Yes it’s Monday. Certain people get me quite inspired simply by mentioning their name. Art Director & Graphic Designer Lee H. Wilson  (The “H” stands for Holland) is one of those people. I met Lee back in the Ontario College of Art & Design in ’03 and he’s been inspiring me ever since. From early beginings when he was really focused and motivated in class, to co-founding an amazing literary publication The Feathertale Review. Lee was born in Ottawa, Canada in September of 1983. He then moved to Toronto in 2002 to attend The Ontario College of Art & Design (now OCAD University) where he studied graphic design, focusing on editorial design. He graduated in 2006 and worked a few odd jobs in Toronto (including an internship at the old TORO magazine) before landing a job in New York at Tom Brown’s re-designed Institutional Investor magazine. From there, he moved to Sagmeister Inc. to work on a book design with another OCAD alum, Joe Shouldice. After that, he was hired at Bloomberg to join in the re-design of Businessweek magazine, where he is now. If Lee isn’t the epitomy of inspiration and motivation within the field of Graphic Design, I really don’t know what is.


I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

L: In first grade, we had to draw a teddy bear in class. I added claws, eyebrows, different textured fur and elaborate nose to mine. My teacher remarked to my parents that I had a very creative thought process. My mom still has that drawing somewhere. Other memories include colouring books and playing with Lego.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

L: I’d probably get into programming, or move away from the computer and do something hands-on like making furniture, or start a business doing small engine repair… rebuild vintage motorcycles (or lawnmowers!). I like to organize things, I think that’s why I gravitated towards editorial design. As a kid I would organize my toys from largest to smallest. Maybe I have OCD?

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

L:  Inspiration… found all over the place. Going to school at OCAD definitely opened my mind to looking around, and seeing potential in every-day objects. Seeing design in pretty much everything, including nature. Travel is a big source of inspiration, especially going places with different cultures. When I was 5 or 6, I was at my grandparent’s cottage on the Rideau River in Ontario. I was playing around in the boat garage, where my grandpa had his short-wave radio equipment. I started pushing buttons and pretending like I was a ship captain or something. All of a sudden, someone came on the radio and started talking back to me! I was so shocked and scared that I ran into the cottage to find my grandfather. He just yelled at me “Well, what are you waiting for, talk back to him!”. That really opened my mind to the idea that there is a much bigger world beyond your parents confine.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

L: Here is the latest Feathertale Review, a small zine that my friend Brett and I started almost 6 years ago in Toronto. Our normal format is 8×10″… perfect bound. This time around we wanted to try something different, so we collaborated with Sharis Shahmiryan, who is a very tallented designer working at The Star. She knows newspaper design, and helped us to take our magazine, and turn it into a newspaper. I helped to wrangle all the artists, including two very tallented Toronto illustrators: Jack Dylan and Pete Ryan, who did a tonne of work on this thing. Plus a full laundry list of other amazing people, including Kamila Mlynarczyk, Gavin McCarthy, Chis Kaeser, Graham Roumieu, Mike Kitchen, Orbie, Maureen Shelleau, Olege Portnoy, Jeff Burney and Graham Roumieu. As you can see — Feathertale really is a collaborative effort, it takes a lot of people to bring this thing together. I can’t think of anything better than working with this group of people. Last year we won our first National Magazine Award, so fingers crossed, maybe we can do it again with this one (or maybe last year was a fluke!).

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

I run help to run Feathertale.com, and I check that often. Otherwise, I’m a news junkie … BBC, CBC, The New york Times, CNN, Mac Rumours. Is that boring? I guess I should say a bunch of cool design websites… but I don’t really know any. Wait… I’ll say Daily Dose of Imagery. And CoverJunkie. I realize that’s 8 websites, sorry.

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Hi, I'm Ibraheem Youssef
I'm a Creative,
currently based in Toronto.

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Art Direction / Alignment / Colours
Cooking / Design / Folding
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