What I Do – At My Internship, Of Course!

So, it dawned on me…

When I was growing up, I, like many others, was curious about the world. Most importantly, what my parents did for a living. With a growing sense of exploration and discovery, I wanted to know more than just title. I wanted to know what they did on a day to day. Now, I never really got a full on answer (or a 5 page essay explaining), but I figured it out, Рvaguely.

Now that I am an adult and have a fuller understanding of a particular workplace and the operations I can answer the question:

“What exactly do you do?”

I am an intern at Maxima Apparel Corporation. I spend a majority of my time retouching photos.

“What exactly is ‘retouching’ a photo?”

When a photo is taken, it is usually saved as a raw digital ¬†file. The photo uploads directly into the Lightroom program through tethered shooting. I get that file, and start tweaking with the exposure, contrast, highlights, tones, color, photo clarity, and lens correction. Once I can see the clothing item in full detail, in¬†its truest form, I then scan the photo for any imperfections. If I see anything they may be a distraction when glancing at a the photo, remove it with a healing or clone tool. Depending on how¬†the piece of clothing looks after that is done, I would then take the photo¬†into Photoshop for more corrections. This involves any further specific edits to the clothing item; a tag isn’t on the final run of the item and needs to be removed; the shape of the clothing item is a bit awkward or¬†not proportioned; the model themselves may not be proportioned; or there is some severe wrinkling or odd thing in the photo that required extra attention.

Now, prior to photographing an item on the model, it has to be styled. In this case it’s simply making the garment look symmetrical and wrinkle-free. Pants are usually simple and no jewelry is worn for a cleaner look – a variety of footwear available for shoot bottoms. All else fails we re-shoot an item, if not, I am there to clean it up.

Although this may sound simple (to designers – but we now), it becomes a task once you have to do just that for maybe 75-100 items (at our busiest), and each item has a set of four photos, all at different angles; front , back, left side, right side. Once every photographed item is cleaned up, I would set them in a folder and send over to the respective marketing and e-commerce members.

So, there it is. What i do. And how I do it, essentially.

I ask you, now,¬†“What exactly do you do?”

My intern report presentation:

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Sailing

Like the wind getting caught between my proverbial wings, sailing the clouds and the wind currents. I only say I am sailing because how i feel in my place in this company, industry and my career.

Now, I didn’t say ‘smooth’ sailing – it’s a rough sport, actually. There’s a lot of rocking of the boat side to side, back and forth. Untamed waves that hit hard at times. And many different pieces of the boat that need to be maintained along the ride.

So what is it to me РI found that life is sailing, as explained by Dame Ellen MacAurther, a yachtswomen, who holds the record for the fastest solo-circumnavigation around the globe, in a recent TED Talk (June 29th). What I got most from that talk is that we will never have full control over any situation and often that my make us feel isolated Рmind you this women was, at times, 2000 miles from the nearest coffee shop (or anything other than salt water).

What I realize interning at Maxima apparel and working in the fashion industry is that¬†a feeling of isolation is temporary and often doesn’t last. Collaboration is key in any industry, while¬†working alone creates those feelings of isolation, we as creatives, see it as a golden opportunity to express ourselves fully. But that is only half the battle.

Like MacAuther that expression was through her solo excursion around the world. As often as she was alone she always did things in efforts to have longer term effects. Isolation often means you have to be resourceful. She knew she would be the only one to depend on and critique her routine in order to survive.

As a creative, I found that this is true. Resourcefulness as an individual is key. Working toward a goal in the dark isn’t enough. Because resources can be scarce, naturally we ration what is left, because a situation may be difficult, naturally we ration that in the same way. What has to happen is an execution of ideas (i.e. sailing, or designing). Even when that is done, you can believe if you want that you won’t have to leave your isolated zone. But we are humans – you’ll go crazy! Ultimately your resourcefulness will involve all those who you have worked with in the past and who you will be able to express yourself with in the future.

What I learned from my time interning at Maxima and what MacAurther has expressed, is that you may want to be alone to work on those great ideas, but ultimately you must express those ideas to others with the same passion as you had when creating it.

People usually don’t get the roses while they can still smell them.

Work Work Work Work Work… 🎧🎶🎶

…Playing in my headphones.

My head down. I have been examining photos all week, removing annoying blemishes, marks, wrinkles, and anything else that may be distracting. If the product looks good its more likely to be received well by buyers and trust is insured that the finished version will be up to par.

With a big week ahead,¬†I am excited to get to the office.¬†This week at Maxima¬†Apparel, there are going to be at least 3 shoots, and I am guessing due to the holiday. With the work load backed up from the previous week, product fresh off the boats from china will need to be photographed as they are filtered down to the photo team. I will be managing inventory of the incoming product along side the marketing directors for each brand, including Justin, my supervisor and Brand Director for Black Pyramid, Chris Brown’s clothing line.

I’m constantly working on improving myself as a part of the team and as an individual. Having more responsibilities¬†to handle¬†day to day is attributing to that. My goal is to try to find the best work flow to make things as smooth as possible. I’m sure the Maixma employees may appreciate it but the CEO might be the most excited because organization within any company equals better time management, which equals better production, which equals more money in the long-run. He would definitely like that.

This is what it feels like…

…As I digress.

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Hudson Outerwear Spring Collection 2016

Captain’s Log…

June is ending. And “winter is coming”.

But, as for interning, I am heating up – July 4th next week!

I like the environment and have grown accustom. People have really grown on me as well, making me feel accepted, which is a great and confident feeling. I would like to get more out of my time here, but I shall remain patient. It is a virtue, you know.

All summer I have been on a quest to improve whatever it is I can about me. I am at a proverbial crossroad/roadblock when it comes to this. I don’t know what to do, really. I would like to ask for more at Maxima, and I would like to be more versatile across the different departments there. I feel like I could be the CEO (and head creative).

Not too much to ask for, right? But there would be conflict of interest running a business from that stand. So I’ll take CEO if the creative portion is filled. As a creative I feel it would be strong suit for me to gear the team into the right direction for the entire company and it’s brand. As a CEO I can be in on the meeting thats gets business off the ground and to the costumers.

This is where I want to be.

“Look at me. Look at me! I am the Captain, now.”

Sincerely.

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Black Pyramid Spring Collection 2016

Higher Than A Mother F*%@#r

So, lately, I have been feeling like I am walking on air. Everyday provides a breath of fresh air. I am fulfilling my smallest desires as I journey toward the biggest dreams I have ever had. I feel the energy of the universe syncing with my own.

I am elevating my abilities, my awareness, and even my dialogue. You ever had a feeling you were unstoppable – yeah, that.

I realize that the best things that happen to you in life are the things you may be paying the least attention to. There is always someone watching, and those who do usually seldom do it. This is where you as an individual have to always be working Рon yourself and on your craft. People attract to your energy, your willingness to accomplish, and succeed.

As we grow as individuals we are unaware of whats ahead, and even with the right advice, we tend to fall into the same issues along the way. That doesn’t mean we are failing, it means we are trying, doing, and ultimately going to succeed. Don’t give in when things are slow or terrible. Build yourself up to handle what is given, and be open to the idea that this may just be a test and not your eternal fate.

This is beyond interning, even beyond looking for a job. We have to develop every aspect of our lives in order to become – not perfect – complete individuals who are capable, ready, and willing to succeed. We should be willing to conquer any task and doing it with the same passion as for the things you love. Thats how you succeed in school, at work, and in life.

Cheers.

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https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253364

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Can I live?

Yes.

I am “doing my thang” at my internship. I have been involved in a lot and I am starting to develop a voice. Many of my time spent not retouching has been bonding and building ideas with the employees at Maxima.

This is a good sign to me as to become apart of the office culture. Although this is how I plan to live my life, I am not settled with just making friends. I want money, power, and respect. But first I must overcome the many obstacles of garnering those things. Internships being one.

Need I say more?

 

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Moving Too Fast…

Going through the motions – I am the “guy” – the retouch guy. I show up and retouch photos from shoots. I have the opportunity to be present on shoots and rumors say I may be able to start shooting myself.

This makes me happy.

Hard work is paying off and I am feeling fulfilled.

My supervisor, Justin K., is a chill dude. Allowing me to blossom under his watch, I am developing a taste for the fashion business. And now I want more.

Once upon a time…¬†2016.

Contacted by the CEO of Maxima Apparel, Mike S., my cold email was heard ( or read, rather) and I was ask to come in immediately for and interview. Mike wanted to know where I was at with my studies and was delighted by my major. He mentioned to me how that advertising is something he wants to incorporate within his company. He mainly asked about my creativity and execution process. I think he wanted to be sure that I would be able to produce.

After a sit down with the head of the company and an intro to specific staff members, I was shown where I would be working. Not a desk but an area of the office where all the e-commerce happens.

Let me go back – I was called by Eric S. who joined the company as a marketing consultant. He got my email and reached out to me. We spoke back in January at a coffee shop about becoming an intern and also being able to create within my position.

Now, March rolls around, and I’m in the door by mid-month. Some of the things asked of me were specific and detailed. I also had some request as far as getting the job done and managing their expectation of me. I had my nerves but I also wanted to make my superiors happy with my work.

Since, I have managed my own expectations of myself and have actually impressed myself how efficient I have been – this according to my superiors, anyway.

Looking toward the future – salutations.

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Vie Riche Spring Collection 2016

Where Am I ? Oh Yeah, At My Internship.

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“Why do I run after you? Whatever you are.” – John Mayer

Success.

I have been divided by a world of where I am and where I want (would like, at least) to be. Which is rich and not so famous. But, seriously, rich (and not so famous), but rich because I made a difference in the world. You know? Like, perhaps, curing AIDs, or solving poverty. But I’m no doctor or economist, nor do I truly want to be. I’m squeamish. I like math, but I’m not into politics. Although, I feel I could be anything I want to be, I am stuck in 1 body and can only be 1 place at a time. So in this lifetime, I want to turn it up and be an artist.

“What kind of artist”, you ask?

Well, I don’t know. The artist that makes things and breaks things. The artist that disappears only to surface with a masterpiece. The artist that is never finished with his work.

How do I get there?

That’s right! An internship.

Well, It’s a start. And a good one.

I am sitting watching my screen as light pop-flashes in the corner of my eye. Photos upload to my screen every few seconds. My job, to find the best one from the group being shot and retouch it for a final export into the folder of edits. Sometimes the job isn’t done there, and more edits are required.

When selling clothes people tend to be picky about what the see online. You have to convince them that the garments are of the highest quality, even when the sample item being shot isn’t up to par. Models have scars and weird body shapes that are precedent when photographed so stiffly for e-commerce. And sometimes, the color of the garment is off and needs to be adjusted to it’s true intended hue.

Here at Maxima Apparel, they specialize in the streetwear apparel industry, and house brands like, Vie Riche, Hudson Outerwear, and Chris Brown’s Black pyramid. Wholesale for a lot of the garments happen months before they’re available for consumers in the stores. So even when selling to major retailers around the world, presentation is key in convincing buyers that the clothes are well made, from design to finish.

I have a long way to go before I am¬†rich and not so famous. Until then, I won’t just be an intern, don’t be silly. I will continue to grow into that artist that never really sleeps and has a blast at and hates everything they create.

Salutations.

A City Tech OpenLab ePortfolio