Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Welcome Class of 2015

Welcome and Congratulations Michael, Annakate, George, Andrea, Mirely, Andrew, Dakota, Courtnie, Arnel, Andy, Danteng, Tyler, Mariana, Nicholas, Michelle, Michael, Rebecca, Matthew, VyVy

Congrats and Welcome to each of you on being selected into the class of 2015 graduating Graphic Design Majors at Georgia State University. 

You should be proud of your accomplishments thus far and now the real work begins...but it should be fun work. If it's not then you're probably in the wrong major. I encourage each of you to try to live the life of a designer and artist. It should not be something your turn on and off, nor is it something you leave at school at the end of each academic day....it should integrate itself into your entire life.
That's when design and art becomes great instead of good.

Remember that the work you will be doing this first year as a major just might be the work that lands you that desired summer internship and even your very first job ... so make it creative and competitive.Everything you create, everything you say, everything you write, every moment you are in class and every moment in this program is a reflection of you and your passion to be the best. Don't follow the group. Cut your own path. Being unique is embraced in my classes. Speak from your design voice and don't apologize for anything when it comes to how you feel about art or design. The passage of time creating design will be the litmus test about whether or not your ideas now will withstand the test of time.
Change will happen so embrace it.
Change is change and nothing more. Expect it. Encourage it.

Whenever I'm asked "what do you think great design is" my answer is always this:

Great design is fresh design. 
Designing something that looks and feels fresh to you. If you think its something you've seen before then stay away from it..or at least sample it and make it into something that 
captures your own artistic voice and spirit.

Finding your artistic voice should be your goal.
That's what everyone will be wanting once you graduate. 
They won't hire you because you design like someone else. They will hire you because you are unique and speaking from your own creative voice.  
Search for it. Find it. Embrace it and use it wisely.

Experimenting with design and pushing new boundaries and discovering new ways to do things should be your goal as well.
You need to embrace the "old school" of how others designed in the past while incorporating contemporary thinking and processes of designing. You can't possibly know where you're going if you don't have a sense of history of where your discipline has been.

The designers who came before you blazed the way for you to be here. Each decade, each year designers seek out new ways to use technology and pay homage to past ways of creating design work. Agism does not exist in art and design. What's old is always new again. The sooner you figure that out the easier it will be for you to use anything from the past to bring into your current work. Recycle ideas with a fresh take from your own voice.

It is never too soon to start thinking about where you might want to intern in the spring and summer of next year....so go ahead and start your search.  Remember that everyone has a totally different academic experience from other classes and other students, so listen to your own creative voice and try to investigate what characteristics about your own design style and design voice that will make you different and unique.

You will have various instructors throughout your time in the program. Each were hired because of their own talents and views about design. The Instructors are very different from one another but with one common denominator that is respect and passion for what they are doing. Don't expect our views about your work to be the same.  Don't expect how we feel about design to be the same. Uniqueness is a strong attribute in the Instructors attitude towards design and art and your own work. One Instructor might critisize your work while another might praise your work. You are the one who has to gather that feedback and make your own decisions.

So much about being and becoming a great designer is not what you do in the classroom.
Life-lessons along your journey inside and outside the classroom is what is important most.
Finding your own voice and feeling secure in that voice is the key to becoming a great designer (and a great person.) It doesn't happen overnight. It's a process, just like designing. Find yourself and you will find great design. 

I will never compare you to another designer in class. I might compare work you do with others from time to time but I will never compare your own sense of artistic self with another designer. 

I will refer to you as designers and not students because it builds the sound into your own sense of self and thereby you accept and acknowledge your role more quickly.

I will be your greatest advocate and your greatest critic. 
The relationship you build with your professors now will follow you throughout the next few years. This is important. Try to be honest, open and listen as much as you speak.
There is strength is all aspects of listening and speaking.

You earn your respect (for yourself and from others) every day. It never stops.
You are certainly building a "brand" for yourself as you move through each class.

Learn to "lead, follow or get out of the way." 
Be respectful of others ideas. Each of you have the chance to mentor one another as well.
Your entire class needs to embrace and support one another. You should also build
a great and fearless working relationship with one another during your next two years.
Remember that "you are only as strong as your weakest link." 

Great design classes stick together and support one another. 

Good luck this semester.
I'm very happy to have been a part of the graphic design committee who choose you as the next great generation of graphic design majors.

The Design Committee did not make any mistakes t regarding who we chose this year.
I know some of your friends probably did not make it into the major this year. I hope you will encourage them to apply once again. There is no shame in applying again.  In fact, quiet the opposite. It shows great determination and perserverance.

The selection process was taken very seriously and the entire process always proves to be very interesting and we can discuss it in detail if you wish.  We agreed, we argued, we compromised, we bartered, but we came to a solid decision on each of you. 
No mistakes.

It doesn't matter if you were the first person chosen during the selection or the last person chosen. You are all starting at the same place now so make it count. The playing field is even and everyone has the same opportunity for success or failure. It's you own path from here on out so make wise choices. 

I'm here always if you need me.
You can reach out to me during the week or weekends.

My responsibility is to make sure when you leave that you are armed with everything you need to get a great job as a designer. I also want to make sure that you understand the responsibility you also carry as graduates of our design program. 
You are ambassadors to our program, the department and the University.
This starts now.
Here are the newest member of the Graphic Design Class of 2015! Congratulations Again!
1. Andrea Book
2. Nicholas Harrison
3. Danteng Li
4. Vyvy Vu
5. Mariana Moreno Montero
6. Rebecca McLean
7. AnnaKate Auten
8. Tyler Merritt
9. Arnel Hasanovic
10. Michael Adams
11. Andy Hu
12. Courtnie Fore
13. Michelle Parkos
14. Mirely Cabral
15. George F. Baker III
16. Dakota Dahl
17. Matthew Simmonds
18. Rebecca Price
19. Michael Pearce
20. Andrew Chen

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