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Interview with recent DCA grad Rodrigo Trabbold

It’s always a joy to spotlight recent DCA graduates who’ve grown immensely as designers through the course of the program. Rodrigo Trabbold answered our “big 5” questions and shared some of his work with us:

What brought you to the DCA program?Social media infographic flyer

I decided to be a part of the Extension program at UCLA because I was looking for a way into the entertainment design industry, which is very strong here in LA, and because I wanted to build a stronger portfolio, with more pieces related to entertainment design.

What were your favorite courses and why?

BenHoward_final_FINAL_713I loved all of the DCA program. My favorite courses were Entertainment Design, Design Fundamentals, Branding: Icons and Logos, and Publication Design.

As a designer, what does a potential project need to have for you to feel passionate about it?

In order for me to feel passionate about a project, the project needs to be creative and have a very strong concept and idea. A good project always leaves you thinking about it, or gives you a different perspective over a certain subject. In other words, in a way, it changes you.

If the phone rang right now and somebody offered you your dream design job, who are they, where do they work, and what’s the job?_Cover_1000

My dream job would be to work as a designer for Ignition or Art Machine, some of the biggest entertainment design agencies here in LA. I want to be part of this world, to create the key art for movies and video games, their Title Treatments, and posters.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

Five years from now I would love to be a creative director of a good design studio or advertising agency.

trabbold

 

UX adventures with student Aneesha Bharadwaj

We’re thrilled to have launched our new User Experience certificate! In honor of this momentous occasion, DCA and UX student Aneesha Bharadwaj shares some thoughts on her UX education here at UCLAx and images of her projects:

Aneesha with her sensing project, Carpe Energia

Aneesha with her sensing project, Carpe Energia

Tell us about how you got interested in UX and why you chose UCLA Extension.

I have always been interested and curious about what makes good design. Questions like who is the user? what does he/ she like? why am I designing this product for them? why will they use my product? what will they be feeling and experiencing when they will use my product? These are important things I keep in mind and hope to answer with each of my designs.

Having my background in product design and design strategy it was really challenging to create design that engages the user and keeps him/her excited. My prior work experience in India was to get user research for consumer electronics. Find out why the existing product is failing and how our new design could help solve the problems. Then come back to the table after gathering data and map out user journeys. Thats what got me excited and more interested about User Experience because in the end if your user likes your product and continues using it without complains it is successful.

I was fascinated when I saw the variety of courses being offered at UCLA Extension. I am passionate about creating challenging design that enhances user interactions.

2For someone who is new to UX, what should they know about getting started?

They should have an inquisitive mind. Keep questioning themselves why a product/ service/ design out in the market is successful or unsuccessful and how it could be further improved.

Start with ‘Why’. I found Simon Sinek’s TED talk on how leaders inspire actions, starting with a golden circle really good as it states why should always start with “why” we design what we design.

Not feel hesitant about getting feedback for their design. Either from friends/ colleagues or through simple user feedback/ testing. As its important to have several testings done before your product/ service gets launched.

Being updated about new technology and design trends. I get excited with new innovations and how I can possibly use it in my designs.

What was your favorite UCLA Extension class and why?mom's hut

I have taken lot classes at Extension from Visual to UX to Interaction design. The instructors have been inspiring and motivating me to push my limits. I found design with electronics most fun. Playing with Arduino circuit boards and designing user interactions is the most intriguing. To a UX designer you want to hear from your user/s that your design is purposeful and solves the problem what they previously had.

At the end of the day, I want to combine my prior and new skills towards designing a product/ service that keeps my user/s participative and excited with my design.

What would be your dream job?

My dream job would be designing solutions that have long term impact. Be it digital agencies and design studios where I can keep learning and growing as a designer and focus my skills to enhance better user interactions. I am fascinated by the projects design studios like A Hundred Years work towards.

Great work, Aneesha!

Enroll in the User Experience certificate today!

Interview with DCA student Alyssa Sugimoto about her Getty Design Studio placement

The Getty Design Studio placement is an incredible opportunity for our DCA students to gain real world experience in one of Los Angeles’ top creative environments. This spring, Alyssa Sugimoto was chosen for this special opportunity. She shares about her experience, including images of projects she created, below:

A FREE calendar template for use in commercial or non-commerciall purposes. The calendar template MAY NOT be sold as a template, it can only be used by designers to create a template.

What projects did you work on during your placement?

My main project I worked on was the Getty’s 2017 Cats & Dogs Calendar. I had lots of fun designing the title and putting everything together, it’s a really cute calendar and I enjoyed working on it. Other projects I did were designing a letterhead for an upcoming show called  The Nude in Europe during the Renaissance, creating new sticker designs for the Education Department, putting together images for signs for an upcoming Remembering Antiquities show, and another fun one I did was design a logo and title for the Getty’s Free Family Fun page.

What did you find rewarding about them?

I found it very rewarding knowing that I helped out and contributed to the Getty’s design studio. This is my first time being in a design setting beyond the classroom so being able to see what it’s like outside the classroom and working with other designers was a great learning experience for me. It’s also exciting to know that your work is going to be seen by the public and I can’t wait to see the Cats & Dogs calendars in the Getty store. I also found it rewarding to be able to sit in on meetings and interact with other people beyond the design department, such as the curators and the museum store, and discuss my work with them.

FFFlogoWhat was it like being in a real design studio after being in the classroom for your DCA training?

It was a little intimidating at first. As mentioned before, this was my first design work experience beyond the classroom but everyone was very supportive and helpful and it helped me become more confident in my work and my own abilities. In the classroom, a lot of times it’s just me and my own work but in the design studio, it was very collaborative; everyone’s working together on various projects. It was neat seeing the different steps it takes to finish a project and be able to hear what is discussed in the meetings. I learned from this experience that there is so much more to design than I originally thought and it’s something I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t do the Getty Design Studio program.

What will you take away from this experience that will serve you in your future design career?LetterHead

This experience showed me that the possibilities with design are endless; there’s so much you can do with it and the experience made me even more excited about going into the design world. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work in and with the people in the Getty’s design studio. I feel more confident in my work and prepared for what lies ahead after I finish the DCA program.

 

Congrats, Alyssa!

It’s Your Show opens tonight!

Please join your fellow classmates and instructors this evening for the opening reception of It’s Your Show!

Friends and family are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

1010 Westwood Center, 4th floor lobby and gallery
6:30-8:30pm, Friday, April 29th (tonight!)

See you there! Any questions, please call 310-206-1422.

It's Your Show 2015 opening

It’s Your Show 2015 opening

Mindi LaRose shares about her Getty Studio placement experience

The Getty Design Studio placement is an incredible opportunity for our DCA students to gain real world experience in one of Los Angeles’ top creative environments. This winter, Mindi LaRose was chosen for this special opportunity. She shares about her experience, including images of projects she created, below:

FINAL 11X17 College Night-1

What projects did you work on during your placement? 

A favorite project I worked on involved posters and social media designs for College Night at the Getty.  I was given free reign to design the poster, which would set the tone for the theme of this year’s campaign. Permission to use actual exhibited art was limited, so I incorporated my own photography. It is exciting to know the posters are up all over campuses in Los Angeles.  Another favorite project involved creating a new logo for a blog piece called “Connecting Cultures”. I worked closely with curators of the Getty Iris blog to create an icon withinin their logo with a nod toward a “cintamani” pattern. This pattern can be found in many pieces of art and textiles throughout history.  Other projects included a 2017 upcoming exhibition tram poster and table card, and the Getty 2017 calendar of 19th Century Masterpieces.

Design by Mindi LaRose

Design by Mindi LaRose

What did you find rewarding about them?

It was very rewarding to work side by side with designers in the beautiful Getty setting, to receive feedback on my work, watch and learn on the bigger projects they were assigned, and to sit in on meetings with curators, designers and donors. I enjoyed the independence and trust they had in me, as well, after being assigned a project. It was very rewarding to see the projects from beginning to completion, and the steps needed.

Getty Calendar Mindi LaRoseWhat was it like being in a real design studio after being in the classroom for your DCA training?

I love real assignments vs. homework: the excitement and urgency of a real problem that needs to be solved. There is so much value in on-the-job training and in learning the ways of each studio. My skills were put to the test and improved upon, my speed finishing projects increased, and just learning processes associated with printers (and having other resources available) was so valuable. I feel more confident that I can acclimate to real world design situations, after working in the Getty Design Studio.

FINAL Version 2 Connecting Cultures LOGOWhat will you take away from this experience that will serve you in your future design career?

The Getty experience reinforced my love for design and collaboration, and every bit of advice, feedback and hands-on experience will be used to help me move forward in my career.  I am grateful for the experience, and thank you to the Getty staff and the UCLAx DCA program for this opportunity.

AIGAx Design Dialogues podcast: Pete Hawkes of Oblong

We’re extremely excited to share our inaugural Design Dialogues podcast! Design dialogues is a new series of interviews with local designers, makers, and artists presented by your UCLA Extension AIGA group.

In this edition, AIGAx president Michelle Quach introduces DCA student Aneesha Bharadwaj, who visited Oblong Industries downtown and interviewed Pete Hawkes, Director of Interaction Design.

Click on the image:

Hawkes

Intro and outro magic by our very own Allison Tan!

Episode image designed by Ayushee Aithal.

Here’s a gallery of photos from Oblong:

DCA Entrepreneurs: Luis Antonio Pichardo

In this installment of our series on DCA students who have combined their design skills with their entrepreneurial spirit, it’s a great pleasure to introduce DCA student Luis Antonio Pichardo, founder of the non-profit organization DSTL Arts.

What is the mission of DSTL Arts?

DSTL Arts is a nonprofit arts mentorship organization that teaches, inspires, and hires creative, at-risk youth, ages 16–21 years old. The name of the organization, DSTL Arts, is a type of acronym for our overall ideology: Develop Skills and Transcend Limits through the Arts.

luis 2What was your inspiration for founding it?

DSTL Arts was founded in 2012 and is the culmination of all my experiences, both professional and personal, coming together after having had a terrible mentorship experience while I was in grad school. Having entered CalArts’ MFA program in creative writing with more than 8 years of experience working in the nonprofit field, I had grown tired of the arts being devalued by organizations that primarily serve low-income communities: communities that are typically communities of color. As a self-identified artist and poet, I felt a need to change the perception of the economic and individual impact the arts have on the most underrepresented of communities.

I started my nonprofit career when I was 18 years old as a tutor for at-risk youth, and as I moved up in the nonprofit world of San Diego County, I came to be the director of a work-readiness program for “at-risk” youth. In my eyes, the 16–21 year olds I worked with were actually “high-potential” youth. Their home and family circumstances didn’t stop them from aspiring to more in their lives. And having grown up in the same way as many of my students, I knew what the challenges were. They faced, much like me, a cultural stigma that surrounds careers in the arts: a stigma that results in dreams of being a working creative mocked as unreachable, unattainable, or just plain ludicrous.

After spending two years in the MFA in Critical Studies (Writing) program at CalArts, I felt even more disenfranchised than I had ever felt. My mentorship experience didn’t provide me with anything; my academic experience taught me nothing in the way of improving my skills as a writer, much less how to enter the publishing or arts world. I felt angry. But that anger became fuel for what eventually came to be a realization that mentorships, when executed properly, can have a profound and lasting impact on an individual’s life.

My disenfranchisement, as a person of color from a low-income family with aspirations of being a working artist, turned into a drive for life-long learning. I took it upon myself to learn how to establish an artistic practice that would be profitable. I took it upon myself to acquire skills that would make me self-sufficient as a creative entrepreneur. I took it upon myself to share that knowledge with the youth and adults I serve today through the programming we offer through DSTL Arts.

Who dluis 3oes it serve?

DSTL Arts serves creative, at-risk youth ages 16–21 years old through our flagship Arts Mentorship Program. To-date, we have served more than 10 youth at any given time, with me being their primary mentor. I founded DSTL Arts with my fiancé, Jennifer Fuentes, who also helps me provide mentorships, recruitment, and other workshops in our community. In total, as of 12/31/15, we have provided a total of nearly 3,000 hours of mentorship with some incredible stories to share about our students.

Our original three students, who started our then-pilot program in February of 2013, have gone on to be leaders and artists in their own right. One such student, Erick, has become a service member in the US Marine Corps, providing leadership and artistic services within his duties as a Marine. Brian, a poet and aspiring journalist, has published multiple volumes of poetry and short stories, both through our Arts Mentorship Program, and through local anthologies, and also become a teaching artist, teaching poetry to high schoolers. Ana, our original photography and visual arts student, has probably had the biggest success so far. With our guidance, Ana has gone on to establish her own freelance fine art wedding photography business and is successfully on her way to making it a sustainable business in the next year. But that is not all. Other students in our Arts Mentorship Program have also had great success, such as Laura, who was first runner-up during the inaugural LA County Youth Poet Laureate competition in 2014, with a sizable public reading record for a 21 year old.

luis 1How have your studies in the DCA program contributed to your work at DSTL Arts?

My experience developing our programs and our image in the community would not be complete without the skills I learned through the Design Communication Arts program at UCLA Extension. From branding, to re-branding, to having the ability to create marketing materials and merchandise for our programs has been all thanks to the skill building I did through the DCA program. The most effective use of my skills as a designer has actually been in the legitimizing of the artwork and concepts our students have as it relates to publication and logo design. As an organization that nurtures and develops business skills in our youth, it is important that I work alongside our students to help them develop a product that they feel proud of. My design skills have helped them sell chapbooks, fine art prints, and more. My skills and feedback have helped them feel confident in their portfolios and business plan development, while also helping them develop a language for working with designers and photographers in their future artistic endeavors. There’s a lot that I gained from being a DCA student at UCLA Extension that I am now able to transfer to our next generation of creatives.

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To learn more about DSTL Arts, our programs, and our students, visit http://DSTLArts.org. There you’ll find our web store, as well, where our Arts Mentorship Program students’ artwork is for sale, with 50% of the sale price going directly to the pockets of our youth, helping us further teach them important business and financial skills.

To learn more about my personal artwork, feel free to visit my personal website at http://smileyfaze.com, where you’ll be able to view and purchase my own fine art, photography, and poetry chapbooks as well. A portion of my personal sales will always benefit DSTL Arts.

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Thank you, Luis!

Meet new DCA instructor Christina Webb

We’re thrilled to welcome Christina Webb to the UCLAx Visual Arts community! Christina brings a wealth of experience from her MFA work at the Rhode Island School of Design and her client work in web design, screen design, photography and custom typography. She has also worked on teams at Local Projects and the J. Paul Getty Museum Design Studio where she focused on exhibitions, way-finding, and identity systems for environments and print.

Christina Webb

Christina Webb

Her own practice explores social constructs and dialog in public spaces, with a focus on language and intervention.

Christina is teaching Typography this winter quarter.

What brought you to this field?

I stumbled into graphics in high school, when my infatuation with music, alternative fashion and drawing took new form on t-shirts, faux album art and small local ads. I was part of an expressive punk D.I.Y. culture, and I’ve always loved being hands on and experimental. I became a hair designer and designed my own ads using single-color xerox printers. Later on a new love for digital tools and fine art would lead me into formal training  in a B.F.A. program in Seattle. I was reluctant to take 4(!) lettering and typography courses, but the right professor brought the expressive, irreverent and hands-on love into it and the rest is history. I have since designed commissioned logotypes, print campaigns, exhibition campaigns, interactive type and environmental type installations. I continued to take advanced typography workshops while working as a designer, and focused on it it much of my recent graduate education.

perifix-IMG_0751-770x578Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.

There are several, but one of my recent projects that I undertook during my graduate studies was particularly fun. I work in multiple disciplines and “Perifix” is an online project that can generate typographic content usable in other formats, such as print. Users can use a touchpad to scroll the content of different frames within the web page, or press the spacebar to instigate chance arrangements like a slot-machine, remixing word segments across frames to build something new and unexpected. By zooming in, it becomes a typographic form experiment. I love the sense of discovery how the framework can work with varying degrees of source content to generate everything from poetic abstractions to juxtaposed meaning—such as remixing marketing terms as social commentary. This project was selected for a Triennial Exhibition at RISD this fall.

IMG_3468-770x513Why is your course, Typography, important for my design education?

Typography is a necessary part of graphic design, but it is also a rich area of creativity and form-making in itself. To understand this, become savvy with the technical aspects of type and find one’s own inventive, expressive way of working with typography adds depth to your work as well as your way of looking at the visual world. It is also critical to a higher standard of design practice to be able to offer well-skilled, bespoke solutions to clients.

Kennedey-IMG_5209-770x770Do you have a sample assignment?

Assignments in this course will be focusing on the fundamentals of typography such as form, composition, history and context in graphic design. Students will also be researching the rich public space of Los Angeles and doing hands-on experiments that will bring out the unexpected potential of working with type. Both digital and hand crafting skills will be explored. Later assignments will focus on form and its relationship to conceptual content by designing a multi-faceted print project that addresses a contemporary issue, so students will get to merge new making skills with social engagement. I am super excited to see how we can work together to develop engaging work!

Welcome, Christina!

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