Student Spotlight: Kayden Chan on illustrating across the disciplines

By: Kayden Chan, BAA, Animation

Kayden Chan

In an academic setting, everyone present is there learn more about their career and the paths presented by their skills; but such a tunnel definition of a “school” is not limited to a staircase to a job but also a environment to understand how the world spins, how people spin or maybe, how they themselves do so as well. Perhaps for many, it’s all of those things. Understanding that there are many different aspects and pieces of the world expands your conscious beyond your peripheral vision; it is a blessing to be born in the age of information and collection but it is unfortunate that majority takes it for granted. There is so much content that, quite frankly, it is daunting to experience, a nuisance to explore, or simply something many don’t have the time for. One thing for certain is that being able to honestly learn these foreign concepts in a fast and easy method skips those issues.

Logo design by Kayden Chan

As an artist who creates images that convey a message or meaning, having anyone instantaneously experience the “aw-ha!” moment in my work sparks no greater joy. That is why timid, first-year me, decided to jump at the call of a illustration job for a sociology textbook. A little more then a year later, I’m proud to congratulate Dr. Sara Cumming on her finished and published her sociology textbook which includes many different illustrated comics and images from multiple illustrators at Sheridan, including myself.

Illustration by Kayden Chan, from Sara Cumming’s Unlocking Sociology textbook

To commemorate the successful collaboration and our work dynamic, the opportunity to work with Community Ideas Factory was also presented. Going on to design the graphics of their research highlights booklet, I was also enlightened to all expansive connections of the Oakville-Halton region and its philanthropic granting process. This realization of a greater community didn’t stop at Creative Humanities and their overarching goal to redefine the chemistry between research projects and creativity; designing a logo that would incapsulate their mission and presence wasn’t easy but a challenge that I was proud to tackle well with Dr. Brandon McFarlane. After the end of my second year, I’ll be working with Drs. Jessica Pulis and Alexander Hollenberg on their upcoming Sacred Grounds research with federally and provincially sentenced women; being able to illustrate a memento for those who valiantly share their personal and demanding stories will be a honour.

Community Ideas Factory artwork by Kayden Chan

Every new project is a new experience and a new understanding of the world; to be able to encounter these opportunities has been a privilege. Whether for it’s cause, the connections, or (let’s be honest, I’m in a 10k program) compensation, these are projects that fellow illustrators wish and what the industry competes for. And for that, I’m grateful to have known many names and background in the world of humanities and social sciences.

I truly owe a coffee or two to Prof. Paul Angelini, the one who notified me of Sara’s job offering, and Sara, the one who gratefully recommended so many opportunities.