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.

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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.

‘final’ critique

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final critique with guest critics Lucy and John.

we joined with Ben’s section and had final critique and walk-about for the conclusion of Unit XVI. It was really cool to see what everyone was making, and to sit in on everyone’s critique and feedback. Everyone got around 8minutes to present and for feedback, which seemed adequate.

I was commended on my presentation but challenged to develop memo further in a way that emphasizes its uniqueness. The app was criticized for its mainstream design aesthetic and not pushing the boundary of what it actually functions for; Lucy also questioned the necessity for an app such as memo, and whether anyone would use it. I agree that the design aesthetic could and should have been challenged more. I would have liked to explore that if I had more time. I was proud of what I had made for the final presentation, however. And I feel as if I was able to delve into three different realms for this project: narrative storytelling (via the video promo), branding and wireframing/UI design.

I am not sure whether I want to further pursue memo for the next unit (if that is an option). I am kind of fatigued with the idea and am ready to move forward with something new that has a larger reach and more of an impact. I agree, is this app really necessary? The world will survive without it of course, and it doesn’t necessarily promote anything with respect to social good. I am excited for the introduction of the next unit on Wednesday (and am glad there is nothing due in the meantime, save documentation and reflection).

 

just before final critique

final critique presentationToday is final critique day. This weekend has been a blur of editing, color testing, cutting foam-core, adjusting colors on illustrator, charging RISD bucks, printing–all in preparation for the final critique of Unit XVI. It’s been a crazy 6-week long project. That all derived from our initial experience in the RISD Museum, prompted by the question “How can all of our senses be used to design and communicate experience?”

Speaking with Paul last Wednesday (a week and a half ago), it is amazing how far we’ve come and how long and intense this process was. Of course in retrospect I realize I was and am quick to criticize the structure of DS, and admitted I was disappointed in the lack of making we did in the preceding weeks. However, without all the ideation and proposal making, researching and mind-mapping, I would never have gone from a post card book to a digital platform–app that is memo. I am, quite honestly, proud and happy with where the project has landed and am looking forward to receiving critique and final comments (and to be done with this project).

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feedback + public’ness

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Today in DS4 we had silent critiques and worked on an exercise of making public our project, as is, by means of digital publishing. Paul had commented on my reflection process in class, and when prompted, I mentioned that I viewed this process more as something I had to do, as opposed to something that really affected my process. In retrospect, maybe that was a bit short-sighted of me. I think it does help promote critical thinking with respect to my design process. Though I would like to argue that I didn’t necessarily need this supplementary process to make me think that process and sketching and critical thinking as something that was outside of my process before having started this wordpress. However, this has served as an impetus and means of aggregating imagery, thoughts and sketches in a more organized fashion.

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location scouting

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path to swan point cemetery
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andrea and yvonne at the fish store on wickeden

For Monday’s class (04/21), I had committed to storyboarding the promotional film for memo. This weekend, to source some inspiration, I ventured to Swan Point Cemetery off of Hope Street (on the East Side) and badgered Yvonne and Andrea to come with me to the fish store on Wickeden (on Yvonne’s suggestion). Unfortunately, the fish store was closed.

 

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