The Creative Boot Camp was such a great success last year that our partnering agency, WUNDERMAN has invited us back! In its eighth consecutive year, our award-winning Creative Boot Camp New York will offer participants one of the most authentic experiences in boot camp history by being immersed in a creative agency environment. Global Chief Creative Officer, Lincoln Bjorkman and President, Jamie Gallo, will welcome the participants with inspiring insights aimed to help them succeed in our industry.
As a Snapchat Illustrator for The Dodo, you’ll join the largest dedicated animal brand on social media. You’ll collaborate closely with the rest of the creative team to create visually distinct and memorable illustrations that showcase animals at their best and most dynamic on Snapchat.
Your key responsibilities will be to build a collection of custom-designed illustrations and features that enhance The Dodo’s Snapchat experience. Toward that end, you’ll illustrate assets based on daily pitches, and brainstorm and conceptualize the visual language with the creative team to complement written and video content.
As our ideal candidate, you’re a team player with over 3 years of experience working under creative leadership, and you know how to apply visual notes quickly to your work. You are proficient in all industry-standard design applications (Adobe CC: PS, AI, ID) on a Mac platform, and have vector graphic mastery. You possess extraordinary attention to detail and the ability to meet aggressive deadlines, and have strong communication and organizational skills. You can manage, prioritize and execute multiple projects simultaneously — and have fun while doing it! To summarize, you are highly collaborative, a hands-on visual expert, and you thrive in a fast-paced environment.
Excerpt from “New American Sweatshop: Training Module” by Amelia Marzec
This is an introductory course on the culture, theory, and design of games. In this course, students will work in teams to create several games and write game design documentation. Through the playing and analysis of games, lectures, assigned readings and process blogs, students will develop a foundation in game design that will be applicable to other interactive experiences. This will count as a lower level elective for Design majors.
Below are excerpts from a conversation between Queens College Design graduate Jimmy Mercado (Class of Fall 2015), and Deputy Chair Ryan Hartley Smith about entering the job market after graduation, and lessons learned along the way.
RHS: Hi Jimmy, How was your summer? JM: Hey! What’s up Ryan?! My summer has been pretty good but mostly busy. Just keeping myself relaxed, the usual lol.
How would you describe the work you’re making now, and what’s the work you’re most proud of?
Well, I’ve been keeping myself busy- most of my work is animation (either in After Effects or Cinema 4D), however my favorite animation work has been in Cinema. In addition to that, I’ll say the work I’m most proud of has to be my Coca Cola Advertisement Poster (below). I say this because I felt like it matched the design choices I’ve thought of at the time before I started it. Plus it’s cool to me! Many people gave that poster so many compliments which made me happy.
Advertising project for class at QC.
Where can we see your portfolio (website, behance, anything else..)?
Anyone can check out my work on my website (www.jimdesigns.net), my Instagram dedicated to my designs is slim_design, and any other social media platform I i didn’t say here is on the footer of my website. I’m starting to do alot of animations now so I’m excited about that! Please follow if you guys like the stuff you see!
I met you before you were a student at Queens College, when you were in high school and we both worked for a community mural organization called Groundswell. The project you worked on was the entrance to the 191st 1 stop in Washington Heights. Did that experience influence your decision to pursue a career in art and design?
Oh that’s rightttt!! haha I was sooooo young! I believe I was like 14. I was a teenager, you know, so I didn’t know what I was doing. I started painting and it was relaxing and fun. Never did anything like that! I loved the environment, but believe it me it wasn’t that experience which made me like the arts and design. What made me pursue a career in art and design was actually being curious about the processes of making a poster, animated movie, and Photoshop skills I’d seen online during my senior year of high school.
Jimmy Mercado (left) works on “New York is a Rollercoaster” in 2008 with artists Chris Beck (2nd from left) and Belle Benfield (2nd from right). Photo taken by Ryan Hartley Smith for Groundswell.
Does the process of making a mural influence your current design work in any way?
That’s a great question!! Believe it or not it kind of does! It’s just like you could learn painting or drawing in college. I take note of what I learn each time. Like painting the mural with Groundswell actually helped me know more about complimentary colors, primary colors, etc. I learned what colors pop and can engage an audience. With that in mind, I encourage new comers trying to get into design not to limit themselves to just the computer. Log off and use paper and [handmade] materials when you can, trust me it helps!
Entering into the professional field of design is super 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?
Well, that experience being a recent graduate that I am is honestly putting in work, work and more work. I graduated Fall of 2015 and for me I spent 4 months making animations. I thought to myself “I want to be an animator so bad. I want work, but I’m not getting anywhere right now.” I saw Professor Hyesu Lee one day while I was passing by to say “hi.” She told me don’t give up and keep applying. Another month passed by and the work and animations I put in worked out! I’m glad to say I found my first internship in May and this turned into a part-time designer/animator position with the NY Mets in the fall!
That is awesome that you’re working for the Mets! What is your job title? What are your responsibilities?
Yeah I know right! I was surprised when I had the interview a few months back. To answer your question I did intern with them as a “Productions Animation Intern.” I started with the Mets in May and the paid internship continued on until last week. There were 6 other interns including myself that worked with Productions. Some interns were designers and others were interning to gain experience in being part of a production team. I got hired to work part-time with them for the rest of this baseball season since they saw my interest in helping the team. My responsibilities include designing and animating a “vs match-up” between the Mets and the visiting team. I also am using player images and placing them in the templates given to me by the Graphic Specialist. In addition, I work closely with the Director, the Graphic Specialist and others to come up with transition animations. For example, I generate ideas for replay wipes, logos, icons, and more to build in Cinema 4D and/or After Effects. I’ve already made some cool stuff for them that are up on the scoreboards!
That is so exciting! Well deserved! What are your other professional goals for this year? How do you plan on achieving them?
This year is all about making new things to put in my portfolio. I will focus more on animation to expand my horizons as an animator and designer. I plan to reach out to other animation-focused graphic design studios. I also plan on trying freelancing for a couple of my friend’s bosses. The way I’m approaching these things is just by applying, contacting people, and improving my work to show potential employers what I can do as a designer.
What was your favorite Design course at Queens College and why?
I don’t even have to think twice about this answer! If you asked anyone from my graduating class, they will tell you in a heartbeat “3D Animation & Modeling with Ben Voldman!” It was sooooo different from regular design. It included the 3D knowledge I’ve wanted to learn since the first time I got into art and design. I knew I would catch on fast and make it my “new thing”. Combining 3D with design and animating in Cinema 4D is the best!! However, Ben Voldman hands down gave me the basic tools to learn the rules and engaged his class in new ways to do things and it dragged my full attention. I would be the one asking questions and approaching him when I needed it. It was great to say I’ve taken alot from his class. When I started working for the Mets at Citifield, some of the creative artists thought I did really cool stuff thanks to the things I’ve learned at QC.
“Lazer Spaceship” designed to showcase rendering 3D objects in realistic scenery
If you were able to go back and go through the Design program again (knowing what you’ve learned from entering the job market), what would you do differently?
If I had to go through the Design program again, I would’ve definitely liked to work more on my typography! I would’ve liked to change most of my designs to make them better than they were. Lastly, just approached my professors more and get the help to become better.
What advice do you have for students who are considering being a Design major?
I would say to you new folks “give it a shot!” Approach your professors when you want more knowledge and advice on your designs. Listen to the critiques you get in class and use them! When you learn from the critiques, it’ll make your designs 1000x better. Don’t be shy to speak your mind while critiquing because you help each other out! Aside from that, never give up post-graduation if you haven’t had work because SOMEONE WILL NOTICE YOU! Try finding an internship during your school years and if you still haven’t found anything don’t put your head down yet. Keep working and that hard work will push you to a point you’ll get a job.
During this one-day event, participants have unprecedented opportunities to interview, network, learn, interact with and gain invaluable knowledge from top creative professionals. IT”S FREE, BUT YOU NEED TO REGISTER.
The One Club’s Here Are All The Black People is our highly anticipated annual multicultural creative career fair. The one-day event provides multicultural students, recent graduates, and creative professionals who are interested in exploring careers in advertising and design the opportunity to showcase their talent to top agencies in the industry. AND YES, IT”S OPEN TO EVERYONE.
HAATBP was created after a panel discussion between advertising greats, Jimmy Smith and Jeff Goodby, as they discussed the lack of diversity in the creative departments in advertising agencies. At which time, Jeff asked, “Where Are All The Black People?” Jimmy, Jeff, and The One Club decided to answer the question and launched the event, “Here Are All The Black People.” HAATBP provides real-world solutions to the lack of diversity in the advertising and design industry’s creative departments. This year, we are opening this event up to aspiring Strategist and Account Planners/Managers.
During this one-day event, participants have unprecedented opportunities to interview, network, learn, interact with and gain invaluable knowledge from top creative professionals, as well as attend portfolio-building workshops, portfolio reviews, and participate in our popular live “elevator” pitch, which awards the winners with interviews with all of the sponsoring agencies. Many participants have walked away from the event with a second interview or a lead to an internship opportunity.
HAATBP is fully sponsored by agencies and companies looking to hire diverse creative talent.
Elliot Cowan is an animator, illustrator, artist and educator. He teaches 2D animation (ARTS215, Summer Session 2), Introduction to Digital Animation (ARTS193, Fall 2016), and Storyboarding for Animators (ARTS370, Fall 2016) at Queens College, CUNY. In this interview, he shares a little bit about his life, influences and projects.
KW: Tell us a little bit about your background? EC: I’m from Melbourne, Australia. My parents are British Jews. Mum is from Manchester in the very north of England and my dad is Scottish. They moved to Australia in the late 60’s and have never been back.
As I kid, I was mostly genial and quiet. I loved cartoons and movies. I had, and still have, no interest in sport, which is kind of a strange thing in Australia. I spent a LOT of time drawing and making puppets, little sculptures, that kind of thing.
KW: Were your parents artists? Who encouraged your art making activities? EC: My parents are not artists. I had a grandfather who was a musician who probably would have drawn if it had been nurtured or even discovered in him. My folks were very encouraging in a kind of hands-off way. They made sure I had plenty of paper and pencils and let me take some art classes when I asked to but for the most part they stood back and let me do my thing.
KW: When did you know that you wanted to become an animator? EC: As a kid I was obsessed with animation and puppetry. I don’t know when that started exactly – probably watching Sesame Street, which has a lot of both – I just know that animation has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
I think I was originally more interested in puppetry. In the mid 80’s in Australia the idea of going into animation was only slightly less insane than being a puppeteer so I chose that path.
KW: How did you discover these artists—books, comic strips, television, at home, at school, wandering into bookstores? EC: I’ve never been entirely comfortable being part of a pack, and even as a young kid I was inclined to search outside the mainstream for creative stimulation.
I was born in 1974. Shortly after that Melbourne experienced a very large influx of migrants from all over the world. In an effort to accommodate all these new people a television channel was created to broadcast international programming—local news from Greece, soap operas from the China, and later on I remember seeing the Iranian version of The Nanny.
When I was eight or nine they would program a four-hour chunk of international animation on a Sunday afternoon and I was crazy for it. All short films, animated series and a crazy Czech version of the Muppet Show. It had a big influence on me.
My mum would also take me to the library every week and I’d always take a pile of books out. I discovered Gerald Scarfe at the library when I was 7 or 8 and I am still influenced by him.
KW: Why did you decide to attend Independent College of Art and Design and how did the experience shape you? Were you a good student? EC: At the time University in Australia was basically free, but I chose to go to a private college because they responded to my work in such a positive way. I studied Graphic Design and Illustration.
The experience changed my life completely. My lecturers said to us “We are here to show you all the stuff you don’t know about, so put down your security blanket and come see this”, which I was more than happy to do. They really did introduce us to the idea of thinking and feeling and living like an artist. I formed friendships with my professors that have lasted to this day.
I had been a very average high school student but did extremely well at art school – it was one of the most productive times of my life.
KW: Did you go directly to graduate school (and why Victorian College of the Arts)? Why did you think advanced studies were important? EC: I did go directly to graduate school. At the time there were limited places to study animation and one option was at The Victorian College of the Arts. My illustration professor had gone there many years previously and recommended it.
I don’t I think advanced studies are important in the arts at all. As an artist you’re better off spending all that money on an extended trip to Europe or backpacking through the Grand Canyon with attractive foreigners.
For myself, it was the only way I could go and do some animation and move forward in my career. These days you can learn a bit of animation on your iPhone but at the time there was only paper and big machines and film and Steinbecks and my time at VCA gave me access to all these things.
KW: What were the first types of jobs you held (and then how did you end up directing and editing low budget television commercials in Tasmania for 11 years)? EC: Like many art schools with a film department, VCA has an industry screening after each final semester. I started working the day after the industry screening for a small company called Oh’ Hell He Ran Productions – the guy who ran it was called Bernie O’Halloran.
We were doing animated pilots for MTV Asia. They’d send us a four-minute script and we’d put the thing together. I only remember one thing we worked on called The Supermuddles, a spoof about supermodels. Also did some great stuff on a pilot that Bernie was developing himself. I did a bunch of great animation on it and also did one of the lead voices alongside Australian actor and comedian Kim Gyngall.
Bernie worked out very quickly that I worked reasonably quickly and was happy working late so he’d skip out most of the time to have “meetings” which meant he was sleeping with pretty girls.
Eventually I became burnt out and a job came up at a multi-media company in Tasmania. I thought “Screw it, I’m taking it”, which is kind of like living in New York and deciding to move to a shack in the Appalachians. The company is still around so I don’t want to mention them but I worked for a guy who was part moron, part sociopath. I created several animated commercials and inhouse projects called “The Thungums” on which I did some of the best work I’ve ever done but remains lost to the world.
After a year or two a job came up at the local television station directing low budget commercials and I took it. I was there about 8 years before I was fired and went to work for their rival network down the street. It was all very, very hard work–lots of hours and little pay. Not a nice place to work.
During that time I continued to draw, exhibited twice and made several nice animated commercials.
I also developed Boxhead and Roundhead in Tasmania, which ultimately became several short films and an animated feature.
KW: Professionally, what were some of your favorite projects? EC: Well let me say this first. There is very little about working commercially that I’d ever describe as being my “favorite” anything. Unless you’re in charge of a project you’re toiling for someone else and that’s not something that works well for me unless the circumstances are very particular. Generally speaking the best commercial projects I’ve worked on were for people who paid well, paid on time and were respectful of the role of artists.
This is not to say I’m any kind of prima donna, because I’m not. When you are working on a commercial project it’s important to remember that 1) The person in charge of it is really invested in it because it is their reputation and ego on display. 2) There is usually a large amount of money involved.
The other side of that is that 1) As a gun for hire it’s hard to be as invested in the project as the person in charge. 2) The person in charge is making a lot more money than you.
Still from “How The Mormon Stole Everything”
Having said that I’ve worked with a lot of nice people who knew how to be friendly and professional and creative. Here are some of the projects I most enjoyed working on in recent times: How The Mormon Stole Everything was an animated short I did for The Big Gay Sketch Show, a SNL style show that ran on Logo. I had a very short time to produce a lot of animation but they paid well and pretty much let me do whatever I wanted. Remains one of the most satisfying commercial projects I’ve ever done. It was very divisive but, as I kept reminding people who were critical, it was made for The Big Gay Sketch Show not The Highbrow Shakespeare Hour.
Still from “How The Mormon Stole Everything”
Bitter Batter was a segment I did for Sesame Workshop. I’ve done a lot of stuff with Sesame. They’re a great bunch to work for. They pay on time!
I’ve done a lot of work for Ace and Son Moving Picture Company. They’re good pals of mine and helped produce my animated feature. For Ace and Son I did a bunch of work on The Buddah for PBS and a nice extended segment for a documentary called The Texan Promise.
KW: What are the skills necessary to be an animator? Looking forward, what are your predictions for the field in the next decade? EC: Let’s assume there are two kinds of animation.
1) Character animation, which is all Bugs Bunny and Flinstone and whatever. Actual characters that think and move and feel. This could be traditional (drawn) or 3D (Pixar etc).
2) Motion graphics, which is a fancy way of saying graphic design that moves.
Character animation is all about timing and character and acting and drawing (or poses if you’re working in 3D). Motion graphics is about design and software.
For the future, the more of both of these things you have an understanding of the more employable you’re going to be. This is all assuming you intend to put these applications to commercial use. You can learn all these things to advance your skills as an artist who wants to make things — films, installations, art pieces — and have something to say.
KW: Why do you think animation skills are important for graphic designers? EC: Several reasons… When you are a working artist you should always be the one who knows the most stuff — even if you aren’t the best at everything, you should still know the most. You should be the person who knows how to design and then how to make that design move.
The various medias are tightly integrated these days too. If you’re working for a studio and the client wants to take the design and make a commercial then you can put up your hand and say “I can do that” which makes you a more valuable player.
Nobody is saying you need to be the next Glen Keane or Eric Goldberg but an understanding of basic animation principals and the software required to producer animation gives you an edge.
Also — animators are the worst graphic designers ever. The industry needs you.
KW: What were the best animations you’ve seen in the past year? EC: Student films are just about the only films I look forward to seeing. I’ve been let down too many times to get excited about much other stuff.
I’m always excited about my pal Eric Goldberg does, and anything from my pals at Cartoon Saloon is something to be happy about. Actually, anything by anyone I know, so I have some kind of connection to it.
KW: What types of projects are you working on now?
EC: I do some story work with Oscar nominated Irish animation Studio Cartoon Saloon (Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea). I recently contributed concept design and story ideas to their new film, WolfWalkers.
I’ve worked a lot with Ace and Son Moving Picture Company. They helped produced my feature so they’re good friends. I worked with them on a documentary about the Texan education system, the Buddah for PBS and just wrapped up some segments for Tesla, also for PBS and Ace and Son.
KW: What’s the best advice you ever received? EC: Advice, huh?
I have a lot, but essentially it all boils down to thinking and living like an artist everything else stems from there. Spend time with motivated and interesting people who are making things and show an interest in your work. You can’t help but absorb the energy. Keep an open mind and stay curious about the world. Keep making art.
Below is a conversation between 2016 QC graduate Sila Chanrujipat and Assistant Professor Ryan Hartley Smith about Sila’s work and plans for after graduation.
Professor Smith: Hi Sila, Thanks for talking! Where can we see your portfolio?
Sila Chanrujipat: My portfolio can be seen on my behance page and my website.
Tell me about the project you are most proud of…
I am actually proud of all my works. The project that I am most proud of is my series of book covers that I created in my Typography II class. I designed a series of book covers for Alice in Wonderland. Each book cover had to have its own theme. Therefore, I designed book covers in different concepts; dark, dreamy and vintage concept. With each book cover, I tried to use different tools and techniques to make such as using a paper craft, gradient, and shadow. It actually was my first time to do a paper craft by hands. I spent a lot of time to revise my works and tried to make them look like a 3d in photoshop combining different elements.
One of Sila’s Alice in Wonderland Covers
What’s the most important thing you want the world to know about your design work?
Every design tells its own story. I like combining handmade and digital methods to create my work, because I think it gives a sense of mystery.
Crystals in the Desert, using 3D modeling
You just were awarded a $2,000 prize for winning CUNY Human Rights poster contest. First, congratulations!! Second, tell us about your poster design- how did you come up with the idea, and how did you make the final design?
Thank you very much! Honestly, I did not expect that at all. For my poster design, I started to make 3-4 sketches with a pencil then I asked my best friends to give me feedback, and colored the final draft in Photoshop. The idea of my poster is to raise awareness of Europe’s migration crisis that has been a chronic issue since last year. I combined different symbols. For instance, the big tear drop presents the emotional wounds of refugee. The barbed wire represents the acute migration crisis and division while the hands illustrate that they need help from us as fellow men.
No Human is Illegal Poster
You just graduated, now what are your goals for the summer?
There are two main goals for this summer. Firstly, I want to spend time with my family as much as I can because I haven’t seen them for 2 years. This time, they came to visit me for 3 months. We plan to travel in New York after the Commencement ceremony. My second goal is to get a job in U.S. I have just only four months to find before my visa will be expired.
What’s your dream job/next step professionally?
My dream job is to work in advertising company or fashion company. I know they are very competitive, but I want to give it a try!
What was your favorite Design course at Queens College and why?
There are many favorite design courses in this school. One of my favorite classes is advertising design. I had to come up with an idea for a campaign project in Time Square. I chose to do a healthy food event that provides healthy food to New Yorkers. The idea of the poster series is to mock fast food and sweet with healthy food. I really enjoyed doing research in the real place and create pattern design for merchandises.
Healthy Eating Campaign
Healthy Eating Campaign
Healthy Eating Campaign
What advice do you have for students who are considering being a Design major?
If you have creative ideas or like using computer programs. Then yes! You are on the right track! Anyhow, you have to understand all the basic rules. Then you would know how to break them and create your unique design style.
If you had to go through the Design program again, what would you do differently?
I would take more animation classes. Last semester I only took a 3D modeling class and I found it is very interesting. I want to make my illustration become more vivid and alive! I also believe that 3D Modeling and animation will play a huge role in the design fields.
Possible is looking for a creative, talented, and entrepreneurial Graphic Design Intern who will champion our belief that great design creates dignity.
The Graphic Design Intern should see himself/herself as a brand ambassador ready to support the organization’s design-oriented work by working closely as part of our creative team. You are enthusiastic about designing Possible’s visual communications for print, web, and social media, while taking the initiative to learn time-saving shortcuts and become a master of formatting and styles in InDesign. You take direction well and execute with excellent attention to detail, without the need for constant supervision. You are eager to own your projects and you’re reliable.
You should have a strong visual portfolio displaying a variety of design work. You multitask and organize your work to manage your time efficiently. You welcome constructive criticism, learn from your mistakes, and use them to produce beautiful work. You’re entrepreneurial and thrive in fast-growth environments with significant freedom and responsibility.
1. Strong Design & Production Skills: We need someone with the ability to follow our style guide and with knowledge of typography, layout, and color. these skills are necessary for an intern to work both independently and to provide general support to both the Creative and Marketing Directors.
2. Photoshop, InDesign, & Illustrator Skills: It’s crucial to the role to be well-versed in the design programs we use to create social media graphics, infographics, and reports.
3. Excellent Attention to Detail in a Deadline-Driven Environment: We produce a lot of work, and fast. You must be able to be briefed on a project and quickly present multiple options with little error in a timely fashion.
4. Great Communicator: A large part of this role will not only be designing for social media, but also working with multiple departments around the globe. You must be professional and comfortable communicating communicating across our team and externally.
5. Ambition: We need you to be self-motivated, able to prioritize and manage your workflow well, and meet critical project deadlines. The right person will have enthusiasm and interest in our work.
Big 3 Responsibilities:
Provide general support to both the Creative and Marketing Directors.
Assist in design and production of the organization’s visual communications.
Monitor and execute cross-team design requests.
Intern can expect to learn
The Graphic Design Intern will work closely with our Creative Director and be chiefly responsible for the following work:
1. Visual Communications
• Assist with the design and layout of marketing materials, web and social media graphics, quarterly impact reports, slide decks, and infographics.
• Photoshopping and formatting images for digital and print projects.
2. Project Management
• Learn and utilize a simple and efficient project management tool, Asana.
• Adhere to the Dropbox storage system when organizing design content, so our fast-paced environment runs smoothly.
3. Collaborate & Iterate
• Collaborate with the marketing department and support campaigns with design solutions.
• Engage with cross-department teams to create internal graphic design projects and initiatives.
• Support and contribute to the evolution of Possible’s visual identity.
Applications are being accepted on an immediate, rolling basis. The position will begin in late May/early June and continue through the summer, with the possibility of extension into the fall.
Show, don’t tell. Include a portfolio of your work in addition to your CV or LinkedIn profile (preferred). We are being purposefully vague in our explanation here. Please send us whatever format (or combination of formats) best exemplifies your work that can be reviewed in less than 10 minutes.
Email email@example.com if you have any questions.
What happens after submission?
If we are interested, your submission will be responded to within 10 days. Please note that due to a large volume of applications, your application may not be responded to. If your application is advanced, we will ask immediately to set up an initial 20-minute phone interview to initiate the interview process.
APPLY ONLINE with cover letter, resume & link to on-line portfolio