Alright so in a nutshell, my experience working at City Tech’s Design Studio has been rather cool, chill and lax; and truthfully in that way it was a total blessing. It gave me the opportunity to focus on finishing my senior project, something that I probably wouldn’t have gotten working somewhere else. For that I’m grateful, however, I feel because of that I sort of missed out on the feeling of actually working in a design studio. It felt like I was on personal ‘lab time’ as opposed to ‘At Work’, which in the end made me feel guilty as hell because there’s a part of me that feels like I didn’t do enough; and truthfully there’s probably a lot more I could have done. Yet in the end, I’m so glad that I had time to handle my other projects that I needed to get done and didn’t have to be completely stressed out trying to juggle everything.
Prof. Chen is really cool to work with and the work environment there seems laid back so I guess maybe that just how things are over there. Yet, I wonder how different my experience would have been were I more available and freer to take on more responsibility; but then again I don’t know if maybe it’s just my skewed perception of what an intern does or is supposed to do. What I mean by that is maybe I’ve got it into my head that as an intern I needed to not only meet expectation but exceed it so that I’d be ‘memorable’ and thus get hired; you know, the way it works in fiction and in society’s imagination. Protagonist get’s an entry level position or internship, they take huge risks that would get anyone else fired, they go the extra mile and a half on everything which results in them getting promoted or hired.
Anyway, I’m just glad I was able to satisfy the internship requirement for graduation, and hopefully down the line I’ll be able to show what I can really do as an illustrator/designer.
So this is the week before my senior project is due, and I’m freaking out a little bit. I haven’t really been working on new stuff for my internship, and I’m not exactly sure if Prof.Chen is taking it easy on me because he knows I’m doing senior project or if he doesn’t really have anything new for me to work on because the major design stuff for the school is handled by Christina, one of the main designers on staff and himself. Every time I check in with him, I always say “Hey!, if there’s anything else you need help with let me know” and he’s like “ Yeah, Sure Okay!” So at this point I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing here really ,and I feel more like I’m coming in for Lab time rather than work time.
Despite that, I make sure you use my time in the best way that I can here, but yet I’m stymied by the lack of up to date, design capable computers. So mostly now I spend my time trying to work on things that don’t necessarily need a wacom tablet, which is hard considering I’m illustrator specializing in digital art.
I’ve contemplated bringing my laptop with me but I don’t like the idea of having to bring my laptop to an internship that’s not actually paying me to be there, so I could work on projects they want me to do. It’s like if I have to pay out of pocket to get there and get back home, have to bring lunch or have money for lunch cause nobody’s feeding me, and I also need to be responsible for bringing my own workstation, then honestly what’s the sense of showing up? I might as well sit in the comfort of my own home, save the $5.50 MTA round trip money and just email my projects in right?
So things are kinda stagnating here. I show up, I work, I chit chat a little with Huseyin, Yuki and other staff, and I leave generally after 5pm, although I’ve been sticking around a bit later to make up some of the hours I’ve missed. I’m still working on puzzles all the while starting to letter the pages of my senior project comic book.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but we share office space with the alumni association. Because of that, I’ve found some interesting things around the office by accident. (okay…I was bored and went snooping) The most interesting stuff I’ve found were a collection of school yearbooks going back to the 60s. It was really cool to see images of past students, styles of days gone by, Downtown Brooklyn through the years, the many changes to the curriculum and the previous logo designs of the school. Sadly though, the atrium looks exactly the same now as it did in the 70’s; so the next time you see dried gum stuck to any surface there or touch the wall in that area, chances are the person who chewed that piece of dried gum in 1984 touched that exact same brick before heading off to class; and now the both of you are connected through time.
So basically nothing new or exciting is going on at the office right now, I’m still working on the puzzles, which is taking quite some time. Basically what I’m doing with those is tracing portraits of the selected people in illustrator, creating line art that Prof. Chen will plot points on to make the final version. Sounds easy right, well as I’ve stated earlier, the biggest challenge of this project is making it a challenge. How lines cross and where they go are all things I must consider as well as having enough detail on the line that makes the person recognizable, but not so much that it’s too hard to plot points on; also the fact that I can’t break lines and have to figure out how to define an ear and eye using only one line. In the midst of all this, I sneak in some senior project work when I need a break from figuring out the puzzle design.
But honestly the suckiest part of working here is the lack of design capable computers. The very last available computer here that I was able to connect my wacom tablet to is no more. Prof. Chen informed me that it was in the process of being reprogrammed by City Tech’s Computer tech people. He told me that it was still ‘usable’, but no internet connection and no new programs can be loaded onto it, in my case that meant no wacom tablet driver installation. So basically the computer I was able to use comfortably last week and do a bunch of digital paintings on is gone forever, and the only other computer available to use is running Mac OSX 10.5 and cant load any new programs onto it either because it’s a computer the City Tech programmers use and nobody in the office knows the admin passwords on it.
So yeah… fun.
So I’ve been taking off a bit of time here and there interning due to the fact that I seriously needed to catch up on my senior project; and Prof. Chen knew about it and was totally fine with it. I still was working on his connect the dot puzzles on the side; I had finished working on Bruce Lee this week and was moving on to the next person, the artist Lawrence Weiner; but generally I was more or less consumed with my senior project which made me feel guilty. I felt like I was the worlds suckiest intern. Not just with my internship but also with my 3D modeling class, I felt like I had checked out on all my other responsibilities because my time management skill are poor and was using senior project as an excuse.
Yet regardless of all the work I was getting done, it still felt like it wasn’t enough and there was always a heck lot more that needed to be done yesterday. Ultimately, I was feeling like a shoddy intern who was half-assing.
So my regular routine was shaken up today. Typically my day consisted of me sitting in the office in front of a Mac, working on projects with my headphones on for about 6 hours or so two days a week. But today was a bit special because today Prof. Chen invited Yuki and I to come with the design staff to a Photoshoot over at the Voorhees building. We were going to get some pictures of the Haunted house and the Entertainment tech students for the college website, before they took down the exhibition. We left Court.st around 3pm and stayed there till close to 7pm; taking pictures of the whole setup, which I must say was really awesome very detailed and so well done. I’m annoyed with myself that for all this time, all this time that I was in attendance at City Tech, I never once bothered to go to the haunted house show. So basically in short today involved a lot of standing, a lot of setting up cameras and tripods. A lot of light-holding, and a lot of patience; but regardless I’m glad I was able to go.
Starting a new project today, I was asked to develop a couple of sketches involving a bullet going through a skull being held by a hand. I wasn’t sure how this was going to be used exactly but hey, it wasn’t a burger and I was excited to start on something different, so I jumped right in to making sketches for the project. Drawing human skulls is pretty easy for me to do quickly so I did a bunch and settled on four. When I was done and happy with what I had I sent it over to Prof. Chen to take a look at. He chose on that I did on the top left corner, citing that he liked the particular ¾ angle I went with there. So I was like hey great, and I took the sketches back to my ‘office’ and was then contemplating on how I was going to scan them in, due to the office not having a working scanner. I decided to just take a high res picture with my phone and email it to myself, I’d then bring in the image into Photoshop and begin my digital coloring process. Before I even got to finish that, Prof.Chen walks in and says:
“Hey, I’ve got another project I want you to work on for me.”
And I was like
“….sure…okay…No more skulls?”
“Well…they’re good—-but I was thinking this may be easier to work with.”
And then he begins to describe the concept for the next project he had in mind. Which basically had me designing connect the dot puzzles of influential people. I thought to myself, “This is supposed to be Easy?” In no way was that an easy task; to design a moderately challenging puzzle requires you to think two steps ahead of the viewer. It couldn’t be so easy that you being to get the image of the person after completing 3 lines, yet at the same time it can’t be so convoluted that it’s tiresome after the first line. So currently this is where i’m at in terms of work here. Prof. Chen let me know that he intends to have a series of these, approx 20+ different people…. yay! ……*sigh*
Following up on my 6th post about the burger project that I was working on, It’s basically finished now. I finished the flat colors and started working on shadows and highlights. As I was working on the project, there were a multitude of things that were changed to suit the desires of my client, Prof. Chen. The most of which revolved around getting the word ‘Don’t’ which was intended to resemble lettuce to look a bit more ‘leafy’; and to make the beef part, the final two words of the piece—‘More Fat’–, look a bit more grilled. Overall because of the many small tweaks that were made to this project, it took a little longer to complete than I desired, just about 3-4 weeks total, from sketch to finished design. Honestly though, I was ready to move on to a new project after the 3rd tweak that I did.
When it comes to businesses becoming obsolete due to ‘freeware’, I’m not sure exactly how I feel about that. It’s weird, due to being both a creative and a consumer it sort of makes you this weird hybrid ‘day-walker’. On one hand, the consumer side of me is happy to have these free programs that eliminate the need for me to pay for the service; yet the creative side of me realizes that digitization maybe something I will have to come into contact with or struggle against, trying to find a way to circumvent it just to make a steady living.
However, I still don’t entirely see digitization as an armageddon for business. Life is about change, and it’s not like these businesses were going to last forever. You have to have a certain adaptability to be able to truly last, especially if you’re in the tech business. The article makes it seem as if judgment day is nigh for industries, whereas I think people would still pay for a service as long as it offers them something more that they can’t get with freeware. Take Netflix for instance, sure there are a lot of sites online that stream movies & tv series for free. So then, why do people pay per month to watch Netflix? Video quality, content offered & a strong brand identity I think are part of the reasons they haven’t yet been taken down by free streaming sites like Couchtuner.com, Youtube or Watchseries.ag yet.
So as I’ve stated in post #2, I decided to take the second option Professor Chen offered me and work more or less as his intern, and do projects for him. So the first thing he wanted me to work on was a t-shirt design of a oily dripping disgusting burger with the different sections of the burger being type. It would read : “Don’t Pay Less For More Fat” so I started working on that. I did a mock up in illustrator, I chose a nice blocky san serif typeface then saved the image and a png, brought it into Photoshop and drew over it to preserve the letter forms. Once I was happy with the ink layer, I moved onto flat colors. I’m hoping to finish the project in about a week or two.