Adri's Journey

A Creative...ever Curious!
BEGINNINGS

Early Beginnings

Published

One sunny day, Adri was just about to go out the door to elementary school, when her Mom said, “I need a drawing for the article I’m sending out today. Can you sketch something quickly?”

Grabbing a black marker, Adri drew a pen and ink style sketch. As she dashed out the door, she handed the sketch to her Mom, never giving it another thought.

 What a surprise when the final article arrived. There was Adri’s drawing, big as life – in a magazine!”

European Influences

Growing up in both Belgium and Holland, Adri traveled throughout Europe, and was even able to visit Morocco. All of these places influenced her love of bright colours.

Adri saw Marimekko-style designs in the 70’s when she lived in Holland. These which bright, bold, and simple images resonated with her.

On the opposite extreme, cozy Dutch homes with their sparkling windows and short lace curtains were also an influence.

While in Holland, Adri got to know her paternal grandfather, a European fancy pastry baker and artist.

Adri’s Canadian maternal great-grandmother took up painting in her 80’s. It’s no surprise that Adri has creativity in her genes.

While developing her flowing pen and ink drawings during high school, Adri illustrated many school newspaper covers. Fellow students loved her art so much that she was even offered money for her Narnia-inspired drawings that she created in class!
EDUCATION

Loving to Learn... Ever Curious

Art & Communications

Adri received a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Toronto and took courses in illustration, perspective, and logo design at the Ontario College of Art.

Subsequently, she earned an M.A. in Communications/Journalism from Wheaton College Graduate School in Illinois. The program featured communications theory, screen writing, creative writing, and media studies (which took place in England and Holland to compare media systems). Adri’s thesis focused on cross-cultural re-entry.

Photography

A life-long learner, Adri later started photography at the Continuing Education Department of Conestoga College to be able to capture the visual merchandising displays in the stores. So far, she has enjoying classes in:

– digital and darkroom photography,
– Adobe Photoshop,
– and studio photography.

In 2014, Adri took the Digital II photography course, and was thrilled to receive 90%.

EXPERIENCE

Strategy & Creativity

Display Designer & Merchandiser

For over seven years, Adri was a display designer and visual merchandiser for a bookstore company with multiple locations. She was responsible for creating strategic designs for seasonal in-store and window displays and large-scale sale events.

Visual Storytelling in Retail

In order to display the product well, Adri considered the product (usually a book or gift item) and asked herself, “How do I tell the story of the item, so the customer can see what it is about?” Once the story emerged, she drew the designs, sourced the props (or in many cases made her own out of paper), organized the product, and photographed it all when complete.

Strategizing

For key event displays, Adri also collaborated with the buyer for product selection and price. Working together, they created a display and then checked the sales results. Adri was always excited to see that when the display,product selection, and price all worked together, it resulted in a higher sell-through.

Stylist & Contributing Editor

As a visual merchandiser, much of Adri’s inspiration came from magazine photography.

Getting to work behind the scenes at Scrapbooking & Cards Today (SCT) Magazine – styling pages and working on photo shoots as a Contributing Design Editor was a thrill.

How exciting…visualizing the scene, bringing it to life, hearing the “click” of the camera, viewing the the result… if not right, repeat until perfect!

You can find Adri’s pirate theme for Scrapbooking & Cards Today magazine which features Adri’s craft designs and backdrop painting here.

Adri’s papercrafts have also been published in Papercrafts Magazine.

Other published projects with SCT include a two-page birthday party spread, and several articles.

Hand drawn colour illustration of laptop screen showing same image as in distance.

How exciting visualizing the scene, bringing it to life, and hearing the “click” of the camera…repeat until perfect!

Hand drawn colour illustration of a circle sign with event title written on it and a red box with bow in front of sign.

“Why do signs always have to rectangular? What if they stand out better if they are round?”

Event Design & Management

Using her experience merchandising large spaces sometimes as large as 10,000 sq. feet, Adri managed and designed events from a large international conference to smaller educationally focused ones. She incorporates a unique creative twist to each.

Sometimes it means creating unique event signage by questioning what would be the most effective asking,

“Why do signs always have to be rectangular? What if they stand out against modern decor better if they are round?

At the event, it means paying attention to the little details such as small gifts designed to end each event memorably.

The result? A positive customer experience. Attendees feel welcome, cared for, and able to absorb what they are learning.