Category Archives: Creating

Notes From the 6 Train: Visiting The People Climate Art Collective

Marchers make their way across Central Park South during the People's Climate March on September 21 2014, in New York. Activists mobilized in cities across the globe Sunday for marches against climate change, with one of the biggest planned for New York, where celebrities, political leaders and tens of thousands of people were expected. The march comes before the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convenes a climate change summit of 120 world leaders .   AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. Clary        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Marchers make their way across Central Park South during the People’s Climate March on September 21 2014, in New York. Activists mobilized in cities across the globe Sunday for marches against climate change, with one of the biggest planned for New York, where celebrities, political leaders and tens of thousands of people were expected. The march comes before the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convenes a climate change summit of 120 world leaders . AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

The other day as apart of my summer internship with the Laundromat Project I visited and connected with several artists from The People’s Climate Art Collective. Remember that massive march that took place last year against climate change? If you attended, I’m sure you remember how much rad art there was. I couldn’t go because I had to work, but I know several who did go AND saw many photos from the March, and just from that I saw how the role art played in the march.

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This past year’s onslaught of viral videos of brutally has been particularly challenging for me. I often think about the importance of art in freedom movements and why it’s so necessary. It’s because people don’t need degrees or even need to be literate to understand certain imagery, and that’s powerful stuff. In fact, the organizers talked about how intentional they were making art a primary factor of the march from the beginning of the planning days. So it was incredible to hear that the major funders of the march believed in it also & provided money to artist to help make signs, do performance art, etc.

Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People's Climate March Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.  The march, along with similar gatherings scheduled in other cities worldwide, comes two days before the United Nations Climate Summit, where more than 120 world leaders will convene for a meeting aimed at galvanizing political will for a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People’s Climate March Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. The march, along with similar gatherings scheduled in other cities worldwide, comes two days before the United Nations Climate Summit, where more than 120 world leaders will convene for a meeting aimed at galvanizing political will for a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

This intersection of art + activism made me think of the plethora of artists here at FIT. It’s interesting how the skills learned here are completely transferable, one could be working at a design firm, fashion magazine or freedom fighter, but it all starts with a solid base and understanding of how to communicate messages through art.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Ode to New York

Being from the midwest, New York has changed me for the better.  Before coming to FIT or New York City, I would have never taken risks or stepped outside of my comfort zone.  I would have never been able to walk into an interview or even get offered said position.  I’m not afraid to speak my mind or stand up for what I believe in.  I have gained confidence above all.  New York can make you grow up really quickly.  Not grow up in a way that you’re looking at retirement plans, but growing up in a way where you figure yourself out.  You start to know what you want and what you don’t.  You now have that sense of freedom and independence.  People may say that you gain those things just by going to college, but New York is a different ball game.  Prepare yourself to begin an entirely new book in your life.  New York is the place where you become the person that you are meant to be.

“I believe in New Yorkers. Whether they’ve ever questioned the dream in which they live, I wouldn’t know, because I won’t ever dare ask that question.” — Dylan Thomas

Very literally…welcome to New York.  It’s been waiting for you.

Ashley

Notes From the 6 Train: Keep Going. You Got This.

More and more I begin to see how past relationships keep resurfacing. A few weeks ago I was invited to a huge gala as a guest of honor to a former scholarship program I was involved in whilst in middle & high school. I was “One of the 52,” an alumna that had a large impact on the organization while involved/ after my graduation, by volunteering, mentoring, or tutoring. But that’s not what this post is about, this is about what happened while I was on stage.

All of the alumni got on stage and talked about our paths after graduation, what we are doing now and what we anticipate to be doing the future. I have to admit something. It was the first time I’ve ever completely owned and honored my artist title, especially in front of such a large group of people. Fully believing and owning my truth in that way has been a long time coming. Part of it was me not feeling I deserved that title and the other was being ashamed. Growing up, I’ve also been surrounded by incredibly academically focused people, and there’s been a part of that wished that I was passionate about academia in the same way.

My mentor & I.

My mentor & I.

But with unlearning the common narrative that art is not important. While also adhering to an intense artist practice, fully internalizing how important art IS, and what it means to bring it to communities spaces (which is what I’m all about), has instilled in me an unwavering pride to call myself a creator, an artist. Having the platform to stand up and just briefly mention what I am up to, and it being honored, was transformative for me. I felt proud while hearing everyone’s accomplishments, and feeling proud. I am thankful to experience these little, unexpected, cathartic moments offer unexpected healing.

Side-note: I wanted to write about this because I’ve been thinking about how blogs & the internet in general, only show snapshots of everyone’s experience. Behind that perfect Instagram picture, there was uncertainty, doubt, question of talent, etc. But for artists, it’s important to remember to not stop during those times of self-doubt. Just keep working, don’t stop, and own it.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: Finding Work That Fills Up You

I’m really enjoying my internship with the Laundromat Project. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of helping out my artist, Elvira Clayton, at the Harlem Art’s Festival. We were in the kid’s corner, where we had a live drummer, with an accompanying (evolving) drum circle. We also had materials to make mini djembes for anyone to take home to continue the music at home!

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Despite the challenging weather we experienced at the Harlem’s Art Festival, there was an incredible turnout at our table. And I know why.

The drums.

It brought together every community member possible. Little kids wandered over, with their older siblings and parents following close behind. At one point, an elder, master drummer even stopped by to play for a bit.

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That’s when I remembered, why drums are so enticing. I never forget this fact, but it’s moments like this that reaffirm, usually more passionately than before, that powerful nature of the drum. It’s an obvious reminder of our humanity, as it mirrors the sound of our shared heartbeats. This is even more poignant when there’s a troupe of drums. Strangers who didn’t even exchange names, were connected, if only for a moment, by playing together.

Not only do drums remind of us our shared humanity, but creates the perfect catalyst for community building. Everyone wants to touch the drum, beat and feel the rhythm of the drum. Even the shyest and most hesitant of passerby’s found themselves enraptured in the majestic nature of the drum circle.

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As my graduation swiftly approaches, I am paying attention to work that fills me up, makes me feel whole, and this community engaging work does it for sure. That’s what I plan on doing after I graduate.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

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: 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

Summer Intensives

Summer Intensive programs are classes that anyone can take during the months of June and July. They are ideal for people who want to dip their toes into a new topic of study, but cannot afford (for either monetary or time constraints) to enroll in a full or part-time certificate program. The courses range from 3 to 10 days and touch on a variety of topics we learn here at FIT.

To see what courses are being offered this summer, click here!

The Center for Continuing and Professional Studies offers Certificate and non-credit programs that give additional and more specific training to those already in the industry.

–Emily–

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–

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.