All posts by Valeria Servigna Villalobos

Week of July 24th-July 29th Last week MACZUL INTERNSHIP

Although there was a lot of work at the museum this past week, I was mostly working from home due to the general strikes in Venezuela. I worked on editing some of the photos I took of the current exhibits so that they could be published on the museum’s website. My supervisor posted them immediately,
so check them out below!. On the other hand, the summer camps got reschedule, so I updated the information on the Instagram stories. Additionally, I focused on finishing the newsletter, and I am happy to say I am finally done. However, it was quite challenging to do so. After I was finished testing the images, the layout, and the links, I noticed the image in the header was a little pixelated, so I did some research since I originally thought JPEG was the best format for web, but I ended up reading somewhere that when it comes to images that include text—such as that image for the header—it is actually better to have the images as PNGs. Therefore, I exported the image in that format, and indeed, the image looked sharper. When I showed it to my supervisor, she asked if I could add a couple more link so that users could click on the names of each exhibition room and a new window or tab would open with the web page of the exhibit that was currently displaying in that room. Thus, I completed this modification before finally turning in the newsletter. I also worked on a couple ID badges for people who just started to work at the museum. I did this on InDesign and it was fairly easy since there was a template for it, so my work consisted of mostly editing and resizing the images.
On my last day at the museum, I sat with my supervisor to discuss my performance. I got a lot of positive feedback from my supervisor and I asked for suggestions to improve, so she told me I could get better at anticipating what needs to be done in the workplace, and I definitely agree since that could increase productivity. However, she confessed that was a skill that was developed through experience and over time.
This internship challenged me in multiple ways. I had to adapt to the not-so-conventional working conditions while expanding my knowledge of HTML and getting reacquainted with Photoshop and InDesign. Nonetheless, I truly enjoyed working on the projects that were assigned to me and everyone at the museum made me feel like part of the team, so I am really happy I got to intern there and I look forward to similar experiences in the future.

Photography and editing for the museum´s homepage

Week of July 17th- July 24th MACZUL INTERNSHIP-Finishing the week

Another interesting lesson I have learned by interning at the museum has been the value of the limited amount of materials that are available. For instance, as I mentioned in my previous post, I have been working on the labels for one of the exhibits. However, when I was printing, I forgot to adjust the printer settings to the thickness of the paper I was using, so the first page of labels was smudged. Consequently, when I went to get another sheet of paper, I noticed I had used the last one. Due to the economic crisis in Venezuela, that paper has become very expensive and difficult to find, so I apologized profusely with my supervisor and she told me to print it on the other side of the sheet since the labels were going to be put up against the wall anyhow. She also reminded me to cut and keep the half of the sheet that was blank since there were only 4 labels(and they only took half of the sheet). She was very nice about my mistake, and I understand the museum is on a tight budget and that is why she always tries to recycle and reuse as much as she can.

I don’t think it matters whether one is working for a company with a tight or unlimited budget. It is always important to avoid wasting the materials that are available since this could benefit the company by avoiding unnecessary costs and it is a more environmentally- friendly approach.

On the other hand, on Friday I finished the week by organizing all the files I have worked on since I started, which led me to remember my Digital Video class from last semester. In the past, I have struggled when working with video since my audio files and my footage are always scattered in multiple flash drives and folders; so, last semester, as I worked on three different video projects, I learned to organize my files correctly, which of course,  saved me a lot of time. Thus, my goal on Friday was to properly name all the files and classify them by date and project, so that my supervisor can easily access them in the future.

Week of July 17th- July 24th MACZUL Internships

These past 3 days at the museum I have worked on a few different projects, such as creating labels for an upcoming exhibit, trying to finish the newsletter, taking and editing more photos of the current exhibits, and finishing the image to promote the tours at the museum. Also, one of the images I created for the Instagram story was posted earlier this week! The museum also shared my photos from the press conference with a local newspaper and they used it in the article about the burglary. Check them out below!
On the other hand, attempting to finish the newsletter has been time-consuming but fun. After the layout, the images, the fonts, and the buttons were beautifully displaying in the emails I sent in Gmail, I noticed the same did not happen in Outlook. So, I have been redoing a couple sections in which I used div tags—I thought I could get away with using a couple but now I understand why tables are the best for emails—I have also been checking my links, and the image blocking options in Outlook to ensure the images are displayed properly. Additionally, I have been consulting with my supervisor to make sure I am including all the external links. Lastly, I have typed detailed instructions about how to upload images to the free hosting service, so my supervisor can easily do it after I leave, and I am planning on also typing instructions on how to change the links for the buttons.
By this point, I am very familiar with the graphic elements and the visual identity of the museum, which has been helpful when creating the images to promote the tours and with the newsletter. I think I will mostly be finishing the newsletter, taking photos of the art workshops for children, working on content for social media and organizing all my files before finishing on July 31st.

Instagram story post
Screenshot of the article in the local newspaper’s website

Week of July 10th –July 16th MACZUL INTERNSHIP (THE AFTERMATH OF THE BURGLARY)

I forgot to mention it in my last post there was a big burglary at the museum last week. Initially, I did not realize how much equipment was stolen and how that would affect my duties over the week. I worked as a photographer a couple times because the damages needed to be documented and I also took photos of a press conference with the museum’s president, which should be later used in social media pages and to encourage police authorities to increase surveillance in the area where the museum is located. One of the strategies to keep attracting people to the museum, in spite of such events, is to promote the tours and art workshops organized by the education department. Thus, I have been collaborating with them to create content that is going to be shared via email to remind our audience of the services the museum has to offer. (Check out my progress below)

Although I have gotten to improve a lot of my technical skills by interim at the graphic design department, appreciating the role of art in society has been my biggest take away from this week. Amidst the political, economic and social crisis my home country is facing, I have noticed art provides a respite to the audience from their reality while it helps artists process and express their experiences living here. In my experience, artistic expression has helped me understand myself and the world around me; thus, interim at a place that empowers artist has been very rewarding and I look forward to helping   as much as I can during this especially difficult time.

 

Old Image to promote the tours at the museum
Monthly Program (my supervisor wants the new image to promote the tours to stick to the style in this program)
The image I have been working on to promote the tours. It is a work in progress. I will later post the final product

Week of July 10th-July 16th MACZUL Internship(Instagram stories)

So far this week, I have worked on content for the museum’s Instagram page. These are images that are going to be posted as Instagram stories to promote the start of the art summer camp next week, the next exhibit—scheduled for the end of this month—and “La Fiesta del Arte”, which is a sort of art festival that usually follows exhibition openings. I have encountered a couple challenges when working on this assignment. First of all, it was difficult to find the dimensions that would show perfectly on all devices. Initially, I found the dimensions that worked for my phone. However, when my supervisor visualized it on her phone, which had a smaller screen, the image was cropped, so I had to redesign it to work around that. On the other hand, it is been interesting to keep in mind the format as I worked. I am used to thinking everyone is going to visualize my design on a platform as big as my computer screen, so I have made a conscious effort to imagine how my work would look on a cell phone or IPad screen.

Additionally, the museum’s style is very minimalistic, so I have made a mental note to not overdo it in this assignment (I am fascinated by intricate and elaborate designs, so I might unconsciously try to emulate them sometimes). Sticking to such style has challenged me to pay more attention to the layout and composition of my designs. Because I am limited to only a few graphic elements, I feel it becomes very obvious when there is a lack of harmony between them and where there is no balance in the composition.

Despite such challenges, I cannot wait to see my designs on the museum’s Instagram stories. I will be posting screenshots as soon as my excitement wears off!

 

Week of July 3rd -July 9th MACZUL Internship

My work at the museum this week focused on designing content for the Instagram page. I did several sketches since it is an image they plan to use in their Instagram story every time there is a new exhibit.

From the 5 sketches, I selected 3 and I digitized them. I will work on improving some details before I present it to my supervisor on Tuesday. As I was sketching and digitizing this week, I often asked for feedback from my supervisor. Although she liked what I was proposing, she told me it still did not fit with the museum’s style, which led me to go back to my sketchbook and do more research on their social media publications. Through this project, I have learned the importance of always doing enough research to deliver a product that reflects the brand and style of your client’s business.
On Saturday, there were different activities in the museum such as yoga classes and art workshops for children so I worked as a photographer and I edited the photos afterward. On the other hand, after two weeks of neglect due to the exhibits and all the work they entailed, this week I finally started working on the newsletter again. I finished resizing and uploading images to the online hosting service; I troubleshoot the whole newsletter since some of the tables had been giving me problems, and I added all the inline styles because it is not practical to use CSS stylesheets. I still need to add a few more tables and text,  proofread everything,  and add buttons before presenting it to my supervisor.  Check out a video of the work in progress below.

So far, one of my favorite aspects of my internship has been working in different projects that relate to the courses I have taken this last academic year such as Graphic Design, Intro to Computing and Web Design.

 

Week of June 26-July 2nd MACZUL internship

Since last week I took photos of the exhibits, I spent most of my Monday doing some editing and retouching work as well as sharing the images, which I included below. Like I mentioned in my previous post, last week I collaborated to create the certificates for the winners of the art contest for high school students, so this week I was given the task of working on the online certificates for all the participants, so I continued to work in InDesign on Tuesday and Wednesday to complete this assignment. This week was also particularly exciting because I was asked to work on images for the social media pages of the museum. Although the task was intimidating at first because I had never worked in content for a social media platform specifically, I had the chance to research the formats and resolutions that are generally used. Because I want to stick to the visual identity of the museum, I also went through the museum’s Facebook and Instagram pages to get a better understanding of their aesthetic.

Last semester, in Advanced Digital Arts studio, I learned to collaborate with people from different disciplines to complete a project; this week I was challenged to work similarly since in order to successfully create one of the images for social media, I had to verify the information with the people working in the education department (the post was for them) while I was regularly checking the design with my supervisor in the graphic design department  and communicating with the community manager to effectively deliver the final product.

This upcoming week, I am excited to keep working on the other image for social media and go back to work on the newsletter.

Art installation
Video Installation
This image was taken after the speeches on the day of the exhibition
The certificates I helped to design and print for the winners
Photo from the day of the exhibition 

Week of June 19th-June 25th

This week we had three opening exhibitions at the museum, so I mostly worked on some projects that needed to be finished before Saturday, which left me with no time to work on the newsletter I have been doing in Dreamweaver.

I focused on collaborating with my supervisor to finish the exhibition labels, floor plans showing the location of the exhibitions and the exhibition introductions. In addition, the education department delivered awards and certificates to the winners of an art competition for high school students, and I worked in InDesign to help with the layout of the certificates. Lastly, on the day of the exhibits, I was the photographer, so I took pictures of the artists and curators as they talked about their work.  It was a very interesting experience since some of them had experience with photography and as soon as I walked into their exhibits, they let me know where to stand to get the best lighting, or the best angle to photograph them or their work.

On the other hand, in the last couple of weeks, I have also started noticing the need to have at least some sort corporate identity manual. For instance, this week my supervisor told me about how the different versions of the logo are used in the certificates while last week I was also learning about the position and size of the logo for web publications. There has been some time spent in explaining and understanding such uses of the logo, so I have started writing down everything I have learned, so I can gradually compile it in a small guide or infographic for future interns.

 

Week 2(June 12th – June 18th)

This week at the museum, I had the chance to participate in several projects. We started promoting the upcoming exhibit on the museum’s website, so I worked in editing the photos that were later uploaded. Through this assignment, I learned about the format and the dimensions the museum uses for its images in web publications. Additionally, I worked in content for marketing screens to also promote the exhibit while I was still working on the newsletter. Because they don’t need it immediately, I have had the time to keep learning how HTML works with email and to develop an easy template for them to keep using in the future.

Ultimately, yesterday I also collaborated to set up the layouts for the handouts and wall text for the exhibit. Although it was a slightly overwhelming at the beginning, I enjoyed working on multiple projects simultaneously and getting constant feedback from my supervisor on how to improve each piece. Attention to detail has been essential this week, which has been a little challenging since I am usually a big picture thinker; however, when it comes to graphic design, I understand the importance of details, so I am thankful for the opportunity to develop this creative thinking skill.

I have had to use Photoshop for most of the projects I was assigned to do this week, and that required me to get familiarized with the software again since I have hardly used it this year. Overall, it was a very productive and challenging week, and I hope to continue learning about the different elements that make an art exhibit successful.

First week(May 31th-June 7th)

Last Tuesday I arrived in my home country—Venezuela— for my graphic design internship at the Zulia Museum of Contemporary Art, which aims to improve the lives of the citizens by showcasing the work of local artists from low socioeconomic backgrounds and by organizing educational initiatives in the community to promote the importance of the arts. On Wednesday, I met with my supervisor to discuss some of the projects I am going to be working on. The next exhibit is scheduled to be ready by the end of the month, so I have started working on print and web publications to send out to the community while I look at the museum’s newsletter and website to gain a better understanding of their visual identity. Although they do not have a corporate identity manual, they have a set of parameters when it comes to the color palette, use of the logo and design elements.

I am mostly going to be working with Adobe Photoshop, In Design and Illustrator. However, my supervisor needs help setting up an HTML page with the schedule and program of the month, so I’ll be also working with Dreamweaver for this project. This week I visited the current exhibits with a more experienced intern who gave me a tour and explained the layout of the information/text panels and labels in the exhibits.

Although the people working in the graphic design department mostly focus on promoting current and future events and exhibits, they sometimes collaborate with the education department to advertise their different activities. In conclusion, there is plenty of graphic design work for different purposes and I look forward to learning about the work dynamics to complete it.

This is the ID I was given to be able to walk around the Museum freely