Information Technology Services (ITS)
IT@UofT People — Laura Klamot
Published on: March 22, 2022
The backbone of any successful team is its hard-working people. The University of Toronto’s Information Technology Services (ITS) unit is no exception. It is made up of a diverse range of people with an even greater diversity in their interests and talents.
In this segment, entitled “IT@UofT People,” we will get to know our IT@UofT team across the tri-campus community and find out more about their hidden or not-so-hidden talents and/or pursuits outside of work.
Name: Laura Klamot
Department: Enterprise Applications & Solutions Integration (EASI), ITS
Title: Intermediate User Experience Designer
How long have you worked at U of T?
About six years full-time, and I was also a work-study student for a couple of years while studying at U of T Mississauga (UTM).
What are your secret or not-so-secret talents and hobbies outside of work?
I have a lot of hobbies, but creating digital art is probably the one I’m the most passionate about. I’m also trying to get better at creating user interfaces (UI) and art specifically for video games.
How and why did you get involved in this hobby?
It’s challenging and fun to create something visual from a picture in your head. I’ve always enjoyed drawing and gained an interest specifically in creating digital art when I would play with Microsoft (MS) Paint on my dad’s computer as a child. It’s my favourite medium to this day because it is so versatile and there is so much flexibility in the way you can create art, from the programs used (Photoshop, Procreate, etc.), to digital brushes, canvas size, infinite colour choices and the ability to bring in textures from photographs.
When/how did your interest in this area begin?
I can’t remember ever not having an interest in drawing. I still have booklets of pencil-crayon drawings of Pokémon from when I was a kid. I began by making fan art of video games, cartoons and movies. I would even create little comic strips, and eventually my own characters. When I eventually got my first Wacom drawing tablet, it came with Corel Painter which allowed me to further develop my interest in drawing digitally. Today I use an iPad with Procreate, which is a joy to work with (especially compared to MS Paint).
Do you have any professional training in this field?
I’ve taken two graphic design classes — one at Sheridan College during my undergraduate studies at UTM and one at the Faculty of Information at U of T.
Who/what are your inspirations?
I am still inspired by many of the things that inspired me as a kid, and still draw fan art of my favourite video games, shows and movies. I’m inspired by the many talented artists that post their work online. My favourite right now is Alexandria Neonakis, who is a talented concept artist with a beautiful style.
Anything else you would like to add?
I encourage everyone to have fun doodling in the margins of their notebooks.