Alex McLeod 

Why did you choose to attend OCAD U?

I chose to attend OCAD U after being blown away by the grad show as a high-school student.

Please briefly describe your current job / practice.

I am a visual artist who works in new media.  The work I make is usually large printed 3d rendered environments, although I work in motion graphics and rapid prototyping too.  

How did you get started in your career?

Once I began making work that I felt that I could share I made a list of blogs that I liked and reached out to them individually. I was overwhelmed with the response, I had high school kids in other countries to celebrities posting about what I was doing and all it cost me was time. That, paired with a solid peer group got me started.

Did you volunteer or work in your field while you were a student?

I worked as a studio assistant for Kent Monkman and shortly after as an attendant at MOCCA.

What were your policies regarding internships, volunteering, and paid work?

I don't think I really was career motivated enough to look into internships, I just knew I needed to make work.  It wasn't until I somehow found an audience did I shift gears and take this path seriously.  I would work for free if the benefits outweighed what the pay would be for a similar job.  Volunteering is a great way to learn from experiences that may be outside of your sphere.

What do you enjoy most about your work? What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

I enjoy that I can play god and create whatever I like and work as little or as much as I need.  The most challenging aspect is accepting that so much is left to luck.

What skills or relationships developed at OCAD U helped you participate in your field? Is there anything you would have done differently?

My interpersonal skills developed a lot through working collaboratively with peers.   Many of these peers are active in creative fields partially from the support that comes from supporting each other. 

What are the key responsibilities you maintain for your practice?

My main responsibilities include making sure everyone has what they need. Firstly I have to make sure I am making good work, and that the printer gets it in time to deliver to the framer.  If I'm doing an interview or commission I have to make sure that party is getting my full attention and that emails are answered promptly.  There are certainly obvious tools like software and hardware that I need, but anything that I'm unfamiliar with I can usually learn about through the internet.  Networking is essential to build relationships with other artists, curators and collectors. It's one of my favorite parts of the job ;D 

What are your personal and professional goals for the coming years?

I am currently completing significant commissions that I hope to leverage to produce even bigger work.  Just over five years ago I started out and didn't imagine that I would be in the position I am now.  The most important goal for me however is to foster the growth of our community.

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