Student in the City

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One of our freelance designers, Rachel Bass, just returned from a whirlwind tour of New York City with her classmates. Below is but a small piece of her learnings.

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I am hot off the press from New York City. That is right this country, home grown, Travelers Rest girl made it to the Big Apple, and what an amazing experience it was. I learned many things about myself, art, design, and most unexpected my love for red dirt. I think I shed a tear on the flight home when I saw the red dirt, there seems to be none in New York City. On a more serious note while in New York I had multiple once in a life time opportunities to meet the most gracious and talented designers the world has to offer. Everyone I met was willing to spread their knowledge to help me, a young and growing designer, learn more about this game called graphic design. I would like to share some of these nuggets of wisdom so that you too might share in growth and learning I experienced.

Studiomates
This was stop one and what a fun and relaxed way to start the trip. Along with the fabulous tour of Studiomates and Tattly Tattoos I learned the importance of remaining a student even when I graduate. They shared their love for knowing and growing. Their curiosity has peaked they said because they now have the free time to read, explore, and find new things to learn and develop on. This hit me with mixed emotions. Here I am ready to graduate and quit studying only to be told it is fixing to ramp up when I graduate. What a humbling and eye opening lesson to learn. Never quit being a student.

Type Director’s Club
What an honor to get to see first hand a part of the history of type. I learned so much about not only the club’s history and influence, but also the value of type. Type is not something to be thought of lightly, but rather it should be considered a great resource for communication.

Milton Glaser
This was the highlight of the whole trip. I have studied Milton Glaser for a while now and have found him to be a sort of mentor. To actually get the opportunity to meet and talk with him in person is far beyond my understanding. I could write a short novel of just the things he said in our brief 2 hour time, alas I will not. Here are just a few of my favorite quotes;

“Design is the uncovering of connections.”
“Design is not about the objects, but the space between them. You must understand what is in the space and observe it.”
“No substitues in life to commitment, dedication, and hard work.”
“Great thing about Picasso was that he was willing to abandon everything he learned. Great model.”
“If you are going to design anything, design everything.”
“I love the idea that you could make somebody feel affection for this object… without exactly knowing why.”
“Drawing is where awareness occurs.”

I could go on, but I will stop there. What a mind boggling experience of amazingness. So much can be learned from the people who have perfected the art and are still willing to learn.

Mucca Design
Matteo Bologna is rough around the edges, self taught, and brilliant when it comes to creating works of design art. He spoke of typefaces as if it were his child, something that he has worked with and raised to it’s greatest possible hight. He spoke of how to use type and how to create brands that stand apart from all else. He used a metaphor that designers are like directors in a play and their actors are color, type, tone, imagery, etc. He also challenged us to face adversity and accept the challenges. I believe in those challenges is were true growth and communication occurs.

Debbie Millman
I got to sit in on a podcast taping of Design Matters. Her guest was Cliff Sloan, a fellow teacher at SVA. It was a joy to listen to what he had to say about cause marketing. This idea of marketing a company completely around its cause is in alignment with everything I believe. I loved listening to a pro eloquently discuss issues related to cause marketing. Something he mentioned about starting your own business is that one must, “Believe to the end.” No matter what trials come, in order to make it through with your head held high, you must “believe to the end.” Believe in what you are doing and you will do it better.

Behance
We ended our trip on a high note and a practical one. Behance gave such great advice about presenting yourself to future clients/employers. Practical advice was given about setting up our portfolios and how to handle interviews. It was a solid way to end such a magnificent trip.

The trip from start to finish was one full of learning and expansion. A trip that has changed my outlook on design, and believe it or not on life. I hold a few more values closer to my heart and I have several new tricks up my sleeves. Thank you for allowing me to ramble/emote about my trip and I hope you found these people as insightful as I did.

Thanks ever so much,

Rach Bass



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