Laura Lalonde ’14 credits the supportive environment at Marianopolis for launching her career as a visual producer. Having received her DEC in Creative Arts, Literature and Languages (a program now called Arts, Literature and Communication), the Royal West Academy alumna is studying Communication Studies and Computation Arts at Concordia University. Learn what she has to say about Marianopolis, creativity and not having to choose a specific career.
Q: Tell us about your work.
A: I think my career really started when I bought my first Canon Rebel camera at 14. I was always interested in image-making, film, video animation and graphic design. So many of these disciplines could have led to specific careers in each industry but I never wanted to choose just one, so I didn’t. My work is seasonal, with a lot of wedding photography in the summer and freelance video and graphic design during the academic year. I am proud that I’ve been able to incorporate all my favourite media into my career, as I continue learning new things.
Q: What career did you imagine for yourself when you were little?
A: Like many kids, I wanted to do big things and never get bored. I remember reading the quote about picking a job you love and never having to work a day in your life, and that’s exactly what I’ve been striving for since day one. I remember wanting to have lemonade stands just so I could make a cool sign for them. That’s when I realized I’d do entrepreneurial things, be my own boss, but do it mostly to make cool signs.
Q: Favourite class at Marianopolis?
A: The most formative class I took was the integrative project in my final semester, which brought together three courses: Art History; Dynamics of Design; and Environmental Ethics. I was able to draw upon so much rich material I’d learned from all my favourite professors, from over-consumerism to art historical analysis to writing skills. The whole project came together because I was able to turn all of that inspiration into a work that was appreciated by my peers and my professors. My photo installation won first place at the annual ArtsFest. I can’t describe how fulfilling it was to have my professors guiding me and investing their energy into my project. It was such a special moment to be rewarded for a personal artistic endeavour. I’ll always remember that support and carry it with me.
Q: Best thing about Marianopolis?
A: Deciding to attend. I’ll never regret my decision to go to Marianopolis. I met amazing people, all of whom were able to give me the attention I needed to become a better student. I would be lost today without the strong background that Marianopolis gave me in art history, writing and critical analysis. When I got to university, it was a relief not having to worry about the technicalities: the good writing, the analytical skills, the academic process. Marianopolis ironed out all those wrinkles. I’m so glad I developed those skills before entering university.
Q: How did your Marianopolis experience contribute to you as a person?
A: I met amazing people from all kinds of disciplines in a tight knit environment. It helped me become a better listener, a better friend, a more tolerant and tolerable person. Marianopolis sparked my academic curiosity and that’s when I can say I became an adult. I became confident in my skills as a creator, thinker and writer. I felt prepared for whatever my future would be.
Q: Best memory?
A: Those a-ha! moments, the ones where I felt I was moving forward and becoming a more well-rounded person. The material I learned in my Perspectives class, taught by Professors Sylvain Pagé and Megan Spriggs, showed me that there was an entire world and history of art that preceded me. This contributes immensely to my thought process today as an artist.
Q: What was the biggest difference between high school and Marianopolis?
A: Being treated more like an adult. Being taken more seriously academically really pushed me to live up to those standards, take myself seriously and get the wheels turning.
Q: Why did you choose Marianopolis?
A: Because I knew I’d get lost in a big school. I knew I needed a smaller community to help me become a better student.
Q: Advice for high school students?
A: You’re about to meet plenty of interesting and interested individuals just like yourself, and I urge you to go to the campuses and see what feels right for you. If you feel at home, that’s the school for you. Good luck!