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Brian Rougeau has had a rather unusual professional career. After almost 30 years in the film and television industry, he resumed his studies in order to shift to graphic and web design. With his business Bonhomie Studio, he offers a range of services to those who want to develop their online presence.
Born in St. Boniface, Brian Rougeau already has a rich career behind him. After nearly 30 years in the film industry, he felt it was time for new challenges. “I needed a lifestyle change,” he says. “That industry can sometimes be difficult. I then decided to go back to school in 2019.”
It was quite a challenge! But Brian Rougeau has always loved learning. He describes himself as a life-long learner. “I’ve always loved graphic design. I remember, in grade 10 or 11, I enjoyed a course called Commercial Art. Eventually, I went in another professional direction. But when I opted for a change in my life, I asked myself: ‘What do I really like to do?’ ”
The answer is graphic and web design. In 2016, Brian Rougeau began experimenting with these tools, initially on his own. “I started making websites as a hobby for friends. And then, in 2019, I had the courage to move on to a complete career change. I wanted to start with a graphic design course at Red River College. But for that, I needed to finish grade 12.”
With his high school diploma in hand, Brian Rougeau took his first graphic design course at Red River College, then enrolled in continuing education, while developing his business, Bonhomie Studio, which launched in 2020 and specializes in web design.
“I create websites for people with WordPress. But I also create logos to use on websites or for communication and develop motion design.”
His experience as a cameraman and director, whether in documentary, television or cinema, gives him some advantages in his new profession. “It’s interesting because everything I’ve learned about framing in film and television can be applied to graphic design. You need balance in the image, empty space. It’s kind of the same thing.”
Brian Rougeau’s customers are very diverse: artists, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. He creates websites in French, English or bilingual.
“Throughout my career, I’ve learned to tell stories visually. And I find that with graphic design, it’s just as possible to tell people’s stories. I like to create. Just like during my film career, creation is what interests me. I love the process of starting from scratch and ending with something.
“I start from scratch and try to create something unique for each client. My goal is that each person for whom I create a website is independent and able to use their website easily. I put a lot of effort into making the site beautiful, but also making it work perfectly for visitors. I do a lot of design work so that people don’t have to worry about it and are comfortable with their site.”
To perfect his entrepreneurial skills, Brian Rougeau followed the Business Start training with the CDEM. “I recommend anyone who wants to start a business do this training,” he says. It really gives a good understanding of everything to think about when you want to start a business. There are so many things to consider. It gave me a very good foundation for all the essentials of starting my own business.
“With entrepreneurship, I learn a lot about marketing. That is a very important part. Although you can create beautiful things, you still have to find the people for whom to create these beautiful things. It can be a challenge, especially when you’re working alone. But again, I love learning!”