Monthly Archives: November 2012

Advice #51: More College Degrees?! What Do YOU Really Want?



Focus on the quality of your education, not the quantity of degrees you rack up.

Hello, I have a B.F.A. in Photography and I am pursuing a Master’s in Arts Technology. The master’s is in a different department than I received my bachelor’s. I was recently told that career changers sometimes only end up in the bottom of the food chain and to consider a second bachelor’s in Graphic Design with the Master’s degree. I am concerned about the mega amount of debt that this would mean for me. Am I better off pursing graphic design or should I still try to pursue a web design career?

I’ll be honest: throwing around all these degrees and departments is making my head spin! First things first, block out all those voices. Everyone (your college advisors, parents, spouse, pet…you get my drift) is going to have an opinion. They’re entitled to their opinions but it’s your life! Sit down and think hard: what do YOU want to do? What makes you happy? What seems most realistic for you to spend the next few decades doing? Once you answer this question, you can move forward.

I can speak about this from personal experience. When I’d wrapped up my business degree and then applied for a design program the following year, so many people questioned why. “Why would you do that? You already have a degree!” And, “Your design program is for a two-year degree. You already have a four-year degree. That doesn’t make any sense.”

Trust me, I heard it all. It wasn’t about the prestige, though. I didn’t need two four-year degrees. I didn’t care if my diploma had a fancy name splashed across it. What I did care about was learning as much as I possibly could in the shortest amount of time while accumulating the least amount of debt.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: Some of those big name schools are worth every penny. They have the prestige, the big name teachers, the best equipment and the most beautiful campuses. But realistically, very few of us can afford them (and I’m one of those people who would be stressed out constantly by bone-crushing debt). I promise you that if you put in the time, work harder than anyone else, show up on time and reach out for internships as soon as you can, you can attend community college and get just as far.

While the technical skills you learn in school are really important and provide you with a strong foundation to build off of, the internships are often your golden ticket to employment. Even if you don’t get hired from your internship you’re bound to make career-long connections that will help you as you progress. And that real world experience you gain from internships is priceless.

Remember, to employers in creative fields it doesn’t matter how much you spent on school or how many advanced degrees you have. They want to know that you can do the job you say you can do, do it quickly and do it well. They really want to see your portfolio and your references. Your portfolio speaks volumes about your skill level and versatility. No matter where you decide to go to school or what degree you think is the best, focus on your portfolio and gaining internships.

In closing, the answer in this situation is whatever you want it to be. Instead of focusing on degrees and titles, focus on what you want. Focus on what makes you feel fulfilled. Another degree won’t make you happy but the career you can gain from the skills you learn will.

Readers: Have you been at this crossroads? How did you decide which path to take in your schooling and career?

The Typofiles #119: Keep It Simple

The Typofiles: V Magazine | Keep It Simple

As I was digging through some stacks of magazines the other day, I came upon this issue of V Magazine from Winter 05/06. Right away, the cover draws you in, there’s no question about that. But then, as I flipped through the issue, I was struck by the power of simplicity and consistency from cover to cover. There weren’t loads of trendy typefaces but instead the same condensed font for the titles throughout, the same sans serif for all of the body copy and for the larger stories, there was one custom treatment. The grids were very basic as well. Through this premeditated simplicity, the images took center stage, often in full-page portraits.

The Typofiles: V Magazine | Keep It Simple

This post is a reminder to you (and to myself) to not overthink things. I’m guilty of sketching and then scouring Pinterest and then sketching some more, trying to find that golden, perfect solution when sometimes, the most obvious, simple, powerful answer is right in front of me. I’m one of those designers that wishes that I’d had a chance to take courses before everything was computerized — I have a lot of old design books (my favorite series is by Jan V. White, especially the Graphic Idea Notebook
) because they force me to think in a different way. A way that involves using the grid and the basic tools versus what’s trendy on various design sites.

The Typofiles: V Magazine | Keep It Simple

Step back. Look at the big picture. This eye (belonging to the beautiful Jennifer Connelly) takes up a full page in V. If anything else had been added, it would have taken away the power and emphasis.

The Typofiles: V Magazine | Keep It Simple

Always, always remember the beauty of simplicity. Sometimes the most impact comes from the most basic solution. Next time, instead of asking yourself what you can add to a layout or logo, ask yourself what you can remove.

You can view all of The Typofiles right here.

What I Wore: 11.18.12 | Back To The Future

What I Wore: Back To The Future

Over the weekend I visited H&M to see the Maison Martin Margiela collaboration for myself and it rekindled my love affair for all things avant garde. Though I’m drawn to pretty much anything with extra flaps and zippers, I still want it to be relatively comfortable. I found this Rick Owens jacket on Ebay a few years back and it’s got some built-in hips and a zip-in center panel. Oh, and a strange black cape that zipped on (removed that)! Definitely weird but still fairly wearable. I always think of it as urban armor.

What I Wore: Back To The Future

I picked up these shoes from Solestruck last year — they’re by a German brand called Trippen. Even though they’re fairly level, they can still take some time to getting used to walking in.

What I Wore: Back To The Future

Pinkyotto sent this cotton blend dress my way and it’s a bit dressy for Portland so I layered it up with the Rick Owens jacket and opaque tights. The layers kept me warm but are still really easy to move around in.

What I Wore: Back To The Future

My friend Star added this Helvetica necklace to her jewelry line a few years ago and it’s been my constant companion since.

I Wore:

Jacket, Rick Owens
Dress ,â„… Pinkyotto
Tights, H&M
Shoes, Trippen
Necklace, Star

This would be my ideal holiday look because it could work seamlessly between parties, meetings and nights out.

What I Wore: Back To The Future

1. KaufmanFranco Asymmetric Wool-Blend Dress, 2. Martin Margiela Collapsible Satchel, 3. Martin Margiela Multi-Strand Belt, 4. Topshop AMAZE2 Eva Stripe Wedge Boots and 5. Rick Owens Cashmere and Wool Blend Jacket.

Have a great Monday! I’m anxiously counting down the days till Thanksgiving…break time and visiting with my grandparents. Sounds perfect to me.

The Blogcademy New York On Film!

Yes, I’m still talkin’ about The Blogcademy over here because we just got the final edit of our New York workshop video back from the amazing Ben Vogel and are totally over the moon with how it turned out! It’s one thing to write about what happened and show you photos but actually seeing it as it happened is even more awesome.

Tickets to our SECOND London date went on sale Friday and have been moving fast — get all the details here if you’d like to join us!

The Blogcademy London Part 2: We’re So Excited!

The Blogcademy 02 London

We’ve been so thrilled by the demand for Blogcademy London. Thank you so much to everyone who signed up! Since the first workshop sold out in just 24 hours, we’ve decided to add a second date! The next Blogcademy class will take place on Wednesday, January 23rd & Thursday, January 24th, 2013, again at the Curtain Road Studios in Shoreditch.

The same rules apply so if you’d like to join us please register here. And remember, we’re still offering a scholarship! We’re giving one place away (you can pick whichever date you’d prefer to attend).

Of course, we want to keep you entertained and you can blame Gala for this completely insane video. She sent us a script and well…can you tell that we’re excited?! Haha! Kat wins for best headgear. Rainbow unicorns unite!

Finally, we want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has requested cities, retweeted our information and shared their Blogcademy experiences on their blogs and with friends. Without you, none of this would be possible. Thank you so much for joining us on this wild ride. We can’t wait to see you in London! It’s gonna be a blast.