Final End of Semester Blog Post

That past few months has been a period in which I’ve learned not just about graphic design, running a small business, and printing, but also about myself. This internship was actually not in my plans to pursue originally. I was planning on interviewing for a brand owner named Seth who was on the verge of opening his own sneaker store named Hypefeet. He needed a creative director to help design clothing, flyers, and artwork for social media accounts. The opportunity came about on Instagram, and I just so happened to know one of his friends. However the deadline to pick an internship was approaching and I still had to wait for a response from him. Fast forward a week later and I still have yet to hear a response from Seth. At this point I decided to move on and see what else I could find. After looking online, making phone calls, and asking questions, it dawned on me that my closest friend actually knows a business owner who runs a clothing shop. I called my friend, asked him about him, and was given his number. This man’s name is Daniel, or Danny as he prefers and after speaking on the phone for a bit we decided to meet up the next day.

I drove over to his shop in Bed Stuy Brooklyn and was immediately shocked to see what I saw. In the middle of a neighborhood with a reputation for crime, stood this one silver storefront with “LYFE” in big letters written across the awning and a huge monogram logo on the window. I opened the front door and was greeted by Danny’s wife Jestine. “You must be Alex” she said as I walked in. I nodded, said yes, smiled and looked around. The place was a shop decorated in clothing from all independent brands based in Brooklyn as well as their own “Lyfe Brand” clothing with plenty of T-Shirts, sweaters, jeans, jogger pants, and hats to choose from. The place was very small, but felt very genuine and intimate with what it was trying to accomplish. Jestine called for Danny, and out the back door he came. He introduced himself, told me about the brand and then told me to follow him. When he opened that same back door he came from, I stepped in and was once again surprised to see what I saw. Immediately to my left was a white wall with rounded corners, and a ton of lights and cameras. Next to that were two tables lined with 4 iMacs, chairs, and a cork board with tons of papers pinned to it. Sitting there was Alexander Nash, or Nash for short. He was the studio manager and Danny told me I’d be doing most of my work with him. I quickly learned that this place was not just a shop, but also a studio where designs are created, product shots are taken, and ideas are born. Danny once again signaled me to follow him and we proceeded to go down a set of stairs into the basement. Sure enough he opens the door to yet a third surprise.

Apart from selling clothing, and designing clothing, it turns out he actually prints the clothing as well! There was a screen press with four arms and a foot pedal, a heater with a conveyor belt, a smaller heat press, shelves lined with paint and screens all organized by name. “This is LYFE Studios” he said. He explained to me that his business is essentially hated by its competition because of its ability to create a product from start to finish. From inception to final product, Lyfe Studios was able to create pieces and throw them up for sale in their very own shop. He described my responsibilities there and essentially told me I’d act mainly as one of their graphic designers. From that day on, Monday through Friday for four hours, that is exactly what I did. It was a real change of pace for me because I was used to having an idea developed and presented to me in an email, and creating from there. Never did I ever have to sit and consult with anyone, and create something on the spot. There was one occasion I would never forget.

It was a busy weekend day and Danny was beat. Nash was not there to help as he doesn’t work on the weekends and Danny had been dealing with clients the entire day. I came in and immediately got assigned the task to man the computer and begin to create anything random for practice. As I was doing so, a client by the name of Roy walked in and asked for us to create a business card for him. Roy is a barber and he wanted a clean simple design that needed to be done by the afternoon so he could get it printed for the upcoming week. Danny brought him to the back room where I was designing, briefly introduced us, told Roy that I would sketch out ideas for him, and walked out to the front. This took me by complete surprise as I was not expecting any human interaction for the day at all. Sure enough Roy sat down and started to give me ideas. I scrambled for a pencil and paper and began to draw amateur sketches out for him. I began asking questions and attempting to fit the consultant role more based on what I was seeing in the prior couple of weeks. Thankfully, after Roy left for an hour to run an errand, I was able to come up with a design that after some minor tweaking, he approved. I was super nervous throughout the whole process, but it was something that needed to be done eventually. From this point on I felt a lot more confident in doing consultations and would routinely welcome people in.

Not only has my ability to design improved, but my people skills as well. Coming from a background of working retail for 5 years at one point, people skills were something I did not lack. However, in a more professional environment I learned through LYFE that there are certain keywords and phrases that clients love to hear. One thing LYFE was strict about was the customer always being right, and they accommodated to customers as much as possible. I now know that all requests should be taken only in email form. This leaves a record for us to refer to in case a client claims a mistake was made on our part. I’ve also learned that sometimes it is okay to have to cut a profit every once in a while. There was one client who got embroidered aprons for his restaurant. The embroidery came out awesome, but the client was complaining that it was too low below the breast. The issue here was that the client never gave an exact measurement as to how high or low he wanted the logo to be and agreed to have it done by eye. We did exactly that and he was still not happy. After a few email exchanges and phone conversations, Alex Nash was able to keep the customer and accommodate him with a better price this time around. What the client didn’t know was that the added discount was actually coming out of the pocket of the shop. Alex explained to me that clients are kind of like investments. You always want to keep people happy and have them repeatedly coming back to bring more business. They also usually refer friends to LYFE as well, which is another added bonus. Therefore the lost profit is pennies next to the potential gain.

I’ve become more comfortable meeting new people working here. One of the beauties behind LYFE is that it’s literally a meet up spot for brands all over the city. Danny is very good at networking, in fact it’s what he does best. For that reason he receives a lot of business from brands known and unknown that not only love the work LYFE produces, but also the creative environment in which it presents. The average day at LYFE consists of at least 2 or 3 different brand owners or friends walking in and hanging out in a small lounge area between the photography setup and computers. They sit on the couch and vibe with us as we work, sometimes pitching ideas of their own or telling stories. This makes the environment feel less work related, and more about the culture itself. Nothing in my life has ever felt more pure than working at LYFE. They literally eat and breathe New York City street wear culture and are adamant in becoming a well-known name in the very near future.

As we hang out we also listen to music or play movies. Sometimes we take a trip downstairs to heat press a couple of samples and present them to the clients upstairs. But throughout it all we always are working and always try our best to produce quality work. Sometimes we have people who have nothing do with clothing come in and vibe with us. One of our regulars is a guy named Desmond, whom I just recently found out is a professional BMX biker with videos on YouTube watched over a million times. He usually comes by just to hang out and talk and share experiences. We have another person named Prince, who was the right hand man of a guy named Nicola Formichetti who is a lead designer for Diesel, come by and hang out with us also. He does have his own brand as well, but many times he comes by just to keep company.

Working at LYFE I’ve essentially learned the power of collaboration. Working with both Danny and Nash, we have come up with a few designs for t-shirts together and the process in creating them was always awesome. Danny was usually the man with the idea. Nash and I are both good at Illustrator and Photoshop and create what Danny pitches to us, while adding our own ideas. My style in art is in the details. I love double entendres, subliminals, and layers while Nash actually loves and prides in his simplicity. Working together we bounce ideas off of each other until we come up with something we all agree on, then create one sample that one of us usually gets to keep. Luckily we all wear the same size. If it is good enough, we also sell them in the shop. I’ve gone through and practiced the design process enough times already to the point where I have no created my own methods for myself.

Fast forward a few months later and here I am at the end of the internship writing this final blog post. As it turns out, Seth became one of our clients through me and I currently am working with him on the side. But I will continue to work with LYFE not only because I was asked to, but because I choose to. I can truly say I did exactly what I was told id be doing, and had fun doing it. Many doors have been opened for me, and I plan to walk through and peek inside of each and every single one.

Experience at Half Yard

Kayla Serpa

Fall CT 490

Internship Experience

 

My experience at Half Yard Productions has been great and really gave me insight to how one aspect of the production process is run. I started my internship at the beginning of September, unsure of what the experience would bring me but ready for anything. I was introduced to my fellow interns and the production assistants I would be working with. I was one of only a few interns that was still attending college (from the interns I’ve encountered on the days I was there). I was given a task of transcribing an interview what they called a log. They were really friendly and said if I had any questions to feel free to ask. I got started on my task. It took me a day to finish logging a 30-minute interview. I couldn’t believe I was able to focus so intently on my task. They continued to give me logs from that day forward to work on.

I went on my first run to Kleinfeld’s the on set location where one of the popular shows they produce, Say Yes to the Dress, I believe it was the second week I was there. They needed someone, an hour from the standard 6pm end time for interns, to head to set to pickup some tapes. They asked me because one of the interns had already left to make it to class and the other one had to watch the front desk. I was excited because I’ve watched the show before, plenty of times with my family. So given the chance to visit the set of Say Yes to the Dress was a chance of a lifetime, even though I did not realize I would be sent on more runs to set. When I got off at the stop, I managed to find the correct street and direction of the bridal shop but than I completely walked by it not knowing it was there. All I can say I mentally hand palmed my head. When I entered on set. He apologized for the late run and when I expressed my interest in the show he offered to give me a brief tour of the shop. As you can imagine, I was beside myself, even though Kleinfeld was closed for the day it was great to be able to see the set without the add crowd. That was not the last time I saw Alvin.

Soon after that first run I was given more runs to various production companies and equipment rental places. I was told when I would be able to shadow an editor, Oct 9. I came in that day at 1pm because I would be staying past the usual time of 6pm. The day went as normal with me doing runs, such as going to pick up equipment and having to return by taxi. Soon after the interns left for the day and most of the office, I met the editors that work by night. I shadowed one of the editors. He explained that they were transferring the footage from tapes to drives so they can group and match audio to video. He showed me how he did it using Avid and then gave me the chance to learn a bit of it. He verbally walked me through it and I caught on quickly and ended up finishing the session early. I enjoyed learning a bit about Avid and wouldn’t mind learning more in the future.

When I started my internship, I had a mixed group of interns at first. Since I started before their September 27 start date I was working with some summer interns along with the fall interns. Some had stayed on to continue another few months to gain experience and possibly a job opportunity. One intern, Gabby, had interned for 6 months and before I knew it she is working as a production assistant for a show that has been picked up by a network. This gave me hope for when I continue my job search that I won’t be stuck doing internships for most of the time.

As the weeks progressed, I was given tasks from the other shows. Organize the tape logs in the shared Google excel file, give short descriptions of observational footage. I was also given a task to head to set to pick up a dress and to return by taxi, that was fun. I noticed as it closer to the middle of November the end was nearing. I remember earlier in the semester one of the interns that was leaving back to Boston had the chance to shadow a shoot on set. I really wanted the experience of seeing what goes on behind the scenes. Before thanksgiving I approached Cashawnna my supervisor and asked if I can shadow on set sometime before the internship finishes. She said that she’s been meaning to set up shadowing for some of the interns because shooting for Say Yes would be finishing soon for the Christmas season. She told me that she’d email me when she had a date set up to shadow.

By this time I already started connecting with my fellow interns on social media and LinkedIn. I started talking and joking with the interns concerning some of the footage we had to watch and when one of us was assigned to a show that a majority of us did not like to log because most of the of the footage was two hours long, meaning that logging took 2-3 days to cover sometimes the interns had to split parts and each cover a specific part. I can honestly say these are people that I would be in touch with later down the road. I also from having been sent to set so much befriended the receptionist from Kleinfeld, already knowing my name and face when I walk in.

The next Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I received an email from Cashawnna asking if I would be interested in shadowing on set that Friday. I told her that would be great and thank you. Thursday came along and I was getting antsy. I was sent on maybe one run that day and I was working on a log for most of the day. When it was close to an hour before the day was to end I went up to Cashawnna to ask her more details about shadowing tomorrow, where do I go first, to the office or set? What time am I to be expected? She told me she had to double check and she got back to me saying that I would be going straight to set and to be there by 10 for the shoot to start at 10:30 but to get there early.

Being that it was the first time I would be traveling from my house to Kleinfeld’s I made sure to route out the trains I would take and woke up earlier than usual. I went dressed in black as requested by Cashawnna. I did not have any black jeans so I went out the night before to buy a pair. I managed to get to set in one piece and early. When I entered I told the receptionist that I am shadowing on set today and right then Alvin walked out to get something and I told him. He was happy and said that I was earlier than most interns, who started coming in around 10- 10:30 while I came in around 9:30. It worked in my favor because I was able to meet the crew that I would be shadowing today with. Everyone was really friendly and open. You could tell that they had created a family like setting on set.

Since I came early I told them about myself and that I was a fan of the show. Calen, one the producers/cameramen, offered to take a few pictures for me in the interview room, I jumped at the opportunity. He told me to sit in the interview chair and took various shots. He kept on joking around with the crew and me. I met Randy, the fashion director and one of the stars of Say Yes. He came early because after the shoot he had a plane to catch. Calen introduced me to Randy and told him I was a fan of the show. Randy immediately asked if I wanted a picture. I was ecstatic.

Besides me coming in early, Randy showing up early, the bride also arrived early. During the interviews I was sent to a back room to view and monitor the feed that was coming in. Then the appointment started. I shadowed behind the producers and viewed the various camera feeds on the handheld monitor that they had. At one point when they were to begin another segment of the shoot, they asked if I would like to call marker. I was given the board and marked.

As the day was coming to a close I was able to talk to the camera people, especial Alvin about his experience and he gave me advice on making sure I made connections and kept in contact with Cashawnna and the others because they usually contact interns first if there is any openings in the office. I enjoyed talking with all of them and they were great. After finishing up on set they offered to take me out and treat me to a late lunch (ended up being an early dinner for me). I was able to see the interaction they had and I was grateful for the experience.

As the internship came to a close the office had their holiday party. From a previous party they had earlier in the internship I knew it was going to be laid back. They had their party about an hour before 6pm. The food was good and everyone was having fun. They had a raffle where they were giving away five gifts. I put my name in the raffle along with my fellow intern and we were getting ready to leave when they started pulling raffles. I managed to be called and being the last one called I took the gift that least looked like it was alcohol related. Turned out to be a great gift because I received an Amazon Kindle Fire HD7 tablet. I find that was a great end of internship present.

I spent my last day doing several runs and gifting little chocolates around the office, thanking everyone for the experience. They all told me make sure to keep in touch and if I need any references to make sure to reach out. I also gave my supervisor Cashawnna a gift, a hand decorated ornament and some chocolates. I was sad to leave Half Yard but I am grateful for the experience I gained from interning there. I loved interacting with everyone there and would do it again.

2014-12-05 09.53.27 2014-12-05 11.14.59

Internship

 

 

 

Interning at downstate Medical School located in Brooklyn was truly an eye opening experience. My supervisors Louis Ebarb and Luke have given me many tips and advice when it comes to recording videos, taking pictures and editing. I have been accompanying them on many shoot as I would shadow their work and assist them when they needed an extra set of hands. It came to a point where I would edit the videos that they would have already recorded. Sometimes the videos would be pretty lengthy being at most 3 hours of a lecture and they would and they would want it chopped down to about an hour and a half worth of dialogue. As tricky as that might have been, being I didn’t want to get rid of any major points that they recorded, I would get the job done.

Sometimes I would even have to do over a few assignments that have already been completed for other departments because they would find certain things within a video that they would deem unnecessary. With the abundance of work that was given to me that I have recorded and edited I greatly appreciate how both Louis and Luke understood my editing techniques. They even took my editing techniques into account on certain videos that they have previously recorded. The techniques that they would use in editing are slightly different from what I have done and what I’m used to. They took their time explaining how they would go about doing things in editing and even their recording. I never used to batch render nor did I really know how to do it prior to interning at SUNY Downstate Medical School.

Batch rendering would free up some time in the waiting process as we would set it to render at the end of the day which would allow for ample time overnight in the editing process. We would even record shows that would be put on YouTube accounts for one of the doctors that work in the building, his name is Dr. Deas. We have recorded several of his shows, and they are extremely informative with the topics that he chooses to discuss. We would even have a high school in the area that has a video production after school program come and shoot a miniseries that they would put together themselves and shoot themselves and we would just simply guide them in using the equipment and they would run everything.

During my time at the internship while at SUNY Downstate Medical School, I immediately felt at home when I was placed in front of a computer and the programs that was explained to me that I would be using in the office I was more than familiar with. The main programs that my supervisor recommended I use was final cut pro. Other programs that my supervisor has available on each computer are adobe Premiere, adobe Photoshop and adobe After Effects. The main goal of my internship was to get a more professional feel for the media field, by doing assignments that have to be done for my supervisor, recording lectures around the campus and programs that people would like have to recorded.

Each of these projects that had to be recorded it would always introduce me to someone with a different title that worked in the building. I met almost every type of doctor that works at SUNY Downstate from Pediatricians to Physical Therapists. With each recording they always had to be done differently every time even if the video just so happened to be for the same person. I didn’t mind the work or the repetitiveness, in fact that was really the high points of my day because there were certain videos I enjoyed shooting. Most of the videos that were recorded I had to make doubles of because the people that wanted the videos wanted them on CD’s but as backup they wanted it sent to their emails. Sometimes people would even ask if it can be sent to their drop box.

SUNY Downstate Medical School even wanted the department I worked in to set up YouTube account. With all the abundance of videos that was stored on hard drives, tapes, and SD Cards, even the fresh videos we would chop them all up and place them on the newly created SUNY Downstate Medical School account. The videos would range from promotional videos all the way to graduations. Some promotional videos would mainly focus on specific departments I mainly did videos pertaining to the Physical Therapy majors. There was even a drill that was held in case by any chance there was an Ebola outbreak and it just so happened to spread to SUNY Downstate Medical School. This drill in my eyes had thoroughly prepared these future Physicians to handle a situation of that magnitude with care and diligence.

The graduation as well as white coat ceremony videos that we would record I could really see the excitement on everyone’s face in attendance students, faculty and family alike.   At the white coat ceremony people you would have the doctors and professors have students that have been accepted into their respective programs come to an auditorium meet the heads of their department. They would also take part in the Hippocratic Oath before being given their White Coats. This would just mean that they are taking one extra step into officially becoming a physician or doctor and taking part in the medicine that they have studied for over the years.

Now the graduation ceremony is slightly different the only thing is that instead of a coat they get their degree and we would sometimes interview the former students and get their take on the journey up on to this point. Also their plans on what they are preparing on doing in the future, where they want to work and input on the programs that they have studied as well as some feedback on SUNY Downstate Medical School itself.

During my internship I assisted in recording a reading that the pediatricians had set up at the hospital in the children’s wing in the hospital. The children were extremely excited to have stories read to them as well as be recorded for promotion for adults reading to their children. During these readings the parents would sometimes sit with their children as there would be a principal from a school in that area of Brooklyn as well as pediatricians from the hospital that would read to them. Sometimes the stories would be interactive and the children would read aloud with whoever would be reading at the time.

The editing process for this video was kind of lengthy because being that we used several cameras for recording videos and photography. Also some children’s parents did not sign release forms so that child’s face had to blur out given the fact that we were using these videos for promotional purposes for the pediatricians as well as reading program that is held at certain schools in the area. Editing this video took some time, given that several cameras were used it took a while just too properly arrange all the clips that we wanted in the video.

When it came down to deciding what clips were placed in the video our creative ideas were really tossed out the window and the head of the children’s wing wanted several things changed. With each finished product that we submitted to her via email, CD and Drop box, she had to finally come up to our department and sit with us for hours on end with the editing process. It took a while for us just get the right children’s faces not to be blurred out because she didn’t give us that piece of information until we submitted it to her one final time after she had left to go back to her own department but we got the job done.

A few days out of the internship was solely dedicated to strict lab work. I would assist in setting up the studio preparing for major shoots that we would have to record the following day. We would have to set chairs in the studio that the class they would be in attendance the next day would be using. We would have to set an abundance of chairs being that we would never really know the exact number of students that would be in attendance. We would normally use two cameras for each shoot.  While setting up the studio we would also have to set up the conference room where other doctors at other hospitals would phone in and have a video chat conference call where  they would be discussing various cases that they had to deal with as well as updates on conferences and procedures that they would be doing, sometimes even cases that had to deal with.

There was one time where we followed a class as they went through a training exercise with a catastrophe using dummy adults and babies as well as live people/ other students. The training exercise we recorded, we ended up going through 2 hospitals as the students some portraying concerned parents, others were the doctors and nurses and some were even the children with various symptoms. This exercise put each student in a serious situation that could happen at any moment and taught them how to deal with a problem of that magnitude.  During the exercise the students remained calm and was able to help each of the acting students that played both parents and children.  There were cases where students had to examine a baby with a breathing problem and the doctors and nurses had to insert a breathing tube within the infant and monitor the heart rate making sure it didn’t drop too low or go too high.

There was a high school program where students that took part in an after school program where they would come to the campus and partake in shooting their own show using our equipment on a topic that is extremely important HIV/AIDS.  The students would write their own material, do the research and even have a cast picked out for the segments that they would be doing throughout the entire show and the only thing that we really needed to do was edit what they recorded.  Being that they were high school students in an after school program they would be accompanied by the teachers that would run the program and other faculty.

The shoots that they would do would last from anywhere from 1 hour to about 3.  Being that the students would forget some lines most of the time or were not able to be focused as others would be playing around in the back of the studio.  some other students would not even be focused on what they are being instructed to do.  Eventually they would straighten up and be able to finish what they came to Downstate to do which was make their PSA.  They would in turn use it as a promotional piece for their school as PSA’s.

There is also a show that we would record by the hospitals very own Dr. Deas and he would interview various guests on his show on various topics pertaining to the medical field. One of his shows that we recorded in studio was cancer awareness. All of his recordings can be seen on YouTube, as he and his guests go into detail on the topic of the day.

Overall working at this internship was very eye opening and a great first hand experience that i will not soon forget.  The work that they had me do  was taxing at times but it was all worth it.  The people I worked with were fun to be around with the stories that they would share from past experiences while working here on certain shoots.  The editing processes that they went through for some videos, they would explain to me would be annoying at times being that they would have to spend multiple weeks working on a single project for one person as they are being asked to shoot another video and both of the people that they are shooting for would request that their videos be done around the same time.  The time constraints would give them and myself a pounding headache but we would always find ways to get them done in a timely fashion with extra time to spare.

I have enjoyed my time at SUNY Downstate Medical School, over editing videos from past shoots i have had the chance to encounter many doctors as well as students and was able to pick their brain and find out as to why they were interested in becoming doctors and physicians and why exactly they chose to come to SUNY Downstate Medical School.  Some of the faculty i spoke with explained to me that they attended SUNY Downstate Medical School for a number of years for their schooling and enjoyed the campus and faculty so much that they were inspired enough to just work there.  Some of past as well as recent graduates that are still looking for gainful employment in a hospital are steadily applying to work at the school just so they can contribute and give back.  While at the same time mold the minds of future students that are aspiring to become Doctors and Physicians.

Week 14 at Lyfe Studios

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Week 14 is among us and next week (Week 15) will be my final week of the internship. It’s been taking me a while to complete my hours because there are some days during the week where I can’t stay as long as I normally would. Instead, I make up those hours on Sundays. This past week has been relatively eventful. I have created a new logo for a client who’s a DJ. His name is Martin, but he goes by the name DJ Marty Play. His logo was the Playboy bunny and he wanted to change it due to the fact that he simply cannot use someone else’s logo. He wanted something original, cool looking, and playful at the same time. I came up with a few ideas, but I ultimately decided to stick with the bunny idea. I created all original artwork and gave the playboy bunny an entirely new look and perspective, complete with his name underneath and two subliminally embedded play button symbols. I will attach the picture of the logo below. The client was extremely happy with the outcome which made me feel accomplished, and also proud of myself. Whenever a client is happy with my work, it pushes me to want to create more and I am hoping I can maintain the momentum. Martin actually was so happy he ended up referring me to one of his friends. It just so happened that his friend was actually a prior client known as Prince who owns a brand known as MINY, an acronym for Made in NY. Prince approached me the very next day in the shop and we spoke about a push in the look for his brand that he wants to move forward with. I will also be financially compensated for the work which is a pretty nice addition. I never went into this internship looking for financial gain, but if it falls in my lap…I’m going to take it! Next week should be a busy week as there are a few events to attend with Danny and Nash and a ton of work to be completed.

 

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Week 13 at Lyfe Studios

Week 13 at Lyfe studios has been exhausting. I am at the final stretch of the internship and have just two more weeks to go. This past week has consisted mostly of screen printing. Because of the fact that I attend my internship directly after work, I had to bring a change of clothes with me every single day. Screen printing can be pretty messy, and the ink DOES NOT come off of clothes. I have to dress casual for work, so I had to bring the least expensive, raggedy clothes I could find. There were plenty of jobs to take care of, and I decided to step in and help. Normally I don’t participate in screen printing too often, mainly because I attend my internship primarily for design, but the workload was so massive that I felt it was my duty to step up to the plate. On Monday Danny gave me a crash course on printing to refresh my memory. We were printing shirts for a brand known as Black Cotton Premium Threads. The brand is run by a talented graphic designer who created a capsule known as “Trap”. In street lingo, the word Trap normally means neighborhood. However in this case, Trap is an acronym that stands for “Trap and Rise Above Poverty”. Because of the association with drugs, the designer decided to flip its meaning and empower the word. The design he created consists of the word Trap written in a script, and the head of the letter P at the end is the head of a gorilla. The gorilla represents the people, as the city is known as the concrete jungle, and a gorilla is known to be a powerful figure in the jungle. The design was awesome and in fact has already made an appearance in Complex magazine. We were printing a total of 65 T-shirts and crew neck sweaters. It took us about three days to get them done in between the rest of the work load but we eventually did. The client will be in on Friday to pick up his order, and I am confident he will be happy. I also did not ruin any of my clothes which was a plus.

Final Entry

Gurpreet Kaur

CT 490

Professor Phelps

December 12, 2014

 

Alzerina Jewelry Internship Experience

 

My internship at Alzerina was a fun educational experience that gave an insight on what the real world looks like after we graduate. Learning in the classroom is completely different from the actual work field. In college, many majors don’t require students to complete an internship for school credits. However, students should complete at least one internship before they graduate so they know if they like the field that they are studying or not. I am glad that I completed my internship because now I know my strengths and weaknesses in my field. My boss Alzerina helped me along the way and I am grateful for most of the courses I took at York College.

When I first started my internship at Alzerina Jewelry, I was really nervous. Being in a new work environment is always tough because we think about questions such as “Am I going to like working here?”, “Am I going to get along with my coworkers?” or “Will I be hired here after I am done with the internship?”. On my first day at work, Alzerina made me feel comfortable. She spoke to me as more of a friend rather than a boss. Alzerina was very straightforward about what she expected from me and what I should expect from her. She knew a little bit about HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

There were other interns at Alzerina Jewelry also. I was the first intern to start after the summer came to an end. A couple of weeks later another intern joined us and her name was Laura. She had previously interned with Alzerina in the summer and she liked working there so she came back. She was a jewelry production intern and she made bracelets, rings, necklaces, etc. When I first met her she was really quiet but once we started getting to know each other we became really close. After Laura, we had another intern join us and her name was Michelle. She was a social media intern and a mother of three. Michelle also had to complete the internship for school. She was very social and we all got along right away. Another intern that joined us was Gael who was the photographer. He worked with Alzerina over a year and he had a good sense of how to shoot pictures. He only spoke to us when necessary but other than that he was friendly. The last intern that joined us at the end of October was Pauly. She was another jewelry production intern and she had moved to New York from Michigan. Pauly was funny and bubbly so she made everyone laugh. We were like a little family at Alzerina Jewelry.

Laura and Pauly created a lot of new products that I had to add to the new website. Many of the old products were either sold out or there wasn’t enough in stock so I had to ask Alzerina which ones to put up. All of us interns worked from the home office and Alzerina always told us what she wanted us to work on. For example, if Laura were done with a bracelet that she worked on, then Alzerina would let her create earrings. Alzerina never gave us the same assignments to work on. She wanted make sure that we were comfortable in whatever we were doing. If we didn’t know how to do something she would either help us out or let someone help us.

Alzerina sells all of her jewelry online but she has certain collections featured in different companies. She is trying to get her jewelry to sell in stores such as macy’s, jcpenny, etc. Alzerina had a previous website that was completed by an intern but she was not happy with the way it was presented. For example, she did not like that there was no pricing under the products. If a customer comes to her website, they would have to click on the actual product to see the price. There was too much clicking involved in the previous website. It was my job to create a new website that featured more of what she wanted on it such as images, certain products, etc. Alzerina helped me the whole way through the process by providing her input on everything. She would tell me if she didn’t like an image that I put up or the way an object was positioned.

To create the new website, we used a company called shopify to set up our domain name and to create a customizable theme. I did not hear about shopify until I researched about it for Alzerina. Alzerina used big commerce for her previous company and she was not satisfied with their service. It was a little difficult in the beginning getting used to shopify because I was used to coding through dreamweaver and text wrangler. The format that I used for the coding was PHP. There were some items that were already coded in shopify automatically because it was a feature in the theme. For example, the slideshow came with the theme, some of the product features were already included, etc. An issue that I had with the slideshow was that the images were not fitting into the slideshow. There were white spaces around the framing of the slideshow that did not look good. I had to figure out the exact size of the slideshow so I can size the pictures again and then fix the coding too. I had to code the images to fit the slideshow so there won’t be any empty spaces around.

The new website had to look more professional than the previous one. We had to reshoot a lot of the previous products with Gael because the picture quality was not good. Adding all new images took a couple of weeks because I had to wait for the images from Gael and then some of the images had many color variants. One pair of earrings had up to fifteen different colors so it took a while to upload everything. Even after Gael took the new pictures, I still had to size them in Photoshop to the proper size of the product frame in shopify. We were still having an issue on some of the colors of the products. I had to fix the color in Photoshop a long with resizing them.

I also linked all of Alzerina’s social media sites to her new website so people can follow her on twitter, facebook, instagram, etc. Alzerina and I customized the social icons to appear how she wanted and we fixed the header to include the Alzerina logo. I added a search bar next to the Alzerina logo so it would be easier for customers to search for a specific product if they know what they are looking for. Under the slide show I linked new collections that were not on the previous website. For example, Alzerina created a children’s collection, which is now called “Alzi-Petite”. There are two other collections that Alzerina wants to feature which are ‘Alzi Couture” and a men’s jewelry collection. She has not created the products for these collections yet. I have told Alzerina that if she needs my help even after I am done with my internship, I am more than willing to help.

There were many product collections and new pages that we created. I had to add pages such as about, alzerina mission, careers, host a trunk page, etc. The previous website had some of these pages but not all. I had to add a lot of new information for the new pages. There were new borders added to each page so the pages would not look boring. The borders varied in style so they all would not look the same. Some of the pages required clickable links so it would not be hard for the customer to email or chat with Alzerina if they had a question. I also had to be aware that all of these pages worked in the mobile and tablet view also.

The new collections that I added had to also be properly navigated. Alzerina wanted images featured for the collections in the navigation bar as well as a drop down menu, which she wanted to include necklaces, earrings, bracelets, cuffs, etc. Each collection varied in the products that she had created for them. Some of the collections had bracelets while others had cuffs. They are similar in style but they have different names.

I have learned a lot from this internship and Alzerina. I learned about different e-commerce sites that could help me in future jobs. Alzerina taught me a lot of short cuts in Photoshop and how to fix pictures properly. I have been using Photoshop for several years and I always learned something new when I was working with Alzerina. I also learned about different Swarovski crystals and the color names. This can help me in the future just in case I get a job in a jewelry company creating a website for them. From this internship, I learned that it is very important to be on time and dress professional. Some of the other interns came really late which Alzerina addressed to them. She was not happy that they were late so she gave them a warning.

Working at Alzerina has taught me about the professional aspect of working in the real world. I have also learned that it is crucial to complete all the work that the client asks for their website and it is important to satisfy the customer. I realized these little details working at Alzerina Jewelry, which I did not learn in the classroom. It is different working in the classroom than working in the real world. In the classroom, we create hypothetical situations that will happen in the workforce but when you actually face them then we need to address them in a professional manner. Web design is mostly working with clients and the client’s matters the most.

This internship has helped me a lot because I learned about the different skills that I have in creating a website and some of the skills that I have to work on. I want to work for a bigger corporation if I decide to sign up for another internship. Alzerina Jewerly was more of a smaller company but I am glad I have the experience of working there. Alzerina won’t be able to hire any of the interns because she does not have the budget but maybe she will in the future.

 

Week 12- Say YES

I’ll be finishing up at HalfYard next week. It’s been great I’m amazed at how fast it went by. It’s been a while since I’ve last posted. This past week I was given the opportunity to shadow on set for Say Yes to the Dress shoot. They are going to be wrapping up shooting this week so they wanted to give me the opportunity (I’ve been asking). I loved it. Say Yes is one of my favorite shows so having the opportunity to see how everything is filmed is cool. I met Randy, the fashion director for Kleinfeld and is well known on the show and got to take a picture with him. I for the most part observed through the shoot but the crew was really fun and easy going and told me what they do on a general basis. Some of them had started as interns at HalfYard and gave me some advice, definitely make sure to keep in touch. They keep a list of interns and when positions open up they contact them. They were really encouraging and even treated me to a late lunch(practically dinner) due to having finished around 4pm.  At the office besides the usual logs, I’ve been given tasks of organizing data in the shared excel docs for various shots.  I am sad to see the internship ending so soon.

Week 12-Last 2 weeks continued

This was my last week at Alzerina Jewelry. I will go in on Monday to finish up some last minute work for the website. I cannot believe that it has been three months already since I have been at this internship. I had a fun experience with this company and it gave me an opportunity to learn where I want to work in the future.

This week at Alzerina Jewelry, I still worked on adding more images and fixing whatever was left for the other pages. I am almost done adding all of the images for the products. We just need to finish pricing and adding descriptions for the products. We have already launched the website so customers are allowed to buy. We also had a black friday sale on the website. Alzerina and I created a coupon code for shipments over $50 dollars. If a customer had anything over $50 dollars then it would be free.

Alzerina wants all of the interns to continue working their but she does not have the budget to pay us. Many of the other interns have already left. Laura and I are the only interns left. Laura only works once a week now and Monday will be my last day. I have been applying to jobs everyday online. I applied for jobs in the city as a web designer. I have not heard anything back yet but hopefully I will soon. I am looking forward to working with other large companies to expand my experience in my field.

Week 12 at Lyfe Studios

Week 12 at Lyfe studios has been eventful. We started the week off designing and weeding vinyl prints as usual. The designs were all final simple ones for a client who needed various NYC inspired insignias. I worked on original vector art for a NYC token. Nash worked on vector work for a metro card and we both worked on one inspired by Train letters. The train letters are to be embroidered on a hat using a ton of different colors. We also finished the prints for Teresa Witherspoons T-Shirts. They all came out great and she was extremely satisfied with the results. Another client by the name of Fang Gang came by and picked up their 50 white hooded sweatshirts that I helped print. The print was small and simple, just a white hooded sweatshirt with a graphic of lips, a tongue sticking out showing fangs. Next up we have some shirts to make for a popular rapper named Bobby Shmurda (don’t ask). We are making shirts with his signature “ah ah ah” catchphrase all over. They are done via vinyl prints. It’s an easy but tedious process because I have to weed (peel) all 28 pages of vinyl and there are some minor details that take a lot of time. On Saturday I accompanied Danny, his wife and another employee to a showcase event in Webster Hall where vendors go and sell their stuff. I brought along 10 pairs of sneakers to match all the pieces we displayed and our table received a lot of attention. A few sales were made and a lot of potential customers made themselves aware of the brand. There are a few pictures that were taken which I will try and attach to the next blog post once I manage to grab them off the hard drive. I am looking forward to what next week.

Week 12-Last two weeks

This was a short week for me since it was thanksgiving. I only went to Alzerina jewelry two days this week. I am going to work from home on the weekend.

This week I mostly have been putting the final touches to the website. It has already been launched so people can view it. I am re sizing the old images from the website because they are not consistent to each other. Some of the images are small and the other ones are too large. They appear to be pix-elated and blurry. A lot of the old pictures are not good. Some of the colors are darker than what they are supposed to be or they are blurry.

I have added a lot of new jewelry that Alzerina and the other interns have created. Gael is still taking the pictures and uploading them to drop box. Also, it was one of the jewelry interns last day at Alzerina jewelry. She has found another job in the city so she won’t be working with us anymore.

I am almost done with my internship also. Next week will be my last full week. I don’t have the opportunity to work in this company as an employee because Alzerina doesn’t have the budget. I wish I could work with her though. I have applied to many other paid jobs in the city so hopefully I will get a reply back soon.