People of Georgian: Graphic designer creates movie monster magic
September 04, 2020

What’s your story?

Our Georgian College community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives, and we’re sharing different ones each week.

People of Georgian: Meet Adam Dagenais

I’ve always enjoyed monsters.

I like the creative freedom of a creature design because the sculpture can be anything you want, but it has to be grounded in reality in order to sell it. You have to have some basic understanding of human and animal anatomy and then you exaggerate those features.

I’ve always had a huge interest in movies, especially horror and sci-fi, and I draw a lot of inspiration from that stuff. Movies like Alien, Predator. I’m a huge fan of Terminator. And then your standard classics: Creature from the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein, Wolfman.

Being a movie lover, sculpting was kind of this awesome combination of being creative and artistic but also marrying a medium I enjoyed watching.

Two colourful cyclops monster sculptures.

I’ve been creative my whole life. I did art class and yearbook in high school instead of gym and music.

When I was in high school and I met with the guidance counsellor, they asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I was like, “I want to be in special effects.” I really liked the idea of working with pyrotechnics or special effects, puppetry and animatronics, all that behind-the-scenes stuff.

Person sitting at a table and painting a sculpture.
Person stares with wide eyes and mouth open at a monster sculpture they're holding in their hands.

No longer a ‘plumber with the leaky pipes’

Now that I’m a full-time designer, I’m always being creative for somebody else. Just like they say, “The plumber with the leaky pipes,” you’re always so busy fixing everybody else’s stuff you don’t have any time to work on your own things.

Only now am I allowing more of my own creative space.

I haven’t had time to be creative for myself in a very long time, so the fact that I get to sculpt what I want, when I want, paint it the way I want, and it’s for nobody else but me is very self-fulfilling.

It recharges my creativity and my soul and my drive.

Adam Dagenais, Community Animator for Georgian’s Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation, and a Georgian alumnus from the Art and Design Fundamentals program.

Adam also owns Effigy Design, a graphic design company in Orillia.

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