End of Semester Reflection

• Now that your (semester/college career) is over what are some goals that you plan to work toward this summer?
My big overall goal is to get back into illustration full time by drawing daily and attending more figure classes to get my skill up. I’m going to work on new projects, both full illustration pieces and short comics, in my free time while hopefully working in a design job.
• Looking back at (this past semester/your time) at FC,

1. What is one of the best experiences you had working here?

Meeting everyone at FC! I’ve made so many new, great, and talented friends and seen us all grow that friendship together. I know it will go far, past graduation, and I couldn’t ask for a better team to work with. I’m going to miss us all being in the office together.

2. What is one thing that could have been done to improve your experience working here?

There was issues when it came to editing previous projects to reflect new information, especially when there were multiple aspects to the job with the client. Perhaps a project list for the clients that we know have multiple parts to help lessen confusion on what needs to be done for the next designer taking it on.

And just slightly, issues with space in the office. It can tend to feel cramped, especially when there’s meetings which can throw us off a bit I think.

• For those graduating, what words of encouragement or advice would you give to the upcoming designers at Faculty Commons?
If you’re taking a lot of classes or graduating, and it’s conflicting with work, speak up! Your team and Prof. Jordan are there to help you figure it out so all sides are handled. They are your support group, so don’t be afraid to say something. Always offer help in return when you can.
If you’re new, welcome! Try to push each project to have an aspect of you in it. Don’t just look to what was done before, but what can be improved on and what would make a good portfolio piece for you.

Winter Break Reflections

I learned different tools like the Shape Builder and Width Tool, which will really help speed up my work flow in illustrator. Learning to use the define patterns in illustrator and Photoshop will be great to create easy consumable work in textiles.

Flavor Paper is a new website I can look to to create patterns, and I’m eager to look at the links Kevin shared to learn more about accessibility.

I’d like to challenge myself in more animated illustration, such as working with gifs like I did with the FYP Pizza Party Postcard, but on a more complicated scale.

Mid-Semester Reflection

Have you come across any challenging projects this semester, whether it was a class project or a project with FC? How did you accomplish the project?
My 3D modeling room project was defiantly a huge challenge. It’s learning a whole new subject and medium that I have no experience with, but it’s really fun as I get the hang of it! Asking help from my professor has been the number one thing helping to get that finished, as well as looking for resources online to issues I came across.
What project(s) did you enjoy working on thus far during this semester?
3D Modeling room project was very rewarding! I can’t wait to use this application inn my art in creating more realistic scenes. The Physic department posters have also been so much fine since I’m able to combine my traditional artwork in it.
If there were no time constraints, what is one skill or tool you would like to learn?
I defiantly want to learn more Maya and practice it more. Also Marlon and Kevin shared with me this company who’s skills with Illustrator are so inspiring, so hopefully I get to try some of that out too!
Make a goal that you want to accomplish by the end of the semester.
My goals are to complete all my required work from my classes and FC for the semester. I also hope to have Ink Club be near finished with our anthology so we can have it ready to print for Spring, as well as finish Inktober to produce it into a book!


Mid Semester Reflection

Have you come across any challenging projects this semester, whether it was a class project or a project with FC? How did you accomplish the project?

I create a autobiographical comic page for my Illustration 3 class. It was a much harder and longer project than my classmates and I expected. Trying to put all the pieces together of what the copy was going to be and how to lay it out was very difficult and time consuming. I struggled a lot with what to write about, thinking it wasn’t interesting enough, and then had a hard time with how to draw it so it wouldn’t be boring.

I spoke with my professor about my struggles and he gave me some encouragement to just write and draw it as I liked and not about if people would enjoy it. Working first on the story and script helped me figure out how to design it. It also helped to cut out panels that weren’t necessary. Planning the text before designing was a huge time saver and helped me figure out the overall page.

What project(s) did you enjoy working us thus far during this semester?

I really enjoyed working on the film screening poster I did for African-American Studies department with Professor Bennett. It was more of a chance to use my skills as a illustrator to come up with a quick concept and design. It was also a topic I enjoyed and happy to see the school was sharing with the student body.

Make a goal that you want to accomplish by the end of the semester.

My goal is to finish all of my class projects, and FC projects on time and be able close off the projects with my clients successfully.

Training Day 6 – Ashley Valera – January 18th

What did you learn today?

Today I learned even with a group things can be hard to decided upon. A lot of people on a team can sometimes mean more ideas being developed and then making it harder to decided on things. Like today with the logo, there were so many options we could have went with but we went with what works and would make the most sense. It’s good to be open minded about what could be done, but again with the time, it was important that we got to a decision even if we felt we could work on it more.

What were your challenges?

There was defiantly a time challenge again today, with deciding on the logo and the final look. There was also a hard time with choosing color so it helped that we decided to hold off on it, and just continue on with producing the deliverables we set. In order to make sure we have content to present for tomorrow, we’ll have to finish all the details in our own time tonight. Personally I had trouble with being tired coming in today, but having people to help in the decision making made up, keeping me awake and involved in the project.

How did you help each other?

Thankfully everyone was open to other ideas besides their own, so it turned into a collaboration of ideas to help us get to our final logo. Since we all have to finish working on our parts of the project tonight, we all made sure to be on the same page with what’s needed. Everyone has the files for everything and making sure to send Arianna what we have by tonight will help with having some of the presentation done for the morning.

What are your expectations for the semester?

I hope by the end of the semester that I can get a better understanding of what it’s like to work with a team. How to handle clients both alone and with others. Overall I’m really looking forward to having people I can turn to during difficulties with projects or clients. I think being part of a team will help creatively as well. I also hope that I can push myself design wise from seeing how others work.

Training Day 5 – Ashley Valera – January 17th

What did you learn today?

Today I learned that things will not go how you planned. Instead of meeting my client at their office, they surprised me by coming to our office early since they were already in the building. Thankfully I was prepared with what I wanted to go over and was able to go through all my talking points. However, the client decided to stick to the previous design for the research mixer considering it would be happening soon. They also decided to go with the previous designs for the workshop posters, asking me to revise the copy on those as well. While I am disappointed I won’t be creating new designs, I understand the client’s want for sticking to designs that already have worked for them.

Making sure a project’s goals and deliverables are clear is also very important. It’s almost impossible to start a project well if the details aren’t clear or finalized. Everyone has to be on the same page and the deliverables should also make sense with what the goals of a project are, like with the group project today. A lot of the time was sent discussing these details, which I think will make it more productive when it comes to the design process.

What challenges did you have?

A challenge we all had was trying to finalize the group project and the deliverables we settled on. Having little information on the new Klitgord building, it was difficult trying to brainstorm ideas for the logo and signage. Still we all tried to pitch with a brain map to help generate ideas before we talked about updating signage for the existing buildings. We felt the confusion for students on navigating the building would make for a good project. Still we had to make sure all of the work could be done within the next day, and settled with combining the signage and Klitgord building by making up what departments would be on one floor.

During my meeting I felt a little unprepared due to my client asking if I had met the previous designer, who they wanted to use the work from, and if I had the schedule for the entire process of the Honors Scholars presentation. I felt it made me seem out of the loop with my client and wasn’t what I was hoping for.

How did you help each other?

A lot of communication and helping each other understand parts of the school, or information, and learning about signage defiantly made today productive. Ultimately making sure we all felt good about what we were doing for the group project and that it made sense gives us a better starting point for our sketching phase. Have to especially thank Erin for bring the idea to mix both the original project and the revised signage for existing buildings!

Training Day 4 – Ashley Valera – January 12th

What did you learn today?

Today we got into more about setting up a contract that overviews a project. The contract will contain names of everyone involved in the project, the abstract/overview about what the project is and the goals of the project. It also contains the deliverables in which the project will be presented in such as posters or web banners. A timeline to the contract can be very important, especially for long projects, to help keep both the designer and client on track of what is expected and when meetings are.

Having copies of a contract can help reassure everyone what is expected by the end of the project and help avoid confusion on details. Adding in when the contract was updated last is a very smart touch to adding in my organization.

We also learned about what the process was of picking up prints from the reproduction center. We must make sure to give 3 days notice for any printing and when we go to pick up as for anything that is ready for Faculty Commons. This way work is taken to the office even if the work is down by another designer, keeping a strong teamwork link and helping hand.

What challenges did you have?

Today I had the challenge of some miscommunication with the Honors Scholars projects. Learning there were more posters then just the workshop poster I originally thought to be the main project confused me and what was expected of me with my client. However, reviewing the files and emails sent to me, and asking questions to clarify things helped me double check on which posters would be due first. Now I know what will be worked on and what I will have ready for my client meeting for Tuesday. I was very grateful Arianna and William were so patient with my questions!

I was also stuck on whether or not to email my client the edited files after they responded so quickly to my introduction email, since they were quick fixes. I held off on it to ask Arianna and William whether it was better to verify the time for the meeting then send the files in a separate email. Thankfully I did, as it made more sense to hold off and wait until my meeting to give my clients the chance to see what concepts I come up with in addition to the originals. Again, it was very helpful that they both took the time to help with my questions.

How did you help each other?

When we presented our Pantone Projects, William helped pointed out hard to see details on the font I was using, which I was happy about. They were very hard to catch and now I can make sure the project is more polished when I present to the team.

Personally a lot of patience helped me today, during all the questions I was asking throughout all the assignments. Making sure we were clear on the following week’s schedule I think helped Erin and myself, since now we are balancing multiple projects.

I think getting used to each other and seeing more of our personalities, especially through the Pantone project and inspiration meeting, is pushing us to further in on critique and review.

Training Day 3 – Ashley Valera – January 11th

What did you learn today?

Today I learned about the proper etiquette for emailing clients. Part of this was how to write an intro email, how to address clients, keeping an email signature, and to always be friendly and courteous. I also learned about what to start thinking about and looking into when having the first meeting with the client, such as the kind of deliverables and deadlines. Another important part was making sure to cc emails to everyone involved in a project and the head of contacts. This ensures that everyone is kept in the loop of details and where the project is, leading to less confusion.

What were your challenges?

Having Erin, Arianna, and William look over my email I noticed again a habit I seem to have of making emails too long. I have to remind myself to keep emails short and clear to make it easier for the client/recipient to read through. Hopefully the more time I spend sending emails, the easier it will be for me to quickly notice this and shorten them.

I had expected to have a hard time making sure I progressed well with the Pantone project as I expressed yesterday. However keeping track of time and where I was progress wise helped me think about what I could accomplish within the day and what parts were more important to work on.

How did you help each other?

We helped each other by sharing some places of inspiration we each go to, explaining what things we look out for at places and websites. This gave some insight into my peers creative process and interests. I especially like that the design team all shares events and links to things they find inspiring and what they believe the rest of the team will enjoy. I think it keeps the team excited and always thinking, and helps engage everyone to build a stronger relationship.

Training Day 2 – Ashley Valera – January 10th

What did you learn today?

Today I learned about the process of beginning a project with a client. We worked on starting research to help with brainstorming concepts. This included how to clearly sketch out concepts for the client to review easily. I also learned about the printing process when finishing the deliverables, how to contact and explain project details to the printer, and what to look out for when thinking about the final print(crop marks, test printing).

What were your challenges?

My challenges were making sure to push and use the full last hour to work on final touches for the poster project. I managed to add and work on all 3 concepts until review after making sure to finalize my chosen design. With the Pantone project, I’m trying to make sure not to brainstorm too much on ideas for the deliverable so that I will have enough time to fully complete the project on time. I’m using the breaks and timeframes given to help set those times I need to stop and finish up sketching.

How did you help each other?

We helped each other on what final touches we could try out for the poster project; some things we could try on different bodies of text. As well as looking out for small details to check up on, like the alignments of text boxes, bars, and elements. We also talked slightly about what we were brainstorming for the Pantone project, checking to see if what we were heading towards was a good start to jump off with.

Training Day 1- Ashley Valera- January 9, 2016

What did you learn today?

Today I learned more about our main audience and how to cater our posters to them. I also learned about making sure to keep the main copy just as important as any graphic elements while seeing if the elements are necessary. As well as looking out for small details.

What were your challenges?

Some challenges I had was placements of text and elements and where they went in relation to each other. Also had a challenge with time, being unable to complete a draft of my final concept, but I did have an idea of where I wanted to take it as I started.

How did you help each other?

We helped each other by explaining the reasoning behind why we liked some elements of the different designs. We went into what was or wasn’t working and how to improve on those things. We thought about what points out to use first and whether it worked with the hierarchy we went with.