Mentoring & Experts
A mentor-ship is one of the best experiences that you can have before being thrust into that of your industry and career. A mentor helps to guide you, while giving you their experience and perspective on the industry. Mentors give you first-hand advice and thoughts about work you produce for the industry you are heading into. Their knowledge and insight in invaluable to have as a student, and to have one for thesis before graduation is a one-of-a-kind experience.
For thesis we were tasked with finding our own mentor within the industry our project is built in. We were tasked with finding a mentor ourselves, which meant networking ourselves. This required us to expand outside of our comfort zones, with were our professors and look into the field to begin establishing those connections.
I knew that I needed to find myself a motion designer as a mentor, as my pieces was 95% definitely going to involve motion pieces. I wanted someone that had experience in the industry and would be capable of guiding and teaching me, without getting frustrated. I would need advice throughout my project and honest opinions on design. I recalled back on a Spring 2017 Design Studio III class, full of guest speakers and instantly I reached out to one that left an impression on me.
My industry mentor is Tyler who works for Wyatt in Colorado. He is a CU Denver Alumni, meaning he has experience with senior thesis, but more importantly he is a motion designer. Tyler came in as a guest speaker during my Design Studio III class and often critiqued our work and assisted with tools on improving our projects. Alongside our professor, Tyler was a big help with my first Design Studio III motion project with my partner. He always had clear critiques with advice on how to fix problems. He helped us through ways to work through the process of motion design, such as story boarding, audio sweetening, etc.
Besides just having a mentor, we were also tasked in finding a Subject Matter Expert or SME. The SME would help us with the subject of our thesis, since typically we are not as informed in the subject matter as others that study it might be. For me, I am an author but I am not a published or self-published author. I write as a hobby (though I want to eventually publish) and have an interest in it but I have never experienced the process of [self]publishing a book. I have experience as an editor and cover artist for self-publishing authors, which gave me some insight to my thesis problem, but I am not educated enough within the realm of publishing to make sure my content and information is on point. That is where the SME comes in. They help me to make sure my information is correct, advise me on where to look for research and they make sure that my audience will be able to comprehend my piece, not just myself.
Sara Stewart has self-published three books. One of which I was a cover artist for and another I helped edit. She has experience in the self-publishing industry and has attempted to break into the traditional publishing industry. Not only does she have expert knowledge on the subject of self-publishing but she has connections to other authors and self-published authors that can help me to understand my target audience better.
With Tyler and Sara's guidance I feel confident in going further into my thesis design beyond the research phase. Both will help me to access a broader range of people to improve the quality and content of my designs.