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1. A set of Miguel’s printed business cards. (Or “Calling Cards” as the folks at the Institute have termed them for one of their meet-and-greet assignments.) Miguel feels a personal affinity for lions in particular, hence a green-eyed lion as his self-portrait. He also prefers bold colors and wild textures and marks. Even while developing his own brand, Miguel still tends toward traditional analogue methods of “old-school painting” versus working completely digital. And although the calling card assignment for the master’s students is now over, Miguel’s decided to print a decent number of good-quality cards for networking not only with other students and tutors, but also prospective employers. After all, that’s what it’s all REALLY for at the end of the day, right?

2. Flyers for Sanji’s mini-gig in the Institute hallway. As this is part of his team’s Composite Creativity Challenge assignment, Miguel felt it was prudent to test more than one color scheme– ESPECIALLY considering this is his chance to make use of the Institute’s screen-printing labs. He wants to get as much practice in as possible, testing as many color combinations as possible! That said, even though he likes both color schemes, he felt that the warmer color scheme probably matched Sanji’s musical style more, so he turned that one in for the group. The tutors can give feedback on his full set of prints later in the next studio critique.

3. Study notes for Team 1’s Composite Creativity Challenge assignment: Sanji singing a short ditty on Calton Hill. (***Before Miguel could begin painting anything for Sanji’s gig, as he told Hazel, he had to study her style first in his sketchbook in order to know what to design.)

4. Don’t See Me Die. Miguel’s currently working on his next piece for his brand denouncing cruelty against animals– that is, on a SMALLER scale for now. Although he wants people to see what he has to say and what he can do, he’s learning that maybe trying to make a huge splash right away with his spray paints in midair is not the best tactic. So for now, he’s making smaller tests with good ‘ole acrylics. This one in particular he could probably paint later as large-scale mural, provided he can get permission from the city to let him do this somewhere prominent. People SHOULDN’T look away, and doing this large-scale will definitely get them to see. (Maybe he can ask one of their tutors about that… didn’t one of them say they had some of their work up on Princes Street?)

5. Got Milk? The latest, largest piece Miguel’s done so far at the Institute, showcasing the ignorance of many consuming dairy from abused, factory-farmed cows. It’s gotten high marks and good feedback. (Even in spite of the Institute’s reprographics department messing up the greens in their first printing.)

6. Tote bag design for We Each Belong. Miguel’s currently got a lot of responsibilities on his plate: in addition to his own thesis work AND his contributions to his group’s Comp. Creativity assignment, Miguel’s also joined up with W.E.B.– the Uni Main’s primary student society for animal welfare– as their graphic designer. While Miguel’s happy to be getting off on the right foot with this gig, he’s not quite sure how he feels about W.E.B. already asking him to develop a whole line of products for them within their first month of study. Still, he’s pleased with the screen-print tote bag design for what it is, and others seem to like it too. (Miguel gave his classmates free bag samples to test it out, including Hazel’s seen here.)

7. Miguel’s brand logo trials. Where Bob and Sherman didn’t get to see this design of his during their first portfolio critique, Miguel’s been playing around with the look and feel. He first started with his own bold, vibrant style in acrylics, and has since been testing a few different palettes. Overall, Miguel likes the green rectangular frame, but he’s asked around to see which are some of his other classmates’ favorites as well. (Hazel says she likes the green frame the most too.)


1. Ren’s business cards. While Ren created a to-the-point design for the Institute’s calling card assignment (highlighting his taste for sleekness, simplicity, and that he likes the color blue), in truth, he’s a bit soured by the Institute’s expectations at this time. So far, they’ve been giving out assignments, but with minimal care for what the students are putting into those assignments… hell, with the calling cards alone? Frankly, they just told them to make cards with their credentials and mingle. What about HOW you supposedly share with others what you do and connect? Ren went ahead and made the most of it by catching up with fellow photographer and friend James, one of the second year MFA students. But just the same…GOD he hopes things will improve by his second year here, or there might be some PROBLEMS…

2. Hazel- Pecha Kucha Set. So far, Ren’s been focusing his current concentration of work on the stories from those around him in Edinburgh while studying here. (At least, that’s what he’s landed on so far for himself, anyway… originally, this pic was simply for their group’s introductory Pecha Kucha… which still never got a grade.) But just the same, at least this *candid* pic of Hazel is something he can include in line with his concentration. (Her ‘photo’ of him in return still cracks him up…)

3. Miguel and Firebreather- Pecha Kucha Set. Next in Ren’s concentration, even IF originally being from their ungraded Pecha Kucha assignment… is his photo of Miguel showing off his skills on the busy High Street, plus a cityscape with another fiery performer. Even though Miguel’s turned out to hold much more excitement in Ren’s opinion, there’s *something* to the other photo as well… such that he can’t QUITE simply toss it out. (He’s undecided.)

4. Sanji- Pecha Kucha Set. The last of the original Pecha Kucha photos that Ren’s decided to include in his body of work is Sanji— who could forget THAT shocker of her busting out punk rock in the middle of the pub? (Though if he’s being honest, Ren would have preferred maybe a little tiny bit of a heads up from Sanji about THIS being what she really wants to do, you know?)

5. Kites- Arthur’s Seat Set. Ren’s most recent shoot centers around the stories he’s finding near Arthur’s seat. On the nicer, late September day that he took these photos, there happened to be some people and their kids flying kites. And that made Ren happy to see, even with all the stress and strain otherwise so far this year. He’s not sure what Bob is going to think about it this time— and he’s hoping maybe this time Sherman will at least LOOK… but, he’ll see during their next critique.

6. Dusk- Arthur’s Seat Set. This photo was taken from Arthur’s Seat, though not officially at the top of the seat itself. Simply, it’s where Ren had had enough just energy to climb before he had to stop, his pain getting to him. This was his second attempt to scale the mountain upon landing in Edinburgh, in fact. For what it’s worth, at least his classmates have agreed that it’s a very nice photo. 

7. “Paper-Cat.” Ohhhhhhh Paper-Cat. Strictly speaking, this is NOT Ren’s work— nobody really knows exactly who made Paper-Cat, where it came from, or what it’s doing there. One day it just showed up in the studio on top of the portfolio case and drawer near Ren’s desk… and everyone affectionately started calling it Paper-Cat. Maybe one of the RAs popping in and out left it there, or something? Either way, Hazel insisted that Ren take a picture of it once they were done with more of the group’s Comp. work… and Sanji promptly agreed, so Ren couldn’t refuse. (One thing’s for sure though: it’s NOT going into his actual portfolio, so do not take this one seriously!)


1. Hazel’s business cards. Presenting Hazel’s calling card for the Institute assignment— one that, in hindsight, she thinks maybe she took a little TOO literally as an assignment, versus actually professionally advertising herself like others have with their cards. (No mention of a phone number, no website… sigh…) Still, at least she got the thing done– going ahead with her quirky little Vacant Bird amongst robins as something of Hazel’s own *personal representation.*

2. Figure Drawings. While Hazel hasn’t exactly gotten her own thesis work together so far, she HAS been going to the Institute’s live figure-drawing sessions~~ primarily offered to the undergraduates and any postgraduates interested.  (Hazel kind of chuckles to herself that Ren’s definitely… DEFINITELY not into figure drawing. She herself got past her “giggle-stage” of drawing naked men in front of her back as an undergrad, and now it’s pretty much just business for her.) Just the same, these pen and ink studies are now “too old” in Hazel’s eyes, and “not focused enough ON her thesis”, so now they’re sitting in a bag in her flat-room instead of on her wall in the studio.

3. “Abstract Alight.” One of the things Hazel likes to do… (secretly, she supposes, as she hasn’t exactly TOLD anyone this, no more than she’s told them how much of a mess her personal space is…) is unwind by listening to music, eating food she likes, and just chill-drawing. This is a piece she’s created during one such evening, testing out her new color pencils she recently got from the student art supply store. Hazel’s not sure whether it even goes with her nonexistent thesis at all… So far, she hasn’t shown this piece to anyone else. But, she still likes it, and wants to title it something with the word “Alight” in it. That is a word, right?

4. Hazel’s digital sketches. Apart from working JUST analogue, Hazel’s also testing her chops with digital pen and tablet on her laptop— having brought this pen and tablet with her from back home. Unfortunately, it seems the tool just doesn’t matter if you all the same HAVE NO FRIKKIN’ CLUE WHAT TO DO FOR YOUR THESIS. …sighhh. As evidenced by Hazel’s random scribbles and doodles… and the thoughts on her mind. (Hellllllllllpppppppp.)

5. Hazel’s concept digital sketches. When Hazel DOES let her mind try to go to comic-matters for her thesis, doodling digitally, she notices what’s simply on her mind. A stoic feminine youth entering a mysterious path, with such little to guide her… yet these mysterious lantern-bearing spirits promise the youth, “What you want lies just beyond this door. But you must pass one final test. Are you sure you’re ready for it?” To which the youth responds: “What do I need to do?” Hazel reflects with this idea how… again, she probably can’t use her own feelings in trying to find her missing mate who jumps through portals and such… as a comic for her thesis. No… that definitely shouldn’t be shared.

6. Hazel’s lecture notes. Hazel will never admit it aloud but… she kiiiiind of sees no point in these “context”… “class”… WHATEVER these visiting lecturer-sessions are called on Fridays for the postgrads… with language she can’t even begin to care about. (What the hell is ‘semiotic analysis’ and WHY DOES IT MATTER ANYWAY???) But still, she’s trying, trying, TRYING to follow along and keep notes.
And… yeah. She really wants to see the Great British Bake Off in real time, now that she’s FINALLY here in the UK… but without a UK television license for her laptop, all she can do is simply overhear others talk about the latest episode amongst themselves. 

7. Illustrations for Sanji’s Mini-Gig. These are the pen and ink drawings Hazel drew specifically as a backdrop for Sanji’s performance that Saturday, for her mini gig in the Institute hallway. Maaaaaaan her song was so… sooooooo cool. Too cool for Hazel NOT to do her BEST to do the backdrop for Sanji JUSTICE!!!!!!!!


1. Sanji’s calling card design. Sanji has had to make cards for the Insitute’s calling card assignment. Listening to music while working helps Sanji to focus– both the music of others and her own. Though of course she loves rock, all kinds at that, Sanji’s also a fan of classical music. (Piano is actually the first instrument Sanji trained in as a small child.)

2. Sanji’s wardrobe. Although it’s not technically her own artwork, choosing how one creatively portrays themselves to make a statement is STILL a form of art! And indeed, Sanji has not only a VAST array of clothes and accessories to help fit her own rock attire– she just as equally has had to master the art of adapting her attire to meet what the social occasion calls for. With just a few well-placed safety pins, some contact lenses, clip-on earrings, and an artful toss of her sweater, Sanji can go from ‘graphic design presentable’ to READY TO ROCK.

3. Sanji’s guitar case. In addition to needing to sport the right attire for a rocker, Sanji also employs the art form of carrying the best attire for her instruments as well— in this case, her recently-acquired travel guitar and case. Sanji has two currently with her in Edinburgh: a light blue cloth case which, while waterpoof, jostles along her back WAY too much— she’s not large enough for the size unfortunately. Thankfully, her other hard-shell case doesn’t jostle as much– and Sanji feels that much more secure in transporting it through Edinburgh’s constant rain and winds. ALSO unfortunately though, it’s heavier to lug around! So Sanji’s equally on the lookout for any deals she can find nearby… it’s how she got her travel guitar in London before coming to Edinburgh, after all.

4. Brand Design Test. Since (Professor) Sherman told her that she could go into aesthetic branding with her designs… sigh… Sanji has been working with the design she showed Sherman to create maybe a suitable upgrade for her parents’ company. This is the first print test. Maybe it can be for pamphlets, or something…

5. Sanji’s graphic design notes (1). Some graphic design notes from the basic tutorial given to some of the undergrads at IUA. Sanji thought that it would be probably most prudent to try to use what the Institute has on offer for her major, such as line styles and typography basics… And… okay, Sanji ALSO got some new deep-pigment markers recently. And while she was listening to one of her favorite songs and trying to review her notes, she started to just doodle a bit, and maybe test to see how well the colors show on this kind of paper. It’s not bleeding through, and she could TOTALLY rock that pink colored shoe… maybe she could find a shoe like that online, since she’s not exactly great at sewing her own clothing, but still, shoes should be easy enough to find, and she’s REALLY liking some of the skulls… and the sakura petals… that kind of gives Sanji an idea…

6. Sanji’s graphic design notes (2). Sanji decided to play with more marker drawings of the skull patterns and the same pink, white, and black motif— the sakura petals could be something like a central piece on the skulls, to give something like a cute still meets HARD CORE kind of feel, which is exactly what she’s going for, you know? Also the jagged lines could be like LIGHTNING, and maybe she could do something with multiple skulls with all kinds of facial expressions—nothing TOO cute though, it should still be edgy enough– Also Sanji thinks that fronting a band called the “Sakura Skulls” would be extremely cool!!!!! And maybe she could use this on the band’s line of t-shirts too?

7. Sanji’s graphic design notes (3). So the great news is that Sanji’s black marker definitely works relatively streak free, because she’s been playing with SO MANY designs now— the large sakura petals could be such a cool look for the backdrop of the stage where she performs, and there could be posters printed and used as adverts. Maybe Ren wouldn’t mind helping her post more flyers again like they did with Miguel’s design for her hallway gig? Sanji liked Miguel’s flyer well enough, but this feels like, really REALLY her kind of language– though, she might want to ask Zirconia what she thinks… haha, maybe Zirconia wouldn’t mind designing the sakura skull stage lights for her XD… that is, if she isn’t busy with… what was her name again? ‘Amber?’

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