Archives for category: KU alumni
'Taking the Plunge' graphic designed by Prof. Karen Kresge

‘Taking the Plunge’ graphic designed by Prof. Karen Kresge

“Taking the Plunge” is an annual event at Kutztown U’s Communication Design Dept. where (very) recent grads share with current students their experiences after graduation. Prof. Karen Kresge runs the show. Someday, KUCD is supposed have its own social media campaign, meanwhile Prof. Kresge’s personal Facebook page serves as the resource for recent grads to find and share job news.

One Trick Pony's mascot  © 2013 One Trick Pony

One Trick Pony’s mascot © 2014 One Trick Pony

Speaking of social media campaigns, Danielle McShea worked on a wild one at One Trick Pony, a creative agency in N.J.  She handled social media postings for Virgin Mobile’s FreeFest 2013. Virgin may not be the biggest phone company, but thanks to Danielle, they have a lot more Facebook friends – like hundreds of thousands of friends! Danielle shared advice from her first meeting with Bill Starkey of One Trick Pony at a portfolio review. Starkey asked to see only the one worst piece in her portfolio, saying,  “You are only as good as the worst piece in your book.” By the way, according to their website they are hiring ‘client whisperers.’

Image from the Phillyosophy campaign from visitphilly.com

Image from the Phillyosophy campaign from visitphilly.com

New York, New York, or NOT!

Kelsey Kolvacik got a job for a big NYC agency, McGarryBowen, working on American Airlines social media. One day in NYC she saw a Visit Philly ad that she recognized as the work of the cutting-edge Philadelphia agency, Red Tettemer O’Connell. She had interned there and realized that it was her dream job. Kelsey got in touch with her old supervisor. At the exact moment she clicked the email from Philly offering her the job, You Make my Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates came on the radio.

From Possibilities, the Nike ad that changed Jessyca Pacheco's attitude.

From Possibilities, the Nike ad that changed Jessyca Pacheco’s attitude.

Living Here in Allentown

On the other hand, Jessyca Pacheco, had her sights firmly set on NYC. She went so far as moving in with an aunt and uncle who live in New Jersey. She managed to do bit of freelancing, but needed to waitress to pay her bills. Then a job opened up at the Media Arts Group, the in-house design studio at Allentown’s Morning Call. She got it, but admits that at first she felt she had failed by returning to Pennsylvania. Then a one-minute Nike commercial called “Possibilities” turned her attitude around. She sent me the link. Just click it. Taking the message of Possibilities to heart, Jessyca says she is thrilled by the challenge of projects like this “Red Hot Chili Pipers” cover for Go Street.

This week's Go Street, cover design by Jessyca Pacheco

This week’s Go Street, cover design by Jessyca Pacheco

Kelly Arsi talked enthusiastically about her work at Allebach Communications in Souderton, PA. As a transfer student to KU she had to stay a fifth year, but felt the extra workshops paid off as she designs everything from packaging to annual reports. Jessica Savard is doing a wide range of graphics at MCS Industries. Matt Stachewicz got hired by recently at MAG/Morning Call, joining Jessyca there. Court Woytko, who is a sports and entertainment fan seems to have landed her ideal job at the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem. She met Iron Mike Tyson this week. Raychale Fulginiti and Kelsea Ashworth couldn’t be in Kutztown, but phoned in video greetings from Disneyworld (Rachel) and Boston (Kelsea) where they are happily employed.

Self-portrait illustration by Mellen from www.mellenmade.com

Self-portrait illustration by Mellen from http://www.mellenmade.com

This blog is called Illustration Concentration, which admittedly is the smallest subset of the larger Communication Design major at Kutztown. Typically, only a handful of students complete the illustration concentration. One who did so is a wonderful illustrator who goes by “Mellen,” Melissa Rae Rheinbold. She graduated in December and just began her job yesterday at Crayola. Mellen said Prof. Kresge suggested she send a copy of her illustrated book to Crayola, and the job offer came quickly. We will give her a few days to settle in, but hope to have a future post devoted to Mellen and her illustration work.

Kate Santee in Kutztown T center, racing against Jerzey Brigade photo © by Tom Gaylord.

Kate Santee in the Kutztown tee, racing against Jerzey Brigade photo © by Tom Gaylord.

Speaking of curious networking, another KU grad, Kate Santee, tells me she got to illustrate a book through folks she met in her role as roller derby racer! Kate recently illustrated a chapter book for young readers. First in a series, Silly Nomads From Palmerston Close is written by Jan L. Lewis and Marcus Mohalland. 

Cover art by Kate Santee © 2013 Mohalland Lewis, LLC

Cover art by Kate Santee © 2013 Mohalland Lewis, LLC

Kate’s freelance design work has been picking up. I asked about roller derby and she was good enough to explain the sport.  “I logo1still skate with the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls.  We play home bouts at Independence Family Fun Center in Schnecksville. I usually play as a blocker, whose job is to prevent the other team’s jammer from getting through the pack. The jammer’s job is to lap the other skaters in a pack, and they score points for each skater from the opposing team that they pass.” 

On the Lehigh Valley RollerGirl site I learned Kate Santee, a former KU honor student was chosen as November’s  “Rough and tumble player of the month” and she is part of the “Special Vixens Unit.”

Silly Nomads?

Silly Nomad illustration by Kate Santee ©

Silly Nomad illustration by Kate Santee © Mohalland Lewis

Kate wrote, “One of the authors is an acquaintance of a woman I skate with; she gave him my business card, and he sent me an inquiry through my website. The project was originally going to be one book, but the authors decided it would be more appropriate for their target audience to make it a series of three shorter books. I’m currently working on the second book and intend to illustrate the whole series.” 

The Silly Nomads are two Jamaican brothers who get into a series of misadventures when they decide to live like desert nomads. My favorite episode occurs when the boys decide they need a cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper. Mother must have already disposed of the tube, so the boys proceed to flush an entire roll of toilet paper down the toilet.

The clogged toilet episode drawn by Kate Santee © Mohalland Lewis 2013

The clogged toilet episode drawn by Kate Santee © Mohalland Lewis 2013

Book signing in Bethlehem, PA on Dec 20

Silly Nomads is available on Amazon. Or better yet, if you’d like a signed copy, Kate Santee and both authors, M. E. Mohalland and J. L. Lewis will be at Bethlehem’s famed Moravian Bookshop, Fri. Dec. 20 from 4-6pm.  If you can’t make the signing, the Moravian Bookshop will likely have copies on hand for Christmas gifts.

Madison O'Niel at Vista Verde.

Madison O’Niel at Vista Verde.

Maddy O’Neil won the Don Breter Illustration Award when he graduated from Kutztown in May.  The honor student attended KU on a full scholarship. For his honor’s thesis he did a great job illustrating a children’s picture book. Oddly enough, his first job after graduation with his BFA was as a ranch hand at a high-end dude ranch in Colorado. I asked Maddy what he did as a ranch hand at Vista Verde Ranch.

maddy2“Pretty much anything that needed to be done outside. Mowing, putting up fences, splitting firewood, fixing anything broken, etc. Vista Verde is absolutely gorgeous, so being outside all day was a blessing. We also got to interact with lots of the guests.  The ranch had many activities that the staff and guests would both take part in: barn dances, horseshoe tournaments, and music nights.  I got to be a dance partner at the barn dance. It was a fantastic place to work and I had a legitimate excuse to wear cowboy boots on a daily basis.”

Cover for Maddy O'Neil's Willie the Moose.

Cover for Maddy O’Neil’s Willie the Moose.

“During orientation at the ranch we were able to share about ourselves to get to know everybody a little better. I shared that I had a design degree and a passion for illustration. Steph, the director of hospitality and head of public relations stopped me one day in passing and said she had an idea to do a children’s book related to the ranch. She asked me if I wanted to be involved. I was obviously excited and began work right away. We met weekly to talk about the story and artwork, but for the most part I had total creative control over the project.”

All illustrations courtesy Maddy O'Neil.

All illustrations courtesy Maddy O’Neil.

Maddy created what Steph of Vista Verde calls ” a charming story of a sweet moose trying to find his place at a little dude ranch in Colorado.” She wrote, “When Maddy revealed the book at our end of season staff party the room was filled with laughter that just wouldn’t end.”

Willie has an identity crisis! by Madison O'Neil.

Willie has an identity crisis! by Madison O’Neil.

Maddy’s success proves the power of networking no matter where one ends up. More Willy the Moose artwork can be seen on Maddy’s Behance page. Willie the Moose is now published in full color and available for 19.95 at the Vista Verde web site.

Willie as Ranch hand by Maddy O'Neil.

Willie as Ranch hand by Maddy O’Neil.

Maddy has returned back East to pursue his design and illustration career. We expect great things from him. Maddy has a great attitude, super people skills, and newly acquired horse and moose sense.

Speaking of curious networking, another KU grad, Kate Santee, tells me she got to illustrate a book through folks met as a roller derby racer! If I can get permission to use her artwork, I will share more.

KUTZTOWN as GALLERY

artistharvest2013banner

Here is your invitation to walk into Lucky 13 Tattoo & Piercing Parlor and The K’town Pub and Basin Street Tavern. If you don’t want another tattoo, go to Lucky 13 before you hit the bars! Meet Kutztown area artists at a variety of local businesses. Each venue will feature works from one or more artists, and many of the artists will be available to talk to about their work on Friday evening.

Linear Composition, painting by Jan Crooker.

Linear Composition, painting © by Jan Crooker on view at Lucky 13.

What I really like about this event is this: it’s not a fundraiser!  It is meant to build an audience for Kutztown artists and give you a reason to enter a new business. It is free to see. The artists don’t have to pay to play; perhaps someone might buy their work. The Kutztown Community Partnership is the sponsor. Thanks to Kutztown booster Jim Springer of Dunkelberger’s Jewelers for coordinating this unique event.

Navajo Madonna and Child by Maureen Yoder. Kutztown

See Navajo Madonna and Child © by Maureen Yoder at Vynecrest Wine Shop

Artists will also be at Global Libations, Uptown Espresso, Jackie & Daughter, Monaghan Realtors, Wholesome Foods, Adam N’ Eve, Firefly Books, J.A. Meyer, CC’s Wooden Grill, Pop’s Malt Shoppe, Main Street Inn, and Spuds. Start anywhere and grab a list!

Portrait of Azuka ©Leah King at KTL Cigars.

Portrait of Azuka ©Leah King at KTL Cigars.

Leah King was my illustration student at Kutztown. She’s had success lately doing art for children’s books like Bathtime for Brandon by Angela Hunt. Leah will be showing her mixed media artwork at KTL Cigars, 100 Constitution Blvd. Two of my former KU design colleagues are Artist Harvest participants, Dianne V Dockery and John K Landis.

Clay monoprint © by Dianne Vottero Dockery at Dunkelbergers.

Clay monoprint © by Dianne Vottero Dockery at Dunkelbergers.

John Landis is sharing his hand-made miniature buildings. His work will be on view at Colasanti Printworks. He sent me some photos of his tiny buildings based on real places he recalls from his childhood, like the one below. What is happening on the second floor?

IMG_0317

Dress Store and Doctor’s Office © John K Landis at Colasanti Printworks

All the artists and venues will be happy to see new faces. Most are located along Main St. At the edge of town Nectar’s Cafe will be open for dinner Friday Oct. 4 from 5-8pm in celebration of the Artist Harvest. My friend Camille Eaton Romig will be showing quilts there and Nectar’s will be rolling out a new orange cognac coffee just for the event.

Graphic © by Matt Williams of Firefly Books, Kutztown

Graphic © by Matt Williams of Firefly Books, Kutztown

Depending on the venue, the art work may be on view Saturday and Sunday Oct. 5 and 6, as well. However, if you want to meet and great the artists, get to Kutztown Oct. 4. It’s like New York, but smaller.

 

WE WONNNNNNN AN EMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!!!

SpongeBob© Copyright 1999 Viacom International Inc.

SpongeBob© Copyright 1999 Viacom International Inc.

I hate Facebook posts with multiple exclamation points !!!  It should be up to the reader to decide how excited to become by reading an exclamatory sentence. Yesterday Amanda Geisinger, a Kutztown grad and Interactive Designer at Nickelodeon posted: WE WONNNNNNN AN EMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!!!  OK, OK, I am willing to make an exception for major awards. Amanda has every right to be excited. She helped create the EMMY award-winning NICK App!!!

Nick app screenshot.

Amanda by Amanda

Amanda by Amanda

I last saw Amanda by chance on a Bieber bus to NYC in April. I asked her if she was still working with Spongebob. She told me yes and that she had just begun making her first app. When I heard the NICK App won an Emmy I wrote to ask for details.

Amanda writes: “Yup, this is the app I mentioned, ha! Our team is pretty big; the design team has about 20 members, and Nick Digital {which includes departments like ad sales, digital marketing, content and programming, engineering, product development, production, etc.} is maybe 130-ish in total. My team that started on the initial style guide {which has evolved dramatically} was pretty small, but the endeavor was so large that pretty much everyone has participated in the development in a significant and meaningful way. A lot of us are still involved in the daily content updates. We also enlisted the help of an outside vendor, Fantasy Interactive.”

NickSwipe

So Nickelodeon Digital’s EMMY is for: Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media – User Experience And Visual Design. I thought EMMY awards were only for TV shows. This is the first year Emmy jurors are celebrating not just traditionally formatted content, but cutting edge “next generation” content such as apps. The EMMY site notes the Nick App goes “beyond a typical app that offers free video viewing and instead offers more interactive content, games, and video — whenever and wherever the user wants it. “

Special Offer for readers of the illustration concentration blog: the Nick App is available FREE, Here!!! I’m kidding about the special part, the app is free everywhere. In fact, the NICK app has been ranked #1 free entertainment app for the Ipad. It is also available for Iphone, Windows 8 and X-box. Congrats, Amanda.

"Be a Rainbow" detail © Amanda Geisinger

“Be a Rainbow” detail © Amanda Geisinger

Above is a sample of Amanda’s happy illustration style. To see more of her work visit: www.amandageisinger.com

Picture 2

Jon Shafer is a recent KU illustration grad. He found this cute print on sale on Etsy. It seemed familiar because he drew it over a year ago. Below is Jonathan’s original art as featured on his web page.

Original wedding tree art © Jon Shafer, 2012

Original wedding tree art © Jon Shafer, 2012

Jon wrote to SpecialPrints. I asked him to keep me posted. “She said she found it on google and loved it so much she ‘redrew it by hand.” She also claimed the site she got it from did not have anything about copyright listed. She even asked Jon Shafer to send her his Library of Congress certificate of copyright.

Clearly she is in the wrong.  According to the U.S. Copyright office, “Copyright exists from the moment the work is created.” In fact, SpecialPrints went so far to claim copyright to Jon’s original image:Picture 3

My personal experience with copyright violation ended well. In the 1980′s I lived in Hoboken. I made an illustrated map of the town and included Frank Sinatra’s birthplace. I found my map in a book, The Frank Sinatra Scrapbook, published by St. Martin’s Press. I called the Society of Illustrators to ask for a lawyer referral, they suggested Harry Devlin, son of the illustrator with the same name. I remember Mr. Devlin warning me, “You aren’t going get a house out of this. ” I asked, “Can I get a refrigerator?” He said, “Frost-free!”

 Walking Around Hoboken © Kevin McCloskey

Walking Around Hoboken © Kevin McCloskey 1986

Mr. Devlin got a thousand dollars from the person who infringed on my copyright. In my case, the attorney got one-third of the payment, so I got the diabolical amount of $666. Like Jon Shafer, I had copyright at the moment of creation. If I had gone to the trouble of actually registering the copyright with the Library of Congress, then the offending party would have also been liable for Mr. Devlin’s fees.

To see more of Jon Shafer’s art visit www.jonshafer.com.

FYI: Etsy does have rules against this sort of infringement. They say, in part, “Repeat offenders will have all material removed from the system and Etsy will terminate such Members’ access to the service.

Free factual info on copyright from the U.S. Copyright Office is here.

UPDATE  8/23/13: 

Sent by Jon Shafer:  Just to follow up a little. That lady took it down. For now at least. I contacted Behance about how this link is getting to my image. After countless emails. They’ve established it’s going into their image folder and finding it. But on my end if I delete or modify it. The link still goes to it. So you might want to warn your illustrators. To water mark everything or take angled shots of work. Not perfect scans. Even on their websites unfortunately.

 

 

This article originally appeared in “The Gonser Gazette” -the Friends of  Kutztown Community Library’s newsletter.

Mural design superimposed on a photo of the Kutztown Community Library.

Mural design superimposed on a photo of the Kutztown Community Library.

The Kutztown Community Library was selected once again this year to participate in Kutztown University’s “Designathon” for non-profit organizations.  Janet Yost, Lisa Schnell, and I presented Kutztown U Communication Design students the tasks of creating a new mural for our library’s outside wall and a brochure to be used for promotion of a new  upcoming children’s program.

The students, with guidance from several professors, had twenty-four hours (non-stop, no sleep) to complete the designs which included some very specific requests on our part.  This was all done with no fee to our library.  Their finished designs are simply fantastic as you will see when the final painting and printing are completed this summer.

KU CD Mural Design Team

KU CD Designathon team after 24 hours non-stop work. Kelly Arsi, Sean Miller, Torrey Smith, Ryan Gaylets, Prof. Elaine Cunfer, Margariete Malenda, and Zack Fogleman.

Wonderful as their work is though, I am even more impressed by the KU students themselves. They were polite and patient as they listened to our needs, enthusiastic about the process, and not the least bit daunted by the responsibility put before them.  And worn out as those artists should have been at the twenty-four-hour deadline, they quite happily presented their finished products to us.  They eagerly awaited our approval, which we gave them whole-heartedly.  Some of them actually offered to help paint the mural for us this summer…..even though they will have already graduated.

In a world where there seems to be so much bad news, these KU students are the good news.  They are well on their way to understanding how important it is to willingly donate time and energy to make a community a better place.  I am happy to know that they, and so many just like them, will be an integral part of the future.  Thanks to all of you dedicated parents and educators who have given them to us.

- Mary Jo Johnson, President Emeritus, Friends of the Kutztown Community Library

Mural detail showing homage to Keith Haring.

Mural detail showing homage to Keith Haring.

Editor’s Note: The break-dancing silhouettes pay homage to the style of Keith Haring, Kutztown, PA’s best-known artist. Turns out his parents are active Friends of the Kutztown Library, and the Harings gave their blessing to this use of imagery based on Keith’s signature style.

© 2012 Jeff Gum

© 2013 Jeff Gum

In Jeff Gum’s PIONEERS, two shipwreck salvagers from the year 3861 P.G.B. get more than they bargain for when they uncover the remains of an “ancient” NASA space vessel. Jeff and his classmates in illustration II are all pioneers of sorts. They all are making individual zines, or mini-comics to share at MOCCAfest 2013 in New York City, a first for KU.

© 2013 Darby Minter

© 2013 Darby Minter

Kutztown will be among a select group of colleges at the indie comic showcase at the historic Lexington Ave. Armory. SVA, MICA, and the Center for Cartoon Studies will be there, but most MOCCA exhibitors are publishers and established artists. Darby Minter’s 8-pager, above, has a working title – Dreaming in Botulism. It is the story a young girl’s nightmare, the result of food poisoning. Darby plans to customize her zine with a post-it note from Mom on the fridge on page 6.

© 2013 Isaiah Arpino

© 2013 Isaiah Arpino

The panel above is from “Isaiah Arpino’s Most Amazing Story With Both Panties And An Ostrich. As Isaiah says,It’s crazy what you can find in a basement and where it will take you.”

© 2013 Nathan Hurst

© 2013 Nathan Hurst

Awkward Bunnies by Nathan Hurst will be a 12-page project. The caption to the drawing above is “Do you still wear acid wash jeans?” More of Nathan’s art can be seen at: Thesuburbanpilgrim.tumblr.com

Another artist who can be found on tumblr is Lauren Gillespie. She is working on a project called Scallywaggin’ –“the heartwarming tale of a rowdy gang of cutthroat space pirates and their bungling captain that scour the universe for fortunes untold….sort of.”

panel from Scallywaggin' ©2013 Lauren Gillespie

panel from Scallywaggin’ ©2013 Lauren Gillespie

mocca_logoMOCCA, by the way, stands for Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. MOCCAfest will be April 6 & 7 this year. It is New York’s largest indie comics showcase, featuring hundreds of creators and publishers for two days of educational panel discussions, slide shows, and interviews. It is open to the public for just $10 a day, details can be found here. We will be showing more highlights of our Kutztown illustration student projects real soon.

Signage for Christmas Story at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, NYC

I know the purpose of higher education is not job-training. Still, I must admit there is nothing that warms this professor’s heart more than getting an email with the subject line:  Hey Prof, I GOT A JOB!

Ethan Ross, NY designer, KU CD grad, class of 2012.

Ethan Ross wrote to say, ” I have been working full-time as a Junior Designer at aka NYC. I interned here over the summer and they offered me the job. The company is located in the Theater District in Manhattan and exclusively does advertising for Broadway. Right now our biggest shows are: “Matilda the Musical” and “GlenGarry Glen Ross.

Ethan designed posters, signs, and banners for Christmas Story, the Musical. The image above is peppered with quotes from Jean Shepard’s beloved holiday tale, notably, “Oh My God, I shot my eye out!”

Ethan got to do edgier design work for the new rock musical, BARE.

Ethan Ross’s poster for BARE, an Off-Broadway musical

Ethan describes Bare as an “Off-Broadway musical about teenagers attending a Catholic boarding school and trying to find their own identities. I am the lead graphic designer on this show and have worked with a creative director from the beginning. In addition to the poster, I designed a direct-mail piece and a series of illustrations that are being used on the show’s social media outlets.”

He has also been doing a lot of art for Bare‘s Facebook page. Bare opens this week, Nov 19, at The New World Stage, 340 W 50th St.

I wrote to Ethan asking how he fared during Hurricane Sandy. He wrote back, “Sandy didn’t affect me much, thankfully. I live in Marble Hill in the Bronx which is pretty far north and on top of a cliff, so I didn’t have to worry about flooding or losing power. The only inconvenience  I experienced was when the subways shut down after the storm I was essentially trapped for a few days.” Clearly, Ethan has adjusted to life beyond Kutztown. We expect to see more great things from him.

Austin Carlson graduated from KU in May, 2012 with a BFA in Communication Design. He won the Don Breter Illustration Award. Lately he has been working at a supermarket near his home in Hanover, PA. That will all change in a few weeks when he flies to Denmark to start his new job as a designer for LEGO. I wrote to him to ask him to share some of the portfolio pieces that helped him land his dream job.

What is your new job title?

“I will be first working as a Junior Graphic Designer for LEGO and hopefully work up from there.”

“Sky Ship” digital Illustration done at KU © 2012 Austin Carlson

What can you tell us about the interview?

“All I can say about the interview is that I doubt I will ever have a better job interview in my life! The LEGO Company paid for everything and I’m not overselling that statement.”

Einstein as Rocketeer, © 2012, Austin Carlson

“They paid for my plane tickets there and back, my taxi rides, all my meals, two tickets for LEGO Land, plus about 150 dollars worth of LEGO sets. Also all the nine candidates that came for the job interview became quick friends. I still keep in touch with them and I will see two of them again real soon since they were hired also.”

Children’s book concept illustration © Austin Carlson 2012.

How long have you wanted to work for LEGO?

I’ve always wanted to work for the LEGO Company!” says Austin. “This is really a dream come true for me! Since I started building when I was 4, I always wanted a position at LEGO. I just had no clue what Graphic Design was as a kid. I thought you had to be a starving artist if you wanted a career in art.”

LEGO ad design by Austin Carlson, KU project, 2012

Austin shared a couple more curious images that look like two of his illustration classmates transformed into LEGO characters. He calls them Mini-Joe and Mini-Laura, see below. To view more of the artwork that impressed LEGO visit Austin Carlson’s portfolio site.

Mini-Joe and Mini-Laura by Austin Carlson, 2012.

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