The Creative Director's Introduction to Vol. 37





This is my first time writing in my own magazine. Writing has never been a passion of mine, so it’s definitely not something I ever planned on doing when Jenn and I first started the CV Collective. I’m always happy to be in the background, playing the silent role of sorting through and assembling all the amazing content our community provides us to create this magazine.

My creative interests have always been elsewhere, so much so that while growing up (and occasionally still) my friends and family had a running joke that I was illiterate, since I was never seen reading novels. Instead, I was always hunched over my sketchbook, studying art books, flipping through my brother’s graphic novels and comics, or watching animated films and shows.

After I graduated from Capilano U’s Illustration, Design: Elements and Applications (IDEA) Program, I was hired as a graphic designer at a small design agency in Gastown, where I was able to continue building a broader knowledge of visual communications; the technical sides of digital mediums like programming websites and apps; and also tactile mediums like letterpress and litho printing, screen printing, and various manufacturing processes.

Soon after my wife and I moved back to the Comox Valley, I was introduced to a talented photographer, Jenn Dykstra, who needed a designer to help with some magazine project she had in mind.

After meeting it was clear we had the complementary knowledge and skills to make this project a reality, but more importantly we realized we shared had a deeper passion for telling the stories of this wonderful community we live in.

It was a big leap, but thanks to the interest and support of the businesses and creatives in our community, we produced our first issue. What we started as a passion side project has continued and grown for the past 10 years.

How and why we’ve been able to reach this professional milestone

This project’s success depends on a broad spectrum of knowledge and talents from many people within our community. It’s not just the creatives (writers, photographers, artists, etc.) who contribute the content for us to share in the magazine. It’s the people of the Valley, whose stories we tell, and who display their own creativity in a wide variety of pursuits and industries.

We as a species have evolved and developed a unique ability to create, and we use this as our way of connecting to the people and world around us. Early pattern recognition helped us navigate by the stars. Then we began to craft tools, clothing, and structures from the elements around us, and cultivate, harness, and grow what we needed to sustain ourselves. And we have continually developed almost infinite means of artistic expression to pass along, build on, and improve our knowledge.

Have we as humans just built ourselves a predator?

With the recent rapid growth and integration of artificial intelligence into our daily lives, humans are now at an interesting crossroads in our creative evolution. We’ve invented a tool to do more and more of the creative work and problem solving that made us unique. We have no natural predators, but have we finally just built ourselves one? Will AI remove the incentive for humans to put in the years of training and work to create our own individual forms of creativity?

Like many, I find the technology fascinating and hope to see a future where AI will be used to enrich the lives of all people around the world equally, regardless of ethnicity, culture, religion, or class. But our use and abuse of other tools, such as social media, has seemingly made us less able to share our opinions, stories, and knowledge in a meaningful and productive way. Will this new tool continue to be controlled and limited by the people and groups that develop it until it’s able to replace our desire to learn and create for ourselves? Or will it become a new way for everyone to create new, better, and faster ways to connect with each other and our natural world?

The Comox Valley Collective mandate

Regardless of how AI may shape our creative future, at the CVC, our mandate has always been, and will continue to be, to showcase the individual talents of the humans that make up the beautiful mosaic of our community.

I hope this magazine helps create a moment for you to take a break from technology, connect more with others in our community, inspire you to learn and try something new, and maybe encourage you to share some of your unique knowledge, skills, and experiences with others in the future.