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Learning from a pro
Graphic designer returns home for workshops with Western Arctic Moving Pictures

Nicole Garbutt
Northern News Services
Published Friday, May 10, 2013

He's done movie posters for Spike Lee, concert posters for Peaches and Crystal Castles and recently received a shout out from Snoop Dogg during a TV interview. Cody Fennell is a graphic designer born and raised in Yellowknife who has been making a name for himself in Vancouver.

NNSL photo/graphic

This photo-shopped image depicts Cody Fennell's Photoshop for beginners class on Tuesday, which was hosted by Western Arctic Moving Pictures. The workshop is one of many classes scheduled to be held by the Yellowknife-born graphic designer this week. - Photoshop illustration courtesy of Cody Fennell

He returned North last weekend and is now leading workshops with Western Arctic Moving Pictures (WAMP). The workshops began on May 6 and run until May 18.

Fennell said the last time he was in Yellowknife was for Christmas visiting family, but the last time he was here doing something related to his field was about a year ago,when he helped out behind the scenes with WAMP's Yellowknife International Film Festival. Fennell is also the designer behind the festival's signature posters.

"This is the first time I've done workshops so it is definitely new territory for me," he said.

Starting with Photoshop for beginners earlier this week, followed by an advanced course held on Wednesday and Thursday, Fennell is now scheduled to be running an Illustrator workshop until tomorrow.

He also plans to hold workshops for beginners and advanced in Premiere Pro and InDesign.

Having a wide range of workshops was something WAMP was interested in doing, he said.

"Because I went to school and have had courses on all these subjects. I have the knowledge and I use all the programs in my day-to-day work I figured I would be able to lend some of that knowledge to people."

Fennell said in the short time he has been back so far he definitely notices a community of people doing graphic work.

"Especially with WAMP, Yellowknifers have to make up their own fun and it's nice that there are people dedicated to doing that," he said.

Fennell attended Langara College in Vancouver and took an electronic and media design course that he said focused on anything you can do in an electronic medium.

"Everything you can imagine, they touch on. It is not a long course, kind of a Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none type of thing," he laughed. "I'd like to be a Jack of all trades, master of some."

Fennell said after he leaves Yellowknife, he will be attempting to work on his new website this summer. "I want it to come out with a bang, with a new vibe and a more mature feel to it," he said. "Hopefully over the summer."

In the meantime, Fennell has been busy with lots of design work.

A documentary on Michael Jackson titled Bad 25, made by Spike Lee, is using a design Fennell made.

"It's a huge deal. I never thought my name would be attached to a Michael Jackson product," Fennell said.

The design was originally made for the promotional posters, but will now be used on the DVD case for the film. Fennell was hired again by Lee for Red Hook Summer, the sixth film in his Chronicles of Brooklyn series.

If residents are interested in signing up for any of Fennell's workshops this coming week they can contact WAMP.

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