May 10, 2010

Post by Anjanette

Inspired doesn’t even begin to cover how I feel today!  My work day consisted of having too much fun at the design school in Tønsberg!  I spent the day at Idefagskolen College ( and left so inspired and impressed!  They teach everything from photography, interior design, 3D animation, music, and media design, plus more.  I first met with Wictor (pronounced Victor), who teaches media design and he gave me a tour around the school!  They have so many resources and equipment for the students its amazing.  They have a photo studio where students can go in anytime and practice their photography, either for a portfolio or just for fun!  There are also five recording studios that are accessible all the time.  The enrollment isn’t very large either so the students can get very personalized attention.

I then met with David (pronounced Da-Veed), one of the three photography teachers.  He was so cool to talk to and showed me a bunch of  his and  the students work!  He told me about lenses, how to use filters and showed me some Photoshop tricks I never even thought of!  I cant wait to start playing around with the tips he shared with me, as well as checking out the various websites he gave me to check out!  He showed me his website he made and made a wonderful observation that European websites seem to be a lot more simplistic versus American sites and I have to agree.  He said “we like to click things here” regarding that many European sites have more menus to navigate whereas American sites try to cram everything on one page making it cluttered and hard to navigate.  He wasn’t saying this in a negative way at all, but I have to agree with him!  Definitely something I am going to keep in mind in my website designs!  He, as well as Wicter, are also in bands and I love music so I was able to talk with him about many things!  I easily could have stayed in his class for another forever!  🙂  It was cool to see the different photography work that is out there, from commercial to portraits, which made me more clear about what I can do with my work personally.  Many of my friends are wedding photographers or do portraits and I thought that was the best way to make money, but its something I don’t know if I am interested in, but there are TONS of photography opportunities out there!  I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue with my degree after NMC, but now I think I am going to look into design school such as Kendall because, although I love going to NMC, the design schools have so many more resources and the opportunities are endless!

I then sat next to a student for the remainder of the afternoon.  Line (pronounced Lina) just finished up her year and is ready to look for a job.  Some of the programs are one year, but some can got for two years.  She is 20 and very talented and so nice to talk to.  She showed me some pictures of her Russ outfit as she graduated last year and I shared my picture book with her – it was great!  Not sure if we have touched on this at all but Russ (pronounced Roose) is a tradition in Norway for High School Seniors.  They are red overalls (seen on the girl on the right) or dress and caps worn from the 1st of May to the 17th and are not allowed to wash them for this whole time – if caught, they have to cut off one pant leg!

The students will decorate them to personalize them and then 5 or 6 students will pitch in to buy a car or bus together that is also red and decorated.  Its a very recognizable outfit and we have already seen many wearing them around Oslo!  What a fun way to celebrate your accomplishments of high school – especially since you do not have to go to high school and are done with school at 15 unless you want to further your education.  Anyways, I have made another new friend with Line!  It was so neat sitting at the computer and although I couldn’t understand the students (unless they were talking to me) I felt right at home!  They do have international students every now and then (Ireland and Korea were mentioned) – they may just end up with an American student too!  Their school year is different as well.  First of all, there are no deadlines for enrollment and a student can sign up at any time of year.  Although they would have lots of catching up to do, they wont be delayed because they couldn’t enroll.  Plus, the classes run all year long.  Many of the students were finishing up their final projects, but the school is always open.  I liked that students were allowed to have a personal project outside of normal assignments to work on.  Line showed me a website she made for a friend’s dog kennel.  She also was working on some business cards another friend had requested.  She also showed me some other work from the past year, including something I have never heard of called Steampunk (Google if it your interested).  In the photography class, they were allowed to re-do any photos they wanted so nothing was ever final until the end.  David said the purpose of that is because many students would get frustrated because they would take some photos and turn them in for an assignment.  And then later that week they would be taught another process which could have helped them with the photos they just turned in.  Two of the teachers I met were former students, which I think is fantastic because they really know what is needed at the student level because they have been there.  I think it makes them better teachers!  The school has many connections with the community and so the students are asked to work on a number of projects for real clients – what a great way to learn!  It just seemed like they had more hands on opportunities, where as I feel I am not going to experience much of this until my last year in my current program.  Wictor told me that the school is set up to teach the students how to market their work and prepare them for getting a job when they are done.  One thing I am going to start for NMC is a blog, which is an idea I got from this school.  They have a blog that students can post projects and tutorials regarding everything that has to do with design which I thought was wonderful!  Its a great way for students to learn from each other, share tips and shortcuts, and share their work.  Sometimes learning from students can be more valuable in the sense that things can be explained a little better given the student perspective.  Not only did I learn about this wonderful school, but I have discovered new programs I didn’t even know existed, websites and books that can help me with my own work, and most importantly I have learned more about myself and where my true passions lie.  Thank you Thomas for arranging this site visit.  My hosts in both Sande and Stokke have been dead on regarding my program and what would interest me.  I have been inspired from head to toe and I think that’s pretty apparent from my perma-grin from ear to ear!

me and Line

me and David

me and Wictor

Posted by Anjanette Merriweather


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