SoulFire Design Founder,  Shaun Friesen

SoulFire Design Founder, Shaun Friesen

A major in the four year Media Arts and Digital Technologies (MADT) program, Shaun graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) in Calgary, Alberta . His time at ACAD was spent fusing his art education with concept-based technological exploration and his spiritual investigations.

A few key projects involved the arduous study of chaos theory, fractal mathematics and the Mayan Calendar, presented as new media sound sculptures or applied esoteric science within the vehicle of self-published audio art albums. All efforts were informed and inspired by daily meditation and yoga, which he has continued to this day. As stated in the MADT curriculum description: “Upon graduation students are equipped to contribute to the humanizing of technoculture in the 21st century.”

In January 2007, Shaun left his full-time graphic artist job in Alberta's Oil and Gas sector to focus on his art practice and conscious business development in the local community. Shaun began Free Zen Design that year, educating and equipping grassroots entrepreneurs and start-ups, visionary artists and musicians to professionally interact with their audience or client base in the digital age.

In 2008, and again in 2009, Shaun designed successful multimedia campaigns with Seed Productions Foundation, promoting speaking engagements with Deepak Chopra in Vancouver and achieving a sell-out event in Calgary.

Shaun has presented his multimedia artwork at numerous tribal and community festivals around western Canada including Shambhala, Entheos, Inshala, Intention Alberta, and debuted his Live Audio/Visual eDrum performance at the Soundasaurus New Media Festival - part of Calgary’s 2010 International High Performance Rodeo. Shaun has provided live visuals for sonic luminaries such as Adham Shaikh, Nassko, Bluetech, Behind Blue Eyes, and Random Rab.

In 2008 Shaun displayed two culmative art prints, Sun and Moon, from his Digital Union series at a successful fundraising group show called ‘Soul to Soul,’ in visionary artist Alex Grey’s MicroCoSM (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors) gallery while still located in New York's Chelsea district. Shaun studied with Alex and Allyson Grey in 2009, participating in their visionary arts intensive at the Hollyhock Educational Retreat Centre on Cortes Island BC. The following year, for the celebratory release of the 6th edition of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors Journal, Shaun designed a viral campaign for CoSM, focused on outreach and awareness.

In 2009, with his conceptual and animation skills, Shaun supported New York based media theorist, graphic novel author, and Marshall McLuhan award winner, Douglas Rushkoff with the release of his book Life Inc: How The World Became A Corporation And How To Take It Back. Using his digital ninja dexterity and nanotech production skills, Shaun knit together the renaissance sequence featured in Rushkoff's Life Inc: The Movie. In 2010 Shaun received Digital Alberta's Best Animation Award for these contributions. Award criteria was based on outstanding information design, communication clarity, and originality. In this same year Shaun and Douglas collaborated on an art re-imagining, a visual remix project that was shown over 2010's fall season; a 3 month group exhibit at the Roger Smith Gallery in Midtown Manhattan.

Since 2010 Shaun has been a designer with the visionary art global microgallery collective, the Galactik Trading Card Oracle Complex. He lead the production of a 92 page hardcover tome, a 10 year Oracle history and treatise on visionary design and visual remix, which was released globally in September of 2011.

Shaun has also been a core member of Evolved Productions, contributing whole system wizardry and production design aesthetic to numerous high quality events and festivals, including spearheading Calgary's first visionary art exhibition Visionary Nanotech at the Endeavor Arts Gallery.

In 2015 Shaun released his first novel, The Riddle Solver, a visionary buddhapunk prayer that re-mixes technology, spirituality, and economy into a new quantum humanity.

In 2017, After 10+ years as the sole-proprietor of Free Zen Design, Shaun has re-launched and re-branded his digital media support operations as Soulfire Design.