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A few words with Monina

admin @ October 16, 2009
    Monina Velarde Competing at Command X at Make/Think in memphis.
Monina is a recent graduate from our very own KCAI design department, and last week she competed in the AIGA conference “reality show” Command X. After winning, she was nice enough to sit down with me to share her experience and inspiration. 
Q: Wow, I get the first official interview… lets start with the application process. What did you have to do?
A: The application process was pretty simple. All the contestants had to turn in 5 samples of our best work accompanied by a short essay of about 150 words. 
Q: Can you explain your design process once you’ve received the assignments?
A:  For the first assignment (redesign the Graceland logo), all the contestants had about six days to work on it. With that time, I had the chance to really do some research on Graceland and Elvis Presley and to create multiple variations of my logo. With the second and final assignments, the time frame was a lot tighter. We had less than 24 hrs. to provide a design solution, so I had to quickly think of a concept and visual direction and just go with it. 
Monina and her design for round 2.
Q: What was it like presenting your work in front of 1,500 people? 
A: It was really terrifying for me at first. Mostly because the judges and the people in the audience are designers that I really look up to and admire. I just wanted to do my best. 
Q: So, I have to ask. What was the very first thing you thought when you won?
A: I couldn’t believe it. I thought “is this really happening?” My whole body went numb. I haven’t felt that kind of numbness in my life. It was so weird. It was also probably because I was really tired. 
Q:Alright… so everyone wants to know. What was Chip Kidd like behind the scenes?
A:  He was nice! All the judges were extremely supportive and encouraging. They really helped us to feel comfortable before going on stage and presenting our work. 
Q: What will you take from this experience?
A:  Knowing that anything is possible. This experience was very challenging and I wasn’t really sure if it was something I could do. I’m really thankful for the education that I got, though. Everything I learned in school came in handy in terms of concepting, executing and presenting. 
Q: Do you have any advice to design students?
A:  To work really hard, read, experiment, ask questions and to find something that you are really passionate about. With Command X, I was lucky enough to be compete with 6 incredibly talented young designers. It’s really inspiring to know that there are so many talented young designers out there. It makes me excited for the future of design.
Monina’s winning concept!
Monina winning Command X!
and you can read more about Monina and Command X with felt and wire.

A few words with Monina

admin @
    Monina Velarde Competing at Command X at Make/Think in memphis.
Monina is a recent graduate from our very own KCAI design department, and last week she competed in the AIGA conference “reality show” Command X. After winning, she was nice enough to sit down with me to share her experience and inspiration. 
Q: Wow, I get the first official interview… lets start with the application process. What did you have to do?
A: The application process was pretty simple. All the contestants had to turn in 5 samples of our best work accompanied by a short essay of about 150 words. 
Q: Can you explain your design process once you’ve received the assignments?
A:  For the first assignment (redesign the Graceland logo), all the contestants had about six days to work on it. With that time, I had the chance to really do some research on Graceland and Elvis Presley and to create multiple variations of my logo. With the second and final assignments, the time frame was a lot tighter. We had less than 24 hrs. to provide a design solution, so I had to quickly think of a concept and visual direction and just go with it. 
Monina and her design for round 2.
Q: What was it like presenting your work in front of 1,500 people? 
A: It was really terrifying for me at first. Mostly because the judges and the people in the audience are designers that I really look up to and admire. I just wanted to do my best. 
Q: So, I have to ask. What was the very first thing you thought when you won?
A: I couldn’t believe it. I thought “is this really happening?” My whole body went numb. I haven’t felt that kind of numbness in my life. It was so weird. It was also probably because I was really tired. 
Q:Alright… so everyone wants to know. What was Chip Kidd like behind the scenes?
A:  He was nice! All the judges were extremely supportive and encouraging. They really helped us to feel comfortable before going on stage and presenting our work. 
Q: What will you take from this experience?
A:  Knowing that anything is possible. This experience was very challenging and I wasn’t really sure if it was something I could do. I’m really thankful for the education that I got, though. Everything I learned in school came in handy in terms of concepting, executing and presenting. 
Q: Do you have any advice to design students?
A:  To work really hard, read, experiment, ask questions and to find something that you are really passionate about. With Command X, I was lucky enough to be compete with 6 incredibly talented young designers. It’s really inspiring to know that there are so many talented young designers out there. It makes me excited for the future of design.
Monina’s winning concept!
Monina winning Command X!
and you can read more about Monina and Command X with felt and wire.

Getting that Itch

admin @

I’m getting that itch again.

That itch to make.

It feels good.

It’s been along time since I have had the want to make.

What do I want to make?

Posted in Main Tagged: art, itch, making, playing


Defining Gravity in Iowa

admin @

A couple weekends ago my dad, his girlfriend Darla, her daughter Maryl and I took a trip to Des Monies to see the Broadway tour of Wicked. For those who don’t, Wicked is a musical about the lives of the witches of Oz before Dorthy dropped in. I can say without a doubt I had the best seat of my theatre going life (so far I’m only 23) at that production: 3 rows back from the stage dead center. I almost cried out of pure joy in the fact I could see the detailing on the costumes and sets.  If you haven’t seen this musical go see it because you will be blown away by it.

While in Des Monies we watched Abigail Breslin film scenes for her next film Janie Jones and we went to the Botanical Garden. I loved the botanical garden, why can’t Kansas City have one? Or if it does where is it? Favorite plants at the garden: the screw pine-hands down the coolest plant I have ever seen, the Vanilla Orchid-I didn’t know vanilla was an orchid, and the Banana Tree.



























Posted in Main Tagged: abigail breslin, Des Monies, Des Monies Botanical Garden, musical, plants, screw plant, theatre, wicked


congrats to Ian Tirone (graphic design) & Luke McKinney (photo)

admin @ October 15, 2009

Ian and Luke created a video together, as part of the Fall 08 Martin Venezky workshop. The video has been accepted for a show at the Everson Museum in Syracuse NY. Oct 13th, 2009.


COMBO by Blue and David Ellis

admin @

Andrea Martin Visits KCAI

admin @
Andrea Martin, Lapware

Andrea Martin, "Lapware"

Andrea Martin, 2007 alum from the department, came to demonstrate her techniques and talk with students these past few weeks. She is a recent MA Design graduate from Central Saint Martins College of Art in London where she designed and fabricated her new line of dishes, Lapware. These ceramic vessels are formed to fit to the contours of the user’s body. They evoke warmth and familiarity, while referencing the shiny, cold, white surfaces of sanitary ceramics.


kc glass recycling

admin @

ripple glass an offshoot of boulevard brewing company, and is getting set to make glass recycling a lot easier in k.c. right now only about 5% of k.c.’s glass is being recycled.


congratulations to AIGA our scholarship winner

admin @ October 14, 2009

Morgan Allen (senior) won this year’s AIGA KC student scholarship.

Each year area schools (KCAI, KU, JCCC, UMKC) submit two student portfolios and essays for consideration. A committee of design professionals judge and determine the winner.

Congrats Morgan!


Sketchbook of AIGA conference speakers

admin @

Check out this flickr set. It is a sketchbook of notes and doodles for the speakers at the recent AIGA make/think conference in Memphis.


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