Accessories, achievements, art, black fashion designer, black women, confidence, education, entrepeneur, Fashion, fashion designer, footwear, instruction, learning, lessons, presentation, selling, set design, shoe designer, stylist

The Class

For the Holiday assignment I did the West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day using actual an actual Caribbean ice cream brand.

I was unexpectedly catapulted back into retail last year and I was bored. I was trying to think of a way to get a promotion while extending my job into something more creative, so I jumped on the Continuing Ed page at Fashion Institute of Technology‘s website to see if there was anything that I could turn into a bigger paycheck. I used to be a photographer, and have done some styling but I have no interest in doing photo shoots, so I had to find something that tied retail to art. Enter DE101 15A Prin D&E Dsgn – Small Scale Spring 2019 (a.k.a. Visual Merchandising)! I spent every Monday evening from February to May learning about why store displays look the way they look.

We had to build a foamcore shadowbox and every week there was a new assignment to create a contained display that expressed ideas and creativity without using words or being too obvious. This was the first assignment, white on white. Inspired by Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.

The next week was a black and white assignment where I painted sheets of paper with fast drying acrylic paint (neatly referencing the previous week’s cotton balls in the white on black paint splatters) and using these awesome Steve Madden Harpir boots. It’s amazing how much fun you can have being creative when you’re just taking one class and it’s not causing you to take out crippling loans!

This one was about selling health & beauty products, so I chose my fave perfume and did a presentation inspired by Magritte’s The Banquet, a painting that features a huge red sun. I feel like I could have done the roses on the side walls a little better, but I was trying to invoke a sort of 70s vibe, and infuse my presentation with the spirit of both disco and tango. So…yeah.

We did the holidays (my family is from Guyana and I live near Eastern Parkway so I just drew on my own Caribbean culture for this one.), accessories and famous personalities (can you guess who I did for my personality presentation?). We had to make everything in class so that the instructor could see our thought process, so it meant packing up my art supplies and lugging my big bag of foamcore box parts from Brooklyn to Manhattan,making a ritual out of stopping at the Starbucks across the street from school.

All about repetition…

For this one I painted the backdrop to evoke water, like the water you soak your feet in for pedicures. Blue is such a spa color to me. We had to take an element of the product and repeat it throughout the design. I sat in the class tracing a foot-shaped cardboard piece that came with some socks I bought. I just sat there cutting out construction paper feet and stamping them with a round sponge brush. Good times.

This was my final project. I was thinking to do something grand, but then I found out all we had to do was design a presentation with fruit as the product. We couldn’t cut the fruit, put holes in it, paint or carve it… I was a little disappointed, because I thought it would be something more sophisticated. I decided to make mine about lemons because I have an actual lemon plant that came out of a seed that I planted. Just pretend it’s a warm summer day and you’re relaxing and anticipating a tall, cool glass of lemonade form the giant lemons that came off of your tree.

I know, what a boring post!

What I took away from this class is that creativity never leaves you, and that having to build a presentation on the spot every Monday was a great exercise in discipline. I really like looking back at my shadowbox creations, and I can always use what I learned to improve my online stores or maybe go back to styling… Maybe. I’m definitely thinking of taking the large scale class where you dress mannequins. And I passed with an A, so I felt pretty darned accomplished.

Have you ever dreamed of doing something that was outside of your comfort zone, like taking an art class? Or learning javascript? Or cooking? What have you always wanted to learn?

See you next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK

bargains, biking, class, education, exercise, food, free, health, instruction, new york, skin cancer prevention, skin care

in which we go Bike Basics and learn how to do more biking stuff

bb1

After re-learning how to ride a bike, I decided to follow-up with the Bicycling Basics class where you learn some of the trickier parts of bike riding. I have never been to Randall’s Island in my life, but it’s summer and that’s where the bikes are so Allons-y! bb2

I got up early threw on my exercise a Citizen Ciao tshirt ($28) and these python capris ($82) from PRISMSPORT and took off. I admit to wearing these two Kesh beauty hamsa bracelets ($25) just in case their evil-eye protection could cover falling off bikes. Just in case.

bb3

It took two trains and a bus, but I made it! I was so happy to see the Bike New York sign on the fence at Icahn I almost kissed it. Once everyone else arrived and waivers were signed, we got into helmets and got fitted for bikes. There was only one person, volunteer instructor Douglas, but he turned out to be super capable of handling 14 bike newbies.

bb4

The first thing we learned (aside from how to properly mount a bike) was the biking ABC’s. That stood for Air, Brakes & Chain. We learned where to find the psi number for when you’re pumping your bike tires. We learned how to properly adjust the seat for your height. Douglas was not playing.

bb5

Before we took off and locked up the trailer, I made sure to re-apply sunscreen ( H2O plus Marine Plus Green Tea Lotion SPF 30 ($42) and Australian Gold Hello Kitty Mineral Suncreen Lotion SPF 50 ($9.99).

We lined up and after going through some more info on how to stay safe on the road, we were let loose in a massive parking lot to ride for two hours.

bb6

Turns out the NYFD has a training facility out there, so we shared the initial moments of our class with a bunch of fireman.

bb7

Yeah, the parking lot was this big.

bb8

After doing drills on using brakes effectively, how to scan and how to signal, we rode around switching gears. I had to go off and explore this bridge, it looked so inviting. Such a pretty view! It was so nice to be out under a big blue sky just riding around and enjoying life.

bb9

However all that bike riding built up an appetite. I had put a mini-cooler in my Life is good knapsack so that when class was over I had a ice cold blueberry lemonade and avocado/chicken/tomato sald with balsamic vinegar and iceberg lettuce. Look, a girl’s gotta eat!

Next up: we go to water aerobics and like it

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

unnamed