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, www.KarenSagun.com. 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.