Special Treatment

This week, instead of staying in class as per usual, we took advantage of the open house and got an opportunity to tour the school. The only other class I have taken at FIT, which was Screen Printing, was on the complete other side of the building which was the building we went to. We went from our class in the Pomerantz (D) building, (I am not that well acquainted with the new names for the buildings) and took a little field trip to the Dubinsky (A) building.

The first room we went into was was the fabric testing lab, which had all of these gnarly machines that would apparently rip and tear the fabric and see how long it would take for studs and embellishments to come off. I had no idea that there were labs that tested clothes, considering distressed clothes are “in” right now. I don’t know if we were allowed to take pictures on the tour, but I managed to sneak some pictures with my phone, so I apologize if the quality is poor.

So I honestly have no idea what these machines do, but I thought they looked pretty cool and I don’t think many people have seen things like these.

After the fabrics department, we went to the fragrance department, which I didn’t even know exist. We stepped into the lab and all we saw were bottles on bottles on bottles.

So of course I had to take another picture… (Mind you this is only one part of one of the shelves in the room. This whole lab was lined with shelves with bottles that all looked exactly like these)

One person asked the teacher what her favorite sent was and it was amazing how incredibly detailed a person could be when describing their favorite perfume.

When we finished in the fragrance department, we went to the toy building department. I could honestly live in that room. It was filled with bean bags and bright colors and toys and children’s books! Not to mention an incredible wood shop with my favorite thing in the world, the Vac-U-Form! There was one senior there showing us around and he explained the projects you are required to do and told us the story the children’s book he is currently working on which was one of the most original and interesting stories I’ve ever heard. Basically, the story was about (I promise I won’t give away the end) a society that lives totally indoors and what happens when their power goes out and one boy must venture out into the outside world.

When we got back into class, we did a bit more drawing and started expanding on our campaign ideas. We were assigned another homework assignment which is to start on a self portrait. I have no idea what I’m going to do for mine, probably something with water colors or something about my hair. I’m really excited to delve into it but I just need to find some time and inspiration.

What are the projects you’re currently working on inside or outside of class?

Until next time,

Mai

 

Collage or College?

To reiterate our homework assignment, we were instructed to choose a product and build an ad campaign for it. The product I chose was Sharpie marker ’cause who doesn’t love the feel of a brand new Sharpie?

I got to class, did a little morning sketching to “connect our hands to our brains” and then got my first project of the day. Make a collage for the type of person that I thought was the consumer for my product and find pictures of who they are and what they like. We had to get pretty specific though, know what their job is, how old they are, what they like to do in their free time, the usual. The basic image of my consumer is a twenty-something year old toy designer who lives in Brooklyn (probably Williamsburg…), goes out to cool Brooklyn bars, and hangs out with friends when he’s not designing the newest toys on the market.
The room was a beautiful mess. There were scraps of paper, glue sticks, and magazines scattered on the table. I forgot what color the table was to begin with, but clean up was surprisingly easy with so many hands.

Evidence:

 

The end result of the collage compiled and glued into my sketchbook looked like this:

  

(sorry for the bad quality pictures, I snapped ‘em on my iPhone real quick, I’ll try to get a better one of the collage)

By the way on a total side note, I was talking to a girl in my class (who doesn’t live in the city) and asked her what the name of my consumer guy should be, and she suggested, “something french, like ‘Lephlem'” ’cause there was a boy in her school who is french and has that last name. And it turns out that same boy was also in my kindergarten class! Small freakin’ world!

Jada (my professor) did something really helpful as we were working. She asked us what schools we were looking to apply to, pulled up all of their portfolio requirements, and told what each school we were interested in wants to see in out portfolios! So many schools want so many different things its crazy! We compared it to our syllabus and we’re actually going to be doing a lot of the projects they’re looking for (I’d be scared if we weren’t).

I hope your classes are helping you are much as mine is!

Until next time,

Mai

Making Friends!!!

For the second week in a row, the first thing I heard when walking into class was, “Take our your pencils, we’re going to be drawing!” The only difference was, this week we were going to be drawing each other’s FACES. I took my seat in our new room (we switched classes to the one right next door and I much prefer this one. There are computers AND it’s pink!) and pretty much just stared at the person across from me for the next forty-five minutes straight. The end result was much better than expected, unfortunately I don’t have a picture to share with you. When we were all done, we laid our drawings on the table and looked at everyone’s different styles. It’s so amazing to see the way other people draw, it’s probably one of my favorite parts of class. Some people take on more of a cartoon quality to their work and some go very intense on the shading but they all never fail to impress.

After drawing for forty-five minutes, we took to the computers and learned some basic Photoshop skills such as what layers are and how to use them, how to put a picture in your document, and how effective subtitles can be. We wrote our names in a font that matched the quality of the drawing we just did, picked a word (or two) that described us and used that as the subtitle. Then we took a picture to place behind it. This was the outcome of mine using the ten minutes we had to create it. (Please don’t take it too seriously, I’m a pretty big joker. Foxy Lady is not the word I would normally use to describe myself, I was just feelin’ it yesterday.)

At the close of our computer time, we went to projector screen and watched a few different commercials and advertisements for Lego. It was so interesting to see the difference between the girl targeted commercials and the boy targeted ones. We then discussed how ideals are instilled in children from such an early age, and that not all of them are bad, but it is undoubtedly a lot of pressure for any child. Moving away from the more adolescent commercials, we looked through a few Gucci ads and saw that they weren’t just selling us sunglasses and clothes, but we were also sold a whole story that is made up in our heads. The class agreed that the models looked like they were on their way to the Meatpacking District about to hit up a few clubs and restaurants before the weekend is officially deemed over.

When advertisements were over, we got back into the swing of drawing again, but this time using different mediums. Instead of drawing on white paper with grey led pencils, we drew on black paper with white colored pencils, which was a totally new experience for me. It was so interesting to see how you can use the other colors to highlight things in your picture so much more easily than if you were using a regular old pencil and eraser.

We actually got a homework assignment! (Is it weird that I’m excited for homework…it probably is.) Our task is to pick a product that we would want to sell, and make up thirty-five thumbnails for each one with alternating between two slogans that we have also made up. I will upload pictures of my thumbnail drawings as soon as I am finished with them

We’ve typically been having our fifteen minute breaks around noon, and are now talking with each other more (even getting to the stage where you can friend people on Facebook, and you know how big of a step that can be!!!!) Last week everyone was more reserved, but now people are showing their true selves, making jokes, and being more typical teenagers. Our professor (Jada) also seems a little more comfortable with us (and I definitely need to take some style lessons from her ASAP. She wore the coolest most bad a*^ boots with these amazing tights and the most adorable color block dress I’ve ever seen).

That’s about all for now! I wish they had something where classes could mix and talk to each other cause I’d love to meet people from other classes!

If you took the time to read this, thank you very much! And if you’d like, I’d love it if you’d comment bellow and tell me how your second day went!

Until next time,

Mai

Our Beautiful New Pink Room!

P.S- I’m going to take more pictures next week to better document my journey with you guys!

The First Impression

My first day was not nearly as awkward as anticipated! (And I’ve had some pretty uncomfortable first days.) I woke up fairly early to make sure that I would actually be awake on time. (I have a tendency to disregard my alarm and continue sleeping.)

When packing my bag in the morning, I realized I didn’t know what I should bring to class since the supplies required to bring on the first day weren’t specified. I filled my backpack with a large sketch pad (one of the three we were required to purchase), three different kinds of pens, pencils, an X-acto knife and some previous art work in case we would would be sharing. I miraculously picked the right things to bring and brought everything I needed.

I left my house fifteen minutes earlier than I normally would in case anything happened that would make me late for class and since it was a nice day, I decided to walk. Once I got to the campus, I found my classroom and was able to stop running up and down the halls. I collected myself and walked through the door with a big smile. My professor, along with the rest of the small class, welcomed me and I took my seat. I have to admit, my biggest fear was that my teacher would be mean, but she was great the minute I walked in. Very energetic and gave good, constructive criticism. She kept  telling us to make sure she didn’t talk too fast and successfully managed to learn our names quickly (granted my class has about 8 or 9 people).

When introductions were over and all the paperwork was taken care of we jumped right into the “advertising” part of the curriculum. The class gathered around a screen and watched four different advertisements by two different companies that primarily used color as their main marketing technique. We discussed our likes/dislikes about the ads and what we thought worked and didn’t. For example, if we liked the music selected or if we knew what product we were being exposed to before the end of the commercial.

Next, my professor instructed us all to take our shoes off and put them in the middle of the table in a pile, which received some interesting responses from the class (mostly in the realm of “huh?”). We were told that we were going to draw the pile of shoes. I have to admit, this made my stomach do a few flips seeing as I’m not the best artist in the world, especially when it comes to still life. (Which is one of the reasons why I like graphic design so much.) She didn’t seem to care about our artistic ability but was more interested in our individual style, which was reassuring. We got a lot of drawing done since we didn’t spend much time on each illustration. The most time we spent on any drawing was thirty minutes, most of them were five to fifteen minutes, and we even got a two minute session for one. Apart from shoes we drew fabric, lollipops, and even modeled for each other. Everyone was tremendously friendly, and all of the students are clearly INCREDIBLY talented. While we were drawing, the professor took requests for music which also helped relieve any tension.

I’m truly excited to see what’s in store for next week! Apparently we’re going to be doing some marker rendering, which we got a little tutorial on after our fifteen minute break. We were told that we need to bring all of our supplies to every class, which means I definitely need to buy a portfolio case to be able to fit all of my sketch pads, which is also a good long-term investment. So far, it was a great first impression of the class and I’m grateful to be able to flex my drawing muscle.
Thanks for reading!

Until next week,
Mai

Introducing New Precollege Blogger: Mai

First and foremost, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Mai Ohana (Pronounced “My” and yes “Ohana” like in Lilo and Stitch). I currently attend The Professional Performing Arts School in the heart of New York City’s Theatre District (right next to Times Square you can only imagine how crowded my subway is in the morning).

I am a born and raised New York City soul, currently occupying and apartment in the West Village. Let me take this time out to say that there is no place else I could ever imagine myself. There is no other venue that would feel quite as home as the city does. Apart from Drama, I am interested in perusing a career as a Graphic Designer. I am particularly interested in Typography.There is just something about language and visual art I find enchanting and Typography is the perfect fusion of the two.

I think the quote that accurately describes how I feel about language comes from the movie Waking Life.

“…But when it gets really interesting, I think is when we use that same system of symbols to communicate all the abstract and intangible things that we’re experiencing. What is “frustration”? Or what is “anger” or “love”? When I say “love” the sound comes out of my mouth and it hits the other person’s ear, travels through this byzantine conduit in their brain through their memories of love or lack of love. And they register what I’m saying and they say yes they understand, but how do I know? Because words are inert. They’re just symbols. They’re dead. You know? And so much of our experience is intangible. So much of what we perceive cannot be expressed. It’s unspeakable. And yet, you know, when we communicate with one another and we feel that we have connected and we think we’re understood I think we have a feeling of almost spiritual communion. And that feeling may be transient, but I think it’s what we live for.”

 

– Kim Krizan

 

To me this quote fully embodies everything I adore and admire about language. I guess that’s also why I’m so interested in blogging. Being able to communicate my experiences and have other people internalize it and take it for what it is, is what is I live for.

As far as classes go, I have taken one other course at FIT: HTS 154: Screen Printing T-Shirts (Although I took the class twice because I loved it so much and Linda Daly has so much to offer, so maybe that counts as two classes?). I am currently enrolled in the HAD 149: Advertising and Graphic Design Portfolio class which I am looking forward to with great anticipation.

Apart from my classes at FIT, I am currently in a new play (so new it isn’t even fully written) titled “A Spare Me” at my school and I participated in the School of Visual Art’s Pre-College summer program (taking classes in graphic design of course!). As for my long(ish) tern goals, I see myself staying in the city for college (AHHH!!) and attending art school in the city as a Graphic Design major. I’m monumentally excited for my classes to get underway.

What I hope to get out of this class is a new understanding and appreciation for graphic design, a few great pieces to put in my portfolio, and to learn a thing or two (or three or four) about the advertising world since it seems to go hand in hand with graphic design. I thank all the people at FIT for this opportunity, and hope everyone takes full advantage of their classes!

Mai