Kenny Leong

NYC / 25 / Instagram: asdfxkenny

New opportunity

Today was a very special day.   As you know “Calling all graphics” is an unpaid internship.  Marla got a call from the boss of “Farbetter printing”, a print production place also located in brooklyn.  It so happened that the graphic designer there had left and need a replacement ASAP.  Marla quickly refered me to this great opportunity.  She told me to go there just to check it out and speak to the boss about what they do there.  She also told me to that this is a great opportunity because you get to learn about printing, colors and dealing with clients which is essential in the  graphic design field.  As soon as i got off my internship i head over there.  The place was a typical print production place with paper and printer all around.  we have the two receptionist up front, a cutter in the back, joe(my boss) and of course me the graphic designer!

Gloomy Day

It’s raining today! ugghh i was 15 mins late. Im kind of mad at myself because i was never late for my internship. The traffic on the belt parkway was horrible.  It was literally bumper to bumper.  Usually the door is open for me to enter her office but today it was locked so i had to call Marla to get the door.  Once i got there, there were 3 project awaiting.  Sat down and brushed off the Cat(Coco)that was sitting comfortably on my seat.  Mind you i was sneezing left and right becuase i was allergic to Marla’s cat.  Today we are working for the menu boards for concord market.  This was a fun project because i get to create what looks good and i can finally use my creative side.  i chose the font, the layouts and even the sizing of type.  When the labels and board were finished  I can see if from the Deli. It was delightful!!!

The love for what I do!

This week was extremely busy,  there are so many projects we have to complete.  Just to remind you this company is operated by one person, Marla Gotay.  She does not have any other employees to help her except herself.  As an intern, I feel like i have a bigger role than most interns because when I am there I feel like a partner of “Calling All Graphics”.  Even though i am there for only a few hours. I feel like i have to make big contributions.  I enjoy this line of work so i have no problem of doing what i “LOVE” for free.  Creating menus and billboards is mainly what she does on a every day basis.  It is still very exciting for me because compare to her I am still very fresh to this field.  There are stuff for me to learn every single day.  Everyday when i wake up I always strive to be a better designer.  Marla taught me a lot about the program indesign.  At first I was overwhelmed but with repetition every tool that was presented to me seems to be second nature.  Eventhough everyday is repetitive, Marla always keeps it interesting.  She always have to the T.V. on while we work.  Though we are not looking at the T.V. some background noise is pretty nice.  when i am there the news comes on first, then comes rachel followed by a cook show.  I already remember the line up of all the shows when i am there.  sometimes as i am driving to Marla i secretley look fowards to the cook show around 1-2pm.  You can’t blame me because I love love love food!

the big project

Recently I was assigned a big project, creating raffle tickets for a prayer breakfast.  First the client wanted the measurement of the ticket to be 5.5×2.75.  I sent a proof and she approved it but days later she told be that the measurement was suppose to be 4.5×4.5 dimension.  What i don’t get is that I have sent her a proof.  She confirmed it and i already send it over to the print shop. Now because of her mistakes I would have to call the print shop to stop the job, correct the design and send it back.  It was just a total mess.  Plus there was a huge language barrier and i couldnt fully understand her.

Throughout this assignment, I got frustrated trying to figure out what the client was looking for. I believe there was a huge miscommunication between the lack of information provided and trying to figure out how the finishing product should look like. As a designer,  it is my job to take information/ and design it in a way that it communicates a message to a certain type of audience but I am not able to do so if I do not fully understand the client.


Today was stressful!! I got in to my internship and i have 4 projects that is waiting for me to complete. I didn’t really mind the project but it’s the fact that i have to leave in the next 4 hours for school kills me.  I have to complete a banner, 2 menus and sandwich labels.  So this is how i approached it.  I first started with the easiest task which were the sandwich labels.  These are easy because all you have to do is change the prices and add in 5 other items.  I did that in like 30 mins.  Now the menus, these are a bit tricky because I have to create tabs.  Creating one tab on indesign is light but when you have to do multiple then that becomes a-little confusing.  The restaurant I was working for is called “Sophies Cuisine”, this is a franchise that is spread all over New York.  They have really delicious Food.  This restaurant is one of the easier to work with mainly because they already have their color scheme. According to Marla they got rid of her and they hired a bigger design company for all their jobs and the reason why she’s still associated with Sophie’s was to do minor edits like creating tabs and placing stock images on where they wanted to be  (Simple stuff)  In my opinion the Layout for Sophie’s design is too generic. Thier design looks like “seamless”, the delivery company.  It sucks!


Second Nature

The week passes so fast. Day in and day out.  It feels like i have been in this internship forever. I have been creating menus, making banners and advertisement for numerous  of companies specifically for restaurants.  So Marla is also a director of an off broadway play and she told me to create a lobby board for her cast.  I am really proud of that lobby board. I feel like i did a really good job on it.  It was a huge board  15 x 36 and it was a pirate theme.  It took me a lot of time replacing people’s photos for each slot but the end result was absolutely worth it!  I learned a lot about indesign from Marla. That’s was like the only program she works with when creating her projects.  It’s the program that pays her and she is an absolute pro at it.  I learned how to kearn, how to place pictures proportionatley, how to use tabs, etc.  It was such a life changing experience.  she also treats me very well.  From time to time she would make food for me, most likely to show gratitude from all that i have helped her.  Her cat on the other hand is a rebel.  Every-time i work her cat “coco” is always bothering me by sitting right in front of the key board.

eager to work mentality

First day on the job i woke up an hour and a half early just so i can arrive on time or maybe earlier.  I brushed my teeth, got dressed, ate breakfast and headed out and I started my car.   As soon as i got on the Belt Parkway i was bumper to bumper.  Usually from my house to “calling all graphics” its usually 30 mins but on my FIRST day there was insane amount of traffic. WHAT LUCK?!  I called my supervisor Marla Gotay and she was nice enough to tell me that her time was flexible and she understands that there are traffic during rush hour.  When i arrived to her workplace it turns out it was also her house that she lived in.  It was a home office.  At first it was very weird but after a few trips, the idea of a home office was not only comfortable but convenient .  when i arrived,  Marla was very nice and introduced herself.  so i got a walk through of what she does.  I would consider her a freelancer mainly because she doesn’t have any employees and she works for herself. What she does is simple, she mainly create business cards, menus and billboards for restaurants.

I got the call!!!

A week later i got an email from Calling all graphics.   I was super excited because that means i don’t have to drop the class.  That means AS LONG AS i stick with my intership and collect 120 hours i will pass the class. GREAT! I told my girlfriend, my professor and my mom that i got the job. Thats how excited i was.  Even though it was an unpaid internship i knew that this was a stepping stone to something BIG. I knew if i did good in this internship an opportunity will arise in the future.

Reflection 2 (who am I)

When I got out of high school and and when it was time for me to choose a college. I was debating between City tech or John jay college. So I asked a number of people that are fairly close to me. Everyone told me to go to john jay college because it had a better reputation compared to City tech. And plus the 16%  graduation rate in our school wasn’t helping either. Even though I wanted to go to city tech from the start for arts and design. I decided to follow what people told me to do and went to john jay. When I was over there I majored in criminal justice which I hated, I didn’t feel connected at all and I felt like I wasn’t using my creative side of my brain enough. I was not so happy. Eventually i decided to transfer back to my original choice City tech.

Over there I was happier. I felt like i can be myself.  I was able to talk design with my fellow classmates and i felt like i fit right in.  So the Moral of the story is simple. As cliche as it sounds, follow your dreams, create your own path and do not let anyone else create it for you because they are not living your life, YOUR ARE!

Ever since i was a little kid i enjoyed drawing.  I enjoyed everything about art.  From cartoon drawing to drawing still life.  I was always so fascinated when it comes to beautifully drawn figures and artwork.  When i was in school, art was my favorite subject and I also seem to do very well in those classes.  I always wanted a career in drawing and i have told my mom this but being in an Asian background it would be ludicrous to have art as your career.  My mom wanted me to wear a suit, have a 9-5 job and make the big bucks.  So to her, art was never in the picture.  She always told me that Designers are for girls and artist don’t make a lot of money.

As a graphic designer I am fascinated in the process of creating a design and seeing where it can be used in.  For example like a bookcover, after designing a book cover and seeing the end result of the book being used by a user satisfies me.  I am also intrigued by spacing and alignment.  When stuff are perfectly aligned and proportionate it really satisfies me.  I get really ticked off when I see something that is crook it.

I am a generalist because i feel that i can fit in to every category when it comes to design.  I love talking to people, i love to design layouts, logos etc.   A design that has meaning to this world is what i look for.  For me, to see the worth of designing a composition depends on how worthy it serves the public.  I get unmotivated when I am designing something without a particular meaning.  In life sometimes your are confronted with these problem and my job would be to turn something meaningless to something meaningful.  i am a problem solver!


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