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This semester has been one big roller coaster; there were some high and low points, not just academically but life in general. I started off this semester feeling pretty confident; the spring semester was good, and my summer break was excellent. Without a reason to doubt myself walking into the fall semester; even though, I did not have an internship as yet. Professor Mason gave me a substantial lead right away, which solved my internship problem. I got lucky, the fact that I did not have a portfolio due to my expert procrastination abilities, the possibility of me landing an internship by applying online were slim to none. I also left my full-time job because they were not flexible enough. I felt like that was a good way to get me focused on seeking out freelance jobs and focusing on school.

This semester I took three courses; Internship, Design Team, and Campaign Development II. Figured this was the best route to take, leaving Senior Project and Portfolio for the spring. In all honesty, I am grateful for all of my professors this semester they were all super helpful. Professor Fikaris was very motivational with his high level of energy and because of him, I was able to push myself and get out of a slum. Professor Franklin provided a fresh laid-back approach to creative thinking, which helped me to come over a huge “brain-fart” I experienced mid-semester. Just being in the same room as Professor Mason watching how he pays attention and the interest he takes in his students’ internship stories, always made me feel like I had someone on my side.

My eyes have opened; I have found new motivation from my peers in this course my situation is no heavier than someone else. I am humbled and appreciate ever experience more, understanding where someone who procrastinates measures up in the world of advertising.

Journal Entry 14 & 15

Post #14

This has been a pretty productive week; I have been working hard and learning a few new things. Scott and Naeem reached out; they wanted another card for Photographer Greg Swales. The shoot they sent over was just beautiful. The photos delivered sexy, elegant, and upscale extremely well. I was asked to create two cards from the files sent; the photos were all from the same shoot so the cards might look similar, so I wrote an email expressing that, and they understood. I completed the two cards; Scott conveyed how blown away he was by responding, “Amazing!” I deiced to take this opportunity to thank him for his kind words about my work and remind him that the semester is coming to an end. I expressed that I would like to meet soon to complete my evaluation form and time-sheet.

Greg Swales_NewStory1 Greg Swales_NewStory2

This week I have also revisited the TEDx Talk: How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint, by David JP Phillips. David spoke about all the horrible ways people designed PowerPoint’s and gave solution on how to create a successful one. David explained the common mistakes like having a bright background, an enormous body of text, and large headlines. He shared that we should have one message per slide, use contrast and size to stare focus, avoid using sentences if speaking at the same time, use a dark background, and only six items per slide. This was extremely helpful to create my PowerPoint for my final presentation.


Post #15

I am really in the zone, super focused and challenging myself. Oh, and I have yet to hear back from the good folks of ArtWing NY to complete my evaluation, so I explained my situation to Professor Mason, and he said, “I will have to get in contact with Scott this is unacceptable.” With the semester coming to an end that means I have final projects to complete; I was finishing up my book cover design for The City Tech Writer 2016 Volume 11. I also have an assignment where Professor Craig Franklin a social media driven event for the last project presented. We all had to create a non-headline driven campaign for a mobile app of our choice. Mine was a wine app by Taste Wine Co; the app is used to educate about wine, and it assist users in finding the right wine for them. Last but not least finish up my final presentation for this class.

So for the City Tech Writers book cover, I did everything in Adobe Illustrator, and I mean everything. I used some shading and highlighting techniques I came up with by tweaking different effects. I also needed a beveled & embossed effect for my text, which took a few layers and effects, because just converting the text to 3D does not create clean enough look. The final product came out beautiful everyone said, “you could see my hard work show.” It felt superb to hear comments like that.


As for the social media driven event for the Taste Wine Co app. I decided to use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I designed the Ad then I displayed it in an Instagram mock-up. I chose to partner with (RED) and do a wine tasting event. I thought that was a good way to utilize the app and a good way to gather people, the majority of proceeds for red wine purchased would go towards (RED)’s movement to ” to deliver an AIDS FREE GENERATION.”




journal entry 13

Final preparations made, and it was time to print my project. By the way, I am speaking of Monday figured I would start from there since I mentioned The Seventy-sixth Hornor’s Convocation cover due date last week. So I took a trip over to Remsen Graphics to print, because last time I went to Fedex, yeah silly me. The print for the cover was vibrant and attractive. After leaving Remsen Graphics, I went over to WC Art & Drafting to purchase a precut board for mounting, rubber cement, and X-Acto knife. Made it to class, and then I mounted my print with a border all around like the professor asked. Some of the students rushed or did not follow instructions, so they ruined the artwork. Some displays were crooked or bubbly because they put too much glue not allowing it to dry.

After the client viewed the work and left the professor briefed us on the next project right away. We were each instructed to design a book cover for City Tech Writers Volume 11, and the design should be a visual metaphor. An idea came to me immediately; I wanted to do something to represent the heart of a writer.

Fast forwarding to Tuesday, Scott nor Naeem contacted me for the second week, so once again no new updates about the internship; However, with the free time I decided to get started on my sketches for the next book cover.


Journal Entry 12

I should know better by now that my supervisors are not consistent. Thought they would have contacted me with some work, but I am not complaining because I have much work to do. Started the Cover for City Tech’s Seventy-sixth Honor’s Convocation. Next Monday it should be ready for print, so I guess no more putting off completing the typography. After an hour of selecting from my long list of combinations and positioning my choice to my liking, I am ready to try a few different fills in Illustrator. Finally settling on a gradient that I tweaked a little, I chose about three yellows and moved around the slider until I was satisfied. Now since the project is almost due, it is time for some feedback; I try to send it out to the instructor, Professor Fikaris is this case, and I usually send it to a few friends ones of the same interest and that are not. Because this file is for print, the color mode is set to CMYK, but I am sending it via multimedia messaging and emailing it; I usually export as a low-res RBG jpg format.


As for constructive criticism, my professor said, “enlarge the text just a little more and do the same to the school logos on the back of the cover.” A friend of mine thought I should add a stroke to the silhouette of the city skyline. Overall though everyone liked it, and I did as well, but in all honesty, I did not put much effort into this piece.

Journal entry 10 & 11

Journal entry#10

So the week started out well I had an excellent interview with Avis. The only thing left to do was the drug screening, I left after the hiring managers said they would contact me in twenty-four hours. I needed a job, to be honest; I have not worked since January. The plan before I left my last job was to finish up the spring semester and then find something more flexible. I did my calculations, and there was enough money in my bank account to last me until the end of the summer. The spring semester finished and the summer started, but everything was still looking good. I managed to budget myself enough, and I hardly used up my funds; Even though, I still ate, drank, and partied like I had a guaranteed paycheck. I guess the little freelance gigs my older cousin would put me on to helped significantly. One thing led to another, and my funds ran out, thanks, City Tech Financial Aid Center. Back to Avis, they never scheduled me for the drug-screening guess they forgot about me whatever everything happens for a reason. I told myself after quitting G.I.A. back in January that the next job I have will be in my field or something else I enjoy, so for the next few days, I had to reevaluate my situation and find that focus. The drive returned I found myself not stressing over poor finances, and the negative energy transformed into an active force that now propels me towards a goal.


Journal entry #11

Feeling good, highly favored, and focused I have decided to sort some old work and created a folder for possible portfolio pieces. On Tuesday morning, I woke up expecting an email from Scott or Naeem with work to complete, but there was nothing. I decided to contact them after a few hours, so I sent an email with the subject reading, “Touching base.” The body copy read, “Hey guys, Hope all is well; I did not receive any feedback on the cards completed from last week, so hope it is safe to say you guys liked them. Also, there are a few projects I am currently working on that will probably keep me busy throughout the week, but I can take care of anything sent my way between now and five o’clock.” About an hour later I received an email from Naeem requesting a card for photographer Greg Swells new work for Elle. There were thirteen pictures, in the zipped file; ten of them were brown with a warm feel, and the other three were monochromatic. I decided to place four photos at the bottom, six above and then three at the top with the photographer’s name on the right, and logo on the left. Once finished I sent the Greg’s card to Scott and Naeem, they responded right away with praises, telling me they loved it and how much they appreciate my help.

Greg Swales NewElle

That was the only assignment I received for the day. I decided to edit one of the old projects I placed in the folder that contained possible portfolio pieces. The project I came across is a campaign for Naked Juice, so I am going to revamp the project. Originally it was a group project from Campaign Design I. We had a good idea, but it was poorly executed, so I am going to start there.

Post #15 Self-Eval_Sekou Noel

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.

Post #14 Epiphany_Sekou Noel

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?

Post #13 Boredom_Sekou Noel

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.

Post #12 Les Miserables _Sekou Noel

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.

Post #11 Sekou Noel, World’s Suckiest Intern.

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.