleyball players, and speed skaters (just to name a few) together under the Red Bull umbrella. Amongst this long list of athletes that ride for the Bull, are a number of Canadian Olympians whom Matt had the pleasure of shooting before they took off for Sochi.

          We’ll kick things off to the work before Matt drops by with some more details for you.

          Erik Guay© Matt Barnes

          Mark McMorris© Matt Barnes

          Noah Bowman© Matt Barnes

          François Hamelin© Matt Barnes

          Travis Gerrits© Matt Barnes

          Sebastien Toutant© Matt BarnesPhotographer: Matt Barnes
          Client: Red Bull
          Producer: Tara O’Malley
          Hair & Make Up: Sandra Yang
          Stylist: Marc Andrew Smith
          Prop Maker & Set Designer: Peter Sutherland & Assoc.
          Assistants: Papi, Jeff Jamieson, Lorne Bradley, Blake Hutchinson, & Hayley Hruska

          © Matt Barnes

          © Matt Barnes © Matt Barnes

          © Matt Barnes

          I’ve been fortunate to get the opportunity to work with Red Bull a couple times now, and it’s always been a lot of fun. There’s plenty of reasons why there are a great client to work with, but the fact that they give me so much creative freedom is my favourite.

          I wanted to be able to capture all the elements of our shot(s) in camera, so we got Peter Sutherland to build us the rad mountain you see. Like with our work on Cold FX, Peter nailed it on this one, so a huge thank you to him and his crew. ~Matt

          © Matt Barnes © Matt Barnes

          © Matt Barnes

          © Matt Barnes

          © Matt Barnes

          © Matt Barnes

          © Matt BarnesAll Images © Matt Barnes



            by Matt on February 12, 2014

            Location – some say it’s as important as your subject. Others – like product shooters I imagine – disagree. Whatever your thoughts on the subject, one things for sure – if your in need of one, it can be a tough game trying to track down that perfect spot for the shot.

            While commercial work may tend to get support though services such as a location scout (s/o Steve Connor!), this can’t always be the case, and so the search begins. Sometimes you get lucky and know someone who knows someone and your good, other times, not so much. Fortunately for those of us located in Toronto, there’s a local startup looking to make that process a bit easier on all parties involved.


            The brainchild of Ryerson grad Alex Kolodkin, is a great time saver for those who can’t afford to spend their day location hunting. While still in it’s early stages, the site aims to make the connection between production and location a simpler one, with less hassles and clear guidelines so both parties leave pleased.


            So whether it’s commercial or creative purposes, next time you’re in need of a location for a shoot, click on over to Set Scouter and maybe you’ll save yourself a headache.



              by Matt on February 11, 2014

              Days like the one we’re having here in Toronto are the type that remind us of the warm sunny times ahead. However some of us can’t wait another 36 days* for Spring to have sprung, and so we pack our bags and head south to hang with the birds. Nikki Ormerod is one of these types, and with late January’s low temps, she quickly made her way to the airport – fortunately for us – with camera in tow.

              I couldn’t take it anymore. So I ran away. ~ Nikki

              So take five, sit back, enjoy some new creative work from Nikki O, and maybe inspiration for your own winter escape while you’re at it.

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod

              © Nikki Ormerod*It might not feel like it, but March 20th is really that close. And yeah, this is Canada, we probably should have counted you down to Summer. But that is 129 days away. :(
              All Images © Nikki Ormerod


                5+ | JOHN MCDOUGALL

                by Tom Nesbitt on February 6, 2014

                As an Art Director, John McDougall has been holding down the fort over at Bensimon Byrne for quite some time. We first met way back in 2002 when he contracted Chris Gordaneer to work with him on what became a ton of award winning GMC work. Working with John was always a pleasure.

                You knew right away when one of his layouts came across your desk. They were, well, a sight for sore eyes. No cocktail napkin drawings here my friends. He did all his own rendering and they were drawn to camera as if he was seeing them through the lens. His clean uncomplicated compositions were a real joy to build on. Like a great story teller, he knew what he was after and communicated his ideas clearly. All of this makes sense when you consider that he is moving on from Art Director to just Director! Thats right, John McDougall is gonna be telling the same great stories, just now they are going to be in full HD motion.

                So without further adieu , we resurrect the 5+ with these inspirations from Johnny Mac!

                © Chris Gordaneer

                John McDougall © Chris Gordaneer

                Cameras attached to things that are fast


                David Hockney
                He does not look for beautiful things to paint. He looks for normal things and paints
                them beautifully.


                Shoot days
                Even if it’s just a Ham on a table.


                A trail through the woods


                My dog Leo who spent the last 8 months of his life on wheels. As soon as his wheels were on he would forget that his back legs didn’t work and off he would go.



                  TGIW | THE SHOW US YOURS CONTEST

                  by Matt on February 5, 2014

                  We all have one. A special place where we can go and allow our creative self to be free. The place where that next image, sketch, chapter, or whatever, takes those baby steps from mind into fruition. Maybe it’s your local coffee shop, or a certain bench in a certain park someplace. Maybe it isn’t a physical place at all, just a state of mind you can go when toughing out public transit delays. No matter what this place is – it’s yours – and we want to see it.

                  Over the next 4 weeks we’re calling on all and any to SHOW US YOUR CREATIVE PLACE and maybe win yourself a prize while you’re at it. We understand your time is precious, so we’ve decided to keep things real simple and entering is an easy 2 step process.

                  1| YOU take a picture of your creative space. Slap some filters on it, or don’t. Tell us about it with a quick sentence, or don’t. Whatever you want is fine by us.

                  2| YOU send that picture to the blog team.

                  That’s it. Your done!

                  Still unsure of what we mean by “Your Creative Place”? Well here’s an example from me, Matt L, the guy who writes a lot of what you read here.

                  I like to think up creatives I’ll probably never make while walking in alleys.
                  © el blanco

                  So what are we going to do with that picture once we’ve got it, and more importantly how are you going to get that aforementioned prize?

                  Upon receiving your submitted image it will be uploaded to our Facebook Page, where it will be showcased in a dedicated contest gallery. At the end of 4 weeks we will check back to see who’s image has the most Likes, and that person will win themselves…. wait for it…. it’s really good….


                  Will it be a George Simhoni? Or perhaps a Vicky Lam. Maybe a Chris Gordaneer. Or one from new guy Dave Delnea. Who knows? Only you can make that decision by entering!

                  All contest submissions can be sent to Matt L using the subject line: SHOW US YOURS CONTEST. Entry’s will be accepted up until March 4th, but that won’t leave you much time for getting ‘Likes’ now will it.

                  Good Luck and TGIW!

                  * Some images may not be available due to various reasons, but we can cross that bridge when we get to it.



                    by Tom Nesbitt on February 3, 2014

                    Dave Delnea’s photography lives somewhere between the dream you had and the dreams you wish you’d had. His images are open and fresh. His sense of design and his whimsical colour palette are captivating. With a nod to his west coast roots, one can see a great appreciation of a life outdoors – of adventure and story telling. His love of travel is ever present, though his work is much more than a mere travel-log.

                    © Dave Delnea

                    Dave brings simplicity to commercial advertising, editorial and his many creative collaborations. His work has taken him around the world producing sports, lifestyle and travel imagery for clients such as MEC, Trump Hotels, Ritz Carlton & Lululemon just to name a few.

                    © Dave Delnea

                    We think he’ll fit in quite nicely over here and we know you’ll feel the same.

                    So follow our new friend at these convenient locations – Twitter + Facebook + Vimeo – and sit tight as we’ll be sure to have more to show off in the near future.

                    © Dave Delnea