Finale(?) — Two weeks out from my DP Presentation

Today is June 10th, and it has been exactly one week since I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (undergraduate, BFA Graphic Design). I wrapped up my senior degree project just a week prior to graduation, and since then it has been a whirlwind of events and happenings.

I found out the day before my DP presentation that I will be (am now) in NYC for the summer. I am currently working in the art department as a design news assistant for The New York Times. But long story short, I got caught up in figuring out housing for the summer (truly a blessing from God that I received this opportunity and subsequently found housing in the City on such short notice), and then my family came for graduation. I got to spend a little over a week showing them around Providence and RISD, and then I graduated and they flew home and I took a train straight to NYC. This has been my first week at The Times, and it has been an exhilarating and exhausting first week.

Anyways—long awaited DP update which I plan on wrapping up in my abundant spare time this summer. We had to create a one-minute trailer to promote our degree projects (see below), and I am also in the (painfully slow) process of editing photos and documentation, updating my website, catching up on sleep, etc.

In addition to the one-minute video, we were also required to design a process/reflection document detailing our discoveries, trials and failures, what we learned, etc etc during the DP process. Since I have been using this blog as a means of documenting my weekly process, I figured this would be an “easy” thing to quickly create. Of course, I was wrong. My own “design integrity” (more like procrastination and laziness) got in the way and I quickly became overwhelmed trying to design the presentation and preparing all my final deliverables for the critique. I ended up sending a last-minute SOS to Tom, requesting for an extension for the process book. Fortunately Tom was forgiving and understanding.

But now, I am two weeks out (and counting) from my DP presentation and I still haven’t designed (or really started) the process book. I was (am) hoping the summer at The Times would help me figure out ideas for layout and colors, etc (I had originally wanted to print the process book on newsprint—this was prior to learning about the opportunity at The Times). I met with one of the photo production artists at The Times on Thursday and he explained the process of editing photos and color correction for print. Sounds like a lot of work, and something I hadn’t seriously considered with in using this medium. (Another factor contributing to my laziness in terms of designing the book).

But anyways, I digress. I suppose in the meantime, and throughout this summer as I make updates to my DP, I will be using this blog to hold me accountable and to finish wrapping up the process book. I owe it to Tom who gave me the extension, and Tom said I owe it to myself.

That’s it for now. I am writing this from La Colombe on Lafayette. I feel like I have already overstayed my welcome (i.e. my $5 latte). That’s one of the hardest parts of being in the City—finding a place to work and use the bathroom.

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.

Sanctuary Cities™

SanctuaryCities2Yesterday was the Sanctuary Cities panel discussion in the evening; I volunteered (or was looped into volunteering) in the set-up and tear-down. The three KYR pamphlets (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) were printed and made available at the table in the entrance.

The discussion was good, I have it recorded, but I felt too sleepy and out of it from staying up making the translations and branding the night before. Brandon and Susan mentioned that there weren’t many people of color who came, and were surprised the audience weren’t outwardly upset with the Mayor. I am not in-tune enough to the nuances of the discussion, but overall the discussion made me feel better and worse about the situation. It has made me realize how glad I am organizations like Dorcas exist, but they are largely understated. As much terror and anxiety the current presidential administration has instilled in the nation and the American society/politics at large, it has been encouraging to see people step up and local governments and grassroots organizations step-up. I was happy to see the three pamphlets available in a number of languages.

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Ruth and I also were able to finish up the collaboration for the most part (though there are still some nuances such as the legend that need to be made, and the pins that need to be glued). Here are some process photos:

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I have also been working on the branding for KYR. I want to have some final deliverables to give to Brandon and Susan. This could potentially be my last meeting with DIIRI this week. Unless I volunteer to work more during the next two weeks. I just can’t do Thursday’s anymore. Susan sent me another email asking for World Refugee Day button designs. I suppose they would want to get the most out of me before I graduate. It all feels like a lot. I understand nonprofit organizations would be like to use their active volunteers as much as possible. Feels like I am running dry.

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I wonder how far I could have taken the campaign if I had done my DP solely about KYR, but I am glad overall that I did the complete exploration.

Tom was very encouraging the last meeting, and I made some fine-tuning to the Hope booklet (hopefully one last time), and also the religious study works. I “only” need to finish up the video, start and finish the process book, make the presentation, finish up the collaborations… and set up the final critique presentation.

He has planted eternity in the human heart.
—Ecclesiastes 3:11

This week has been pretty intense. And I’ve been feeling sick again. After the Monday/Tuesday rush I am breaking down again. I told Pastor Sarah I am interested in baptism this coming week, and Pastor Andrew reached out today. But then hasn’t responded. Huge is offering the visual design internship again. A lot of loose ends.

God I pray You’d be with me and guide me this coming week and into final critiques next week. I cannot believe how fast things are happening. I know You have a plan, and I trust You will be with me. I pray Your will be done.

 

Week 12—RIP, now in 3 languages!

Ruth_progress1Ruth_progress2It’s really crunch time now. Tom sent an email to us earlier today (Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 14th currently) assigning us our time slots/rooms. I requested to go first, and fortunately, there didn’t seem to be much contention for that spot. I will be presenting at 10:00am on May 25th in Room 210. Tom also sent us an attachment with all the things we will need to have that day—the presentation, abstract, reflection document, evaluation, one minute video, etc. etc. It’s all happening so fast!

Ruth and I sat down together for some time to work on the collaboration. It took us an hour or two alone to set the grid of the postcards, but we are finally at the stage of putting the pins and the strings together and connecting the concepts/ideas. It looks really great so far (in my opinion!). But of course, things take longer than expected. We arranged to have another working session on Tuesday.

Do Yun still hasn’t replied to my messages requesting the images of process documentation… I’ve similarly procrastinated working on our collaboration. Anina and I are set to meet Wednesday?

I ordered some lighter text-weight Mohawk super fine paper from Alex at Paperworks and will pick that up tomorrow after my ISP meeting and test the Hope booklet. I’m feeling a lot better about it.

I want to make some graphic standards and branding boards for the KYR campaign—hopefully in time to present to Tom on Tuesday (that’s what I’ll work on tomorrow, Monday).

Besides that…I made some edits to the abstract (making it more concise). I will need to start working on the pecha kucha and the video.. I’ve been procrastinating it because I’d like to have more finished projects to use images from. But that shouldn’t be stopping me. I need to start that reflection document and the evaluation also. The latte will be straight-forward, but the former will require some time/thinking. I cannot believe the weekend is over already. Time is flying.

At church today, Pastor Andrew mentioned that next week they will be doing baptisms. Although Homegroup is under the impression that I am not, and I haven’t told anyone otherwise (I don’t know why I don’t), I told Pastor Sarah that I want to be baptized (or confirmed? confirmation?). I feel convicted. Everything has been so challenging and draining lately. So up in the air. And the only constant that I’ve ever had, though I haven’t always been consistent in my relationship with Him, is God. It’s exciting to think. Sunday will be the baptism, Monday will be the ISP crit, Thursday the DP review.

From this point forward, 2:11am Tuesday morning. Monday was a long, good day. The last day of NUA mentoring, which makes me sad. I am glad I got to see Lia and Aly though, and to meet Carla (who will be studying graphic design at RW University next year!) and to work with some other students on block printing. Cannot believe how fast these two years at NUA have gone.

Earlier in the day, Susan (from DIIRI) emailed me the Portuguese and Spanish translations of KYR and after NUA (and Olivia’s show), I got to work on translating the designs. In theory, (and most of the application itself) it’s easy, but there are always little hiccups. Spanish and Portuguese are much longer in word length than English. And I of course do not know how to make proper line breaks or anything. I think, visually, they look good? Or OK at least. I just emailed them to Brandon and Susan (at 2 am LOL). I also worked on the branding of the campaign itself to present to Tom tomorrow. I want to have graphic standards and final deliverables I can hand off to Brandon and Susan that would be helpful for them to continue the system and build off the identity when I am gone (soon). Tomorrow is the Sanctuary Cities discussion panel which I and the KYR pamphlets will be present for.

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For DP—I am also hoping to print the Hope booklet tomorrow morning (got the paper from Paperworks this morning), and to show a new abstract. I had this idea for the video (in the shower) to use the illustrations of the houses from the Dwelling zine and to make the promotional 1 minute video more abstract and less literally what I will be showing in critique. I think it’s a good/valid idea.

I was flipping through my old work, I have so many iterations of KYR, and I found the first version. And, my goodness. It is so bad. Compared to the current version. I cringe. I cannot believe I showed the early iteration to companies in interviews…

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Before on left, After on right

I am definitely feeling the final push and fatigue.

 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
—Psalm 139:16

God, I know you have a plan for me. And I know You will and can carry me through this week. I pray You’d be with me and keep me healthy and strong, and aligned to You. Trusting You, and knowing that You are God.

100x KYR

KYR

We printed 100 (English) versions of the KYR packet! After revision upon revision, the centered version was the one that Brandon and Susan both agreed upon, the others they denoted felt less like a cover page (which Tom had mentioned also). I believe PinPoint is currently working on translating the English copy, and Brandon and Susan are hopeful to have at least the Spanish translation finished and complete for the Sanctuary Cities panel discussion on Tuesday (which Brandon looped me into volunteering for). At least the 100 English KYR pamphlets will be there, first opportunity for user testing!

RIP to the small logo I carved out. KYR3I think it will still come in handy as I further develop the brand identity in the following weeks. I want to have some final deliverables to give to Brandon and Susan in case they want to use it for future events and workshops pertaining to the Know Your Rights campaign.

Ruth and I also met on Wednesday (after having a mini-DP section outing on the West side), and discussed the final output of our postcard project. I think we came up with a rather interesting end-form. We are going to map the postcards out and draw connections with string between different topics and ideas. RuthCollab2We are meeting on Sunday to make progress on it, but in the meantime we are gathering materials and reprinting the postcards. We figured we will have the visual mapping and also the actual postcards for people to handle and interact with. Here’s an image of me plotting the postcards, the documentation came in handy! However, the whites are not pure whites. I need to improve upon my lightroom editing skills…

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I had dinner with Hazel last night and we talked about school and future plans. I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that has to come to fruition in the coming weeks, and the uncertainty with post-graduation plans. My body is being worn thin and I was sick yesterday. After I presented my work in Type in Motion, I went home and slept.

I am concerned that I don’t have enough output for DP, even though I know I have been putting out work every week. I suppose it’s just a matter of presenting it well. I think I will be doing a pecha kucha style presentation the day of the crit, putting parameters on my work will help me be efficient and help streamline the process. I am working on the 1 minute video, and have rewritten my abstract from last week (Tom mentioned it was too long, which I have a tendency for doing).

The ISP presentation is two weeks from now also, everything is culminating at once! It will be helpful not having work study and type in motion, however.

I still need to bug Do Yun for those documentation photos, and follow up with Anina about meeting next week. Things are happening fast!

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with you body.
—1 Corinthians 6:19-20

^ a very pertinent and timely verse I received this morning. My sin and idolatry have led me to disrespect my body and not take care of myself, consequently a disservice to God and a selfish sin. I apologize. And I need to be better about taking care of myself, Jesus bore it all on the cross and I owe it to Him. Speaking with Cathy this morning was really a time of healing and mutual (I at least hope) stress-relief.

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Brandon and Anton helped fold the final 100 English KYR pamphlets! As Brandon knowingly stated, it is better to not wait for perfect to output something, and things are always changing. This is only the first draft after all. It will be good to get opinions and observe feedback from the clients.

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.

Last Mentor Meeting | Final Copy (?) for KYR

I have not done and interim week blogpost in a long while.

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Last night, Wednesday evening, was the last mentor meeting for New Urban Arts. It is surreal how fast time is flying. Emily went over the end of the year announcements and events (last day of programs is the 18th! with the Art Party on the 19th), and then we reflected on the past year in small groups. So much has happened this year, at NUA alone and in Providence, in America. The students have gone through a lot too, and we reflected upon the changes in the political/social climate and the changes that have been happening at NUA (two floors?!). Bittersweet to call this the end of my time mentoring at NUA, at least for now. I sincerely enjoyed it these past two years, and its not completely over yet! But it was nice to see all the artist mentors collectively again, and to be in that shared space with them. No need to get teary-eyed just yet.

I had my final day at the career center yesterday morning too. I requested for the rest of the month and my RISD career (haha) off. I have been feeling rather overwhelmed with everything happening at once so quickly, deadlines and good-byes. I need that extra time to just work and reflect, time for myself. Alan, of course, was completely supportive and understanding.

This morning, I woke up groggy-eyed and rushed over to DIIRI. Brandon and I went over the latest version of the KYR booklet. He and Susan, and Jessica (and DIIRI in general) have been very supportive and encouraging throughout this process. But I can sense Brandon wanting to push it forward and for the design to be finalized. Which I definitely agree with. I think its just a matter of fine-tuning at this point. I submitted the final copy (of the text) which I had edited with Cyrus and throughout this process, to Susan. Interesting to reflect on the role I had in being able to edit and adjust the copy, Brandon mentioned how he trusts my judgement and knows the documents been thoroughly looked at. In that sense, I feel like I had a great sense of control over the creation of the pamphlet from strategy, copy writing, and design. That only pressures me more to want to make it as effective as possible.

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Brandon would like to have it by the 16th for the Sanctuary Cities – Providence panel discussion downtown with the Mayor and other representatives. He mentioned that we will be having it translated in Spanish, Creole, French? At the very least, I believe. The design of course will have to be flexible to additional word lengths and language structures. Just when you think the hard part is done!

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Susan also asked me to do some button designs for World Refugee Day in June. DIIRI is considering investing in a button maker to give out as collateral and for other uses such as events. I am excited to get started on them, she said the designs I have come up with thus far are “very cute” (in a good way), and Brandon likes the DIIRI logo made out of cut paper. I am still unsure if they chose my design for the postcard, however. Of course there will need to be B/W button designs too. Life of working at a nonprofit design-wise.

That’s about it. I feel exhausted from being up late last night. And this weekend there are many things planned, exciting things tho. And lots of work I need to catch up on for DP and my ISP showcase, and type in motion. Holding out on Huge and CUP, and verynice.

Tom never messaged me back about meeting this week, maybe the time frames I gave him weren’t wide enough. Regardless, I don’t know if I’d have much to show or the energy to have a meeting. We need to work on a written abstract, a/the presentation, the video promotion, and a process book. It’s asking for a lot in the final push. So I figured it would be good to either put a halt-on, or discontinue current projects and start working on the final wrap up and reflection. Can’t believe we are already at that point in the semester. Maybe this weekend I’ll make a longer reflective post about my mind-space regarding DP, less of a status update, but more of an actual introspection. I think that’d help.

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
—1 Peter 3:15

God, I know and trust you have a plan for me, please be with me in these final weeks.