Week 13—Endings + New Beginnings

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NUA Art Party — last Friday

This weekend felt really surreal, and went by so quickly! Following the Sanctuary Cities panel discussion on Tuesday night, the week was such a rush. Kind of a blur with all that has happened/is happening so fast.

Thursday I met with Susan and showed her the new style guide and made some button designs. I emailed Brandon and Susan about my degree project presentation, and Brandon said he is interested in coming! Because the DP presentation is Thursday, I will be going to Dorcas tomorrow morning and next Tuesday, wrapping up and handing off the KYR project. I spent an hour or some finalizing the design templates and packaging all the files. Susan and I are going to go over them and a quick InDesign overview tomorrow or next week. Crazy to see how far the identity and design has come since the initial mock I came up with.

Friday was the NUA Art Party and Senior Send off. I missed some of the senior send offs because of a phone call with Pastor Andrew, but it was really sweet to see all the students one last time. Kleo gave me my mentor tribute, and it was really sweet. I couldn’t make it to the mentor bbq yesterday, but I came in earlier today to clean out my box and say good-byes. So bittersweet. NUA has been such an incredible experience for me these past two years. I feel like I have grown so much as an artist, aspiring educator, and person.

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All day Friday I was anticipating a call from Pastor Andrew and fasting, preparing my heart for baptism. Pastor Andrew ended up calling around 4pm during the Art Party, but I was relieved to speak with him and get his insight on confirmation and my desire for baptism and renewal. I am really glad I went through with it, and I do believe my hesitations were somewhat influenced by the enemy, and I am excited to align myself to what is most true and constant in my life before I graduate. And to honor the relationship I’ve had with Sanctuary as my home church these past two years.

homegroupSaturday, Jia helped me sew the scarf for my ISP critique this morning. She was and is always so patient. After 5 hours, and the assistance from Mike, we got two scarves finished! In the evening was the final Homegroup potluck. So many people showed up! It was nice to see everyone and spend time together in community.

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Sunday—was the baptism/confirmation. I was surprised to see so many familiar and warm faces after. I got baptized with Joanna, and it has been such a blessing to be on this journey together with her. Joseph, David, Christine, and JinWa came from Harvard to visit for the baptism, and we got lunch, boba and played some games at Dave and Busters. It felt so surreal—made me want to be in the Bay Area after graduation with them.

And TOdAy was my final ISP Showcase. It is all ending so fast.

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DP-wise, there is still so much todo. Wrapping up the work for Dorcas alone is taking longer than I had expected. But I printed and bound all the Hope booklets, and got some good feedback on my ISP and religious work for DP through the critique today. There’s a lot todo. The video was due today, and I am glad to have it done with. But the process book still needs to be done, final files organized, the presentation needs to be rehearsed, the room set-up. There’s much todo! But it’s exciting. It’s all ending. Still don’t know what’s next or what God has in store for me. But I am confident he has a plan.

 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
—James 3:17–18

God I trust and know You have a plan for me, I pray that I may be patient and learn to learn and trust in You. To not anticipate and look forward to the future too much, but to enjoy the slowness of the present and to live out each day as a gift and a privilege.

Week 11—Crunch Time

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Anina’s definition of home (left): static, vs. my definition of home (right) dynamic. Sketch by Anina.

Time is going by so fast! There are so many things to do, and so little time.

This past week, I made some edits to KYR and also to the Hope booklet, and have spent most of my DP mindspace working on the final deliverables and documenting projects. The final deliverables for DP are as follows:
— 1 minute video promoting your DP
— written abstract to be handed-out during your DP presentation
— DP presentation (for day of the critique)
— process book

KYR is chugging along, and (in my exhausted opinion) the design is almost done! We are having it translated in other languages right now through DIIRI. The only thing still up for contention, is the cover (I believe). Hopefully Tom and Conrad’s feedback will be insightful. I know Brandon, Susan and Jessica are wanted for it to be done soon. Spanish copy is due next Monday I believe? During the Sanctuary City panel discussion

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This weekend, I documented all of the postcards Ruth and I have collaborated on thus far, edited the photos from Do Yun and my collaboration, and documented/edited Anina’s spoons. I have arranged to meet with Ruth on Wednesday in the afternoon to discuss our collaboration and final deliverable, and Anina and I will be meeting next week (after this week). I was able to catch Anina just as I was wrapping up the documentation in her studio. We shared a nice chat and she’s willing to sit down for another discussion and a-go at the book design now that the photos are taken and edited. I still need to document the Our America show, though. I’ll do that tomorrow morning.

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Collaboration with Ruth
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Collaboration with Anina

This evening, after meeting with Cyrus for my ISP in the morning and the second to last NUA session, I worked on writing my abstract and an outline of what I want to present for DP. It’s a lot. I think I will need to condense and edit the information down, or just speak quickly. It is a testament to the work I’ve done this semester, the conceptual thinking, but I can only hope the deliverables can live up to the theory, and that I am able to articulate and communicate the richness of the exploration in the presentation itself.

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I spent two hours typing the outline and abstract.

With two showcases/presentations coming so soon, it’s a bit overwhelming. ISP showcase (May 22nd) and DP presentation (May 25th). The postcards for the ISP showcase came in the mail today, and I purchased the envelopes from Paperworks this morning. Alex will be giving me a deal on the Mohawk paper for the Hope booklet (thank you, Alex!). And I am trying to wrap up most of the production-y side of things for both so I can focus on the presentation and visual design of the room, etc.

I was watching the DP presentation videos just now, and I was… (not to be offensive) but unimpressed? I don’t know. The videos seem very vague and abstract. Minimal. Maybe it’s because I’m taking type in motion right now, I’m extra critical? Or maybe because I assume a lot of effort needs to be put in it (not that the videos I watched didn’t have a lot of effort!). But it helps alleviate some of the pressure I suppose. Thankfully, type in motion ends this week and I can use that time in my schedule to work on the 1 minute video (1 minute is long!). Cyrus liked the animation I made of prensa, he said he was touched and his mother would be too. Sometimes he is overly kind in his critique.

We will be meeting with Tom in one-on-one meetings tomorrow. Because I missed last week, I hope he is not overly expectant for an abundance of new work. I do believe I have put in a lot of thinking and effort, but I am always unsure when ‘enough is enough.’

Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
—2 Corinthians 6:10

Pastor Sarah gave a really great sermon on friendship on Sunday; and it really spoke to a lot of things that have been on my mind. Mike struggled with it a lot during service, and it was a challenge for me to be a good friend (ironically) to him, but God pulled through for me. He always does. She also spoke about how our culture, both religious and not, has a lack of imagination for intimacy that is not sexual. And I found that really profound. I suppose one could argue we have “platonic relationships” but even then…

Writing the outline and abstract made me realize how much more seriously I take my faith now, and the impact centering myself on Christ in all areas of my life, especially my work through my DP and my ISP, have had on my life. Maybe Joanna is right in encouraging me to pursue baptism. I pray God that you would reveal the answer and that your will would be done.

I continue to search for the right opportunity for future employment; and am expectant that God has a plan. I interviewed again today but am still holding out for an email I was expecting last week. More and more people ask the proverbial question, I am not offended or anxious to answer. But it would be nice to know.

Week 10—What.

Time is moving really fast and my brain can’t keep up. This past week was a blur. We had a guest critic, one of Tom’s previous students–Conrad, who gave a lot of insightful feedback on our works. We met in pairs, but my partner was absent. I even followed up with Conrad via email and he has been very supportive and great with responding with lots of insightful criticism and feedback. Especially on the KYR pamphlet. Some of the feedback I got last week:

–KYR edits (see below)
–”design an experience for the viewer” — not just passive
–bring people in, make it interactive
–relationship of time and visuals — play with time
–design for experience
–make the reading experience of the hope pamphlet more accessible and poetic
–conditioned experiences
–design the stimuli
–what does it become? exercise that leads into something (collab with DoYun)
–temporal in visual design
–dialogue with the patterns
–shift the experience of the conditions

It was a long and constructive critique with Tom and Conrad last week, and to be honest, I was exhausted after it. I took the next day off and went to Boston. I spent some time working, sending emails, and I attended the Future History AIGA talk with Doug Scott and Scott Stowell. Scott Stowell actually came and gave the same lecture at RISD this evening (May 1st), without Doug. I feel like the lecture in Boston was more insightful, (maybe because I was seeing it for the first time), and I enjoyed the Q&A with Doug and Scott. They spoke a lot about their perspectives on design and what it means for design to be a social activity. Especially after seeing Scott present again this evening, it has made me realize how much my experience at Open last summer has shaped my perspective on design and who I am, as a designer, today.

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Doug Scott (center) and Scott Stowell (right) — FutureHistory AIGA Boston lecture

After DP on Tuesday, I had a phone call with Epsilon and was offered a full-time art director position. I will be touring the office tomorrow (and missing this week’s DP meeting, fortunately Tom is supportive and willing to meet with me later in the week). I also ran to attend Andrea’s thesis presentation at Brown. Her talk was really inspiring, and if she is able to condense months of research into one, 15-minute slide-show presentation so eloquently (and well-designed!) presentation, it gives me confidence and encouragement that everything will be okay for DP.

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Andrea’s thesis presentation at Brown University

After Tuesday and Boston, I rushed back to PVD to get work done for Thursday’s DIIRI meeting. I presented the latest version of the KYR pamphlet and the branding to Brandon, Jessica, and Susan. They were all very encouraging and excited! Their feedback is always a lot more congratulatory than Tom or Cyrus’ (and sometimes I need that). Though I do feel their impending sense of need/immediacy that I feel like is being prolonged in the design process. Jessica mentioned that the tone should be “affirmative” and not stress or anxiety inducing. Which is helpful.

I have been shifting the design so much recently. I sent a new email to Conrad and then met with Cyrus this morning for my ISP and got his feedback on it too. I hope to shoot an email to Tom tomorrow. It’s hard because each person will see a different iteration that isn’t the same that I presented to someone the day before. I.e. Cyrus will see version A on Monday, then Tom will see version B, and then DIIRI will see version C, etc. But I am very fortunate and grateful to have people who are so invested in the project with me. The design has shifted a ton and it looks leaps and bounds better. And is changing every day. Here’s a sense of how many versions I’ve designed thus far (and this only abbreviates how many files there actually are!):

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Besides that, I’ve been making edits to the ‘hope‘ booklet. Despite the conversation I had with Alex (at Paperworks), Conrad and Tom both fell for the Mohawk paper. My fault for showing it. It’s expensive, but as Conrad and Tom both mentioned: more of an entry point and more evocative than the speckled paper. I am hoping to finish it up on the Amtrak tomorrow.

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On Friday, I had dinner with the Career Center staff and breakfast with Grace and Deborah. Time is flying so fast! I am needing to make time with the people I care about seeing/catching up with one last time. Saturday and Sunday were blurs of work and allergies. It’s officially spring! This past weekend I invested a lot of work in my ISP with Cyrus, but not as much work into DP. Though there is some overlap.

I spent a lot Thursday and the weekend organizing for my ISP showcase, which will be happening the same week as DP presentations. It will be on Monday, May 22nd (DP will be on the 25th). I am fortunate to have Emily Rye and Jane Androski from the Design Agency come as guest critics, along with Cyrus (and Lucy said she is interested and wants to make time to see it!). I am excited but overwhelmed.

I still need to edit DoYun’s photos and figure out how to synthesize that information, I sent another postcard to Ruth but am still awaiting her reply. I was very late in sending it to her last week. We soon need to document and figure out how to present the project for the final critique. Anina: I still need to go in and document the spoons. Hopefully I can arrange a time this week.

I am slightly bothered (and relieved) that I will be missing DP this week. Tom is meeting with the entire section briefly to discuss final wrap up in the coming weeks, and Paul sent an email sending the specifics for the video we need to create for the final showcase. It’s all happening so fast! I need to figure out how to synthesize and present all the work I’ve been doing.

Susan (DIIRI) sent an email requesting some button designs for World Refugee Day, I wonder if that means they went with my postcard design? And for the copy of the KYR pamphlet which keeps changing. I told her I’d hope to have it this Thursday.

Many things culminating at once! Time flying by. I can’t believe its May. We have our final NUA artist mentor meeting this Wednesday, and the semester is quickly coming to a close. I don’t know how it’s all going to get done. God be with me. Joanna and I met earlier this evening (9pm) to discuss pursuing baptism at the end of this month. She is feeling very convicted, and I hope to have encouraged her. She has such a heart for God and it is really inspiring to share our walks and friendship together. I am less convinced, but am hopeful. I know God has a plan, and I hope to pay close attention to it and to be attuned. I am excited and hopeful for the future He has in store.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
—Job 1:20–22

I finished Luke and John, and have decided to go back to reread the book of Job. Joanna really encouraged me saying she sees/hears the Holy Spirit speak through me whenever we meet and share about our walks to one-another. I am honored and touched to be able to share some of God’s love onto her, as she is such a beacon of light and hope in my life.

Pursuing work about my faith both for my ISP and my DP has been really challenging but exciting. The final showcase(s) will be testament as I have to publicly speak about how its influenced my work and how its integral to it and to my identity as a Christian.

DIIRI Progress | Don’t Follow the Wind Panel Discussion

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Invitation to the Don’t Follow the Wind panel discussion

Earlier this evening I attended the first part of a presentation on an ongoing exhibition in the Fukushima exclusion zone in Japan. Jane from Design Agency forwarded me this invitation, and Ron was willing to let me leave class a little early to attend the first part of the presentation. It was really interesting to learn about and see the work the artists are making in response to the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear power plant destruction and the subsequent release of radiation. The artists discussed how they are tackling the question of “what can art do to confront catastrophe?” and in situations such as these, what is the role of art?

Thousands of people were forced to relocate from the affected area, and the border of the radiation zone itself is very political. The aftermath from the disaster is still evident in Japan today.

The artists spoke about the separation the families are experiencing from their homes and the sense of displacement and separation. “Invisible” destruction—just as the radiation itself is not visible. Gave me some interesting ideas for DP—the relationship to Japanese Internment in matters of displacement and evacuation, the sense of losing one’s home, physical and mental/emotional separation. Very interesting food for thought that I am still processing.

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Notes from the panel discussion

At DIIRI this morning, I received the edits on the KYR packet that Cecily (one of the DIIRI lawyers) had made, and adjusted the pamphlet accordingly. Fortunately, the changes were not too drastic and there were no major additions. I sent the revised copy to Susan to have it translated through Pinpoint, and I also presented her with the Family Preparedness Plan draft 1 I had prepared. Progress seems to be going pretty steadily, but time is moving fast. It will be challenging and interesting trying to incorporate different languages into the design.

Tom mentioned that the guides are very ‘practical’ but could hark more at the ‘poetical’ with an emphasis on what kind of rights are being asserted. And to create a sense of urgency and design that is distinctive from other documents. I am considering carving the type out of linoleum and adding the symbol of a fist. I like the idea of “Your Rights” being carved out, and then maybe having “Know” in black-out typography like the headers in the pamphlet. The word “know” being typeset, can be interchanged with other imperatives: “protect,” “understand,” “assert,” etc. Similarly, for the FPP, “family” and “plan” could be carved. I will give it a shot this week and present it to Tom, and to Brandon and Susan for their opinions and feedback.

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Leftideas for the Faith • Hope • Love poster series: seed – flower – tree (respectively). Right and Left-belowrough ideas for DIIRI KYR

Another week flew by. I cannot believe it is Friday tomorrow. After the panel discussion, I had ‘family dinner’ with Bruce and Maria at Ran Zan (with Three Sisters Ice Cream afterwards). This weekend is Easter weekend (meaning tomorrow is Good Friday), and I am volunteering with setup Saturday evening (6–9pm, meaning no homegroup), and with the Easter Egg Hunt after service on Sunday. I have a few job interviews tomorrow and I am hopeful they will lead to something. I know God has a plan.

Quick recap on the feedback from Tom and Andrew this week:
– Tom suggested Ruth and I could each have our own separate narratives created from the postcard series, and then see how we each interpret the works. I emailed Ruth and we were discussing a bit over email. I like the idea of having separate interpretations and a collaborative documentation, or some element that involves us coming together again.
– Tom emphasized the documentary experience, what it means to give meaning through responding to a conversation
– the Faith poster was well-received, minor adjustments/suggestions: to make each perforated unit a circle (mocking the shape of a seed) and to play with the transition of the typography across the poster
– Andrew commented that it is hard for him to critique/comment on the effectiveness of the poster when he understands it coming from a Christian background/upbringing. I wonder how it would be read by someone not Christian and not a designer?
– DIIRI: emphasize the feeling of human rights/constitutional rights; practical vs. poetical
– should be meeting with Do Yun Monday? Couldn’t meet Wednesday or this weekend

I recently finished Luke, and have been reading John. Jesus is a confusing man to follow, sometimes. I wonder if I’d be able to keep up if I had been living and one of his disciples back in the day.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
— John 4:13–14

Midterm Crit—Feedback

CritNotes

We had our midterm DP presentation/crits today—with Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein as our guest critics. It was really great to see everyone’s presentations and how we’ve progressed since our first meeting. Anne and Mitch were great critics, and had lots of supportive criticism and helpful references to look into.

They commended me on making design work about religion—it’s a very touchy subject that many designers shy away from. I would like to explore it further, and try to incorporate other religions or expand the lens of spirituality. Mitch suggested I try to convey less of the dogma of religion, but rather what it provides for people or its function one-could-say. I understand what he means, and I believe it could be a fruitful endeavor to explore. It reminds me of Hayon’s DP.

They also spoke about the fine line between doing impactful design work, versus work that is self-serving and inconsiderate—not addressing the issues that need to be solved. I am trying to be careful to be aware of myself and the work I pursue, not to be condescending or using my privilege in an abusive or offensive way. It is important for me to make direct impact, and to remain humble and not prescriptive.

Tom further encouraged me to explore the visual language and subtlety in my designs—he even emphasized making the posters larger. I definitely think I can be more poetic in my design work. Tom emphasized: how do you get a person engaged with the experience? And all design is experiential. How to get people to draw-in?

Alex mentioned that the Christian perspective is evident in all of the lenses and work I am pursuing, and it is really rewarding to have that be evident (I hope it doesn’t go to my head). She also suggested researching the visual language of the communities and use the vernacular in my design.

Moving forward, I need to delve further into the lenses and work on synthesizing the work together cohesively. I want to have a presentation that can convey the richness of the topic effectively, efficiently, in language that is accessible, and understandable.

I especially enjoyed Ruth’s presentation and the work she has been making; and there are apparent overlaps with my project and that of Jane and Denise. Maybe the potential for future collaborations?

After DP today, Anne and Mitch gave presentations on their work in the GD Commons. I really enjoyed their emphasis on process in their work—they approach design projects as a team and have a similar analogue/digital approach to Nancy Skolos and Tom Wedell. They emphasized four key ideas behind their work (largely book cover designs): 1. the hand—the trace of the hand in the work; 2. analogue & digital synthesis; 3. materials; and 4. the camera.

I am grateful and thankful that this presentation went well and is now over. There is a NUA Artist Mentor meeting tomorrow evening (Wednesday), and I have the next check-in with Brandon and Susan at DIIRI Thursday morning. I hope Unbound this weekend will be successful and fruitful in generating content and ideas (I still have some preparations that need to be made and done for the sale). Looking forward to moving forward with these ideas—hopefully will get lunch or dinner with Dodo next week too to talk collaboration. OH! Discipleship class tomorrow morning. I hope I can make it this time around…

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
—Psalm 19:14, ESV

Week 3 Feedback

*written 5 hours after DP Week 3 meeting in section*

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notes from feedback in section

Recap of some feedback I received in section today – the presentation went well. I feel more confident in my direction and am excited about the work I am making. Tom and my peers had some great advice on making work that solicited a response and collected information from people, in addition to making work that is releasing information. Some statements I really found insightful from today’s feedback (roughly paraphrasing):

The more direct a message is, the less we [the audience/reader] feel like we can contribute. 

How can structures [established through layout, typography, etc.] and formal relationships establish meaning and push the visual language?

The dynamic sense of home/idea of overlapping homes

It is always exciting to see what my peers have been up to as well, and how their ideas are taking shape. I am hoping to be able to work with some of the people in my section – Ruth and I are thinking about doing a postcard series back and forth (her topic is untraditional narratives). Jane and Denise are both doing projects based on identity, which could overlap nicely with my topic as well.

One of the artists Jane referenced in her presentation, Do Ho Suh, is someone one of the graduate TA’s had shown me in DS2. His work is really interesting and I may research further into it for my ow DP.

Some additional notes from a conversation I had with Ruth during break:
Momentos from home – things you cary with you from home
Feelings and objects – memories and objects
Value of multiples vs. select few
How much of home do we carry with us?

That’s all for today. I just came up with a new posting design, prompting people to fill in the blank “Home, ________ home.” I hope it solicits a response from people, I am hesitant to attach a pen to the poster because of cost and graffiti issues. But there will be a tear off element. I hope to print and post them tomorrow.

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.
1 Peter 3:18, NLT