Dec 17, 2012
Like a Bat out of Meatloaf
The Semester from Hell is over. I can't remember the last time I was so relieved. (Probably the semester before). While it was a heck of a lot of work and insanity and spousal/parental neglect, I'm grateful for it, for several reasons. I did learn a whole lot, believe it or not. But mostly, I'm grateful for it because I realized if I can get through that semester with work, school and family, I can do practically anything!
For your sake but mostly mine I'd like to break down my classes, and then talk about next semester and a few other things.
First the worst: Graphic Design 2. I used to really like the teacher, now not as much. It went from unclear assignments to indecipherable. I'm happy with what I did on my final project for that class only. And, as several others of my classmates can testify re: their own projects, it's because I didn't listen to the teacher's suggestions. The assignment was to rebrand and repackage an existing brand. I chose to redo the logo and bottles for Masquerade Wines. I'd just as soon forget the assignment, but I'm happy with the end result, despite borrowing heavily from existing wine bottle designs. (My second-to-last presentation of the assignment is above, and imho looks nothing like canned corn or $5 wine. $6 at least.)
Second the best: Senior Seminar. The class got boring at times, it's true. But a lot of the lectures had to do with accounting and the business aspect of being a designer, which I find boring. What I did like was how much of the class was practical, I had to/got to brand myself, (that is, create business cards, letterhead I'll never use, envelopes I'll also never use, and a logo for me) I redesigned my resume into something I'm actually happy with, and created a portfolio website I'm not embarrassed about, or as embarrassed about as my last one. (You can see it here at austindm.wix.com/portfolio). The teacher was a lot of fun, really helpful and intelligent. Best of all, he was willing to compromise with students and let us know exactly what he wanted for us to do, a surprisingly rare skill in the UVU design dept. it sometimes seems.
Now the rest: That would be Art History: Renaissance, Intro to Museum Study, and Advanced Layout.
Art History was good. For the main research project I wrote a paper on Jacopo Pontormo, an Artist often classified as a Mannerist and I wanted to argue the case that he belonged to the Renaissance. After about page 2 (of 7) I realized that he actually WAS more Mannerist than Renaissance, so I had to B.S. my way through the rest. The teacher took pity on me and gave me a B-. I liked the teacher but I've had much better Art History teachers in the past. Nothing against this one, it's just comparing a Wendy's Hamburger to Red Robin. It's good, but it's not awesome good.
Intro to Museum Studies was a mixed bag. On one hand, I learned a whole lot about museums, their function and how they operate I never would have. On the other had, I think a lot of what I did wasn't so much meant to teach me and my classmates as it was to get free labor at the museum. Still, I'm mostly glad I took it but also glad it's over.
Finally, Advanced Layout. This went from my favorite class to biggest disappointment of the semester. I felt the teacher was eager to leave, but then, so was most of the class, before class was over. I stayed several times for one on one help with my magazine but the teacher never got to me. That's not anything against the teacher per se, except maybe their time management. In the end I just kind of threw it together and I think it really shows. The only 2 parts I'm completely happy with are the cover and the infographic. Perhaps not surprisingly, the 2 parts I spent the most time on. Like the rest of the semester, the best I can say about it is it's done.
My two favorite parts of this semester (besides the fact that it's my last fall semester EVER) were 1) Touchstones and 2) 30 covers in 30 days. Things that were not class related. I'm so glad I was able to do both of those, and wish I had done extracurricular things like it sooner, tho it's probably better that I haven't as I haven't felt like a "real" graphic designer until the end of last semester.
Touchstones was a beast but awesome experience and I got to work with some really talented people, specifically the inimitable Heather Duncan as Editor in Chief. My one regret is I wish they'd listened to me and got it printed at McNeil printing, but c'est la vie. It's still a great product and I'm proud to have been a part of it.
30 covers in 30 days was my favorite design project of the year. I'm already looking forward to doing it next year, assuming I can find another 30 NaNoWriMos who want a free book cover. ;) I'll also be designing one for the actual website, tho free, it should give me some good exposure, so I'm looking forward to that.
Now on to the new semester! Post #2 coming up now!
Update: in case anyone's curious, I got my grades today. They were all better than expected, so I'm posting them now for posterity:
Graphic Design II: B-
Art History Renaissance: B+
Senior Seminar: A-
Advanced Layout: A-
Intro to Museum Study: A
Not bad, especially when you factor in that I had a job, a family, and chose to layout a 130 page literary journal and design 30 book covers in November.