Spring 2020 MFA Graduate Research Projects

Spring 2020 MFA Graduate Research Projects

Paper is more than just a flat material: it’s a blank slate for play. It’s one of the most friendly and familiar materials, which makes it easy to manipulate and interact with. PLAYUM is inspired paper, play and sweets. Toys don’t need to be elaborate to be fun. It only takes a minimal amount of materials to create a fun experience.

PLAYUM’s mission is to encourage play by adding an unexpected purpose to snack packaging. Toys are designed for kids (and adults who are kids at heart and stomach). PLAYUM’s first product line is inspired by outer space, containing seven candy-filled toys.

The goal of this project was to pursue my passion and interests in combination with my creative process to attract more of what I love into my work. Essentially building a platform for my illustrations, surface design, and art to be cohesive and represented as a collection. This involved looking at the work I previously created, creating new art, developing cohesive collections—then looking out how this could be put together and delivered to potential agents and or licensing opportunities. The result is a website and catalog that represent 8 collections across multiple surfaces—everything from print to home decor.

Throughout my time here in the MFA program, I’ve developed a trend of centering my projects around social issues and designing for the greater good. The classes I’ve taken demonstrated to me the power design has on the world and I started to truly believe designers and artists have a unique ability to make this world we live in a better place. We use illustrations to say the things we sometimes can’t find words to describe so I wanted to focus my thesis on the power of illustrations. With this project, I wanted to use alternative methods of illustration like sculpture, typography, and cut paper to help raise awareness and create empathy for individuals living with mental health disorders. This isn’t always an easy topic to discuss so my goal was to use imagery to convey the message someone isn’t comfortable verbally expressing and turn a feeling that is ordinarily invisible into something that is now visible and concrete. Sometimes by seeing things, we are able to understand them better than when we just hear about them. In my attempt to help people better understand the severity of mental illness, my hope is that individuals who had a hard time understanding these disorders can become more empathetic and invite their friends and family to open up to them in a safe atmosphere.

Cahoodle is an app that allows teams, friends, and even strangers to connect and collaborate in doodling fun. Based on the Exquisite Corpse parlor game invented by early 20th-century French surrealists. Each participant creates a drawing with lines connecting lines to another participant’s concealed drawing. When revealed, the results are unique and unexpected! This app is perfect for remote teams, a great ice breaker activity, and a generally fun experience!

The creative intention of US 20/20 is to construct an experience within politics that is relaxed, positive and informed. The importance of having all the facts enables you to develop your own opinions and form the fortitude to break old, unknowing affiliations. The future leadership of our country is dependent upon the participation of the entire voting population and it’s time to vote informed instead of inherited. This is where you need to have the courage of change, every election is an important election and now is the time to take action and learn the facts. Decide what issues are important to you and then make your choice for your future. #VoteInformed

To some, the idea of a bucket list might sound like an inventory of “maybe someday”s that live in a corner of your brain somewhere, but rarely get much attention. After all, most days involve more mundane thoughts about work deadlines or what to cook for dinner that evening. But I’ve always had a healthy respect for my folded, yellowed bucket list. When I transfer those goals from my head to paper, I’m one step closer to achieving that goal – to traveling to Latvia, or to trying that new restaurant. And although work and even cooking meals are important and very necessary strands of one’s life, it’s the addition of achieving one’s own recreational goals that rounds out my personal view of fulfillment.

Pocket Bucket is a bucket list app that allows users to create lists and sublists, add and check off goals, explore new goal ideas, follow friends, add photos, and more. My thesis project consists of the mobile app prototype, responsive promotional website, branding guide, and promotional video behind Pocket Bucket.