Designing for Dine by Design East
October 23, 2014

NSCAD design student Julie O'Kruk stands in front of the billboard she designed as part of an independent study class. (Eliot Wright Photo)

By Ainslie Ross

Julie O’Kruk did not expect to be taking design when she first came to NSCAD, but she is so glad she did because her work can now be found on billboards and in magazines for the world to see.

Currently a third-year interdisciplinary design student, Julie intended to be a painter but fell in love with design and the creative problem solving that comes with it.  When the organizers of Dine by Design East were looking for a NSCAD student to work on the visual design for their event, Julie was up to the challenge.

“This was an opportunity to not only have my work published, but actually do work for a real event,” says Julie.

Dine by Design East is an event showcasing 10 designers and 10 chefs from Canada’s East Coast in a ‘feast for the senses.’ The four day event is presented by East Coast Living magazine and funds raised support design education at NSCAD through the Amber Harkins Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Amber was a former editor of East Coast Living who passed away from cancer in 2012. The first scholarship will be granted to a NSCAD design student this winter.

“I know the design studios are really great at NSCAD but you are doing mock projects, so I thought doing work for Dine by Design East would be a way to kind of create work that would be useful to someone and it’s also exciting to see it used in the real world.”

Doing the work for credit, using the studio course ‘DSGN 3903 Communication Studies,’ Julie was tasked with doing the all of the design work for Dine by Design East in ‘double-time’ in order to meet the events October 30 deadline.

“The quantity of back and forth has been a lot. I’ll submit a design and then there will be revisions to it and then a few more revisions,” she says, sipping her cup of tea.

“I’ll send it to the publishers and they have a few revisions too, so I’m designing, designing, designing, which is fine because it’s all part of the work but it is time consuming.  I think that’s been the most challenging in terms of trying to organize my time and get everything done so that this event can be advertised properly.”

It’s obvious that Julie really cares about the work she’s doing for Dine by Design East.

“Being a part of this event has been really exciting.  I feel like as a designer you’re often just doing work, you’re not necessarily behind all of the projects that you work on as much as I am with this one. I feel like Dine by Design East is such a celebration of art and the culinary arts as well, so it’s nice to be working on something that I’m genuinely interested in,” says Julie.

She encourages students to take advantage of internships, off campus study and any other resources they can because of the rewards they can provide you in the future.

“The work experience has been super valuable, I think that all students should try and do something like this in their careers at NSCAD,” she says.  “It really does prepare you for getting a job after school, not only from the portfolio piece you have but the work relations you make too through the project.”  

Check out Julie’s work in the October issue of Halifax Magazine or at Dine by Design East October 30 – November 2.  For more information and details on tickets, please see: Dine By Design East