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

Stuff to Do After Class

Status

This past Saturday was week number eight at FIT and I cannot believe how fast these Saturdays are coming. I never want it to end! I remember how nervous I was going to my first class – my family and friends kept on telling me to explore Manhattan while I was there by myself and I didn’t really know what to do exactly. Shopping and walking around aimlessly are my number one talents and that’s precisely what I did by myself the first time I decided to take a later train home. The walk up to Times Square wasn’t that long at all. All of my favorite stores were there, so it was a home run for me! If you like Express and American Eagle I suggest heading to Times Square because the stores are huge and have almost everything you’d see at the online stores.

But then – last Saturday – the most amazing thing happened to me. Chipotle. Now, I know what you’re thinking… What does this have to do with FIT? WELL EVERYTHING! It’s life. Chipotle = life. AND IT’S RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE COLLEGE OHMYGOD. I went with my friend Sarah and then we went back to FIT to enjoy my first Chipotle burrito. Yes, yes. I know what you’re thinking. How have you never had Chipotle? I’m sorry my fellow Chipotle fanatics, I’m very sorry. The closest one is twenty minutes away and I never was part of the Chipotle craze!

Sarah Mac

Outside the Feldman Center with Sarah

So, what do you know? Signing up for a precollege class brings learning and opportunity – for your future and taste buds!

But seriously, if you’re looking for something to do, somewhere to eat, go down 8th Ave. There’s everything imaginable. Me and Sarah went for paraffin mani pedis at QQ Nail Spa on 8th and 23rd. There was a Starbucks right next door and countless food places across the street. Also, if you are into photography or want to take photos while you’re in the city, it’s the place to be! It’s busy, there’s lots of action, traffic, trees, and it’s just wonderful.

Looking up 8th Avenue

Looking up 8th Avenue

If you are like me and are stubborn to leave your comfort zone at first but eventually will break the barrier – break it sooner than later! I’ve only got three classes left and three more opportunities to hang out with my friends after class to explore the city. It goes fast, but then again, so does everything you enjoy!

(Last weekend’s plan to go to the Whitney Museum was canceled – hopefully we are going this weekend. Updates to follow!)
Until next week,
Joey Criscione

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

Yawn

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

The FIT Surprise

No, I’m not talking ice-cream.

The Surprise Factor

Up until February 27, I thought I was alone and had a weird passion for computer graphics and digitized drawing and art. To my amazement, I was surrounded by geeks (really cool ones) like me when I entered room C230 and it felt pretty awesome. Kind of felt like my second home (JK, my second home is Starbucks… whose isn’t?) Anyway, I was really shocked to find that people my age shared the same passion as I did and it felt really comforting to know that I wasn’t alone. Sharing ideas and looking at others’ work for inspiration really helped me in a creative sense and way of thinking.

The Expectations

I thought I was a decent artist in the field of fifteen year olds out there, but as I always do, I was and still am looking for improvement. There’s always room! I’ve come to take precollege classes to improve (obviously) but also to get a real grip on digital design platforms and learn.

Unexpected Changes

One thing I did not expect to change was my open personality. And, actually, it changed for the better: I’ve done nothing but become more open since I am around people who I’m comfortable with. Usually it takes me a while to get to know people and become comfortable with them even though I am typically an open book, and, literally in one class, I found a group of people who scream my style! I have seen nothing but great things since the start of classes and it keeps getting better.

The (Developing) Hardships

Drawing has always been a weak spot for me, and I never really paid attention to it. I kind of just tried my best and made do with what I had in the past. Adobe Illustrator involves a lot of drawing… more than I’m comfortable with. But truly, the class is helping me learn to love it and tolerate it.

However, one thing that really scares me is the digital pen. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about (if you are into graphics, you know the scare I’m facing), it’s a only a stylus. A stylus of death!! First, a drawing pad is plugged into the computer, and then you take the wireless pen and draw with it on the pad. It sounds super easy but it’s really frustrating and hard to learn, especially on a program based on vectors and straight lines.

A quote from my struggling friend, Sarah M.,

“When you first start using it all you want to do is scream because the smallest movement can mess you up, but it gets easier eventually… I hope”

Sorry ya had to read so much! It’s good for the brain!
Until next week,
Joey Criscione

Take a Look Inside My House

FIT Precollege Blog 1

As pictured from left to right: CJ Criscione (the infamous little brother), Christine Criscione (mia madre)

I bet you thought I was actually showing you a drawing of my house, as an Adobe Illustrator student. I was just metaphorically speaking. (Sorry for my terrible sense of humor.)

Growing up, most of the time, it was just me, my mom, and my little brother. We live, work, eat, laugh, and support each other through whatever hardships we may face together. As family always do, we work through everything and make sure we are always there for each other. From the time I was little, I was always the odd one out of us three, coming up with some bizarre method to do ordinary tasks. My mom noticed my creative spark and has always pushed me to achieve my dreams, and still does to this day. She’s my best friend.

From invitations, to banners, to custom drawings, my mother continually bugs me to spit out graphics like a machine.

March News Banner

As pictured above: custom news banners for my mom’s school site.

Ordinarily, I don’t mind, though. However, she watched my ability to produce quality work increase as I got older and always pushed me to be my best. Since the start of my Precollege classes at FIT, learning and grasping new concepts has been easier than ever before. While there is a lot of drawing involved in Adobe Illustrator (more than I expected, at least,) getting the hang of a new program and transitioning from my comfortable home of Photoshop could not have been accomplished without the guidance of my professor and peers learning along with me.

Adobe Illustrator Tiles

A tile pattern created on the first day of class

Me: “What do you have to say about my progress at FIT so far?”
Mom: “I know you thought you knew a lot a couple months ago, but every weekend you come home bright in the face and won’t shut up about the new little trick you learned that made your life a hell of a lot easier.”

Very true, and I can’t deny it! I swear – there’s a secret button that does all the work for you. I could spend hours – my family watching my frustrated face – trying to figure something out and then I end up searching the internet for help to no avail. Then suddenly you’re sitting in Manhattan one day and all the answers come to you – it’s a revelation!

Me, moments later: “What do you have to say about my progress at my Precollege class?”
CJ: “Uhh… I don’t know? Where’s the remote?”

Thanks for the inspiring words.

Nonetheless, both my mom and brother, as well as all of my other family members, are supportive of me and what I enjoy doing, and it means the world.

Until next week,
Joey Criscione