Fast Forward Weekly’s Photo and Design Director

You’re leaving Fast Forward where are you going?

I am going to do contract work at Karo Advertising doing annual reports and also do freelance work.

Freelancing can be tough. Are you prepared to chase down people who owe you money?

Yeah I’m going to have to I guess. Although so far I’ve been lucky with the work that I have done and haven’t had to do that much. So I’m crossing my fingers.

Where was your first gig in the publication biz?

My first gig was at a tiny ad agency in Toronto. My second gig was working at NOW Magazine for 13 years.

Why did you leave NOW ?

I wanted to come back to Calgary. It was time; I had been out there a long time. I’m not crazy about Toronto. And my family is all here.

So then you landed at Fast Forward?

No. I worked at ad agencies for a number of years in various places. Then came here mainly because I wanted the opportunity to do design work and redesign the paper.

What’s your favourite cover you’ve designed at Fast Forward?

I think the Jay Baruchel cover for The Trotsky movie. It was a random blue illustration and kind of inspired by Soviet-era revolutionary poster art. That was kind of the theme of the movie: revolution.

As a designer where do you get your inspiration?

All over but I guess mainly books and websites. Looking at other people’s work of course. I think lots of designers do that to get ideas.

What do you think of the Globe and Mail’s new design?

I’m kind of getting used to it. I think it’s good for papers to refresh from time to time just to keep up with the times. I think a lot of readers don’t necessarily want to see a lot of long stories. Long stories are good but they also like to have little bits and pieces to read kind of like the Internet where you can read a little bit read a little more or continue on.

Are you of the mindset that newpapers are dying?

Personally I would rather read a newspaper than read stuff online. But I know that my nephews and nieces will probably do most of their reading of news online. So newspapers will probably have to change how they do business.

You also work a part-time security gig. What’s that about?

A little extra money and something totally different that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a desk. I worked with some of these guys at the folk fest as volunteers and they’re nice guys and the company has a good rep. They mostly do events like concerts. It can be kind of fun.

What’s your favourite concert that you’ve worked?

I’ve only worked a couple because this is my first year. The one that I did go to was one down at the Stampede with April Wine or some big band.

You’ve been quite involved with the Calgary Folk Music Festival for several years. How did that start?

I’ve been volunteering on site for five or six years. This year I’m going to be in charge of the main field crew for security. I’ve co-coordinated a couple of other crews and here’s where I’ve ended up. I guess they like me.

Do you do the security as an outlet for frustrations roughing people up?

No I’ve never had to do anything like that. And the company likes to try to solve things talking to people rather than taking them to the ground. Although they will if they have to. But I’ve never had to.

You’re a bit of a mountaineer. What do you like about scaling the side of a giant rock?

It’s like meditating for me because there’s absolutely nothing else you can focus on except that rock right in front of you. I find it very calming actually. It’s good.

You’re kind of the defacto gardener around here. Are you worried about the well-being of the Fast Forward office plants?

I am. I don’t know who is going to take care of them. I’ll have to talk to Kari I guess. I’m going to take a few home and I’ll come and check on them from time to time make sure they’re OK.

Any parting words you’d like to say?

I wish Fast Forward all the success in the world. I hope they do great in the future with the new staff.