Twitter

… but seriously Kara DioGuardi, those are the worst American Idol winner song lyrics I’ve yet to hear. It was all cheesy and just, bad, I don’t know how else to say it. I haven’t been following American Idol too closely this season, but thanks to Twitter, I know pretty much everything that happens.

Twitter really is becoming quote a phenomenon and I’m willing to admit that I’m quite addicted to it as well. Most people kind of make fun of me for twittering so much, but I’m finding it to be a great tool, especially when following social trends. It really becomes most useful to marketers, advertisers, and designers. What I find most useful about it, is that it is a way to expose myself. It’s also a way for me to get instant feedback from pretty much anyone. It’s just simple and easy to use.

The most useful tool, trending topics and the search function. It seems now-a-days, trends are passing faster than ever. A few years ago it would be, “Wow! That was so last year” has turned into “Wow! That was so last second ago”. For example, last night I got home in time to watch the season premiere of “Glee”, and I really enjoyed the show! As I went to go check twitter, “Glee” was the top trending topic and as I clicked on it, I could tell you already that it was an instant hit. I know the folks at Fox are glad to get this instant feedback. They can almost substitute the Nielsen Ratings, with the Twitter trending topics. “Glee” went on to become the top trending topic for the next 24 hours as it seemed most people were finding out about the show from there friends and in turn watching it themselves on Hulu or iTunes. Now come the Fall, companies are going to know that they want to advertise during that time slot, knowing the show will get great ratings. Fox in turn, will be expecting advertisers to jump for those time slots. The show only premiered 24 hours ago, but I can sit here and tell you all of this simply through the world of Twitter.

People always tell me “I just don’t get Twitter!”. They kind of see it as boring, useless, mundane, information. However as an advertiser and designer I find this information to be vital and useful, therefore I contribute to this as well through my own twittering and I feel soon enough even more people will understand and join along. Just yesterday I commented on how I stumbled across the breakfast sandwich at Panera Bread. I said I enjoyed it and I know the folks at Panera are watching Twitter to see how people react to there product.

If you know me personally, you know I HAVE to say what I’m thinking. So Twitter may be just well suited for me. It’s simply an easy way to listen the people.

No Day but Today.

April 30, 2009

Exploration

My inner RENThead (a person who is obsessed with the musical RENT) has been coming out lately. Just this past weekend I saw the Broadway Tour come through Rochester. I waited an hour for rush tickets, and sat in the most amazing seats (in the pit!). I will probably never have the chance to sit in those seats ever again. The show, was amazing, even better than when I saw it on Broadway.

Enough of that however, I chose the title “No day but Today” for more than one reason. Specifically pertaining to the fact that I will be graduating in 3 weeks from RIT with my BFA in Graphic Design. It’s exciting, yes, but also extremely stressful. I know I’m ready for the real world (paying back student loans), but at the same time I still am unsure of where I’ll be in 2 months. As of right now I’m looking in New York City. It’s a bit closer too my family, and I would be living closer or in the city. It’s also a better job market for entry-level Graphic Designers. I’m determined however, I’ve got the ball rolling and basically no one will be able to stop me now! But it’s still all very stressful in this tough economy, a tough job market.

Yet when I saw RENT this past weekend, it’s deep underlying messages remind me of what I need to do, live in the moment. Most people often always live in the future, because of this, they are never completely satisfied. I’ve always lived by the ‘Today” moment. (I.E. I won’t be planning my summer vacation right now!) I like to go with the flow, take on what comes at me at the time. Thankfully some of my friends are the same way and it’s amazing how differently you live your life.

Our society is focused on satisfaction for our future. Our culture is set-up to bring great things, later. Yet when later comes, there’s always something else that can be better. It’s a never-ending cycle. This is the main reason I chose Graphic Design as my career. I deeply am passionate about design, I know I can thoroughly enjoy it now. While you can make a decent living off design, It’s not the job that will make you rich quick (Of course, If your great at it, you’ll get better rewarded). But that’s not what I really always wanted.

I just want to enjoy life. I know, its really not much. I’m happy with a small apartment, faded non-designer clothes, and a car that decides when it wants to run. I can enjoy the people around me, and just live as moments come by. Am I the underdog for believing this? People ask me why become a designer? They know I have other great skills in other careers that could make me a ton of money. But then I wouldn’t be living in the moment. I would be miserable for 8-10 hours every weekday I have to go to work, that is the bulk of my life. The only satisfaction I would get is money that I could enjoy about 2 days of the week. I see so many people stuck in this cycle and I often think, I really don’t want to be miserable for the bulk of my life.

So, Design it is! I’m ready and excited, and honestly, a bit stressed at this point. It’s a mix of emotions. But I definitely am ready, excited, and energized to take on life, … right now … not later…  in this moment … ¡Vámonos!


The Best Response!

February 16, 2009

A few months ago I wrote a post about how I really dislike the entire new Pepsi brand. It was great to see that I wasn’t alone on this issue as many people were putting up there interpretation of the logo online and many were funny. But this is the best one!

An article in the New York Times by famed Graphic Designer Michael Beirut speaks about his struggle to accept the change within the field of Graphic Design. What was once a fine hand-craft is now all computerized. As a 21-year-old today, I’ve always known design to be a computer related field. It was mainly how I became attracted to the field. I am very practical when it comes to using a computer. I’m self taught, I began “designing” at the age of 15.

My first project I had ever done for a client was for my Catholic Church which I no longer am apart of do to a personal religious change. However, I will never regret working for the church. They allowed me to explore my options by allowing me to design for them. Once I started I could not stop! After I did there website I became the designer for my school district. Designing everything from posters, flyer’s, website templates, student handbooks covers, calender covers, and even the entire yearbook. It was a small school district and quite frankly they had no one interested and skilled within the design field. There was no design class. There was only one art teacher for grades 6-12 and about 4 different Art classes offered. They were all within the realm of fine art.

What most people would never guess about me is that I am quite skilled technically as an artist but I always think in the mindframe of a designer. My teachers would begin to pick up on this so not only have I ever designed digitally but also by hand. And I LOVED designing by hand. My mother taught me to use materials surrounding me. She at one time was a magazine layout designer. She would layout the photos and text in magazines line by line! As Michael Beirut says in his article, what would take hours for me to do on a computer took days for my mom to do. Yet there was a love for cutting and pasting. She never fell in love with the digital change and was since forced out of her career field.

It’s interesting how I’m on the border. I thought it was funny when Beirut spoke about the interns in the basement cutting out the mock-ups. He spoke about how its now a chore instead of a craft. This was part of what I had to do as an intern over the summer as well (except I wasn’t in the basement) and yet I loved assembling the mock-ups. I love watching how these things come together. I was so skilled at it that not only did Archer recognize my craft, but so did our client Kodak, who took the time to write to us excited about the fine craft and skill they found with the box mock-ups that I created. Jeff , the president of Archer, exclaimed how most interns he gets in the Art Department only know how to use the computer and have no idea how to use a ruler and blade.

Today I feel it is important to have skill in both areas. The best design today is a mixture of both the physical and the digital world. That is how I generally design. I love computers yet I love to build by hand. I always wished more of my classmates thought in this same way. If I can find a job that allows me to explore both and build within both of these fields, I would feel complete.

Shea Stadium

The New York Times recently ran an article about the demolition of Shea Stadium. For those of you who don’t know, or are not a native New Yorker as myself, Shea Stadium was the home to the New York Mets for over 40 years. Within the last few years they have been building there new stadium “Citi Field” right next door in the parking lot. Now, this may be about sports and while I’m not an avid sports fan, I still do try to follow what happens with the Mets. I may not know every players name, but I always like to check up to see how there doing. The only reason I feel this attachment to them is not because they are the best team in baseball (anyone should know that!) but because as a child I used to go to there home games frequently with my dad.

My family, especially on my father’s side is all about sports! My dad is a die-hard New York Mets and New York Jets fan. Starting when I was just 1-years old he would put me in full on head to toe Mets apparel (the hat, the shirt, the pants, and even the bib!) When I reached the age of 4 he would begin to take me to the New York Mets games. I didn’t know what was going on but I remember having fun. The games and the people were always so exciting. His job always had season tickets for both the Mets and the Yankees, but since he was the only Mets fan in the company along with his boss, the tickets were pretty much split between the two. Therefore I went to Mets games more times than I can count. This tradition of going to Mets games continued for most of my childhood, all the way until my senior year in high school!

I think I sat through Mets games in every weather element possible. As I grew older I began to enjoy the people around me. They were loyal Mets fans. As the underdog team in New York, I could sense that Mets fans were more down to earth, always there to support their team no matter what. While the Yankees continue to buy there way to world series, I felt Mets fans enjoyed the game for what it is and there was always good sportsmanship no matter what.

Shea Stadium 2

I can say that today I still consider myself a Mets fan. I don’t judge the team by there stats, by there world series championships, but instead I like them for being true people. Shea Stadium to me was about an experience in my childhood. That is what I remember the most. The stadium itself was unique itself. I was not the nicest looking stadium, but it had its on qualities. Each level was a different color. I always sat in the front row seats of the mezzanine (green) section, box 4 to be precise. It was located behind home plate slightly towards third base, and I always felt it was the best seat in the house because you could see everything! The scoreboard was huge and so was the home-run apple directly behind the center outfield fence. Airplanes would roar over the stadium as they took off from nearby LaGuardia Airport. At every game the Jumbo-Tron would display an animated airplane race with the four different colors (Oranges, Blue, Green, and Red) representing each section. The planes would race around the city and and the first plane to reach Shea Stadium wins! (Somehow green would always lose but that seems to be a stigma that follows me!) However, after September 11th, the airplane race was converted to a car race. It was just a great experience and I would really get into the excitement. I would start yelling and thats normally something I don’t do!

I’ve been to games in other stadiums. I’ve been to New York Yankees games, San Francisco Giants games, New York Knicks games, New York Jets/Giants games, and nothing compares to New York Mets games. I can’t imagine Citi Field having the same excitement. Of course they needed the new stadium, Shea was just becoming to brittle. I welcome Citi Field, and of course I will try going to a game in Citi Field in the future. Maybe this time I will bring my dad instead. I know that being away in college for the past four years he misses doing these things with me. I should definitely return the favor.

Chicago!

December 13, 2008

Chicago

Yes, during my two week fall break my friend Shawna and I decided to go to Chicago. It was a very last minute road trip, we actually decided to go to Chicago the day before we left! But it was exciting nonetheless! Thanks to our ever failing economy, I was able to book a decent hotel at a very affordable rate, and since gas prices have dropped so low, that driving was not an issue either.

Chicago 2

So off we went on our 10 hour drive from Rochester to Chicago. It was a nice trip and it was my first time out in the midwest. It was also my first time in Chicago. I’ve seen Chicago architecture in books, that was what really drew me in. Shawna came along because she wanted to visit art galleries. We spent two days in the city. Each day we took the Metra from Schiller Park (where we stayed) into downtown. It was nice to feel as part of the people rather than tourists, but when we got into Chicago, we didn’t know where the hell we were going! So we just wondered the streets, I took many photos of the fabulous Architecture. Another interesting thing that I did not know about Chicago is that it is built on multiple street levels. As a New Yorker, I actually found this quite fascinating! (This was also the reason why Chicago was chosen as Gotham City in the latest Batman movie)

Chicago 3

While In Chicago we visited the Skydeck at the Sears Tower, The Art Institute, Field Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, and another number of other places. While walking you could see a number of new skyscrapers growing, the most current among them is the new Trump Tower. However what is I believe the most interesting thing about Chicago, besides the Architecture, is its history. Specifically I speak of the Great Chicago Fire. Grant Park was actually built on what was once Lake Michigan. When cleaning up the City they dumped all of the remnants in this area which then later was built into new land.

Chicago 4

I took many photos in Chicago. They can be viewed on my Flickr account. As for future visits, I think the next U.S. city I would like to visit is Seattle. I would also love to revisit San Francisco. Maybe I’ll just have to plan a west coast visit once I graduate!

Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer 2

The week before Thanksgiving I had the chance to visit Chicago with my friend Shawna for a couple of days. I have never been to Chicago but I’ve always wanted to due to its beautiful architecture. However, I will write more about my adventures in Chicago in a later post as I’m still putting together my photos.

As for now I would like to speak about an exhibit I saw at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The Artist was Jenny Holzer, and I was absolutely blown away. It’s been awhile that I can say I absolutely became captivated by ones exhibit. I was initially drawn to these rooms by there glowing nature seen from the hall. When you enter, you become part of a persons thoughts. I felt as if I were inside the thoughts of an individual. Emotions swept through the room with the use of electronic ticker displays. At points there would be no moving text, and then BAM! text began to fill the room. You could feel the pressure of this individual. At points text would overlap each other, one line going faster than the other. The room got brighter, the text became harder to read. It’s as if the individual is panicking. You really never knew what to expect next.

The electronic displays were carefully thought out with its layout. They would protude through walls, reflect off the ceiling, they would even tunnel at some points making you want to crawl under  to see even deeper thoughts. Unfortunately I was unable to take photos of the exhibit, the photos above show examples of what I saw in this exhibit. I wish I could have taken more photos but there were security guards at every turn. Either way, its something you have to experience for yourself, photos would not do justice to the exhibit.

After looking through a few books in the gallery about the artist I found out she is also well know for projecting text onto sides of buildings. I recommend you visit the links below to see her work. If you ever have a chance to see her exhibit, I’d highly recommend it!

Jenny Holzer

Design Boom

Wikipedia

MCA Chicago

MASS MoCA