No Day but Today.

April 30, 2009


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.

Moving Up(state)

September 4, 2008

I recently came across this article in New York Magazine and I found it to be quite interesting. At a time in my life where most of my colleagues are planning there move from Rochester to the big city for the big job, there is others who have discovered that the “dream life” can sometimes not be found in the big apple.

Although I was born in New York City, my parents quickly moved us out because of the dangerous environment we lived in (Spanish Harlem). We then moved to the small town of Chester, NY. It is a place where everyone knows each other by name. With that comes recognition. I was well known in that area for being the “designer” of my town. I contributed so much time to help my high school, my church, the library, and the town itself. I was often recognized for my work. I know that my career is in New York. But I knew I would miss the recognition I received.

However, it got to a point where I decided felt to claustrophobic by my little town. Sometimes that small town feel can cause a lot of drama. (Especially when I’m an obvious liberal and the rest of the town is VERY conservative).

I’m not gonna lie. I had no idea what Rochester, NY or Western New York was for most of my lifetime. But I decided to venture into this area when looking for a great design school. Sure it would have been easier for me to go to NYC as I live closer to it, but I was stuck between disliking the tiny town and scared of the chaotic city. Western New York is that sweet spot in between I discovered.I feel in love with this area when I began school here in Rochester.

I’ve grown atached to Rochester. But now, in a few months I’ll be on my own. I’ll need to find a job. After working the summer internship I really want to stay in a nice mid-size market that Rochester has. What I got from this article was that, maybe I should stick with my intuition, maybe I should not falter and go to where the jobs are. I feel more confortable here.

After all, shouldn’t I be enjoying my career. Not stressed out about it like I would be in New York?

Read the article, tell me what you think.