After working at my internship for three months, I can say that I finally figured out what I really want out of my career. For the last two years, I had a career crisis. I was lost with what I really wanted to do with my art in the long term.
I was struggling with picking whether I wanted to do graphic design for art’s sake or to help people and bring to light issues that are ignored. (This is getting into a field in design called social impact design). And if I did both, I didn’t know how would this even work. I also was lost on who to work for (non-profit versus a private company). This internship really helped me figure this all out.
For this, I am beyond grateful because I wouldn’t want to figure this all out post graduation when I am actually working full time on a job. I think that would not be a good time to figure this all out as then I would be wasting my time and the company’s. Internships, I think are a good way to find out exactly who you wish to work for or if you prefer being a freelancer.
In all, I learned a lot about what I want to do in graphic design and I feel much more secure than I did before with my major. I am glad I figured this all out now so when I apply for jobs I will know exactly what to look for. If anyone else reads this, know that you are not alone. It’s perfectly alright to doubt where you are going and decide that maybe this is not at all what you want. Maybe you want to do something totally different or you are just not quite sure like me. What is important is to learn from your experiences and hold onto the notion that you will figure out exactly what you are looking for in your career path.
Betty K_COMD 4900 Internship Presentation Fall 2018 (1)
My internship experience at CITYarts was okay. Although I didn’t learn new tricks in design or anything design related, I did learn other lessons that are also important. I learned valuable lessons in working with other people and non-profits. I do like that I got to do more than illustrating borders for the certificates that I did. I got to do more web design and editing some of their files in InDesign. I liked that because I do not like being stuck doing only one type of design work as I get bored pretty easily. I also created gift bags for the students who worked on the murals. The best part of my experience at CITYarts was seeing the giving back I was doing. It’s one thing to sit on a computer and make art but to see the giving back portion in person just does not compare.
Before I reached my 120 hours, I was working on more website stuff. The map I mentioned (in the discussion board) that I finished in Photoshop is finally up on the website. I cannot believe something I actually helped created is going to be seen by other people.
And I also helped layout their impact graphics that was actually an infographic but due to the limitations of Squarespace, I helped separate the elements of the infographic into different parts. The infographic they had before (same parts shown here) was really small and I helped lay them out so it would match up with the rest of the page. In websites if you have big elements and all the sudden a small one halfway in the page it looks awkward and this is why the project manager told me to make the infographics bigger and lay them out in a grid.
I also fixed up this Young Minds Build Bridges program page. I fixed up the links under the three photos because originally they were too big and the creative director in agreement with me said the font size was too large and she wanted it smaller. I fixed it and I uploaded their documentary on top.
Here I edited the “Pieces for Peace Online Exhibition” portion. I made the text smaller and put their logo. Before the text was really big to match the height of the photo and was in a different font that was too playful for a website. I decided to go with a sans serif, plain font because it’s easier to read and more professional.
CITYarts Alexander Hamilton Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Alexander Hamilton Playground, October 9, 2018
On Wednesday [10/10] my supervisor had me go with her and another co-worker to a ribbon cutting ceremony of a mural that was completed at Alexander Hamilton Playground called ‘Following in the Footsteps of Alexander Hamilton.’ I helped my supervisor carry a few things that we needed. I also helped set up the table, food, drinks and the speaker for music. After everyone comes into the park the creative director makes a speech and then the kids are presented a gift bag and certificate of accomplishment for their hard work. As the kids get their certificates and gift bags photos are taken of them receiving this. After that the actual ribbon cutting began. I took photos of the moment just before cutting the ribbon, then the actual moment of the ribbon cutting. I had around three different people ask me to send the photo because they liked my photos that much. I talked to the professional photographer who was taking photos of the event, the professional artist who worked with the kids to make the mural and his wife who is an arts professor at Rutgers University. I introduced myself to them explaining that I am the design intern with CITYarts. I explained how I do design work for them and (because I had my supervisor’s phone) I also take photos of events for social media.
A typical workday for me is starts with me finishing up projects from the previous day. Or I would get a new assignment from the Projects Coordinator. I would work on the projects and then tell her when I am finished and then get a new assignment. By assignments, I update certificate designs or information (names of students, artists or sponsors). I also might design invitations to ribbon cutting events and design borders for certificates. On occasion, I am asked to run errands as well. I also attend ribbon cutting ceremonies that are scheduled. For an example, one day I was asked to get credentials for the Director at the Plaza Hotel. I am learning at my internship that sometimes you have to work with what you’re given. By this I mean, sometimes the people you work with might not be reliable and I have to work around that. I am sometimes performing clerical duties such as updating files, I recently had to update information on an excel file.
The attire at my workplace is not very formal, it is more casual. I dress for work in my suit jacket or cardigan and jeans with a shirt. The typical employee work station are long tables with computers and chairs. This is more of an open work area. We also have an area to put our bags away and hang jackets.
The typical employee workday is from 10AM until 5:30PM. We get a half an hour break for lunchtime which we can take at anytime. Everyone here is very friendly and respectful. We all have an open and honest communication with one another.
Note: I wrote this in September (I am only posting this now) so I currently do not wear a cardigan with a shirt anymore due to colder weather. I currently wear a warm sweater with jeans and my jacket.
My role at CITYarts is a design intern. I work with the assistant to the Director and my supervisor who is the projects coordinator. I found the internship through Internships.com. At the time, I had gotten no answers from the three places where I interviewed the week prior and I just applied to what internships were still active.
I had an in-person interview with the Assistant to the Director. The interview process started off with a video about the organization that I had to watch. The video talked about the organization, the work that they do and it showed the different murals that they had already completed. Then I was told about the position, the organization, what I would be doing, etc. Then I asked if the interviewer had any questions for me and I was asked about my skills, my portfolio and how do I take criticism. I went through my portfolio pieces and when I showed the branding part, I was told the Creative Director would want me to get started on updating their book that they publish with the artworks of the youth from around the world if I were to get the position. As for the criticism question, I said that I appreciate constructive criticism because it helps me improve my work. I also explained that in graphic design, I cannot get emotional it’s not about me it’s about what the client wants.
At the end of the interview, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire about the organization based on the video. It asked questions like ‘what did I know before watching the video’ and ‘what new things did I learn after watching the video’ and then there was the question of what does the candidate [me in this case] want out of the internship besides experience. I wrote down that for the longest time I always wanted to combine my art with doing good. I have always wanted to use my art to help people or shed light on issues that people don’t know about or issues that are ignored. Giving back and doing good in the world is important.
I didn’t wait long to get the job offer. The next day when I was on the train on my way to another interview I received an email from the Assistant to the Director that I am accepted.
I haven’t done any collaborative design projects yet until now. This one is still a work in progress. I am working on the Pieces for Peace book that CITYarts is going to publish this year. Pieces for Peace is a book that showcases artworks from different students from different schools across multiple countries including the U.S. My job for this project is updating the information in the excel file about all the artworks online and the book of all the artworks. I also have to work on updating the book with newer art and work with the other interns to make all this happen.
CITYarts started at first as Cityarts Workshop that got shut down in 1988. In 1989, the executive and creative director founded CITYarts. CITYarts is a nonprofit public arts organization that works with professional artists and youth to create public art in New York City and other countries. CITYarts is a small organization located at 77 Bleecker Street in Manhattan, NY. I work in the creative area of the organization making their flyers, invitations, certificates of accomplishment (this is for the kids that work on the murals) and other promotional material.
^This is a recent article I found on CITYarts that talks about an Alice In Wonderland inspired mural that was painted years ago after the tragedy of September 11th. This mural is called “Alice on the Wall” and it’s located on Chambers Street near Stuyvesant High School.
Touching up the mural every year is routine for Stuyvesant students. This year the students decided to make a bigger touch up by adding in flowers and a flamingo.
Large Mural Underway at LIC Dog Park Wall, Painted and Envisioned With Help of Local Kids
^This article talks about how CITYarts is planning a mural at LIC dog park. This mural is called “Rising Up in the Community” and features mother nature, nature, and animals. Long Island City felt it needed something to show its identity and so CITYarts teamed up with the youth there along with a professional artist to create a mural there.