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Robert Van Nood



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Professional Career

Creative Agency Years (1979 – 1984)

In 1979 I was hired, at the tender age of 22, as an illustrator by a small Toronto creative agency aptly named Archar Inc. which specialized in producing wonderful, world renowned art 'character’ illustrated print maps of major cities. At the time it was considered one of the best. Not only did Archar hone my skills as an artist, but by becoming their Creative Director it gave me an invaluable understanding of print production, sales, public relations, client liaison and even budgeting and accounting. The work was financed by government, NGOs, and corporate entities. Working with these clients gave me priceless experience that added to my skill set.

Early Freelance Years (1984 – 1986)

In 1984 I made the bold move to become a freelance artist. Bolstered by existing clients such as CFNYfm 102.1, Centennial College’s Bibliocentre, McKim Advertising, Garwin Communications and several other small creative/marketing agencies these early years became vital in my freelance development.


In the summer of 1986 I had an epiphany that would become my calling. As an illustrator I had always wanted to create illustrations exploring my passion for outdoor recreation such as fishing, hunting, boating, golfing, etc. integrating my unique sense of humour with my art. Mercury Marine Ltd. turned out to be the answer ushering in a new era in my career that totally caught me by surprise and continues today.

2010 - present
2010 - present

The Original Comic Relief Company (1987 – 1991)

In 1987 I started The Original Comic Relief Company with an associate/mentor/former client of mine, Brian Lyon. The idea behind our company was to create alternative, humour-based communication solutions for our clients. Our client base included the Allied Boating Association of Canada ~ National Boating Week, Nestlé, TRW Automotive, Fish’n Canada, and Wellington Brewery to name a few.


Brian’s experience as a marketing specialist and public relations guru taught me how to become even more effective in ‘thinking outside the box.’ The next four years saw many successes.

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Robert Van Nood Creative Inc. (1991 – Present)

In 1991 I founded Robert Van Nood Creative. From my studio home situated in the heart of Central Ontario's cottage country I found my stride. Focussing on outdoor recreation and environment illustration campaigns I suddenly found myself in demand. Featuring my signature brand of humour and illustration style my work has appeared in poster, magazine/ books, interpretative signage, television, multi-media, billboard, calendars, puzzles, and educational displays throughout North America and many parts of the world.

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A sampling of my clients includes:


  • Mercury Marine Ltd.  

  • U.S. National Parks and Recreation Association

  • U.S. and Canadian Coastguard

  • Ducks Unlimited Canada

  • Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons

  • Kortright Centre for Conservation

  • International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA)

  • U.S. National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC)

  • Montana Parks, Fish and Wildlife

  • York Region (Environmental & Forestry Services)

  • Harcourt Achieve (U.S. children’s education publisher)

  • Toronto Region Conservation Authority

It doesn’t stop there as I find myself continuously working on any number of brand image campaigns, design work and illustration assignments.

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