Wolff Designs

If only the joy of traveling paid enough to keep a roof over my head, but since I haven’t found a way it will, I’ve been working on developing my graphic design skills.

I really enjoy graphic design. This past year I have improved immensely on a range of print graphics and I am continuing to pursue website design. Unfortunately the college only offers one course in web design. While I did make some decent websites, there is so much more to learn. Dreamweaver, which requires a greater knowledge of coding is not my favorite method to design websites.

However here are links to a few I made for class. I’m most impressed with how much I improved throughout the semester. These are in progression from most basic to most complex websites.

http://www.fuchaiwolff.x10host.com/Single%20Page%20Creation/fuchai_wolff.html.html
http://www.fuchaiwolff.x10host.com/Div/div.html
http://www.fuchaiwolff.x10host.com/Final%20Portfolio/
http://www.fuchaiwolff.x10host.com/Club/club.html
http://www.fuchaiwolff.x10host.com/Gallery/index.html
http://www.fuchaiwolff.x10host.com/Java/java.html
http://www.fuchaiwolff.x10host.com/houses/

This year I plan on using a few different programs to design websites. I will be posting my new portfolio website something this year.

Last semester I took a 3D animation class, which wasn’t by choice, however I did work on some really cool things.

3Ds Max Scene

Here I created a bouncing ball breaking glass.

Fish Stamp

This was one of the coolest projects. I designed this on the computer and then it was 3D printed.

Milk Bottle

Not the most fun program to use, but it is really cool to create something from nothing.

I can’t believe I will graduate with my associate’s degree this year. Last year I spent more time working in Photoshop. I don’t consider myself the best at Photoshop, but here is some stuff I worked on. The poster and logo were made in other programs.

 

logo

I designed this logo, and it was picked as the favorite, so I got a $25 gift card.

poster

Just worked on various posters. The more projects I work on the better.

wolff_masks copy

Just an advertisement. Looking at it now, it looks a bit unprofessional. I have learned a lot about design just in the past year.

I really enjoyed working on this one.

I really enjoyed working on this one.

So the more I look at my past Photoshop work, the more I cringe. These are photoshop assignments from my first year in the program and they don't have the polished look I would like.

So the more I look at my past Photoshop work, the more I cringe. These are photoshop assignments from my first year in the program and they don’t have the polished look I would like.

This one did end up decent I will admit.

This one did end up decent I will admit.

 

My favorite class by far has been my Indesign class. Here are several projects I’ve created. Portfolio

Book Cover

I redesigned a book cover.

Business Card

I spent a good amount of time designing this card as well as the logo. This semester I will probably design something completely different. The website and email on this card are made up.

Here is the back of the business card.

Here is the back of the business card.

So that’s it. That’s the kind of stuff I’ve been working on at San Juan College. I have enjoyed it more than I thought. Since I’m such an independent person, this degree seems to be the right fit. My internship at Piñon Hills Community Church is helping immensely. I work a lot in print design and continue to see how I can apply my skills. I really would like to pursue web design and am working on developing some websites for free.

Insert Catchy Title

Phase one: work and save money for travel and decide where/what you want to do. Check. I worked full-time for four months saving every penny. I found workaway.info and decided to farm in Costa Rica.

Phase two: live in another country and be a part of the culture. Check. I lived and worked on farms in Costa Rica for three months, learning Spanish along the way.

Phase three: Job shadow, study Chinese, and work part-time for the awkward two and half month period before I go to China in April.

Finding a job proved to be a bit more difficult than I had hoped, but I did manage to get a job before February came. Currently I am working as a receptionist at High Desert Rheumatology and Internal Medicine. (It took me a day to remember what the office was called). It’s a great, low stress job with flexible hours and really nice co-workers.

So after securing a job, things started falling into place. I started feeling more motivated to do stuff. I began searching for people who I could job shadow. I contacted a woman who knows a lot of business people in Farmington and she connected me with a graphic designer at Majestic Media. I interviewed her one day about how she got her job and how happy she was with it. Then I sat and watched what she did for an hour.

I’ve realized that connections and relationships can really get you far in life if only you pursue them. In January, I met a woman who owns a bed and breakfast so I asked if I could see what she does. She showed me around the place and told me about how it got started. Currently it is the low season so I didn’t actually get to see her interact with any guests, but I hope to soon.

The third job shadowing I’ve begun is at San Juan Reproduction. I know one of the graphic designers there. I’ve gotten a quick tour of the place and a peek into what she does. I will continue to go there on a weekly basis and will get to play with the programs that she uses on a computer beside her.

I also have a pending job shadowing at a restaurant, which could even turn into another part-time job…

I plan on writing more in-depth on each of my job shadowing experiences. So if you’re interested in the lessons I’ve learned from each of the jobs I’ve dabbled in, be on the lookout.

In addition to my career exploration, I have been asked to help with a new business. So, not only have I been job shadowing, I also am helping design and maintain a website for this business. (More details about this is March when we launch the website). I have never designed a website before, so I am learning a tiny bit of HTML and a bit more CSS as well as blogging. The woman I am working with (I guess you could call her my business partner?) has over twenty years of advertising and marketing experience, so I am getting to learn that aspect of business as well. We met with a man who owns an internet marketing company called ICT Marketing (Insert Catchy Title…yes I did borrow the name for this blog post). So now I have learned about SEO and how to make a webpage come up in google. And the plan is to continue using his expertise to get people to our website. Being a part of beginning this business has provided me opportunity. An opportunity to learn by doing, to create, to do something for Farmington, to make connections, to form relationships, all of which will help me to get a career(s). I’m learning skills that college just doesn’t provide.

Right now my life is a collage. It seems a bit messy, but it works.

My goal of studying Chinese has been a bit difficult as every time I try to think in Chinese it comes out in Spanish…But I’m working on it.

You’d think that once I got a job and started job shadowing that would be enough, but I also enjoy learning/playing bridge twice a week and I’ve started going back to Tae Kwon Do. And I still have free time. Cool, huh? It’s amazing how many things you can fit into a week.

Another Step Forward

It is really going to happen. Today I purchased roundtrip tickets to San Jose, Costa Rica. Thanks to friend and very thorough travel agent, she was able to book flights at a very reasonable rate and with reasonable layover times. I really lucked out that she was able to book a flight through Durango, which is much closer and more accessible than the three and a half hour drive to Albuquerque.

Somehow it still hasn’t quite sunk in. Yes, I can look at the itinerary and see what time the flights are and how long they are, but October seems so far away. January seems even farther away.

As planned currently, I will be in Costa Rica for almost three months exactly. I will stay during the Christmas season, which I think will only enrich the experience. I will begin working in a farm in La Ribera, which is an area close to San Jose. From there I will see how things are going. I really want to take this as an opportunity to travel freely and go wherever life takes me.

Now, I am going to focus on studying Spanish. One of my major goals is to leave Costa Rica and be able to speak comfortably in Spanish.

I discovered these farms through a great website called workaway.info. Basically this website provides a directory of hosts and travelers. Hosts often need volunteers to help on their farm, hotel, hostel, home, etc. There are thousands of jobs all around the world. The idea is that you “work away.” In exchange for working for so many hours a week you are provided food and board. Of course every host is different, so you have to make arrangements with the hosts. Some hosts do charge a small fee, but it is far cheaper than paying to travel with a tour group or some package travel deal.