Launch Pad: Digital Design Talks with Carter Gilchrist and Novita Prasetia

When starting a business, most of the owners will have a small client base already in place, but what makes your business successful and allows you to continue and grow is totally a different story. The theme of this term’s Digital Design Talks is Launch Pad. Our speakers will take you through their journeys as first-time business owners in the design world. As interesting as the business side of design can be, don’t forget that your design still has to be appealing and interesting.

As for our speakers, we have invited Digital Design alumnus Carter Gilchrist, and current Digital Design student Novita Prasetia, to present their amazing stories to us.

Carter Gilchrist has over 13 years of web experience and has worked on a diverse portfolio of projects. In 2009, he co-founded Unbounce with 5 other colleagues, and is currently the Director of Product and User Experience.

As a full-stack developer and designer, he is responsible for everything from the UX design strategy, through to UI design and development, as well as back-end implementation.

Previous to Unbounce, he lead the front-end web product development for, a revolutionary browser extension, and was a Co-Founder of Fire450 Internet Product Development. Prior to that, Carter worked with the User Experience product team at Bodog Entertainment.

Outside of Unbounce, Carter plays in a number of bands, and helps run an independent record label, Unit Structure Sound Recordings.

 Novita (aka Vivi) is a current student in Digital Design at Vancouver Film School. When she was in high school she was not sure which path exactly to choose for her future, but she knew that she wanted to be in a creative environment. After a while, she chose Film Production and got her Bachelor’s with Honors in Film and TV from Limkokwing University of Technology in Malaysia.

After about a year of working in the film industry, she realized that she has a strong passion for Interactive Design, and so she went to VFS.

While she was waiting for the program to start, she started thinking about her first step in the business world. She saw an opportunity in generating income using her other passion, which is Crafting, and got help from her parents to open her first Crafting store: Knit Knot Crafthouse. She was fortunate enough that the business took off after a month, and she launched the website. She converted her garage into a store and now, after about 7 months, the store is doing very well.

She is enjoying her time being a Digital Design student and learning about different approaches to problem solving. She hopes to get a job as an Interactive Designer upon graduation.

Digital Design Talks is happening this Wednesday, September 12th at 4:30pm in the Main Theatre of VFS at 420 Homer Street. The talk is open to public, so please feel free to come and enjoy listening to the story of these two brilliant speakers.

Appetizers : Digital Design’s 22nd Graduating Class

Mingling at Appetizers for 22nd Graduating Class

On August 15th, students from VFS’s 22nd Digital Design Graduating Class (Our largest graduating class to date!) presented their final projects at Appetizers — the main event at the end of their study, where Industry members are invited to meet the next generation of Design Professionals.

A wide range of stunning works were shown to the audience, who included representatives from such local and international companies as, DDB, Microsoft, Habanero, Design Stamp, Taxi, Engine Digital, iQmetrix, Sequence, Relic, EA, VanCity, Filter and Ayogo Games.

22nd Graduating Class Digital Design

This was my sixth time witnessing this great event, and I’m amazed at how every time it engages me. Appetizers is a great chance for our students to showcase their work and show the industry what they are capable of doing for their companies. We’re already hearing some potential good news about students getting hired — and also, Ayogo Games is considering new candidates for the Ayogo Games + VFS Digital Design Career Jumpstart Program. We’ll keep you posted on OOMPH! about the developments.

Appetizers DD22 Group Photo

We try to include all studios in Vancouver when we send out our invitations, but if for some reason you have never received one of these invitations please let us know and we will add your name to our invite list.

Digital Design 22nd Graduating Class

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the next Appetizers on Wednesday, December 12th!

HOD Miles Nurse Introducing Evening

Digital Design Graduation : Congratulations Class 22!

Congratulations Digital Design Class 22, we are so proud of you! I know this is the first day after an intense year that you will get to sleep in with no worry about attending any clasess. As our Head of Department, Miles Nurse, said in his speech, “Relish these moments” — Yes! Enjoy them to the max!

This week has been full of different events for our graduating students: our Industry event Appetizers took place on Wednesday (August 15), and then last night (August 16) in the VFS Main Theatre, they had their final moment of the school year: Graduation, where their families get a chance to celebrate with them, meet their peers and their Instructors, and beam with pride at their accomplishments.

We were all proud as we watch them, one by one, walk from one side to the other to receive their diplomas, to shake hands and get hugs, and celebrate the completion of a year full of tight deadlines and sleepless nights.

It doesn’t matter how many times we have the graduation ceremony with our students, each group is unique and we miss them after they are gone into the real world.

DD22, I hope your dreams take you to the highest of your hopes, to windows of great opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known! And remember to dream on — dream big until your dream comes true.

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Play / Pause : Digital Design Talks, with Johnathon Strebly, Kim Oxlund, Nicholas Ferreira & Dominik Grejc

Banner for Digital Design Talks

It’s that time of the term again: Digital Design Talks is here and the theme this time is Play / Pause — with a focus on Motion Design.

Our speakers include the VP Education from the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC BC), Johnathon Vaughn Strebly as well as Digital Design alumnus, Kim Oxlund and current Digital Design students, Nicholas Maykot Ferreira and Dominik Grejc

Here are few more details about their respective backgrounds:

Johnathan Strebly Johnathon Vaughn Strebly brings a diverse range of experience and knowledge from Photography, Design and Education. As head of Electronic Media Design, Digital Media, and Communication Arts at Langara College, he is deeply involved in the rich visual media available today. As principal and creative director of his own studio, he extends his professional business experiences and industry awareness to the academic environment. Having served two terms as President of CAPIC Vancouver and VP of Business Practices, CAPIC National, he is proud to continue his association with professional organizations as VP Education for the GDC/BC Executive Board.

Kim Oxlund

Kim Oxlund grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark. He started playing piano at 10, guitar at 13, and by 15 he was sneaking into the computer room at school to sit and draw circles and squares in Paintbrush. His talent made him one of the most interesting students to watch during his time of study at VFS. His design approach is simple: it’s all about emotion. He wants to make people feel something, whether it’s a website, a motion graphic piece or a piece of music. This is his design philosophy: “If my work can make you stop and forget about your daily routine, even if it’s just for a moment, my mission is accomplished.”

Dominik Grejc Dominik Grejc is from Krakow, Poland. His passion for film and storytelling first led him to become a Video Editor. But he also started making short movies and doing other kinds of freelance work. Then he decided to take an art course to help develop his creative skills further. After a few years, his arts eduction evolved into a fascination with Motion Graphics, which brought him to VFS, where he is currently a senior student in the Digital Design Program. In his free time, Dominik enjoys swimming, traveling and learning about new cultures.


Everything started when Nicholas Maykot Ferreira got his first camera and began to record videos of himself and his friends skateboarding. Making those short clips got him so excited about filmmaking and video editing that he decided to study Cinema at the University of Senac in São Paulo. While studying and actively looking for work in different areas of the Film Industry, he one day came across Boca (Marcos Ceravolo), a Motion Designer and VFS alumnus. After gaining more experience in the industry, he finally got a chance to work with Boca. At that time, Boca was the Art Director at New Content, a production company and publisher of customized content. Nicholas quotes: “Boca’s work inspired me so much and made me motivated to not stop when I am stuck and work on my creativity even more. I enjoyed and learned so much working with him. I believe that Motion Design is a powerful environment to convey a message, it gives us a chance to make our lives more interesting. This was one of the main reasons that made me to decided to come to VFS, to keep extending my knowledge in Motion Design, especially the conceptual idea behind each project.”

Come listen to these interesting and engaging guest speakers at our  Digital Design Talks night on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 4:30pm  in the Main Theatre at 420 Homer Street. We’re looking forward to seeing lots of designers there!

Digital Design 21: Appetizers

Appetizers Event Hallway Shot

The most satisfying moment of our profession is when we observe a group of our students completing their academic year after all the hard work and devotion they put in their portfolio. April 17th was one of those nights, we watched Digital Design Class 21 get in front of the industry and present their graduate projects one by one.

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