Instructor Spotlight: Sue Willis


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Willis was born in Chicago and received her MFA from The Tyler School of Art. Her work reflects her deep appreciation for animals and the natural world and the importance of biodiversity to the survival of our planet. She’s exhibited widely, and her current installation project will be exhibited at The New York Public Library this year.

 

Professor Willis Teaches:

HFA 097 55A      Basic Sculpture

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FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (6)Current Project: 

Prof. Willis is currently working on an installation entitled “The Upper Worlds” for The New York Public Library, mid-Manhattan. Her concept will be installed in the giant display windows on 5th avenue and 40th street, and throughout the library’s installation space “The Corner Room”. The exhibit will consist of habitats of life-sized wildlife sculptures in porcelain and faux fur, and a few human sculptures. The installation will honor the exquisite beauty of life, and is a testimony to the people’s empowerment as a unified force to protect our world.

Teaching Philosophy:

Making art is one of the true joys of my life. I tell students to immerse themselves in the process without fear, and to experience the clay’s supple plasticity and sheer joyfulness in the process of sculpting. Self expression is one of the keynotes of my class and it’s magical to watch their expressiveness emerge. So many students tell me they didn’t realize how much they would love working with clay or how skilled they would become in modeling form! My students’ opinions are very important to me. Often I ask for their feedback on my own artwork concepts, as I feel it’s important that my work communicates to them, and our discourse teaches them how an artist thinks. I care deeply that they feel happy and fulfilled, and it’s thrilling to share one of the greatest joys of my life with my students.

Publications:
The Dodo
L’Huffington Post Italia
Oubliette Magazine
NHK Tokyo

Blogs and digital archives:
Feminist Art Base: Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art
Digital Archive: National 911 Memorial Museum
Artist profile; FIT Art and Design Blog: “White Wolf at Brooklyn Waterfront”

Been There, Done That – Precollege Alum Caitlyn Hansen

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My name is Caitlyn Hansen and I attended Precollege Programs while I was a high school student. I would like to share some recent accomplishments of mine and the wonderful opportunities I have had at over my four years at FIT.
In high school I took two Precollege courses at FIT. I took HFS 180 Fabric Styling for Fashion Saturday live class and HSX 121 The Fabulous World of Fashion Forecasting workshop class as well. I am a current senior at FIT majoring in Fashion Merchandising Management with a specialization in Product Development. I have had over eight internships during my time at FIT while maintaining a full course load with a GPA of a 3.6. Some of the internships I have had include working at companies such as Lanvin, Tory Burch, The Doneger Group, Brooks Brothers and more.
I currently hold the position as President of the Merchandising Society at FIT. The Merchandising Society is the oldest and largest club on campus, comprised of over 300 members while have been established in 1961. Our mission is to enhance our members college experience by exposing our members to all facets of the fashion industry.
Most recently, I was awarded the Henry Doneger Endowed Scholarship through the FBM department and The Doneger Group.The Henry Doneger scholarship is named for a former leader in our industry.  Mr. Doneger, founder of The Doneger Group, was one of the industry’s most innovative and influential men.  Mr. Abbey Doneger, the son of Henry, established this scholarship in his memory. The scholarship is awarded to four FBM BS students in the amount of $5,400 for each, and one AAS student in the amount of $3,100 with a minimum of a 3.2 GPA. A choice of two essay topics were given. One being about Generation Z and the other about activewear. Personal scholarship essay was written on the rise of activewear and how it has become an important category in women’s and men’s fashion.
FIT has given me more opportunity’s and experiences than I could have ever imagined. It is a bittersweet feeling to think that I will be leaving behind such an incredible four years of my life, but I am excited to see what the future holds.
-Caitlyn

Hey! That wasn’t supposed to change!

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“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.”
-Benjamin Disraeli (British writer and politician)

I think this quote is legit; it relates to my experiences at FIT so far on many levels. But, before I talk about what has changed, I’d like to share a homework assignment from my class, Life Drawing for Middle School, that I’m proud of with you guys.

First homework assignment.

First homework assignment.

I had to copy this work from a famous artist. It was a master drawing, which is a drawing that is so accurate and complete that the artist barely had to have a model in front of them. Copying objects has always been one of my strengths in art and something I’ve always enjoyed doing. Stay tuned for more drawings to come!

Anyways, I’ve been drawing for quite some time now. I have realized that what really matters is how well you can draw from imagination and not how well you can copy a picture. Well, too bad for me since I sometimes have trouble drawing a human being that has 206 bones and 640 muscles. Yeah, it’s daunting. Speaking about daunting, my teacher Demetrio Belenky, is always telling us that the human body is never concave, but always convex. This means that the organs and bones, etc. inside of you are always pushing out, not caving in. In addition, he says that the human body is the most complex thing for artists to draw. Wow, thanks for building my confidence.

Okay, I’m not trying to be a negative Nancy here, but I’m just very grateful that FIT is helping me develop my skills in imaginative sketching. Visualizing what I want to draw isn’t my problem, nor is thinking or looking like an artist. It’s actually getting what I see down onto the paper, and so far, I can definitely see some improvement. So, I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone (which is a good thing when it comes to creative work) for a change. Instead of copying mostly 2-D figures, I’m now drawing more complicated and realistic 3-D figures. It’s difficult, but boy is it worth it.

I could go on about my challenges with drawing from imagination, but I think you’d rather see some of my artwork.

 

Sitting-woman-picture

Measuring the body for correct proportion.

This was a long pose - 20 minutes.

Long pose – 20 minutes.

standing-woman-picture

 

 

 

Well, see you guys next time, as I continue to change on this fantastic journey!!

-Miranda

Lights, Camera, Action!

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In this week’s amazing blog I decided to write about inspiration, because any artist knows that the worst thing is the terrible, no good, and dreaded ARTIST BLOCK. Here are some simple tips to avoid the dreaded ARTIST BLOCK.

This might sound silly, but you should watch movies and surf the internet for your idol. For example, when I’m drawing fashion designs I watch old movies and look at pictures of my idols: Audrey Hepburn, Anna Wintour, Jackie O., and who can forget Coco Chanel.

If you’re not doing fashion designs; look at things that interest you such as food, beaches, even your own backyard. Sometimes, it helps just to do nothing. It may sound weird that I am saying to do nothing. When I say “do nothing” I mean scroll through pics on Instagram, look at snapchat, and facebook. Our generation has so many social media apps it is pretty hard not to find something to draw.

Once for a class I was assigned to design a skateboard. I had gotten ARTIST BLOCK… but then after staring at my phone I got the best idea! Why don’t I make the iphone screen the front of my skateboard. My skateboard eiphone picnded up being super cool.

If nothing comes to you, try listening to music. The song could have a meaning to you and might remind you of someone you know. This may cause you to draw things that person enjoys.

Try drawing what you’re feeling, you never know it might just be your best drawing. It is also great therapy. The simplest feeling such as sadness is a great example. Picasso painted a whole period of blues just to show how he was feeling.

The hardest thing to find inspiration for is photography, because you want your photo to express yourself. It is also really hard because you might want to try something and it reality is just that it is not working out. For example, when you want to take a picture of someone jumping, and you don’t to get them until they are already on the ground. You want the
in the air! So when taking a photo try timing it out. Just take pictures of things that interest you and that could be anything.

Comment how you find inspiration. Also tell me if I helped you. Thanks for reading and until next time!

-Livia

A Glimpse at a Photographer’s Final

Hey Precollegers!

 

The end of the semester is right around the corner–2 weeks left of classes, and finals are due this week! I am currently drowning in prints, negatives, and .jpeg files to organize and hand in. After class on Saturday, I rushed to the FIT Barnes and Noble to pick up a portfolio for my final before I grabbed lunch, and ran to catch my train.Today, I shot with my model for my final project, and we completed the last part of my 3 part series!

I’m freaking out currently, because I will be In Los Angeles from Wednesday to Friday night, and our final is due Saturday morning. I have very limited time to get my digitals printed. I need to narrow down to 2 photos from over 200 taken today to add to my final. My model and good friend Anna agreed to let me cover her entire face in glitter one last time (bless her). I then took a few shots in my backyard due to the silver glitter reflecting beautifully against the deep green color scheme of the budding foliage because of the recent cloudy and drizzly days. She posed on various rocks in a field of lilies of the valley, and the colors really came out breathtaking. After about 20 minutes, we drove to a town next to mine to take photos of her in public, specifically one of my favorite coffee shops. Anna posing in a public location with a face of glitter is meant to represent the face you have to put on for society, even if it is not something that you personally enjoy. In my shots, Anna did a great job of portraying a girl that is uncomfortable in her skin due to the mask that she has to hide behind in order to be deemed “beautiful”. A few odd looks and funny remarks were made regarding her appearance, but overall people were more amused than anything. A few people asked about her face, and once you tell them that it’s for art and you have a camera around your neck, people generally stop with the questions. It was actually satisfying to see some peoples’ faces brighten up when they saw a dazzling glittery girl enter the same room as them. Of course,  few toddlers were afraid on our walk, but that’s not too surprising. After posing with her cafe mocha for about a half an hour in a beautifully lit and aesthetically pleasing environment, we grabbed a quick dinner and ended my final shoot. I’m looking through my pictures right now, and I can easily say that it is going to be hard to choose just 2 to make my 5 photos-based-on-a-theme final for my Introduction to Traditional & Digital Photography    class. I’ll leave a few sneak peaks below of what I shot today, and some of my darkroom rough-draft prints from past classes. How are your guy’s final projects coming along? Let me know in the comments below!

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See you guys next week!

-Francesca