Our Q&A with June speaker Chris van Dyck who will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Survival.

Chris van Dyck is the Founder and Supervisor at CVD VFX - a small studio focusing on consistently and professionally delivering the highest quality in VFX.

Before starting CVD VFX, he was a Compositing supervisor in the commercial, film, and television industry. With over 14 years of experience, he has worked at some of the top studios around the world: WETA Digital, Industrial Light & Magic, MPC, Method, Rising Sun Pictures, Animal Logic, The Embassy and Prime Focus. Chris has held various roles, including Senior Stereo Compositor, Lead Compositor, Compositing Supervisor, VFX Supervisor, Instructor and Consultant. Some of his most notable credits include: The Hobbit Trilogy, Warcraft, Thor 2, Life of Pi, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, Tron: Legacy, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ironman and Frank Miller’s: 300.

Chris has also conducted lectures for the VES, Siggraph, and the Art Institute, been published by Digital Fusion on the topic of Digital Compositing, published by Siggraph on the film industry in Vancouver and has taught Digital Compositing for over 6 years at the following schools: VanArts, Think Tank and Lost Boys.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
I think creativity is the key to effective problem solving and I depend on it when leading a team, making a decision at home or applying it to my work in Visual Effects.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?
On the work front, I get a lot of energy from a motivated and excited crew. I really try to focus on uplifting the team and I find that it becomes cyclical.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
I wish I really understood what having different strengths meant. We all get dealt a different hand and I think we need to play to our strengths.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
Claude Monet - I’ve always been drawn to impressionism and I find there’s a shared inspiration I would love insight into.

What’s the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?
I’ve been learning how as a company owner, my lens differs from the other members of my team. At the end of the day, no one will see how a decision will affect as many variables as the owner. It’s something I’m interested in and trying to find the balance of empowering people and of course not derailing them with too much information. Lot’s to learn here but I think having clear core values really helps get everyone on the same page.

What keeps you awake at night?
My kids!!

What myths about creativity would you like to set straight?
That it’s primarily focused on the arts - I think my most creative moments are when I’m technically problem-solving or diffusing a situation. As a digital artist, it’s definitely a solid balance of both.

What are you proudest of in your life?
Marrying my amazing wife and our first moments with our 3 kids. This is what has motivated me to start a business - I hope to break out of the mold of my industry.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
To specialize. I love the expression - Jack of all trades, master of none. I’ve seen it first hand and I hope to speak to this a bit at the next event.

What practices, rituals, or habits contribute to your creative work?
I need a good old fashioned list - I typically have a list that I’m updating / re-writing every hour or so. With so many tasks flying around, it really helps me focus.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?
Play a game! Foosball, Darts, something that requires focus and attention - it’s kind of my reset button. Also, if I’m feeling stuck and too much is going on, I’ll typically put on a show or something that isn’t overly challenging and it’s kind of enough stimulation for my brain to stop from roaming and getting distracted. Sounds backwards, right?

What is the one question we haven’t asked that you want to answer?
Favourite Quote? Our greatest fulfillment is in giving ourselves to others. OR Spirit Animal? Killer Whale. ;-)