Introducing Precollege Workshop Blogger: Livia


“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring” from Marilyn Monroe is an important quote to me because it reminds me that being true to myself is essential.

Who am I? I’m Livia Smolizza from Franklin Square, NY. I think that because I live on Long Island I fully appreciate the bright lights and tall buildings of New York City because where I live we don’t have many bright lights.

I get my fashion inspirations from old movies such as: Pillow Talk and How To Marry A Millionaire. I like black and white movies because they give me the opportunity to create with bold colors..

Painting is another one of my passions. I love painting landscapes and have just begun painting figures in my work. After taking a photography class at FIT I have started to paint my own original photos applying the techniques of great artists such as Monet and Van Gogh. My Van Gogh rendition was selected this fall to be apart of the Manhasset Public Library Art Gallery exhibit “Flowers.”

I love creating, whether it is fashion designs, making patterns, sewing original designs and painting. This spring I am enrolled in Jewelry Design: Wire Forming and Beaded Techniques I look forward to creating my first jewelry piece.

Look for my future posts to learn more about my work and me.


Encouragement and Family; Hand in Hand

Every family has their disagreements, but one thing that my family never disagreed on was my decision to take classes at FIT and pursue my dreams of becoming an artist. My immediate family is my backbone, they are who I aspire to please; and so far the work I have been creating has been catching their attention. My aunt has asked for specific drawings and paintings that I have made to hang above the fireplace, and my passion for drawing has come in handy when I needed to make my grandmother a card for her past birthday. I have also been working on a decorative mural of flowers in my grandfather’s house. My family not only supports my love for the arts but adds fuel to my fire of inspiration.

me and mom

Me and Mom

My mom has always been my biggest fan; whether she was watching from the sidelines at my sports competitions, helping me with my homework, or teaching me math (my weakest subject, her strongest). Her newest cheer leading gig has been observing and critiquing the work that I make during my Saturday live class. I usually continue working from home immediately after class on Saturday and as soon as I walk through my front door I am bombarded with questions about the current week’s drawings and lessons. As a college student on the road to achieving a very successful teaching career, Mom took some classes in art. While my mom was taking these classes I was just a baby, and in awe of my charming baby face she drew this side view portrait of me.


Side Portrait by Susan Bondy 2003

Just this week, my mom made an online portfolio of some of my work that I’ve created while in class at FIT. I dream of going to art school, and by creating a portfolio for me she has made my life a million times easier. Strong drawings included in a portfolio are a huge part of applying to art schools and according to my mom it is never too early to start keeping track of work.

It is also never a bad idea to have a second set of eyes brush over a piece of art or project that is in the making and thankfully enough I have my Mom to point out any missed flaws or improvements in my work. As a student taking Drawing in Life, there are occasions where I will need a model as we learn to draw specific parts of the body. For example, this week my class was assigned to draw 4 sets of hands on a page of paper using just black charcoal. As soon as I spoke to my mom about class and the assignment she volunteered ambitiously for the position of my hand model. Below is the final product.

hand drawing

Until next time!


What to Know When Considering Precollege at FIT

IMG_4680 (1)Hi Everyone!

I hope your week has been great (despite the unexpected chilly weather)! In today’s post, I thought it may be helpful to offer anyone considering a precollege course at FIT with an idea of what they will be jumping into!

Basically, a precollege class here is the absolute coolest extra curricular activity ever. Not only do you get to hang out with some of the sweetest, most hilarious, and talented people every week, but you get a taste of what art school is like! Prior to FIT, I envisioned art school as a place for only child prodigies who picked up their preferred medium at birth and never put it down, but in actuality, that’s not even close to reality! I mean yes, there are child prodigies here, and everyone you meet is extremely gifted, but FIT is a place where you discover yourself in every sense of the word! Whether you want to go into fashion design or marketing, precollege is a tool that you can use to further your understanding of that field and ultimately prepare yourself for it!

Next, precollege is definitely a big time commitment! Now this one is partly depending on where you live and the class(es) that you take; however, even if you live a block from campus and take a class that assigns no homework, it is still at least a 3 hour class. To some people this may seem like a turn off because it is a large chunk of your weekend, but seriously, every class goes by SO fast! When I hear my (amazing) professors say that it is time to clean up I always try to figure out where all the time went!

My third, and last, piece of information that I think you should know is that if you do decide to apply to any art school after going through FIT precollege, you likely will have enough projects to put together your portfolio. I have not had this experience personally (I’m only a high school sophomore), but I have friends who have gone, or are going, through the process of piecing together their creations in preparation for the college application process, and they ALL say that they wish they’d started earlier, and FIT Precollege is a great way to do just that!

At the end of the day, if you are motivated enough to be reading this blog post about FIT Precollege, you will excel in the program :)

I hope you have a great day and an even better week!


FIT Photography Class Trends 2016

Hey Precollegers!
Unlike most of the courses offered at FIT, photography is one of the subjects that isn’t fashion oriented. Walking around campus on a Saturday or Sunday, you’ll see a majority of precollege students donning the newest trends and designer clothing and accessories. However, in the photography department, things run a little differently. Not to say that photographers don’t dress well and are clueless on style, but most of my classmates and I possess a style that is practical, yet artistic. I have noticed some reoccurring trends that are present in the classroom, and I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s blog to photography class trends. I like to think of a simple description of a photographer’s style this way: photographer’s can’t care as much about how they look compared to other people—they’re too busy making sure that everyone else looks good.

1. Dark colors
Especially when working in the darkroom, darker colors are important to wear to hide chemical stains. Wearing black when shooting in the studio is also helpful to not distract from the shoot, and it’s easier to tell who the photographers are when they’re in all dark colors. The only downside to dark clothing in the studio is that you’ll be a little warmer due to dark colors attracting heat from light. Other than that however, when in doubt, I just opt for black.

2. Stylish but comfortable footwear
I’ve noticed that a lot of people in my class wear Vans and Doc Martens—comfortable shoes that are easy to style and can really add character to an outfit. I’m a huge fan of both shoes, and they also add to the cool-artistic- alternative vibe that photographers tend to possess. Yes, we know we’re better than you. And we’re wearing dark colors and angsty footwear to prove that. (I really hope that you’ve noted my sarcasm here).
3. Fjällräven backpacks
As someone in my class once said “This is the backpack owned by every art student ever”. At my high school, maybe 3 other kids have this bag, but walking into class on the first day I found myself matching with 4 other girls! These backpacks are from Sweden and were originally designed for Swedish school children, hence their playful and childish vibe. They are a very bold and unique shape, and add a lot of personality to any casual outfit. They are also just the right size to carry a photography binder and camera, two obvious necessities for this class. To personalize their bags, some of my classmates sew on patches or attach pins to them, too.
4. Thrifted pieces
A majority of my class are second hand enthusiasts—myself included. Thrifted jeans, flannels, jackets and t-shirts are often found on the students in my class. Comfortable, practical, and probably cheaper, thrifted pieces are perfect to wear in an artistic class with a lot of moving and creating. Although our outfits are pretty simple for the most part, one of a kind pieces are sure to add character to a seemingly basic ensemble.

Layers of black textures with statement Docs

Layers of black textures with statement Docs

3 ladies rocking their Fjällrävens--original and mini sizes

3 ladies rocking their Fjällrävens–original and mini sizes

Thrifted mom jeans, various vans, and dark colors

Thrifted mom jeans, various vans, and dark colors

Thrifted layers with darker and muted tones

Thrifted layers with darker and muted tones

I hope this post gave you all some insight on typical precollege photographer styles!

See you next week!

The Importance of Construction in Design

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all have had a great past week! As I turned in my first project (as mentioned in last week’s post), I began to think about how I have grown since my interest in fashion really began.

In the beginning, most of my interest was geared toward the design aspect of fashion. I hadn’t yet fully grasped the concept of producing what I drew, so I just spent hours on end sketching garments that I never thought would leave the pages.

When I began to sew, I started with the basics: stuffed animals, pillows, and mini-purses. I created countless variations of the same basic design before I even began to think about transferring my knowledge of how to sew pillows to the creation of my designs. I soon found myself (poorly) constructing blouses made from curtains and blankets, and wearing them proudly!

As years passed, and I have grown older, my skills have developed more.  I found myself sewing more and more successful pieces, more closely resembling my designs, but I still felt as though there was some sort of disconnect between my, then, abilities and what I thought I was capable of achieving.

In the summer going into my freshman year of high school, I took a two-week long precollege course at a prestigious fashion school, notorious for their incredible design graduates. I went into the program confident in both my construction and design skills, but soon realized that my ability to design far surpassed what I was actually able to make; I knew that I had to develop my construction skills more, but I felt hopeless in terms of how I would do it.

A friend that I met in the course suggested that I try precollege at FIT. She told me that she had found herself in a similar situation where she did not have the skills needed to grow in her design career, but after just one semester at FIT, she felt more confident than ever!

Since starting classes at FIT, I have noticed a HUGE improvement in my construction. FIT does an amazing job teaching the basics, while also helping each and every student find their own style and personal techniques! If I could only leave you with one piece of advice, it would be that in the design world, your ability to make what you design is just as important as the design itself!

I hope you have a great rest of the week and a fabulous start to spring!