Bachelor of Design Graphic Design


Our faculty are a diverse and talented group. We hope you'll enjoy the process of getting to know them.

Sebastian Abboud

Sebastian Abboud

If you had the chance to go back in time what career would you choose?

Bass player in Crazy Horse. Sorry, Billy Talbot.

What do you think is the most important skill a student can learn to prepare for the industry? What's the most important thing I can learn at VIU?

Beyond a fundamental understanding of the building blocks of graphic design, being a decent, thoughtful human being, to me is the most important quality. Willingness to learn, to experiment and adapt to a new environment is also huge, among other things.

If you were a Typeface which would you be?

ITC Avant Garde by the late great Herb Lubalin.

What other jobs did you have?

Outside of VIU, I’m a freelance Designer and Illustrator. I’m also in the process of pursuing my MA in Graphic Design (kind of a job). I’m the VP Education for the Vancouver Island chapter of the Graphic Designers of Canada, and I organize a semi-regular drawing event called Draw by Night Nanaimo.

Patrick Foster

Patrick Foster

When you have a creativity block, what helps you get over it and keep working on your project?

A writer I’m a fan of was asked this very question, and his answer was, “You never hear a carpenter complain they’ve got carpenter’s block.” This is my job; its creative, but I’m solving a problem with my skills, not expressing my own point of view. If you’re stuck, remember your process and follow it.

Where did you do your schooling?

I dropped out of the Savannah College of Art & Design, in Savannah, Georgia, a long time ago. I did part of a graphic design degree at Daytona Beach College in Florida a while after that, and finished my BFA at New Mexico Highlands University some time later still. I went to grad school for my MDes at The Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University, in Halifax.

How did you get involved with design?

Accidentally. I dropped out of art school after high school because I was drawing with charcoal and throwing pots on a wheel, and I hated it. A few years later, I went with a friend to their interview for a photography program at a design school, saw design work on the walls and thought, Oh, I’m supposed to be doing this.

Brad Harris

Brad Harris

If you had the chance to go back in time what career would you choose?

Restaurant owner / bartender. I can be obsessive in the search of new food and drink. My sanctuary is in the kitchen trying to create some sort of culinary experience.

Lakes or oceans? Why?

I love the oceans, but my heart is with the lakes. I grew up in Northwestern Ontario where we could enjoy the extremes of lake culture: in the summer, we would overheat in a sauna then dive from a dock into cold, clean (drinkable) water; in the winter, we would spend hours snowmobiling across vast, open expanses of frozen water, then eat chili and drink hot chocolate by a warm, smoky campfire.

What is your favourite cereal?

Hands down, the best cereal on the planet would be Marshmallow Rice Krispies — if only they still made them… You have your classic dehydrated cereal marshmallows and Rice Krispies. It's happiness in a bowl.

Kevin Mazutinec

Kevin Mazutinec

Whats your favourite designer/artist and who inspired you the most?

Impossible for me to nail down 1 - how about 3? David Lynch, David Fincher, RUSH (yes, the band). Look them up.

If you had the chance to go back in time what career would you choose?

Ha! Something like Es Devlin. Look her up.

Lakes or oceans? Why?

Oceans. Because they feel way more alive. The waves reaching the shore laugh at us - mocking our trivial existence. Sometimes in soft whispers, sometimes in a crashing roar. Lakes feel like they are trapped, as if they know what they should be doing, but cannot.

What is your favourite place on earth?

Bora Bora. Look it up. I have not been there. I may never go. But I think about it often, and hold it as my idea of paradise. A brilliant blue dream.

Ellen McCluskey

Ellen McCluskey

What, other than design, have you spent over 10,000 hours doing?

Photography, reading, and family… when not base-jumping or hand-building lutes.

How would you explain your job to a 5-year old?

Helping people tell stories about their world with pictures and words.

What's your favourite conspiracy?

Human DNA the result of aliens mating with Neanderthals.

Faye Ostergard

Faye Ostergard

When you have a creativity block, what helps you get over it and keep working on your project?

I laugh creativity blocks in the face — so not true (ha, ha)! I trust in process and practice in my craft daily. Those are the tools in my arsenal that I rely on consistently.

What fascinates you about design?

Is this the same as curiosity? I hope so! Having the opportunity to explore subject matter and idea generation that feeds my curious nature is fascinating to me. It's exciting to me that every client presents me with a new industry to learn about — I enjoy the challenge.

What is your art style?

As a designer, my style is quite conservative (insert yawn here). Anyone that sees my whimsical and child-like artistic endeavours looks at me with a tilted head and furrowed eyebrows (what the heck!?!). I have come to embrace the diversity in my art and design styles and look for opportunities for one to inform the other.

Nancy Pagé

(Department Chair)

photo of Nancy Page

What's your favourite pizza topping?

Crust. Is that a topping?

What made you become a teacher?

I taught occasionally a while back and discovered how much fun it was. That experience led me to pursue my graduate degree which eventually led to full-time teaching. Best decision ever!

Where were you born?

I was born in Quebec City.

What's your favourite kind of candy/treat?

Cherry Blossom chocolate bar. Messy but yummy.

Why Nanaimo?

I get to live on an island on the West Coast surrounded by an ocean that’s filled with orca and surrounded by nature. It never gets old.

Alec Watson