Category Archives: Creating

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–

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.

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–

#Motivation

So being a college student just about anywhere can be pretty difficult. Being a working student is even harder. Did you know that nearly 80% of todays college students work and go to school and most cant even get a loan or finical aid?

My first semester at FIT I was working nearly 30 hours a week and was a full time student. I was in the interior design program, the work load is defiantly a full time job in itself. I was taking one day at a time trying to get through the program and wondering how I was going to pay for next semester. Needless to say my grades really suffered because I wasn’t putting in the time I should have been. As I got further into the program I was able to work less and learned how to manage my time much better. It was probably the hardest two years of my life, But I cant tell you I have ever felt more proud of myself then when I received my first diploma in the mail the other day. unnamed

Before this day I was struggling to get motivated again, I felt like my hard work wasn’t paying off. I had nothing to show for it. I was run down, tired, and mentally exhausted. Until I received this and it made me think of what motivated me all along. Sometimes all you need is to see your hard work pay off or remind yourself how you got where you are. After reevaluating all my hard work I thought of three things I normally do that make me motivated again.

1. Refocus. Take a day to yourself, do something you love try and remind yourself what got you to this point in your life.

2.Set Goals. This will help you see your dreams in a real life setting, you can set them for every week what you would like to accomplish or every year it all depends on what you think will work for you. Personally I set them for every six months , not to long where it feels like you will never get there and short enough to make you push yourself.

3. Speak with someone. Sometimes all you need is a kick in high gear , it can be anything from talking to someone you look up to , or your parents, an advisor, someone who knows you well enough to tell you how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved.

So to all of you that think its not possible it is! You will make it through the good and the bad days. So for now… “Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Work really hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right and your head up. Do well , live well and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living”

XOXO

Kailee

Blush Magazine – Spring Issue

For all of you that may or may not know, I am a part of Blush Magazine, the beauty and fashion magazine here at FIT as the Senior Photo Editor.  Our brand new Spring issue comes out this week on newsstands here at FIT.  Be sure to pick up a copy before they are gone!  Everyone on the Blush Magazine team works really hard to put out a really strong and beautiful issue.  We are completely student run from the articles to the photo shoots to the layout and more.  If you want to join Blush Magazine, we meet on Tuesday’s (not every week) in B736 during common hour.  We are having a meeting tomorrow, 3/24 for planning for our summer issue!  If you miss this meeting, email blush_magazine@fitnyc.edu to find out information for our future meetings.  Below is a sneak preview of our fashion editorial shoot for this spring issue!

Tips for High School Students

  1. Take AP classes

If your school offers them and your schedule allows, Advanced Placement classes can really free up time in your schedule when you get to college (IF the school accepts them, definitely worth it to check first)

2. Take an Art History course

Here at FIT everyone has to take at least one Art History course for the general education requirements. It’s pretty helpful considering this is by and large an art school, even for the business kids. However, having general knowledge of art can be helpful in understanding concepts in history, sociology and even science  and math! (Ever hear of the golden ratio??) Also, if you take this as an AP and the credits transfer you can get out of this requirement (see above)

3. Apply early

4. Enjoy the summer!

It’s not like summers post college won’t be fun, but right now you have very few responsibilities compared to your future so revel in it baby!

5. Get to know the area around FIT

If it’s possible, you might want to come to 27th Street and scope out the area, find a few food places, see how far the walk to the grocery store is, start making a mental list of cool places you want to visit, etc.

6. If you will be commuting, do a test run day so you know where you’re going

You really don’t want your first day of class to be when you realize the walk from the subway to the school takes fifteen minutes longer than you thought. Trust me, you will be stressed out enough on your first day, and knowing where you’re going will make everything easier. Also, the other people on their way to work won’t hate you for getting in their way.

7. Do creative stuff!

Even though many of your classes and projects will force you to be creative, there will be a lot of stress and guidelines. If you have any personal projects you want to work on do it now while you have the time!

8. Keep up with cultural events around your area/the world

9. Talk to other people starting FIT on Facebook or social media

10. Get to know your roommate(s) and plan what you’re bringing

You really don’t want to end up with three microwaves and no dishes.

11. Talk to people in the industry in your area (boutique owners, FIT alumni, artists, etc.)

People are busy, but if you are respectful of their time everyone loves talking to the next generation of artists!

12. If you’re going to be an Art & Design student consider getting the Adobe Suite

Most of the Art & Design majors will require you to take classes in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign as well as use them independently in projects. Look at what classes you will be taking in your major and see what Adobe is offering (student pricing!) to decide what would be best for your needs.

13. Immerse yourself in culture (movies, books, paintings, etc.) because you will be expected to be able to reference things for projects

14. Save up some money

 NYC is expensive man.


Do you guys have any tips you want to share?

–Emily–

How to get a job, quick!

Hey everyone! So it’s the third week of classes and your finally getting settled in. At this point in the semester you kinda realize if you can take on a job , or internship with your work load. Or it may even be time to find an internship for the summer if you plan on staying in New York for the summer.  If you can theres more than enough opportunities here at school, and everywhere in new york city! Whether its striking up a conversation on the subway, or going to one of the email blasts at school, there are jobs everywhere!IMG_0874

Below is an actual email from the Career center at FIT. Did you realize you get at least 5 a week at the minimum? Most of the time they only require you to meet in the A lobby with your resume and interview with them right there. Sometimes they will even give you an answer on the spot.

Most internships don’t do this anymore but just to warn you for the future DO NOT take an unpaid internship. Even the best jobs with the best experience will pay you. No one works for free anymore, it’s absurd for someone to think that you can or will for that matter.

Happy hunting!

Kailee

 

 

 

Why New York?

New York, New York.  The infamous city at the epicenter of the fashion industry.  That reason alone should convince you enough to come to school in NYC.  New York is always described as a city of constant movement and fast paced energy.  Everything that you do here is rapid and working towards your career.  The wonderful thing sometimes is that I don’t have time to stress because I have SO much always going on.  New York is always moving forward and bettering itself, and simultaneously, so are the people.  New York has it all…except a conveniently located Target (Yes, I’m bitter).  The opportunities pour from every corner and street sign.  If you don’t take advantage of New York City, you are wasting away incredibly opportunities.  Don’t wait for New York to hand you an opportunity, go out and find the opportunities for yourself.  New York City is truly your oyster.

Ashley

A day in the life of a commuter student!

It’s Monday 5:50 am and my alarm is going off, sleepy I roll over and hit snooze for another ten minutes. I just went to sleep a few hours ago if that, because I was waitressing the night before. My class starts at 9:00 and since I live in New Jersey that means I have to take the 7:17 to New York Penn Station. It’s now 6:25 I didn’t hear my alarm go off for the 12th time and my mom is running in my room “Kailee get up! You slept to late again!” So I quickly get up rummage through my closet and find a cute outfit to start my week off right. I then go over to my dresser and put on my makeup and throw my hair up. Gathering my things it’s now 7:00 my train leaves in 17 minutes. I go outside to turn on my bright orange beetle to warm up because today its only 7 degrees out. I quickly go back inside grab my things, make some organic flaxseed oatmeal with blueberries, grab the little snack bag of fruits and veggies my mom packed for me and finally I am off.

Turning left onto broad street I am trying to find a good radio station to listen to a good song on the short car ride. Nothings on the radio as usual because its 7am and everyone’s having a talk show. I finally reach the light before the train station and some kid cuts me off almost every morning because the high school is only a few blocks away. I pull into the parking spot at the train station, check the number on the spot and run to pay its 7:14 I only have a few minutes left until my train arrives. After paying I am running to get onto my train that just arrived.

Walking each car carefully looking for a sit that is empty so I can sit and read in peace. I sit down in the same car everyday. The man collecting the tickets gets to my seat his name is Jim. Jim sees me all the time, has seen me since I first started FIT, when I went on my first interview, has seen me crying, happy , just about all emotions I have had for the past 3 years. He says hello to me I wish him good morning as he checks my monthly pass. I then reach for my oatmeal and start eating slowly while admiring the view out the window. This morning I dosed off shortly after, I wake up and we are at New York Penn station. Its 8:43 and I am  now running up the stairs by the LIRR , while putting my scarf and gloves on. I get outside and put my head down and walk quickly from 34th to 27th, it feels like the longest walk of my life in the cold and wind.

I get to FIT and the security guard greets me in the D building lobby while I show him my ID. I go through to the B building and go down to the basement for my French class. Few lecture hours and a break later ,I am heading back home. By this point my brain and body are exhausted, Monday’s are always the longest since I work the night before and then work again once I get home. I get home it’s now 1:45 I have to be at work by 4:00. I sit down for a few minutes, eat a quick snack, start some homework and then its time to get changed for work.

It’s 3:55 as I am walking into the building, I am always a few minutes early. Monday’s are kids night so its usually pretty busy. Before I know it, its 9:00 time to go home, I quickly finish my side work so I can go home. Its been a pretty long day its now 11:10 and I am finally getting ready for bed. A few hours from now I will be waking up to do it all over again.

What’s a day in your life? Are you a commuter student? Do you live at school? I would love to know :)

-Kailee