I’m really excited to share my moodboard for an upcoming project! I was so inspired by my niece who LOVES to paint and knew that watercolor would be an important element in my next branding project. I’m also really excited for these bright pops of color, I can’t help but be drawn to this energetic color pallet.
Here it is folks! – I can’t wait to reveal more, and of coarse, uncover the finished product!
Moodboard image sources: Limes | Pink Room | Watercolor Alphabet | Love never gives up | Floral Bouquet | Ampersand | Watermelon Notebook
Our professors were always challenging us to see the big picture and concepts of our projects, asking why for each decision we made. So now I direct my question toward those planning to eliminate the COFAC at UWSP, “but why!?”
Due to recent budget cuts, the most influential place of my career could be in danger. I was moved to write my own testimonial/letter, and thought, “Why not make this a PDA toward my love and appreciation of my 4.5 years of college in the Fine Arts program?”
Before I begin, here are more details about what UW-Stevens Point (UWSP) and the Colleges of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) are facing, as told by Adam Hintz:
“Most of you may have probably heard about the proposed budget cuts to the UW system, which as it stands, will be eliminating almost 25% of UWSP’s total budget. Being the hardest hit, this proposal has already crippled student research grants, faculty and student travel, organizational funding, and the list goes on. The effect it has had on this year, however, is not even the most concerning issue.
This past week the University announced a plan, in concession to the budget cuts, to fold the College of Fine Arts and Communication (your Alma-mater) into the Colleges of Letters and Science and Professional Studies. This would eliminate faculty, enrollment, reputation, and greatly degrade our Fine Arts program, which is currently ranked #2 in the UW system (bested only by Madison).”
The news brought on a storm of students and alumni who are outraged by the situation and striving to speak out against this proposal in any way possible. Adam is collecting words from anyone who has benefited personally from their time at UWSP in the Fine Arts and Communication program. He’s gathering our thoughts and making sure they fall into the hands of the people who need to hear what we have to say. To quote Adam again, “The issue does stem from the budget cut legislation, however, in the interest of continued success and cultivation of creatives like ourselves, this is a plea for the administration of UWSP to understand the importance of this program and to reconsider their proposal. This is not a political argument, but an outcry for the protection of a fundamentally and undeniably enriching COFAC.”
I often get the question, “what made you want to go to UWSP?” While for some people this is a difficult thing to answer, but for me, I just knew. I distinctly remember the moment during my UWSP tour when I walked through the Noel Fine Arts Center and entered “the Fishbowl”. The advisors began talking about the incredible COFAC program and the graphic design courses at UWSP. It was at that moment I knew this is where I wanted to pursue my college education. Since that day, I have never doubted my decision. (Okay… maybe I did when Jillian Noble assigned us hundreds of thumbnail sketches, or when Jeff Morin required us to build EVERY element of package design by hand, just to note a couple… Those were brutal days, BUT looking back it was incredibly imperative to our education and wouldn’t change a thing.)
The COFAC gave me more lessons than I can even put into words. It taught me the importance of using our creativity to drive all things. Our professors knew how to push us and answer our questions with questions in return.
More importantly, my time spent with my professors and in the design program taught me to have dreams and gave me the motivation to pursue them. Starting my own business hasn’t been easy at times, but I love what I do. In college I remember talking to my professors saying I’d love to have my own business, and they’d reply, “Then do it.” They made it seem so simple – as if following your dreams was the only option, and there was no other way. It truly was their encouragement that led me to begin Sprout Studio.
It is heartbreaking to hear that future students could be missing out on this incredible COFAC program because of budget cuts. I pray that our words speak to them and they change their plans. I have had the honor of speaking at 2 of our design conference at UWSP. I was first asked to be a guest alumni speaker at Real. World. Design. in 2013, and was thrilled to be brought back in 2015 for the NOWHERE Design Conference. Both of which I had a chance to sit down with current students and review their portfolios, and let me tell you… There is OUTSTANDING work coming out of our program. Stevens Point is ranked #2 in the top art schools in Wisconsin, and as a graphic designer, I take up only a fraction of that group. This post doesn’t even tap into our incredible fine arts, drama, dance, and music programs.
I could babble on for hours about how my time at UWSP has influenced me. The things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met are irreplaceable. To this day, many (and by many I mean almost all) of my best friends came from my countless days, hours, and projects, in the NFAC.
Sam Feld had a great idea to begin archiving via Instagram what students have learned during their time spent in the NFAC. I must say it’s very wonderful to think back to all these “lessons” and remember just how important every. little. thing. we learned shaped us as designers.
While I may not be the best persuasive writer or debater, I hope this post hits home for some people and has the power to change the minds of others!
If you are also a proud Pointer and you have the chance, contact Adam Hintze via email at [email protected] He will be compiling everyone’s comments and directing them to the administration. He also said you’re welcome to call the chancellor’s office 715-346-2123 with your concerns. Please check out the COFAC online for more information on the programs.
Also — Click here for this awesome video from the class of 2011!
It’s so fun to have the opportunity to speak at our alma mater. We’re so proud to be a Pointer… and even more proud to come from this outstanding program!
I’m so excited to introduce our next guest blogger! I went to school with Tessa at UWSP, she graduated a couple years behind me. Since then, I’ve always been drawn (no pun intended, hehe) to Tessa’s weekly posts and inspired by her #typetuesday tradition. I also share the same type passion so I hope you love her guest post as much as I do.
I’m Tessa Michelle, a graphic designer based in Madison, Wisconsin. My passion is in branding and typography. Last year I graduated from college and as a new professional, I had little equipment for design. This was a great chance to close the broken-screen laptop and get back to the basics. I’ve always had an appreciation for hand-drawn typography and even dabbled in it during college. It wasn’t until last summer that my passion for it grew immensely.
I believe it’s important to get your work out there so I decided to utilize Twitter and Instagram to do so. My weekly tradition is called #typetuesday. I take photos of my type creations and post them online. It’s a great way to share my passion for lettering and type design. I also frequently search #typetuesday because there are so many talented artists who are doing the same thing.
Of course I have off weeks and have nothing to share. If that happens, I post type that I find like a beautiful neon sign. Another challenge is bringing those drawings into the digital world. I’m now learning how to translate my drawings into vector art without losing the hand-drawn touch. It’s tricky, but not impossible.
I know this is the start of something beautiful, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. -Tessa Michelle
Cassie Dee Johnson is a Graphic Designer who spends most of her days coordinating lovely printed goodness at a printing + packaging company in Northeastern Wisconsin. In her spare time, she can be found perusing wine shelves for the perfect hand drawn label or perfecting the art of nerdy-dancing.
1. amerrymishap // product images: pale blue, white + copper necklace
shop description: I’ve been following this Etsy shop for quite some time, and it’s really hard to stop myself from buying everything! The use of golds, blues and beiges are simply intoxicating and design is simple and raw. I especially love this pale blue, white and copper necklace. So lovely!
2. leahduncan // product images: sprouting print (in honor of ‘Sprout’), meadow tea towel or succulent poster.
shop description: Leah Duncan’s work is simply wonderful. Her folky, charming, and whimsical-yet-modern aesthetic shines brightly on any medium. Whether it be jewelry, tea towels, pillowcases, or print design – her work is sure to bring a little smile to your face. This succulent poster would be the perfect addition to my living room!
3. juliakostreva // product images: pink colorblock iPhone case or triangles in nude iPhone case
shop description: Looking for a gorgeous new phone case? Absolutely be sure to check out Julia Kostreva’s Etsy shop. Her work is very elegant with a touch of bold flavor. The color palettes are flawless, and the geometric aspect of her designs bring a little edge to her aesthetic. I’m really drawn to the triangles in nude iPhone case, my phone is in desperate need of some updated style!
4. shoprarebird // product images: brass minamalist chevron earrings
shop description: If you’re looking for beautiful, minimalist, down-to-earth jewelry, then shoprarebird is absolutely for you! Their jewelry is lovingly crafted and would enhance anyone’s collection. Personally, i’m eyeing up these brass chevron earrings. They’re a little slice of geometric happiness
Taking us back to sunsets, dresses, and green grass… The weather was gorgeous and a perfect time to shoot photographs for a sprouting new business.
Through the development of Sprout, I knew I wanted to get some great professional photos to use for my site and various promotions. It didn’t take long to decide who I wanted to work with – miss Kyah Jo was at the top of my list. I met Kyah in college and had the opportunity to work together for some UWSP Basement Brewhaus promotions. She’s such a fun person who recently started a business of her own as a photographer. I saw her photography work and thought it would be so great to get back together with her and have a little fun! What could be better than working with another startup business?
I was so nervous preparing, I’m not one of those people who enjoy the spotlight or being the center of attention. Not to mention the last time I had photos taken like this was probably years ago for my high school senior photos. I anxiously awaited the day and frantically tried deciding what I could wear. For those who know me… I love clothes… and I’m also extremely indecisive, not the best combo (:
So the day had come, Kyah and I met for a little coffee and caught up, then continued around town to some cool spots to take photos. It was awesome that Kyah already had some in mind, because I wasn’t from the area. She did a GREAT job picking locations (and even helped narrow down my wardrobe options — she rocks!)
We had a blast on our photoshoot!! It was way more fun than I had anticipated! We were enjoying ourselves — laughing, smiling, and photographing. She was wonderful at “setting up” and capturing the perfect photo as you can see. I’m so happy with the results! We are hoping to get together again and shoot some more photos to share!
I encourage you to check out all her work! She shoots engagement photos, weddings, portraits & more, and does a wonderful job at all of it!
Photo credit to Photography by Kyah Jo
This past weekend I had a great opportunity to be a featured designer at the Real World Design Conference at my alma mater, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. It’s an annual event put on by the dedicated and wonderful AIGA – UWSP chapter. It was so much fun and they wore us out! I was honored to be one of the five featured designers, along with Courtney Lancour, Tom Wilz, Michael Johnson, and Amanda Chavez.
As part of the conference, we got to review student portfolios (so much fun!) and give a presentation on what we’ve been up to post grade.
Portfolio Reviews: The portfolio reviews went great! There is some awesome talent coming out of UWSP this year and I look forward to seeing the student’s develop in the upcoming months, and for the younger students, years. I hope I was a great mentor for all the students and I hope to continue to be a resource for them! Being a portfolio reviewers was such an enlightening experience, I felt it was important to share their projects’ strengths as well as constructive things to think about. The time went by so fast with each student, and many of them had such great work we could talk all day. Great job to all the students I got to talk with (Lanea Zagrzebski, Adam Hintze, Emily Sikora, Alex Weinfurter, Dana Vanden Boogart, Sarah Rieder + the rest of the AIGA board)! They showed some great conceptual work in packaging, brochures, digital media, and even some brave sophomores with letterform projects. Please stay in touch and feel free to contact me with any questions at all! (:
The Presentations: It was so much fun getting to listen to the other Alumni speak. All of us shared our own perspective and life experiences since graduation, as well as tips for students and a creative body of work. I hope the students learned a lot, I know I did! I haven’t been out of school that long, but how do you crunch so much into 20 minutes?! Well, I failed at that, haha. I guess I had a lot to say, and that’s even after trimming my slides down. There was so much I wanted to cover and advice to give the students… And I forgot/ran out of time to mention half of them. I know that all the students are in great places to enter the design world, whether they believe it or not. The most important thing is knowing who you are and believing in yourself. Everything falls into place as it should and best wishes for the fun journey ahead!
PHOTO CREDIT: UWSP AIGA Board
You may spot us around working hard on current design and/or web projects, and maybe writing new blog post! We’re super excited to keep you updated through our blog on anything to everything. We’ll have fun articles, featured artists and even some freebies! Stay tuned as we emerge into the blogging world and continue to grow at a company!