Been There, Done That – Precollege Alum Caitlyn Hansen

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.

Hey! That wasn’t supposed to change!


“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.



Measuring the body for correct proportion.

This was a long pose - 20 minutes.

Long pose – 20 minutes.





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


Lights, Camera, Action!


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!


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!


Making Friends at FIT

To be honest, making friends isn’t as hard or scary as it may sound. Saying “hello” to the person right next to you in class can lead to a blossoming friendship! Or, in my case, seeing them on the train. Whatever works for you.

This past weekend, after another class of HAD 109 Adobe Illustrator for Artists and Designers, my friends Sarah, Div, Olivia and I went to the Whitney Museum of American Art around Greenwich Village. It was truly breathtaking!

There’s always a time in your life where you have to try something new. If you go to New York, taking the Subway is inevitable. And it’s not all that bad!

Subway at 28th Street

Subway at 28th Street

Untitled Meatpacking District

A restaurant named ‘Untitled’ at the Whitney

Conveniently enough, there is a subway station on 28th street literally right on campus.

We took the 2 train downtown from 28th street to 14th street. We walked through the Village into the Meatpacking District on Gansevoort St. all the way to the western side.

Upon arrival, I noticed the super trendy-looking restaurant to my right, under the museum. The museum, named Untitled, it struck my eye and basically confirmed that this has to be an insanely cool museum.

And I was totally right! The inside of the museum was huge and wonderfully arranged. I never thought that it would be so interesting to go to a museum.

Well,first we had a brief intermission in the elevator (BTW- the elevator was painted inside and it was like we were inside a giant basket!!! Bonus points, @Whitney) for a group selfie, cause why not?

Whitney Museum Elevator

Div, Sarah, Me, and Olivia, respectively

Once we reached the seventh floor, I was totally obstructed by this painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, titled “Summer Days.”  I admire the vastness of the landscape. It was portrayed as a small desert at the bottom of the piece with storm clouds in the background, totally taken over by the deer skull in the foreground.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Summer Days

Georgia O’Keeffe, Summer Days

Another piece that caught my eye was “Variety” booth, NYC by Nan Goldin. The irony between the title and the piece was astonishing to me. What also made me fall in love was the simplicity of it as well as the ‘vintage’ vibes that it gave off being in a room full of bright pieces.

Nan Goldin, "Varitey" Booth, NYC

Nan Goldin, “Varitey” Booth, NYC

The whole mini field trip was wonderful and helped me become more aware of my surroundings in Manhattan.

If you plan on attending any precollege programs at FIT and you are a quiet, reserved person, I suggest opening up and saying “Hey” to the person next to you! New friendships do anything but hurt, and they open up possibilities that may have not been possible before. There are only two classes left that I will have to see my friends, and I can’t wait to continue exploring the city with them.

Until next time,
Joey Criscione