The company I’m interning at this semester is CUNY TV. CUNY TV is located in midtown Manhattan on 365 5th Ave, within the CUNY Graduate Center. CUNY TV is a public company. Their primary business is creating, producing, filming, and editing television shows, focusing on CUNY professors, students and alumni. The station covers a wide variety of topics from culture, diversity, science, education, politics, art, etc. Although I assume CUNY TV was made by students and aimed towards students, a recent article written by The Ticker about CUNY TV (https://theticker.org/ticker/2019/9/9/cuny-tv-should-be-geared-more-toward-studentcontent) speaks to the opinion that CUNY TV’s programing is not being necessary geared towards student but that it should be. I learned that CUNY TV was established in 1985 and since then has grown to reach around 7.3 million households in the New York metro area. In addition, CUNY TV has won numerous awards which I had no idea about, such as twenty New York Emmy Awards and over 100 nominations, as well as other prestigious industry honors including the Telly Awards and Communicator Awards. I would qualify CUNY TV as a relatively large company. There is a lot of individuals working there making the day to day operations run smoothly. I doubt I will meet everyone during my internship.
My role at CUNY TV is an Intern. I don’t work for a specific department. As of now, my role is to service anyone who needs help. I’ve done research, pitched concepts and been a videographer’s assistant. I’m currently working on a segment for a show called Urban U. The segment will serve as what they call a “bumper” which is a transition between segments. The bumper will be a time lapse video showcasing one of my illustrations. I’m also working on an amination project for a show called Leyendo Books. The story behind me getting this internship is through an email. After applying for a fall internship for months I turned to the COMD internship site on openlab. Being that it was summer there wasn’t much posted on it as far as fall internships. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find an internship for fall 2019 so I emailed professor Gotez to see if I still had time to find one, and if I needed one before the semester started. Luckily in my emails I saw an email from professor Gotez about CUNY TV looking for interns. I’m majoring in adverting design so an internship in production wasn’t initially what I had in mind but I’ve always been a fan of television and pop culture so I thought working in television, in some capacity, would be interesting. I emailed Tinabeth Piña which happens to be the Managing Editor and now my supervisor, to set up an interview. I had a one-on-one, where we spoke for about 20 minutes and just had a good conversation about the industry and what I would do there. We mostly spoke about my major, why did I choose my major, where did I see myself in five years. The interview was held on Thursday and I was offered the internship on Friday the following day.
I would say the culture at CUNY TV is fast pace due to there being so much going on at once. But there isn’t a sense of stress, seems to be a well-oiled machine. The dress code is business causal. I was worried at first because of my tattoos. I didn’t want to expose my arms being that a lot of office jobs don’t accept tattoos. My first week I went in with a long sleeve dress shirt, a pair of slacks and work shoes. By the third day I came in covered in sweat, so I asked my supervisor if it was okay if I wore a graphic t-shirt or at least a short sleeve dress shirt. I was informed that it was okay for me to wear a t-shirt but to use my discretion on the type of graphic displayed on the shirt. She noted that it was quite mature for asking, which I found interesting since to me it was common sense to adhere to a dress code at your employment. I always feel the go to is business attire until you know or are told otherwise. Being able to dress less business formal has allowed me to be myself more and express myself with my clothing, which I greatly appreciate. I’m currently working out of what’s called the conference room but it’s more like an office space. I work in front of a Mac desktop computer which sits on a table similar to the ones at City Tech. I work among Producers which is cool. I only work 4 hours a day, 2 days a week for a total of 8 hours a week. I don’t take breaks just because my shift is so short.
My typical day starts by walking in the building and showing my CUNY TV ID card to security and taking the elevator one floor down. My first two days I did research on professors. I was looking for professors that were doing extraordinary things outside the classroom mainly humanitarian and philanthropic work, to be interviewed. I was looking for biographies, awards and any past interviews they have done to see how they were on camera. The following week I was assigned an animation project and went on my first shoot. My third week I went on two shoots and got to see the ins and outs of production. For the most part if I’m not taken to a shoot, I consistently inquire about who needs my assistance and what projects I can be involved with in an effort to expand my professional and technical skills. This internship is geared more towards individuals who are proactive and seek assignments so I make sure to do so. Although it seems that working at CUNY TV is not directly applicable to my major I do believe I am gaining new skills, while also sharpening the ones I have. For example, going on shoots the videographers and producers need to set up the shots in a short time frame so understanding composition is key which in any work of art is important. In my past projects and academic career I have gained knowledge of composition. One thing I have learned based on the industry in regards to the economy, is that one of the companies I really want to work for just fired a ton of people and that there not necessary hiring a lot of in-house people but instead utilizing private contractors or outsourcing. This seems to be a theme amongst television entities.
Journal Entry #5
A project I have been working on for CUNY TV is animation for a program called Leyendo Books. It’s a show where the two host read books to children in English and Spanish. It is appealing to me because I am Latin and grew up bilingual so a program like this is great. One of the segments consists of putting visual narrative to songs for children. I was assigned to help create animation for the song “are you sleeping.” I’m not much of an animator but I’m collaborating with one of the producers Lisa Beth on this project. Over the course of time I’ve created illustrations that drive the narrative of the song. Lisa will take care of the animation portion of the project. I been given total control of the art style I feel would best suit the show and song. I’ve had a few meetings with Lisa and two other producers on deadlines of the project. After all the illustration is done I will have the ability to sit with Lisa and work on the actual animation which should be a great learning experience. As far as the art direction I’ve decided to do a fusion of illustration and photo montage, creating my own style. This opportunity has also allowed me to focus on illustration, which is something I really enjoy doing. So far I really have enjoyed this project because it has allowed me to strengthen skills I have had before, allowed me to explore my creativity and artistic identity, while also presenting an opportunity to learn a new skill. I can’t wait to see when it is complete and air on television.
Journal Entry #6
For my first off campus networking event I went searching on eventbrite and found NY Designs. NY Designs was founded in 2006, NY Designs is dedicated to the success of design and hardware tech startups in NYC. They offer memberships to their incubator program. NY Design incubator program offers members 3 years of access to their private studio space in their 20,000-sq-ft facility, 24/7 studio access, access to 3D printer, laser cutters, hardware tools, materials, regular advisory meetings with NY Design’s management team, Network of mentors and advisors Industry and networking events. NY Designs is located in Long Island City at Laguardia Community College, a CUNY campus. I attended the tinkers and thinkers lunch. During the seminar those of us in attendance got to eat lunch, introduce ourselves and mingle. I was not the only City Tech student, there was another student aside from myself at the event. The speaker was a representative from a company by the name of MOVE 38. MOVE 38 is a game development company. They showed us their new invention called “Blinks”. Blinks are the world’s first phygital tabletop game system. The game comes with six tiles, each tile has a game programmed in it which can re-program the other tiles allowing a number of players to play a specific game. MOVE 38 allowed us to play with the blinks. The games where fun and innovative, I would purchase a set whenever it does go to market. After the demo we took a tour of the fab lab that members of the incubator program have access too. I wasn’t able to make as many connections as I would have liked to but I did get Allie Stambaugh’s business card who is the Operations Manager. She also sent me an email of their up and coming events. I also met a gentleman by the name of Daniel Toronto who was the owner of a company by the name of Super O that is looking to develop fitness tech that tracks users performance and gives the date on any physical limitations they may have based on injuries they obtain.
Journal Entry #7
The second off campus networking event I attended was a Josh Payne seminar held at Red Baron Ink west side location. Josh Payne is a tattoo artist from upstate New York, Cortland to be exact. Josh was the season 10 winner of Ink Master. Ink Master is a tattoo competition on the paramount network. Ink Master is similar to other competition shows with a three judge format. The contests are given a challenge each week, they must tattoo a specific style, create a design based on a description given to them by the “client” sometimes in difficult areas of the body and they must complete the tattoo in six hours. The final three contestants get a chance to win $100,000 and the title of Ink Master. During the seminar, those in attendance got to watch Josh tattoo a calf piece from start to finish. While he tattooed we got to ask questions. He went over color theory, color application, color mixing, how colors heal on the skin as well shading techniques. He covered art techniques specifically with tattoos but also outside tattoo, as an illustrator. I was able to speak to Josh on how to get into the industry as well, connect with a few of the attendees. Josh informed me that I stood out because I took notes as well stayed through the full duration of the seminar which went on till 2 am. I did email Josh and the owner of the shop Grant the next day to thank them. I got some encouraging words from Josh. Time will tell if attending the seminar pays off. I will be using some of the color application techniques he went over when I start my journey in water color painting after the semester is over. The seminar really inspired me.
Journal Entry # 8
A creative app that I’ve used quite a lot is Auto Desk Sketchbook Pro. It’s an app geared towards illustrators. It has the feel of an adobe suite program like Photoshop or Illustrator but more user friendly. It did help that I have experience using a few of the adobe programs in the creative cloud but it’s not necessary to have that knowledge before using Auto Desk. This program was my introduction into drawing on a tablet with a stylist. I’m not sure if you can upload or create custom brushes but what’s pre-loaded is more than enough to create a variety of images. I would recommend this software to any illustrator especially those who are beginners at drawing digitally. I honestly prefer Pro Create because it’s a more robust program as it lets you export psd files, however, Auto Desk is a good beginner program. One down side to Auto Desk aside from being a bit stripped down in comparison to Pro Create, is that on an android device it crashes a lot, especially if you have a lot of layers open. A plus to using Auto Desk is that it is free and like I stated previously, gives you enough tools to create a variety of illustrations.
Journal Entry # 9
The app I used to create the two major project I did during my internship was procreate. Procreate is a drawing app that has a similar interface to photoshop which also supports PDS files. If you’re familiar with photoshop it’s easier to dive in and create some amazing art. My introduction to this app was last semester during my senior project. In my other app review I went over Autodesk sketchbook pro, procreate is the next level up. Procreate is a very robust app with tons of add-ons from third party companies. One of the best features is time lapse recording. I used this feature to create my bumper video. Procreate just like the adobe products and Autodesk has the same type of flow work, it’s a layers based program. Currently this is my favorite app and the only drawing app I use.
Journal Entry #10
For the field trip I went to the printmaking workshop at the Chelsea Recreation Center hosted by the NYC Parks. At the workshop I ran into some of my fellow classmates which was nice to see some familiar faces. The workshop started with a quick demo of what our plate could look like. The plate was made out of cardboard, on the cardboard there were piece of foam, yard, and some netting which made a pattern. Once the demo was over we were able to pick our materials alongside a pair of scissors, glue, and pencil. After 10 to 15 minutes of creating, a second demo started. The second demo was on how to lay the water base ink over the patterns we created and how to add patterns to the paper. We were provided different color options which gave us more flexibility to be creative. I recreated the company logo of the tattoo shop that I’m currently employed by. Aside from my fellow classmates I saw another familiar face Laura Alvarez. Laura was one of the speakers at “Meet the Pros Women in Comics” event at City Tech back in 2017. I was able to speak to Laura about graphic design opportunities at the NYC parks department. She advised me that the parks department will have about 7,000 jobs opening up this upcoming year. I did not even know that the NYC Parks Department used graphic designers and that it could be a place for potential opportunity.
Journal Entry #11
During my time at CUNY TV one of the projects I was given the opportunity to work on was a bumper video for their show Urban U. A bumper video is a small segment in-between bigger segments that give a small break between stories. I was assigned this project by the show’s producer Marieve. It was my second week there so I was not very assertive but that day I decided to ask if they needed help with anything, it was the best decision I made during my internship. For the bumper I was given total creative control. I choice to showcase one of my illustrations via time lapse video. It’s a piece I worked on over the summer, I got the inspiration from a tattoo artist on Instagram. He would ask followers to make suggestions on things he should draw. I used my imagination and came up with the craziest most random thing I can think of at the moment which was a luchador panda shooting out a cobra made of fire out his mouth. I saw the opportunity to play around with some graffiti style letters. I wanted to tie in the whole theme of creativity so I wrote out express your imagination. This is the message I wanted the viewers to take away from my bumper. I mainly worked on this project at home just because I could lose myself for hours while drawing and I wanted to be able to work on more projects during my internship hours. I found that time management was difficult because like everything else that I’ve done at CUNY TV deadlines were never affirmatively established which was inconvenient. Without affirmative deadlines, I was not able to prioritize as much as I would have liked and sometimes would be approach a week or two before the project was due with a sudden deadline. With this particular project it was an issue because footage of myself drawing was required but that was never communicated when I was initially assigned. I ended up filming with my DSLR camera mounted on a tripod. Afterwards I edited the footage in Premiere. Once I turned in the footage it was handed over the one of the editors to be added into the show. The week before it aired I sat down with the editor and went over his edits, there were a few issues but it was fixed quickly. The Urban U episode I was featured in aired on December 5th and the bumper was uploaded to their site on December 6th. I am honored to be on the show and forever grateful for the opportunity to showcase my art.
Journal Entry #12
During the tail end of creating my bumper video I met one of the editors by the name of Sam. During our meeting I asked Sam if I could meet with him the following week and just observe him while he edits. I wanted to pick up some tricks and tips that I could use at my job and for personal projects. I was able to meet Sam in the editor’s room twice the first time I just watched and by the second time I was able to be more hands on work. In my second visit I learned more in the two hours with Sam then I did my entire time at CUNY TV. I got to sit in a control room with a bunch of monitors. I was also able to meet another editor by the name of Eddy which went over editing for the purpose of storytelling. What questions to ask, how to get the most out of an interview and the importance of login, which is making a transcript of what was filmed. Both editors stressed the importance of organizing files at the beginning of a project as well staying organized throughout.
Journal Entry # 13
Working on the Leyendo Books had some pros and cons. Just like every project at CUNY TV deadlines were not communicated well and unfortunately in this project it was no different. I had a few meetings with the producers but the meetings were never long enough to get the most out of them. I worked on this project for a few months and there were some challenges to say the least one being that CUNY TV doesn’t have stock photos for designers to use so getting the images that I used for this project was very difficult so much so that I had to pay for it. At the beginning of this project I explain to the producers that I didn’t have animation skills, however I could create GIFs in photoshop. The producers told me that they would sit with me and work on the animation together that it would be an opportunity to learn how to do simple animation which I was super excited about. During one of our meetings the producers stated that they were so busy because of the holiday season and had a ton of deadlines to meet with the other shows they produce and work on, that they would not have time to sit down with me to go over animation before the semester ends. They asked if they can stay in touch with me after my internship was over and I replied yes, however, I am not sure if that will happen. I finished the project based on the dead line I was given but when it was time to turn it in, it seemed that the producers no longer had time for me. It’s disappointing because I worked on this project for a long time and it consumed a lot of my time at CUNY TV and the show may not air or my images. The pros of working on this project was that I was able to lay the foundation for a new style of art or at least my version of it.
Journal Entry #14
During this semester I was able to land a part time job at Sacred Tattoo. Sacred Tattoo was founded in 1990 back when tattooing was considered illegal in New York State. It’s a shop with a lot of history. Many big name tattoo artists got their start at Sacred, it’s somewhat of a proving ground. This is second shop that I’ve worked in but this time around I get to work on some fun stuff not just working behind the counter answering phones and emails. At the moment I’m one of three people who manage their Instagram account and I’ve also be able to us my photography to help promote the shop. I’ve designed a gift card for the shop for the holiday season, working on some profile pictures of the artists, and will be looking to redesign their website after the semester is over. My photography can be found on their site and on their Instagram page. I’m trying to build aesthetic for the shop as at the moment they lake an identity. It’s been a slow process to get everyone on board but I am proactive and tenacious. Working with artists and trying to show case their art is a bit difficult as expected, but I’m passionate about the culture and will continue to try to contribute as much as I can through design work. I do have aspirations in becoming a tattoo artist but if I can pay my dues by designing things for the shop I’m okay with that.
Journal Entry # 15
One of the things I spent a lot of my time at CUNY TV doing is going on shoots. For the most part I was just carrying around equipment and from time to time setting up light. Honestly speaking I felt like I was in the way and wasn’t really helping for the most part. I would just stand around while the interviews were conducted and I took some photos for their facebook pages. I want to say I went on four to five remote shoots. Each shoot was at interesting location some more than others of course. One of the shoots that stood out the most was when I went on a shoot at the Noguchi museum for CUNY TV’s show Asian American Life. Noguchi was a Japanese American sculpture artist who also designed furniture. Noguchi was an activist. The show was making a connection to Noguchi and a current protest in Japan where people are protesting by using paper cranes. The museum was beautiful. There a peace garden in the back and beautiful stone sculptures. The museum was about three floors also displaying his furniture design but the best part of the shoot was the fact I got to end all that beautiful art without people be around. The museum was closed to the public so we had the whole place to ourselves. Although the Noguchi was a cool experience I didn’t get much out of it in terms of actually learning something I can apply to my career as a designer other than knowledge of a famous artists. The shoot that I would have to say was the most impactful was a shoot in Brooklyn of two college professors that were twin sisters that go by the name of Las Brujas Of Brooklyn which translates to the witches of Brooklyn. Before going on the shoot I was a bit worried because I thought it was something that had to do with black magic but it was far from it. The Brujas are feminist who believe in spirituality and that women are sculptural beings. It made proud to be around two Dominican women that were so in tune with the earth and just doing important, who were proud of their heritage and who were looking to heal the world. This shoot was the most impactful because I was actually allowed to operate one of the cameras. I didn’t know what I was doing and wasn’t giving much direction nor instruction but It made me feel like I was doing something important and it gave me a feel more it. A few weeks later I got to view my footage it wasn’t the greatest but I can say that I was an active part of a shoot.
Journal Entry # 16
Another aspect of my internship was doing research. My very first assignment was doing research on CUNY professors who are also doing some type of humanitarian work or perhaps something extraordinary outside of the schools they teach in. It took some time about two to three days to be exact to find a BMCC English professor by name of Marguerite Maria Rivas who was named the first-ever poet laureate of Staten Island. After I found Marguerite Maria Rivas I had to locate videos of her either speaking in public or being interviewed which was interesting because the information was going to determine if she would be good on camera, if she could hold a conversation for 20 to 30 minutes. Another research assignment had me reading a book by the title of The Science of Marvel by Sebastian Alvarado. Sebastian Alvarado is a Queens College Biology professor. He also has a company with his wife who is also a CUNY professor by the name of THWACKE. THWACKE is a consulting firm for the entertainment business. They work on providing the real science behind sifi movies and video games, adding real science into fantasy. The book I read broke down a few characters and moments in the Marvel cinematic universe into real science. To say the least it was an interesting read. For my research I had to filter through the book and look for interesting talking points. The last research project I did so happened to be my last project at CUNY TV which was looking for images and videos on New York City’s public advocate Juamee Williams. He was going to be interview for the show Black America. During this project I was taught copy rights and fair usage. During his interview I got to sit in the control room which I’ve done a few times at this point of my internship but I was given a production credit on the show. The control room is a bit intense, it’s a skill to be learned. Theres are so many conversation going on at once as well the play back of the interview is also playing. It take time to get use to.
Journal Entry # 17
My internship at CUNY TV had its ups and downs just like anything else. The main pro and con are one in the same. Being that interns don’t have set assignments it leaves us hunting for work which doesn’t seem ideal in an office setting but the benefit to that is no one day is the same and depending on who you speak to you could be looking at an amazing opportunity that perhaps if you we assigned something trivial you’ll won’t have come across. Being ambitious helps but can become difficult being that dead lines aren’t stressed at the begin so as an intern you have to create them yourself. It’s a bit out of the norm to what we’re use to in school and what our perception would be about working at a fairly sized company. The best way to describe it we were more like in house freelancer not any moment notice could be pulled to do something that was needed by a producer. For any future interns I would say CUNY TV is what you make of it and the best way to make something out of it is by putting yourself out their and thinking big even if you get told no just keep knocking on the many doors available. During my presentation it might of come across as negative but it wasn’t. CUNY TV gives interns the chance to create content from the ground up.