I had the privilege to teach Self-Branding Studio again in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. It’s formerly called Advanced Computer Studio and was blogged about under this name in the past. However, I think Self-Branding Studio is more telling of what the class is about. These students are non-graphic design majors that want to focus on professional practice, and determine a “brand” for themselves to create personal designs for a logo, business card, resumé, and portfolio website. It is a helpful way to prepare upperclassmen for graduation. I taught 5 students during the Fall 2015 term for this class.
We interviewed guest artists as a class who were chosen by the students. We communicated in person, by email, Skype, or conference call. This provides a great opportunity to learn tips from professionals to better prepare the students for a career in the arts.
First guest was MSU photography class of 2012 alum Blake McCollum. Blake gave advice for how to run a successful photography business in a small town, and how to network locally. At 26 years old, he is an encouragement to students that want to pursue a freelancing career directly after graduation.
Second guest was Vermont sculptor Chris Miller. Chris specializes in figurative and representational art carved from granite, wood, and marble. He tends to work at a large scale and had many interesting stories about his clients and projects. We Skyped and learned from his stories of trial, error, and success after many years working in the art business. We appreciated his transparency and honesty.
Third guest was British illustrator Yvonne Gilbert. Now living in Canada, Yvonne has experience illustrating children’s books, stamps, posters, and record sleeves with the most intricate colored pencil work. Upon research about her and her art, we felt pretty starstruck as we spoke to her by conference call. Celebrities own her original artwork as part of their private collections. She even has her own Wikipedia page! We loved her sweet humor and stories about how art shifted in relation to events throughout history, and played a part in her own style and business. She also described how she has made her living off her art without the help of a computer; everything she produces is hand drawn from start to finish. Like Chris, she shared the hardships and victories of a lifetime in art, and is proud to say she is an artist.
Fourth guest was concept artist Jin Yung Kim. Jin makes art for video games, films, and animations in San Diego, CA. Most notably, Jin has done work for PlayStation! We emailed Jin our questions and received a thorough response about a career in conceptual art.
Lastly, we emailed questions to California painter Michael Page. Michael’s work offers the viewer an optic alternative to the visual reality of life, as we know it. His imagery is rendered in a rich color palette of swirling and flowing shapes and line that create dynamic movement. He provided good advice for networking, and balancing family life with a home studio.
FINAL STUDENT BRANDING DESIGNS
Students completed a personal assessment of writing exercises to determine how to brand themselves, and in turn designed their own logo, business card, resumé, and portfolio website.
* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.
Chelsey Johnson // Concept Art // http://chelseyjohnson.virb.com/
Haleigh Parker // Photography // http://www.haleighparkerphotography.com/
McKinnon Herring // Painting // http://mckinnonherring.weebly.com/
Megan Smith // Illustration // http://mes4209.wixsite.com/megansmith
Ronnie Thomas // Sculpture & Ceramics // http://rtworkshop.wixsite.com/ronniethomas
All of these students are now seniors or graduated! I wish them the absolute best of luck in all their endeavors!