Archive for September, 2011

Fantastic article about design school! Although I have to agree with the comments, too, about point #4. Often times, the best professors are the ones who’ve been teaching for years. Being a good designer and being a good teacher are two different skill sets, and being one doesn’t necessitate that you are the other.

But that article still SPEAKS TO MY LIFE, and addresses many of the problems I see with the students around me. Some try too hard to do exactly what the profesor says; to please them, and so they’re not happy with their work in the end (YOU’re the designer, after-all, and you won’t always have a professor, so best start learning how to think now). Others barely listen to teachers at all, and come into design school with what they think are solid styles or ways of thinking, and can’t stop being proud for long enough to learn anything. Both paths seem to me to be limiting ways of schooling yourself.

On this note, I am super pumped about the new faculty in the uiuc GD dept. We have three new professors, and they all bring amazing things to the curriculum. Two of them are both great designers (one worked for Pentagram!), plus have been teaching for a while, so they know how to teach (one is just about to finish his Doctorate in design! rare butterfly). The third is fresh out of school, knows web design and interactivity, and also gives great feedback. Booyah 🙂

[Here follows a rabbit-trail about Type I class]

I hope the upcoming students appreciate what they have!! Can you imagine having KT for type I?? I mean, Jimmy was really good for me; he got me thinking in new ways, and just CREATING, and after that stress case of a year any class seems easy… but still. I’d love to learn about kerning and grids before I start trying to design things with type…

Although, I suppose grids and kerning and how to use InDesign are all sort of, technical things, that are in some ways easily learned. Jimmy wanted to push us in the art of DESIGNING, of image-making and free thinking. That was a good place to start. I’m just glad that we’re getting all the rest of the stuff that designers are supposed to know, now. 🙂


recently gathered goals

If I am still in Chambana next year, I’m going to:

– work at Living Letter Press
– be swing workshop chair again, and bring in Karen+Andrew, and either go for crazy and bring in Skye and Naomi, or also go for crazy and bring in David Rehm and Kate for a balboa workshop.
– See if Alisha wants to tutor me in Russian!
–  Intern at Spinlight?

But I’m also getting sort of interested in maybe looking at St. Louis… and of course, Chicago is always there, luring designers and artists to it’s bright lights and opportunities.

More plans to follow!


Oh Tenspeed Hero, you are speaking right to my very soul! Or at least, my circumstances.

This week, as I’ve been getting into the swing of school, I’ve finally gotten my new-to-me bike up and running, and have been experiencing the freedom and responsibility of having two wheels on campus. I’m new to riding a bike in an urban setting, and I don’t know all the rules… and I felt silly wearing my helmet. “Do people actually wear this?” I thought. “Am I the only loser wearing a helmet?”

bike paths on campus. photo found on flickr from user benchilada. thanks man!

When I was a kid and we were careening all over the neighborhood on our bikes, no one wore a helmet. We didn’t need to, we didn’t care, and the worst anyone ever got was scraped up knees (we got a lot of those.) But when there are cars involved, and rough ground, and pedestrians darting all around and walking on your bike-path (grumblegrumble); well, a helmet just makes more sense.

So I wear it, and hazard looking lame, because if I crash, I will be the one laughing then! (Well, I won’t be laughing; I might be crying, from the pain. But I will be glad that I was wearing the helmet, instead of looking cool*.)

Somehow though, the other day this knowledge just wasn’t enough to get over how lame I felt. So I told myself: “Andy wears a helmet.”** And then it wasn’t so bad.

*My helmet is pink though, and I wonder if it’s really the safest option….