So last week I did not post anything because unfortunately I wasn’t given a new project. My internship is based out of California as you know and my bosses were evacuated so they had a lot going on. However, before they were evacuated I was asked to design some graphics as they are doing a twelve days of Christmas giveaway. They shared some files on google drive that was a collection of holiday graphics that they had purchased. This packet included letters but not numbers, and since a twelve day giveaway is centered on numbers I had to design my own numbers based off of the designs they provided me with for reference. They wanted me to design them in Canva because they have a group on their to share documents so I began work on that, but didn’t receive any feedback since they were dealing with the fires in California. Thankfully they and their homes were safe from the fire but many of their friends were effected. Once they had that all figured out I finally received some feedback from my first design. Heather said she liked the design but wanted it formatted differently and wanted to focus more on the numbers rather than SHE as I had assumed, as well as wanting a different color palette. So it was back to the drawing board and I changed my colors from soft sunset colors to a cold wintery color palette. After doing this Heather was happy with the design and we were able to speak at our weekly conference call where she asked me to make the design in different sizes so they can post them on all of their different social media platforms. Lastly, since she like the style and layout she then assigned me for this week to continue my work on this and begin making a graphic very every one of the twelve days.
Although this is my first week of posting, this is not the first week of my internship! I started working for them over a month ago now, but it’s still just as exciting as when I first began. This past week was a hectic one as usually, we have conference calls every Tuesday, meaning my work is due every Tuesday. However, this was not the case this week. This week they wanted to send out a PDF about coffee almost like a magazine, but they wanted it by Thursday. That meant I only had TWO days to compile and design a thirteen-page guidebook about coffee, which by the way I didn’t know too much about to begin with. Despite my lack of knowledge on coffee they provided me with a brief outline of what they wanted and I began my work on this guidebook. Despite the short deadline I was proud to say I was able to complete it to the best of my abilities and turn it in on time! By that Friday my boss Heather had been able to look over it and only made minor changes, and then this guidebook was sent out to their email list! After being able to complete that I was then assigned to design a shorter condensed version of this meaning they only wanted one to two pages rather than thirteen, but for this I was given a full week. Given a full week to complete this you would think it would have been easier, but in all honesty, I struggled more with these two condensed pages than I did with my thirteen pages and the short deadline. However, before this, I always thought that I didn’t work all to well under pressure but with this assignment I proved myself wrong. So overall this experience helped with my design skills, but also my confidence in myself to be able to get things done in a timely manner.
So this past week was my last week of my internship. I ran audio in the Student Center for the last time, and honestly I’m going to miss it. I finally feel like I’ve really started to get the hang of it, and the whole experience confirmed my interest in live sound. When I first started at Stetson, I thought I wanted to exclusively work in recording studios but the past few years have definitely opened my eyes to other things. I love live sound, and I even enjoy working in different areas (like lighting) sometimes too.
The past couple of weeks also presented an unexpected opportunity as well. I mentioned to my supervisor awhile ago that I had an interest in graphic design and I’ve done some minor work in the past. Last week, he asked me to create an information packet for any volunteers that are interested in joining the music and tech team at the church. He gave me a rough sketch of the information and general layout he wanted, and let me roam free from there. I used Adobe Illustrator to create a foldable brochure that I think he was pretty happy with. It’s not entirely done, because the communications department has to review it and make any necessary changes, but the final product will be rolled out sometime over the next month. I thought this was a really cool part of my internship because I’ve always liked doing graphic design on the side and didn’t really think I would have a chance for that to play into this internship.
Overall, I had an amazing time over the past couple of months and learned SO MUCH. I’ve also developed a lot of relationships that I can already see will definitely be beneficial down the road. Working in this environment while being exposed to concepts I’ve learned and things that were entirely new to me definitely confirmed that I love this industry, and I’m excited for what’s to come after graduation!
My draft took slightly longer than I expected it to since I have yet to figure out how to diffuse the gradient for the backgrounds shadow in illustrator. This has so far created an issue with too harsh of a contrast of the colors I decided to go with, which were shades of orange, red, and yellow. I attempted to use the gradient tool alone, but I couldn’t get the angle just right no matter how much I played around with it.
I went over this issue with Joel in our meeting and he agreed that it didn’t suit the overall look. I got a lot of other feedback from him about the first draft during the meeting and I’ll admit I feel slightly discouraged, but now I have a lot to reflect on and learn from for other projects.
The main issues being the color palette which was compared to Halloween rather than a winter event. It also didn’t fit to the “Stetson brand”, which I wasn’t aware existed until noted by Sonja and they showed me the list of typical things that the school tries to stick to. Now that I know what the schools brand is I have a more specific idea of what I can work with and I’m starting fresh with a new concept and design thats minimalistic.
In reevaluating my font choices I have found a thinner sans-script font, in addition to a new graphic to replace my old hand-drawn illustration. Let’s hope my next design works out better than I imagined in my head.
The past week has been full of a lot of unexpected firsts. To begin with, I helped put together a cat 6 cable. We were using it for a connection to be able to monitor wireless microphones from a laptop. So, we took a cat 6 cable and cut off the end, and then uncoiled all of the colored wires inside and aligned them in the correct order. After that, we fed the coiled wires into an RJ45 connector. This was kind of cool to actually physically put together something before we even got to the tech part of the project. It was a quick process, and the hardest part ended up being able to cut through the wires with the wire cutter we had.
Another interesting thing I learned was about cameras and video switching. I learned all of the proper angles that things should be displayed from stage, and to be mindful to always keep the lower third of the image plain because the lyrics are always displayed there. Camera switching was a lot easier than I expected it to be. There’s one screen that shows you what you’re currently airing, and then another screen that has all of the other camera shots you can switch to. In order to switch, all you have to do is enter the number on the keyboard and press enter, and the image automatically fades to the new camera angle. I actually got to control this during a worship night we had on Tuesday. Even though it was really easy, I was still a little stressed I would somehow mess it up. Thankfully I didn’t!
The coolest part about this week happened out of nowhere. The band was rehearsing for the worship night, and our lighting guy noticed that some of the spotlights weren’t working correctly. They were on, but needed to be refocused manually. So, he had to go up in the catwalk to mess with them. He knows that I had been asking for weeks for a reason to go up there, and I finally had the chance! It was actually a lot scarier than I anticipated. The only way up is by a straight 90 degree ladder that just fades into pitch black darkness as you climb up. Literally, if the spotlights weren’t on to cast a slight shadow in the corner where the ladder was, I never would have found the ground of the catwalk. After gripping EXTREMELY tightly to each step, I finally made it up and had a pretty awesome view. We refocused the lights (which was literally just gently moving them) and I saw that this is also where we keep the projectors for our screens too. After watching rehearsal from a different perspective, we headed back down. It definitely took me awhile to hit real ground again, but when I finally did, I have to admit I was pretty relieved. Although it was a little scary climbing up and down the ladder, going up in the catwalk was totally an amazing experience.
Today was the day that I finally got to go over my Yule Log sketches with my advisor Joel Jones, and we decided to lean towards the first version I created. The first sketch included what I envision to be a newer look for the event in comparison to past flyers. The main focus being an illustrated graphic of a fire that would cast a light on to a 3D extruded text with the bold font.
As I try to describe it in written word it seems complicated, but my goal is for it to be simple and seemingly rustic. Now that I have an approved sketch I have to start thinking about color and font types to use and I’m thinking of using a warm palette to play off of the light from the fire for vibrancy.
I also have to consider if I will be creating my own vector image in Illustrator or if I will find one through Adobe Stock like Joel showed me for the sake of saving time. So far it’s been difficult to find images of fire or a yule log that will go with the look that I’m trying to create, so for now I’m starting to make basic sketches in Illustrator.
My hope is to finish the first draft for Joel by Friday for our next meeting on Monday so I can get his opinion and maybe some help with what text should be included on the flyer. As of now I’m feeling optimistic in getting the project done fast and hope to find some fitting fonts.
So, I know it’s only been a few weeks but I think this past week has been my favorite part of my internship so far. On Friday, we had a kid’s event in the Adventureland Theater and I got to run sound all by myself. It was super simple though because we were basically just playing tracks and using two microphones, so it was pretty much just fader up/down and mute/unmute the whole time. However, on Tuesday I did get to help set up for a concert that we were having a few days later in the same room. We transformed the room from a simple stage set up to a stage ready for a full band. I helped extend the stage, put together a drum kit (for the first time ever, actually), set up mic stands and XLR cables for the mics, and watched one of my coworkers program lights for the set list.
The part that I really loved happened over the weekend. We had another middle school service, and this time the band was doing an acoustic set. Instead of a full band (vocals, keys, drums, acoustic guitar, bass, electric guitar, and tracks), we just had vocals, two acoustic guitars, keys, ambient tracks, and a cajon. One of my supervisors is actually the worship leader for the middle school service, but he’s been out of commission lately because he fractured his knee. He’s been one of the main people teaching me the ins and outs of the Student Center, but this week he was out of town and left things in my hands. His girlfriend, Bri, also happens to be a worship leader, so she’s been filling in for him on stage. So this weekend she was basically my only lifeline if things got a little sticky from the sound end. We were both nervous because she’s still new to the church and isn’t entirely familiar with the room, and of course neither am I. Plus, there’s only so much she can help troubleshoot and guide me with once she’s onstage. Thankfully, we were both able to work together and everything went relatively smoothly. The only problem we encountered was that the acoustic guitar player’s guitar signal was super patchy and we couldn’t get it to cooperate. After some trouble shooting and testing different guitars, we realized it was his guitar and not the connection. Since it was an acoustic and relatively intimate set, we just let him play rhythm guitar unplugged alongside the band.
I was really stressed when I first found out that I would be running sound essentially on my own, but to my surprise (and honestly, probably everyone else’s too), things went great! Bri was able to help me set up everything, and once we were up and running I was able to slowly but surely adjust everyone’s in-ear mix and find a good house mix that suited the acoustic vibe. I had been extremely nervous as soon as I found out I was on my own, but it turned out to be an awesome weekend!
Today I had my first meeting with my internship supervisor and another advisor at marketing office to talk about my first major assignment that I’ll get to have creative liberty over. For the most part I’m greatly excited, yet nervous about venturing into this realm of graphic design that I’m not completely used to. Since most of my background is in photography and less about graphic design I’m hoping to push myself outside my comfort zone and learn more by being actively involved.
For my first task of the assignment, I am creating several drafts and sketches of possible layouts for the upcoming Yule Log Lighting that Stetson hosts every year in the winter. Joel and Sonja have encouraged me to research the previous years Yule Log Lightings and how it was promoted in the schools publications, and I haven’t found as much information as I’d like in the schools archives. In most of the student publication articles that I found the same activities are held in December with little variation, including candle lighting, Christmas carols, and the Yule log lighting.
Of the most odd traditions of the Yule log lighting, they usually serve hot chocolate and cookies at the event, which I think isn’t the best choice considering we live in Florida and don’t get much cold weather. Despite this impractical drink choice, I’m looking forward to learning more about it and coming up with some ideas for the project that will give me a clue what to include on the flyer without it being so long that the reader loses attention.
On that note, I leave this entry with a few budding ideas and the hope that I can explain it well enough with a few scribbles on notebook paper.
Okay so anyone who knows me knows that as far as the AVL world goes, I specialize in audio and only audio. Sure, I can do some graphic design and snap a few quality photographs like the next person, but as far as lighting….. it’s a no from me. I’ve never really paid attention to the lighting aspect of this business, because honestly I just never really cared. I guess I just didn’t think it was as important. This week, my entire mindset was catapulted out of the window.
One of my coworkers is kind of a lighting genius, and he let me get my hands on Vista this week. He started out with showing me a lighting program he set up for the song “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman. I don’t say this often but, I was SHOOK. The theater lit up with bold reds and blues and it literally transformed the entire vibe and feeling of the theater. The flashing of the lights synced up with the colossal beats at the beginning of the song, and it was honestly so breathtaking. I’m pretty sure my jaw actually dropped while I was watching it. The crazy thing is, we were just in a giant empty room with a song playing! There were no people, nothing was going on onstage, it was just the song blasting and the lights doing their thing. I don’t think my coworker realized this when he was showing me, but this setting was exactly what I needed to realize the power and effect that lighting can have. That song is already catchy and commands attention, but synced up to a room full of colorful lights takes it to a whole new level. The layout of the theater definitely helps as well, because there’s a ton of light fixtures scattered between the ceiling and stage area.
There’s an additional aspect of lighting that I really didn’t consider until this week: haze. We always use haze machines during on stage performances, but I never really gave it any thought. I just thought it made the room a little foggy and dramatic, and that was the point. To put it briefly: I was wrong. Yeah, haze adds a nice foggy effect but I never realized what it does for lighting. Without haze, most lights are just shining bright and pretty, but they don’t really travel. Adding a layer of haze in a room allows the lights to cut through it with colorful strobes and rays, and the haze just swirls in the spotlight. It. Is. Gorgeous. I can’t believe I never noticed that the haze is really what makes that all possible.
A couple days later I actually got to play around with Vista in the main auditorium, and honestly it’s really cool. It’s a super user friendly program and everything is visualized, which I love. I can clearly see which light is doing what, and when it’s doing it. I learned how to make patterns, gradients, and how to gradually turn on certain lights to make different effects. Later, I got to help set up the lighting for an event we were having, which needed to be different shades of green. I loved that I finally understood the method of how lighting works, and it’s definitely something I’ll pay more attention to in the future.
Getting this internship has been a crazy rollercoaster and a lot of hoops to jump through, but now that everything has settled into place and I’ve secured my spot as an intern at the Stetson marketing office I’m excited to get started and learn more about my future career options if I decide to minor in marketing.
Since I wasn’t originally planning to take on an internship in my first semester here at Stetson, I’ll have to admit that I’m considerably underprepared and don’t have a great idea of what I’m getting myself into. Despite this and my impending fear of being unable to meet these standards with my lack of experience, I’ve been able to convince myself that it’s okay that I haven’t done a lot in the field of marketing. After all, the entire reasoning for an internship is to gain experience and learn the ropes of the field with hands-on projects under the guide of someone with more experience.
My first hands-on task given to me by my supervisor, was to go around campus taking student life pictures with the camera he entrusted me with for the day. He said the goal of it was to asses my skill level and how I can improve over-all during my internship. I agree that this will benefit me, but it was insanely difficult to take student life pictures when there was nothing going on around campus at the time and the most exciting thing I found to shoot was a group of kids reading. I think I found it difficult since my main area of photography is events and candid photos that show energy, excitement, and emotion.
Even so, I think it did push me to try to make something out of nothing and that I learned more about my own personal photography style. I haven’t given him the photos yet, but I’m hoping my low energy shots are enough for the assignment.