Category Archives: Art Major

How to Handle Being Sick

While being sick on its own isn’t fun at all, add on school, work, and internships AND being away from home, and it can seem like a hopeless recipe for disaster.  I for one, hate missing class or a day of work or an internship and even worse, I hate letting my boss or professor down.  Sometimes you just get really really sick because you are human and you have to take a day to get better and not get everyone around you sick.  I have some tips for when you have to make the dreaded call about missing an important days’ work.

  1. Let your professor or boss know as early as possible.  While you may only wake up 10 minutes before class starts, let your professor know immediately.  If you tell someone in your class to tell your professor, that can come off as irresponsible.  The professor may not check their email until later but it’s important to be as professional as possible.
  2. Find out what you missed if you’re missing class.  If it is a class where you MUST ask the professor what you missed, then so be it, but most of the time it’s much easier and less of an annoyance for your professor if you ask a responsible friend.
  3. Just because you missed class, that doesn’t mean that you have an excuse to not have something done on time.  If you missed more than one day of class, then you have an actual excuse, but if you missed one day because you were feeling under the weather, you still have six more days to get your work accomplished before next week’s class.
  4. Don’t miss exam days unless you’re incredibly ill or if it’s an emergency.  Sometimes the professor may not let you make up an exam or they may give you a harder exam (doesn’t always make sense).  If you have a cold and a headache and feel crummy, it’s best to get the exam over with and crawl back into bed.  With this being said, isolate yourself from other people to prevent others from getting sick.  While it is slightly selfish to go anywhere while being sick, it will cause greater stress for your professor and yourself if you have to take an exam at a later date or not at all.
  5. Thank your professor or boss for being understanding.  Most of the time, your boss or professor will understand your circumstances and be accommodating if missing class is unlike your behavior.  If you go out of your way to thank them, they will appreciate it even more, especially since you were just bedridden for a couple days.  A little kindness goes a long way.

    Ashley

Academic Advisement Help

As a freshman, I was completely overwhelmed with the proper classes that I needed to take.  I thought that everything had to be done in a certain order, no exceptions.  I didn’t think that I had many options to choose from and on the other hand, I wondered what my options were.  If you are an incoming freshman or new student and you have no idea what classes you are supposed to take, reach out to academic advisement.  Your academic advisor is somewhat the equivalent of your high school guidance counselor.  They’re there to help you with your academic lineup for your time here at FIT.  You should be receiving the contact info of your academic advisor, and I highly recommend reaching out to them regarding all of your class-related needs.  While you may think that you just have to take 6 credits of English (hypothetical), that doesn’t mean that you can take any 3 2-credit classes.  There are certain courses that aren’t allowed to be taken by certain majors/don’t count towards graduation for certain majors, so why waste your time and money by taking a class that doesn’t count towards graduation?  Here are some sample questions that you should ask your Academic Advisor:

  • If my high school AP scores transfer over, should I still register for those classes?
  • What courses can I get ahead on?
  • What courses do you recommend for a new student’s workload?
  • What options do I have when it comes to my liberal arts and what classes don’t count towards graduation?
  • What are some of the minors and how do I declare a minor?
  • What are some of the classes that I should be taking during the spring incase a certain class/section fills up?
  • Should I only be concerned about my associates graduation requirements or my bachelors as well?
  • Is there a way that I can graduate early?

You can find out more information about Academic Advisement at https://www.fitnyc.edu/22232.asp

Your academic advisor is here to help you!

Ashley

Goals for the Summer

Now that the school year has officially ended, it’s time to look ahead towards brighter days!  I’m staying in the city this summer and interning.  I was only able to see my family and be at home for 9 days and now I won’t see them until winter break.  It’s going to be really tough but I just have to focus on school and interning and bettering myself.  With that in mind, I figured I’d share some of my goals for this summer!

  1. Have a successful internship and learn from my experiences.
  2. Explore New York City!  I have a massive list of places that I want to see, restaurants that I want to try, and fun locations to visit.
  3. Step outside of my comfort zone whether it’s at my internship, a new food, or just in everyday life.
  4. Continue to stay active and improve my health.
  5. Relax and have fun.  This one is going to be very difficult for me, which I know sounds weird.  I spend my entire year completely focused 24/7, rarely spending time away from my desk or photo studio, so now is the time.
  6. Educate myself.  There are plenty of skills that are applicable to my major but I am not allowed to take as part of my curriculum here at FIT.  So I am going to be using FIT’s resources and lynda.com – an online video portal with hundreds of videos that teach you about your desired topic.  I’m going to educate myself on Adobe Software such as InDesign and Illustrator as well as marketing strategies and how they’re applicable to photography.

What are some of your summer goals?

Ashley

Professor Beware

Having a good professor can make or break a class. There are certainly a range here at FIT, as anywhere else. I have found most of my professors as extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and interesting. I will admit to checking sites like ratemyprofessor.com as soon as teachers were announced, and I’m sure you will too.

However, you have to be careful with websites like this. First of all, ratings are not necessarily the best indicator of what a teacher will really be like. Many times people just use rating sites to complain when they did not get along with a professor, or feel like they were not being treated fairly whether it is true or not. Hopefully the teacher will have many reviews and you can judge for yourself if they seem reliable.

I think feedback for the professors and the school is a great tool if said feedback is honest and sincere, and I encourage students to rate their teachers (fairly, of course). I just went back and rated every teacher I had for my bachelors degree. That being said, these comments are not guarantees and I have often found my experience with a teacher to be completely opposite of what most people wrote, for better or worse.

Do you use ratemyprofessor.com or other sites like it? What experiences have you had with them?

–Emily–

#Nepal

Hey everyone,

Nepal_donation

With all the devastating occurs happening all around the world recently one that hasn’t been publicized as much as the Baltimore riots but should be is the earthquake that affected the people in Nepal. You may have seen it on Facebook recently that you can donate to the people there. Did you realize a lot of our students and staff at FIT are affected by this tragic event?

Coming from a small town in New Jersey you don’t always realize how many different people from all over the world you surround yourself with everyday when you are at FIT. More and more i have been noticing this walking through the hallways, sometimes you become so wrapped up in your own situation you forget that the people around you may be hurting.
So in the upcoming days i would like you to take a minute and think of a way you could help. It could be the smallest gesture by just saying a prayer or donating a dollar to the relief fund, or even giving someone who you see often in class some kind words of encouragement.

As for me i will be donating to UNICEF who vow to help the children of Nepal before, during an after this crisis.

“A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu has claimed more than 5,000 lives, caused thousands of injuries, and destroyed homes and infrastructure. Some 1.7 million children require humanitarian assistance, and UNICEF is on the ground working to provide critical aid to children and families.” You can donate today too! Just follow my link below.

https://www.unicefusa.org/donate/nepal-earthquake-help-children-now/24226?ms=sem_dig_2015_misc_20150425_google&initialms=sem_dig_2015_misc_20150425_google&gclid=COroycGWn8UCFWoV7AodpS8An

#helpnepal

Kailee

It’s Senior Showtime!

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There is less than one month left in the school year, so it’s that time again; the time when all the graduating students work is put on display. It can catch some people off guard as the displays go up intermittently around the school, and as everyone is so focused on finishing up their own projects, but when you finally stop to look at all of them it is really inspiring. Over 800 students are represented from both the AAS and BFA programs. To see where each major will be located click here! Just another reason to come to FIT to check out the school.

The AAS Photography display in the main lobby of Feldman center

The AAS Photography display in the main lobby of the Feldman center

Most Art & Design majors have their work displayed throughout the school as well as a “senior show” where industry professionals along with friends and family can see a collection of work that was created over our time here.

The AAS Fashion Design (apparel) presentation (from when I graduated)

The AAS Fashion Design (apparel) presentation (from when I graduated in 2013)

The AAS Fashion Design (illustration) presentation (from when I graduated in 2013)

The AAS Fashion Design (illustration) presentation (from when I graduated in 2013)

The most famous “senior show” is the bachelor’s Fashion Design show. It is attended by lots of influential industry people, as well as the designer critics who worked with all of the students. This year’s is happening this Thursday (4/30/15) and can be livestreamed! I saw the presentation of all the work in the Great Hall a few weeks ago, and couldn’t be more proud of my peers who did the AAS with me! Definitely watch the show to see the critics and people’s choice winners work the runway.

The "wall" as it's called in Fabric Styling

The “wall” as it’s called in Fabric Styling

My major (Fabric Styling) has one wall that the entire major works together to create. It’s a huge undertaking, but is a nice way to show the work of the entire group as one piece. We also have a senior show coming up (along with the Textile/Surface Design kids) where we each get a table to display our portfolios and any other work we have done. I’m hoping lots of people show up!

The Packaging Design Presentation in the lobby of the Goodman Center/Gladys Marcus Library

The Packaging Design Presentation in the lobby of the Goodman Center/Gladys Marcus Library

The Junior show for Graphic Design is on May 14, 2015 in the Katie Murphy Amphitheater (5pm-9)

The Junior show for Graphic Design is on May 14, 2015 in the Katie Murphy Amphitheater (5pm-9)

–Emily–

Discovering a Major: Packaging Design

by Claudia Arisso as told to Emily Bennett

Claudia Arisso

Claudia Arisso

I came to FIT really interested in Packaging Design! You do have to begin with the Communication Design AAS, so there were still two years for me to make a sound decision, apply, and get accepted into the BFA program. Communication Design prepared me for Packaging because the 4th semester is all about taking introductory courses to things like advertising, packaging, and exhibition design so that you have a better understanding of which BFA you’d like to continue into. For instance, Packaging is so different from the more commonly known Graphic Design major. Packaging deals extensively with crafting a brand from the ground up. You need to create a story and a reason for the consumers to fall in love with a product. Our classes revolve around brand strategy, creative briefs, and creating brand stories. (It’s all about depth!)

This is a work in progress of a flexible packaging project for an international food brand

This is a work in progress of a flexible packaging project for an international food brand

As specific as Packaging Design sounds, we come out with such a wide skill set because it requires you to wear many different hats, and grads can go into pretty diverse fields. For me, writing, research, and strategy are the aspects of Packaging that I want to take into my future career, whatever that may be.  So far I have done two internships. My first was working on page layouts, logos and identity for a design publication. This was strictly graphic design for print. My internship at the moment is for credit and is a required part of the Packaging Design curriculum. I work in a small packaging design studio that is more focused on brand strategy and how to get instant shelf impact. I have also picked up some freelance work along the way, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend piling that on while you’re still in school.

I had to show a portfolio to be accepted into both my AAS and BFA. To get into Packaging, I just had to show my best work from the AAS program in addition to my GPA.

This was made for the Packplay competition for the University of Quebec and Montreal. The competition is between from schools all over the world (we are the only ones from the US!)

This was made for the Packplay competition for the University of Quebec and Montreal. The competition is between schools from all over the world (we are the only one from the US!)

Last semester, I took a Sustainable Packaging class that taught us how to make sustainability part of our design process, which is so important to anyone involved with making anything in 2015. Outside of Packaging, I’ve taken everything from Crime Scene Chemistry to Bookbinding. Picking a major doesn’t mean you have to pigeonhole yourself! I’m in a pretty specific major, but I learned that you can make it work with whatever talents or interests you have. Your major shouldn’t restrict you – use the aspects you love about it to your advantage and play up your strengths. The different BFA programs are really just different means to an end.


To learn more about the Packaging Design major click here! And to learn about the Communications AAS program click here!

–Emily–

Love Your Library!

The FIT library is more than just a room with bookshelves; it has more resources than most students realize! Of course, the Gladys Marcus Library houses an impressive collection of print books pertaining to fashion, art, architecture, etc., but it also has books on every subject including history, psychology, and literature. There is also a whole section dedicated to DVDs of movies (classic as well as modern) and TV shows. In addition, if there is a book or journal that you cannot find in-house, FIT is part of the Interlibrary Loan system, so you can get anything you need! Before heading up there, here is some information about the various services offered:

See, we have stacks too!

See, we have stacks too!

Even a ton of books about economics

Even a ton of books about economics

Quiet Study Space

Quiet Study Space

Picture FilesPicture Files

The Picture Files are relatively new to the library. You can browse through the extensive collection freely and even check out up to 20 images at once! These can be extremely helpful for Illustration and Fine Arts students who need references. We also have access to the FitDigital Image Library, which is a digital collection of images from the Museum at FIT, the Special Collections, student and staff work, images used in Art History classes and the Designer Files collection.

Magazine

Vogue spreads from the 2000s vs the 1930s

Vogue spreads from the 2000s vs the 1930s

Magazine Archive

The Gladys Marcus library subscribes and keeps an archive of numerous magazines, mainly focused on design. The periodicals can be checked out for two hours either for reading or doing research. FIT also has a backlog of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar dating back to the very first issues. These are collected in books chronologically and can be looked at in the library at your leisure. We also have access to the Vogue Archives online that can be extra useful when you search within the collection for specific words or phrases. Designer Files can also be checked out. These are tear sheet collections of centered on a specific designer.

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Art Reference Collection

The Art Reference collection has the most inspiring books in the library. It is pretty much all of those beautiful coffee table books that are too expensive to buy yourself. The subjects range into all types of design, not just fashion. These books cannot be taken out of the library, but thanks to the scanners and copiers you can bring the images home.

Special Collections

The Special Collections houses over 500,000 books, periodicals, illustrations and designer scrapbooks. Any student or outside researcher can make an appointment, but you have to request a subject or time period you want to look at, you cannot just browse like in the Art Reference Collection or Picture Files.

Databases

In addition to print collections, the library subscribes to online databases that are incredibly helpful for research papers. The databases range across all types of topics from fashion history and forecasting to psychology and international trade. The FIT library’s website collects all of the databases in one place so they are easy to find and use. These databases are trustworthy sources for information and can be accessed at any time through the library website.

StyleCat

StyleCat is the main search engine used in the Gladys Marcus library. It can be accessed anywhere via the library website, but there are also computers stationed around the library with it open. It’s pretty basic: you search one or more terms and a list of all the books in the collection that relate pop-up with the call number and how many copies there are and which are checked out.

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FIT also uses the stairwells of the library as a gallery showcasing student and faculty work

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A main work area in the library

A friendly student librarian

A friendly student librarian

If you have more questions about these services, a librarian is always available to help at the desk or you can call 212-217-4400. If you have a question when the library is closed we have this handy feature called Ask a Librarian where you can call/text/send a message.

–Emily–

Apartment Hunting

If you have been keeping up with the blog, you’d know that I am planning on living off campus in an apartment next year.  I spent my entire spring break looking, having appointments, and well…stressing out.  Here are some tips that I have for those of you looking for apartments in the future:

  • Download StreetEasy: StreetEasy a website that lists apartments on the market in your area.  You can put in all of your criteria as far as budget, neighborhoods, amenities, etc.  It’s an incredible website and it also has an app so you can constantly be checking new listings, saving apartments to your favorites on your account, and reaching out to the buildings themselves.
  • Be prepared: Myself and my roommate didn’t use a broker because of the amounts of research that was done in advanced.  For a year now, I have been taking notes in my phone of buildings that I pass by and writing down their addresses to look up later.  While you don’t have to be constantly on the watch and taking notes for an entire year, it is good to not start from scratch, but StreetEasy also makes it simple if you don’t have a ton of apartment requirements.
  • Talk things out beforehand: While this may seem like common sense, be sure that everyone involved is on the same page with what you are looking for not only in an apartment but as a roommate as well.
  • Don’t compromise: Remain firm in what you want in an apartment.  If you know that you are going to be miserable commuting from the Upper East Side (6 to the S to the 1…no thank you), then don’t do it.  Half of the battle with going to school is getting there!  And if you are an Art & Design major, the supplies that you have to bring with you can make a simple commute 100000x worse, especially at prime rush hour times.
  • Ask questions: Ask whomever you made the appointment with tons of questions!  Ask about what’s included in the rent, how long the rent would be, the application process, the necessary documents, if there have been any issues with bedbugs or cleanliness, the laundry room, and the environment of the building.  You don’t want to move in and be unhappy now, do you?

I hope these tips helped!  Feel free to ask any questions about apartments!

Ashley

Let’s Get Creative!

“The Foundation Year”

If you have been applying to other arts universities, you will recognize this as the first year of school that is dedicated not to your major of choice, but rather a general sampling of a majority of the visual arts mediums. The idea is to allow students to experience as many forms of the creative process as possible, before they decide what they want to focus in for the rest of their time at college, and potentially the rest of their lives.

The fact that FIT does not have a foundation year was actually one of the main draws for me when I was a senior in high school. Back then I thought the foundation year seemed like a waste, since I was already so sure of what I was going to do for the rest of my life (and we all know how that turned out – cue self-deprecating eye roll). I never like to be wrong, but I must admit that in hindsight sixteen-year-old me may have been slightly too self-assured.

Honestly, one of the hardest parts of FIT for me was continually pushing myself creatively. Of course, projects require a certain amount of creativity, but it is usually restricted by some guidelines or simply time restraints. The workload at FIT is exhausting, so it can be very difficult to  carve out time for personal and uninhibited creation. Even when I had time, I was usually too tired from all the work I had just finished to focus and push myself to put in the effort to do something extra. Looking back, I think a foundation year could have been really effective in learning to hone original thought and experiment with unexpected materials and techniques. It would be especially cool if we could pick our own classes – like a “create your own foundation year”. I definitely would have taken some photography classes, experimental materials, classical drawing for anatomy, film production, ceramics, figure drawing (actually I did take this class my first semester of Fashion Design and it was great and I would totally do it again), I mean the list could go on.

Realistically, there is not enough time in the Art & Design school’s curriculum for such an idea, but the huge wealth of specific information we receive here is one of the largest benefits of coming to FIT. Yet, I wonder if I have missed out on some of the most creatively fruitful years of my life. I have found that the most exciting work does not come from knowing, but instead not knowing and saying, “Hey I have the crazy idea and I don’t have a clue how to make it work but let’s just try it!” Whether or not you end up attending FIT, I hope you keep this in the back of your head. Grades and classes are important of course, but I bet the work you will be most proud of is the stuff that you had no idea if it would work or not, but experimented and failed until it did.

–Emily–