The Design Loop

Archive for the ‘Student Work’ Category

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!



I am very pleased to announce our Student of Term (October 2011 term) for Visual Communications: Ashley Macabenta-Torres!  She has been with us only a little over 1 year now, and is already proving to be a force to reckon with.  She is dedicated to learning design, has clever ideas, and works hard, often taking on additional projects simply to build her skill-practice (or maybe just for fun?).

These images are from a series of photographs she took for the Digital Photography class, matching up old family photos with their current environments:


Here are a few pages of her layout solution for Intro to InDesign class–she did all the drawings, too!  My favorite line, hidden among the instructions–“Crank up some Kraftwerk” (click to view larger):

I asked her a few questions:

Do you have a creative background?  Or how did you get into Art/Design in the first place?
As a kid, I drew graffiti art, played instruments, and wrote a lot of poetry. In High School, I originally chose to take Graphic Design, but was placed in Culinary Arts. I learned a lot about how art can be applied to food that we eat. When a spot opened up for Graphic Communication, I took it. It ended up benefiting me, because everything I learned about Adobe Programs, and print production has helped me in Westwood.

Where do you draw inspiration for your design solutions?  Where do your ideas come from?
I try to understand what the project theme is, and what my expectations are, and base all of my decisions around that. My ideas pop out during my commute home, or my downtime when I have an opportunity to reflect on the flaws or successes of my designs.

You’re about half-way through the Bachelors Program here…what, so far, has been your favorite project for a class?
My favorite projects were my video projects for Audio/Video class. I can’t choose one. They were all really great. I feel like I am able to show my true potential in 3 minutes of a video, rather than a design.

What’s your long-term plan?  What do you want to be doing 10 years from now?
I still want to continue my education by taking Digital Animation and Video Effects, and IT. I really want to base myself around art and technology, how it works, and what I can do with all of it.

Speaking of video, this is one of Ashley’s video-editing outcomes (coincidentally about her family, too):

Keep it up, Ashley!  We look forward to seeing what you are up to in a year from now, after graduation, and far into the future.

Check out the link at the top of the page that says “Student Critique”.  Juan Guerrero submitted some work and really wanted to get some feedback on it.  Leave a comment and lets help him out!

So if you missed the fourth Flash Forward Film Festival you can check it out here online!  There are four parts to the whole thing which you can view below.

Justin Hampton: design geek intro
Latonya Harris: Cyanide Girl
Alex Villanueva: Chicken
Charlene Pagan: Shoeshine Boy
Brandon Chase: Split

Alfredo Mones: Move it
Charlene Pagan: Depends Ad
Alex Villanueva: Mugsy
Beastie Boys: Richard Espino
Talk to Me: Charlene Pagan
Hecht Outdoors Promo: Matt Hecht
Causality Under Fire: Nes David
Animation: Alex Villanueva

Batphone: Kelvin Blanchard
Night After Night: James McFarland
Converse Ad: Matt Hecht
Some Poems: Latonya Harris
I Hate Boys: Juan Guerrero

Black Matters: Justin Hampton
The Truth: Quittman Farmer
Candy: Alfredo Mones

Ryan Zarzecki is our featured artist this month, for his hard work and devoted drawing practice!  Spending many long hours working on his art, he demonstrates talent, sincere passion and dedication for the field of animation.

Here are a few of his most recent hand-drawn animations:

Interview with Ryan:

1.  What inspires you most in the world of Animation?

“…just trying to become the best artist I can be. I notice and take into account all the great masters of my time and prior and it makes me just want to become that much better. When I see the artists like Jordu Schell, Miles Teves, and even guys like Rick Baker..they inspire me the most I think. Granted, they’re not animators, but they are Special Effects artists. They still need to come up with conceptual designs, and even come up with a maquette (miniature sculpture) of what they want to create. So when I see their work, I guess you could say that inspires me to be as good as they are one day.”

2.  You’ve produced A LOT of drawings in one sitting for a few classical animations now.  What motivates your determination to power-through and to work so hard on a single animation?

“Yes, those animations did take quite a long time to do. But I think what helped me get through it is that I just don’t think about it. I actually REALLY enjoy it. Most people would think that I’m crazy. But, in all honesty, it helps me relax and I just let my mind go blank and let my pencil do all the work. It’s kinda hard to explain. I guess the subconscious was working overtime that day. ha.”

3.  How did you decide to go into animation originally?

“Well, it’s kind of a long story. But, I’ll give you the short version. Originally, I went to become a Special Effects artist. But, like most fields that are specialized, it’s very competitive and extremely hard to get your foot in the door. So, I went back to my love of drawing and creating things. I always thought I was at least decent at illustrating, but never do I think I’m the best. FAR from. I have a long way to go to actually feel like I can say I’m good. So with the passion I have for drawing, I really wanted to make my mark in either the video game industry or possibly an animation studio. So, cross my fingers.”

4.  What advice would you give to someone just entering this field of study?

“The best advice I can give someone who wants to do this is that they have to have a very patient personality. And it helps to know how to draw.  Animating takes time and lots of patience. Takes even more patience if you’re drawing frame by frame. But, if its something you really want to do, then go after your dream. The worse thing you can do is not try and always wonder what if?”

Some of Ryan’s drawin’s:

Thanks for sharing your work and thoughts with us, Ryan.  Congrats!

The  Westwood’s 5th Annual 2D Game Development Competition jury has approved 17 teams across all campuses in the country. The CHL campus team has earned its place with the presented initial game concept. Congratulations to the team below !

This month for design, we have Justin Hampton who is being awarded for his achievements in being recognized by many online sites devoted to design as well as his hard work, dedication and work outside of class.

A couple terms ago Justin created these ads for an advanced photoshop class:

On a whim, he submitted them to a popular website called “Ads of the World” which is juried and decided to post his work on the site.  Since then, a slew of people have seen his work and many have posted their opinions on blogs and twitter feeds.    One site has him listed under a “daily inspiration” list and two others wrote up reviews on his work.

Below are some of those links:

CampaignConscious TrendHunter Cruzine

HaroldSax Advertlog Coloribus

NewRevolutionDesigns Armemporium Croom

Also, overall Justin is a very good designer and hard worker which is evident in some of his work which you can see below:

What do you like best about Graphic Design?

I love the process.  I love taking a concept and bringing it to life.  I can still say that I get excited when it comes together.

What motivates you to work hard?

Money… no joking (lol).  I want to be the best.  Quietly I’m the competitive type.  If I can’t get the top ranking, I’m going to be close.

You are close to graduation, what will happen then?  What are your plans?

Immediately plans are to take a good nap first, then get back on the grind to break into a really good Ad agency.  If that doesn’t work, then a “portfolio school” to step my game up.

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