The Design Loop

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

The next time you’re looking for some inspiration, give a listen to “Design Matters” hosted by Debbie Millman. Debbie interviews some of the design greats: Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, Steven Heller, Neville Brody, Stefan Sagmeister and many, many more! Download her weekly podcasts from itunes, or give a listen on SoundCloud.


Debbie Millman host of “Design Matters”

Learn more about Debbie on her website and make sure you follower her on twitter @debbiemillman.


Find out about some 3D Printing options, gain knowledge and explore new visions with applied technology right here in downtown Chicago.

A Special Thanks to The 3D Printer Experience team for their dedication, attention and professionalism!


Come out and support 8 of our Visual Communication and Animation Grads!

Robert Adams, Felicia Bavirsha, Chaniel Clark, Nes Davis, Quittman Farmer, Alfredo Mones, Alex Villanueva,
and Ryan Zarzecki.

Free and Open to the Public!

Details here:

Opening Reception:  Thursday, May 2 from 5 – 8
as part of Pop-Up Art Loop’s “First Thursdays” Art Walk

Right around the corner from the school:
23 E Madison St., Chicago, IL  60602

Refreshments will be served.
Look through design portfolios, watch animation demo-reels, and speak with the artists themselves.  Enjoy a wide variety of work on the walls, shelves, video-screens, and vote for your favorite.  We will award a “Best of Show: People’s Choice” at the end of the showcase, so come in and cast your vote!

The Showcase Dates:  May 1 – 21, 2013
open gallery hours:  Wed. – Sat., 11:30am – 5:30pm

Hope to see you there!


Congratulations to animation student Jessica Aparicio for being named Student of the Term for the January 2012 term!  She was nominated for her exemplary work ethic and general awesome-ness.  Jess is amazingly cheerful, imaginative, and responsible, which make her a positive leader, a helpful teammate, and an enthusiastic learner.  A little over half-way through the program, she’s had enough experience to know the challenges of being an Animator, and she has great plans for the future!  As always, I asked a few questions.  And as expected, Jess responded joyfully and thoughtfully:

What do you surround yourself with visually, musically, creatively, or even just for fun?

“I love this question! There are so many things I love to surround myself with that make me feel creative. For instance, I love the beach, the ocean, anything summer, so I usually have something that reminds me of that around. Summer comes very slow to Chicago, so I always need a picture of the summer sun to help me feel warm. I have watercolor paintings of sea shells in my room and a jar of seashells and rocks on my shelf. I also make sure I have some of my favorite books around, which currently are my Harry Potter books–I adore the series! For music, anything dance or upbeat. I don’t want to listen to sad and slow songs while creating something; it will make me lose my energy.  But if I have some really good, upbeat music that has me wanting to dance, then I can create for hours. I also love to read short stories online. For me, that gets my imagination running, and I start thinking about my own projects and  what I can do with them.”

Here are some of her short studies in 2D animation techniques:

What is your favorite step in the process of making an Animation?

“My favorite step would be coming up with the idea. I love being able to discuss my projects with friends and teachers to get another person’s opinion. It really helps me grow. I may like my character to have something specific, but another person would disagree with me. It’s a process of trying to find a balance with your idea. As I talk to more and more people, I find new ideas to add to my story and old ideas that could be added to a new story. It’s almost like a journey. It’s you and the character running around in circles trying to understand one another. We’ve all had that one character who has told us what they do and don’t like. Every animator has an imagination, and with an imagination comes a whole lot of different worlds.”

This animation she made, called Imagination, perfectly illustrates this:

Learning animation techniques can be tough, especially in the 3D world.  What’s your secret to overcoming the tough stuff?

“I don’t let myself get down about these things. I may complain and scream in my pillow and want to kick a wall in but I keep moving forward. I think of it like this, every single animator, whether one is new to animation or a professional in the industry, has had or is currently having a problem with learning a different animation technique. No one is perfect, I have had instructors who have been teaching these skills for years forget how to do something. It’s totally normal and it happens. I just tell myself, “I will get it the next time and if I don’t then I just have to keep trying, keep practicing, keep believing. If you lose faith in yourself then you lose faith in your skills. It’s new and it takes a while for something new to sink in. You’re just starting to learn these things, it takes practice and ambition to learn. Never give up hope.” Smile, laugh, take a break, watch Doctor Who, like I do, and then go back and see what you can do.”

A 3D animation sketch:

A 3D model:

Once you finish school here, what’s next?  What do you have in mind for your future?

“Well, at first I wanted to try my hand at 2D animation. I love 2D so much, and I would love to be able to work in the industry and do that. But I found something so much better for myself. I found my calling, what I’m meant to do. I want to teach. I want to teach art, teach 2D animation, and reach out and help those who want to expand their imagination like I do. I have a lot of patience and I love working with children, so I think I could do it. I’m going to start off small. I would like to teach children and teenagers how to draw and use simple programs. After a while, I think I will go back to school and aim for my Master’s, so I can work with college students. That way I can work on some of my own work and not feel so closed in. I’ll be free to do my own thing and still help out. My dream, ever since I was a kid, was to help make people laugh, smile and just be happy. I can do that with my art, I can do that helping kids learn, I can do that by being a positive influence in a child’s life and helping them grow.”

Yay, Jess!


Go see this event!  It is nearby, FREE, and will be inspiring!

Who: Luba Lukova
When: Wednesday, April 4, 2012. 6:30 pm
Location: Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave., 2nd Floor

Social consciousness has long been part of the vocabulary of New York designer Luba Lukova. Through student workshops and a public lecture, Lukova will discuss the influences and process that inspired 12 poster series Social Justice 2008. Her career-long focus on issues such as peace, censorship, immigration, ecology, hunger and corruption is merged with the history of visual communication.  As Lukova states  “This project is my cry for action. We have to change things for the good of the entire world, not only for America,” says Lukova. “I was inspired by the desire for change in our society, by the enormous activity of the people and their will to make a difference.”

(I plan on going. If anyone wants to walk over with me, drop me a line:

It’s one thing to have ambition, desire—even talent!—but it takes a combination of these paired with HARD WORK and PERSISTENCE to really make it as a designer, or anything for that matter.

So, for those of you that want to put in the extra time, I commend you!  Click here for the March term schedule of OPEN LAB HOURS available for you on campus: OPEN LAB hours for SCHOOL OF DESIGN Students ONLY

For those of you who need a little extra help or simply want to better your skills with instructor assistance, our tutoring sessions for the March term will start soon.

DESIGN tutoring (starts March 27th – continues through May 8)
(for Adobe Creative Suite Program and conceptual design help)
Tuesdays from 2 – 5pm

ANIMATION tutoring (starts April 12th – continues through May10)
(for help with Animation Programs: Maya, Z-brush, AfterEffects, etc.)
Thursdays from 1 – 4pm

And those of you who don’t feel like putting in the extra time…well, good luck out there!  😉

Hey ya’ll!  You won’t want to miss this. We’ve got 3 graduates from our School of Design coming to give us the scoop on what they’ve been doing since graduation.  And we’re gonna have FREE LUNCH, and compete in a little design challenge.

Friday, March 23
11:30 am – 1 pm
Room 1063

The School of Design presents

They work hard for the money!
a Design Event

With Special Guests…

Louie Mercado (Art Director for SCHAWK!, 2009 Grad—Visual Communications Program)

Darius Salary (Game Designer for Phosphor Games, 2008 Grad—Animation Program)

Ben Byron (Graphic Designer for Euromonitor International, 2010 Grad—Visual Communications Program)

If you don’t have class Friday, it will be worth the trip to come downtown for.  If you have a morning class, your instructor will bring you.  And if you have an afternoon class, just plan to come a little early that day.

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