Day 0018 – Reflection
September 17, 2010, 4:47 pm
Filed under: MFA | Tags:

I am going to be addressing an audience at the Vermont 3.0 in October on what it is like being a graduate student, and thought this blog would be a nice place to capture my experiences and explore some of the concepts we are studying in the MFA in Emergent Media at Champlain College.


These are the three main themes driving the program.  Even though we are only in week three, I have found evidence of them in everything we are doing.

I thought it would be nice to show some of the work in progress, to get a feel for the process and pacing of the program and be able to come back and compare it to the finished work and reflect on what we have learned.


One of the best initial experiences has been getting into the practice of creating art everyday. Here is sneak peek at some of my Daily Art Journal entries.  The concept is that you would continue the same theme for a week and then you would tweak the approach and riff in a new direction for a week, etc.

My routine consist of getting outside everyday and creating something with found natural elements.  I was inspired my a cool article on the New York Times Technology website Your Brain on Computers – Studying the Brain Off the Grid that talked about a group of professors that decided to go on a nature getaway and reflect on their experience with no technology.  If you check out article make sure to click on the video links to the Unplugged Challenge, very insightful.

Also, I am a huge fan of Andy Goldsworthy as is obvious in my Week Two exploration.  Nice to get away from my computer now and then (I will keep my iPod, thank you very much).

Another quick example of being creative.

I love using Photoshop and look for every opportunity to use it.  I also love that one of our first assignments is self-portraits.  We have to execute a total of three portraits; one in a medium we feel very comfortable with, one in a medium that we are familiar with but want to learn more about and finally one using a technique you no nothing about.

There seems to be a strong theme running through some of the lectures, so I thought my first should take advantage of the fact that several of the professors are huge Trekkies.  I guess this is a modern day equivalent of putting an apple on the teachers desk.


There is a huge thrill in being a part of something new.  As this is the first year that the MFA program is in operation, we are forging the uncharted waters and the adventure is going to be a blast.

I have also had the pleasure of being part of another ‘first’ at Champlain.

The Perry Barn is an amazing new space on the main campus that is set aside for the graphic design program.  Two floors filled with super sweet 27″ iMacs, a chill zone with round tables covered in paper (very cool), a meeting room, and a big area for cutting and mounting work.  Lucky for me as part of the program, I am acting as a mentor / teaching assistant for the space, available for questions, concerns, and advice throughout the week.

On thursdays, I have the advantage of sitting in on the the GDD program director David Lustgarten’s GDD200 – Design and Communication class.  First project is Fossil: Harnessing the Random Mark.  Could be fun to follow guidelines and create an icon for the Barn.  They have done some nice things with the landscaping, including a Sun Dial by Vermont artist Kate Pond, that would be worth exploring.


Last, but not least, innovation…it is everywhere.  This is why I am here.

“What is that?  You have never designed a website before?  No problemo.  You will be an expert by the end of the semester.  XHTML, CSS, Flash, scripting, we will cover it all…”

Here is a quick look at my initial comp for our personal website.  The idea for the navigation is that you change the outfit on the paper doll to look at the different parts of the site.  It will start very simple as I learn the basic concepts of web design and as I learn more, I will incorporate new technologies to make the site more exciting and functional.

This concept of Coberlin 2.0 is one I have been playing around with since I first heard about the program and will continue to explore during my time at Champlain.  How will I use collaboration, innovation and creativity in the future to the make the world a better place to live?  I can’t wait to find out.


1 Comment so far
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Very clever – you are so creative and talented. What fun. wl pa

Comment by Peter Brownell

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