Thoughts on the Shepard Fairey Hope Copyright Case

Upon reading this article, in regards to the “HOPE” poster by contemporary artist Shepard Fairey, he rations out the inspiration behind the infamous poster. Fairey’s support of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and his ideas were the sheer inspiration behind such an iconic image. One would think that it makes sense to create art surrounding someone you idolize and that indeed is relatable to people, especially as they’re running to become  free leader of the world. Fairey displayed no ill intention with the creation of the poster not to mention he didn’t personally reap any profit from its sales. In fact, to remain respectful and practice ethical standards he contacted Obama seeking permission (which he received) for the creation of the image. HOPE is a symbolism of patriotism and a vision of a strong leader that aims for stability and a prosperous future for the American people. We’ve seen that the absence of symbolism and a slogan that resonates with the American people can be a downfall when running for presidency. It was a major key seen even in the unfortunate, horrific, and rather traumatic 2016 election, which I will not discuss or reflect upon. Fairey is a representative for artists everywhere who should be able to make art freely.



Assignment Guide on Ethical Reasoning

The non disclosure agreement I received at the beginning was fair since it was unpaid. The content I produced that was shared via Instagram was tagged giving me credit. This was something that I deeply appreciated while working for free. I find that many designers are indeed exploited when voluntarily working for free. I not quite sure what this entry is supposed to entail, since all guidelines between my supervisor and I were respected. As someone interested in fashion and a lover of contemporary art, I always cite the influences that inspired my work. In fact, one of my favorite pages on instagram is Diet Prada, a page that holds notable people and brands within the fashion industry accountable for plagiarism and other unethical design practices.


Lights, Camera, Action Pt. 2

I woke up gleefully today not that this part is really relevant, but I felt like today was going to be a good day. I quickly scurried into Starbucks to get my coffee and walked through the neighborhood that always gives me something to look at or try. Got to Ayaka Nishi’s studio and greeted everyone good morning and began cleaning the studio. 

After cleaning the studio Ms. Nishi dropped it on me. The photoshoot was today. Happiness and nervousness both set in. It was just now hitting me that I’d be doing this. I’d be a photographer shooting a PRO-FESS-IONAL model. I began helping Ms. Nishi with the setting up the backdrop and steaming the parts most visible to the camera. Ms. Nishi went out to buy some plants to help with the aesthetics of the shoot. The biggest challenge was the gloomy weather outside, which threatened a particular shot that she wanted. We watered the plants and I steamed the clothing that the model would be wearing, while Ms. Nishi got the new pieces of her collection ready. Afterwards I was quickly sent to lunch before the model arrived at 2pm. I was getting nervous as the time went on. Then the model arrived and she was indeed polite. One of the jewelry production interns served as an assistant getting the pieces on and off the model. I was nervous but a few minutes into it my creative instincts took over and I ended up getting some great shots. After the shoot was over I transferred all the pictures to my computer and bid my farewell for the end of the day. 

Lights, Camera, Action

At this point Ayaka Nishi has 3 graphic design and social media interns. So now it’s completely shocking to me that she has chosen me to do the latest photoshoot for her up and coming Spring and Summer collections. I’m honored to be entrusted with this responsibility and to have it as well. I’ve shot pieces for her new arrivals but this was a huge opportunity one that would posted on Instagram for everyone and absolutely anyone to see. 

This week Ms. Nishi introduced to a site that helps models find jobs and well helps companies scout models for their photo shoots. I had been here for a month already and I’m learning so much. This tool was an outlet that I’d been using soon especially since it’s my dream to have my own clothing line. But was surprised me more was the fact that the photoshoot was going to take place next week….

A New Month, A Task

Today was the start of a new month and the beginning of a new task or a somewhat of a new task. In fact, I continued to organize the files, however I also began organizing the photos I took a few weeks ago for the website. Ayaka was very specific that she wanted 150 x 150 pixel photos of each product that was photographed. At first I wasn’t sure why, but eventually she explained these small pictures for a line sheet. The line sheet was basically a product sheet that had all the style numbers aka SKU of every product, the colors available, the description of the product, the size, the retail and wholesale prices etc. I was so amazed at this little detail and instantly admired her for her attention to detail. The amount of information that was provided on the product line sheet that only our eyes would see was astounding.

Boy, Oh Boy

Today I was not feeling well, I had a massive headache that was affecting my eyes. I was quite dizzy and I felt terrible. I emailed Ayaka and told her ahead of time that I couldn’t make it to the studio, but that I can work on the collaborative project we speaking about it one evening after I finished my hours. This project meant that I would combine my illustration skills with photographs of her jewelry. I was excited since this was a entirely different style for Ayaka. 

Ayaka got back to me via email and attached a picture of what she wanted me to draw. The pictures of a Bone bracelet that was from a real coyote bone and a spider web ring with a diamond in the center. I drew the figure keeping the image minimalistic to fit her aesthetic of her brand and photoshopped the jewelry pieces in. I quite proud of myself since because the piece looked great.

Taking Everything In

Since the beginning of my internship with Ayaka Nishi I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! In fact, I find the East Village Neighborhood of Manhattan, so charming that I always get off twenty minutes away from the studio, grab a cup of coffee or green juice as I enjoy the scenery.

My favorite part about working with Ms. Nishi is that I never work on the same thing. It keeps the experience fun and refreshing, since I never know what she’s going to ask me to do. One day I can be editing photos, or photographing a new collection, or creating content for her instagram page.  Most recently I designed the Newsletter we sent out to over 600 people. I was shocked to learn that she even gained some new subscribers. My jaw had nearly dropped after realizing my instagram account went up fifty followers in one day after posting a piece I illustrated.

At the end of the day, I’m actually grateful my first internship didn’t work out because I landed such a great opportunity. Plus there’s a pretty great ramen spot up the block!




















Edit, Revise, Check

It was another rather quiet morning where I wondered what Ms. Nishi would have me do. This time I would be organizing file folders for the website by their style number. Let’s just say there were a lot of folders to organize but this was fun. It was nice to be back in the studio since Ayaka closed it for everyone to recuperate after the event from the night before. 

The Event

Today the studio was closed in preparation for an  event later tonight. This event was called “Blossoms & Butterflies”, a collaborative event with Ayaka Nishi’s friends who own the fragrance company Euphorium Brooklyn. The event would be taking place at The Flower School, since the Euphorium Brooklyn is known for their exotic oils and fragrances.

After work I hopped on the train heading straight for The Flower School, which I later learned held classes for anyone wanting to gain the knowledge of putting together a bouquet.

My first impression of the place was WOW, this is fancy and the flower arrangements around the place were absolutely beautiful. The gold accents around the venue really drew me in, I was inspired by the gold motif around a vintage mirror the hung on the wall just past the curtain upon entering the school. The music was blaring and the DJ seemed really into the set he was playing.

When I got to the event there were only a few people there, alongside Ayaka Nishi and my colleagues were also interning for her.   Minutes later people started to pile in and then the event really began. I met the co-owner of Euphorium Brooklyn and we had quite an interesting and insightful conversation about how he develops the scents for the brand. I even learned that he considers alternatives for the environment, which happens to be the reason he doesn’t have a business card. “Why not save a tree? The stories behind my fragrances should be what people come into contact with.”

Taking a Second…

When observing your surroundings, can anyone say they’ve fully taken it in? I sure haven’t. It’s been approximately four weeks since I started interning for Ayaka Nishi and three weeks since I began walking around the East Village neighborhood like a tourist. One would think in three weeks that I would’ve noticed the competition just a few doors down from Ms. Nishi’s studio. A small quaint jewelry shop. It’s quite amazing to see the difference in how both businesses coexisting on the same block advertise their business. This small tiny little detail only reinforced how much more I should train my eye to be a fine tooth comb.

This morning I helped cleaned the studio and set out the sign that advertises Ms. Nishi’s jewelry and her jewelry school program, which is only one of the few usual things I am ever assigned to do. This particular morning was quite interesting since she had a much different task for me to do that didn’t involve jewelry. She asked me to design clothing tags and my immediate thought was “Oh my God is she dabbling into fashion design? If so, then this internship just keeps getting sweeter because this is my forte. Fashion period is my language.” So to pressed on for further details and it turns out that Ms. Nishi’s favorite designer is based in Thailand and no longer sells her dresses for retail, thus  buying numerous designs wholesale.

Regardless, I was still excited for this task since I have never been asked to design a clothing tag before. In fact, I enjoyed this little project so much that I came up with several variations within a short period of time. Ms. Nishi commented on how much she could tell that I was enjoying myself. She picked her favorite and then it was time to print them out. To say that I was excited was an understatement. And alas they were printed and attached to the dresses hanging right off the most sleek and minimalistic clothing each I had ever seen. In fact, I spent the rest of the day making tags, but this time for new jewelry that has yet to be released. The contentment I felt was indescribable simply because I had all the new jewelry to be released. I know plenty would roll their eyes at me but it felt like I was VIP, almost like I was a well known content creator getting exclusive access to things that had never been released. I mean my employer has had pieces on BEYONCE.!!!!

A City Tech OpenLab ePortfolio