During my sophomore year, living at Stuy Park, I lived on the 8th floor and had the pleasure of being suite mates with Delia Reyes. One thing I’ll never forget about Delia is how envious I was she was able to pull a 4.0 without being a total hermit! Anyway, currently a senior in the Design and Management program, for the past year, Delia has taken some time off at Parsons and has been attending another school— sorta.
Since February, Delia has been a ‘student’ at W+K 12, a design agency school (I’ll let Delia explain) based in Portland, Oregan. Delia and I recently reconnected and chatted about her time at W+K12, what she’s missing about NYC and what’s next for her after graduation!
Lauren Davis: Hey Delia! Can you please explain to our readers just what W+K 12 is and what the development program is all about.
Delia Reyes: W+K 12 is “an experiment disguised as a school disguised as an advertising agency.” We are thirteen artists, writers, designers, poets, entrepreneurs, and schemers working together on a range of creative and client-based endeavors. We function as a collective in Portland, Oregon, on the fourth floor of Wieden+Kennedy
. For those of you that may not be familiar, W+K were the guys that coined Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ tagline. Other notable campaigns from recent years include Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ and Levis’ ‘Go Forth.’
W+K 12 Class of 2014
LD: This program seems like a great way to use some of the skills you’ve acquired in D&M in real life situations. What were some of the deciding factors for you to join the program, or was it just a no-brainer?
DR: I’ve worked as a writer, producer, strategist, and a few other bits and things. So the way I looked at it, this was a year to experiment and figure out what role I wanted to pursue after graduation. What’s great about W+12 is that, unlike other portfolio schools, you’re working for real clients on real campaigns. Just this year, I’ve been lucky to work for both Old Spice and Facebook. It’s nice to see the work you do go out into the world.
LD: What does a typical day at W+K 12 look like for you?
DR: That’s a tough question. No day is like the other. One day, you’ll be pulling an all-nighter to prepare for a gallery show, and the other, you’ll be pitching an idea to Dan Wieden. This is why a lot of people see 12 as an experiment. You never know what will be thrown your way. And that prepares you to be a pretty good problem solver in the future.
As a part of the
LD: What have been some of your favorite experiences at W+K 12 or in general in Portland this year?
DR: Ironically, I think my favorite experiences in 12 are late in the morning, when you’ve pulled an all-nighter before a big deadline. You’ve been working your ass off to bring legs to an idea that didn’t have them before. And when you finally see it all come together, that’s a great feeling.
LD: What have you been missing the most about NYC?
DR: I miss so many things. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss my favorite restaurant in East Village. I miss the winters. I miss the crazies. I miss the street art. But most of all, I think I miss the museums and galleries. People take that for granted in New York. You have all the art in the world at your disposable.
Self-portrait illustration by Delia
LD: As you enter your final semester at Parsons, what’s next for you post-graduation?
DR: I’m ready to start getting paid. You live below the poverty line when you’re in 12. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am, and I’m ready to get my foot in the door. Now that I’ve zeroed in on strategy, I feel really confident taking the next step in my career. I’ll also continue writing on the side. It’s something I really enjoy, and something that I’ve made time for in 12 despite the huge workload. I’m a contributing writer for VICE + Intels’ The Creators Project
. If you’re not familiar with their stuff, you should definitely check them out. Aside from that, I plan on taking a month or two to travel. I moved around a lot growing up, and I want to reconnect with some friends that I’ve lost touch with this year.
To keep up with W+K 12 Check out their tumblr. And to keep up with Delia check out her clever-named website Quesadelia!