Author Archives: Aya

Notes From The 6 Train: The Laundromat Project

In my last post I mentioned that I have a summer internship as an artist assistance, but I want to talk more about the organization that I’m working with. The name is the Laundromat project and it’s mission is exactly what it sounds likes, doing cool stuff in laundromats. The entire premise of this non-profit is to make art more accessible for those whom it may not be for, such as those who live in low income and working class neighborhoods. This is done by bringing act and interactive exhibits to laundromats & other community spaces.

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I am super excited to be working with this organization because it’s work I fully believe in. Accessibility to art (film, dance, writing and poetry for me) has made such a huge impact in my understanding of the world and my existence within it. Creating art has healed me in ways that would impossible otherwise, and has connected me with people and communities that have changed my life.

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But it started because I was exposed to it. Whereas, for many people living in lower income and working class neighborhoods, art is this esoteric or even nonexistence force that exists for other people besides themselves, or exclusively the wealthy. So I look forward to bringing to connecting and building through art. I am also looking forward to working such talented artists, who do this important work.

This is going to be a good summer. I can feel it.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: Implementing Grace (When Life Changes Without Your Permission)

I just returned from Boston where I attended my best friend’s graduation. Look how beautiful she looked!

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I am beyond proud of my her, she’s essentially my sister, as I’ve known her since we went to kindergarten together. She’s not just good-looking, but also incredibly intelligent & passionate. This fall she will continue her education at Berkeley to get her Phd.

I was slated to graduate this May, but as I am a transfer student, I was set back by just a semester. So I will be graduating in the fall (yay!). For a while, I was quite upset that I wasn’t graduating “on time.” I felt like I was failure, and was ashamed about telling people, as there is stigma about graduating “late” (which I’m not sure what that means since there are significant amount of students who graduate undergrad in more than 4 years.)

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But, as mentioned before, not only am I “okay,” with the fact that I have a remaining semester, but I am thankful for it. There are programs, people and things I would am able to do that are necessary for (that have and will continue to mold my life) if I graduated this May. This was certainly about a bigger plan, divine order if you will.

This, learning to deal with unforeseen circumstances with grace, is one of the most important lessons I’m learning, which has been spearheaded by college events. If I hadn’t, I would have been at my soul sister’s graduation reeling with hidden jealously and disappointment. However, knowing, confidently that both of our paths are leading us to passionate,full lives of magic and love, I was able to be in present and overwhelming proud with a heart of joy.

Sometimes, we set plans and things change. And that’s okay. A quote I heard recently and identified with a lot is “we make plans & God laughs,” that’s life. Let go of the reins and enjoy the ride.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: Summer Livin’

What are you summer plans?

What are you doing this summer to make your dream work? Is it a large scale project, like an internship or job or something smaller, that might be just as informative? Are you taking classes, at FIT or around your community? Or reading books that will inform your art, practice or plans? Or simply waking up ten minutes in order to write or do do yoga or meditate?

I am lucky enough to be working on my dream machine indeed. This summer I am going to be working part time at the writing center, continuing to blog (yay!) & as an artist assistance with the Laundromat Project, a non-profit organization that works with artist to create public art across New York City. In addition, I am preparing and managing the creative direction for my first aerial dance showcase.

I will also be working on my own music project and begin to teach myself Portuguese (if you have any suggestions for this endeavor or would like to meet up to help my practice, be my guest.)

I will be sure to keep you posted on all my summer activities!

Let us know what you’re up to this summer!

All Things Color, Love & Fashion

Notes From the 6 Train: FIT Always Surprises

Here at FIT, you never know who you may meet. At the end of last semester I had the pleasure of being invited to speak with President Joyce F. Brown & Speaker Mark-Viverto. She’s the Speaker of the New York City Council (the top post) and represents District 8 in Manhattan. I also happen to live in District 8, which is why I was chosen to meet her. Christopher Wallace (FIT Student Association president) & Orlin,another student who also lives in District 8.

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We got to ride the fancy elevator (well, at least without getting yelled at by security), go to the top of the building and have orange tea and snacks in President Joyce Brown’s office. Also, President Brown was quite friendly and easy going, as was Speaker Mark-Viverto. After we told her about FIT and what we do here, we escorted her on a school wide tour. I must admit, it was quite cool to be a witness to the inner workings of the school — and government.

The Speaker was quite impressed with FIT. She thought the campus and the majors (toy design & fragrance/ cosmetics, which she didn’t know were majors) were very (NEED AN ADJECTIVE HERE)

I visited parts of the school that I did not even know existed.
– the cosmetics and fragrance lab

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– the advertisement & marketing communications department film studio and blue screen

– toy design lab

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I also got a special curated tour of the newest exhibit in the FIT museum at the time, Fakin It’, about the fashion industry and knockoffs and the huge impacts they have on the fashion industry as well as how/ where these knockoffs come from.

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This was an exciting experience that I’m glad I got to be part of. Like I said, FIT is full surprises.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Laen

Notes From the 6 Train: Showin’ Love To Mother Earth

So yesterday was Earth Day! What did you do to celebrate? Hug a tree? Plant a tree? Thank the Earth for all that it provides for us everyday?

If you weren’t able to celebrate yesterday, there is still a chance for you to thank our mother Earth!

You can start by watching this video about how all our stuff is made, what happens to this stuff when it gets trashed, and why you should care.

Additionally, you can attend the Green Festival this weekend.
The Green Festival is the U.S’s longest running sustainability & green living event. It brings together all who concerned about the well being of the Earth & connect them with retailers that share their same concerns. The website describes itself as “Green Festival® is a vibrant, dynamic marketplace where companies and organizations come to showcase their green products and services, and where people go to learn how to live healthier, more sustainable lives. Green Festival is a unique and powerful platform for CONNECTING potential customers, retailers, wholesalers and corporations – all under one roof. It provides excellent opportunities for green brands to generate business-to-business and business-to-consumer sales, build awareness and strengthen relationships in an expansive and engaging green marketplace.”

If sustainability is something you’re interested in, this could potentially be a great place to network.

http://www.greenfestivals.org/green-festival/about

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: Testin’ Ya Strengths

In my last post I briefly touched on the topic on the type of learner I am and I wanted to expand on this topic a bit. I also want to talk about the type of leader you are as well. These are two other pieces of knowledge I picked up in school that can quite helpful in other realms outside the classroom setting.

*the color personality test is one of favorites.

*the color personality test is one of favorites.

I’ve done several in class exercises and have taken multiple personality tests to assess both of these, but it’s been a while since I reviewed this. When the semester began my international finance teacher has us take a color personality type test that was a nice reminder of my strengths and weaknesses that can be worked on. It was also nice to see how the results may have changed since the last time I took those types of tests and how these (possibly) new strengths can be applied.

I doubt this will happen to any of you!

I doubt this will happen to any of you!


Before you begin college, and maybe once a year while in school, it would be good idea to take these tests and see if they’re accurate and if they can be applied to areas in your life. Allowing people to be lead by their strengths is especially important once you begin working in teams or on group projects. If it’s a long term group project, you could even suggest the entire taking one of these and deicing work that may best suit their predominant skills and help improve skills that could use strengthening.

Here’s a few websites that have free personality tests:
Color personality test:
http://365tests.com/personality-tests/free-color-personality-test/

What’s Your leadership Style:
http://psychology.about.com/library/quiz/bl-leadershipquiz.htm

What’s Your Learning Style:
http://www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles.shtml

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: Ultimate Organization

I just registered for my last semester of classes ever! Woo Hoo! (Well, possibly ever, who know what life has in store for me.) I am beginning to think about life after graduation, and what skills I’ve obtained while in school and what will continue to serve me after I graduate.

One of these primary skills that was introduced to me while in school, and I continue to prime, are my organizational skills.

At FIT, in the beginning of the year, you are given a free school planner. At most schools you are given planners, but FIT planners are particularly nice because it’s filled with student artwork and there’s a student club that designs the entire planner.

*this is not the FIT  planner, though.

*this is not the FIT planner, though.

At one point I used this planner religiously, and would make lists on the sticky notes littered throughout the planner.

I’ve now begun to explore options organizational options for me since I’m working on a litany of different projects. I’ve begun looking into the idea of the personal kanban. A kanban is “allows us to visualize the amount of work we have, and the way that work is carried out.” To make it personal one can simply pull it out of the public sphere and apply it to your personal life. The way that I’ve found works for me best is the whiteboard divided into three sections, “Backlog, In Progress, Completed.“ It works exceptionally well for me since I’m a visual and kinetic learner. Moving sticky notes from one section to another section and then off the board makes me pretty excited.

* I prefer color coated sticky notes.

* I prefer color coated sticky notes.

What about you? What skills have you perfected in school that apply to other areas of your life? Or, what ways do you help to organize your life?

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

If you want to learn more about the personal kanban you can check out http://www.personalkanban.com/pk/#sthash.v9hjhnHQ.dpuf).

Notes From the 6 Train: Light At the End of the Tunnel

So I am thoroughly excited to say that it is official. I am a DJ. At this point, within the past two weeks I have had two (very successful) gigs!

This is my mid semester pep talk for everyone who is in the midst of the murky waters of creation. Whether it’s a working on a line, or photography project or even still figuring out where you’re going to school (are seniors still doing that?). When I talk about creation I do mean art, of course, but I also mean creating the life you want. For some that’s writing a thesis or like I said applying for schools, or scholarships or other programs/ opportunities. Sometimes the stamina to continue begins to falter, you worry if your (fill in the blank) is good enough, tall enough, colorful enough, etc. You have to trust yourself and your process.

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After weeks of practice, and knowing my music inside and out, I was still soo nervous at my first event. But once I hooked up my equipment, begin to spin and saw people reacting, hips swaying and arms flailing and people moving to the music I felt right at home. I felt confident and knew that I have found a new gift.

And afterwards, several people told me how great my set was and didn’t even know it was my gig. Even though that felt amazing, seeing everyone happy and dancing to the music that I played, I knew those late night sessions (this was during midterms, so I had so much work) staying up to work my craft was well worth it.

So when you’re in the middle of the process, and are beginning to fall asleep at your desk, or sewing machine or in front of the DJ controller (in my case) or you begin to feel frustrated remember, there is light on the there side!

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: Rockin’ Out With Recommendations

So, It’s that time of the year. Recommendation time that is.
(yay) I am always applying for a bunch of stuff. And am always in need of good recommendations. Here’s a few tips I’ve picked up along the way:

Like Brendan mentioned in his last post, begin building relationships with your teachers. This also means do well in class. This doesn’t mean that you have to get 100’s on every assignment, but stay engaged in class and try. This will encourage the professor to not just write the letter for you, but will do it happily because they want you to be successful.

-That leads me to my next point, ask someone who will actually write nicely about you, the professor of the class that you feel asleep in a few times? Probably not the best person to ask.

-Be sure to ask with enough time, don’t do it 2 days before the letter is needed.

-Do the work for them. Send them the info and your resume so that information to pull from. they are doing you a favor, don’t make it more labor intensive for them then it has to be.

-Sometimes you have to do some ground work. For a scholarship I just applied for I had to literally track down my teacher and wait by the door for one of her classes to finish to get her signature (she sent the recommendations via email but they weren’t considered valid without her signature)

-Know that who you chose to get the recommendation whether it’s a professor, faculty member or former boss, may change depending on the position or type of recommendation you need.

-Finally, be sure to thank them. Once again, they’re doing you a favor and professors are busy just like everyone else, so appreciate that they’ve taken their time to help you out.

Here’s a catchy tune to help you remember:

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: LNAP!

Bi-semesterly (is that a word) the FIT Writing Center offers additional help during LNAP! What is LNAP may you ask? Well, it stands for Late Night Against Procrastination. It’s when the Writing Center keeps its doors open until midnight and is offered during midterms and final week. It’s this upcoming Monday, March 23rd!

It’s the perfect time to get the ball rolling on all your midterms projects and papers. There will be pizza (yay!, because who has time to prepare a course meal during midterms) and more than the average number of tutors to assist you with your work. Even if you just want to get out of your room for a bit and hang out in the writing center that’s perfectly fine too!

Midterms and finals are usually high stress times but they don’t have to be! There are resources and people who want to assist you in your success!

And when you have a little guidance, it can really make a huge difference. Unfortunately, I won’t be there this time, but come through! There will be plenty of eager tutors waiting to help.