Contents Page The Team 04
Day-To-Day 06 07 11 21 24 26
The Heart of the Pandemic 08
How COVID Changed the Way I Teach 12 Comic 14
Quarantine Projects 17 22
In The Studio 18 25
Student Advice 10 16 20
Photo Diary 28
“Artists are survivors who know how to mold ourselves to fit our needs. We’re used to solving
problems with very little.”
-Silvia Lopez Chavez
Stephen Bruce Illustrator Insta: @ sketchedsteve
The Team The TeaM
Emma Caamano Creator Insta: @caamanodesigns
What’s up! My name is Stephen Bruce. I’m basically a sophomore graphic design student, but I am technically a junior. I am the biggest nerd for anything related to art & enjoy making art as much as I enjoy appreciating it. One thing that I am the most interested in, in terms of art & design, has always been animation & illustration. I enjoy making characters the most... whether they are contemporary or fantasy. I am a lover of dogs, musical theater, dance, & so many other things that would take wayyy too long to list, haha.!
Hi! I’m Emma. I’m currently a sophomore majoring in Graphic Design with a Journalism & Mass Communication minor. I’m the creator of this zine & label myself as an experimental visual identifier. I enjoy British alternative bands, the 2 K’s (Kafka & Kubrick... not the video game 2k, although that’s not too shabby either), matcha & my current obsession is stick & pokes of frogs. More than excited to work with so many talented heads this semester & let’s see where this goes! Paloma Delgado Photographer Insta: @palomasetien Hi! I’m Paloma & I’m currently a sophomore studying Public Health with a fine arts minor! I love shooting 35mm film, spending time with the homies, & supporting anti-imperial efforts across the world. I’m hella excited to be part of the FLIESSEN team & share the homies art with the GW community!
Brianna Hawley Creator Insta: @artbyhawley Hey everyone! I’m Brianna. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Graphic Design. I’m also the creator of this zine & am interested in political advisement & activism. Beyond this, I’m a sucker for mac & cheese & Frank Ocean... pretty self explanatory as to why. I’m sooooo excited for a great semester with a great new team.
Jack Pecau Illustrator Hi everyone! My name is Jack Pecau & I am majoring in Fine Arts with a minor in Biological Anthropology. I have always loved making art, ever since I was a little kid, & I’m always open to trying new mediums. I’m also the biggest fan of comic books & superheroes. I have two pets, a turtle named Green ( I was six when I named him... don’t judge me), & a lunatic dog named Cammy. Go GW!
Amanda Bohn Publication Designer Insta: @ambohnn
Soffia Obando Publication Designer Insta: @soffi_54
Hey, I’m Amanda! I’m a sophomore transfer student, majoring in Graphic Design. This is my first semester at Corcoran, & I chose this major & school specifically because I wanted to have the opportunity to use art to discuss important issues, like climate change and sustainability! I love reading, spending time with friends, & can’t make it through the day without coffee. I am so excited to be a part of this team & I think it’s gonna be a great place for Corcoran students to express their opinions & show off their work!
Hey! I’m Soffia & I’m a junior but this is only my second year in Corcoran as a Graphic Design student. I have recently been interested in packaging design & the unboxing experience, especially within the beauty industry like makeup & skincare packaging. I have no idea what the future might bring but I will be grateful if I have the chance to create & collaborate with other designers. That’s why I am so excited to join the FLIESSEN zine team.
Abby Kim Publication Designer Insta: @abbykim_1129 Hi! My name is Abby Kim & I am a sophomore majoring in Graphic Design with a double minor in Communications & Entrepreneurship. Growing up, I have always been a creative kid, so I knew I wanted to become a designer one day. I love collaborating with other artists/ designers & I think being part of the FLIESSEN team is a perfect opportunity to share ideas & just do what we love. I would say I have a strong interest in package design & rebranding. The reason why I have decided to study at Corcoran is because DC is a beautiful city with so many exciting opportunities.
Gabby Napolitano Editor/ Publication Designer Insta: @ gabby_napolitano Hellur!! My name is Gabby Napolitano & I’m a Psychology/Graphic Design major with a minor in Art History. I have always had a strong love for the arts & was raised on trips to the MOMA, Met, & Whitney as a smol gorl. I love the provocative & empowering nature of art & how it can be such an ignitor for change, different ways of thinking, & reaching so many people, which is probably why I find the works of artists like Barbara Kruger, The Guerrilla Girls, & Jenny Holzer as huge sources of inspiration. I joined ze FLIESSEN team because I recently made the switch to Corcoran, & am already loving this lil passionate, art-loving community, & wanted to surround myself with more of those ~vibes~ & am oh so excited for what’s to come.
Isabelle Bryson Publication Designer Insta: @brysonize
Vickiana Dulcio Illustrator Insta: @vick_dulcio Hey everyone, my name is Vickiana Dulcio but you can call me Vicki. I’m majoring in Graphic Design & I’m interested in illustration & animation. Career goals well, honestly, I would love to be shacked up somewhere in Japan wildling at a block print. But to be more realistic I want to work in the animation or book publication industry.
Hieee!! I’m Isabelle & I’m a sophomore majoring in Interaction Design with a minor in Graphic Design! I love to make art in all mediums, play the sims, & create with other ppl! I’m so excited to be a part of the FLIESSEN team & help to create a really fun artistic space!
Maria Habib Designer and Educator Insta: @maninoush I’ve been practicing “the Covid way” for a while now… Five years of independent practice made me realize what many people are seeing now: the need for structure to find your own pace when working purely from your own space. The primary change for me is working with my collaborators in an exclusively virtual space (which satisfies a good part of my introverted side and also happens to be a good way to develop top portrait frame fashion instead of a full outfit every day). Nature is my inspiration: our true dwelling place and guide for staying balanced, inspired, focused and creative as we move through so many inevitable changes. I think of circadian rhythm as the foundation for my own movement through time. We are so disconnected from our source, and I believe this is the root of so many of our current troubles. So I try to honor, listen and observe nature. The challenge is to do so amidst the rhythm of our fast-paced consumerist structure. So, it’s a practice, ever-changing, never perfect. I borrow from the Ayurvedic definition of the cycle of time that divides both day and night into energetic segments. Each segment is dominated by a natural element and thus influenced by its qualities. There are earth/ water, air/ether, and fire times of the day. Understanding this allows me to choose activities that will support the dominant energy inside and around me at that time. So I wake up as close to the sun rising as possible, and try to wind down with it too, and my day goes a little something like this: It starts in the ether segment dedicated to the spirit, and waking of the body and mind. I do a breath practice, followed by meditation, and reflective drawing, which naturally provides intention for the day. I eat a light bite with a coffee to keep me light and energized while the fire of the day kindles. The next portion of the morning is governed by earth, so the grounding and set-up tasks are what happen then; like setting up my space, checking my calendar/daily list, research for a project. Between 10 am to 2 pm, fire governs (also the coffee has kicked in). The time that the sun is highest in the sky, there is more heat in the natural world. In turn, heat will be foregrounded in our bodies and minds. By harnessing this midday heat, we’re propelled to be productive… so I check things off lists, conduct meetings, presentations, and other outward- facing activities like that... and eat a good meal at the end of it! Air and ether time begins again after this, as the day gives way to night. This governs the time of transition. The naturally light and ethereal qualities of this time of day allows creativity and expansive thinking to peak, making it a great time to engage in creative pursuits, problem-solving, or even dreaming about the next day. It can also be a time when we feel agitation, so minimizing excess sensory input like bright lights and loud noises is helpful. I try to ground myself in and grab a cup of tea as I do my work. This element is the most delicate and likely to become imbalanced, so by keeping it pacified at this time of day, we create good space for “the zone” to happen. Unless there is some crazy deadline... then I wind-down, hopefully shutting off the computer with the sun. This is especially important now since we are on virtual overload and our eyes need to breathe. Teaching provides an excellent switch-up to all this, and I usually fit in a walk in the park sometime in the ether time of the morning or evening to keep that connection to nature attuned. With this foundation, I have a basis I can play with. I remind myself not to attach, welcome any natural shifts, and the cycle continues… Photo by Paloma Delgado
Chan Chao Professional Lecturer, Fine Art Photography, Studio Arts Program My day-to-day routines would be considerably different if it were not for Corona. At the start of 2020, I had an exhibition planned here in DC for the summer of 2021 and a book deal with a publisher in California to accompany the show. My schedule would have involved balancing between preparing for the show and formulating the concept of the book, along with family and teaching. I would have used the digital lab at GW and my home office to get ready. The show has been postponed... so that work has been sidelined for the time being.
While I wait, my focus has shifted to teaching and family. Weekends are always family time and emails are seldom checked on the weekends. My daughter and I are early risers. On weekdays, we eat breakfast together while sharing a little quality time before
she goes off into her room to attend virtual classes. When she is at school and my wife at work, I turn my attention to class preparation and work around the house. I spend a lot of more time preparing for online lectures and talks then I would normally for in-person classes. With the impersonal nature of online classes and without the ability to read the mood or the energy of the in-person classes, I have to anticipate and consider carefully how the lecture materials will be received. This takes time, but if everything goes as planned and the students get the information they need out of the lectures, I can wind down with ease after each class. During Corona, I have also decided to paint our house... Creatively, what I need more than anything else (since the project has already been shot) is mental space and quality time in isolation to focus on my art. But this has been difficult these days. I hold a belief that a long-term outlook is more crucial than a shortterm outlook. So, the slight delay, especially when everyone is in the same boat, is not a big issue for now. It reinforces the virtue of patience. With that said, I would love to stress the importance of time and mental space to contemplate artworks. It should be considered a larger component of the process. In addition to making art, young artists should look at our current situation as an opportunity to carve out a little time for critical thinking in isolation. It shouldnâ€™t matter if your artworks are laid out on the dining room table or pinned to a studio wall, create time and space to look at your work. Photo by Paloma Delgado
The Heart of the
Page 29 Paloma Delgado Public Health ‘23 Insta: @palomasetien Quarantine in NYC during the peak of the pandemic was hella unsettling, scary, and weird. Never before and never again will you see the streets of manhattan completely desolate; not a fucking soul in sight, but the gangs of rats and the pigeons occupying the city. Buildings were left empty as people were fleeing the city, and the air actually felt thicker as the death count reached well into the 800s/day. I made it a point to go on a walk every day so that I wouldn’t go insane, and in these walks I was able to capture parts of an empty New York. I had one roll to last me 3 months, as I couldn’t buy film or get it developed so long... as stay at home orders were in effect. The following images are 3 months worth of walks with my homie, Ellie, wandering lower manhattan. Photos by Paloma Delgado
Student Advice Devin Healy Graphic Design Major Insta: @dvndesigns What do you find more important: The finished product or the progress in a portfolio? Healy: When it comes to showcasing the finished product over the process, it’s all about your audience. I find that if presenting to prospective employers or clients, the finished product should be front and center, and it should be beautifully simple. But when I’m in school or using a portfolio to apply for grants or scholarships for graduate programs, an in-depth step-by-step process book will take you a long way. Any tips to lowerclassmen in your major? Healy: Some tips I’d recommend is to explore using Adobe Portfolio or uploading things to Behance or Instagram/Facebook. These are very unofficial portfolios and do not have the pressure of being super refined… so they will help you with exploring how you want your projects to be displayed and will also become a database for all the art you want to show others! What did you use to make your portfolio? Instagram? Website? Adobe Portfolio? Why? Healy: I personally have used Adobe Portfolio as a process book for some of my classes, and it can be kind of overwhelming. The design of the pages is completely up to you—fun but infinite! Hence, I prefer using an Instagram design page to mockup and display my designs. I find that pointing friends and family who don’t understand graphic design and what it is that I do in the direction of this Instagram page is extremely helpful and well organized! Which is your favorite piece in your portfolio?Any tips on making your portfolio personalized/showing your authentic self? Healy: Many of the projects I’ve worked on so far have been print materials, so mocking up the elements goes a long way when presenting them online. On my Instagram, we made stamp books where each spread showed a profile for a graphic designer, I accompanied stamps I designed for them. This was a fun one to mockup because it showed how consistent my theme was. Plus, the colors were stunning. It made me appreciate the work I had done. Each time you’re presented with an opportunity to showcase a portfolio, the aesthetic will change. There will be times when a more professional, simplistic look is needed, and then there will be times when you’ll want to show off your authenticity. The authentic one is more challenging to feel satisfied with, but is so important. As designers, we have to build a brand for ourselves. So, to successfully design a portfolio that speaks to your brand, I would suggest creating a logo and building off the overall feel/vibe of that. It’s a great place to start and you’ll be happy to have that logo for future use! Design projects by Devin Healy
Day-To-Day Ben Abraham Senior Brand Manager Insta: @benlenciagaaa Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been toying with all different sorts of morning routines. I feel I’ve hit a sweet spot by waking up early enough to go on a bike ride. I usually hit various nature spots such as P Street Beach or head down to the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Once I’ve finished my ride, I’ll usually eat a calorie dense meal with a bunch of eggs, veggies and oftentimes overnight oats (...shoutout to @ lahbcoon TikTok for always giving me fresh plant-based inspo for my breakfasts). I’m usually up by 7am, throw on clothes, bike for an hour, shower, cook breakfast and I’m logged on by 9am. Not having to commute has really been a game-changer for me. I get so much more done in the mornings. I have a timeblock on my calendar from 9-9:30 to check emails and chart my intentions for the day. I try to focus on no more than three activities/goals for the day, because I’ve learned that context switching just leads to a lack of productivity for me. I prefer to carve out time during the day for deep work, and stack my meetings as much as I can. I try to have all of my 1:1s on a certain day, and our company has a “no meeting Wednesday” policy which helps me stay focused and be intentional with my time. My boss said it best when defining an approach to work, “Go deeper, not wider.” I useStation for email and task management, because it helps me have a singular dock and not have to switch a ton between programs. Have transparent conversations with your employer about how to translate the productive spaces from the office into productive spaces at home.Storyblockshas been great about providing us a work-from-home stipend which enabled us to furnish our home
offices. I find that having plants around and moodboards on my wall while I’m working through stylescapes or a campaign concept helps me stay inspired throughout the day. Additionally, I have dedicated a lot of time to my home studio, but I’ve also found that my productivity is also increased when I move around. Sometimes I’ll work at home during the morning, pop downtown during the day to work from a coffee shop, and finish off the day in the courtyard at my apartment complex. Variety honestly keeps me going. I love coffee, but I try to reserve it for weekends - or stick to decaf during the weeks. Given that I have a lot of natural energy in the mornings, a coffee after a workout and nutrient-dense breakfast gets me too buzzed. I do like the taste though, so sometimes I’ll pop down toA Baked Jointfor an iced decaf. I drink iced, even in the dead of winter. Their savory oats also are fantastic. I’ve been enjoying experimenting with mushroom coffee lately too, and love the products fromF our Sigmatic. Lions Mane and Chaga do wonders in keeping me focused and energized throughout the day, without the crash of coffee. My tips to stay focused: Eliminate distractions by using your calendar to timeblock for event management. Don’t let your inbox control you, and remember that you set the precedent for your response time and how you work. Don’t respond to all messages immediately, if they aren’t urgent. Use the beats to your advantage. I’ve found that I can stay super engaged throughout the day by using jqbx.fmand listening to lo-fi beats or joining a room with lyricless music. It’s a great way to passively control a soundtrack for the day, and even get music recommendations from others. To be honest, I’m not great at winding down, but I have been taking warm showers before bed and trying to eliminate eating junk food late at night. I recently discovered how easy it is to make mug cakes (...this peanut butter oneis danger zone delicious), and honestly it’s a slippery slope. Late night desserts are my true nemesis. Photos by Ben Abraham Illustrations by Jack Pecau
How Covid Changed the Way I Teach Jim Mole Adjunct Professor Corcoran School of the Arts and Design How has COVID19 changed the way I teach? You would think that as an adjunct professor of web design classes at GW’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, who runs a web design firm by day, it would be no big deal for me to switch to an online teaching model. I am an online communications expert, after all... In fact, many of my business clients have operations elsewhere. And we transact a hundred percent of our engagements online. So, you might figure, if the Web is the best place to conduct Web business, by extension, the Web would also be the best place to teach the Web. As for students, I’ve held online GoogleMeet sessions in past semesters to deal with their specific problems or questions regarding their class projects. So, at first, it looked like Covid would have little impact on my work. I welcomed the prospect of avoiding traffic and circling around the GW campus in search of parking near the Flagg Building. That is, until one crisp, dry April day, when I wistfully recalled the joy of scenic bike rides from my home, down the Georgetown Branch Trail to the waterfront, past the Kennedy Center, over to H Street
and on to the Corcoran. In class, I went with my first instinct: Let wisdom flow, breaking up three-hour lectures into 45- minute sprints, and then send students off to their individual worlds to create something fabulous. The proof that they were listening to my every word came back as unique interpretations of my lesson, otherwise known as homework. As the last half of the spring semester blended into the summer semester, I started to realize something big was missing. For one, my ability to pick up on the quizzical expression of a student trying to grasp a concept; the student perhaps being too shy to interrupt my monologue and ask for clarification. For another, the spontaneous explosion that happens when students sit side-by-side, thinking creatively and linking together concepts—exploring possibilities. It came down to those “aha” moments of recognition evident in the eyes of students in real time, in proximity & in person in the Flagg Building. My “aha” moment came in spurts during a short Continuing Education Design class over the summer. I started to allow more time for open discussion, which sparked synergy among the students. I eased up on my self-conscious’ need to pack every minute with design advice. It was great to see students shed light on each other’s projects from a wide range of perspectives. In the end, I learned a lot about teaching in the COVID paradigm. We all were zooming.
DO YOU GUYS NOT UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE A FOUR HOUR STUDIO!
I need more space, I HAVE AN EXAM!
Let’s draw straws to see who gets the space then!
MY MEETING IS AT THREE I NEED THE SPACE!
It’s settled! I get to use the space first.
Arthur does his studio class online. As he finishes his painting his other roommates rush in to claim the studio space.
Little did they know that Arthur was experimenting with magical paint, pushing him into the painting!
What is wrong with you two! I know sharing the space is difficult,but we need to adjust.
One week later, Arthur and his roommates each now have an enchanted painting for them to jump into when they have a class, meetings, or exams.
Wait... I have an idea! Why donâ€™t we do class in here?
Comic by Stephen Bruce, Vickiana Dulcio & Jack Pecau
Page 16 What tools do you use to help with your process? Houtman: Like I said before, I use the professors a lot. Ask all the questions about resumes, monologues, DC theatres... anything! I also personally look to read a lot of plays, so I can become familiar with as much material as possible.
Bri Houtman Theatre ‘22 Insta: @briannahoutman What do you find more important: the finished product or the progress? Houtman: At this moment in time, I definitely find the process more important. This is mostly because the process is a large part of learning how to act. A large part of this is getting to work with and learn from the directors, who are often theatre professors or independent theatre artists.
Any tips to lowerclassmen in your major? Houtman: Reach out to your professors: ask any and all questions you have to any TRDA professor. Sometimes it can feel like you’re out of the loop, but the professors are usually super open to a quick in person chat, call, or to answer questions via email. Take 1330 early; it is a fundamental and oftentimes people take it earlier in their college career. The people I took it with were mostly my age and a large part of who I find community with here at GW.
Having community is incredibly important in working a performance because it is exhausting. Having co-actors or production team members makes the process a lot better, because you’re all in it together. It also just makes it a lot more fun! Which is your favorite project/ performance? Houtman: I think my favorite thing I’ve done in theatre was actually in Tonya’s intermediate acting class and that was presenting (virtually) a scene from my favorite play to the rest of my castmates. Any tips on making your work personalized/showing your authentic self? Houtman: I am hoping to combine my two majors of theatre and criminal justice in a thesis piece that comments on mass incarceration and criminal justice reform. In acting, I have improved on being able to adjust a piece to make it alive and present. In terms of who I am as a person, I have improved on being more self-sufficient in the theatre world, as there’s a larger DC theatre community out there that can serve me in amazing ways. Top Image: “Well” directed by Jodi Kanter Bottom Image: “Walking the Oracle” directed by Molly Sturges
S e h t ud io: Isabell T e In Isabelle Bryson Interaction Design ‘23 Insta: @brysonize One of the few upsides of being sent home in March was having access to my favorite place in the world, my mini studio. Here I have access to ALL types of materials, which is honestly what is keeping me going right now. I get to switch from beads to clay to paint to markers and everything in between. This constant switching between projects and materials makes me feel like my brain is being itched, and the outcome isn’t always that bad either. During quarantine I’ve gotten to revisit projects I had to drop during school, allowing me to fully delve into my creative mindset and freely create. Without the pressure of school projects I was really able to create my own artistic process, consisting of waking up, painting for a little, sitting in my backyard, maybe doing something that’s legal in DC but not where I live ;), and going back to painting. This freedom to create is something I genuinely cherish, which makes a lot of sense because I am truly such a Sagittarius. I’m now moving away from my childhood home, where my perfect desk setup is, so I’ve tried to use it to its fullest potential as a last goodbye. I’m so satisfied with everything I’ve created, as it almost feels like an expression of all of the creative juices I could muster during quarantine. Art & Photos by Isabelle Bryson
Sara Jamshidi Assistant Professor & Faculty Advisor, Graphic Design sarajamshidi.com I’m a faculty in undergraduate level and I also run a graphic design program, which means I mostly work with students around 18 to 22 years old, some of whom are away from home for the first time. I spent last year, which was also my first year of teaching full-time, defining a graphic design studio that made it easier for students to let their mind wander. They could feel safer to have open conversations, freely explore methods and materials, and ask questions in an informal setting; a space in the core of a historic building that breaks free of the formalities imposed by the museum-like
architecture of an institution. I can’t help but wonder about the studios and spaces that the students will create for themselves in the following semesters, especially the incoming class, and how long it took me to figure out what works for me. As professional designers we are teaching from our homestudios or actual studios, if we have one. However, the students are taking classes from their homes — sometimes a shared bedroom with their siblings. Their studio can be in their living rooms, basement, or attic. It is within their domestic space. Current students are skipping over many steps of the previous educational and social systems in an academic
institution. They are learning about themselves and how they work while socially distancing and without collaborating in close proximity. As Rathna Ramanathan nicely puts it in an Instagram live, by working and taking classes from home, the students are already mostly making work in the contexts within which the works will exist when finished. For many of us a lot of the learning happened during late nights in the studio and conversations we had without the teachers around in informal settings. We have learned many of Adobe’s shortcuts by working in studios and computer labs with our friends and other classmates. Our students, especially the incoming class, don’t have this
opportunity now. As people who are facilitating learning we cannot be stuck in the mindset of traditional studio structures when we welcome them in this academic year. Through years of practice at college and working from our living rooms, we’ve learned to create a studio for ourselves— be it a laptop on a make-shift desk, or a dedicated space. For many students, the boundaries of domestic and professional lives are already blurred before having started to work freelance from their dining tables. A studio is not a typical classroom or a lecture hall, which the first-year college students have never experienced before. It’s a space to make, learn, experiment, and not be afraid of failing. It should be a space to encourage their minds to go free or to go deep in an idea. Jessica Helfand puts it beautifully in her self-reliance essay. Many of the things I have learned about my studios are also from working with Jessica and sharing a studio with her for more than two years. It’s also from long hours in studio courses at university and the shared studios at RCA. Current students are not only speculating the context around design, they are also interrogating it through their existing learning environments. They have the ability to constantly improve it as it’s also part of the private spaces in their homes. However, they haven’t seen many studios yet. We should understand that our students have to find themselves
and the way they work in isolation and it’s not easy. But it doesn’t mean they’re doing it by themselves. They simply haven’t thought about how a wall space to hang things up and check them from a distance could be helpful. They may not know the benefits of having a tape over your camera, when you’re constantly in zoom calls — and we’ve all seen that things could go wrong. They still don’t know that many designers are also hoarders of ephemeral things in a box or a drawer nearby and almost all of us have a favorite pencil or pen in our studio. Most designers working in print have at least one paper sample book in arms-reach because it makes us feel good that print is not dead. I have moved 17 times in my life, and during at least the 8 recent moves I needed to create a makeshift studio for myself. Sometimes it was on the bed, or over the coffee table, when the bedroom was too small to fit a desk. Many times it was the corner of the living room, or by a window where I could
look outside and concentrate. It has also been a covered terrace that was turned into a den — amazing south facing windows and great light. For a few months my studio was at the Wing, a really nice co-working space. The point is over the years I learned how to turn a space into a studio no matter how big, or where it was. I learned my routine: what times of the day I’m most productive, what I need to do
to get in the zone, what’s the smallest table I need, how far it should be from the kitchen and how close to the library. I’ve had enough practice that when I’m moving for the 18th time, when and if the pandemic is under control in the US, I’d be fine with turning any space into a studio. There is, however, a difference between our personal or professional studios and those we had at university or college where classes were held. This coming semester we are not meeting in person to invite the students to the studios. On the contrary, we are virtually stepping in every single student’s personal space. The points of view are changing and with that so should our perspectives about studios. Just as excited as I am to expand our community engagement projects beyond the geographical boundaries of Washington D.C;.; I’m excited about expanding our studios all around the world. And I can’t help but to find
myself responsible in helping the students make those spaces and start to critically think about it as the classes begin. It’s nice that the students’ studios are in their domestic spaces. It will already be where they feel safe, which can only be an assumption and we must all be more conscious about the context of their homes. We can help them build upon this safety in hopes to encourage creative expression, to make it into a space for critical thinking and exploration as well. Before the semester begins I’m planning virtual studio visits to studios of designers, teachers, and recent graduates. We will share our studios with the students, where we make, live, get inspired, procrastinate, go crazy, and sometimes design. Photos by Sara Jamshidi Illustrations by Jack Pecau
Sydney Walsh Photojournalism ‘22 Insta: @sydneywalshphoto
What do you find more important: The finished product or the progress in a portfolio? Walsh: I think both process and finished work are equally as important. You can’t have finished work without a thorough process of research, planning, and trial and error. At the same time your finished work will directly show the time and effort you put into it, you can’t have one without the other. Any tips to lowerclassmen in your major? Walsh: Your peers and professors can be some of your biggest supporters if you put in the time to get to genuinely know them. They really do care. Take your class assignments seriously, especially your foundation courses. You might not think a drawing, sculpture, or even interaction design class has anything to do with photography, but it has everything to do with it. You will need this knowledge for all four years. Listen to class lectures and do the readings! People notice when you don’t put in an effort. You also have what may seem like an infinite amount of resources
as a student, but once you aren’t a student anymore you won’t have this access. Gelman has an insane collection of photo books and online sources for research. Consistent access to studio spaces with equipment and great techs are something you’ll only get as a student. Know the importance of critiques, it’s one of the only times in your life you will constantly be getting feedback from multiple people. We have two art museums on campus! Use these resources! What did you use to make your portfolio? Instagram? Website? Adobe Portfolio? Why? Walsh: I use both Adobe Portfolio and Instagram for my portfolio. We have access to Adobe Portfolio for free through GW and the rest of Adobe Suite. I use this as a more formal way to present my work. I use Instagram to interact with artists outside of Corcoran and DC and to show that I’m actively making work and invested in photography. Which is your favorite piece in your portfolio? Any tips on making your portfolio personalized/showing your authentic self? Walsh: My favorite project I’ve worked on so far is my project From There, To Here. This project focuses on the topic of identity and experience as an transracial adoptee or parent. It is without a doubt the most difficult work I’ve ever made because it is so personal and close to me. But it’s my favorite because I learned a lot about myself through it and I definitely plan to make it a long term project. The number one tip I would give is to take all feedback about your work with a grain of salt. Not everyone is going to like your work nor appreciate it, which is okay. One of the most important things in your portfolio is to present work that you are personally proud of and to be honest with others and yourself about how you created it. Most of our strongest and meaningful work is made when we are genuine in our process and intent. Photos by Sydney Walsh
Day-To-Day David Page Professional Lecturer, Fine Art, Studio Arts Program
I get up at 5am and make coffee, it is the most optimistic time of the day. Usually after a morning bicycle ride with my 2nd cup of coffee, my caffeine addiction is stable, I check my emailsâ€Ś unless I am looking forward to a particularly productive day in the studio. In that case I do not check emails, because that would slow me down. In terms of tips on staying focusedâ€Ś I have none! I am pretty scattered. However, my tips to get in the zone is to stay working. We are inspired during the act of doing! I wind down with a couple glasses of wine.
FaMiliArity with my clothing, walking paths, and the office Gladney Hall Fine Arts ‘21 Insta: @glad.sculptur I created this piece two weeks after the Spring 2020 semester at GWU ended. I had been driven back home to Indiana by my mother, in an SUV stuffed full of my belongings in the middle of the night. I no longer had the pleasure of walking around DC, using my large studio space, or staying late at Corcoran working by my classmates’ sides. These were essential rituals I found that grounded me in art-making and existing during the school year. Without these rituals and the structure of online school, my grounding practices were extremely relaxed. I’d get up, eat breakfast, change into my day clothing- I refused to wear pants without a button or zipper because it made me feel more human- walk around my small town, do a few hours of unsuccessful art-making, and then watch The Office while eating dinner. Quarantine made me feel so disconnected from myself and my work. However, I noticed that this new pattern of base activities helped me further develop better schedules and routines in quarantine. I looked in the corner of my room at this old TV I had, with my folded clothing stacked on top and thought, “that’s what I feel like right now, that’s what’s grounding me in this mess.” I started to focus my art and my way of thinking around what was grounding me in those moments. I’ll continue to use this way of “routine, ritual” grounding, as it’s helped me be successful in the mental aspects of art-making. Photos by Gladney Hall
DAY-TO-DAY DAY-TO-DAY Anonymous Studio Arts Professor At the time of writing this we are in our second week of virtual classes. The challenges regarding moving to online teaching are requiring more time than the traditional in-person model. In emails, various leaders at the university have acknowledged their gratitude towards our expanded efforts, however many of their actions speak otherwise. This is unsurprising and symptomatic of the larger cultural conditions of capitalism. Staff layoffs, weak tuition considerations, and other greed-driven decisions, transparently illustrate an agenda of profit over the interests of employees and students. Additionally, there is a long overdue conversation that must happen regarding the role and growing dependence on part-time faculty within university institutions. Back to staying focused! As always, the beginning of a new semester takes some getting used to. For me, it is important to develop a routine by identifying my responsibilities and setting goals for each day. A healthy balance of sleep and coffee must also be considered. Productivity is a natural result of a well-followed schedule and this approach lends itself to the established academic calendar. Over time the organized sequence of actions becomes sort of ritual in nature. I check my personal and school emails constantly throughout the week. On days that I have class, I focus all of my attention on the dayâ€™s lessons. It is too early to speak fully on the conditions of virtual learning but the challenges of replicating a studio environment on screen are evident. As an educator it is my responsibility to provide a cooperative learning environment where community grows and individual attention is provided. Whether in person or online, it is my purpose to build a functioning communal space in which art practices and theory are critically produced, analyzed, and expanded upon. This semester it is particularly important that a space for innovative and collaborative opportunity is available for all students. Outside of teaching, I work a second job from home several mornings each week. I spend at least one day a week working on my academic portfolio and I leave the weekends open to focus on my creative practice. To unwind, I enjoy practicing yoga, making and listening to music, keeping my aquarium and houseplants healthy, and walking around the neighborhood with my fiancĂŠ. Photo by Paloma Delgado
Abby Kim Graphic Design â€˜23 Insta: @abbykim_1129 With the devastating news that we were going to be stuck at home this fall semester, I knew I wanted to create a studio space. My summer project during quarantine was to revamp my attic into a space where I could stay focused and motivated for my classes and work. I was inspired by a wallpaper that would illuminate my room with its beautifully bright colors and abstract shapes.
My painting corner is where I love to relax and work on my landscape painting that is halfway complete. I had so much fun revamping my attic this summer and it is now the place where I spend most of my day. Although I really miss Corcoran and exploring DC, my colorful background always brightens up my mood, and I light up my favorite candle to relax and stay in the zone.
Instead of purchasing the wallpaper, I wanted to paint the wall but add my own twist to it... creating new shapes and intricate patterns. Having a bubbly and welcoming personality, I think my wall represents my personality pretty well, welcoming guests and providing them creative energy. I also wanted to have a fun background for my Zoom classes instead of having a plain white backdrop. Photos by Abby Kim
D a y o T y
Maya Sugarman The Washington Post Video Editor, The Lily Insta: @mayasugarman By day, I’m video editor of The Lily at The Washington Post where I make videos about women, gender and intersectionality. When I’m not at work, I’m making art.
Page 27 One of the hardest parts of the pandemic has been social isolation. I’m a creative who gets energy from spending time with friends who inspire me. I take neighborhood walks with these friends and we find delight in the smallest observations.
daily routine more conducive to my creativity. I’ve started to think about my day through the lens of mood. I’m one of many who get the “Sunday Scaries,” the anxiety that sets in the night before the start of a new week. My therapist gave me the idea to schedule my “worry time” for every Monday morning, which has helped ease my weekend anxiety.
My work for the past year has been mostly collage — digital and occasionally analog. I also enjoy printmaking, ceramics, letterpress, drawing and painting. In the pandemic, I’ve come to feel much more attuned to how I’m feeling creatively throughout the day since I spend more
time at home and less time around other people. Sometimes that means creative highs where I’m frantically making new work. Other days, I feel blocked and I’m learning to become more comfortable with those moments. It’s been a chance to be more intentional about making my
A friend once told me that breakfast is the most optimistic meal of the day. Every morning, my partner and I make cortados and green smoothies. I’ve gotten into the habit of eating a simple lunch. The smell of toast with peanut butter brings me back to my childhood when my dad used to make me this for breakfast. Maybe this is just an excuse to have two breakfasts. I’ve observed that I feel more excited to complete “administrative” tasks in the mornings like production planning. In the afternoons, I have more energy to brainstorm new video ideas. At least once a day, I try to spend 5 to 10 minutes meditating.
I’ve compartmentalized my home so that different physical spaces are associated with different thinking patterns. I use my desk for tasks I see as work-related. In that space, I’ve hidden away any item that I don’t use on a daily basis. I move to my living room floor when it’s time to make art. I’ve always felt most comfortable on the floor or snuggled in the corner of the couch. I get in the zone with headphones. I listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks. Unpredictability feels lost during the pandemic. Those organic moments are when new ideas emerge — when I’m least expecting them. I try to build in opportunities for this by removing myself from my typical daily routine and workspace. My best ideas have come deep into an outdoor run or working outside in the sun. Collages by Maya Sugarman
Fliessen Zine Quarantine Routine
September 22, 2020
© Analog is Heavy
The Pandemic has been difficult for everyone, affecting each one of us in very personal ways. It’s not just a global pandemic - that would be hard enough to deal with on its own. It’s the pandemic on top of everything else that was already happening in our lives. The pandemic on top of a blatant disregard for civil and human rights by our nation’s leaders. The pandemic on top of children and families separated and abused in cages. The pandemic on top of racism and killings. The pandemic on top of an economy that favors the 1%, and the pandemic on top of my Mother fighting cancer. For me, this pandemic has been offering an abundance of time to rethink, relearn, and rebuild my values from the inside out. It has challenged me to be intentional, shown me what it means to keep fighting day after day, yet it has also revealed beauty in unexpected places. Intentionality has driven my past year; fighting hard to keep my creativity fresh, staying positive and hopeful, and being active in my community, friend’s and family’s lives. This year has taken more effort, but continues to reveal wisdom which I will carry with me into the future. Julia Parris An NYC based photographer and art director, and founder of Analog is Heavy, a creative studio with a focus on photography. An alumni of Rhode Island School of Design, she brings her interdisciplinary fine art background to every project. She self-publishes a collage zine, MOVE SLOW, teaches workshops, and speaks on creative practice and entrepreneurship. analogisheavy.com Insta: @juliaparris @analogisheavy
Slow Mornings My mornings are important to me, and I do my best to schedule work in a way that honors a slow morning. This helps set the tone of my day, so I know whatever happens after I get up, at least I’ve had an hour that was beautiful and positive. I drink coffee while listening to music with my husband and dog, look out the window at the sky and let my mind wander thinking through projects I’m working on, and my family and friends. I use this time to catch up on news, sign petitions, and share information. In my slow mornings I outline my day in two categories, work and personal. The work category includes client calls, presentations, deep work and deliverables; the personal category are things I want or need to do for myself or family. Both are important and this method helps me better balance my priorities and time.
Photos by Julia Parris
I really miss my gym, and once I saw the city locking down and felt my anxiety rise, I knew I had to make exercise a priority. Exercise has become an extremely important way for me to manage my anxiety and stress. During the first 3 months of lock-down I prioritized yoga everyday. I moved my coffee table and lamps out of the way, rolled out my yoga mat, and took classes online. It helped slow my breathing, refocus my thoughts, and helped me stay connected with my feelings. As the weather warmed up, I went up to the roof and jumped rope. Anything to keep moving. Now that the infection levels have decreased, I run outside in my neighborhood. It helps me feel connected to the city and my community. On days I feel exhausted or have a bad day, I go on a long walk instead and try to refocus.
Lunch is one of my favorite parts of the day. My husband Able and I make a point to prepare lunch and eat together. It’s usually some kind of a salad, canned fish, cheese and crackers. Not all ingredients have been accessible in NYC during lockdown, but we’ve found this combination to be reliable. During lunch hour we make a point to keep the conversation gentle and creative; watching architecture shows, international dj sets on YouTube, and our favorite, Art 21 documentaries (Art in the 21st Century produced by PBS). We talk about our projects and the shows, and take a break.
Photos by Julia Parris
Following lunch I jump on my computer and focus on client work. For me that includes Zoom calls, writing proposals and estimates, and making work. It’s been helpful to have a designated space to work and focus, which is different from the space I relax in. Our apartment in Brooklyn is small, but it’s been important to rethink how I use the space and make intentional changes to maximize the space. My husband and I moved our dining room table out of our living room and set up a standing desk for him to work at, and I converted the second bedroom into a studio space. Lately I’ve been working on sequencing photo layouts for my studio magazine, so I printed out thumbnails and taped them to the wall making it easier to move spreads around and make edits. I’m grateful to have this space, and I spend a lot of time here.
Second Coffee Mid-way in the afternoon, we take a short break, drink a second coffee and take our dog Wiley for a walk. Taking a walk is a great time to process ideas and brainstorm, it feels great to physically change my space and perspective especially when I find myself spending so much time inside. The people, materials and spaces of the neighborhood we walk in find their way into my work as inspiration.
Photos by Julia Parris
During the first 3 months of lock-down all of my photoshoots were cancelled, and I found myself with a lot of time on my hands stuck inside with limited access to props or food. I badly needed something to focus on and to work with my hands, so I started playing with flowers from the local bodega and construction materials I had laying around. I began creating abstract compositions of blooms covered by colored netting, and piles of light blue insulation with tiny blooms poking out. I approached this series as an experiment or exploration with minimal expectations for the outcome, and made compositions and retouched the photos for the pure joy of it...fueled by curiosity to see what it would become. As the pandemic surged, the series shifted and I noticed it began to reflect the crisis, uncovering collective hope, struggle and fear for an unknown future. Flowers began to symbolize people, as materials stretched and twisted to create vessel-like structures and shapes from my dreams. Working on longer-term projects has created a positive space for me to redirect my thoughts and focus. It feels great when you complete it, and it creates an opportunity to share and discuss it with your community.
Each day as the light shifts, my husband lights a palo santo and sage incense to honor the shift in time from day into evening. As time has continued to feel more and more abstract, this way of marking time has become important to the rhythm of our day. It triggers a transition in thinking and shifts our focus away from client work and prioritizes the personal. As the evening light shifts and we close our computers, we put on music, make dinner, and call our family and friends.
As the evening light shifts and we close our computers, we put on music, make dinner, and call our family and friends.
Reinventing Studios At Home
VOL. 1 ISSUE 1.
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