Creative entrepreneurs go BOLD-ly forth, getting to the heart of the matter

by September 15th, 2014

Lynda Weinman of Lynda.com and Yo Santosa of Ferroconcrete at Art Center's BOLD Symposium.

Lynda Weinman of Lynda.com and Yo Santosa of Ferroconcrete at Art Center’s BOLD Symposium.

This past weekend, Art Center College of Design presented BOLD: The Art Center Symposium for Creative Entrepreneurs, a daylong symposium of presentations, lectures and workshops at the College’s Hillside Campus in Pasadena, focused on the future of creative entrepreneurship, design-driven startups and artist-run businesses and nonprofits.

The main takeaway? You gotta have heart.

More than 350 alumni and other guests heard inspiring stories of both triumph and failure—because for entrepreneurs, the two are never mutually exclusive. Fostering community and maintaining faith in one’s ideas are essential to survival. California’s improving economy is helping too, according to Kimberly Ritter-Martinez of the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation whose optimistic data reports kicked off the proceedings.

Among the 35 artists, designers, movers and shakers who presented: Lynda Weinman, co-founder of pioneering online education company Lynda.com; Colette Brooks, founder of Big Imagination Group; and Yo Santosa, founder of Ferroconcrete.

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Art Center Students First: Faculty and staff come together to support scholarships

by September 11th, 2014

Fine Art faculty member, Tom Knechtel

Fine Art faculty member, Tom Knechtel

When Fine Art faculty member Tom Knechtel and director of real estate and campus planning Rollin Homer were asked to sign a faculty and staff appeal for Art Center’s Annual Fund this past spring, they came up with a better idea: create a scholarship fund for Art Center students that would last forever.

Their idea become the Art Center Students First Scholarship, the College’s first-ever scholarship endowment supported entirely by College faculty and staff. The goal is to bring the fund up to the endowment level of $50,000 so that it can continue provide support for students every year—for as long as Art Center is around.

Our brief chat with Tom sheds some light on the impact that scholarships like Art Center Students First can have on young artists and designers and on the College.

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NASA and DC enlist alum Justin Chambers to design the world’s coolest robot shoes

by September 10th, 2014

In the DARPA Robotics Challenge, teams of software designers and robotics engineers compete to develop robots capable of assisting human recovery efforts in man-made and natural disasters. NASA’S Team Valkyrie approached Justin Chambers (BFA, Product, ’14), and 3D designer Chad Knight and asked if they would “design a cool shoe for our robot.” Chambers’ and Knight’s answer: Affirmative!

The above slide show illustrates the team’s iterative process that yielded a pair of shoes that quite possibly redefined the meaning of a cool pair of kicks. Chambers and Knight’s design comes complete with rover-style treads designed to facilitate the literal version of moon walking—no Michael Jackson moves necessary. 

For anyone interested in how a designer comes to land a dream gig designing branded footwear for iconic organizations like DC and NASA, Chambers traces the unlikely journey that lead him to the launchpad for his rocket-ride career in the essay below:

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Alumni Spotlight: Mariana Prieto, social impact product designer and IDEO.org Fellow

by September 9th, 2014

Mariana’s story originally appeared as part of Desigmatters’ Alumni Spotlight series. Find out more about Art Center’s social impact design department, Designmatters.

“How was the IDEO.org Fellowship?” many people ask. Although extraordinary, intriguing, surprising, challenging, and rewarding all are words that immediately come to mind, I don’t want to oversimplify my answer and leave it at that. I am still digesting the wonderful learnings and lessons that I have gathered in the last year. For now, let me start by focusing on my time doing research and prototyping out in the field. Over the course of the past year, I’ve spent a cumulative five and a half months traveling and visiting the communities where we work. This is where the magic happens. This is where our work intersects with the people we are designing for and why so many of us choose to follow the path of social design.

During this year I have taken on five design challenges ranging from agriculture development in Indiafamily planning in Zambiafinancial stability in the Philippines, and the health and life of informal workers in South Africa, Kenya, Thailand, and the Philippines. Chapter 1 is about the 10 lessons I have learned from fieldwork as an IDEO.org Fellow (who knows, maybe I decide to give writing ‘Chapter 2: Lessons from the studio’ a try, so I’m calling this one Chapter 1).

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Illustrators inspire and lead the way at global gathering

by September 8th, 2014

A sell out crowd squeezed into the Portland Art Museum earlier this summer to experience ICON8, the world’s premier illustration conference, where Art Center leaders dominated the spotlight. More than a year in the planning, ICON8 is a must-go event for anyone serious about illustration and eager to mingle with all the key trade influencers.

Just being invited to speak is an honor in the illustration world, on par with headlining at SXSW, screening your film at Cannes or showing your classic wheels at Pebble. Organizers, who aim to amaze, inform and inspire, select only the top illustrators, designers, art directors, educators, reps, publishers and makers to occupy the main stage or lead workshops.

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Ike Morgan’s portraits of cultural icons inaugurate Art Center’s newest exhibition space

by September 5th, 2014

Ike Morgan's paintings are the first to grace the walls of South Campus' Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall

Ike Morgan’s paintings are the first to grace the walls of South Campus’ Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall

In 2014 Art Center College of Design opened a new home for two of its dynamic visual arts programs—Fine Art and Illustration—at the College’s South Campus in Pasadena. Renovation of the former post office was made possible in part due to the generosity of the Hutto-Patterson Charitable Foundation, providing a dramatic atrium space in the center of the building to showcase the work of Art Center students and visiting artists through a rotating series of exhibitions.

On Thursday, September 11, the Hutto-Patterson will unveil its inaugural show: California’s first solo exhibition of self-taught, Texas-based artist Ike Morgan, which will remain on view through December 5, 2014. “U.S. Presidents and the Mona Lisa” features 16 unframed paintings on paper and two larger works on canvas, reflecting Morgan’s enduring interest in making pictures of George Washington and Mona Lisa.

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Art Center challenges career changing creatives to ponder: Why work?

by September 3rd, 2014

Ad for Art Center's Why Work campaign

Ad for Art Center’s Why Work campaign

Why work?

It’s a compelling question; but one most of us are too busy working to contemplate. Beyond the practical necessities of gainful employment, however, lies a whole set of considerations that have more to do with personal fulfillment and authentic creative expression. It may seem like a luxury  to factor these qualitative variables into one’s employment equation. But in today’s growing creative economy, there’s a strong argument to be made for cultivating a career that leverages those right brain talents.

Art Center has long been a training ground for those seeking to land a day job that also happens to be a creative calling. It’s a defining characteristic of both the College itself and its students, faculty and alumni. It also happens to be the driving force behind the College’s new “Why Work” campaign developed by award-winning advertising firm WONGDOODY, which hinges on one question:  “Why work for a living?” Because the corollary to that question is that when you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Compelling, isn’t it?

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Fall 2014 Orientation: Ready. Set. School!

by September 2nd, 2014

New students touring campus with peer mentors

New students touring campus with peer mentors

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

This week, 450 new undergraduate and graduate students will meet with key staff members who will aid in their transition to Art Center, get to know peers, mingle with upper term students from various disciplines, receive insight from faculty members and have a chance to get acclimated to campus life through a networking gathering. This is Art Center orientation—expertly crafted and designed by the Center for the Student Experience (CSE) to prepare the entering class for success in their studies.

It is a week defined by securing ID cards and parking passes, touring the campus, eating, listening and observing. Everything planned this week will help the rookies succeed at Art Center. But one of the most important ways to prepare for what lies ahead is to listen to those who have done it. In the spirit of learning from others’ mistakes and successes, The Dotted Line gathered some nuggets of expert advice (solicited on Facebook from current and former students) for the newcomers among us:

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Change|Maker Jon Jon Augustavo: His ‘Same Love’ video topped the charts, opened hearts

by August 29th, 2014

Filmmaker, cinematographer and music video director Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA ’12 Film), recognized for his dynamic and evocative narrative style, is a three-time MTV Video Music Award-winner best known for his collaborations with rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on their Grammy Award-winning “Thrift Shop” and chart-topping hit, “Same Love.” The latter alone has generated more than 125 million views on YouTube.

In fact, of all the work he has done, Augustavo is proudest of “Same Love,” a marriage equality anthem whose groundbreaking rise on the pop charts was noted by The New York Times. “I originally thought I just needed to make a great story,” said Augustavo. “I didn’t think there were any social ramifications. But we put it out right before the vote for same-sex marriage in Washington,” a reference to his and the band’s support for Referendum 74 on their home state ballot in 2012. “And months afterward, the emails I received, the people I met who said that it was so important to them — I’ve never had that experience in my life. I could stop making anything right now and I’d be happy to at least have done that.”

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Donghia scholarship winners draw inspiration from nature, food, and love

by August 28th, 2014

Austin Yang's Green Chair won the Editor's Award for seating at ICFF 2014

Austin Yang’s Green Chair won the Editor’s Award for seating at ICFF 2014

Good design has its rewards. In the case of Environmental Design students Haidy Gong and Austin Yang, reward comes in the form of $30,000 in scholarship support from the Angelo Donghia Foundation. Gong and Yang are among only 12 winners of the 2014 Student Scholarship Program in Interior Design, which gives awards to rising college seniors pursuing bachelor degrees. We checked in with the winners to get their reaction to the scholarship and to find out what makes for an award-winning design.

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