Author Archives: rhartleysmith

Alumni Interview: Ginine Gordon

Below are excerpts from a conversation between Queens College Design graduate Ginine Gordon (Class of 2017), and Assistant Professor Ryan Hartley Smith about entering the job market after graduation, and advice for current and prospective Design Majors.

Ginine Gordon

RHS: Hi Ginine, thanks for doing this! What are you doing professionally now that you’ve graduated?

GG: I am an Art Director [at Ogilvy, an NYC advertising agency].

RHS: Entering into the professional field of design is extremely competitive and it can be difficult for recent graduates to balance supporting themselves, making new work for their portfolio, and networking / applying for jobs. How has this process been going for you?

GG: I knew the design industry was a highly competitive field and it would be difficult to find a job. I can’t stress enough how fortunate I am to have been a part of the One Club internship program. Professor Weinstein and Justin [from the One Club] found an agency that was the perfect fit for me, and I’m fortunate the agency has kept me on the team long term.

RHS: How would you describe the work you’re making now?

GG: I love the work I’m doing now. I enjoy the challenge it brings. Plus, I get to make gifs for a living, how many people can say that?

(c) Ginine Gordon

RHS: What are your professional goals for the near future? How do you plan on achieving them?

GG: I want to experience many different kinds of projects. I plan on developing my skills at multiple agencies as a senior Art Director or a Creative director. I want to be able to grow and evolve on more than one team.

RHS: Did you participate in an internship while at Queens College? If so, what was it? How did you get it? And what was the experience like?

GG: Yes, I completed two internships while at Queens College, both under the One Club. During my last two semesters, I submitted my design portfolio and resume into a competition headed by Professor Weinstein. The One Club then selected 7 students to intern at big agencies. I was fortunate enough to be chosen both times. My first internship at BBDO was a culture shock experience.The environment was faster-paced than I expected, but, it gave me a great taste of the advertising world. My second internship, which was at the agency I currently work for, was even better. I was able to get a lot of great feedback on my book. I was eventually scouted by a Creative Director. He said he always liked to pass my desktop to see what I was working on, including my book. I thanked him and gave him my card. The next day I was told he wanted to hire me on his team. In one word, it was awesomeness times two.

(c) Ginine Gordon

RHS: What was your favorite Design course at QC and why?

GG: My favorite design course was book design with Natalya Balnova (yes this is a shout out). It was one of the first times I had a professor kick me into high gear. There was no sugar coating in class. We also had a chance to make great projects for our books. My advice for students considering a major in design is to understand this is not the “easier” courses. This major will take a lot of time to master (I’m not even one yet!). But, it is worth it. It’s not a major that is not really grade focused (although you should always aim for that A!), but more about the quality of the work that you produce. Half-a**ing is not welcome.

(c) Ginine Gordon

RHS: What advice do you have for students who are considering pursuing a major in Design?

GG: One Club, One Club and if I forgot to mention, One Club. It’s the go-to place for a chance at internships with big companies. Professor Weinstein is always posting new internship opportunities on her website. A clean resume and portfolio are a given, and it should be on your personal website. I’m not going to tell you what your professors have probably been telling you forever, but it is important.

(c) Ginine Gordon

RHS: What advice do you have for QC Design majors who are beginning to search for internships and their first Design industry job(s) after graduation?

GG: I would definitely apply to more internships during my time there. I would have also taken more After Effects courses. I found that in this business, most art directors don’t know how to use After Effects and most clients like motion in their work.

(c) Ginine Gordon

RHS: Where can we see your portfolio (website, behance, anything else you want to share…)?

GG: My website is ginine-gordon.squarespace.com. I also actively make gifs for Ibmblr from time to time, so you van see my work there as well. Make sure to also check out Art with Watson, the Josephine Baker portrait. I was an art director on that team.

RHS: Thanks Ginine!

GG: Happy Designing!

(c) Ginine Gordon

Alumni Interview: Freddy Japa

Below are excerpts from a conversation between Queens College Design graduate Freddy Japa (Class of 2017), and Assistant Professor Ryan Hartley Smith about entering the job market after graduation, and advise for students considering a major and career in Design.

Freddy Japa

RHS: Hi Freddy! What have you been up to since graduation?

FJ: I‘ve been keeping myself busy on personal projects for my portfolio. Professionally I have been doing freelance work for clients thanks to social media. I am also currently applying to internships to obtain more experience and hopping to soon be part of a well-known agency.

(c) Freddy Japa

RHS: Entering into the professional field of design is extremely competitive and it can be difficult for recent graduates to balance supporting themselves, making new work for their portfolio, and networking / applying for jobs. How has this process been going for you?

FJ: Entering into the professional field has been competitive. There are many talented individuals in the field. Using the social media platform like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Behance have helped me a lot in exposing my work and networking. Throughout the social media platform I have been able to obtain many clients since I am currently a freelancer. LinkedIn has also become a great resource for me right now, as I am applying for both jobs and internships. For me exposing my work on every social media has really helped me a lot, I believe the more you expose your work the more individuals get to see it and could be a potential client.

RHS: How would you describe the work you’re making now, (both professional and personal work)?

FJ: Lately I have been focusing more on logo design and character design for clothing brands that are both small and large businesses. A recent project I worked on was creating a logo for a new restaurant called the “Kings of Tacos”. It was a nice experience and pretty awesome to see a restaurant use a logo I created.

King of Tacos branding (c) Freddy Japa

RHS: You’ve done an amazing job at developing a huge social media following for your work. How did you make this happen and how is it useful for your career?

FJ: At the beginning I was very scared to put my work on social media. My fear was that my work would not be good enough and that people would dislike it. I ignored my fears and gave it a try, posting all my work on social media. The outcome was amazing! I was surprised to see how many people loved my work.  I was completely over my fear and posted kept posting more of my work. People did not only like my stuff but started to contact me for design work ( logos. T-shirt designs, business cards etc.). I would definitely recommend using social media, it’s free so take advantage of it to expose your work to the world.

RHS: What are your professional goals for the near future? How do you plan on achieving them?

FJ: My professional goals for the near future is to create more work and try to develop my style more, so agencies can see what I am capable of creating. I would also like to work on getting more people to know about my work and expose my work more. I recently started a YouTube channel with videos of how my work is done in time-lapse.

Twelve Clothing T-Shirt Design (c) Freddy Japa

RHS: Did you participate in an internship while at Queens College? If so, what was it? How did you get it? And what was the experience like?

FJ: I did participate in an internship while I was at QC. It was at an advertising agency J. Walter Thompson. I did this internship with other fellow friends from QC. The [Winter Semester] One Club program guided us into getting the internship.  The experience was really amazing because it gave me an glimpse of how a agency actually functions and we had the opportunity to work alongside with head of art/ design to develop concepts for advertising campaigns.

RHS: What was your favorite Design course at QC and why?

FJ: The course that I enjoyed in QC was poster design. The instructor was Natalya Balnovaa, and I enjoyed her way of teaching the course. I also loved how she would challenge us and push us to work harder. She helped me develop my style eve more. I learned a lot and enjoyed creating poster designs and other projects.

Felix the Cat Poster Project (c) Freddy Japa

RHS: What advice do you have for students who are considering pursuing a major in design?

FJ: The advice that I have for QC design major who are considering into pursuing a major in design is to work super hard all the time and to never be shy in asking for advice or help. I use to be shy and that held me behind a lot. The second I stopped being shy I started to ask help into building my portfolio. Thanks to all the feedback from great instructors I was able to build a strong portfolio. My last advice would be to get many internships because experience is very important.

RHS: What advice do you have for QC design majors who are beginning to search for internship and their first design industry jobs after graduation?

FJ: The advice that I have for QC design major who are beginning to search for internship and their first design industry jobs after graduation is to have a really solid portfolio. Have a lot of variation of projects from school and personal projects.

JL Carpentry Interior Branding (c) Freddy Japa

RHS: If you had to go through the QC design program again, what would you do differently?

FJ: If I had to go through the design program again, I would work even harder to create better projects for my portfolio, but most of all work on my typography.

RHS: Where can we see your portfolio?

FJ: You can all check out my work on my website www.japadesigns.com. I am also on various social media which are all listed on my website. I also have a YouTube channel- japadesigns, which you can subscribe to and watch some speed art videos of my work.

Work Study Opportunity at The Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding at Queens College (CERRU)

The Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding at Queens College (CERRU) is looking someone to be responsible for creating our flyers, programs, brochures, and all other promotional material. We expect to have at least one event per week which means minimally one flyer a week. This positions always proves to be an excellent learning opportunity and a way to build a strong portfolio as there is a wide range of programs and events we offer.
Students should email Associate Director Yael Rosenstock about their interest (yrosenstock@cerru.org) and contact work study through the job description. Applicants are considered on a rolling basis. Decisions will likely be made mid August.Undergrads make $13 and grad students $14/hour through the work study office.

Design Major Receives Prestigious Honor for Illustration

Congrats to recent QC Design Alumnus Jiemin Yang, who is a winner in one of the most prestigious student illustration competitions in the country!

Every year since 1981 the Society of Illustrators holds the annual Student Scholarship Competition. This year, a little over 200 works were chosen from more than 8,000 entries submitted by professors of college-level students nationwide. The work is judged by professional illustrators and art directors. Pieces are accepted based on the quality of technique, concept and skill of medium used.

(C) Jiemin Yang, 2016

Jiemin’s piece “Foodie Town,” which he created in Assistant Professor Ryan Hartley Smith’s Illustration II course, is now on display at the Society of Illustrators along with the other winning entries. The exhibition is up now through June 3rd. More information here.

Illustration Students Featured on Author’s Social Media

Five Queens College Studio Art & Illustration students were featured on the author Jane Lindskold’s
Facebook page.  Ms. Lindskold is the author of many fantasy books including “Thirteen Orphans” Last semester, in Professor Elizabeth Sayles’  Illustration 2 class, the students created illustrations for Chapter One of  “Thrteen Orphans”.
The students are: Carolyn Balcom, Shakayla Brown, Daizha Fergus, Kevin Osorio, and Xufei Zhou. Below are their illustrations:

CUNY Diversity Art and Design Contest

The richness of the City University of NewYork (CUNY) is defined by who we are: the most diverse University-system in the nation. CUNY’s history and our future is built around opening the doors of higher education to all students from across the globe who strive to learn, study and share knowledge.

SHARE YOUR CREATIVE DEPICTION OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CUNY’S DIVERSITY FOR A CHANCE TO WIN:

GRAND PRIZE $1500
FIRST HONORABLE $1000
SECOND HONORABLE $750
THIRD HONORABLE $250

See attached PDF for Details

Strength in Us Official Flyer

Queens Memory Project at the Queens Museum

This coming Sunday, April 23, Queens Memory is hosting an afternoon of story-telling and creativity at the Queens Museum. Join us from 2 to 5 pm for hands-on activities exploring the themes of migration and diversity in Queens!

Undergraduate students from the Design program at Queens College have created a collaborative banner that says “I Live Here” in some of the borough’s many spoken and written languages.

Activities at the event include finding your community on our giant puzzle map of Queens, writing a love letter to your neighborhood, and have a free portrait taken! The activities will be led by Bridget Bartolini of the Five Boro Story Project, Fernanda Espinosa of People’s Collective Arts/Colectivo de Arte Popular, and Annabel Short, creator of the 30th Ave: A Year in the Life of a Street blog. The event is free and open to the public.

There will also display archival photos relating to the history of diversity in Queens. This event is the culminating celebration of our NEH-funded “50 Years of Integration” series of community history events.

Redesign the NYC “I Voted” Sticker!

Worn by proud voters across the city on Election Day, “I Voted” stickers are one of the best ways for New Yorkers to show that that they care about the future of our city. Now it’s time for a brand new sticker, and the NYC Campaign Finance Board is holding a sticker design contest for the 2017 city elections and beyond.
Learn more here and review submission guidelines and rules here. Entries are due by 5pm on April 14th.

Upper Level-Animation Elective for Fall Semester

Course Number: ARTS 370-VT: Special Topics in Design
Class Number: 44394
Day & Time: Wednesdays 1:40PM-5:30PM
Instructor: Dustin Grella
Topic: Animation II

This course is for students who want to expand on the skills they gained in ARTS 193 VT: Introduction to Digital Animation. Students will create projects that will prepare them for a career as an animator. This course is perfect for students with a concentration in Animation and Illustration.

Prerequisite: ARTS193 VT: Intro to Digital Animation