I am passionate about digital marketing. Using a data-driven and artistic approach, I take on projects that can meet or exceed an organization’s long-term strategic plan. My specialties include creative and analytical communication, brand development, and marketing & sales strategies that contribute toward business sustainability, scalability & an improved customer experience.
“‘Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if only I knew how to begin.’ ‘For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.‘” – Alice In Wonderland
What happens when you lose your voice? You must force yourself to speak out loud, to as many people as possible. So often do I long to stand quietly and watch, blinking slowly at each word that exits from his mouth.
Then back to my mouth the words come again – you must speak to be free; you must believe and recount everything good that is happening. Because is it no longer impossible. It is not impossible, it is free falling.
I arrived earlier, still late, but feeling excused because of the weather. I was greeted by a girl in a salmon-coloured romper, and then shortly, another young girl looking much the same presented herself smiling. They could have been twins, but one was taller and wore a hat I could not stop examining. For my life, I forget what Jo-Ann (matriarch of the Dykstra family) called it, but alas, it was some sort of hat slash cover used to protect the face and hair from harsh elements.
I asked a quiet girl sitting on a step if she knew where Jo-Ann could be. She turned out to be the farm gardener. I asked the young girls. It was only after they cautiously pointed me in the direction of the bathroom, that I noticed a small house set stoically aside an apple tree, which the girls promptly proclaimed, “That’s the shop! She is probably in there!”
And there I found her. She had an easygoing air and quirky smile and laugh. Jo-Ann Dykstra was stocking fridges for ‘social media’, which I thought was brilliant. I appreciated that she was still preparing her farm for our visit. We had a brief introduction, then went off on our ways. I had to check if Milca, my filmmaker, had arrived, and Jo-Ann was probably considering a few other things to wrap up before filming commenced.
Other family members started to appear; each one donning a bright blue t-shirt with amusing imagery and text that accurately explained the context of their ubiquitous smirks. It was fun and again very thoughtful and made a tremendous blue background for certain shots, primarily in the greens or browns.
And so she finally arrives, with all her equipment. I am mesmerized by her calm and friendly demeanour, telling myself in my head, I need to be more like Milca. We filmed for the next 3 hours, if not more. The processing room where we witnessed son Jason laboriously creating goat mozzarella (Mt. Lehman Cheese Co.). The interview portion on the backyard veranda. The goats inside their cozy home. A new baby goat only four hours old. And best of all, daughter and grand-daughter milking the herd. Finally, a quick visit to the babbling brook known as McLennan Creek, also the name of their store as prescribed on a handmade wooden sign.
It was a great experience. It felt like I was at home, as a boarder or wanderer travelling across British Columbia who finds a remote place that offers up service, work and a sprawling, farm-set playground. It was almost too hard to leave, sharing a last-minute conversation with Jo-Ann about their upcoming open house.
If you have a chance, visit their farm and experience goat farming first hand. You will be welcomed, and I guarantee, the two young farm managers will greet you with open arms, maybe matching outfits as they did us today. You’ll want to explore and find out what a smallholding agricultural operation is like.
I am just being introduced to the world of agriculture, and I am astounded every day. I look forward to learning more about farming in the future!
Here are some photos I captured. We will be sharing our first Farm Stories video soon, so stay tuned!
One of my favorite creator’s is David Airey. He recently put out a large book titled, ID which explores his previous projects down to the nitty gritty of project management, managing expectations and design decisions. I love how it encapsulates important ideas from page to page, in bold black typeface. I’m pretty sure it’s the same one I used in my Previous Documents Presentation (more on that later).
As I was thinking what to post on next, I read from a glance –
It’s important to show how the identity will perform in a variety of contexts.
This quote quickly reminded me of some logos I designed for my social media project Blocks. So, I’ve put them together here for you, along with some other showstoppers (in my opinion).
Each image has been categorized based on identity type (e.g.: logo, label, magazine cover) and context (e.g.: exercise, influence, mission). These categories will help you to understand my focuses and interests in digital marketing, branding and design (BTW BC stands for Blox. Communications, if that wasn’t already obvious!) –
BC Stock Image
BC Magazine Cover
BC Digital Collaboration
BC Album Cover
Note: can you guess which image belongs to what category?
Let me know what you think, cheers guys! Oh, and you can check out the entire project (which ran for about 2 months) on my Instagram account chona_canlas.
This project may seem simple to you, but it challenges the idea of giving and receiving. In our digital space, we give constantly. And is the return of our efforts (ROE) measured through digital collaboration (DC) enough? Think: total impact of IQ + EQ + PQ or a new notion ascertaining digital quotient (DQ) / digital equilibrium (DE) / digital aspect ROI (DAROI). *I will explore these ideas in a future post.
When my mother received letters from her suitors (a common practice in her time), she did not write back. She kept each letter as if to say, I realize you are all interested, however I will hold in my heart, the one who is right. Is this action right? Is it just? We observe a similar practice in Japanese culture. The ritual is gift-giving (action), rather than the gift itself. Huffpost.com describes it in three steps – the reveal, the denial and the recognition. Or, revelation of intelligence + denying impact of emotionality + recognition of our role and place in digital space.
Using this interpretation, I could say that this project was aimed to reveal part of my identity/intelligence (I now question its visual and linguistic legitimacy in my current digital explorations), to reflect my denial of attaching emotion to the act of giving and receiving, and finally to sustain 2-way recognition/communication (between seller and buyer in this case) of the journey (action) itself – “For the Japanese, gratitude is a battle of endurance.”
We need to evaluate the tone and style of our expressions (gratitude being relevant today) as we delve further and further into a state of digital collaboration. We are impacted and at what point are we actually bringing more clarity to situations and circumstance? This is sort of the concept of ‘niceties’ and because I aim to maintain a certain level of accuracy in my work, details are important, but should my actions impose more or less scrutiny in regards to how my audience receives my message? This ties everything back to: total impact of IQ + EQ + PQ or a new notion ascertaining digital quotient (DQ) / digital equilibrium (DE) / digital aspect ROI (DAROI).
As you make your way through the below, try to remove feelings of assumption or judgement. Art is for everyone. Despite my specific approach, there’s a core selection from each demographic (Baby Boomer to Gen Z) that relates to my work in its simplest form, in other words – the visual and the language. For this project, I give it back to them!
Abstract – slash / roboto / elephant
This project started out with a photoshoot. I was dressed as Wenda (Where’s Waldo’s girlfriend) and my friend Allegra and I captured a series of images in and around Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia, Canada. There was lunch at Troll’s (fish and chips of course) and a brief introduction/chat with family business owner Ab Troll. Then, tea at another local establishment Flour Bakery and the final shot – me peering over … The Giant Hedge.
I developed the concept around a youthful, graffiti-inspired (old BLOX style) rendering of sweetness or the sweet spot/’magic’ that we often search for in our interactions with brands and art projects in general. My old style was always striking, vibrant and street culture inspired. Think – Keith Haring meets baby Andy Warhol.
The first portion centres around strategy, the next on my Social Seller & Social Buyer personas and finally, the Wenda portion (introducing myself within a specific context) finalizes the presentation. I printed the images on glossy card stock and hand-cut each one with a paper cutter. The final presentation resembled 7-inch vinyl singles and are displayed most effectively in a stack, layed out as placards on a table or mounted onto a wall with colourful binder clips (yellow, purple or stainless steel would work).
Along with my visual presentation, I designed a series of stickers that were printed on matte sticker paper and cut by hand. I then assembled the stickers, one by one, into individual, resealable plastic bags. Two of the images are BLOX identity concepts. The one with the primary color wheel represents right-brained or creative BLOX and the other with the black and white bunny mascot (and letter B branded roboto typeface mouth) represents left-brained or technical BLOX. The remainder stickers were simple and fun applications of imagery used in the presentation. To top the set off, I made a collaborative-style logo (powered by) for the agency I was presenting to.
As a fun treat and tribute to the jam jar (featured in several of the images), I filled a couple of clear canisters with bright fruit candy (I once had a banana necklace) to match the colour theme and concept of sweetness. I also included a book containing 85 pages of work samples and creative/technical resources – collateral, white papers and articles. The book was bound using the specifications below:
8.5″ x 11″
Double Sided, Colour
Colour Laser, 98 Bright, 32-lb.
Binding – Wireless Binding – Black
Standard front cover
Pastel Yellow, 90-lb. Index
Standard back cover
Pastel Yellow, 90-lb. Index
The final products were wrapped in colourful confetti paper and fastened with two Jelly Marketing stickers. Everything was arranged bento-style in an unobtrusive Staples box with a package of fun pastel highlighters and a final ‘hello’ letter placed on top.
I am eternally dedicated to my work and process. This project was a homage to my academic background as a printmaker and street identity as a writer. When I was practicing regularly, the art forms themselves took shape. There was no plan, just creation. I would compare it to writing and reading classical music. I can’t really compare it to anything else. But my efforts today are different. They are positioned around understanding and fully utilizing the creative + technical aspects of my brain. So, now there is a need to plan and there is a need to create, but by having a specific outcome in mind.
At the end of it all, this has generated the foundation of A Brand Strategy. You will hear more about this in the coming year.
A few quick work goals for 2020 –
Find a job that I’m happy about
Develop Digital Presence business model
Develop A Brand Strategy
Next up: who’s down for white, black and corporate-friendly? Is it time to revisit my Digital Presence business model? Yes/No?
The question remains – To mail or not to mail? To give or not to give? To receive or not to receive? What matters most? Having or expecting? Waiting or forgetting? Are you a yes-man or a no-sayer? Check back guys!
Here are a few graphic art/design pieces I put together over the past couple of months using my own photographs, Pic Collage + Canva.
My images flow from one to the next. It’s not intentional, it happens. Lately, I’ve been focused on using two hues, often complimentary. This enables our emotions and makes us think – is the content more striking or the context? There are also 2-3 characters fighting for the space. Can you identify them? What kind of plot line would you tell about these pictures?
People wonder what I do, how I do it and why (golden circle). My blog provides answers to these questions.
To get you started, here is a profile and business model that I have been developing for BLOX/Blox. Communications.
As BLOX –
I do writing, art and design.
I do it for enjoyment, for education and for the development of my brain.
My work targets a specific niche that caters to creative and technical authors, digital artists and designers who are innovative yet mainstream, and who work passionately and effectively in their particular domains.
As Blox. Communications –
I do branding, marketing and sales.
I do it for guidance, for learning and for the development of my ideal customer/source audience (1000 followers on Instagram by September 2020).
My work targets a specific niche that caters to brand experts, marketers and digital specialists who are innovative yet mainstream, and who work passionately and efficiently in their particular domains.
I’m excited to share this information with you and welcome any comments.
Blox is an artistic identity that was developed in the early 2000s. Since then, it has become a moniker for Chona’s creative + technical work embodying explorations of (a concept called) Digital Presence. She explores its relationship to topics surrounding the business and execution of art in digital marketing.
It is important to focus on our direct connection to customer needs, emotions and competitive environments. Selling is often an important feature and for success, we should present fluent work for customers to engage with.
As a creative director, Chona dreams of influencing the corporate landscape, impacting HOW and WHY companies use art in digital marketing applications. For the next year or so, she plans to either upgrade her educational background or find a permanent position with an agency open to art, growth and creation.
In order to breed success, I understand that I must learn the ins and outs of working in an ad environment, how to manage marketing clients and how to fit in with the demands of a competitive and ever-changing industry.
This business model creates objective goals for my work as a digital specialist, social media/brand strategist and creative director focused on Digital Presence. I would like to create projects that incite wonder, plus change. I believe my experience and approach can create long-term impact for clients engaged with today’s latest digital platforms.
I will ask you this about your business:
How did it all begin?
What does your business need help with today?
What is the spirit of your company?
How can we improve your Digital Presence?
a) To develop BRAND IDENTITY via transparent, accurate & responsible communication.
b) To promote GROWTH + ATTENTION using state of the art processes and techniques.
c) To cultivate COMPREHENSION of digital presence using a Simpler & Larger approach.
Simpler & Larger – To produce work that is easily understood and done, so that businesses can consider a greater capacity.
1. INTEGRITY is a choice of being honest; it encompasses consistent standards & ideas that impact a greater picture.
2. TRANSPARENCY is how actions are observable; it brings clarity & accuracy to communication where multiple parties are involved.
3. BELIEF is trust and confidence in our audience and work; it promotes the realities of the digital landscape through careful management of the creative process & its outcomes.
I approach my work with professionalism, courage and open-mindedness. I break it down this way –
I) Be professional; make a statement.
II) Have courage to make large moves; understand the difference between path and journey.
III) Be optimistic; express gratitude – open-mindedness can create a tidal wave effect.
The Customer Journey
This document is updated regularly, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Hi everyone! Do you think about what you’re doing when you dive into a pool? Most of us are probably counting down or counting in (up people). Let’s explore sensory marketing!
Per @AlisteMarketing, sensory marketing is a method of selling products. It is a form of marketing that influences our perception of brands using multi-sensory experiences to establish positive emotional connections.
For example, in web development and social media management you can combine the IDEA of audial, visual and tactile cues (think of ‘3D forms’ that impart tangibility and distinctive qualities to your content and design) to produce a highly memorable experience. This will help build anticipation of the service and/or product you are representing.
I say idea because the future of branding will remove all literal association. It won’t be required in our digital age. With the concept and on the other end, a way to serve it up, born is a style of marketing that encroaches art. This won’t be fear-based and cannot be avoided by the mainstream. Marketers will simply use the most base and recognized forms of digitization to attract a target audience.
So to expand, our senses make it REAL. As in, AI. A sense is a cue to uncover a more elaborate idea. For example, I smell cinnamon. I am now picturing Cinnabon. Drive by. What’s more powerful? Seeing a Cinnabon sign or smelling their cinnamon? Our senses tell us what we want and what we don’t need.
Again, this is attached to our personal experience. What we didn’t have growing up. What we had too much of as a child. The ultimate irony with sensory marketing is that it removes attachment to the branding experience, but we still invest in the product! This is ubiquity — there; not based on want, but desire.