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Where childhood meets creative design: Meet Natalie Amaral

Written by
Amanda McGee, Maclean's intern

Natalie Amaral is SJC Content's 2024 Chairman's Award recipient.

Natalie Amaral’s creative side first emerged as a young child, growing up around her father’s print shop, where she was introduced to tools like QuarkXpress, a page layout software. She recalls being the only student in her elementary school classes to use such an advanced tool, which helped her projects look on point. Helping out around the shop not only taught her how to prepare files for print, but also came in handy when it came time to professionally print her own projects. Throughout her studies in design fundamentals and graphic design at George Brown College, Natalie developed a passion for editorial work, admiring the structure and organization that comes with the role.

In her current art director position with SJC, Natalie often experiments with video, photography, stop motion, and recently, artificial intelligence tools. With her portfolio currently including large accounts such as Shoppers Drug Mart, The Brick and Pet Valu, Natalie thrives on bringing her clients' visions to life – even when that involves dogs running around. She often jokes that “dogs are like working with little children.” Regardless of some of the challenges that come with working with animals, like keeping them still, she enjoys having the freedom to try new things while working on the Pet Valu account. 

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Natalie credits a lot of her creativity to the support provided by her coworkers, who encourage her to push the boundaries in her projects. When work becomes too stressful, she goes for a walk and interacts with those around her workspace to help clear her mind. “We just all support each other and listen to each other,” she says. 

Reflecting on this recent award recognition, Natalie is grateful for the nominations from her peers. “It was very nice to know that my peers thought of me like that.”

Natalie’s charity of choice is Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary. As an animal lover, she wishes to support rehabilitation for abandoned dogs.

About the SJC Chairman's Award: Each year, we pay tribute to the legacy of our founder, Gaetano Gagliano, and the dedication of our associates by presenting the SJC Chairman's Award. This award recognizes four outstanding individuals who consistently bring our SJC values to life and positively impact their colleagues, customers and communities. Each recipient will be featured in an issue of Maclean's and has the opportunity to select their charity of choice to have a full-page ad in an SJC media brand. Meet our 2024 and 2023 recipients.

Profile written by Maclean's intern Amanda McGee, with thanks to her supervising editor, Claire Gagne.

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