Crafted in the last 3 hours of October 2019 in honor of Inktober. Spooling scroll, ink brush pen.
Teaching: Protest Posters
I was asked in 2012 to visit California State University Northridge (CSUN). I was able to lead 2 groups (about 40 people each) through the history of protest posters and printmaking, and then we designed and printed our own using screen printing. I was invited there by Professor Samantha Fields, who had selected my work to be in a group show called Tomorrowland.
Before each workshop, I gave a short lecture on the history of protest posters and its relationship to different forms of printmaking, going through the last several hundred years and then focusing back on the 1968 student protests of Paris. That era was particularly well-documented, and the students were able to organize themselves into an efficient propaganda machine, all because they learned how to screen print. This method of printing enabled them to produce and hang posters that had been conceived only that morning. Of course there were other centers of student protest, but I have a certain fondness for the Paris uprising in particular.
Once we had discussed the history a little, we went over to the Printmaking studio and I taught them the basics of screen printing. Professor Michelle Rozic welcomed us graciously into the studio, and was even able to come and help me run the Monday-Wednesday workshop. I broke the students up into groups that would then have to work together to design their posters–I wanted to model the workshop on the Paris model, wherein each design was voted upon by the entire group.
The students took to the medium quite effortlessly, and were able to design some great posters by the end of the first day. On the second day, we dove into printing. Once again, I was pleased with how easily everyone found screen printing: it is one of my favorite ways of making art, and hopefully I was able to get some of the students excited about it as well.
Go High Signs
Go High Signs is a project I am currently building: I am developing signage and products based on exuberant messages of hope.
While I was the Director of the Studio School for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, one of the accountabilities I was given was to increase communication and camaraderie with the faculty. I needed to help them onboard into the school, find their ways as instructors, and finally feel welcome to learn more and more about being instructors. The end goal was to help my faculty learn to self-promote, to structure classes through tools such as syllabi, and to find the use in assessment. I needed to make sure these wonderful artists were teaching the students at the best of their abilities while meeting a baseline the school had set.
I started with free workshops on self-promotion and impromptu discussions with whoever I encountered. In essence, I tried to listen and respond quickly.
About seven months into my tenure, I began to put out weekly videos in order to keep the faculty in touch with all things Studio School. This solved a few issues: my faculty was never all in the same place at the same time. There are instructors I actually never got to meet in person. Also, many could not wade through the very long emails I had to send as I established new practices, dealt with issues, and generally steered the school in a new direction.
These proved to be so successful: I had about 50% open rate from my teachers. I had people requesting that I continue them during the breaks, and many told me they liked to listen to them as they drove to work. I am continuing this effort under the name Art Centered Design Focused, where I can really distill all I have learned about being an art and design educator.
Forms & Tools
As I worked, I developed cleaner and more intuitive forms for proposals and other key efforts. This was hard as the old word docs had been in place for years. Although they had been needing a redesign for a long time, having a process that was known by such an attenuated crowd was a hard sell.
I also developed tools for my teachers. Some of them needed help with promoting themselves, with structuring classes. They all needed a welcoming context to discuss issues like high-quality instruction. I developed a promo kit with tips and templates. I developed a syllabus template and tutorial to help as well.
Teaching artists do not need to know how to do everything, but they do need to know what can help them maximize their efforts quickly and well. I tried to find ways to give them well-designed but approachable tools to this end.
The faculty were not thrilled when I first broached this topic. Some felt I was going to impose a bureaucratic rigor that was ill-suited to an art center. I had to really learn how to listen on this point, and in the end, we found a simple way to encapsulate the idea together.
All in all, it was a tremendous honor to collaborate with the 80+ teaching artists with whom I worked. Artists are so great at thinking things through, so when they offered me feedback, I always tried to listen and learn deeply.
TAI Syllabus Template 01
Gowanus Studio Space
The Gowanus Studio Space (GSS) offers space, equipment and support to emerging designers, artists and craftspeople. Located in the historically industrial neighborhood along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, GSS houses a large industrial arts workshop as well as private studios and exhibition space. By providing training, workspace, tools and resources, GSS encourages cross-pollination between the art/design communities; supports new businesses and design projects; and is a vital arts resource for the surrounding community.
For 5 years, I served as the Publications and Information Manager: I designed, maintained, and produced materials for print, exhibition, and screen. I also disseminated, organized and maintained meeting notes and internal communications.
There used to be a vivid printmaking facility and curriculum at the New York City College of Technology. I came there to teach once presses had been decommissioned, classes scraped, and materials left to gather dust. As I firmly know printmaking is an essential part of any graphic designer’s education, I decided I had to create a club that could build interest in all forms of printmaking. I had an ulterior motive: I wanted to build interest and demand for classes and equipment I hoped to get the Communications Department to incorporate in the future.
I started the club in 2014 using what little materials I could find or borrow. By 2015, I was joined by David Barthold as a co-advisor, and we had visiting artists, workshops, fundraisers, and more. We even broke into a diorama on campus and liberated a press for the students to use!
Club Logo & Philosophy
Printmaking is of huge importance to me, and an essential part of a graphic design education. As there were no classes or projects using printmaking, I determined to start a club and build demand from within.
We were able to show off all of our work in a show dedicated to the club. Here are the signs I put up–still searching for the images of the displays!
City Tech Printmaking Club: Paper Litho Demonstration
What's Good City Tech: Print Making
Curation: False Dichotomy
Curation: PMC Art Show
City Tech GenEdge
I have begun rolling out the identity for an internal General Education Committee promotion here at City Tech. I had to weave the idea of what we have tried to do into the existing brand identity of the school while imparting the vigor and importance of the 60 credits of Gen Ed our students take here in the 4 year program. I have developed what will be an extensible logo system.
The base is a simple badge:
I want it to be super simple, but slightly askew: general education classes make up 60 of the 120 credits our 4-year students take.
The City Tech GenEdge is the result of years of effort by the college-wide curriculum development and the General Education Committee. We have taken the General Education requirements, the students’ needs, and the expectations of society to put together a meaningful approach to skills and attitudes we all need. This is the added benefit of culture and community our students and graduates deserve, and which helps them thrive as they enter the world as engaged citizens. It is the added boost our college provides to excel and the tools to be productive throughout our careers.
This is the City Tech GenEdge.
I am including a super rough idea of how the logo will work. Please forgive the incredibly poor execution, I had 10 minutes.
In use on the promotional materials for the City Tech GenEdge College Theme launch:
Teaching Printmaking in Grade-School Classrooms
Studio in a School, New York City, New York
I was asked by SIS to teach their teachers-in-training about the ways they could bring printmaking into the grade school classroom. I worked out several approaches and lessons for them, and we went through a few demos. I produced a full set of handouts so the teachers would have everything they needed to bring cogent, affordable, and fun projects into their lessons.
While a design intern at Agency.com, I fell in love with my fellow designers. I took it upon myself to think of outreach activities in order to get people excited about our jobs. Later on, I was a part of a team trying to green the company with Ben Grill.