Tag Archives: pratt institute

Public Humiliation – Part I

It takes a lot to embarrass me. So when I heard about The Rejectionist’s Public Humiliation Un-Contest, for which readers are asked to post their childhood diary entries, it didn’t take much for me to dig up and revisit my old online journal, circa 2003-2005. Yes, before there was WordPress, there was Diaryland. Apparently I was not scene enough for LiveJournal or Xanga in high school.

While I considered sharing the link to all my cringe-worthy angst and bad poetrywicked FUN!!” moments, I’ll leave them in safe obscurity – for now. However, I will celebrate my teenage past by spilling a deliciously embarrassing short story (in the next post) and this enlightening excerpt on my first visit to Pratt and New York City:

Day Two: Monday, April 25, 2005

Today was a very eventful day! Mom and I found this adorable breakfast place next to the hotel. I’ve found that one of my favorite parts of NYC is all the different people: it’s so much fun to watch everyone and listen to the different languages! I love diversity! We did a little shopping, and I was very patient in places like Ann Taylor, because I knew that I would get my shopping in later! Plus, it’s entertaining to pick out mom outfits. We were both in a good mood and getting along… thank goodness!

Anyway, we needed to give ourselves plenty of time to get to Brooklyn!!! Because I had an appointment at Pratt!!! We took the subway out to the school… and I had forgotten how much I love public transportation! I actually have a pretty good sense of direction in the city, and the subways remind me of Roma, so I feel perfectly comfortable. We got to Pratt wicked early because we didn’t get lost, and just wandered around the campus for awhile. Unlike all the other schools I’m applying to, this one actually looks like a college campus, with the brick buildings and gates. We got lunch in the caf and I got to check out what the food and students were like. Food: excellent, an immediate plus; People: typical artsy kids, very weird, I fit right in. We took a tour directed by an admissions counselor, and I really like the school. The only things I didn’t like were the lack of personal studio space (it’s in the dorms and pretty communal), and the fact that we didn’t get to see much of the classrooms. But still, I can definitely see myself there. And it’s a fantastic art school. I also had a meeting with my very own admissions counselor, Bill Swan, and that was very successful. He reviewed my portfolio, gave me good constructive criticism (“very strong skill level, but you need to have a lot more drawing from observation”), and we talked about the college and such. He said he’ll be in Boston in the fall, and then we’ll have another interview (the interviews are about 50% of the admissions process). Overall, I think I won’t have a lot of trouble getting in there (he told me to apply early action!), so it’s a strong second option.

Reasons why I ❤ NY:

1. There’s always something to do!

2. Everything is open at night.

3. Everyone is really friendly.

4. Everyone is from all over the world.

5. I felt beautiful walking down the street.

6. I’m not the weirdest one there.

7. Fashion Capital of the World.

8. There’s tons of artsy stuff.

9. Public Transportation.

10. There are layers and layers of buildings, lights, sounds, and smells, all piled in this one place, which makes it a most exciting and wonderful city.


What Has Annie Been Doing? Graduating!

What have I been up to since I’ve last posted?

Too many momentous occasions to count!

Just to catch up, here’s a peek at all of the excitement that happened in May . . .

1.  Spring Survey / The last time I’ll ever do homework or pull all-nighters, aka. the culmination of my work in the Communications Design department.

2. The Pratt Show / I was lucky enough to get in, so I got to show the industry folks that I’ve “got it”, aka. I stood awkwardly by my work with a big grin.

3.  The Pratt Show / With my lovely and inspiring aunties.

4.  Moving in / With the father to my dream apartment in Park Slope/Windsor Terrace.

5-7.  Honors Convocation / Good grades run in the family – lots of  love from the mum, grandfather, and everyone else.

8.  Graduation / Taking that long walk towards my diploma at Radio City Music Hall.

9.  Post-Graduation / Celebrating with my family away from home, aka. my fellow Tri-Sigma seniors.

10.  Post-Graduation / Mabs, my new frenchie, courtesy of Rebecca and Urban Outfitters.  Best present ever.

11.  The Great Adventure / On a midnight train to Georgia.

12.  Savannah /  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Wiser words never spoken, SCAD.

13.  Savannah / The best meal I’ve ever had.  Shrimp, greens and grits.

14.  Savannah / Home of the most gorgeous Southern architecture imaginable…

15.  Savannah / And dreamy town squares around every corner!

Students @Pratt Interview

photo credit – Tina Fey, my definition of success, ready for her close-up

Feel like being a success story? Then head on over to the Institute’s Career Services’ Pratt Success blog.  Not only did they just interview me about the Star Bright Books titles (as a Peer Counselor, I regularly contribute there so it’s not a big surprise…), but they also have TONS of great interviews and advice from Pratt alumni who are truly makin’ it in their fields.  I especially recommend watching the Career Coffee Break videos, and maybe getting yourself a cup of joe – and success – while you’re at it.

Fall Survey – Semester’s OVER!

The sleepless nights, the stale cups of coffee, the 4 hour bonding sessions with the employees at the Print Center of Staples… it all led up to this:

As stressful as Survey was, it felt good to see everyone’s work culminated, polished and complete, in one show. And Senior Survey, unlike Sophomore and Junior Surveys, isn’t about the Communications Design department as a whole anymore – it’s about the individuals and their work. It’s almost a rehearsal for the big Spring Show… the one that separates the men from the boys.

I had one of the first critiques, and I was pleased with the results. It was wonderful to hear compliments from professors that I respect, and who have already succeeded in the industry I hope to break into. The votes of confidence that my work is marketable, that I have a clear focus, and that I look like I belong in the children’s book world were so encouraging to me.

The feedback that I need to work on was exactly in line with what I would have said about myself anyway… type doesn’t come naturally to me but I improved a lot (no kidding, thanks to a semester in a Graphic Design class! whew…), I’m better at the initial idea than polishing a final product (ah, if I had all the time in the world…), and that I REALLY need to work on drawing people, especially children. What can I say, I am an “animal” illustrator! Needless to say, I’ve bought some reference books, started a sketchbook, and am planning a Senior Project devoted to developing my style of kids next semester.

More photos of the books I made, including Ollie and Logger In The Deep Blue Sea, The Greek Alphabet Book, Around The Campfire, and Love Letters.  Note the shelves I made out of foam core (a feat!), and a HUGE shout-out to Anthony, the Staples employee who spent most of his day printing those books with all my specific paper stocks for me!!

Prattsters to Watch Out For!


photo by Janelle Fike

photo by Janelle Fike

Last night I had a catered and business card-filled evening working the Pratt Show, an annual event to showcase design grads coming out of Pratt this week!   Despite the customary “who got in?” drama, I was really impressed with the final presentation of Communications Design (COMD) picks.  


For children’s book illustration, the grads to watch out for are: 

Chelsea Greene Lewyta, whose linear+watercolor style looks like it jumped off the cover of an old Harper’s – gone wrong.  Love the macabre themes that she explores against the traditional look – reminds me of Trina Shart Hyman’s Little Red Riding Hood.

I thought the most marketable and fun children’s book illustrator was Patricia Raubo.  Her characters were expressive and entertaining… so I look forward to seeing them in the pages of a book soon!  

Also to check out are design superstars Alex Szymczak, Suraj Gandhi and Janelle Fike, whose Define Yourself project I had the honor of helping out on (see above), and am completely obsessed with!  

For more info and people in the Pratt Show, check out my work blog, Pratt Success.