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Student Work Spotlight: Design Fundamentals with Vesna Petrovic

Check out these inspiring projects from instructor Vesna Petrovic’s Design Fundamentals course.

Design Fundamentals is our introductory course. It covers the foundations of the elements of strong visual communication, explored via a series of hands-on projects. Many–if not most–of the students in this course have had no previous art or design experience. Look what they’ve achieved in just 11 weeks:

Excellent work!

Enroll in Design Fundamentals today.

UCLAxOpen free course: Design a Brilliant Career and Find Your Professional Purpose

On Wednesday, December 9th from 12-1:30pm the Visual Arts presents: Design a Brilliant Career and Find Your Professional Purpose.

In this free short course, design education leaders Scott Hutchinson and Dave Moon will teach you how to take your design career goals from lackluster to brilliant.

This opportunity is part of UCLAxOpen, your gateway to no-cost personal enrichment and professional development courses and seminars offered via UCLA Extension.

Dave Moon

Dave Moon is currently serving as an art and design professor at California State University, Northridge. He is the Communication Design area head and faculty/business advisor for IntersectLA. Prior to his current appointments, he served as chair of the Art Department and Interim Dean of CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. Dave founded or co-founded a number of student-based creative enterprises, including the Center for Visual Communication (VISCOM), DesignHub, META+Lab, RADIUS, and most recently, IntersectLA, a design, marketing, and strategy agency. He has always been focused on student learning and creating innovative spaces that encourage collaborative learning via a “learn-by-doing” model, and Dave developed a handbook to assist other educational institutions in replicating the model to further connect education with industry. Additionally, he has authored two textbooks: Design Strategy for Effective Branding and Power-Up YOU: A Personal Branding Handbook for Artists, Creatives, and Designers. Both books were developed to serve students seeking jobs upon graduation. Dave has 30 years of experience in higher education and helping students find jobs, and he continues to make student success his highest priority.

Scott Hutchinson

Scott Hutchinson is the Program Director of the Visual Arts at UCLA Extension. Currently he is organizing TEDxUCLA.

More about Scott: I work for the design, studio, photography and art history programs at UCLA Extension, in addition to consulting and teaching in the area of commercial design. My training is as a designer, with a BA and MFA from UCLA’s Design Media Arts program, and I specialize in identity work for a variety of non-profits, mainly in branding, identity systems, social media and web development. Board activity includes National AIGA Design Educators Committee, AIGA Los Angeles Education advisor, United Designs, UCLA Volunteer Center, and sustainability committees on campus, UCLA Extension, and the Green Observers Foundation. Speaker at a variety of conferences on design, visual literacy, semiotics, and social media.

Enroll in Design a Brilliant Career and Find Your Professional Purpose today!

Free event with David Dodds – Color Changes Everything: Racial Diversity in Animation

Join DCA motion graphics instructor, artist, and author David Dodds on Thursday October 29th from 7 – 8:30pm for “a Zoom panel discussion featuring multi-talented animators, writers, & artists.” Click here to learn more and sign up for free.

From the event web page:

Animation has not been traditionally an inclusive or representative medium for people of color, and its creative work force has not been diverse. When people of color have appeared in animation, they have often been portrayed with demeaning characterizations and with negative stereotypes. This is changing, and you will meet at this event some of the people helping to lead this change, creating animation content that is more representative of all of us, and working to build a diverse workforce in animation.

“This event will be of interest to parents, who are interested in what their children watch and want their children to grow up in an inclusive and anti-racist society, to those working in the industry who are looking for ways to make animation more reflective of our culture and society and to reach new audiences, and to so many young people of color whose creative talents were nurtured by their experience of animation and who are looking for a way to pursue careers in this remarkably creative and vibrant medium.”

Join David and the rest of this distinguished panel on Thursday October 29th from 7 – 8:30pm. Sign up today!

Interview with DCA graduate Novia Elvina

Congrats to recent DCA graduate Novia Elvina, who’s next step is the Master’s program in Human Experience Design Interactions at Cal State Long Beach.

Check out her design portfolio here and her UX portfolio here.

Tell us how you got interested in design and what brought you to the DCA program.

I always had a passion for art when I was a little girl. My interest started from gaming, drawing, and creating my own book illustration/comic books when I was 8 years old. To be honest, I never pursued art as my passion because where I came from, those fields are not really encouraged by family or even the community.

Then, I flew to the US to start college. I realized in this land of opportunity, I could achieve my dreams and passion to do what I love as my professional career. Thus, I pursued Animation/Entertainment Art for my Bachelor degree at CSUF. After graduating, I worked with several companies as a Graphic Designer and a Graphic Artist. I really enjoyed my job, and I got to draw for 8 hours or more every single day. However, I realized that I’m nothing more than an asset of a big wall-art company, and a role like mine, is easy to be replaceable, as they weren’t supportive enough to sponsor my working visa in the US.

Long story short, I realized I needed some sort of certification at least before going back to my home country, since Animation is not really a successful career over there. That’s when I decided to go to UCLA Extension for DCA Certification because I never really had proper graphic design courses during my Undergrad years.

What were your favorite courses and why?

There were quite a lot of favorite courses at UCLA Extension. To be honest, I grasped more skills here than during my Undergrad years, but again, I’m not trying to compare or regret every choice I made because that’s what made me who I am today. I really enjoyed Entertainment Design with Jeff Aguila because not only did he show us demo and new skills that we should know for entertainment industry, but he also pushed us as students to think more or think outside the box. What I’m aiming is not to be the most skillful person in Photoshop/Illustrator/other softwares, but what I want to learn from him is how he thinks and sees a problem to solve it in a professional and creative manner.

I also gained new skills from motion graphic classes that were taught by David Dodds. His passion for motion graphics and character animation really inspires students. Not to mention After Effects is one of the most challenging animation software to learn, but he’s really full of patience (and passion) covering the materials over and over again.

Then, I also took UX I course with Chris Cirak, and even though I never met him in person, I remembered how helpful he is as an UX Instructor. It was my first time taking a UX course and I didn’t even know what UX meant back then, and look where I am now! I’m pursuing a Master’s in Human Experience Design Interaction which is similar to UX. Then I met Thomas Dillman, another UX Instructor whom I adore so much because of his experience and how he shares his knowledge in the UX industry. Again, my aim is not to learn the powerful UX tools in the career because softwares are always changing, and I believe as long as we have the right mind to learn and grasp on something, we shouldn’t be worried of anything.

How did you decide to go from UCLA Extension to graduate school?

I decided to go to Graduate school for UX because I like to learn what’s beyond UX. I mean, I learned UX from UCLA Extension, and that will always be my starting point when I share my stories to everyone. Then, understanding concepts around Human Relationship with Technology and Arts, it just gives me chills and passion to explore more, and to apply all the skill that I have learned as a designer.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

I hope in 5 years, I’ll be working in an Entertainment company where my works will have a huge impact for the company, the audience, and the community. Then I’d also be willing to hustle when I still can, I don’t mind taking some freelance jobs as a Graphic Artist: creating movie posters/flyers, etc. because that’s what started my passion as an artist as well.

Congratulations, Novia! Wishing you every success!

DCA Instructor Shirin Raban’s film to be screened, followed by director Q & A

I am very proud to announce the Sinai Temple Men’s Club will be presenting my film, “Between the Shells”, followed by a director Q&A next Tuesday September 22 at 6:30 pm (PST). The film was recently selected as Official Selection by Film Girl, Lift Off and YoFiFest Film Festivals.   For registration and info please see link and flyer below. 

“Between the Shells” tells us through art and interview the story of the Jewish People, from Biblical times to the present as seen through the eyes and unique artwork of Moosa Haim (Jalil) Harooni. Harooni is a brave and talented Persian Jew who lived through Iran’s Islamic Revolution, migrating to the United States after the Iran Iraq War.

This is a free event and open to all. 

To participate, you must register online: https://lnkd.in/gDH589k

See you there!

Shirin Raban

DCA student Laura Ángel has project published in Packaging Of The World!

530 Beer package design by Laura Ángel.
“Life and beer are very similar. Chill for best results.”

DCA student Laura Ángel’s beer packaging project, created in instructor John Beach’s Design II: Collateral Communication course, has been published on the influential blog Packaging of the World.

We’re thrilled for Laura that, not only did she take the leap and submit her work (which we strongly encourage students to do) but also her project was chosen for publication!

Laura says, “I’ve never submitted work before to be published because it is always hard to share your personal work for the first time. But this certainly gives me motivation to keep going.” 

Mega congrats Laura!

COURSE SPOTLIGHT: Designing Experiences: Exhibit, Retail, Event, and Environmental Graphic Design

We’re thrilled to welcome instructor Robert Checchi to teach this popular elective, inspired by our program’s long partnership with the Getty Design Center. This exciting course will travel the world, with projects inspired by the masterworks of experience design. Several guest speakers will bring a unique real-world element to the class as well. Robert tells us more:

Why is this course, Designing Experiences: Exhibit, Retail, Event, and Environmental Graphic Design, important for my design education?

Tim Hawkinson’s Uberorgan at the Getty Center

Through real-world examples and hands-on assignments students will learn to identify and resolve design challenges in order to create successful interactive experiences for cultural and commercial applications. The course will also address the changing visitor experience as public spaces transition from pre-Covid-19 to a post-Covid-19 world. At its core experience design is interdisciplinary incorporating a variety of diverse design skill sets that include graphic design, spatial design, industrial design and digital design. Students will learn how each of these design fields are employed to create cohesive experiences that account for both the physical and emotional demands of the visitor/customer.

Do you have a sample assignment we’ll be working on?

Life of Art at the Getty Center

Throughout the course students will design a complete Covid-19 Traveling Exhibition (specific subject to be determined by the individual student groups) incorporating graphics, floorplan, display furniture and a digital experience. Each week smaller hands-on design projects will be assigned building towards a final end of term portfolio-ready presentation.

What will I take away from this course?

By the end of the course students will be able explain the role environmental graphics play in setting context. Students will be able to compare models of spatial design and recognize the impact of customer/visitor flow on the experience narrative. Creative technology is an increasingly important aspect of experiential design. The course will examine the roles of digital immersive experiences and emerging technology in designing experiences and describe the benefits and dilemmas of each technology. Finally, and most importantly, students will understand how people interact with designed environments and be able to apply that knowledge to create successful exhibitions, retail spaces and digital installations.

Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas at the Getty Center

Enroll in Designing Experiences: Exhibit, Retail, Event, and Environmental Graphic Design today!

All photos by Robert Checchi.

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