Student Interview: Katie & Erik

When they’re not feverishly working in the studio, Katie and Erik can be found in the Admission Office giving campus tours.

For our first installment of student interviews, I thought we’d start off the way most prospective students do: grilling our tour guides.

Getting to know you.
Name: Katie
Major and Year: Illustration BFA ’12
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Name: Erik
Major and Year: Communication Design BFA ’12 and Creative Writing BA ’13 (Dual Degree BA/BFA program with Lang)
Hometown: Madison, WI

Quickfire Favorites List!
Artist or Designer: Andrew Wyeth
Book: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Design Blog: Beautiful/Decay
Place on-campus: The backed magazine catalog in the library, I love making collages from the old Vogues. The copier and I are the best of friends.
Place off-campus: Little Poland Diner, best polish food in the east village.
Hidden NYC gem: It’’s not hidden but Parsons kids generally avoid it: the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team on Coney Island. It mixes all of my favorite things, ocean, baseball and the weirdest people you’’ll ever meet.

Artist or Designer: M/M (Paris), Laszlo Moholy Nagy, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright
Book: Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud
Design Blog: A Continuous Lean. , A Dear Friend, FFFFOUND!
Place on-campus: Building X, the new student study center
Place off-campus: The High Line
Hidden NYC gem:  Walter Di Maria: The New York Earth Room

Elaborate a little more…
What drew you to Parsons?
KATIE: Actually nothing drew me to Parsons, I was scared to death of Parsons. The idea of actually making and learning about art scared the living daylights out of me, so much so my mother signed my acceptance form. I never thought I could do it, but looking back on it, it’s probably the greatest thing my mom’’s ever done for me.
ERIK: The diverse community, the history and alumni (it’s affiliation with The New School), and its location in Greenwich Village.

Favorite thing/least favorite thing about Parsons?
KATIE: My favorite thing about Parsons is the faculty. I never thought I would have professors that not only are some my favorite artists or illustrators but they’re the nicest people you’’ll ever meet. I feel comfortable going up to them whether it’s about work or if they’ve caught up on watching The Walking Dead.  My least favorite thing about Parsons is the lack of sports or traditional college activities, I suppose. Sometimes (and I mean maybe like once a year) I get that small urge to go to a football game, or just do something ‘college-y’, yet as soon as I visit friends at college-y schools all I ever want to do is get back to New York. I’’m just not meant to be the homecoming queen at the big game. I’’ve come to terms with it
ERIK: Favorite thing: Being able to walk down the street to music, art galleries, shopping, amazing food and music, and to have access to some of the most creative people I’ve ever met. Least favorite thing: Tripping over students outlandish fashions/getting bulldozed by giant bags and portfolios in the small elevators.

What’s your most beloved project?
KATIE: My favorite project is a tie between creating a children’s book and my sketchbook warehouse project. I never thought I could ever write and complete a fully illustrated children’s book in a semester, but yeah-I totally did. It was rough to get through but seeing it finished was well worth the blood, sweat, and tears. And my sketchbook this year is looking pretty killer from my sketchbook warehouse class. I’’ve never been one to keep any sort of sketchbook, I just never draw on the side. Yet this semester, I’’ve finished two sketchbooks and both of them are like my babies, I carry them everywhere and can’’t stop. So I’’m super proud of it.

What are you working on for your thesis?
ERIK: A poetic/typographic reinterpretation of the German epic poem The Nibelungenlied and the four Wagner operas it influenced. It will be a book.

Talk briefly about a past internship. How did you get it? What were your responsibilities? How did it prepare you?
KATIE: One of my more recent internships was at NYLON Magazine in the art department. Last semester, I was taking all liberal arts so I needed something artsy to keep me going, so I went up to a teacher and asked if she knew anyone looking for an intern in some sort of bigger company. She put me in contact with MTV and NYLON, I decided to go with NYLON just because it seemed like a smaller, hands-on internship. A lot of my responsibilities were pretty mundane, organizing files, placing pictures and researching. But the cool part was always doing the illustrations, I usually did the drink of the month or some smaller doodles for the magazine. NYLON made me realize how quick publications work, how much work goes into something, and how every detail matters. It made me aware that I may not want to go into short term publication like magazines but look more towards books, especially children’s books.
ERIK: I interned at Interview Magazine. I sent in my resume and a cover letter. Interviewed and got the position. I worked in the Fashion Department cataloging clothes, delivering and picking up materials, emailing different designer representatives, exploring storyboarding and trend forecasting for shoots. It gave me insight into the publication and editorial industry, as well as the photography and fashion world. I got to see a lot of behind the scenes locations, offices and the real life process of everything that goes into making a high fashion magazine.

As a tour guide, what do you wish people would ask you?
ERIK: A question I wish people would ask more on the tour is anything related to the work we do here: what kind of projects we do? What I feel like I am missing? Thing I’ve learned that I’ve loved. I guess sometimes I think people are more interested in the schools amenities than what you would actually be learning there.

Sum up your Parsons experience in a six word biography.
KATIE: Drank out of my paint cup.
ERIK: Stress Expansion Risk Growth Change Progression

Thanks guys!


-by Victoria O’Neill-

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