Christopher Sleboda, Katherine, and Rachel attended as panelists for my final review this semester.
As anticipated, the nerves from the sleepless night prior carried over to the day of presenting. Showing my work to anybody is challenging, to begin with, let alone experts of the field that can dissect and dismantle each project quicker and more soundly than I ever could.
As a person that deeply cares about the quality of output, my ego tends to lean more towards the fragile. And, while these reviews intend to be constructive and ultimately arranged for the betterment of the student, it can’t help but sting even just a little bit when something I’ve worked so tirelessly on is not received the way I yearned. Those were my fears heading into this final review. And, now that I am thinking about it, those are my fears as a designer, period.
When speaking, there are days I flow, my tongue — sharper, capable of articulating what I am thinking exactly. Other days, I somehow forget how to speak. I can’t ever control what kind of day it is. But this day, thankfully, was the good kind.
As I was speaking, I observed their reactions. I would break out a dad joke every once in a while, and at least one of them would crack a smirk. That was sufficient enough to keep my flow and confidence intact for the rest of the presentation.
It seemed to me that they appreciated my presentation. Katherine and Rachel used the term “poignant” to describe my work. I was trying very hard to keep my face from looking too flattered. Christopher told me that he was happy to see me utilize more typography. He stated I was more of an art maker during the first semester and I have now started to meld the two together. He also noticed I went back to the art-making with the Liminality + Transition project and thought it was a good idea that I exercised those muscles again. That was my intention all along as art-making fills a large part of who I am as a designer and is an aspect I never want to lose and have to regain. I have always found Christopher to be particularly observant and detailed with his feedback. He notices things that most people wouldn’t. So, his thoughts always mean a great deal to me. He ended by saying I should keep looking for sources of inspiration to yield even better work. To that, Rachel added that I could look to other forms of art other than just design for inspiration. That way, I could translate it into the language of design and be completely unique.
Before I left the zoom meeting, I told them how this semester was a huge step for me as a designer, that I learned how to use After Effects and AR, and how I didn’t know what A-R stood for until I began the last project. To that, they said I should keep practicing and learn even more programs during the summer so that by the time I get to work on my thesis, I wouldn’t be learning on the fly.
Overall, it probably didn’t go perfectly, but it went far better than expected. I worked my tail off this semester, and I am just thrilled and relieved it all came to fruition.