Thursday, March 15, 2012

Playing Catch Up: Spring Break 2012

Life got hectic this semester. My plans of keeping this up to date got side-tracked by work projects, school assignments, and freelance opportunities. 

However, spring break is almost upon us, and with just one more class left between me and that sweet, sweet freedom, I figured it would be a good time to update this with what I've been up to before jumping into a serious post and shocking you with my presence here again.

In terms of work... my presence within the program has brought about a new age of productivity for this position. The filing cabinet makes sense in its organization, the USB drive has everything sorted into easy to find/manage folders with file-names that make sense and designate what lies within, we can easily pull and organize data into spreadsheets and presentations, it's all very handy and accessible and manageable. 

I finished doing all that last fall/winter. So this new semester brought a brand new project to me: organizing a member status sheet for each academic year. It's been a chore and I'm really hoping to finish them up by summer... but in all likelihood, it will take up most of the summer as well. At least I know that when I leave this position, I will have made a huge impact and completely changed what is needed from their intern. 

In terms of school... I am taking four digital design classes this semester, instead of breaking up the workload with some physical art stuff as usual. The reason for that change is that I am not a great physical artist. Drawing, painting, 3D design, it's not my strong point and more importantly, it takes me forever to do the simplest thing. I also can't take that sorta work home with me easily, whereas I have the digital programs to work with on my desktop at home. I miss it, but I have a lot more freetime and less stress this semester than past ones. 

So... what classes I'm in: Advanced Photoshop is a breeze because it is the program I use most and have the longest experience with. We have done a celebrity morph, a professional looking movie poster, and are working on fine detail masks at the moment. They're pretty easy and I'm not really challenged or learning in there. But I'll get a good grade so that's cool. 

Advanced Illustrator has been the other end of that spectrum and has been killing me. Usually, the class works on one project the whole semester, but the prof decided to do two of them... one before and one after spring break. My first build was of an open 3DS and right up until presentations today I was tweaking and adding/changing things. We had to build it and include it in multiple mockup designs (billboard, collateral pieces, etc). I got it done but it involved a lot of extra lab time and some pulling out of my hair... but it turned out well.

Print Media 2 has had us building a magazine from scratch. First we did the back cover ad, then the cover itself, and lately we've been working on grids and the content we're doing for a feature story. Mine kicked some serious ass and so I had it printed fancy on 11x17 paper so that I could just fold everything up and glue it together to work like a real magazine. It turned out awesome and hopefully you'll see it spill into a side-project I'm working up to reveal soon. It's all exciting.

And my last class is called Web & Multimedia and the focus has been on building sites and brands. I have a lot of web experience so it hasn't been that hard from me, but we do have to use Fireworks and Dreamweaver (and are playing with Muse a bit), and I don't usually mess with those and choose to write the code myself. So there have been some challenges in making the programs work how I want... but things are going well and a few of the designs I've done will pop up on my vanity and script-Dance site this spring/summer.

In terms of freelancing... I haven't done much that I can show (especially in terms of what I am doing for clients), but the site I'm helping to launch is up and we are starting to get writers in line for it. It's called GamesObscura and we'd be glad to have you stop by and give us feedback on the design, focus, etc. It has presented me with some new challenges I don't usually have to mess with because I don't build huge sites with social elements regularly.  So optimizing load times and whatnot has been cool to learn and implement. 

...and that's about it, really. 

Whenever I've gotten freetime I try to game with friends on Steam. I have been rocking my GameFly sub and trying to get through some of my never-ending backlog. I got a PS Vita recently and even though the only game I have for it is Touch My Katamari, it is easily the most used/loved system in my apartment. 

So, now that we're all caught up, it's time to work on a real blog for once. See you soon, internet. Very soon.

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