ARTS 102 Design and Communication

Fall 2004 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

In this class I learned about the basics in visual communications including the theories, processes, and history. My projects spanned multiple media types and there was an in class critique on every assignment with my fellow classmates and professor. Topics ranged from shape as an element of design, texture, time and motion, and balance.

How I use these skills today:

A lot of what I learned in this class has been embed into my design process, and has almost become second nature. Between the skills that I gained from this class and the designs that I encountered from my many years in screen printing, identifying a problem area in a design is practically instantaneous.

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ARTS 131 Drawing

Fall 2004 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

In drawing I was exposed to many different medias, mediums, and subject matter. I used everything from pencils, ink, and brushes on newsprint, sketchpads, and drawing paper. Drawing compositions was the main focus but I did have a few live subjects. I explored the many different styles of drawing and learned new techniques.

How I use these skills today:

I was able to get a better understanding of the different uses for the different drawing utensils, and although I have not done many more physical drawings, the skills that I learned were transferable to the digital world both with a mouse and using a Wacom tablet.

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ARTS 132 Figure Drawing

Spring 2005 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

In figure drawing I learned everything about drawing the human figure. At first proportion was the main focus, then came capturing the position quickly with ten to fifteen second sketches, followed by attention to the details with longer poses lasting up to fifteen minutes. Although mainly drawing was done with pencil, I also used charcoal and colored pencils to see what kind of different impacts color and boldness would make.

How I use these skills today:

Correct proportions and the ability to get a quick sketch of the overall picture were great skills that I gained from this class. Creating space by using perspective and foreshortening is something that I use in many of my project, not just in my drawing. I also discovered the power of using different weights of line in a composition to create emphasis.

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ARTS 171 Computer Graphics/Digital Imaging

Summer 2005 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

This class was an introduction class in using Adobe Photoshop. It introduced me to many of the tools that are at your disposal within the program such as the selection tool, adjustment layers, clipping masks, and levels/curves. I had assignments that involved touching up damaged photos, removing selections from an image, scanning images to be restored or used digitally, and combining selections from different images to create collages.

How I use these skills today:

A lot of the things that I learned in this class I have built on in later classes and in my own projects. The many different ways that you can make a selection come in handy because there is not one way that is the most effective for every situation. Also the basic knowledge of knowing where things are located within Adobe Photoshop, which is a very large program with many features, has been useful, even with the many versions of Photoshop that have been released since I took this class.

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ARTS 173 Computer Graphics/Web Design

Summer 2005 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

This was an intro web design class that dealt with html basics and making images for the web. I learned about html, tables, css, splicing images, and forms. Assignments included both provided information and information that I had to create, so it was similar to working with an actual client. Once all of the assignments were completed I had to compile them all into one website.

How I use these skills today:

Though it was quite sometime after taking this class that I had another web design class, I was still able to remember quite a bit of the basic html and css. I am still learning and building on this basic knowledge to this day and have applied much of what I have learned on this portfolio site.

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ARTS 162 Typography

Fall 2005 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

This class dealt with using type to create effective design. Projects ranged from using my initials to create a design that described me, to making a company logo using type that seemed appropriate for the company. Most of the projects were completed in a vector format within Adobe Illustrator and then applied to various other programs for a finished product.

How I use these skills today:

Though I was already proficient in creating vector artwork, this class was able to show me the importance that the type and font has on a design. By making a subtle change to the font you can really change the overall presentation of a design. I also was able to learn some basics about font management and how to make sure that your design can be accessible on any computer.

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ARTS 228 Advanced Digital Imaging

Fall 2006 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

In advanced digital imaging I began to use more of the vast tools available through Adobe Photoshop including clipping masks, blending layers, levels/curves, transparencies, and advanced selections. Following through class modules taught me the basics, and during the assignments I was able to explore more of what was possible. I was also taught information about how to properly edit images in Adobe Photoshop so that you are still able to access the original image.

How I use these skills today:

The working knowledge of many of the features of Adobe Photoshop has been and asset to me ever since taking this class. Though I mainly use it for preparing images for web or other small alterations, these are all things that I learned from this course. Also the basic understanding of how digital images can be saved for different purposes is something that I use anytime that I am working on a digital design.

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ARTS 175 Creative Design and Publishing

Fall 2007 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

In this class I learned how to use Adobe InDesign and Illustrator in a Macintosh environment. Using those programs I learned the basics of design and layout by following along with instructor’s presentations, then doing my own. I created layouts from supplied text/artwork and from content that I chose on my own. I also learned about issues that were related to using both a Mac and PC interchangeably.

How I use these skills today:

Troubleshooting problems between a Mac and PC environment was something that was very important to understand in the past, but not so much these days. However, because of my previous knowledge it is much easier to solve any problems that may arise. The knowledge on the basics of InDesign have been the base that I was able to grow on for future projects. Building on those basics I have been able to visualize a layout while simultaneously thinking about how to create it in InDesign.

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ARTS 251 Graphic Design Communications

Fall 2007 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

In this class I got an overview look at visual communications, learning the importance of making relevant designs and logos for the many applications that they can be used for. Projects included promotional material, informative material, and the issues that arise from the design process. I worked throughout the whole design process from conceptualizing, to rough drafts/sketches, to finalized projects to be approved by the customer. I also learned about doing research into the medium that I would be working in to avoid problems in the design process.

How I use these skills today:

The importance of researching your medium before you start a design is one thing that I still use to this day. The design process in logo creation has been especially useful to me, as well as the effect that color and type have on the overall effectiveness of your design. Tracking your time spent on different areas of the design process has helped me to see where I need more time, and helped me to get a better idea of the amount of time needed to complete a project.

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ARTS 252 Graphic Design Publications

Fall 2008 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

This course was designed to teach about creating larger publications. I was able to learn about typography, illustration, and photography in respect to a longer document. Also I learned about design considerations to help the readability and functionality of the publication. Different ways to compile larger publications and their advantages/disadvantages were discussed, as well as choices on paper and color versus black and white printing.

How I use these skills today:

Learning how to set up InDesign for a large publication, and the tools that are available to assist with managing large documents are big takeaways from this class. Understanding how subtle differences can change the functionality of an entire publication is something that I am constantly critiquing when viewing publications on a daily basis.


ARTS 253 Graphic Design Branding

Fall 2008 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

This was an advanced class that taught me the process of branding and marketing. Planning for a marketing campaign and creating promotional materials in both a 2D and 3D design were a few of my projects. I also was able to create a whole advertising campaign from conceptualization, to creation, to client presentation. I was taught to evaluate the branding and marketing needs of client, and to create designs and marketing strategies to help deliver their message.

How I use these skills today:

After taking this class I was able to use a lot of the information that I learned about the communication with the client. I also use the same design process when designing something as part of a marketing campaign, most importantly sketching or making a rough mockup of the finished project. This has helped me to make sure that my clients and I are on the same page before jumping into a project that is not what the client wants. Deciding what type of advertisement would be the most beneficial is another skill that I continue to use from this course.

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ARTS 257 Computer Pre Press Production Tech

Spring 2010 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

This course dealt with everything that is involved in artwork setup for printing, in both the digital and offset mediums. I learned everything from digital file preparation, managing fonts, digital color printing, offset printing separations, and selection of paper and ink. Some files were supplied while others were compiled by me, so I learned how to deal with customer supplied files. I also learned a lot about the printing process and a lot of the terminology to be able to effectively communicate with professionals in the field. I was also able to price out a computer setup with everything that I deemed necessary for the design and prepress process.

How I use these skills today:

I used my research into computers to purchase a computer that has suited me well in all of my graphic design adventures so far. I have been keeping up with my knowledge as well so when it is time to upgrade again I will be ready. I also learned quite a lot about layout problem areas when designing for print, so that I can avoid them in the future, which has helped save time and makes my designs look better overall.


ARTS 281 Art Internship

Summer 2012 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

This was a very exciting class to take because it was my first taste of the real world of design. In this class I learned a lot about deadlines and communication between the company and the customers. I was able to create new designs every day and was allowed to do a complete job, from greeting the costumer to submitting them a finished design. I also learned a lot about the communication between the different parts of the company and how vital it was to create a final product that the customer would love.

How I use these skills today:

Today I still use the time management skills and the ability to manage multiple deadlines. I also transferred some of the intercompany communication skills and methods to my other employers. Another skill that I already possessed but saw the importance of from my internship was the organization of files on your computer and how essential it really is to being effective.


ARTS 269 The Portfolio

Fall 2012 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

In this class I learned everything about having a portfolio for a graphic design student and ways to look for jobs in the graphic design field. I learned about what things should be included into a portfolio and the many ways in which you can present a portfolio. In class I actually printed out samples of my work and compiled them into a travel portfolio that I can take to interviews for potential employers to see my artwork. At the end of the class there was an open house in which people from potential employers and the public came to look at what we have accomplished throughout our graphic design degree.

How I use these skills today:

Because of this class I am always fine tuning my portfolio for different employers and to updating it regularly to reflect my more current works. Also I gained a bit of confidence from this class seeing all that I have created throughout my college career. Knowing the different pieces that I should always have in my portfolio will help in the future for whenever I am looking for employment.


ARTS 229 Computer Graphics/Advanced Web Design

Fall 2013 - Lansing Community College

Skills learned:

This is an advanced class in the structure and design of a website. I learned how to create a domain name (which I am using right now), code a site using HTML 5, stylize a site using CSS, create server side content using PHP, and access online databases with MySQL. I also learned how to create forms using PHP and how to make dynamic sites that change when being viewed on different devices. Throughout the class I used Adobe Dreamweaver.

How I use these skills today:

I used pretty much everything that I learned in this class to create this online portfolio. I plan on continuing to learn more and more on top of what I learned in this class so that I can become a very proficient web designer/developer. The knowledge of what is the correct way to make something so that it is easily editable later if need be was probably the most important skill that I took away from this course.

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