2016

Couverture de publication Royal Society of Chemistry par ericzone.com

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ericthumbIl est normal de se laisser convaincre que l’attribut essentiel pour un infographiste est sa connaissance approfondie des arts visuels. Toutefois, je me rends compte qu’il est impossible de se démarquer dans ce domain sans une autre caractéristique indispensable. La capacité d’écouter devient absolument nécessaire quand il est temps d’accommoder les demandes du client. En guise d’exemple, j’aimerais maintenant vous faire part d’un mandat fort stimulant sur lequel j’ai travaillé au mois de mai 2016.

Environ trois mois suivant mon arrivée chez SiliCycle, il m’a été offert par Geneviève Gingras (directrice du département marketing) la tâche de créer une couverture pour la publication de juin 2016 de la RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry). Immédiatement intrigué, je me suis mis en marche afin de découvrir les détails sur ce projet.

L’article en question est une oeuvre collaborative qui a pour objectif de présenter les avancées de la chimie organique de synthèse en utilisant les catalyseurs SiliaCat, une famille de catalyseurs hétérogènes dévelopée chez SiliCycle. Le papier est écrit par François Béland (vice-président du département RD chez SiliCycle) et Valerica Pandarus (Chercheur en synthèse organométallique chez SiliCycle) en collaboration avec Rosaria Ciriminna et Mario Pagliaro (Chef de projet au conseil de recherche d’Italie). Ce dernier n’a que de bonnes choses à dire à propos de ses comparses du Québec, les décrivant comme «d’éminents chercheurs et des collègues doués» et rajoutant qu’ils «vivent dans un splendide pays avec lequel il nous fait honneur de collaborer».

catalysis-science-technology-siliacatC’est dans cette ambiance professionnelle positive de respect mutuel que mon travail sur la couverture du RSC a débuté. Comme pour tous les mandats qui m’ont été donnés dans le contexte de mon travail chez  SiliCycle, j’ai été chanceux de pouvoir compter sur le soutien et la participation d’individus compétents. (Comme exemple, jetez un coup d’œil aux projets suivants: SiliCycle @ Analytica 2016 ou bien vidéos hommage SiliCycle). Pour cette occasion, j’ai eu le privilège de compter sur la collaboration de Valerica Pandarus, chercheur en chef sur le développement de la technologie des catalyseurs SiliaCat chez SiliCycle.

Avec un peu d’introspection, je réalise combien mon habileté de porter attention était cruciale afin de porter ce projet à terme. Il va sans dire que faire preuve de diplomatie est primordiale dans un contexte de discussions en pleine création collaborative. La version finale de la couverture en est une preuve concrète. Ceci étant dit, je ne voudrais pas non plus prendre tout le crédit pour le succès derrière le projet. Il aura été enrichissant pour moi de travailler auprès de Valerica Pandarus sur la conception de cette couverture. Elle avait non seulement une bonne idée de ce qu’elle envisageait pour la couverture, mais elle était également très ouverte à mes suggestions. Ce fût un honneur pour moi de prêter mes compétences techniques et artistiques afin d’exprimer visuellement notre chimie des idées (quel jeu de mots!).

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Valerica Pandarus, M. SC. Organometallic Synthesis Researcher. She is seen here in the process of safe hydrogenation using SiliaCat Pd0 at SiliCycle.

Au mois de mars 2008, j’ai vu pour la première fois un de mes travaux publiés. Il était question de «screenshot art» que j’avais réalisé chez Ubisoft Montréal et qui avait été utilisé dans le magazine Playstation. Je me rappelle combien j’avais aimé cette première expérience. Je suis fière de dire que cette collaboration du  RSC est ma premiere conception de couverture. Je tiens à remercier Valerica Pandarus pour sa contribution et ses suggestions inspirantes tout au long du projet. Merci également à Mario Pagliaro  qui a pris le temps de m’écrire et de connecter avec moi sur twitter. Comme toujours, grand merci à Geneviève Gingras pour un autre mandat intéressant.

Je vous invite à jeter un regard à l’article sur le site web de SiliCycle’s  (vous pouvez le télécharger en tant que PDF). Pour plus d’information au sujet de SiliCycle, visitez leur page Facebook ou bien leur site officiel. Pour plus d’information au sujet de Mario Pagliarovoici un lien vers son site web. Comme toujours, je vous invite à consulter mon portfolio sur www.ericzone.com et à visiter ma page Facebook. N’oubliez pas d’y cliquer j’aime. Vous pouvez également me trouver sur YouTube. M’avez-vous envoyé une demande de connexion via LinkedIn?

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Xmas office party tradition alive and well at SiliCycle

Cliquez ici pour l’article en français

eric_17dec_avatar1Xmas time is here. The merry time of year when people everywhere get to spend loving moments, pulled from one family gathering to the next. For many of us, xmas also means office parties. Sadly, successful office parties have become a rare breed of event. I’ve been fortunate in my life, however, to have witnessed a couple of worthy office parties. I can’t help but reminisce on those now legendary Ubisoft Montreal parties, during which I had the opportunity to film and to create a series of memorable videos (I was only able to salvage one of those videos; you can probably find the rest on Ubitube, if it still exists). This year, I was privileged to be a part of the xmas party at SiliCycle, the company in Quebec City where I am currently employed. Here’s a little rundown from a video producer’s point of view.

Family affairs

Founded in 1995, SiliCycle® Inc. is a worldwide leader in the development, the manufacturing and the commercialization of high value silica-based and specialty products for chromatography, analytical and organic chemistry (yes, I copy pasted that from their official website www.silicycle.com). The company itself is a tightly knit core of individuals that seem to have made a conscious effort to include a strong sense of family in its activities. Whereas monstrous Ubisoft events were fueled by raw Montreal geek energy and pride, SiliCycle is yet small enough to infuse its events with a true sense of camaraderie. At the core of SiliCycle is a group of friends from university who, if i’m not mistaken, mostly come from the Gaspé peninsula in Quebec, Canada. Considering the strong traditions in Gaspé, it’s no wonder that there is such an authentic family bond which permeates most activities at SiliCycle.

Inspiring Christmas video mandate

It’s in this context that, as video editor/graphics designer, I was mandated by Geneviève Gingras (head of SiliCycle marketing), to produce a series of homage videos. The objective of these videos: highlight the years of service of four SiliCycle employees during the 2016 xmas party. And so, I threw myself into this mandate with every intention of contributing to the mood of the upcoming event.

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Nicolas Bilodeau, dressed up as a news anchor for one the SiliCycle hommage video entitled ‘SiliaNews’

Green screens and roasts

Aside from offering multimedia and audiovisual support, I delved into each production with an open mind and a readiness to create. For me, each new project is the occasion to learn and to exchange with interesting people. To make a long story short, preproduction talks brought on great sketch ideas and scripts. Everybody involved had a great time contributing and filming the videos. I was also happy to get further acquainted with my colleagues. (read more about my arrival at SiliCycle in March of 2016)

My past work on various projects such as the Blackburn Podcast, coupled with my years as video editor and my diploma in audio techniques, gave me the tools I needed as production moved forward. Aside from this unique opportunity to participate on comedic/roast videos (which I seldom have a chance to do), I was eager to further my understanding of green screens. (One of the skits was set in a newsroom with an animated background borrowed on Youtube and integrated in After Effects … have a look at some of the production photos in this Flickr album)

Last minute preparations

Early morning, December 17th 2016, I accompanied colleague Renée Jacques (administrative assistant to the president of SiliCycle) to the Quebec City venue called District St-Joseph in order to prepare ourselves for the evening’s festivities. With 10 videos to show and a busy schedule, we needed to make sure everything was ready. We were greeted by District St-Joseph owner, Alain Marceau, who was kind to give us the time we needed to set up.

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Eric Mailhot – Saturday December 17th 2016 @ District in Quebec city. In the background, Renée Jacques and District people preparing the venue.


A night to be remembered

After i was done filming the evening and had shown the videos, i sat at the bar for a while, wearing my red xmas tie.

I was pleased that my colleagues enjoyed the homage videos and that my work contributed to the general mood of the evening. Somewhat an introvert, I always prefer playing the quiet observer (maybe I was an anthropologist in a past life). The evening reminded me of my true motivation as an artist. Undeniably, making people feel positive and happy is my principal incentive in any of my endeavours.

Headlining for the evening was singer Valerie Clio and a group of talented musicians (Samuel Lussier on guitar). Her stage presence was energetic and her voice was incredible.

A great many thanks

Many thanks to Renée Jacques. She skillfully took on the task of executive producer for the project, guiding each separate production and making sure everybody was in tune. After giving her a crash course on lav mics, she often took charge of mic setup and was great help with lighting for each shoot. Thank you also to Geneviève Gingras for this great project. And thanks to everybody for their participation, support and feedback before and after the reveal!

Feel free to go and have a look on my Flickr page at some photos from the evening and check out the Flickr album for the video production photos. For more information about SiliCycle, visit their Facebook page or their official website. As always, visit my online portfolio at www.ericzone.com and visit my professional Facebook page and click Like in order to keep in touch. You can also find me on Youtube. Have you sent me a contact request on LinkedIn?

Quebec City 2016 – Ericzone @ SiliCycle Marketing

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eric_quebc_iconIt is now official. I have become a truly nomadic marketing artist. As a graphic designer specializing in audiovisual production, i’ve spent most of the past decade on the island of Montreal, working for great places such as Ubisoft and Wapikoni Mobile. I’ve been privileged to work with many inspiring people, editing video for cool clients such as Pierre Blackburn and designing the logo for e-cigarette boutique La Vapoterie. In 2013, after obtaining my audio techniques diploma at Musitechnic, i was infused with a sense of purpose. This paved the way to the ‘‘Blackburn Podcast”, a francophone web show i produced with Chantal Paquin in 2014. Now, a bit further down the road, here i am in Quebec city for this latest episode of my thrilling multimedia adventure.

Winter is coming

To make a long story short, i arrived in Quebec city in early March of 2016 and was greeted by 10 foot high snow banks that towered over the cold streets of Ancienne-Lorette. I hadn’t seen that much snow in a long time. Offered accommodation by a colleague at work for the first few days, i tried AirBnb the next week, living with an architecture student and her awesome cat. The third week, i was lucky to find a cosy room in the basement of a house in a suburban area.

Every move got me closer to work, albeit too close to the polluted highway. I felt exhilarated by the new professional challenge but, at the same time, i was disappointed at how difficult it was to access Quebec’s High Tech Park on foot. I dreaded the early morning walks in the cold on the somewhat dangerous path to work. Nevertheless, i thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of the unknown. I was also quite lucky to be blessed by friendly colleagues who often gave me lifts. Thank you!

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When i look back on the past few months, i realize just how much my move to Quebec city was worth the effort. The uncertainty of my somewhat precarious living situation was inevitably eclipsed by the excitement that i felt in my newly discovered work environment. Mostly doing freelance in recent years, i had almost forgotten the thrill of contributing to a working group. It really is a pleasant vibe to be a part of a large professional ecosystem. It is equally great to be surrounded by the friendly people at SiliCycle.

The work itself is exactly what i’m meant to do at this point in my life. My experience in graphic design, branding and video editing enable me to completely immerse myself in the many inspiring projects thrown at me. At this point, i feel that i should give credit to the person who initially found me and took the time to look at my accomplishments. Geneviève Gingras had the insight to see how i could contribute to her marketing department at SiliCycle. I am grateful she reached out to me and i am equally enthusiastic to have joined her team of awesome people.

The months ahead will no doubt be productive and professionally fulfilling. I look forward to keeping you up to date on the upcoming marketing projects. SiliCycle has its roots here in Quebec and i find myself happy to be on-board and to be a part of the latest chapter in its history.

Feel free to go and have a look on my Flickr page at the photos i’ve been taking since my arrival in Quebec city. For more information about SiliCycle, visit their Facebook page or their official website. As always, visit my online portfolio at www.ericzone.com and visit my professional Facebook page and click Like in order to keep in touch. You can also find me on Youtube.