And it’s a show!

We really try to continuously produce original content for Quip Magazine and as a part of that ambition we’ve started our own comedy talk show – Quip Talk with Nicky. It was a pretty quick ambitious decision (as most of them are):

Nicky: “Let’s make a show?”

Me: “Ok.”

So we’ve now taped two shows (it happens once a month) and one of those low budget productions is now live, hope you can check it out!

Watch Quip Talk pilot here.


Bright pink gender misunderstanding

A term came up during Advertising Week as a part of a Women as Media Makers panel discussion that has been lingering in my mind since that Tuesday – “pink topics.”

Pink Topics are those topics women write about, or in other terms women-friendly topics, like fashion, cooking, dating, taking care of babies, you get the point.

There is nothing wrong with assuming that women are interested in these topics – we indeed are – but these are not the only topics we are interested in. Not every girl out there wants to wear pink and sleep on fluffy pastel colors, some of us, quite frankly, choose not to wear pink at all. I am Eastern European, blond, fairly thin and fairly tall, and on an average day I look about 5 years younger than I actually am – there is already enough working against my intelligence so the last thing I want to do is wear pink or be caught with a Cosmo at the airport.

Like many women I know, I’ve always had a hard time writing more than a paragraph or two about pink topics and it is not because I am not interested in fashion or love, God knows how many shoes I have (you don’t need to) and what my love life looks like (no one should). But aside from an occasional Google search I, and many women like me, do not exhibit any major commitments to pink magazines or blogs despite what the social following on them might be. Just because we follow does not mean we read.

Fashion magazines are for reading at the dental office, pink is for cotton candy, and most famous chefs in the world are men. I subscribe to multiple business and entrepreneurship publications, write and ready about advertising, and for the last 3 years I have been reading Edgar Allen Poe (it’s a full collection, don’t judge).

So here is to all the women for whom pink is just another color statement like bright yellow, for women who only skim tabloids while waiting in the grocery line, and speed-shop because the mall is their least favorite place in the city.

One day, when our voices finally come through, the women on TV will be much closer to what we actually look like: not dancing around the kitchen table with cereal bowls, not always wearing lipstick, not wearing capris and cardigan combos, and thinking about things other than finding “the one” when brushing their teeth or chewing gum.

The Big Shout Out

Big Brothers Big Sisters is hosting The Big Shout Out, which is essentially an opportunity for anyone to thank their mentor.

Have you ever had a mentor? I’ve been a mentor in college to first year students but personally I’ve never had an assigned mentor per se. That being said, I have been lucky to have a pool of fantastic people to turn to for all sorts of advice. Here is a shortlist of the people who directly or indirectly mentored me through the beginnings of my career:

Anne MacLennan: she was my first advertising teacher while at York U. I ended up being Anne’s research assistant for a year which gave me an opportunity to soak in some of her humorous and insightful wisdom. She was also the first person to bring my attention to the importance of typography in design.

Anthony Kalamut: a professor and program coordinator at Seneca College. I recall spending a lot of hours sitting around in his office talking about advertising and design and being late to class because of it. Anthony was also a foundation for a lot of the professional contacts and relationships developed throughout college.

Richard Slaven: desktop publishing and layout professor at Seneca College. This was the official foundation for design education and appreciation of the classics. I had a chance to be Richard’s TA for a couple of semesters which was one of the best jobs I held through the 7 years of my post secondary education journey.

Doug Zanger: Doug has been a source of professional advice and inspiration since that incredibly early morning phone call during which he asked me when I can start writing for AWSC over 3 years ago. Since then we’ve lived through two Advertising Weeks, multiple AWSCchats, what feels like a hundred of posts, multiple emails and phone calls chatting about my career. If anyone has been able to reinforce my confidence in the successful future it would be him.

Anthony Chelvanathan: one of the most awarded, talented and humble Art Directors I’ve met and had a chance to work with (Group Creative Director at Leo Burnett now). He always told me to keep pushing, consider all angles, and work out the finest of the details no matter how big or small the project is. A sea of inspiration that guy is. 

Scott Goodson: with a ridiculous experience that he has under his belt building Strawberry Frog into a Cultural Movement agency Scott is one of those people that always has a way to turn a conversation into a journey. Every time I walk away from that conversation I feel ready to try harder, work harder, see further and take on the world.

Who has been a big influence in your life?


Tommy Ton at Markville Mall. Or Just Find a Way to Make it Work

When you work in advertising not everything is exciting despite what the popular television might tell you. Sometimes you just have to make stuff happen and all you can do is make your so-so project into at least something beautiful. Out of the many factors involved into any project most of the worst unfortunately come from the client and sound something like “low budget” and “make it amazing” with, my least favorite, “stock photos”. This is one of those projects  where we found a way to make a simple ask look beautiful – Markville mall, welcome Tommy Ton, the most high fashion you can possibly get without shooting it yourself.
Advertising Agency: Extreme Group
Supervising Art Director: Jigisha Patel 
Art Director: Kateryna Topol
Copywriter: Erin McKay & Kateryna Topol