Ribbon Rouge Presents: Amanda Schutz

TOMORROW is the big day everyone!  It’s been a long road to this point and we are bubbling with anticipation since there is only ONE more day before Ribbon Rouge #8!  This year’s theme is QUEEN: Women who inspire and motivate us to be difference makers in our community.  You can still get your tickets for Ribbon Rouge online here.  And if you can’t make the show this weekend please donate instead!


Today we are showcasing Amanda Schutz, a business owner, creative designer, illustrator and president of the Alberta North Chapter of the Graphic Designers of Canada program.  She and her students are helping craft some of the amazing artwork that will be displayed at this year’s Ribbon Rouge Gala showcasing our amazing QUEENS.  We had a chat with Valery about the things that motivate her, drive her and make her the compelling personality she is.

Ribbon Rouge: For those who might not know you, who are you and what do you do?

Amanda Schutz: My name is Amanda Schutz, I’m the owner and creative director at Curio Studio. Curio is a boutique graphic design firm specializing in branding, graphic design and illustration. The studio has been creating honest, authentic, client focused design since 2002.

I’m also an illustrator. I create illustrations for Curio clients, exhibitions of personal work, commissions and teach illustration in the Design Studies program at MacEwan University.

Finally, last but not least, I’m the president of of the Alberta North Chapter of the Graphic Designers of Canada.

RR: What is the GDC, and why is it important? (this is from gdc.net but explains it very well)

AS: The GDC is Canada’s National Certification Body for Graphic and Communication Designers.

GDC has been Canada’s national certification body for graphic and communication designers since 1956, establishing professional standards and actively regulating professional conduct. GDC is a member-based organization of design professionals, educators, administrators, students and affiliates in communications, marketing, media and design-related fields. Our members come together to advance the profession, grow professionally, mentor each other, show off their work, and enjoy the camaraderie.

As Canada’s national certification body for graphic and communication designers, GDC licenses the unique CGD™ certification mark only to designers, educators and administrators whose services meet rigorous, standardized criteria. The CGD certification mark is recognized across Canada.

GDC is a not-for-profit, adaptive and vibrant organization fueled by member participation. Members are encouraged to become involved with and access GDC through their local Chapter.

The National Council is essentially the united nations of GDC chapters, consisting of representatives from all over the country. The National Executive is the organizing and governing board of GDC. It is comprised of elected representatives who are charged with the responsibility of executing strategic initiatives and directions developed at the annual general meetings.


RR: To what capacity have you been involved in the GDC – Ribbon Rouge Student mentorship?

AS: I worked with Valéry and Iwona (GDC Education chairs) to help support them in coordinating the project and meeting all of the goals. I attended the client meetings and mentorship nights with the students to help out wherever possible.

RR: How’d you get started as an artist?

AS: I have been expressing myself through drawing and painting for most of my life. I took a design and illustration program at MacEwan University 16 years ago and found that I could apply my curiosity and artistic skills into a professional career.

RR: Do you think it is important to mentor student artists and why?

AS: I feel this is very important because we all deserve to have somebody give us guidance and advice at the beginning of our careers. This can build long lasting and meaningful relationships where you can mentor over and over with the same person or someone different. Also, its great for the mentor because working with younger creatives can give a different perspective or reinvigorate passion and excitement in your career.

RR: Our theme this year is QUEEN! It is an ode to powerful women who have positively influenced us by their lives. What does this mean to you?

AS: I think alot about what I can do to contribute to helping girls and women succeed given that I have had so much help in my own career. I have been very blessed in my life with a partner, friends, family and colleagues who support me in my artistic endeavours and encourage my (sometimes) wild ideas. I like to keep pushing myself with new challenges and I would not be able to keep momentum going without being surrounded by amazing women… fellow designers, business women, clients and colleagues that I can lean on for advice or feedback.


RR: Do you have a Queen (inspiration)? Who & Why?

AS: I admire so many women. If I were to pick an artist I would choose Georgia O’Keefe for her fierce passion and independance. If I were to pick someone in Edmonton today, I would choose Darka Tarnawky of Bottomline Productions as I have much respect for her as a genuine, kind, successful business woman.

RR: What are you currently working on?

AS: Right now I am just finishing up a year long illustration project for Rutherford House, a children’s book called Rutherford the Time Travelling Moose. Curio is working on a variety of branding projects right now for arts organizations, small businesses and the University of Alberta. I am also working on a new illustration project for a children’s play about a librarian in Iran.

RR: What stands out for you as one of your favourite career highlights so far?

AS: I have had many creatively fulfilling projects for sure, but if I were to pick a career highlight, it would be when MacEwan University presented me with a Distinguished Alumni award a few years ago at their annual Convocation.

RR: What’s the favourite part of your job?

AS: I like many things about my job because I like things to be different all the time. Variety is the spice of life! I would say my favourite would be coming up with the initial concepts for my own work or helping my co-workers through the projects they are creating. I get energy from collaborating with others and feel like when we work together as a team it can be so rewarding. I also like eating desserts and snacks in the office with my co-workers.

RR: Any other Alberta artists you’d recommend?

AS: I absolutely love the work of Pulp Studios (Kelly and Cory). We were so fortunate to have Cory come for one of our mentoring nights with the Ribbon Rouge students. Edmonton is filled with talented artists and illustrators.

RR: What does Ribbon Rouge mean to you?

AS: The project itself felt very meaningful as we learned so much about what this event does for the community. I found it especially moving to hear personal stories and history of the Queens that were illustrated. Mostly, I was really woken up to how little our society knows about HIV and all of the misconceptions around the illness. I feel this project overall gave our organization (GDC) a great opportunity to work with a non-profit client to create meaningful illustrations that contribute to something very important and worthwhile.

RR: Where can we find you/ more of your work?

AS: Visit curiostudio.ca or amandaschutz.com! I am on instagram/twitter at @whatiscurio and @amandaschutzie


Amanda and her students will be presenting their incredible art works celebrating our QUEENS at Ribbon Rouge this Saturday.  Join them to celebrate our QUEENS at the Ribbon Rouge Gala being held at the ATB Arts Barn.  You can still buy tickets for Ribbon Rouge 2015 online here.  The show will start at 7pm sharp this year.

Ribbon Rouge #8

When: November 28, 2015 Doors open at 6pm; Show at 7pm SHARP

Where: ATB Financial Arts Barns