Wk 15 – Art Activity – Design Thinking Applied to Life

As a graduating senior “what I’ll be doing with my life” has crossed my mind about a million times. It’d be nice if that was an overstatement. The thought is insurmountable at times. The thought is exhilarating at times. So let’s take a look at what I’ve come up with…

  1. The thing you currently think you’ll be doing with your life

What I currently have planned is absolutely exciting. If you were to have asked me what I was doing one year ago – heck, six months ago – I would not be telling you what I am telling you now. I have bought a one way ticket to London, flying out one month after graduation. I have money saved up to last me at least 6-8 months – more if I budget wisely. I don’t plan to stay in London (it is extremely hard to get a visa as an American citizen) rather use it as a home base as I travel throughout Europe. I already have parts of France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Germany figured out. My plan is to write. I will start out writing small. I will find my voice – find what I like to write about and find what I am good at speaking on. With a little time I hope to find my niche and launch a blog. I also plan to build my writing portfolio and work as a freelance writer. I think this will be a good start.

Year 1: Travel Europe. Begin writing. Find niche. Freelance write. Launch blog.

Year 2: Apply for Visa in New Zealand or Australia. Dedicate time to working with a food company (preferably in the communications department). Blog part time. Freelance part time. Save money.

Year 3: Travel more. Build on stories for blog. Become financially secure working as a writer and traveling.

Year 4:  Consider starting business. Take business classes.

Year 5: Begin writing business plan for communications company.

2. The thing you would do if the current thing disappeared tomorrow

Another version if I was for some horrific reason unable to make that flight to London – or any flight over to Europe for that matter – is get accredited as a Dietetic Technician Registered. This is job security for working in clinical dietary departments.

Year 1: Take the DTR registration examination. Prepare my Dietetic Internship application for Wellness Workdays in Boston, MA. Choose the Communications & Marketing for Nutrition Professionals concentration.

Year 2: Move to greater Boston area. Finish 1200 hours supervised practice work.

Year 3: Sit for Registration Examination and become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Begin job search. Give myself 6 months of year three to secure a job – anywhere in the United States or beyond.

Year 4: Work as a communications RDN. Magazine, contract food companies, etc.

Year 5: Contemplate getting a Master’s in either Business or nutritional science.

3. The thing you would do if you were financially secure, and no one would ever laugh, go ahead, what would it be?

Year 1:  Begin year by travelling the world as a blogger and freelance writer. Gain invaluable insight into global food cultures.

Year 2: Begin writing business plan of future communications company – with special attention to nutrition and dietetic professionals who can work for food company’s as the communications/marketing specialists.

Year 3: Launch international business – contract at least 5 international companies

Year 4: Expand business. Success won’t be easy…but it will be worth it.

Year 5: Maintain business. Expand business.

My version 1 and version 3 may sound similar – however, in my mind they are very different. My version one is my realistic approach and timeline to what I have planned. Version 3 is diving right into starting my own company – which is hard to do with little to  no financial backing…but that’s not the point of version 3, is it? Version 1 gives me the time to accumulate a portfolio, accumulate clientele and potential a funding source. Truly, either would be great!



Wk 15 – Classmate Conversation – Cindy Do & Esmeralda Mendez


For our last official class I had the pleasure of talking with Cindy and Esmeralda. I wish I connected with these two sooner… What fun and nice girls!

Esmeralda is a senior like me. She only has two more courses over summer to finish and then she is DONE! She has no idea what she wants to do with her Sociology and minor in Child Development degree. Still, she seems pretty confident things will play out and she will figure it out – and from the few minutes we spoke, I would have to agree.  Especially after this weeks discussion, this is just another step in the growing process. The one thing Esmeralda does know she wants is to go to Jamaica upon completion of her classes. How fun!

Cindy is just finishing up her second year as  Biology major. She honestly admitted she doesn’t know why she chose biology but exclaimed she is sticking with it! I think it is relevant as she plans to go to Dentistry school after graduation. Having a base of biology will only improve her foundation of knowledge. Cindy was set in her goal on going to Dentistry school and admire her for having cleat goals to work towards.

Good luck with everything ladies!

Wk 14 – Classmate Conversation – Shannon Jenich & Makenna LaFortune

What a nice day to meet to lovely ladies!

Shannon is a Human Development major with two years left before she graduates. Shannon, without hesitation, described what she wanted to do when she grew up. She plans to go on to a nursing program with hopes to become an RN and eventually a nurse practitioner. She is born and raised in Long Beach and has no plans to move out of the area as of yet. I couldn’t hep but notice Shannon’s drawing skills – she’s got ’em! She says she enjoys drawing for fun and pursues it when she can.


Makenna is one of the few dance majors in our class. She has been dancing since first grade; about 15 years.  Similar to Shannon, Makenna also seems to have a good head on her shoulders with respect to post graduation goals. She knows for certain that she will dance. At this point she is open to many ideas, however. She talked about joining a cruise line? That way she could get paid to dance and travel the world. A win-win! Her favorite type of dance to perform is what is know as modern contemporary. Or jazz. She isn’t opposed to expanding her talents into the realm of acting. She feels these dual talents will make her more versatile – as finding gigs that are only dance can be challenging at times. She is originally from Las Vegas but also plans to stay in the Long Beach, southern California area long term.

It was nice meeting the two! I always enjoy getting to talk with such focused, “go-getter” women!



Wk 14 – Art Activity – Sketching in the Garden

Finding my place in the Japanese Garden I sat on a bench and allowed myself to soak in the sun. We began with 30 second drawings. I feel like these were a warm up. They were fun, and to my surprise, 20-30 seconds is a lot more time to complete a sketch than I thought. The less pressure I put on myself to create something good, the better I feel they turned out. a6

On to the 5 minute sketch…a5

This is where I lose focus. I cannot maintain concentration on a piece for very long. I end up tensing up which changes my technique until it gets to the point where I feel I have ruined the sketch until I stop caring, basically. And 5 minutes isn’t even long…what a baby I am! This forces me to give great respect to artists that create time sucking masterpieces. The patience!

My next attempt was the Contour drawing. I enjoyed this the most I think. I like looking at an object close up. The hand was a perfect thing to draw..no perfect lines necessary. I was able to focus here as I concentrated on my hands unique features. I focused on the a7


I find our unique fingerprints fascinating. We went on the contour drawing the garden. Less interesting. From there we did representational drawing. First, it was hard for me to choose something to represent. I didn’t just want to do nature, yet we were surrounded by all things nature. I was able to pick out an object and a “corner” in the garden. I have always found it extremely difficult to represent a 3D space or depth. When looking at my picture I do not see depth. The lines never quote match up, and if I ever did take a drawing class, learning this would interest me the most. a3

I made a few attempts at abstract sketching. Annnd, I realize I don’t do abstract very well! I can’t help but want to make it look like something. I think I could paint abstract. But when my tool is a pencil I can’t help but curve the lines to create something that resembles something.

One of my abstract attempts. 

Overall, it was a beautiful afternoon. The weather was perfect, the sun was out and it the atmosphere relaxing. Just what I needed at the middle of our week.  Relaxing and being creative is exactly why I took this class – I enjoyed the opportunity to do just that. this week.

Wk 13 – Artist Conversation #10 – Krystal Ramirez

art1Artist: Krystal Ramirez
Exhibition:  La Cena Esta Servida, Dinner is Served
Media: Copper, brass, sterling silver, pewter
Gallery: CSULB School of Art,
Website: www.kgrmetalcraft.com

Instagram: @kgmetalcraft

Orange County native Krystal Ramirez is one talented metalworker. She has done well creating an image for herself while earning her BFA in the CSULB School of Arts 3D Media with option in Metal. Ramirez took a jewelry making class while in high school at the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana. She fell in love with it and has been honing her craft ever since.

The art represent a mixture of everyday items such as utensils and more decorative items such as scissors and paper weights. Upon entry the pieces have clear unity. The platforms from which each piece lay is unfinished pine which allows the true shape and design of each piece to stand on its own, however. The designs are clean with no more emphasis on one piece than another. The texture of each piece is very smooth with minor perfected imperfections. The shapes are either take on a geometric or smooth and curved form. These forms complement each other. The pewter, copper, sterling silver, and brass also complement – however see the striking copper as standing out from the more subdued counterparts. The set up has functional rhythm as the audience is taken around the dinner table.

Ramirez is bubbly and has a clear passion for her work. She describes her work as complimentary – each building up to or eluding to another. She gets inspiration from “her people” as she calls them. The connections she has with “her people” breath life into her work and fuel the passion behind the process in crafting the pieces. This particular gallery holds a special place because she sees the dinner table as one of the best ways to connect with her people and make connections with new people. Thus the idea came about to take these pieces that were inspired by those close to her in her life and place them around the table – setting the table with their representations.

Stepping into the studio you feel as if you are stepping into a dining room. Reading the artist’s reasons and connections to the dinner table struck home with me. As a nutrition major I believe in the true power sitting at the dinner table has on the health and well-being of individuals. I believe that if we all took the time to sit and actually enjoy our meals in the presence of company we would all be a little more healthy.  I instantly fell in love with the idea behind Ramirez’s work and she accomplished making a connection with me. I will surely follow Ramirez’s future works!


Wk 13 – Classmate Conversation # 10 – Rachel Palmer


Rachel is a Psychology major with a three years left to complete her undergrad. At this point in the semester its hard to discuss anything else but how stressed we are. Rachel was so sweet and kind and had a very relaxed tone..I connected with her instantly on all things.

Rachel is originally from Long Beach. She took a gap year between high school and college to focus on working. She came into college ahead of the curve regardless having taken quite a few AP classes credited. She doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do with her degree. She does see herself getting into social work. She feels it is broad enough to add a specialty down the road when she knows more what she wants to do.

She currently works at the 49er shop and residential dining hall. She likes it – especially on days when she gets hooked up with free food! In her down time when she isn’t studying hard or working hard she likes to go to the beach. Her favorite beach is Laguna Beach. I had to agree on that one! It was so nice meeting yet another fun classmate I wouldn’t have met otherwise!

Wk 11 – Artist Conversation #8 – Soroush Moghim

Artist: Soroush Moghum
Exhibition: Geometry of Grief
Media: plexiglass, projection, urethane casting resin, bronze, soundstracks
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Website: none
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soroushmoghim/?hl=en

art3Artist Soroush Moghim’s showcased his BFA exhibition with sculpture, sounds, and projections. Soroush is a senior in the CSULB School of Art’s Sculpture and 4D Program.  He does plan to go on and study more sculpture but has yet to look into programs. He would like to stay in the saturated LA/Orange County area as this is where people flock to experience art. Artists are respected here. Soroush moved from Iran when just 10 years old. When asked if he ever planned to return to Iran to showcase his art, he replied, “I would, as long as the art I choose to show isn’t to controversial. Which nothing I have is now, so yes. I could see myself doing that”.

Soroush’s work is undoubtedly aesthetically appealing. Each piece stood on its on while connected to the whole concept of the exhibit. The rhythm from sculpture to sculpture was well guided. Each introduced the other. The bust is male, life size, and made out of bronze. The intentional fragmented face of the bust was point of focus. The overhang of the sphere well placed and representative of weight over the bust (pictured below).

Behind Closed Eyes. Bronze, projection. 

The piece that stood out from the rest of the work was the embroidery that was framed with Plexiglass. The jagged outline of a woman figure playing the violin comes to life with with the masterful use of white light projection.

Untitled. Embroidery by Zohreh Taffazoli. Framed with Plexiglass. 

The final piece, the resin violin, concluded the walk boldly with the projected light most distinct here. The violin was extremely intricate with delicate details. The violin, sculpted from urethane casting resin was translucent and unclouded. It allowed the light to transform the piece into a magnificently bright and colorful projection.

Geometry of Grief. Urethane casting resin, projection. 
Geometry of Grief. Urethane casting resin, projection. 

Soroush’s exhibit is inspired by the sublime that lies within ordinary objects and human form. Nature is a source of inspiration…something that is truly felt upon entering the gallery. He attempts to create patterns that evoke a sense of transcendence. He claims to enjoy the high craft intricate art citing influence from both his background in Iran and his more recent experiences with American culture.

I was deeply drawn to this exhibit. I also relate to the details of nature as Soroush such as the sun shining through the trees. I always stop and appreciate the beauty I am feeling. I see beauty as a feeling received when observing something – whether that something is a work of art or nature. Having stepped inside this gallery I transcended into those moments. I felt calm. I see Soroush’s work as having captured exactly what he intended to capture – transcendence. This is an artist to definitely keep an eye on!