Sunday, December 7, 2008

Money on my mind

Hey folks. I've finally returned to the blogging world. While gone away though, I have the pleasure to tell you, I've been working diligently 40 hours a week at my recently acquired job at Stylesight, a fashion forecasting website specifically geared toward fashion manufacturers, stylists, designers, and those working within the fashion industry.

After receiving my first paycheck I quickly ran to one of the many furniture stores in (the mall-like) Steinway street where I live by, and purchased an awesome pillow top twin mattress which came with a box spring, bed frame, delivery, and assembly (for FREE, might I add). Horray!

The following week I went home to Va Beach for Thanksgiving, and after spending some quality time with family, friends, and my boy friend, I again went shopping. Not ordinary shopping. My day began at 5 am and I visited 2 malls consecutively, then Target, then went shopping again the next day. Black Friday weekend was a binge of materialism that I haven't experienced in a while and my super-full suitcase was accompanied by two totes filled with new clothes. I get a call from my sister on the bus ride home telling me I forgot another set of clothing. And for some reason, the Sunday of black Friday weekend I thought it would be a good idea to buy the last set of shelves that I desperately wanted for my tiny NY room. So I visited Target for the 2 seemingly-light-but-apparently-super-heavy shelves and lugged 5 blocks from the subway to my the rain.

After my shopping sprees, and then paying my rent, and I reailzed that I've lost touch with the old Karen who scoured the free section of craigslist, made gifts from what she already had, and whole-heartedly would have celebrated Buy Nothing Day rather than gone shopping at 2 malls consecutively.

Now that I've had my shopping binge, I'm putting myself on a shopping diet. If this interests you too, make note of the following list of helpful sites I really appreciate plus some other good things:

1. The free section of Craigslist. Some good stuff, some bad stuff, all free though.
2. The Dollar Stretcher. Its an ugly website in a designers point of view, but content is full of tips and advice on a saving money. I've seen a few great articles in there.
3. Readymade and Craft Magazine blog. Work with what you've got to create something out of seemingly nothing. I'm getting back to my crafts for Christmas, I think homemade presents are much more sentimental anyways.
4. The Home Economiser's section of tips. Another ugly website with beautiful content. Lots and lots and lots of good tips.
5. An online community that gives away the stuff they dont want anymore, simply to avoid anymore contibution to landfills. Join today! It's free. Ha.
6. Love to know. Lots of good ideas on how to save up and then some on other topics.
7. Wikihow's section of Managing your Money. Is there anything that Wikipedia doesn't explain?
8. Businessweek has this good article. I just found it, but it has some good tips.
9. Kiplinger tips: "Save Money on Practically Everything."
10. The Simple Dollar : 100 Great Tips.

I think ten is good enough for now. But if you google "save money" theres just so much. I'll leave you with a cute picture.

My favorite necklace consists of a few old charms from when i was a kid.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Seven Random Facts About Myself

So there's this thing going on. Sorta like a chain letter, but instead of being cursed, you just wonder what to write in order to update your blog. I read Aly's blog, and after reading a list of seven random things about her, she tags a few of her friends and readers to do the same. I usually don't do these surveys, but Aly is my friend. And I sort of want to. So let's begin:

I am 23 years old, yet I look 15.

I miss my family. I feel that I never am able to spend time with them. I've lived in Richmond for 2 1/2 years prior to moving to New York and each visit just doesn't seem as fulfilled as I wish it could be. The last time I saw my father, he had wrinkles and grays that I didn't remember from the time before last I saw him. Sometimes I'm afraid that I will never see them again.

Before the end of this month, I'll be cutting my hair again. Another faux hawk awaits. I've done this three times already. Growing my hair a considerable length and then chopping it all off. This ritual of mine has been the inspiration behind one of my portfolio pieces called "Hair Maintenance."

My internship boss got me a ticket to the Lucie Awards and I'm excited to see some great photography and to hopefully meet some photographers.

I'm progressing in the freelance game. I am the Coordinator of Advanced Design Solutions for a company called KWANT Solutions, and soon the website will be up online. Also, I just created a logo for an organic lingerie company and am on board to create their packaging, website, etc. Last, I am to begin creating a website for a writer from Montreal, who fortunately met and interviewed my favorite artist, Feist.

I still need to find an inexpensive, yellow trench coat so that I can be Jubilee for Halloween.

I'm reacquainting myself with my sketchbook. Expect some pretty pictures in upcoming blogs. Thanks for reading to the end.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reminiscing: Sushi Picnic

Hey folks. So here's another bit of show and tell. Ahh, the sushi picnic that never occurred at Maymont Park, but rather, at my apartment due to fowl weather. I find that when you approach something with little expectation, the more delightful are the surprises that occur.

So. For this event, I planned to roll a large amount of sushi at home to bring it to the park in a cooler. After inviting a bunch of friends via facebook, and I realized that the weather was, well, going to suck. So I mass messaged and mass texted everyone that the picnic would be at my apartment instead. This fall back plan worked out even better than the first. Everyone and more were able to come over since it was closer to campus. When the sushi ran out, the people I taught, taught the others so they could roll their own—which, for them, was a funner and more enriching experience. Jason brought his karaeoke magic mic (not to be stereotypically asian by eating sushi and singing karaeoke, but it was so much fun). We all ate sushi + more food and drink that guests brought and we sang all day and all eventhing until 10. Then we all went to watch Spiderman 3. Yay!

Friday, September 12, 2008

R.I.P Nagi Noda

I just found out through Speak Up that one of my favorite artists, Nagi Noda passed away a few days ago. If you are not familiar with Nagi Noda, she was and is an inspiration to me as an artist and designer. Getting her hands on design, video, art and mixing different forms of creativity, she pushed the limits. I wish to do the same.

To see a sweet work of Nagi Noda's, check this out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Update with Karen Sagun

Hey folks, check out my recently updated portfolio website, It took me a while to finish it, and I am proud that it's finally up online.

While I was going through my files in my external hard drive, like going through an old box in your attic, I found a few things that brought back some happy memories. It's time for show and tell:

I made this set of t-shirts for my first Art Foundation Studio class. I was totally into t-shirt design, and this was one of a few designs that I intended to contribute to an intended t-shirt business with my two friends, Jason and Will. We never jumped off with our business due to school and distance (at the time we all went to three different colleges). However, not only did we create designs, but we also made a logo, which is what you can see on the orange tag on the blue shirt on the left. It is a rendering of a light bulb with an "E" in place of the bulb. The "E" stands for Ethics which was what we intended to name our business. We intended that our t-shirts designs to acknowledge (and therefore spread awareness of) social issues important to us. This design acknowledges pollution and it's negative effects on the environment. It is a simple and modern image of brown ooze and/or a dying tree.

This just reminds me of how important design and social consciousness was to me even before I entered the VCU graphic design department (where it seemed everyone there was socially aware). When I reached the GDES program, I felt so at home.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Design School vs. Design World

Now that I'm in the real world, I have found that design school (especially VCU) and the design working world are totally different. When I was in school, I was geared to think conceptually, create process work, use mind maps, learn through play, and think out of the box. Now that I am applying for jobs, I see that entry level designers are usually just needed to create type and layout work, updating websites, retouching photos, and watering the plants. That doesn't seem that hard, but I'm sort of figuring out the reasons why I can't get a simple job.

1. My portfolio consists of a lot of conceptual work and I guess they are not as visually stimulating as what interviewers want(?).

2. I've been only looking through Craigslist. It's time to stop lollygagging and really apply to where I really want to be.

3. My portfolio is pretty heavy with Adobe Illustrator. Maybe it's time to change it up and add some layout stuff. Oh and maybe update my website.

4. I am often tongue tied.

So anyway, here are a few examples of my portfolio and maybe, just maybe, I can get feed back from someone who happens to be into graphic design, or even an actual graphic designer, or maybe just any internet wanderer.

So here's one stamp out of a set of four that I've designed for a print class. Basically the assignment was to create four stamps that respond to an issue important to you. At the time, I was taking 18 credits and super duper busy with not only school work, but work work as well. For days and days I thought. I thought about why work and play cannot be the same thing. I came to the conclusion that work and play can never be the same thing because, obviously, they are defined as opposites. But still, you really cannot have one if the other did not exist. And also, work and play are just a matter of perspective. An illustrator sees his job as a job, where in many cases, regular joes draw for recreation.

I had realized that work and play are a matter of what you make of it (especially if you are a designer). So I thought to create a stamp where it was the user's choice of what to make of the stamp. Placing the stamp on the envelope in one orientation allowed the user to see a sort of "scene of work" or a "scene of play."

The stamps embody both "work" and "play" because the two cannot exist without the other, they are on opposite ends because they are opposites (inspired by a yin-yang symbol), and the image and words create the scene with the user's decision of what to make of it; a stamps that portrays "work" or one that portrays "play."

So there's one explanation for one of my portfolio pieces. I wasn't expecting to ramble on this much but I just wanted to explain what I could about these stamps because I, as I've said earlier, I tend to become tongue tied.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rushmore at McCarren Park Pool Tonight

Man. Would it be lame if I went by myself?

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Hello world, I'm Karen. I just graduated college in Virgina and have finally moved to New York. Considering that I know no more than 3 people in New York and have only a part-time internship, I seem to have a lot of free time on my hands. Thus, a blog will allow me to record my adventures in this new city while providing me something to do when the 3 people I know here are busy with their own lives. So. Hello.