Summer Solstice and a 2021 Recap So Far.

It is June 21st 2021. Considering my sporadic appearance on this blog, the summer solstice seems like a good day to post an update.

Here is a speedy summery of 2021’s first half.

New Year. New Company. Goat Knight is here.

In February I co-started a production company with a focus on documentary content. The company is called Goat Knight. and our slogan is “Climb Higher”. It’s going to be awesome (Just saying). My role will continue to mainly be that of a creative. I am truly excited about our upcoming projects, stay tuned.

Cool Appearances

As a jury member of the Indigo Design Award competition, I was asked to leave a comment for the winning animation “Arab News En Français”. My comment was published on Arab News. Check out the animation directed by Simon Khalil, it’s worth it.

I had the great pleasure of being nominated to speak with Shoutout LA. Interviews can be pretty interesting as they encourage you to stop and reflect about what it is you really think. Check out the full interview at Shoutout LA.

Opportunities

I had the great honor of being asked to organize and design an art exhibit for award-winning Spanish painter, Ana Westley. Organizing a (typically) social event during a pandemic is no easy task. I designed take-away cards for the visitors, as well as, created a promo video that quickly spread on social media and local websites. I also created a 3D model of the show that was used by the venue staff to built the exhibit. Regardless of the social restrictions, the exhibit had a good turnout including the president of the (AEPE) Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors. I highly recommend you check out some of Westley’s art at awestley.com. My personal favorites are “Ayuda”, “2020”, and “Fuente sin fondo”, although I hear the first two have already been sold.

What’s up with mograph?

With good fortune, my mograph work has been busy and steady, (Which I will gladly use as an excuse for not being able to stay current with my social media posts). Famous Group recently posted a Milwakee Bucks project I have been involved in earlier this year. Check it out on their instagram @famousgroupla.

To sum it all up:

There’s more to share but, I think I have reached the limit for acceptable length of a “speedy-summary” post.

To sum it all up: The year has been kind to me so far, I continue to love design, and I am eager to keep on building.

Today I am illustrating a children’s book.

I can’t put in words how wonderful it is to be able to fly away into a magical world when reality’s light dims. It felt good to turn off the news, pause the podcasts and turn off my phone notifications just for a bit.

I am feeling very thankful for my profession today.

A Show to See Before It Ends: Dosshaus Presents “Paper-Thin Hotel” at the Corey Helford Gallery

After running some errands in downtown LA, I stopped by the Corey Helford Gallery to see the Dosshaus “Paper Thin Hotel” show.

I found myself walking through a hotel made out of hand painted cardboard. Every room is filled with an incredible amount of detail, hinting at the type of guest staying there. If you keep your eyes open you might spot a gun, or drugs, fancy little slippers, a phonograph, a box of chocolates, matches, cat food, and a multitude of other objects revealing stories. Walking through the hotel lobby, guest rooms, hallway and bar felt like walking within a series of drawings. A funny mix of fantasy and reality settles in as all the objects are so familiar yet, completely fictional. The walls separating the rooms are paper thin, giving the exhibit it’s title.

Zoey Taylor and David Connelly (members of Dosshaus), are part of the exhibit — literally. Zoey was sitting on the floor, leaning against the bed in room 101, writing in a journal. Behind her, a suitcase full of cash. David was lying face down by a film camera in room 105. Not far from him, a desk with RX pill bottles and several alarm clocks.

The detail and the innumerable amount of items in the hotel was humorous. Entire personalities were whipped up from common “stuff”. Every item relatable to anyone yet, the combination of said items set characters apart. We categorize each other and identify through the things we display. We surround ourselves with stuff, in a constant attempt to voice our identities. Whether what we come up with is real or fictional remains ambiguous.

If you haven’t seen the “Paper Thin Hotel” yet, it’s definitely worth a stroll before the show ends.

The Dosshaus show at the Corey Helford Gallery ends on May 5th.

Heather Cook exhibit at the Praz-Delavallade Gallery

1D 5L 2D 6L 3D 7L 4D 8L 5D 1L 6D 2L 7D 3L 8D 4L

The beauty about Los Angeles is that the minute you look at the city’s calendar, there is definitely something going on. This Saturday I attended the opening of Heather Cook’s exhibit, “1D 5L 2D 6L 3D 7L 4D 8L 5D 1L 6D 2L 7D 3L 8D 4L” at the Praz-Delavallade gallery.

Heather Cook’s “1D 5L 2D 6L 3D 7L 4D 8L 5D 1L 6D 2L 7D 3L 8D 4L” exhibit at the Praz-Delavallade Gallery

Heather Cook received her MFA at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena which, made the exhibit particularly interesting to me.

Shadow Weave, Heather Cook

Two series of woven work was presented throughout three rooms. You are first presented with Cook’s Shadow Weaves and then lead to see the Weaving Drafts. The compositions are made out of yarn. The yarn is painted with acrylic before being woven together, creating a picture in which the image lives within the canvas as opposed to on the surface.

Shadow Weaves, Heather Cook

While standing in front of one of the huge woven creations and letting myself drown in the complex graphic imagery created by the weave, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own line of work.

There is a certain presence of chance in all finished work. The process of planning followed by building will be inevitably altered by interference. This sort of distortion that happens in the creation of every project is why shaping an idea into form is addicting and forever drives a creative mind to design.

Shadow Weave Draft Graph

If you have a free afternoon, stop by the Praz-Delavallade
The Heather Cook exhibit will be displayed until June 16th.

Sailing with Dallas Holloway, a 3D Artist who doesn’t forget to live life to the fullest.

Creativity comes from the world around us. Dallas, talented 3D generalist proves it through his awesome work and inspiring lifestyle.

Dallas Holloway on his Los Angeles sailboat, Emily Lynn

After a couple of back to back Wednesday meetings, I got to detach myself from the ground beneath my feet. I went out on a sailing adventure with my good friend and colleague Dallas Holloway on the coast of San Pedro, CA. We talked design, shared freelance experience, and philosophized about the motion industry. All this while catching incredible views of dolphin packs, grey whale blows, seagull dives, and barking seals.

Throughout the years I’ve known Dallas, I have seen him seamlessly juggle his busy freelance life with family, friends, music projects, and sailing. His ability to never lose touch with the physical world around him is what makes him so great in the virtual worlds he creates.

Dallas is an extremely talented 3D artist with a passion for outer space and sailing. He freelances between Los Angeles and Wichita. He is one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with. He is fast, organized, has an answer for almost any 3D question — and if he doesn’t, he’ll figure it out in no time. Besides all this, he is also just a good person. If you ever have a chance of working with this guy, do it! Check out his work at dallasholloway.com

I got to steer the wheel. The happiness was out of control. 

Dolphins! And check out that tuna splashing in the background.

By the time we got back, it was dark. Here’s a view of San Pedro Marina. 

Can you spot the seal?

 

Cover Letter : The bare minimum, ☑ ️6 check marks for a complete cover letter

Many of the cover letters I receive don’t get forwarded because there simply isn’t enough information to forward. Originally posted for Prototypr Medium, I explain 6 key parts to a bare minimum but, complete cover letter.


Cover Letter : The bare minimum

☑ ️6 check marks for a complete cover letter

The digital age we’re living in is speeding everything up. We want our news in a headline, our education in bullet points, and our courtships in a swipe. Cover letters have gotten minimal too, a habit that doesn’t always work to our advantage. Candidates omit essential bits of information that could have been the very reason to get hired. This article will explain 6 key parts to a bare minimum but, complete cover letter.

Throughout my years of freelancing I have had the opportunity to create a wide professional network, which has occasionally positioned me into becoming a recruiter. I will often post jobs for fellow colleagues. Many of the cover letters I receive don’t get forwarded because there simply isn’t enough information to forward. Your cover letter doesn’t have to be an essay. Concise and straight to the point is often much appreciated. However, there are a few details you’d be crazy not mention.

If you are able to deliver a well-rounded picture of yourself in a few short paragraphs, your letter gets a much higher chance of being forwarded to the employer. If it turns out that you’re not the best fit for this particular job, the information you provide will still be stored for future opportunities. Think of your cover letter as an investment. If it’s well done, it will get you a good return in the future.

The 6 check marks

What is the bare minimum you need to include in a cover letter? Let’s pretend you are Sandra, writing to me, (El) about a job opportunity.

Here’s your check list:

򪪪 1. Name who you are writing to.
򪪪 2. What do you want?
򪪪 3. Who are you?
򪪪 4. Why you?
򪪪 5. How do I reach you?
򪪪 6. Sign your name.

Let’s start writing!

1. Name

If there’s a name to write to, use it.

Before applying for a job, read the job post. The job post will often tell you who to address your letter to. By ignoring such a simple piece of information you’re telling me, you couldn’t be bothered reading my post thoroughly. Alarm rings! If you don’t care about the project’s needs, you’re probably not going to fulfill them either.

I get emails from designers who misspell my name, or leave it out all together. My name has TWO letters in it, how do you mess that up? Although this could be a shallow assumption, my first thought it that you might not care so much about this job. If you haven’t re-read your cover letter at least 3 times, you aren’t very dedicated to this job.

eg: Hi El,

☑ 1. Oh hi! You are showing me respect, I will respect you back by paying attention to you now.

2. What?

QUICK! WHAT do you want from me?

Are you offering me a job? Are you selling something? Are you my great aunt’s long lost sister that wants to know what happened to my step-brother’s cat, Whiskers? Don’t keep me guessing! What do you want from me?!

People get their inboxes filled with mail daily. Get to the point quickly. In one sentence tell me: what do you want from me.

eg: I am writing to inquire about a possible job opportunity at Fantastic-Amazing-Company.

☑ 2 .Great! You are writing about something I am interested in. I’ll keep reading your letter.

3. Who?

Who are you? PROVE IT!

Now that I know what you want from me. Tell me about yourself. What’s your name? What do you do? Show me what you’re talking about.

eg: My name is Sandra. I graduated from Cool-School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Some of my most recent work includes social media graphics I designed and animated for Super-Film while working at A-Company, http://www.[linktoyourwork].com

☑ 3. Nice to meet you. I am starting to have a better picture of you and the type of work experience you’ve had. Looks like you might have the skills I am looking for. I’m going to keep reading.

4. Why?

Why you? What’s so special about you?

After everything you’ve told me about yourself, why are you a good fit for this job? Is it because you’ve already worked on a similar project? Is is because you are passionate about the topic? Is it because your style matches what I am looking for? What can you offer to the project?

eg: I worked at an interactive design company for over a year. I have strong design and motion graphics skills. I am also fluent in HTML, CSS and Javascript. I think my knowledge of interactive design would be a great asset to your project.

☑ 4. Very good, looks like you do have the skills and dedication to this particular field I am focusing on. I would love to continue this conversation with you.

5. How?

I want to learn more about you, how do I reach you?

I am intrigued by your cover letter. How do I learn more about you? Send me your website, email, phone number. This is where you get to choose how I see you. Point me to what best represents your work.

The internet is making it so easy to have all your work in one organized place. You have Behance, Cargo Collective, WordPress and a sea of other portfolio friendly websites. Pre-made templates are often free and easy to use so, you really have no excuse not to post your work up!

*remember, just because you don’t get this job, doesn’t mean I won’t keep you in mind for the next so, show me what you got!*

eg: My portfolio can be found at sandra-fab-work.com. I can be reached by email at sandra@fabwork.com

☑ 5. I have your website, and I know what method of communication you prefer. I now have easy access to your contact info and can easily reach you in the future.

6. Sign your name

What’s your name?

Don’t leave without telling me your name. I don’t want to spend time going through your links trying to figure out if you prefer Sandee, Sandi, Sandie, Sandy or, are you actually an Alexandra???

eg: Sandra

☑ 6. Thank you! I now know how to address you in my reply.

BOOM. DONE.

We have a cover letter!

Here’s your compact bare minimum cover letter.

(1) Hi El,

(2) I am writing to inquire about a possible job opportunity at Fantastic-Amazing-Company.

(3) My name is Sandra. I graduated from Cool-School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Some of my most recent work includes social media graphics I designed and animated for Super-Film while working at A-Company, http://www.[linktoyourwork].com

(4) I worked at an interactive design company for over a year. I have strong design and motion graphics skills. I am also fluent in HTML, CSS and Javascript. I think my knowledge of interactive design would be a great asset to your project.

(5) My portfolio can be found at sandra-fab-work.com. I can be reached by email at sandra@fabwork.com

Best,

(6) Sandra


Now it’s up to you to add your personal bells and whistles — or, balloons or, dragons or, explosions or, an extremely boring monotonous tone, whatever screams “You”. It’s always a plus to add a little more personality and detail. Has your work been displayed somewhere? Have you won awards? Do you have an interesting hobby? Do you know another language?

You want your cover letter to leave a good and strong enough impression so, that the employer/recruiter will save your information for upcoming gigs. When you write a cover letter you are not just applying for that specific job, you are applying for a spot on a list for future considerations too.

Nonetheless, if you are writing your 12th cover letter today and you are all out of personality, by including the bare minimum you are giving yourself the fair chance of being acknowledged.

Good luck on seizing your opportunities!

* Don’t forget to read the job posts thoroughly. Employers may ask for specific information which overwrites anything written above.*