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Being in Your Element | Entry 9

Blog - Career Options Series

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.
— Henry Ford

Brent Porter is one of the most down to earth, realist, humble people that I have ever had the chance to hear speak. And while Brent came into our Pro Topics class to talk mainly about his work at Form & Affect, he spoke about himself and his journey through life up until today. I think the thing that resonated with me the most about Brent’s presentation was to remind myself to put life in perspective. Life. We are here for such a short time on Earth. We are constantly running around trying to make money, trying to pay the bills, taking care of our families, and it is so overpowering. It’s important in life that we work not for the sake of working, but to work and be happy.

Brent is a rare gem. A little rough around the edges but still so unique. He’s self made and trusted his struggle in life to get him where he is, and his work is fantastic. Brent knew he always loved art, but his undiscovered talent lived in design thinking. This revelation was sparked by an incident in Grade 9 where a bully pushed him and stomped on his paper mache bird for art class. Instead of reacting adversely to this incident, Brent took the sculpture home and painted tire tracks on the indentation. He repurposed it and he solved the problem in a creative way. If that’s not natural talent I don’t know what is.

Here is Brent’s representation of personal zen:

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Brent applied and dropped out of college and even has had his work stolen. But regardless of whether the experience was good or bad, he fought on, he kept learning and took those experiences and became stronger. In reference to having a sense of pride, he mentioned it is out how you think about yourself and being able to find lessons in any situation and learning from it. The people we meet in life also play a role in building our character and driving our career path. Life is built on little bricks of success and in them is the ability to master the little details.

Who is Brent Porter?

Brent is the partner, and Creative Director at the design creative agency Form & Affect. Located in the heart of St.Catherines, Brent and his co-partner Paul purposely chose St.Catherines because they wanted to feel proud of where they come from. Sure, they could have easily set up shop in any metropolitan city, but where’s the originality in that. When him and Paul started they had no plan, but they grew their company based on how the person would fit into their company culture. While their team is very tight, it is extremely efficient and equipped with talented folks. 

Form & Affect collaborates with a diver roster of clients ranging from your mom and pop shop to corporations.

Company Values

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Company Projects

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Resources

Below is a list of people, companies, magazines, creative groups we should follow on Twitter:

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Some awesome podcasts include Shop Talk (guy who built codepen), The Big Web Show (creator of A List Apart, A Book Apart, An Event Apart), and the RWD.

Extremely valuable tool: Browser Stack

Brent’s favourite books are the A Book Apart series, but highly recommends Smashing Magazine books as well. An excellent tool to view our designs on various screens/devices is Browser Stack. As the industry changes, so should we and as designers we need to stay on top of web/digital media trends (i.e. css grids are the new layout system for the interwebs).  

tyana awada