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!


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.

Sharing the Joy, of Empanadas!

September 28, 2008

Every time I go to the Rochester Public Market I make sure to stop by Juan and Maria’s Empanada Stop. I absolutely love this place and Juan and Maria are just absolutely wonderful people. I’m also addicted to there food! It’s nice to chat with Juan, he’s a great man who truly cares more about his friends, family, and his food over the money. While they do have great food, I mostly enjoy just sitting and chatting with everyone there. I love it there so much that even last year I based one of my projects on the empanada stop. When I was putting together this project Juan was so excited that I devoted my time to learning about and hearing his story of the empanada stop.

This article featured in the Democrat and Chronicle describes how Juan recently sent a shipment of Empanadas to the troops in Iraq. If you think about it, sending prepared Empanadas oversees is quite the task but Juan has once again pulled it off. He has done this before last year.

If your ever at the Rochester Public Market or in East Rochester, please stop by Juan and Maria’s Empanada Stop. You won’t regret it!

Is it really worth it?

September 14, 2008

While I do love Rochester and the surrounding area. The bus system still remains to be a major problem. This NY Times article explains how the RTS bus system in Rochester is seeing a surplus despite the weak economy and they recently lowered bus fares from $1.25 to $1.00. However, what I found even more interesting in this article is how they reveal that to reach this feat they had to downsize there service lines. Therefore, If I were to go from my city apartment to RIT in Henrietta. The normal 10-15 minute drive (and 25 minute bike ride) takes 2 hours on a bus! I feel it is really a system that needs to be analyzed again. I’m glad they lowered bus fares, but is it worth it for less bus service?

Storm King Art Center

September 13, 2008

This summer my friend Shawna and I made a visit to my parents house in the Hudson Valley area of NY. It’s about an hour north of New York City. We only spent 3 days there and immediately after the first day we were off to visit the Storm King Art Center. Storm King is only about 15 minutes from my parents house yet I have never been there before.

It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been too!

Storm King is a 500 acre sculpture park right next to the NYS Thruway and the Hudson River. The best part is that every sculpture is built for its specific surroundings. One of my favorites is the wall by Andy Goldsworthy. In a period of two years he built a rock wall using just found stacked rocks at Storm King. The wall is amazing. It begins in a wooded area in which it is hard to distinguish whether these rocks were naturally there or placed by Goldsworthy. It slowly grows out of the ground and gracefully through the trees. It unravels as it makes its way down hill and then dives right into the pond. But it doesn’t end there! The wall reemerges from the other side of the pond and then makes a straight cut right through the open field for about another half mile. I took many photos of this wall and other sculptures at storm king and placed them up on flickr.

I also visited the MoMA on the same weekend so you will also see photos of MoMA intermingled with my Storm King photos. Although MoMA was another awesome museum I enjoyed Storm King so much more.

The reason I bring up Storm King now is that I am currently working on a project for my Advanced Interactive Design Class in which we are to design an interactive map. I chose to focus on Storm King. This will give me a chance to tell other about this amazing yet quiet and secretive place. I of course will let you all know when this project is complete.

If you ever are in New York City again, take a short drive out to Storm King. Its definitely worth it!