November 12, 2014

We Visit Titmouse Inc.

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I’m sure you probably already know about Titmouse, Inc. They make cartoons. Not only do they make cartoons, they make awesome cartoons. Do Metalocalypse, The Venture Bros., Superjail!, and China, IL ring a bell? This supercool animation studio took Pratt students on a tour through their Manhattan office to learn more about the awesome work being done inside.

We met a bunch of different people, got a sneak peek on what projects they'd been working on, and got to enjoy some fantastic Halloween decorations. We were guided through the building and stopped in to see five different people to find out what they were up to and get their advice.

Alex Kwan, a super kind animator that took us under her wing, shared some details on animating and symbols, along with shoes. Rachel Gitlevich, another fantastic animator, showed us some awesome animations from Super Jail (if you haven’t seen it, go check it out). She also had some great tidbits to share with the students that we are passing along to you:

    “Check your thumbnails on your demo reel.”

            “Internships are the best way to get a job ever.”

We also peeked in the offices (and over the shoulders) while chatting with Josh Howell (Digital Cleanup Supervisor), Chris Fisher (Background Painter), and James Sugrue (Animator), all of whom were awesome and amazing and every other good word you can think of that starts with A.

Obviously they had tons of other great things to say too, but we can’t share them all. Some of what we got to see and hear was super top-secret, and you missed out on the fun. Follow the Career Ambassadors on Twitter (@PrattSuccess) and like them on Facebook (Pratt Success) to find out what other cool events are happening so you can join in!

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October 22, 2014

Creative Morning - Everyone Has a Story to Tell: How to Tell It Strategically

On October 1st, 2014, I attended the ‘Creative Morning’ event at the Manhattan Campus, which was hosted by the Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD). Everybody in the room was curious about what David Carofano was going to present. Once the lights had dimmed, each person was ready with their notepads and pens to find out what he had to share.

David Carofano presenting to Pratt students how to tell "their story".
David  works at Local Projects, and shared with us a short presentation on how to identify our skills and tips on expressing them in this changing market. He shared with us the struggles he faced at the beginning of his career, and his honesty about these struggles with employers.

David expressed that when interviewers asked why he had only been at his previous jobs for less than than a year, his answer was that he hadn't found "that thing yet" -- the perfect job that felt like a great fit for him, and was still searching to fill that gap. He suggested to include “why you’re here” as part of your story, because “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.
He emphasized that when telling your story, you want to “connect with them on an emotional level” to make it powerful. David uses this same theory when working with clients and when he is developing strategies for new projects. He noted that he considers: “What is that one thing that people are going to connect to emotionally? You have to put yourself in their shoes and think about what they would be seeing, feeling or thinking”.
David says to continue to write your story with your experiences; talk to developers, designers and get to know individuals with different skills to expand your knowledge and story.

David - "Your story is your journey."
David’s role in Local Projects is to come up with strategies and pass them on to content developers and videographers. “You have to figure out a platform… come up with ideas that can then go into designs…” 

“How do you choose the right medium when working with a client?” Was a question asked during the event, and I’d like to know how you would answer this question. Feel free to comment and share with us your opinion.

Be sure to check out the next Creative Morning coming up on November 5th. These are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 8:30 AM on the Pratt Manhattan Campus. You can register through the CCPD Blog by clicking here.

Written By: Jazz Seijii Hernandez
Photographs By: Jazz Seijii Hernandez

October 17, 2014

Inside Track into the Industry: Product Development

On September 25th, I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by the Center for Career & Professional Development. This event was an Inside Track into Industry: Product Development.

Students sat at round tables with alumni from various majors that included interior design, architecture, and illustration, just to name a few. Each table had a bell in the middle, and when students had a question they would ring the bell and ask the alumni. Students at the table were able to chat with the alumni for 30 minutes, and discuss product development as well as any other questions about the alumni experiences at Pratt and how those influenced their current careers. At the end of the half-hour, a gong was struck to indicate the end of the round table discussion. Following the gong, each alumni stood up and shared the most interesting or important question they got from the group of students, and their response to said question. The alumni switched tables and then had another round of discussions with a new group of students.

If you weren’t able to make it to the event, here are some of the most important answers that came from our alumni:
“What is the most important thing in Product Development?”
“Clarity, the product has to stand for itself, someone has to just see it and get. Because you won’t always be there to explain your work, and it has to be able to stand on it’s own.”
“What makes someone a good person to work with?”
“There are 3 things that makes someone a positive co-worker. Number 1: you are easy to work with, 2: You are talented and you can do the work well, and 3: you can do it quickly and on time.”
“How as a designer or an artist, do you learn about the business side of things?”
“I made stuff and found out how to sell it, you just got to get in it and know the questions to ask. Once you have the product though, the questions will come, and then you just have to find a way to answer them, whether it’s classes, working, or asking someone.”
Don’t miss the next Inside Track into Industry: Publishing event happening on October 22, 2014! Registration for events can be found at:

Written by: Diana Li

September 18, 2014

Pratt Alumni Spotlight: Cesar Kuriyama

Cesar Kuriyama is a Pratt alumni who graduated from the Digital Arts program with a focus in computer animation. Last year he released his app 1SE (1 Second Everyday, demoed in the above video) based off a personal project he’d been working on for years. We were lucky enough to do an interview with Cesar, where we talked about his experiences at Pratt and how they helped him to develop the career he has now.

Tell us about 1 Second Everyday.

“1 Second Everyday started as a side project for me, because I took a year off of work to basically leave advertising and try do something else with my life. And I wanted to remember that year off somehow, because I was always really frustrated with my memory. I thought why don’t I just record a little tiny slice of every day, so that I can compile it into this 6 minute montage that would be really easy to relive, and it would include every single day of that year.It turned out that every single one of those moments actually provided me with a visual trigger. I can remember every single day of my life since the day I started. Plus I noticed the positive impact it was having in my life, so I wanted to develop a way so that anyone could do the same.”

So how do you think your experience in your major at Pratt helped shape you as the artist you are today?

“The coolest thing about going to Pratt was that even though I was a computer animation major was meeting people from every single major watching them do photography, film, industrial design, sculpture. And after spending 4 years around all these people and just being constantly inspired by them, I took classes in everything. And all that stuff ended up being a huge catalyst for all the work I ended up doing after Pratt. To me it's like a community of really awesome artists who end up in one place, and the possibilities that come out of those friendships is what was the most valuable to me."

Did you do internships while you were at Pratt?

"My internship story is that I really wanted an internship during my junior and senior year at Pratt even though I felt I probably wasn’t good enough yet. But I tried anyway. I had to make reels. It was pre­YouTube days so I had to record my animation portfolio reels into VHS tapes, and send them to different studios. I made about fifty VHS tapes and I ended up getting 2 replies. The first one was like ‘We’d love to have you but we’re going out of business’ so I was like ‘Okay’. And the second one was Marvel Comics, which turned into the awesomest summer of my life! I learned so much, and worked on films and comics that I grew up with. It was like living my childhood dream.”

Do you have any advice for current students?

“First of all, really take your work seriously. The work you're doing right now isn’t just your homework, it’s your portfolio. This is what you’re going to be using to apply for jobs. When you leave school you lose the ability to have constant critiques and get advice from your professors, and working side by side with friends who are all in the same situation as you. And it becomes extraordinarily difficult to keep tabs on yourself and keep making projects once you're on your own."

Anything else you’d like to add?

“What is that Pratt quote ‘Be true to your work, and your work will be true to you.’? Pratt is these four amazing years surrounded by incredibly, amazingly, talented people. I would suggest doing as many things you can at Pratt, because it is ridiculous how interconnected art is. You don’t have to become good at everything but just enough to understand a lot of different aspects of art."

If you want to hear more of what Cesar has to say check out his TED talk:

Special Thanks to Cesar Kuriyama

Interviewed by: Kat Holland & Britt Gettys
Written by: Diana Li