First Days and #Blessed

A wise philosopher once remarked, “first is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with the hairy chest/treasure chest.” Not only is this spotty logic (first is definitively the best, what are they even talking about?), but it’s not always true, because I had a great first day at FIT! I managed to dodge the morning LIRR ride thanks to the fact that my friend takes a course a few blocks away and was not down with lugging her architectural model through Penn (which I respect). After only minimal confusion, I was able to ride the escalator five flights up to my class. I take HSX 133 Fashion Journalism, and our instructor, Christina Burgoyne, is a senior editor at InStyle Magazine. It’s so cool to learn from someone working in the field, with a job similar to one you hope to one day have. Our class discussed the different types of articles you can find in any fashion magazine- service, news, and profile- along with beginning to plan the ones that we’ll write ourselves. My group chose to write our articles about the late (but really freakin’ great) Prince, and I’m so excited to work on it next week. Besides that, we discussed who our favorite people to follow are (in a non-stalker way) and why we choose to. In the age of social networking, in a sea of food pictures and #blessed, it still becomes evident who has the best personality- and these are the people who become the most successful. It explains why Man Repeller is so popular- every media outlet will tell the same fashion story, but I want to hear how Man Repeller will tell it, because I know it will be amazing. I had time to ponder this all on my train ride home, as I listened to Florence and the Machine and half-heartedly flicked through my copy of Les Misérables on the train (it was a long day and it’s 1300 pages of words to take in, don’t judge me). I can’t say this was an exciting read, but thanks for taking time to gaze at it anyways!

Hannah Zwick

a rare shot of flowers in NYC trees and not in Coachella hair!

A rare shot of flowers in NYC trees and not in Coachella hair

There’s a first time for everything, right?

Hi all,
A few days ago, we lost one of the most incredible musicians ever alive (in my opinion). His name was Prince Rogers Nelson, and he was my idol in so many ways. I’d like to dedicate this blog post to him. Rest in peace “Prince of all music”- and may you be in heaven where the rain is purple.

Anyway, on a happier note, I recently had my first FIT class!!! My class is located in the Pomerantz building.


Here’s what was on the supply list to bring for my first day of the “Life Drawing for Middle School” class:

  • Newsprint or Sketching pad
  • Pencils (HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B)
  • Charcoal (vine or compressed)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Regular eraser (vinyl or pink)
  • Pencil Sharpener


So, there I was, outside of FIT and nervous as heck. My advice to new FIT Precollege students who are as anxious as I was is, DON’T BE!! My worried state soon started to dissolve as I met all of the compassionate people who were there to help me succeed. My instructor, Demetrio Belenky, was always making sure we were all okay, and soon I didn’t even understand why I was worried in the first place!

After I’d met my teacher, we all made our way to our room, where I was met with a very pleasant surprise. I’m telling you, that was probably the BEST art classroom I’ve ever been in. Paint was all over the place, I think I even saw some on the ceiling! I felt right at home there.


Demetrio made us sign a bunch of contracts – and here I was thinking that signing things was only for adults! Then class began and we had to draw picture after picture of a model; in total I drew 16 sketches in one day… We focused on 2-5 minute quick sketches of a model. Below are some pictures of my work:        sketches

Below is one that didn’t turn out so well. (The legs are too thick and aren’t shaped correctly.) I think it’s very important to learn from your mistakes, that’s why I’ve included it for you to see.         oops-legs

When I left for the day, I was so ecstatic that I was finally getting some great instruction. Stay tuned for more as I tackle my homework next…


Argo Tea, by Arden

Take a Deep breath in and a deep breath out. Clear your mind for a moment and just picture walking into this tea shop excited and eager. Your eyes roll from left to right, up and down walking into a force of positive energy.Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 7.37.08 PMHeading over towards the left is the wall of teas pulling you in to get a better look. I adore this wall of tea, giving options. You spin around and spot samples. Free samples! Who could resit? So you choose the one of your choosing, with a deep breath in deep breath out you lift the cup to your lips and do that thing, that thing you do when you’re tasting something- and it’s refreshing.Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 7.37.24 PMNow you’re waiting on line observing the shop, reading the different signs. Looking at the different people, absorbing the environment around you. You catch eye contact with the barista. With a deep breath in and a deep breath out you tell her what you would like. (If you need a recommendation my regular is the the hazelnut chi packed with a rich taste of black tea and Indian spices and herbs. I also get a green tea vegan muffin and a flax seed bar. this fills me up for my class so the last thing I have to worry about is being hungry.)

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 7.38.16 PM

I hope your still with me because now the rest is up to you, for you to go and try it out. If you have never been to Argo Tea before I hope this post gets you hooked! It really is a humble place to go, enjoy a cup of tea while you work or just relax. The best part is it’s just a block down from FIT.


Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 2.19.54 PM


Practice Makes Perfect

This week in Drawing in Life, we focused on the breakdown of drawing drapery on the model, aka a clothed model. Here are some tips that I’ve picked up on that have been helpful in my drawing this week:
1. I don’t know how many of you guys have taken geometry classes before but the first step in drawing drapery is breaking down the folds and shadows in the cloth into geometric shapes, for the most part triangles. Pressing the side of a stick of charcoal is a great way to make straight lines for triangles.
2. Focus more on the model and what you are viewing than on how the drawing looks initially. There is always time to go back and add detail to a drawing once the outline is drawn in.
3. A chamois cloth or a paper towel can be used interchangeably to get shading between folds in clothing. If a paper towel is being used, fold the paper towel into a desired size and use an edge to shade, pressing the paper towel against the page and dragging in the direction that you are shading.

Drapery Model

Drapery Model

Drapery on the model drawing example

As one of my goals is to be able to draw the human figure by the end of the spring semester at FIT Saturday live, understanding the importance of also knowing how to include drapery in a composition is a must. My progress so far has been noticeable from week to week. Between practice sketches at home and my time spent looking through other people’s similar art on the internet (aka my obsession with the hashtag drawing on tumblr) I have noticed the lessons I have observed in class appearing in my work. Utilizing the information that professor Martino tells me during Saturday live classes in any artwork made at home has helped me to remember what I’ve been taught and it makes a more structured composition.

The saying practice makes perfect holds true in the case of drawing. The best thing that a person interested in, beginning to, or even advanced in drawing can do for themselves is to practice, practice, and practice some more. Experiment with pencils and charcoal and I’ve learnt not to be afraid of making mistakes. Erasers are handy if when they aren’t missing, and my last piece of advice I can pass on to you in this post is to always hold onto an eraser at all costs. It WILL come in handy in any drawing class; I promise.
Thanks for reading!

Inspirational Thinking

So, the train ride to class is getting increasingly boring since the scenery never changes. More boredom = more creative thinking! (What a surprise – I’m complaining about the train again!)

Train ride to FIT


Train to FIT

The super exciting, crowded train ride to Manhattan

Anywho, sitting on the train and asking myself questions is almost philosophical to an extent. I know it sounds crazy, but asking yourself questions can really help you figure out your incentives and passions. Why am I doing this? Is this actually worth getting up at 6 in the morning on a Saturday? …God, I think I forgot to do the homework assignment. My life is over.

Jokes aside, I actually thought about why I like to do what I do, and what inspired me to keep pursuing graphic art. When I was little and used the computer I would see graphics all over the screen and I was so fascinated to know how it was made and how it all worked together to create beautiful images. Growing up with a computer as well as Photoshop allowed me to explore a field unknown to me and my parents since it was still on the brink of existence to almost all.

A look down Ave of the Americas

A look down Ave of the Americas

More recently, however, my friends and peers inspire me to be who I am as well as try my best at art. I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again – I do not consider myself good at drawing. My friends continue to tell me that I’m doing great and if I keep trying I’ll be wonderful at it one day. It really helps to have support from people who you aspire to be like. For example, my friend Lex is an extraordinary artist and I love her with all my heart. She is one of my role models when it comes to things in the artistic field, and to have her support means so much to me. When someone who inspires you gives you their hope and their time, it makes you want to strive for the best.

Alexis Costanza and Joey Criscione

Lex and I in our computer graphics class

In an aesthetic way, my favorite band, The 1975, inspires me and my art style. Their personality and sound ranges from quirky to serious to indie, and it reflects my abstract preferences and choices when making art.

The 1975

The 1975, via Flippen Music

That’s all for this week! Next week, I’ll be visiting the Whitney Museum of American Art – more updates to follow!
Thanks for reading,
Joey Criscione