An Intern’s Blog: Jonathan Hsiung

InternsBlog

After going through six terms straight at ArtCenter, I decided to take a term off to do an internship. I wanted to learn more about what product designers do as professionals and validate what I’ve learned at ArtCenter. One opportunity led to another, and a term off turned into an entire year away doing three internships. The first was at Propelland, the second at Facebook and the third at Mercedes-Benz. Each of these experiences have taught me different lessons that have helped me to grow tremendously.

Come to think of it, doing internships is just like prototyping my life. Prototypes represent possible futures, and I get to learn from my internship experiences what works for me and what doesn’t.

While each internship was drastically different from one another in terms of company culture and work environment, the skills required were generally similar. As a product designer, I worked in cross-functional teams, conducted user research, designed user flows, built prototypes, produced specs and final assets and worked on implementation with engineers. Many of these functions validate the skills I need as a product designer that Art Center has helped me hone and acquire.

As an ArtCenter student, I’ve come to realize is that the hefty amount of deliverables and presentations required weekly in ArtCenter’s program has allowed me to develop a strong work ethic and good communication skills. These skills have helped me navigate various difficult situations in the workplace, and enabled me to work and perform more effectively under pressure.

If I have to pick the most important top three things that I learned during the entirety of my internship experiences, they would be self-awareness, self-initiation and prioritization. Acquiring a higher sense of self-awareness has allowed me to constantly reflect on how I can perform better. Self-initiative allows me to better drive my own project and not have to constantly depend on the progress of others. Learning how to prioritize has enabled me to make decisions and tradeoffs quickly and become a more efficient designer.

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Time Magazine’s 12 African American Photographers You Should Follow Right Now includes ArtCenter’s Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin

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Education Technology Specialist, Digital Teaching and Learning, Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin was one of 12 photographers included in Time magazine’s Lightbox feature.

From the article:

For Black History Month, LightBox gathered a panel of experts—from major artists such as Carrie Mae Weems to curators such as Azu Nwagbogu and educators like John Edwin Mason—and asked them to each nominate one under-the-radar, exciting African American photographer. By no means a definitive list of panelists or nominees (for that, check out TIME’s “100 Photos” project), this is instead a personal and subjective tribute to the thriving field of contemporary African American photography.

While some artists such as Joshua Rashaad McFadden make use of archival material, others like Jasmine Murrell incorporate sculpture, while Gerald Cyrus’ work is firmly documentary in nature and Shamayim’s is clearly fashion-based.

The nominators include Awol Erizku, artist; Azu Nwagbogu, director African Artists’ Foundation; Carrie Mae Weems, artist; Deborah Willis, chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; Derrick Adams, artist; Jamel Shabazz, artist; John Edwin Mason, Associate Professor at University of Virginia; Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at Brooklyn Museum; Kalia Brooks, Adjunct Professor in the Photography and Imaging Department in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; and the staff of The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin
Year and City of Birth: 1977, New York, NY
“For the last decade, Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin has been documenting what he calls ‘the desolate beauty of the urban landscape’ in Los Angeles. His images often incorporate wide vistas and washed-out colors, evoking high noon on a summer’s day. These deceptively simple photographs invite viewers to linger and decipher their meanings. At first they seem to be concerned only with the ways in which photographs can play with form, color, line, and mass. Cumulatively, however, they reveal Boyd-Bouldin’s interest in the city’s unending transformations and their power to shape the lives of its citizens, especially the poor and marginalized.” — John Edwin Mason, Associate Professor at University of Virginia

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Fine Art Faculty Nicola Vruwink is on a mission to help other creatives

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Fine Art faculty member Nicola Vruwink, whose ArtCenter career started in the Admissions Department, is passionate about creating and mentoring—teaching a newly created ceramics course at ArtCenter allows her to do both. Recently, she has also been busy creating whimsical works and her sculptural jewelry has caught the attention of Hollywood.

Daughter of an artist, she has been creating for as long as she remembers. “I have been making since I left home at 22 and started a studio in my apartment building in Des Moines, Iowa, says Vruwink.

Following an undergraduate degree in English, Vruwink journeyed to the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned an MFA. “If I had known about ArtCenter growing up, I probably would have wanted to go here,” she reflected. “I’m from Iowa. No one talks about going to art school from Iowa.”

After a stint teaching at the University of Washington, she made her way to Los Angeles. Hoping to teach, but finding it difficult to secure college level jobs without the connections, she saw an opening at ArtCenter for an Admissions position and threw her hat into the ring.

While working full time for the Admissions department, Vruwink started creating jewelry as an outlet for her creative energies.

“The jewelry came about because I didn’t have the time or the mental capacity, really, to make bigger scale works. It was making wearable sculptures,” she says.

Finding she needed more time to devote to creating and teaching, seven years after she started, Vruwink left ArtCenter’s Admissions department and began teaching fine art & design courses at numerous colleges in the Greater L.A. region. Things took an unexpected turn last year when Associate Chair of Fine Art Laura Cooper approached her about starting a ceramics course at ArtCenter.

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Film students create “Day in L.A.” videos for JW Marriott

Day in LA Videos

JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE will be screening the results of its collaboration with four ArtCenter film students at L.A. Live this Wednesday, January 25. JW Marriott tasked the students to create fresh in-house video content capturing the essence of Los Angeles. Beginning January 25, 2017, these “Day in L.A.” videos will live in various locations throughout the hotel’s public areas, on exhibition to guests and visitors, crediting each artist for their work. In addition to their presence within the property, each video is also featured on the hotel’s social media page, which can be found here.

JW Marriott approached ArtCenter to tap into young, local talent of various heritages, reflective of the city’s diverse cultural landscape. Students Javier Barcala, Jae Yong Park, Emmett Sutherland, and Joe Lombard were given the funds, tools and space to recreate the city through their eyes and tell the story of the hotel’s ties to the city.

“ArtCenter Film is thrilled that JW Marriott chose our community of powerful visual storytellers to create a new aesthetic for visitors as they experience the City of Angels,” said Ross LaManna, chair of the Graduate and Undergraduate Film Departments. “These diverse stories with dazzling and wildly-inventive imagery epitomize the heart of our mission. I have no doubt these talented filmmakers will continue to inspire audiences and break new creative ground as they emerge on the cultural landscape.”

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Staff Council Report: How is the College reacting to growth in terms of staffing and budgeting?

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On December 7, 2016, President Lorne Buchman and CFO Rich Haluschak joined a regular meeting of Staff Council to discuss questions posed to them regarding the impact of the College’s growth on staff. The resulting discussion was candid and informative. Lorne assured the group that the College is committed to increasing staff as necessary to accommodate growth and that staff should be compensated for increased workloads and/or new duties. In response to the questions, Rich informed the Council:

  • A total of 23 staff positions have been added or upgraded as a direct response to enrollment growth since 2011.
  • Certain departments, such as Facilities and Educational Media, have had a spike in overtime since 2011. The College is currently reviewing needs in those departments to make sure they are adequately staffed.
  • Departmental budgets are automatically increased when a staff member receives a salary increase.

Both Lorne and Rich stressed that staff who have been shouldering increased workloads and/or responsibilities should be compensated for those increases and employees who believe their workloads or duties have increased beyond the scope of their job descriptions or expectations should be discussing these issues with their supervisors. In response to a question, Lorne acknowledged that the College doesn’t have a process for staff to present their concerns outside the normal departmental lines but he noted that staff can always reach out to Human Resources.

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Student Spotlight: Alvin Oei on building your professional network

Alvin Oei

Environmental Design student Alvin Oei is busy building his professional network while managing the challenging workload that is an ArtCenter education. He arranged for a line-up of luminaries to gather at ArtCenter on September 23 for an industry panel on the future of themed entertainment. Alum and former Disney imagineer Geoff Puckett moderated the panel that included legendary Disney imagineer and alum Bob Gurr; alum and principal of The Hettema Group, Phil Hettema; Dave Cobb, principal at Thinkwell; Entertainment Design chair Guillaume Aretos and imagineer Chris Beatty.

If you missed it, here is some of the wisdom shared with the audience:

  • Phil Hettema: “New technology comes along every 10 years. The secret sauce to the business of themed entertainment is that it is one of the last places you can go to have an experience with someone else.”
  • Bob Gurr: “If you’ve been asked to do something you’ve never done before, the answer is YES. If you can think and you’re curious you can figure out anything.”
  • Dave Cobb: “Completely unfettered blue sky is a myth. This is a highly collaborative artform that business and management are a big part of.”
  • Chris Beatty: “We’re all salesmen, we need to convince everyone they have a dog in the hunt.”

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Goodbye Dotted Line, hello ArtCenter News!

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After a brief hiatus, we are restarting this blog with a new emphasis on connecting and celebrating our ever-expanding two campus community. ArtCenter News is where we will exalt our student successes, laud our faculty accomplishments and discover our staff talents. While anyone can read and follow this blog, and we encourage all to do so, it is primarily a place for the ArtCenter community to come together. It is a forum for us to revel in what makes ArtCenter unique, acquaint ourselves with each other and our programs and offerings, and discuss issues we face. We may be spread out physically between two campuses and many buildings, but we are a community and ArtCenter News is a place for us to convene electronically. Everything that relates to what is happening at the College is relevant. We will post stories about students, faculty, staff and events, as well as important issues that affect how we learn, how we teach and how we work.

We invite—and encourage—all members of the ArtCenter community to submit ideas, tips and first-person tales. Please send your news, thoughts and stories to anna.macaulay@artcenter.edu.

All posts on ArtCenter News can also be read on our college intranet, Inside ArtCenter. Stories that are relevant to both internal and external audiences will continue to be told in Dot magazine online, which resides on our main website, artcenter.edu. There you will also find a gathering place for posts about both ArtCenter and the larger art and design world, which are curated at ArtCenter Now. The ArtCenter story is also told through our compelling alumni video series, Change Makers, which lives on our YouTube channel, along with other video assets.

In addition to reading our stories, we encourage everyone to share in the conversation through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And you can catch a slice of ArtCenter life by following our Snapchat feed.

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Goodbye, Dotted Line. Hello, new ArtCenter website!

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To even the most casual observer, it’s been hard to miss the ongoing transformation taking place at ArtCenter. True to its mission, ArtCenter has been creating change, in ways big and small, physical and, of course, digital. The College’s 85th anniversary is shaping up to be quite the momentous occasion, with the recent renovation of the sixth floor of 1111 South Arroyo Parkway; the launch of a new graduate degree program in Graphic Design; a refreshed graphic identity; and the unveiling of an ambitious master plan charting the way toward a future with affordable student housing and expanded world-class facilities.

In many ways that future is already here in the form of ArtCenter’s completely re-conceived website, which debuts today.  Just under a year after hiring Hello Design to completely overhaul artcenter.edu, the College’s new website is up and running featuring a suite of innovative functionality and content designed to provide an immersive and engaging experience in all things ArtCenter. Explore the Discover feature for content tailored to your interests. Dive into Academics for a more granular details about the program’s curriculum, careers and community. Or roam the Campuses section to experience our amazing facilities.

Of course, endings are part and parcel of every new beginning. And this blog, which has served our community with robust thoughtful content over the years, will become an archive as of today. For the latest news and information, please visit the new site’s Connect section to browse Dot magazine articles, public events and ArtCenter Now, our curated social feed offering highlights from our community of art and design influencers.

We look forward to deepening the conversation begun here through the new site’s multifaceted opportunities to communicate, connect and reflect on who we are and who we hope to become.

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Video boost: Graphic Design alum Pearlyn Lii traces her path to a prestigious gig with SYPartners

ArtCenter has a reputation for challenging students to meet and exceed their most formidable professional ambitions, often in record time. Case in point: Graphic Design alum Pearlyn Lii, who didn’t miss a beat translating a stand-out undergraduate portfolio into a coveted job in the New York office of the prestigious design studio, SYPartners. The San Francisco-based firm, which describes itself as a “product-creation engine dedicated to helping individuals, teams, and companies be great” (and counts Apple, Facebook, Nike and Target among its clients), first discovered Lii’s unique talents through the series of Student/Space videos chronicling her creative process as she completed a class assignment— a book project about artist Brian Eno.

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ArtCenter Alumni Notes: November 2015 through January 2016

Diana Thater, A Cast of Falcons, 2008. Four video projectors, display computer, and two spotlights. Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. ©Diana Thater, photo ©Fredrik Nilsen

Diana Thater, A Cast of Falcons, 2008. Four video projectors, display computer, and two spotlights. Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. ©Diana Thater, photo ©Fredrik Nilsen

With the holidays behind us and election season upon us for the foreseeable future, this is the perfect time to divert our attention to the edifying pursuit of creative fulfillment. And what better way to do that than with this extra bulky edition of ArtCenter Alumni Notes.

NEWS

Guy Bove (BS 96 Product Design) was recently featured in a Tatler Magazine Hong Kong article about watch design. Hong Kong Tatler

Edward Eyth (BS 85 Product Design) was on a panel discussion for his concept designer work on Back to the Future Part II as part of the Toyota Mirai premier event. Toyota Newsroom

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