ODC Wrapped 2022

By the ODC team

What a year! Despite the club’s official launch being in February 2020, it feels as though it was truly born this year. Hosting our first in-person event was a reminder of what we had originally envisioned the club being before the pandemic, and after several long lockdowns and online events, we were ready for this next chapter and all the growth opportunities it presented. Keep reading for a glimpse into what 2022 looked like for the Ottawa Design Club!

Ottawa Design Club

Ottawa Design Club

“Personally, I wanted our first in-person event to exceed expectations. This was our chance to leave an impression and truly render the ODC brand. Most importantly, we wanted to create a welcoming ambiance for our audience. We all have been to at least one event in our lives and thought ‘I’m not cool enough to be here’. We don’t want that. We want you to leave feeling like ‘Wow I found my community!’ A lot of our decisions revolve around this.” — Izzy

Ottawa Design Club

Favourite ODC Moment:

The On-set Mindset workshop at Studio 20/20 was so fun! Everyone was given a fictional client brief and had to build a photography set for that client. We were taking pictures of the last set when everyone went ‘WOOOOOOOOO THIS IS SICK’. Indeed, the photos came out as if they were from a high fashion magazine. For a quick job, the results were very impressive.

Having everyone screaming with excitement in unison is definitely one of my highlights. I can still hear it just thinking about it.” — Izzy

“The first event and Zine 0004 launch was the most rewarding experience ever! As much as it was nerve-wracking, I was pinching myself when seeing some of my creative heroes in the room (and on stage!). Seeing people that would have never met otherwise have a beer together was absolutely amazing. THIS is why I joined the ODC team. THIS is what the design community in Ottawa was desperately missing. I must say I wiped a few happy tears driving home that night. I was also very proud of my shy self for standing up on stage and speaking in a microphone for the first time in my life! Haha.” — Ariane

Greatest Challenge Faced:

“In November, we hosted our second networking event and Zine 0005 launch. Unfortunately, two of our speakers fell sick at the very very last minute (literally). We had to turn on a dime and figure out a whole new event format. At 6:03 pm, I was mortified thinking no one would come to our speaker event without speakers. And logistics-wise, (food, zine launch, event space location, attendees, communication, money, and sponsor-wise) it would have been hard to reschedule. But once again, the community showed up! The first person to walk through the door told me she had never met another graphic designer before. I will never forget that! Again, so worth the effort.” — Ariane

Ottawa Design Club

Biggest measure of growth:

Two of the artists featured in Zine 0005, Félix Laveault-Allard and Chloé Beaulieu, told us they met because of our Collaboration call for submissions. They didn’t know each other before, and started chatting through Instagram after a prompt about our call for submissions. Since their collaboration for the zine, they have developed an ongoing friendship and working relationship.

When we hear stories like these, it makes us feel like what we do is creating an impact. This is why we do what we do.

Ottawa Design Club

Lessons Learned:

We had to make a hard decision to cut down on our zine publishing schedule and to end this series (for now). This was difficult, as the zines allowed us to explore our creativity and push our design limits. But curating zines could be a full-time job—each zine takes about 6 months of production and requires the touch of a minimum of 8 people plus printing. Since the main goal of the club is to host events, we decided to take a little break from zines (again…for now) and think about our next publishing project. Stay tuned for more information on this in the new year!

Ottawa Design Club

Greatest Accomplishment:

Aside from the zines we published and the successful events we hosted, there are a few accomplishments that come to mind:

First, Izzy’s collaboration with Maxwell Hughes from No Way Collective on Adobe Live. Izzy and Maxwell first connected when Maxwell was featured in a zine. This connection through the club led them both to another great new opportunity in both of their careers. This is exactly what we hope to accomplish through the club: empowering as many creative voices as possible in every way possible.

Second, was the influence we had in helping a big metropolitan city like New York to create its own club! Caroline Sarette of the NYDC (New York Design Club) first approached Izzy after being inspired by what we were doing here in Ottawa. She is ecstatic at the idea of bringing an inclusive club to NYC. No matter what your location is, connection is important. We’re proud to be spreading the mission of inclusivity in art to more people.

“Our community is amazing and is the reason why the club exists. Thinking back, I am so grateful for the people I've met at our events and the immense feeling of pride I have for our team and what we've accomplished. Cheers to 2023!” — Ariane

Ottawa Design Club

From The Team:

Joining ODC this year as a volunteer year was such an easy decision. Attending ODC events over the last couple of years had been such a highlight for me (especially during the dark days of the pandemic) and I was excited by the opportunity to contribute to this community that had given me so much. In the short time since I’ve joined ODC, I’ve gotten to exercise my creative and social skills by helping out at events, tabling at a craft fair, designing graphics and working on branding projects. The best part above all else though has been connecting with others in Ottawa’s creative community. I’ve met so many people I might not have otherwise ever gotten the chance to know. I look forward to this next chapter with the Ottawa Design Club and can’t wait to see what 2023 brings

The club has seen through nothing short of a whirlpool of creative endeavours this year, and I am honored to have been a part of sailing through them with the team. At first, I was trying to fulfill whatever tasks that might otherwise fall through the cracks, while learning to balance the club with my school and other responsibilities. There were some tasks that I thought I was up for, but in reality, I fell short and learned some hard lessons.

Bit by bit, however, I was able to find my groove and work almost exclusively on social media for the club. I thank Izzy and Ariane for trusting me on this front, providing me with the right tools to develop a system to share the club's highlights to our community. Since design and communications are areas of interest to my own graduate research, working for ODC's social media finally fit like a glove for me. I'd only previously heard of transference of skills until I was able to see it unfold for myself and my capacity for the club.

Two events, two zines and many craft markets later, I am happy to have been a part of the club's 2022 journey. Wishing 2023 has even greater things in store.

Joining the ODC team this year has truly enriched my life. Not being a designer myself, I was a bit nervous at first about what I could bring to the table, but those fears were quickly put to rest by how welcoming and supportive everyone was. Right from the beginning, I was given the space and creative freedom to write the way I do best, and I’ve always felt like my opinion matters and is valued in club decisions. This is truly an inclusive community, and I’m so grateful for all the people I’ve met and for the experience I’ve gained as a writer. Volunteering with ODC has given me a new creative outlet which makes my life feel a bit more balanced from the work I do for my day job. I’m looking forward to all the new growth opportunities I’ll have in 2023 as we shift from zines to a new publication project!

— The ODC Team

Ottawa Design Club

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