Tag Archives: Work

FIT STUDENTS PHOTOGRAPH VANISHING AFRICAN TRIBES

Last January, FIT students Trupal Pandya, Photography ’14, and Alexander Papakonstadinou, Photography ’14, visited the Omo Valley in Ethiopia to document five tribes: the Bena, Mursi, Hamar, Arbore, and Ari. Just in time, too: the traditional ways of these peoples are losing ground to the lure of Western, materialist pleasures.

Copyright Trupal Pandya

Copyright Trupal Pandya

The students spent ten days traveling around the valley, living with the tribes and photographing madly. Some of the people they met were naked; others were adorned with beads; still others were painted with ash.

Copyright Alexander Papakonstadinos

Copyright Alexander Papakonstadinou

Of the traditions he watched, Pandya was most astonished by a bull-jumping rite of passage. “The boy has to jump over ten bulls to prove that he’s an adult, to get married,” he says. Now that’s a lot of bull!

Copyright Trupal Pandya

Copyright Trupal Pandya

About 40 of these pictures will be presented in the Marvin Feldman Center lobby from today, March 21, to April 4. And on March 25 at 6 pm, Pandya and Papakonstadinou will preside over a reception to share the stories behind the work.

Copyright Alexander Papakonstadinou

Copyright Alexander Papakonstadinou

Pandya is no stranger to stunning travel photography. The spring issue of Hue, coming out in April, will feature his riveting, brilliantly hued images from the Holi festival in India.

ADVERTISING DESIGN ALUM CREATES A KNOCKOUT PHOTO

Hue has long been a fan of photographer Alex Bitar, Advertising Design ’92.  He shoots for a wide variety of clients, including Aéropostale and Polo Ralph Lauren, but he also takes some amazing pictures on his own.

“These two just went at each other for a whole match, but it wasn’t personal. That’s what struck me: They instantly put it all behind them,” Bitar says.

Bitar took the image at a mixed martial-arts event.  (Mixed martial arts is a full-contact combat sport. Considered dangerous by some, it became legal in New York only in 2013.)

In the spring, Artworks ADL, the art exhibition fundraising arm of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that works to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and advocate for justice and fairness for all, asked Bitar to submit a piece for the show they mounted to mark their 100-year anniversary.  The exhibition, entitled, “Imagine a World Without Hate,” appeared in June at the Benrimon Gallery in Chelsea.

Hue is down with this theme, and this photo.  We all have interpersonal conflicts; that’s life. It’s hard to remember, sometimes, that the other person is human too.  Thanks for reminding us, Mr. Bitar.

A TASTE OF MOVIE MAGIC

Hue finds the work of Computer Animation and Interactive Media students utterly delightful. Working mostly alone, they create films of the quality you’d expect in a movie theater. Sean Peterson, CAIM ’13, is no exception. Poppet: No Strings Attached is a gorgeous, amusing piece about a magician, thwarted in his conjurings by his rascally kitty. The animation is so precise, Hue could watch the magician squash and stretch for hours.

Impractical Magic: “Poppet” by Sean Peterson, Computer Animation and Interactive Media ’13.

Long interested in classic Disney cartoons, Peterson got the idea for Poppet after seeing Paperman, the Oscar-winning hand-drawn short that opened for Wreck-It Ralph in 2012. He created 3-D animation set against a still background, augmenting hand-drawn figures with automated techniques to save time. Then he meticulously worked in details like the rim lighting, 1920s-era static, and filmed smoke and dust, using more than 15 layers in the final project.

Peterson hopes to find work in character animation in Hollywood. Based on Poppet, Hue is confident he’ll make a splash—complete with a pool-emptying animated geyser, no doubt.

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INSIDE THE JEWELRY DESIGNER’S STUDIO

Independent jewelry designers can often be found at the bench, hammering away at itty bits of metal. But corporate designers work much differently. Charu Mehta, Jewelry Design ’11, associate jewelry designer for the Adelington Design Group, part of Fifth & Pacific (formerly Liz Claiborne), gives Hue Too a rare glimpse into the mass-market design process, using a pair of Kensie earrings as an example.

First, the design team shops at high- and low-end stores for inspiration. They liked these resin earrings—and neon is hot right now—and wanted to create something better.

Back in the studio, the designers make dozens of sketches, based on materials chosen by the product development team. The design director picks the best one—in this case, the one on the lower right. She thought the teardrop shape with just one ring of stones looked special without costing too much.

Next, Mehta makes a clear and informative technical drawing that is sent to the manufacturer.

The manufacturer takes a “first pass” at the earring, and the designers tweak it. In this case, they wanted the blue resin piece to look shinier and asked for it in a range of colors.

Mehta’s work is done when the showroom sample comes in. This piece, in Kensie’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection, sells for $38 at Lord & Taylor and Macy’s.

THE BEST DESIGN JOB YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF

In the Spring 2013 issue of Hue, textile designers and developers at four companies talked about their process. A fifth, Yuko Yamaguchi, Illustration ’10, at Tom Cody Design, didn’t fit in the issue. But Hue thinks her job, and her work, is seriously awesome.

A design by Yuko Yamaguchi that combines floral patterns with a leopard print. Originally the design was much flatter; Cody suggested adding brushstrokes for texture.

The Garment District-based company designs patterns and embroidery—about 200 a week—and sells them to fashion designers high and low. Those clients might use the pattern for one garment or an entire collection. Most similar companies are based in Europe; Tom Cody Design is one of the few American companies in the business.

Cody, who started his company after taking a Textile Design course with Professor Lee Stewart at FIT, employs three FIT-trained illustrators and designers on his team and would look favorably upon applicants from FIT’s Illustration or Textile/Surface Design majors (hint, hint).

A design by Yamaguchi inspired by winter foliage.

Using a computer and tablet pen, Yamaguchi creates two to three patterns per day. Those that Cody and assistant art director Yat Yee Tam approve are printed onto mock garments and shown to clients. The job, though demanding, is a satisfying creative outlet for her.

Yamaguchi finds inspiration from runways and street fashion and just about everywhere else. “I think fashion is related to the economy, politics, art, music, literature, news, psychology, technology, and architecture,” she says.

The catch? She can’t get credit for her designs when they hit the runway. Once a design is sold, it’s treated as the buyer’s intellectual property. It’s sort of like having an affair with a celebrity: You get all the fun but none of the status.

“It’s kind of hard,” she admits, “but the good thing is, you’re not bored. When Yat and Tom accept one of my ideas, it’s so exciting. Where I was working before, I’d suggest an idea and they’d deny, deny, deny.”

An abstract painterly design by Yamaguchi. Fewer colors makes the design more appealing to cost-conscious fashion companies.