A briefing on Curio’s newest superstar (by the artist herself):
Howdy y’all, I’m Jayden and I’m the newest Curio recruit! I’ll be commandeering this blog for a hot minute in order to introduce myself.
So, Who is This Nerd?
I’m a peanut butter loving goofball with a serious scarf addiction and an affinity for making stellar Spotify playlists.
Though I have a cornucopia of interests and hobbies, connecting with new people and learning about them is my favourite pastime. I am one of those social butterfly weirdos who loves customer service and talking to random strangers. I say yes to life, which can get me in some zany situations, but no ragrets, right?
The Road So Far
My love of illustration was what started me on my path to design. I was always the kid who was sitting in the corner drawing, but for most of my life I wanted to be a palaeontologist (I even went to dinosaur camp as a kid. See? Total nerd!) until I found out that you had to take physics and statistics (which was a bit of a buzzkill, because I am ghastly at math). Instead, I took some time off after high school to travel, later applying to a rogue college to study illustration.
It became very clear to me in college that pursuing a creative career was what I was meant to do with my life. Afterwards, I apprenticed under a freelance illustrator (Thank you JB!) to get a feel for what the industry was like on the inside. It’s been a long journey, but I am so grateful to be doing what I love.
Book Design = Love
I first discovered the mystique of graphic design while working on a project centred around book covers. Even though it’s seven years old and has a bunch of silly errors, my dust jacket for Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong (if you haven’t read it yet, please do, it’s a classic!) is still one of my favourite things that I have created to date.
Wolf Totem dust jacket, circa 2015
I had a riot playing with grids and layouts, and I revelled in the visual symphony that illustration and typography make when working in concert. Before this project I had never considered pursuing design as a profession, but after receiving my diploma I applied to study Visual Communication Design at the University of Alberta to learn more.
Student 4 Life
Including my time in college, I have been in post-secondary study for six years (two of which were during the pandemic). In true extrovert fashion, I found being on my own and working away from my profs and classmates to be a bit disheartening, so I was grateful to take the last semester of my degree in person.
University was a wild ride, and I was consistently sleep-deprived and burned-out (I often joke that I have a minor in caffeine consumption), but it was so worth it!
Jayden.exe has stopped working
It’s funny: When I was asked what kind of work environment I was looking for in my design management course at the Uni, I said (verbatim) that my goal was “to work hands-on with a small group of passionate people with a vision.” And that’s exactly what I found at Curio!
Not to be all woo-woo, but it’s like I manifested it or something. I am a lifelong learner, and working with this group of wonderful and talented humans has already taught me so much in a relatively short period of time. This team is everything, and I am so excited to be able to collaborate with them!
The Old Strathcona mural map, a recent project that I spearheaded.
I can’t wait to see it out in the wild!
My Raison d’Être
As per my nature, the social aspect of illustration and design is what interests me most. My aim is to create things that bring people joy and inspire them to interact and connect with each other and the world around them.
When I’m working with a client, it’s imperative for me to feel like we’re connecting on a personal level. I want to know their vision, their goals, their dreams, and what makes them tick. Being a huge bibliophile, the thought of designing and illustrating anything involving books excites me the most!
My favourite band is the Velvet Underground, and I will happily annihilate you at karaoke.
You have been warned!
When I’m not doing the design thing, I can be found reading, watching horror movies with my cats, freaking out over F1, doing yoga, eating peanut butter straight from the jar, or crying over fictional characters (generally not all at once).
Jayden became a full-fledged full-timer at Curio Studio in July 2022, after cementing her status as our resident Mary Poppins/Mrs. Doubtfire/Natalie Portman’s character from Garden State. Having on her on the team has inspired the rest of us to reconnect with estranged family members, up our oral hygiene game, and not infrequently burst into showtunes.
This post was last updated on July 21, 2022 by Matt Steringa