About

BEGINNINGS

Creative Beginnings

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 sketch, gave it to her Mom, and dashed out the door never giving it another thought. What a surprise when the final article arrived, there was Adri’s drawing – big as life – in a magazine!   

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!

European Influences

Growing up in both Belgium and Holland, Adri traveled throughout Europe and even got to visit Morocco. She saw Marimekko-style designs in the 70’s and was inspired by the bright, bold, and simple images. It’s why she loves to create with bright and happy colours.

While overseas, Adri visited her paternal grandfather often, a fancy pastry baker and artist. He made delicious pastries and had art hanging on the walls throughout his home.

On the opposite extreme, the cozy Dutch homes with their sparkling windows, short lace curtains, and warmth also spoke to her. Maybe that’s why she enjoys creating projects that feel inviting and create a comfortable space for people.

On the other side of the family, Adri’s Canadian maternal great-grandmother took up painting in her 80’s. It’s no surprise then that Adri has creativity in her genes!

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 (then) Ontario College of Art.

Not long after, Adri earned an M.A. in Communications/Journalism from Wheaton College Graduate School in Illinois. She studied communication theory, screen writing, creative writing, and media studies (which took place in England and The Netherlands to compare media systems). To finish off the program, Adri’s thesis focussed on women missionaries who experienced cross-cultural re-entry.

Photography

A life-long learner, Adri wanted to be able to capture the visual merchandising retail displays properly. As a result, she decided to take photography at the Continuing Education Department of Conestoga College. 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 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), organized the product, and photographed it all when the display was finished.

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.

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

Stylist & Contributing Editor

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

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

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

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 Adri’s 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 incorporated a unique creative twist to each.

Sometimes it meant creating unique event signage by questioning what would be the most effective so that the attendees would be able to see the information quickly. For example, Adri would ask;

“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.

MARKETING

Marketing

The Journey Comes Full Circle

Adri saw the strands of her journey come together, while working at that (then) Laurier School of Business and Economics. She realized that creativity and business and story could all work together for a strong marketing plan.

At the (then) Laurier Executive Development Centre, Adri absorbed everything about business planning and marketing strategy. She learned that a strong foundation based on the audience is key to developing any marketing materials.

In Marketing, Adri’s passion for telling stories (visually, or with words) has come full circle. She’s thrilled when the right combination gets results and serves the audience.

Bringing Your Story to Life

What about your story? How can Adri help you develop an elegantly simple, yet powerful narrative? 

Sometimes it is easy to get too close to your own story, and that’s where Adri can see the big picture with fresh eyes. She can then delve into the details to make all the elements work together so your business gets results.

Adri comes along side to help with your story. Want to know more? Read about The Process of Bringing Your Story to Life.