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Background, Foreground, and the Childhood Toy

September 18, 2007

My Background:
My educational and career background has mainly focused on fine arts and print graphic design. I received a BA in Fine Arts concentrating in Visual Communication (just a fancy way of saying graphic design) from the George Washington University in 2000, while also minoring in Art History. Since graduating from college, I’ve held several graphic design positions. During my senior year of college and for several months on and off after, I worked as a designer at the GWU creative services office creating print collateral for student organizations and university events. From July to November 2004, I was a designer on the Kerry-Edwards Presidential campaign, creating large banners and other print graphics for press coverage at campaign events. I also handled the budgeting, printing, and shipping arrangements for the graphics materials for these events. It was definitely fun to see my work on television and on various news feeds such as Yahoo news images and Getty Images. I also quickly became versed in the project management, client interaction, and communication aspect of a design position, which proved to be just as important as artistic ability when involved in a design project. While living in Washington, D.C. I spent some time working at a small publishing and marketing firm where I created corporate collateral such as magazines, media kits, and conference materials, but had very little client interaction. Before coming to Parsons, I worked as a graphic design specialist in a large creative services department at a consulting firm called the Corporate Executive Board. I managed and created all published materials such as seminar slides, invitations, studies, and other corporate collateral for a specific area of the company, while interacting with internal clients on a regular basis. Overrall, my career background has been very corporate oriented which can have its dry spots, but can be very rewarding as well.

My Foreground:
I foresee my experience in the Design and Technology program at Parsons to really allow me to experience other ways that I can apply conceptual design skills, and explore how I can improve my creative process to produce better work. In the recent past, I had grown fairly bored of only working in print design. I felt that more and more I was just plugging in design elements and not knowing how to be a more active part of the conceptualizing process. I didn’t feel that I knew enough technical procedures, and that I was falling behind in the advancements of the design industry. I want to explore how the design industry is advancing in aspects other than print, and learn about the technical processes that can be applied to design in order to create projects that are more cutting-edge and interactive. I definitely see our society becoming more and more web dependent, and I want to be able to be a part of and do work in some aspect of the web industry, while improving my perception of design aesthetics. I would like to learn about how I can apply animation, sound, and aspects of usability to create interactive experiences that enhance perceptions and target other senses than just a static design will do. After going through Bootcamp, I definitely see how I’m going to be quickly exposed to topics I never considered to be a part of design and concept in the past, and how quickly I’m going to learn everything in this program. I can’t give an exact job title that I expect to pursue after completing this program, as my main goal is to be more knowledgeable of and marketable within the design field. I definitely want to be in an environment that is heavily creative, open-minded, and is constantly advancing in the types of work that is produced while able to easily adapt to the advancements of the industry. If I was rewarded a job that simply keeps me on my toes, allows me to constantly be learning and improving, then I’d consider my goals of pursuing this program to be met.

My Favorite Childhood Toy:
As much as I loved my various dolls, art project kits, treasured stuffed animals, and board games, in the end my favorite childhood toy was my collection of Leggos. I grew up with two brothers, so as girly as I was, I was always joining in on the creation of model cars and Leggo mansions. I liked how I could follow the instructions that showed you how to create the design on the Leggo kit box, but I could also tweak or change it to be something completely different. I found that I could create an entire imaginary world from dozens of simple plastic, brightly colored Leggo pieces – not to mention perking it up a bit with a few Leggo men and women figures. I enjoyed just about anything that I could take apart or put together. I liked opening up parts of telephones to show what sort of infinite abyss lied within the plastic encasing. I’m convinced that if I was better at math, I would have gone into engineering, but the conceptual aspect of design is what drew me in – starting from my enjoyment of designing Leggo worlds – and what has kept me eager to learn more about the field.

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