We spoke with Rob back in December of 2021, shortly after he completed the Graphic Design Technology program. As a lifelong learner, he had enrolled in the program to learn the tools to allow him to build on his artistic passion.
At the time, he was using his skills to help people in his community group, but it was obvious his ambitions were much greater.
We wanted to catch up with Rob to learn about where he is at now with his design, and how he has been applying his newfound skills in graphic design.
The Process Gets Results
Rob loves design. Taking the program at Vancouver Career College has changed the way he sees the world. His eyes are always open, looking at everything around him, and seeing it through the lens of design.
The realization that design is always around him has influenced not only the way he sees the world, but the way he has continued to learn design. He is constantly finding inspiration, seeing how designers have done things, understanding how they chose to do what they did, and exploring ways to incorporate or improve on them.
Rob has always been creative. Prior to finding design, he was creative in different ways. Most of it was through creating things in the construction industry, but with design he was able to find a creative outlet that did not involve him climbing on roofs, or working in extreme temperatures.
Technology has always interested him and retirement was the perfect time to get behind the computer and explore design. Despite not being good at drawing with pencil and paper, he quickly found an affinity for digital production tools.
He has found enjoyment in the digital process. Learning to use the pen tool has allowed him to work in ways he never thought would be possible before. Rob is constantly learning, doing research, and improving his skillset. He is confident and knows if he wants to create something, he can do it.
Rob says it’s good to get away. When we had a chance to talk with him, he was in Franklin Tennessee. He recognizes it is still North America, but being so close to Nashville it comes with its own unique culture and features, different from what he’s used to in British Columbia. He is able to see the subtle differences and it helps evolve his own style.
While there, he began working with his son-in-law – a photographer – to put together a website for a local Mexican restaurant. It is not just his son-in-law he helps. He says his nieces and nephews have also approached him for help with small design projects like logos.
Rob is more than happy to help. Family is important to him and he takes pride in sharing the talents he has been cultivating over the past couple of years.
He credits much of his success to his wife. They have developed a sort of partnership when it comes to design. She is crafty, and her artistic background in quilting and sewing helps her act as a sounding board for his ideas. Despite the different mediums, Rob says she has a good eye when it comes to colour and patterns, and her critical feedback is essential to the development of his work.
When it comes to graphic design, Rob’s focus is not in starting a business – though he is happy to work should the opportunity does arise – it is all about sharing his knowledge and skills.
Rob is a giving sort. Prior to the pandemic, he would spend a month of every year in Nepal helping the Young Men’s Training program in Kathmandu.
There is a problem with a lack of work options in Nepal, Rob says. Young men from the country are often going overseas to find work in order to support their families. While the money can be good for them, it also means they spend a great deal of time away from their loved ones. The organization dedicates itself to helping young men develop skills needed within their own communities, keeping them closer to home.
Since graduating from Vancouver Career College, Rob has been in communication with the program and has been setting up plans to impart his knowledge of graphic design when he returns in the fall of 2022.
So far the organization has acquired the necessary computers, and with willing students Rob is hoping to provide skills that are required for young men to find work at home instead of being forced to go abroad.
Rob knows the organization can’t help everyone find work in the country, but he’s working to do his part to make things better where he can.
A Generous Spirit and the Future
Through his generous spirit, Rob has found an outlet for the skills he learned at Vancouver Career College.
While he may not resemble a business in the traditional sense, he still provides a valuable service to his family, community, and the global village at large.
We look forward to seeing where graphic design takes Rob next, and hope to catch up with him again with him in the fall when he returns from Nepal.