This week I had to say goodbye to my internship at Rox Volleyball and I didn’t quite realize how much I would miss the environment and people there. Although I only went there every Friday, I still was on a consistent schedule and I will miss that consistency. I have learned so much throughout the past two-three months and I know it will benefit me in the future, even if I do not pursue a career in a clothing business.
Over the course of this internship, I learned not only about product photo editing but also printing on clothes and social media, as well as typography and mock-ups. All of the knowledge I have gained will stick with me throughout any career path I may choose and I cannot be more grateful for that. I know I will be able to utilize these new skills in any career I may choose and that is what is so incredible. I will miss my time at Rox Volleyball but maybe in the future I will find myself back there.
As my internship comes to an end soon, I’ve been taking the time to reflect and truly appreciate the experience I’ve had while at Rox Volleyball. Although I’ve only been an intern for about three months, I’ve learned a great amount and I cherish all of the knowledge I’ve gained and all of the people I’ve made connections with.
On my second to last day though, I was taught how to do mock-ups for men’s jerseys, as well as casual wear. This was an exciting project for me because it involved a real-time order and the mock-up I was doing would be sent to an actual customer. I’ve learned that I become most excited about a project/work when I know others are going to see it and appreciate it, even more so than simply just in class/a class assignment.
As my first internship experience, I know I am going to genuinely miss Rox Volleyball and everyone who I have met. I’ve seen the company itself change and I’ve also witnessed myself as an artist change. I’ve gained knowledge that I never quite expected to and I now have experiences that not many can say they have had. With my last week approaching, I am sad but also extremely grateful for my time at Rox Volleyball.
Unfortunately this week I found out it was the last day for one of my supervisors. Although it will be odd not seeing her, I was glad to see how excited she was for her next journey at her next job! Overall, it was a generally relaxing day and the vibe felt different this week. I’m not sure if this is because the office is renovating so all the departments are connected and everyone is settling in still or I’ve felt comfortable in the environment and space finally, but it was a better vibe.
To add onto this, I also got to start on a new and the most exciting project yet! The creative team has begun working on casual wear (t-shirts) for a collaboration between AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) and Rox Volleyball. We started off the day by spending about an hour looking for inspiration and creative designs that we would like to incorporate into the shirts we were going to design. Then, we went over all of the inspirations and spoke about them as a team. For the rest of the day, we used these ideas and inspirations to create our own t-shirt designs. This was a new but really exciting experience for me and it got me more enthusiastic about the clothing design field and I have a new passion/appreciation for it all. I’ll be continuing this project until the end of my internship but I’m most excited because this project will become available worldwide and these t-shirt designs will actually be available to the public eventually. A product/project that I’ve made that can actually be held/worn by tons of people!
It was another quiet day in the office, with most people having left by 1 pm. I got another assignment of color correcting/editing bathing suits and this took me the entire day since there were so many and the bathing suit tops were so intricate. The quiet day gave my supervisor and I some time to actually speak though and he assured/emphasized that even though I am only in the office on Fridays, he hopes to get me as involved as possible. I unfortunately miss the team’s daily meetings and brainstorming on projects, but he’s hoping to somehow incorporate me into those eventually.
I appreciated this talk with him because even after these past weeks, I admit I have not completely connected with the team/my supervisor. He not only told me that as the actual volleyball season arrives I will be assigned true design projects that will be displayed internationally, but that if I ever needed advice or had a question about anything, he was more than willing to help as he could. He told me that he even does freelance so if I ever had a question about that or how to possibly get a job after college, he could try his best to help me. This conversation was the most significant thing of my day because it helped me adjust to the idea that although this is an internship, it can also turn into networking and potential mentors. I’m looking forward to these future projects and everything else that the future may hold.
This week, it was extremely and oddly quiet in the workspace; it was only one of my supervisors, the other intern for social media, and myself. The quiet environment did allow my one supervisor to really connect with me though and he emphasized the fact that he hopes I learn a lot while at Rox Volleyball and if there is anything he could help me with, he hopes I don’t hesitate to ask. For a majority of the day though, I continued to work on product photo editing jerseys, fixing slight edits that I was advised to do.
For about the last hour though, I actually continued to work on the social media project and I finished one of the quotes given to me. I checked their Instagram a few days later, and the edit I had done had in fact actually made it on their page! This was an awesome thing for me to see because it was the first project I could say where I created it from scratch and it made it onto a professional company’s social media page. This project has made me more interested in social media and how creative one can get, especially with on Instagram. On Instagram, one can manipulate photos themselves but can also play around with layouts. This project specifically has sparked an interest in me on pursuing more social media endeavors and it has given me more ideas on how to improve my own social media pages or possibly another company’s in the future.
Today, I continued the design assignment with the motivational quotes and I actually felt productive about it today unlike last week. I learned about social media and unique ideas about layouts for Instagram, which was beneficial not only for professional purposes but even for personal purposes also. As I worked on the assignment and got advice, I was taught one important lesson for any graphic designer: text is a pain.
Everything I thought I once knew about text and text layout flew right out the window as I worked on this assignment. Although I was capable of editing the background photo perfectly fine, it was the text that was difficult to get aligned, making sure that it fit perfectly and there was no empty space. Although I started to feel discouraged trying to get the text right, one of my supervisors reassured me and said that text is one of the biggest obstacles for any graphic designer and especially since this was my first time professionally working with text, it was all a learning experience. So even though text may be a pain, I’m glad to start this experience and to actually work on a more in-depth project that will be displayed publicly.
I started off the day this week by continuing to work on product photo editing jerseys, but I was told I would finally be assigned an actual assignment, so I prepped myself for that. My assignment ended up being turning motivational quotes into graphics for their social media pages. Although this is what I had prepared myself for as a Graphic Design Intern, my brain and creativity were just turned off on this day for some reason. I sat there for a majority of the morning just simply brainstorming and after staring at a computer screen for several hours, I felt like I had failed and disappointed in myself. I ended up only creating about three drafts for one motivational quote.
For the second half of the day though, I helped the department re-organize their filing cabinets and although they apologized it was mundane work, I actually felt relieved. After what seemed like such a long morning of me starting at a computer screen and not being productive, I felt like this break away was much needed. I realized during this time that creativity is not something that is constantly ‘on’. There are days and times when creating and thinking of ideas is just not meant to happen. I initially felt defeated when I could not come up with graphics but then I just told myself that this is a natural thing to happen and sometimes (a lot of the time), a break away from your task is necessary. You cannot force ideas and staring at a blank computer screen is not going to help anything either. So a reminder to myself is: take a break to restart, you cannot expect every day to be the greatest.
During our morning meeting, I was surprisingly told that the work I’ve been doing has finally paid off and that the images I’ve been editing have been making their way onto the Rox Volleyball website. This was wonderful news for me to hear because it was a reassurance that the work I’m doing in this internship is truly contributing to the company and this is the first time I am able to see my work displayed to a public audience. I find it neat now that if someone sees these images on Rox Volleyball’s website or even if I show someone the website, I can say that I personally edited and finalized them.
Besides that news, I continued to work on editing more photos but I also was taught how to do product photo editing for items such as jerseys. This is more advanced and requires more attention to detail but my supervisors thought I was ready for it and could benefit from the challenge. They told me that typically the color-changing process takes weeks for typical interns to get the hang of, but that I had accomplished it within about two weeks and gotten quite well at it. So this week not only did I find out that my work is actually paying off, but that my skills are being noticed and appreciated. It was a humbling day at my internship and I can’t wait to continue advancing my skills and I hope to see even more of my work on their website in the future.
This week at my internship, I actually had an agenda and a list of work that needed to be done, which was helpful for me since I usually am goal-oriented. I met my other supervisor, Victoria, and instead of feeling anxious walking into the building like last week, I actually felt comfortable and ready to tackle on whatever was needed of me this particular day.
Instead of color changing jackets, I ended up color correcting/editing swimwear bottoms on Photoshop for just about the entire day. I have surprisingly gotten really skillful at color correcting even though I only just learned it a week ago and Photoshop is not the program I typically use. I also did a little bit more ‘weaving’ and overall, it was another generally relaxed and calm day.
Something I noticed though was the amount of collaboration that circulated throughout the entire company. Everyone within the creative team was constantly asking each other for opinions and communication was a great deal amongst them. Not only that but even though they produce the creative side of things, they also work equally with the other parts of the company as well. Group projects are emphasized to a certain point at Stetson but I was really able to see more of this while at Rox Volleyball this week. Collaboration is more than just working on a project together; it can be anything from getting others opinions, to clarifying on what is needed/wanted, to even just asking how someone does a particular thing. Their collaboration is what makes their entire team so successful and it helped me realize that group projects/collaborating is not as dreadful as it has always seemed.
Today, I started my internship at Rox Volleyball in St. Augustine. I went into it having a vague idea of what the environment might be like, which was relaxed but also full of busy and strenuous work. This idea was quickly corrected though once I walked through the door.
I was instantly approached by an upbeat and energetic man who thankfully helped me around the building (after I had gotten lost twice already) and introduced me to my supervisor, Matt. I then proceeded to meet everyone apart of the team and got an official tour around the offices/warehouse. (I also got to experience how they start off their days there, which involves playing hacky sack and talking about their goals for the day). Since I’m only able to go in-office on Fridays, the days are generally pretty relaxed and everyone is already mentally prepared for the weekend.
For my first day, I learned how to color change some of the Rox Volleyball jackets in Photoshop and I also learned other information that I did not quite utilize that day, but I will in the future. I was taught about solvent printing and how to ‘weave’ out a design/logo so it then can be placed onto an article of clothing. The day was exceptionally quiet and it mainly involved me getting settled into the new environment but nonetheless, I did learn an exceptional amount of new knowledge on my first day and I am excited to see what the future holds as well.