For this summer 2016 I had the chance to intern at Fantastica, an urban design company. The company is really small made up of about 4 individuals and it is located in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Im not sure wether its a private or public company but I do know that they have contracts with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership organization in which allows them to work on projects all over the downtown Brooklyn area. The company’s primary business is basically urban design. They create beautiful spaces around they city making unwanted areas valuable and helping communities grow. Their clients primarily consist of restaurant owners but their biggest clients is the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The company is fairly new and it is still working on making a dent in the history books. The area i work in is mostly in the graphic design side of things.
WHAT AM I DOING?
I am a junior designer at Fantastica located in DUMBO Brooklyn and some of the things that I will be doing is being a part of a re-branding strategy team, working on expanding their stationaries, and also assisting in art directing photo shoots as well as post production image retouching. Responsible for creating their website which consisted of customizing wordpress template, gathering and uploading contact to the site. My supervisor is the sole founder of this studio. His name is Manuel Mansylla but he likes to go by Manman. The way I got this internship was through the BTTIP program in which you have to apply and if you get in then you are given a list of companies in which you can request an interview to receive an internship opportunity. The process is really long and frustrating but I made it through and was callback from my first choice which was Fantastica! I was interviewed with one person and at the time he was the studio manager but he moved on to another company. When I showed him my portfolio the conversation changed from asking me about what I’m interested in to getting engulfed in my work and how I was able to come up with these ideas.
Feel free to check out my portfolio at www.oadsgn.com
The culture of my work space is very relaxed and not very upbeat at all. No one is really on top of anyone but e do have daily informal meetings where we do touch base on projects and updates. As you can see on the image above, the work space is open and has a creative environment. The work place doesn’t really have a strict dress code and you’re encouraged to dress comfortably. The work day begins with the first person that comes in is responsible of setting up their phone to the speakers and playing music. There must always be music is what my supervisor always says. You’re also encouraged to take breaks when ever you need to and that goes for lunch as well.
My experience thus far has been interesting. My first project is to completely redesign their current website and make it look more sophisticated and modern. I came in on my first day pumped and ready to go but to my surprise one of the coworkers gave me the news that he will be away this week and will be coming back the following Monday, which is unfortunate because he needed to give me the files for the website. I realized I had to put that project on hold.
NEW SKILLS / COLLABORATION
Geury is one the the architects at Fantastica and I had the opportunity to work along side with him. I was assisting him with a project and he was more than happy to show me what he was working on. I learned about some really cool programs that they use to digitize blue prints. He needed me to Photoshop some of the projects that he had made in 3D into an environment where it will essentially be built. It was a really cool experience because I got to see different skills that other people have and was able to take that information and hopefully apply it in my other work opportunity.
Something i realized during this internship was that once they give you a project they don’t give you much direction. At first I felt lost and didn’t know what to do but I quickly realized that I needed to take initiative. The cons about not being told what they need from you specifically is the fear of doing something they wont like, which is a constant thought on the back of my head but the pros about is that you feel the pressure to do your best, your mind goes into hyper mode and you try to bring your best ideas out. I realized if you let these thoughts over power the fear, I am able to produce my best work.
One of the projects we worked on during our internship was to customize a monopoly board to be given to the director of the downtown Brooklyn partnership organization because he is stepping down from his position. During this project our supervisor asked us to sit down in some of the meetings with the DBP to talk about and explore different ways we could execute this project. He encouraged us to suggested our ideas at the meeting. This was a really great experience and we also got great feed back when we participated giving our ideas.