Getting Inspired

Every designer knows how frustrating it is to have a mental block. As potential FIT students, we all have a desire to create. However, sometimes we don’t know how to go about starting a project, or we can’t quite duplicate the image in our heads. I want to give you some advice on how to get inspired!

In my Magazine Design Precollege course, my inspiration comes from talking to other people in the class, as well as looking at already-published magazines. During the first few classes, I was having a lot of trouble designing my cover. I couldn’t quite make it match my color scheme, while also having it look like a magazine you might see in a store. However, I spent some time looking through Teen Vogue, Glamour, and Seventeen, and I brought a few of the pages into class. Using them as a guide, I was able to create a design that was original, but also fit the “personality” of my magazine.

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Basically, what I’m saying is, it’s okay to get inspiration from other people. It doesn’t make your work any less creative (as long as you aren’t copying, obviously).  Looking through other work can trigger your own original thoughts. You may like a certain style or trend, and you can alter it or add your own twist. Just don’t get frustrated – your innovative idea will come soon!

- Marisa

Specific Portfolio Requirements

Apart from the pieces that I freely get to chose to include in my portfolio are some required pieces. For example, a 3D model of a room or 6 steps to teach someone how to do something. One of the required pieces that I’ve recently been struggling with is designing my self portrait. Not only is this mandatory for the class I am taking, but it is also something I feel that every artist should have. It’s not like I’ve never done a self portrait before, but when I have, it’s been for middle school art class and had to be the most realistic representation of me. Now that I’m trying to make one to add to my portfolio, there aren’t any restrictions. In fact, the more creative the better!

My main problem has been either trying to narrow down the ideas I have so far, or to scratch all of them and find the one idea that I know is perfect. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but I feel like once I think of the idea, there wont need to be any narrowing down because it will be the perfect idea.

The ideas I’ve thought of so far are:

  • a more abstract piece accentuating my hair
  • a retro comic bookish illustration
  • a comic book but not retro stylish, more realistic
  • me morphed with a cat since I am so totally a cat!
  • a more realistic representation

I honestly just have no clue.  I feel like I need to keep thinking and once I’ve got it and tried it out, I’ll know.

Then after that, comes what medium do I use:

  • (a) marker
  • (b) pencil
  • (c) computer
  • (e) collage/photographs
  • (d) none of the above?

I just need to find something that accurately represents ME and all the different sides of me, from my performing arts background, to my love for visual art, and pretty much just all art in general.

If anyone has struggled with this issue as well and has any advice for me, I’m gladly accepting via the comments box!

I promise to update once I have made some progress!

Until next time,

Mai

 

 

Pictures Hold Memories

The feelings pictures leave you with can affect you for the rest of the day. This is the first thought I had upon entering FIT last Saturday. There was a huge display right at the front of my building with tons of different student’s photos. They were all hauntingly beautiDSC05387ful, each with a different story to tell. We’ll come back to these photos later. Now I have to head over to my sewing class.

In class, all I had left to do was the neckline on my blouse. I ironed my top and fixed a few of the hems before I started. My professor had me fold over the fabric at the top so it made a sort of tunnel. Then, she helped me measure my elastic.  After that, I pulled the elastic through the tunnel using a safety pin. I was done with the class. She told me to bring in a personal project that she could help me with next week. I still had half the class to fill, so I made a little detachable collar for my friend. I found this really cool blue muslin and embroidered it with a rose trim. I aDSC05388lways feel more comfortable working from my head instead of a pattern. I know patterns are more reliable, especially for something complicated, but I love the feeling of being in control of how it will look! Every inch I change will affect the garment, and I love having that control.

After lunch, I headed back to the display of photographs. I couldn’t get enough of them. I don’t know much about photography, but having a friend who is obsessed with it has given me a new appreciation for the little details, not just a model’s pretty dress. For my draping class, I was looking forward to draping the bodice of a dress to look forward to. I started by reviewing what I had done last week, re-pinning my style tape to the dress form, and making sure all my measurements were correct. I had done my first dart last week, so some of my work was already done. We spent the class making the neckline, marking and truing the front piece and then the back.

After my draping class was finDSC05390ished, I went to go see the photographs again. They still amazed and intrigued me. I love that there can be so many talented people in the world, and that some of them get the chance to show off their amazing work. It made me feel hopeful that some day I could have my designs on display at FIT. I would love to impact on another hopeful talent, the same way those pictures had an impact on me. 

Sissi

Being in my Element

I just finished writing a personal narrative for my English class, in “regular” high school, by the way. We were given pretty general directions which enabled us to choose basically anything we wanted to write about. I chose to write about finding my passion, which is essentially when I am in my element. The term “being in your element” stems from a book I was required to read titled The Element by Ken Robinson. It wasn’t the most exciting book, but it presented a good topic. Being in your element is defined as “the place where passion and skill meet”. In other words, it’s something you not only enjoy, but excel at as well. In my essay, I discussed trying to “find myself” earlier in life.  I discussed the trials of exploring different activities, such as joining sports teams, and not feeling as if those we the best suited for me.

Can you guess what I included in half of my essay? FIT and fashion, of course!

Here’s a little part of my essay:

At the end of the day, I realize that these classes are way more than just a learning experience for me; they have changed me in so many different ways. When I step on to FIT’s campus, I’m filled with independence.  I have an attitude that anything is possible because I am in my element. The fact that I am surrounded by what I love and people who love the same thing as me for an entire day stimulates me to exude confidence and happiness, unintentionally. I also acquire a sense of  feeling carefree, which stems from the comfort and liberalness that I pick up. Additionally, because I am in my element, I am inspired to reach out and aim for any opportunity I can receive. This mix of confidence and inspiration has led me to complete five FIT classes in addition to my high school studies, become a blogger for FIT, start my own blog six months ago and serve on Nordstrom’s fashion board.  These opportunities would never have been accomplished if it weren’t for me finding my element.  Finally, I feel as if FIT and its classes provide an escape for me.  When I’m there, I am able to leave everything behind and focus on the one thing that lifts my mood, despite the situation.

 

I suggest everyone discover The Element and get a feel for what the author portrays as “the element”.   I think it could benefit each and everyone of us. FIT is such a career-focused school.  If you come here, you should know what you want to study here because there’s no “deciding” time once your in. Therefore, reading The Element will help drive your dedication to whatever your passion is.

Today my fabric styling class went to MOOD and M&J Trimming. Both places were great, I can’t wait to go back!  I have to say though, my favorite part of my experience was seeing “Swatch”, the owner’s dog at MOOD. I’ve seen him before on Project Runway, but when I saw him in real life, I thought I saw a celebrity!  That’s how excited I got.

Swatch!!!

Fabrics galore!

By the way, can you believe there’s only three more classes left! That’s crazy! When I was looking at my calendar, I was expecting five or six more!

Fashionably Yours,

Michaela

All The Little Things

HEY GUYS!

Sorry I haven’t really been able to update, Hurricane Sandy left us with no power and living so close to a Zone A neighborhood made it difficult to get any. I really shouldn’t complain considering how much better I have it than so many others (I’ll post some pictures at the end). I hope everyone else is safe or is receiving the help they need!

Since I haven’t been to class in a while I’m going to write about something different today; this post will be about things that inspire me. I’m just going to dive right into it.

What inspires me the most is really just the things in my every day life. I love New York City and the images it conjures up in my mind. As much as I say I hate it, I love walking through Times Square on my way to school each and every morning. I love the pedestrian traffic (unless I have somewhere to be). I love knowing that the people I am with on the subway right now I will never see again in my life. But, most of all, I love being able to surround myself with such artistic and interesting people. That’s where I draw most of my inspiration from. From my school where everyone is a performing artist to the classes I take at FIT, I’m constantly surrounded by people who are thriving and expressive.

When I find it difficult to find inspiration, I take a little “me time”, which a lot of people forget to do. It’s important to reflect and think about what’s going on in your daily life. In my Acting Technique classes, my teachers are always telling us that it’s impossible to play an emotion that you’ve never felt, which is why it is said that it takes twenty years to become a great actor. You can only talk about the things you know, and the same goes with expression. I always go back to what I am feeling and see how I can express it. It is also very therapeutic and can solve almost any problem. Even though graphic design might not express emotions in the same way that illustration does, it can still be a great problem solving technique.

I’ve tried to draw mostly with pen so that I can’t erase. It has helped me see that sometimes, things don’t have to look perfect. It depends on the context, but sometimes pieces can look their best in a more textured, sketchy style.

After class a few weeks ago, I went to my mom’s friend’s studio and she showed me things she used to make called “future boards.” She took pictures and words that described the kind of person that she wanted to be and put them on a board. Then she would work towards those goals and, later, look back on it to see what she has achieved since making the board. The goals can been short term or long term. I haven’t used this technique but it seems like a great way to keep track of progress or as a reminder of  something to strive for.

These words shouldn’t be regarded as blanket statements. For some people the best art comes from things they want to experience and not emotions they have experienced, this is just what I’ve learned works for myself. I hope everyone can learn what works for them and develop their own ways to achieve inspiration.

What are ways you find inspiration?

Until next time,

Mai

 

The water was higher than the sidewalk. All of the people on the ground floor of my building complex have been forced to move out and everything in their house has been contaminated with toxic water.