Creative Cloud Event from Adobe hits Toronto

Our friends at Adobe is putting together an exciting event around Creative Cloud this Friday, June 20th, 2014 at DX. We will be attending and look forward to seeing you there. Check out the deats below and RSVP your spot. Spaces are limited:

RSVP >>>

Adobe worldwide evangelists will be coming to a city near you. Join us to see the latest in Adobe Creative Cloud since CS6. Learn new features that make everyday tasks easier and faster and how support for cutting-edge hardware and standards will free you to build anything you can imagine. Get answers to your questions and get inspired by designers who are creating amazing work.

To find more Creative Cloud events to attend around the world, go to:

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Personal Reflections | the good and bad of Google Glass

Now, I might be a bit premature to say this; but for those of you who actually excited of Google’s latest hush hush project; this surely deserves a huge top up mention – Google Glass. Check out the clip below and be prepared to be blown.


After visualizing this; for the first time of my life; I said to myself – this is totally getting worth getting my hands on. And for the price tag of $1800 its a sweet deal. Don’t you think? So I can imagine, how many of my own friends and industry developers want to take the right steps to submit for this sweet tool. Almost instantly, I know a good handful.

Nevertheless, it was till I saw this video in my facebook feed from our friends at Atendy; got me thinking a bit further:

As much as I love the concept of formulating a way to meet someone in a crowd; based on mutual interests or area of expertise. We are pretty much killing all our options of having a decent leading up conversation; truly opening doors to all opportunities that come to our way. Sure Google Glass could potentially help our world economy find stuff better, meet a potential mate or even help in the decline of high divorce rates. But seriously what will happen – when human interaction has gone into the poopers. Are we building toward a social-less society or have we found a way to advance our skills beyond the means of true greatness?

In short, as much as I love the concept and the ideation of Google Glass coming to our palms. I just keep wondering, how much harder do we need to work to be part of the “in group”. To be more socially found. To be part of the community. Accepted for who we are and not for you want us to be.

What do you think?

creative director/co-founder

Posted in Personal Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Better to do in a short life than do in a long


A good friend of mine, Natalia Kantor shared me a truthful and inspirational clip; that surely should change your life by stating the fact of our surroundings and how as individuals we have been raised. I’d like you to take just over 3 minutes and gander on this piece: Tragedy and Hope.


Creative Director/Co-founder

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is who you know, overrated?


Karnpreet Singh, UI Designer - India

If you reflect back in time; when the cream of the crop was simply around every corner and job hunting was determined based on who you know over what you know; then you think this still applies in this day and age. Well my friends, your dead wrong.

Thanks to Social Media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and lots more behind them … who you know doesn’t hold much value as what once been. Thanks to social media; we have become one big blub of goo… mushed together; short from anything special. So .. what can be done to get noticed? It’s not networking… or picking up every card that comes in-front of you. Going out to events, meeting people. Bah! Networking…

As a creative; your better than that. Be your own line opener. Show quality over quantity. Build a hub of like-minded personalities that not only compliment to your shoes but make you a better and stronger creative. Be their cream of the crop and truly the recommended voice in their every mind. You want networking? Do it in your own terms; BE the cream. Don’t follow what million of other folks are doing. So so Wrong!

Personally, I found attending smaller engagements have helped me build my personal brand better. I have become the recommended source on their next recruiting and direction projects; the contact of choice on their upcoming efforts or on their greatest dilemmas. I’m just perfect in putting the right solutions together – be it the right people, resources & tips or even tool integrations. However, when attending large gatherings; I just don’t get the same flavour by nights end.. I have to work harder to remember who I met and what we discussed about. That said my advice, be selective – its not who you know; it’s how you know them.

Until the next one.

Creative Director/Co-founder

/team padpholio
– Ali-Reza Asarizadeh, Advisor
– Hanna Tran, Co-founder
– Patrick Hojjat, Co-founder
– Paul Ding, Senior Developer
– Jeffrey Luzuriaga, Junior Developer


Posted in Personal Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How the Grinch stole padpholio



In November of 2012; there was a fight to the finish among the powers on the future of padpholio. The truth of the matter is while 3 co-founders came together to build a stronger, a smarter and more beneficial platform to help creatives to be better noticed, each of the founders had their own intent on the future of the community at large.

As time progressed and inputs build up, padpholio made more internal frictions than stronger portfolios. In the Spring of 2012, ShowBook Week was introduced to the creative community. A day and evening event that allowed creative talent to have one-one-one opportunity to meet creative heads on their portfolios. To be guided better, to promote their works, to have direction. The event was a total success. In October of 2012, ShowBook Week returned for the second time. What’s more ShowBook Week was an opportunity as a team to hear our community interests in our platform, voices of concerns and thoughts to make us better.

It is in this one, I “tm mahdi” fought for every creative that provided us input; for every designer who put up their works online and for every talent who put pride behind their work. “Enough is Enough“, padpholio who had a service advantage to give back to the market.. now strive to catch against all the newest industry competitors. I stood my ground along my team of developers to bring back what we lost.

2012 has been a very good year for us. Lots of work been initiated and accomplished and lots more to do, fix and apply in the year ahead. The vision of the team has surely changed since the idea was first created. The vision did not change because of our competitors or because of our community, it was because the co-founders couldn’t see eye-to-eye. Tasks assigned by one founder, tend to not to be followed-up by another, internal processes keep changing by other members and not by project managers and new features become developed without any discussion by the team leaving all the existing offerings … buggy.

The Christmas Grinch came early, 2013 holds strong with Shareholder Patrick Hojjat, CTO stepping down from padpholio. From early November till just before the new year, padpholio has been guided and directed by me. Our developers have been hard at work to fix and apply a buggy-free platform, stronger navigation and a more intuitive voice to the community at large. Of course after 2+ years building up padpholio; there is lots more to do to bring back the platform to where it was.

In part of this rejuvenating effort, padpholio first two quarters of 2013 will be in preview mode. Upon the satisfaction of myself and the team, followed by the growing of our subscriber list, I will reinstate padpholio’s private beta status from 2.01. This application will apply back the unfinished works developed by Patrick and move continuously forward in the best interest of our supporters. To be challenged, resourceful, innovative and creative to the community.

Until the next release, keep it fruitful

Creative Director/Co-founder

/team padpholio
– Ali-Reza Asarizadeh, Advisor
– Hanna Tran, Co-founder
– Patrick Hojjat, Co-founder
– Paul Ding, Senior Developer
– Jeffrey Luzuriaga, Junior Developer

Posted in Announcements, devCrunch | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Industry News | Adobe buys Behance


Adobe buys behance just in time for Christmas.

During the holidays, I have spent a considerable time day in and day out watching on the tube Christmas stories; from the Naughty & Nice List to Candy Cane Street. 2012 has been a very strong year among creatives and platforms like ours. Lots of good and of course bad stories to share. Of course; I sure to keep you in the loop on every little and big development that makes you great; while putting our 2013 on the map even stronger.










Now to the main story of the season, A word from Behance,

Our mission continues: we want to empower creative people and teams to make ideas happen. We believe that a free and open platform to showcase work – and get discovered – will serve creative careers in extraordinary ways. Not only will we leverage Adobe’s resources to further build Behance, but we have been tasked with the responsibility to influence and improve Adobe’s services for the creative community – making them more collaborative and in sync with the future of creative workflow.

In practical terms, our team will continue to implement our (very ambitious) roadmap for Behance and integrate Behance features into Adobe’s services. We are eager to translate the site into multiple languages and leverage the latest technology to display creative work. 99U, our annual conference, and all of our efforts to educate and organize the creative community will continue to grow. And finally, we will explore new opportunities to move the creative industry forward, through better discovery applications, more transparency in the creative process, and providing access to the data behind the creative world at work.

Adobe has made some bold changes lately, including (1) breaking the traditional software package model with Creative Cloud, an affordable subscription for Adobe’s creative tools and services, (2) the acquisition of Typekit as a big step forward in offering services that make the web better, (3) doubling down on HTML5, and (4) becoming a more active contributor to open source essentials like jQuery, PhoneGap and WebKit and developing new open source-based web tools and services that will evolve the web as we know it (   We’re thrilled to lead the next bold move: making community a central part of Adobe’s future. No doubt, the future of creative careers will depend on attribution and exposure for creative work, as well as tools to connect, learn, and get opportunity.

We couldn’t be more excited for the road ahead.

Reflection On The Road Behind

This occasion also prompts reflection on the path we’ve taken as a team. We bootstrapped for five years, made plenty of mistakes and discoveries, and constantly reworked our products, business, and process. Over the years, we’ve become both a team and a family. In good times and challenging times, our mission kept us together and moving forward. Most of all, your stories – and your work – kept us inspired and humble. We are deeply grateful to the Behance community, and we aspire to build a better Behance that enhances your creations and career in the years to come.

We’ll do our very best to exceed your expectations.

Behance Team


So what does that mean for the creative community? Well folks, the future is strong and creatives as we know it are aggressively looking to get noticed. Behance sure has most of the buttons in play and the support of Adobe will sure give them what they need. This creative scene will still be growing and thriving without a doubt. And adobe will buy again.

Until the next read.
Happy Holidays

Creative Director

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Personal Reflections | From Nepal to Canada – Entering the Creative Scene


A recently landed Nepali Immigrant and Volunteer of ShowBook Week 12.2, Pawana Shrestha, took the liberty to write us her first-hand observation of our week long portfolio review engagement. Pawana covers some great points of how it is in Nepal vs here in Canada from noted agencies. This is a recommended read for anyone who want to enter the creative market, be it Canadian or with International experience.


If you have these questions, padpholio ShowBook Week event is the right platform to get you your answers! The idea of this event is boundless as it helps designers to have one-to-one portfolio review session with the design industries’ Creative/Art Director for feedback. A true entry point into the industry.

The event is not limited to recent graduates, rather is open to anyone who is willing to have a creative voice and promote better creativity in the design industry. Being a new comer myself to Canada, with back home (Nepal) study and work experience in
architecture and general graphic designs, it was a great experience for me to volunteer in
Padpholio’s ShowBook Week event. I personally observed the ShowBook Week event for two days, where Jeff Mann, Creative Catalyst of Method Creative Studio and Pietro Gagliano, Creative Director/Partner of Secret Location reviewed portfolio of a Toronto based graphic designer, Judith Viale.

Judith is doing her part-time internship at a Magazine; while in search to be an industry full timer. Judith had not only one review, but two. One with Jeff and the other with Pietro. Jeff, advised her with better techniques to apply for jobs. Applying on jobs are commonly practiced via emails now-a-days; however Jeff highly recommends the door-to-door approach for added noticeability. “Come with a physical portfolio and design prints on hand”, Jeff mentions. The evolution of the idea is the main focal he looks in a portfolio. To clarify, ‘Design methods can be taught, but not the ideas’. For a portfolio to be strong, Jeff suggests designers to develop one’s own style and be consistent in the design.

He points out on Judith’s portfolio, to have typeface and signature on letter pad designs to be more realistic. While in a poster design, he suggested having subtle background to focus on main concept. In branding, he prefers to see – design incorporated in the identity’s color. He adds, ‘headline, brand logo, company website and its advertisement slogan makes an advertisement complete’.

While Pietro Gagliano carried out a different approach of recruiting than Jeff Mann. Being engaged in digital interactive industry, Pietro prefers a portfolio in a digital format. It was amazing to hear him say that he only takes 6 seconds to have hiring decision when he looks into someone’s portfolio. That is why the first 2-3 pieces of design in a portfolio are the most determining factors for a hiring process for him. If your portfolio is appealing enough to draw his attention more, congratulations! You are IN into his company. In Pietro’s case, he prefers the attendance of his team that’s why “location location location” matters most with each applicant.

Jeff and Pietro had their own insight towards the hiring process, the key features that they look into a good portfolio were same. Alike Jeff’s suggestions, Pietro too considers a good portfolio that has consistency on design with color, logo, identity that makes the design more specific. He suggests working on main design first and complementing the rest with subtle designs. Pietro is a very detail oriented creative and a perfectionist; moreover he has a very good train of eye. He prefers the designs of letter pad, envelope, and visiting card in its real size in a portfolio.

Your single discrepancy in font size or type, color or idea would not be skipped off Pietro’s eyes; you will be caught right there!

The feed-backs of both the industry leaders, Jeff Mann and Pietro Gagliano, were not only
helpful to Judith, but were very informative to me. I explored Toronto’s graphic scene through the explanatory responses of the leading designers. The graphic design market in Nepal is not that big as here as in Canada. It’s not been long that the concept of graphic design evolved in Nepal; and unfortunately there are no academic courses on it so far. You can only find computer training institute where designing Softwares are taught, but not the principles of design. The common practice on Web/Graphic design in Nepal includes websites, magazines, advertisement and package design for big and multifaceted companies. Since Nepal has fewer numbers of large companies, there is low demand of graphic design too. However, understanding of importance of graphic designing for company growth has been increasing these days by even small and personal businesses in Nepal. So, the Nepali graphic design industry seems to flourish better in near future. In Canada, most businesses are through chain and they are aware of their corporate identity. Having high competition in Canadian business market, the business companies want to unify their image through branding consistency.

The need of graphic and digital interactive media is higher due to the competition of businesses, which has further resulted in the high competition among the different graphic designing companies too.

- Pawana Shrestha


Where is Pawana now?
ShowBook Week has presented Pawana with a lot of insight of the creative scene. Persuaded to make it in this market; and through the guidance and inputs of attending Creative Directors; she has decided to step into the field by learning how it is here in Canada. First step – School! Next – Build up a portfolio.

As the Creative Director of padpholio, I look forward to see the growth and development of Pawana since her last portfolio review. And would be happy to list future blog posts of personal and industry reflections just like this one; from Pawana and others in our fine industry.

Till next time…

creative director/co-founder

Posted in Events, Personal Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ShowBook Week brings YOU Jobs!


at 12.2

When we held our last ShowBook Week this past April, we did not only have real industry home-grown talent on our hands, we carried an array of fruitful creatives, designers and programmers to boot. And a mist all the creative crowd, came industry experienced and distinctive Creative and Art Directors from Toronto’s hardworking and award winning agencies. They attended to participate in something no other… a one-on-one hands-on engagement for 45 straight minutes. Each of our attending guests came out with something special. To some it was direction, input and the ability to promote their work; to others it was a voice to call home to. While for the rest, it was a job; a contract; an opportunity to be noticed by.

For talented Illustrator, like Gabriella Yangi Guo and expressive Producer, Gwen Lim-Brydson it has been a financially rewarding experience to this day. “We simply got what we paid for and more” by attending to ShowBook Week. They are some of few talented creatives who had their books-out and landed with something a-lot more.

From October 20th till 26th, ShowBook Week returns with avenges. 6 Awesome Creative Directors willing to push up their sleeves and get down to make your books better. So what it does it mean to you? For $22 a seat you will be able to book your spot with a director of your choice. You will be given 45 minutes with that one director to be intimate with. UHHMM.. we mean on your books not that other thing…sheesh!! Internet is provided to you if need one, even a report card on your books filled with hand-written tips, suggestions, contacts that you probably never imagined having in one-sitting. Don’t hesitate to bring with you lots of cards. Your not only meeting up with the Director, you will be given a chance to exchange with others just like YOU. It’s an industry of collaboration. And best of all, you will be provided with your own upgraded beta portfolio on  Though we are hard at work in making our platform better, padpholio has been gaining lots of notice by recruiters, agencies and industry collaborators.

We are here to get you noticed. Flat out truth!!

To see who is participating and how to register your seat, visit us at ShowBook Week. And HEY!! Don’t forget to share us to all your creative friends who might want to get more on from their works. We all want more.. don’t we??

Until next time…



Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEWS: ShowBook Week 12.2 hits Toronto on October 20th

After the success of the very first ShowBook Week last April catered to Toronto’s creative communities. It was simply a shut case that we have to do this again. The feed back from Creative Directors and Interactive Art Directors; the input of young and seasoned talent and the opportune this week long engagement provided to everyone – was a clear indication … we were on something right. Something this market needed and something we proud to say the least – we are the first to make ShowBook Week a reality.

I bet your wondering, what the heck is ShowBook Week and why me as a designer, illustrator, developer, photographer, artist, videographer or an all around happy happy fellow could benefit from this. Simply put,

ShowBook Week is an intimate 1-on-1 showcase of Senior and Lead Creatives providing hands-on portfolio knowledge, guidance and direction to industry talented designers and visual artists over their books.

With ShowBook Week 12.2,  our talented guests will gain a unique perspective, a voice, real contacts, absolute knowledge and new-found engagement with possibilities of work. In this edition from October 20th till 26th in 3 secret city spots, we have reserved 23 seats to have a 45-minute experience with their portfolios and their Director’s of choice attending from Toronto’s sweetest shops – Secret Location, Method, Anderson DDB, Iconica Communications and our very own home base – padpholio.

Alkarim Nasser, BNOTIONSWhat better reason to come out that to participate an evening with President & Founder, Alkarim Nasser of BNOTIONS at the 6th Annual Prospecting Freelancer happening on Tuesday, October 23rd at Toronto’s East End… This lead discussion will cover the triumph and challenges Alkarim faced to make it where he is today. He will share his story and what he has learned in his path of discovery to becoming a successful freelancer to a mogul in the digital innovation sector. Join us and feel free to share this memorable evening with your friends.

It costs $22 to attend ShowBook Week with every 45-minute session booked with a Creative/Art Director. $15 to Prospecting Freelancer with Alkarim Nasser. Spots are limited. Director List below:



Art Director, Loe Russell | Anderson DDB
Detail to follow… stay tuned…

  • Near Dundas W & University (location will be emailed to registrants only)

Creative Catalyst, Jeff Mann | Method
Passionate, strategic and eclectic best describe Jeff’s approach to creative work. Plucked from Humber College Ad & Graphic Design, Jeff jumped right into the deep end of the ad game, producing ads for Mercedes-Benz, CIBC, Nestle (Coffee Crisp), Coors Light and Coca-Cola with a roster of agencies that included Lowe/Roche and Draft FCB. His experience on the agency side led him to be recruited by one of the worlds most loved brands, Virgin Mobile. Initiating the role of creative director from the company’s Canadian start-up phase, he was responsible for the overall VM Canada visual brand design. Jeff thrives on the potential of big ideas, creative innovation and entrepreneurship. It is not surprising that when the opportunity arose, he founded Method Creative Studios Inc. In 2010 he was named Youth Entrepreneur of the Year by the Toronto Business Development Centre in recognition of his work building Method. Jeff is currently launching his third business,, a VC backed online marketplace for buying and selling 3D stock models and assets.

  • Near University & Dundas (address will be emailed to registrants only)

Creative Director / Partner, Pietro Gagliano | Secret Location
Spirited and innovative Creative Director, Pietro Gagliano has always had the knack for combining seemingly disparate concepts and channels into creations that heighten user perceptions, interaction, and experiences. To date, as Partner and Creative Director of Secret Location, he has both carved out a career merging disciplines and platforms, as well as a unique niche space his agency now regularly plays in. Pietro and his award-winning work have been recognized by the creative and interactive communities through numerous awards and nominations including: an International Emmy, a Gemini Award, multiple FWAs, Webby Awards, and a Cannes Lion nomination. Drawing from over 12 years experience in branding, motion graphics, videography, interactive design, and web development, Pietro is a true multidisciplinary digital native. He has done work for clients that include Coca-Cola, Nissan, the National Film Board of Canada, Smirnoff, Nickelodeon, and HBO. When he’s not creating ground breaking work with his team, he may be found watching a space documentary or collecting parts for his robot cat.

  • Near Yonge & Queen (location will be emailed to registrants only)

Art Director, Trevor Joyce | Iconica Communications
Trevor founded ICONICA Communications in September 2002 and has grown it into a service oriented company focused on helping it’s clientele exceed their sales and meet their business goals. After completing Graphic Design he continued to focus on a career within the print and marketing industry over the past 12 years. Iconica is a design, print photography and web hot house that helps its clients create, maintain or improve their visual identity and increase sales.

  • Near Yonge & Queen (location will be emailed to registrants only)

Creative Director, Tm Mahdi | padpholio
Tm holds a forever love to educating oneself. With over a decade in life skills, he has founded one of the fastest growing small business web development enterprises to one of the most recognized and only directories in its sector. Tm has been involved in various projects and initiatives + orchestrated over 34 events to date around entrepreneurship for creative professionals and aspiring startups. Tm has held various executive positions to this day. And is currently Chief Creative Director at PYLOT; Co-founder/ Creative Director of padpholio, Managing Partner at OpenH and the Directing Curator at Cg6 Inc. He’s a busy man…

  • Near King & Spadina (location will be emailed to registrants only)

Until next time…


Questions? Call 1416.238.6881






Posted in Announcements, Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

nichefive, an industry hit.


It was a cozy and warm evening at Lausberg Contemporary; attending our very first industry open portfolio review & internship night under this formatting. The white gallery displayed with CONTACT Festival pieces portrayed “family”.

And as a “family” of creatives & developers, nichefive had its own family. On May 8th/2012 - The room was packed with Creative Directors, Senior Art Directors, CEO’s and Head Hunters, Lead Designers and recent graduates. The night ended with a few portfolio reviews and directions going past closing time. Actually way past closing time.

But what the night opened up-to is connections; discussions and laughter. The new padpholio iPad webapp was introduced – though in private beta and still rough around the edges; it surely was one of the topics of the night. Along with Lu Taskey, a retired Producer of 40+ years who has done work for CBC, Coca-Cola, Green P and Prime Minster of Canada.

Each and every person came out with someting. If not a business card or a friend, an online space to call home to be better web found and sooner noticed by agencies. If not direction on thier books; tips to meet the right folks. And if not internships, contracts to build up their portfolios. The evening was a total hit. The industry professionals who came out to the night looking for designers, talent and synergy found the crowd exactly what they needed. A mix of experiences, soothed by passion and creative ingenuity.

This is a first of many portfolio development and direction engagements that will be introduced under the “Niche Series“. We are not just celebrating design; we are creating better books. Building better books better and whipping up better creations. All starting from our complimentary, privately upgraded beta portfolio service on

Our industry hit, nichefive is first of many industry engagements to follow; to prep up for and to showcase real works for greater rewards. Our organized engagements and nights will consist of Pitch Nights; of ShowBook Weeks; of Portfolio Classrooms; of Industry Discussions and of Industry Tours and Recognition Nights. All with the intent to make your books better, stronger noticed and bolder for the community.

We want to end this thank you from the bottom of our hearts with a request of our own. We want your feedback; not only about our event, but also on our platform – padpholio. We do take in and consider all inputs. We credit and admire all suggestions; reward all our contributors and work with all our community. We know exactly how difficult is it to get and be noticed. We know what it means to make you better. Otherwise, padpholio would not have been born nor would not be where we are today; without your support; your contribution and belief in us.

Thanks Again,

/team padpholio
- Tm Mahdi, CD/Co-Founder
– Patrick Hojjat, CTO/Co-Founder
– Hanna Tran, Co-Founder || portfolio engine with creative attitude.

Posted in Announcements, Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment