Disclaimer: Writing personal reflections is not my forte. There’s something both cathartic and terrifying about condensing all of your work into a couple of easily-scannable, immensely hireable, and SEO-friendly paragraphs.
That being said, howdy. I’m Dorian. I’ve been passionate about design since I first put Mr. Sketch scented marker to paper. Throughout my childhood, I was reigning elementary school queen of book reports, dioramas, science fairs, and cardboard posters. Somehow, though, I never recognized my enthusiasm for design as a valid career path. I was going to be a VETERINARIAN, thank you very much. It wasn’t until I was in university that I realized two things: 1: while not a wuss, I definitely couldn’t handle the emotional stress of sick and injured pets; and 2: that digital design elective I took as a whim? …I kind of loved it. I did some research (naturally) into the field and realized that there were a wealth of career paths that would satisfy my need to create and refine.
I enrolled at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2005, taking the Digital & Interactive Media Design Program with a focus in Web Design. After graduating with honours (on the Dean’s List!) two years later, I began working in the field as a web and graphic designer, initially in a small studio, and eventually as a freelancer. I enjoyed working with a number of different agencies during that time, and was able to get a lot of valuable work experience under my belt. In 2010, I was approached by NAIT’s Digital Media & IT program (the newest iteration of the program I had taken), asking if I would be interested in instructing on a part-time basis. After a few sleepless nights (did they KNOW how awkward I was?), I decided to take the plunge and went in for a highly-caffeinated interview. Luckily for me, the review panel saw through my nerve-and-coffee-induced jitters and hired me for the position. As they say, the rest is history. I’ve been an instructor at NAIT ever since, and now enjoy an SME position in the Visual Communications Design stream of the program. Despite not feeling like I had any sort of aptitude for education, I was able to harness my love of design and create engaging and enjoyable course content. These days, I couldn’t imagine not being an instructor! My students consistently inspire me with their work, attitudes, and enthusiasm. I owe a ton of my personal growth to their support.
I also work as a freelance designer, which is most likely what you came here for! These days, the vast majority of my work involves UI/UX, brand identity, and print, although I do still dabble in WordPress-based projects from time to time. I’m driven by the need to MAKE, and freelancing allows me to continue to flex my creative muscles while still developing educational content. If you think that your project would benefit from my skills, head over to the contact section to see my current availability.
In case you’re itching to learn a little bit about me as a person, fear not. I’ve got you covered. Here are the Coles Notes of Dorian:
- I really, REALLY like chinchillas. I have a few. I won’t tell you how many.
- I eat plants, just like a Maiasaura, which SHOULD be your favourite dinosaur.
- I spell favourite with a u, because Canada.
- The Legend of Zelda is my #1 video game franchise, followed by the SoulsBorne series, followed by pretty much any Bethesda game.
- My main hobby is hiking through the woods and enticing small animals to eat from my hand so I can feel like a Disney princess.
- I love classic rock. My dad ensured that this would be the case by playing Rush’s 2112 album on repeat in my nursery.