Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

ia: makey makeyy

Alyx and I decided to be in a group together!
The concept between Makey Makey is really innovative...such a simple contraption but it allows for so much creativity. Think I'm going to buy one....

ia: muse wireframes

I find that creating a list of objectives for myself for each project is extremely helpful. It anchors my work to a clear goal, and helps me enjoy the project more (not that I'm not enjoying it already). The aesthetic will be along the lines of Marian Bantjes and Martin Venezky, two designers who simultaneously have striking similarities yet blaring differences. Both have a feeling of complexity and rawness. Marian Bantjes' work is immediately identifiable; it seems to include a sense of mysticism and "wonder" (as she calls it), but Martin Venezky's aesthetic is a difficult one to describe. His work is more like painting. He creates compositions that take on the form of fine art and functional design. Through merging the aesthetic of these two designers, I can achieve my main goal of this project: to portray the letters in an informational yet emotive way.

The feeling I want to invoke in my website is the same feeling one gets when collecting/reviving small treasures. People who collect things, I think, are a little OCD in some ways. They need to maintain order and control. This desire usually manifests itself into the need to collect. Like a person collecting interesting recordings of sounds, or an old man who collects artfully crafted books, collections can be for both display for others to see and for one's own pleasure.

-informational & organized yet emotive & personal
-bridges the gap between digital and print (because it's a collection of letters translated onto a website | can be done through utilizing handwriting, collage, cut-outs...)
-delivers an innovative/non-cliche way of showing letters
-user-friendly, extremely clear, but still engaging

letters on the side, indicating where you are on the page

Sunday, March 22, 2015

pp: reading response

50 Things Every Creator Should Know | Jamie Wieck

  • Tips that stood out to me:
    • Success is not a finite source
      • another does not have to fail in order for you to succeed
    • You cannot score without a goal
    • Have a positive self-image
    • Listen to your instincts
    • Make your work easy to see
      • people are lazy
    • Time is precious, get to the point
    • Never take an unpaid internship
    • Seek criticism, not praise
    • News travels fast
    • Read contracts
    • Boring problems lead to boring solutions
    • New ideas always seem 'stupid' at first
      • give a new idea another chance
    • Show sketches, not polished ideas
    • Get out of the studio
This article offered a list of tips that were helpful to all designer's despite experience and position. One tip that stood out among the rest was how designer's should show sketches and not polished ideas. Sketches allow for criticism, new idea generation, and a flexibility that polished ideas just cannot offer. I often do not like exposing my progress, especially because I do not like getting my work judged before I'm finished with it. I need to seek out criticism and critique from others in order to get better in my design work.

ux: progress on here is sway

When I went home to Chicago, I took some photographs of the city where we could potentially place our project. Though I've taken photographs around other locations in downtown, the images in Millennium Park seemed the most fitting. The photos seen below are in the Chase Promenade North, where there's large amounts of empty space (Cloud Gate is close by).

these are yet to be edited...

Below is a vector rendition of the structure
The measurements of the overall form is 30' by 30'. The cylinder in the middle is 20' x 20'. 

Here are the other photos of large, expansive spaces in downtown Chicago:

Previous sketches:

Friday, March 13, 2015

ux: progress

For the next step for "Here is sway," we experimented with different aesthetics to go with. We know we want the final product to be informative, intimate, and approachable, however we realized that there are different ways to go about this. Derick and I tried out some different moodboards that send a relatively similar message, but with different tones. Here are some moodboards:

light, atmospheric, intimate, informative, dream-like
intimate, scientific, approachable, natural

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

pp: midterm reflection

How do you think you're doing overall?

This semester in Professional Practice has been an informationally rich one. I've read many articles on how to interview well, how to create a successful portfolio site, and how to brand myself. I feel so fortunate to have a course dedicated to professional practice in my junior year, especially because it takes off some of the stress and confusion after graduation. Though I've learned a lot, I would like to push myself more in terms of promoting myself and my work. I've found that doing projects based on myself is strange; creating my own website, making an identity, and promoting ME becomes a project in of itself, and is in some ways a manipulative advertisement (without the negative connotations of manipulation). I hope to do better in terms of understanding the concept of branding and creating an image of myself accordingly.

Where do you think you're struggling & succeeding?

After gathering all the materials and content for my portfolio site, I've been having trouble translating key qualities in my work into creating an identity for myself. Using my current keywords, experimental, versatile, dimensional, thoughtful, and challenging, my identity should reflect these characteristics. I do have an vision in mind, such as the aesthetic of Martin Venezky and Post Typography, but I need to make my brand, MY brand, and personalize it so that it's unique and stands out among my competition. I'm also currently overwhelmed with anxiety about what I will have to do to achieve my goals. I have high ambitions, but my fear of failure is overriding those ambitions.

What are your goals for the rest of the semester?

For this semester, some long-term goals include becoming comfortable with the idea of advertising myself and my strong points, and creating a successful portfolio site which not only features my body of work in an innovative way, but also in a way where employers can already sense key qualities in my work. Practical goals include staying on top of readings and utilizing what I learned from those readings, staying inspired through researching about other designers, and being consistent with my process.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

pp: revised content

Updated resume
Still not sure about the logo mark though
For now, I'm using the one below

Info on all works
Still missing exhibit design category
Descriptions of each work are below

revised cover letter

pp: interview w/ John Baker

I had an informational interview with John Baker, someone who works close-by. I will definitely interview others outside of KCAI, but I thought I would include this since he did offer me some insight on the industry.

Interview with John Baker | (previous job) animator at MK12
Near the beginning of this second semester, Emmy suggested that I talk to John Baker, previous animator at MK12. Still not exactly sure what I want to do after I graduate, I wanted to talk to John and see what his experience was like as someone who worked with motion graphics. After creating my Gertrude Stein videos, I thought that maybe motion graphics could be something I could explore after I graduate. During the interview, he first explained that there were no clear titles at MK12. Though he generally worked at the front and back-end of projects, the tasks were spread out between every employee, and jobs would overlap. Everyone was included in the idea generation of a project, and everyone got to know team members intimately. I asked if this was typical of motion graphic studios, and he said that it was. He replied that people who work in motion graphics have to be the "jack-of-all trades" due to high competition and the high accessibility of learning about programs such as AfterEffects, Flash, and Photoshop. Another thing he pointed out was how animators usually refer back to historical design, borrowing from past famous designers such as Norman McLaren, John Whitney, and Charles Eames (Powers of 10). This especially resonated with me, especially because I am also interested in Art History, and enjoy learning about the roots of design. Near the end of the interview, he gave me some advice:

-Make sure you're skilled in photography, and hone your lighting skills
-Know how to use green screen and photoshop
-Know how to incorporate AfterEffects and stop-motion, especially drawn-in animation
-Find your voice visually and differentiate yourself from others
-Become proficient in controlling motion and finishing key frames
-Know how to hybridize works with imagery, animation, 3D, and others
-Work on still-design once a week, and generate motion ideas that may not be possible yet
-Learn on your own, and check out some tutorials
-Know the basics of live-action
-Understand the compression of time in film
-Finally, practice!

He emailed me some more links:
Motion Graphics Links & Resources

pp: reading response

64 Interview Questions
  • General guidelines
    • Find out what people want, then show them how you can help them get it.
      • find out what that employee is looking for
    • Turn weaknesses into strengths
    • Think before you answer, be thoughtful
    • Be optimistic, don't be negative and turn everything negative into positive
      • sharpens your selling skills
    • be honest
    • keep an interview diary
      • don't be like the 95% of humanity who say they will follow up on something, but never do
  • Key Questions that stood out to me:
    • Tell me about yourself.
      • careful not to get too deep into personal history
      • start with the present, why you're qualified for the position
      • do your research to figure out what they want
      • ask for more complete description of the position as soon as possible in order to better answer their question
      • pay attention to the third question they ask, it exposes what they're actually looking for
      • describe needs of this job and how they parallel to what you've done before (accomplishments)
    • Most desirable traits all employees want in their employers
      • proven tract record as an achiever
      • intelligent, management "savvy"
      • honesty, integrity
      • good fit with the team
      • likability, positive, sense of humor
      • good communication skills
      • dedication
      • clear goals
      • enthusiasm
      • confident
    • The "Silent Treatment"
      • some employers use the silent treatment to see how you respond under stress
      • don't become uneasy, and stand your ground
    • Why should I hire you?
      • know your answer ahead of time! 
      • and use specific examples
      • sell yourself
    • Where do you see yourself five years from now?
      • employers ask this question to see if you're using the job as a "stopover" until something better comes along
      • reassure your employer that you'll be there long-term

In general, this article is extremely practical and very useful. Interviewers tend to ask the same questions, despite the differences in position and location. Though each question the article covered was different, I realized a couple of things that remained constant throughout: be positive, be honest, be confident, and know your employer. As someone who uncomfortably sells myself, I need to use my successes as a platform and use them to my advantage. At the same time, I need to refrain from ever being negative and always put a positive spin on things. Though some of the points made in the reading seem intuitive, I realized that the importance of knowing your employer cannot be stressed enough. Through knowing what the interviewer is looking for and meeting those expectations, you already differentiate yourself from the other applicants.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

ux: progress on here is sway

After brainstorming, Derick and I decided to go with the idea below. We came up with some iterations for it and decided on the slogan, "get your head IN the clouds." This saying both advertises the experience while calling people to be idealistic and dream of a better world. It's telling people to not be pessimistic and instead, have a better outlook on the environment. We are still trying to figure out how to mesh both the form and verbiage together: