SVA Artist Residency 2023
In Summer of 2023, I was invited to attend the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City for an intense 5-week art residency program. Alongside 17 talented illustrators, I underwent a demanding curriculum designed to improve visual storytelling skills within the medium of illustration.
The program was divided into 3 courses, each led by a different professor. One course emphasized a range of individual projects meant to simulate a freelance career, one course focused heavily on comics and sequential art, and one course was dedicated to creating a visual essay based on a text of our choosing, referred to as the Independent Project.
On Day 1, the residency was described as "an MFA on steroids crammed into 5 weeks" and it certainly felt that way. Within a few days, we were quickly buried in assignments, all of which involved finding visual solutions to various prompts and subject matters. During each class we participated in group critiques, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each other's work while improving our own skills as art directors. Each consecutive week became increasingly demanding, as we juggled new assignments with previous ones, right up until the grand finale: Open Studios at the SVA gallery! The whole experience was exhilarating, exhausting, eye-opening, and extremely rewarding. I've collected my art and photo documentation of the journey below!
My Independent Project:
A visual interpretation of the Nine Inch Nails song "I'm Looking Forward to Joining You, Finally".
Click the images to reveal the lyrics associated with each installment.
I have been a lifelong fan of Nine Inch Nails + Trent Reznor, so having the opportunity to create my own unique visual component to an incredible song felt like a no-brainer. This also represented a slight departure from my usual approach to illustration: instead of prioritizing line art, I focused on establishing shapes and textures that served the overall concept first.
Below are some initial sketches and color tests for my independent project.
Various illustrations + comics made during the residency program.
The Art Residency in pictures