Archive for 'October 2015'

    Unique Short Film Inspires Collaborative Course

    Created in Studio X, Thomas de Maleingreau’s Grounded is heading to film festivals worldwide


    A still from 'Grounded.' Image courtesy of Thomas de Maleingreau.

    For filmmaker and animator Thomas de Maleingreau, the collaborative class at Academy of Art University called Studio X was a pivotal point in his career. In Studio X’s collective environment, he not only created a totally unique style of animated film with his short film Grounded, but had a hand in shaping how different departments at the Academy work together. Grounded, a heart warming animated short film about the last journey of Hector, an old pilot, and Waldo, his pet goose, is groundbreaking in that de Maleingreau melted hand painted texture (from the School of Game Development) into his film to create a more stylized look.

    As an animation student, his goal was to incorporate the School of Game Development in order to combine elements of game style in his film. “I literally created a collaborative class between departments,” said de Maleingreau. “I am very proud and happy about that. It was really a class created for Grounded. It will take place at Studio X and it’s a first step toward a bigger collaboration and could open so many new opportunities between game and animation students.”

    Read More »

    Students Scope Out Sony PlayStation

    Approximately 100 Academy students gathered at 491 Post to hear about summer 2016 internship opportunities


    Students learned about summer internship opportunities at Sony PlayStation on Thursday, Oct. 8. Photo by Bob Toy.

    “I do this because I love the students and the energy,” Sony PlayStation University Recruiter Darchele Smith said. “I love meeting and connecting with students who could be potential interns.”

    On Thursday, Oct. 8, Smith and Leesa Dreo, senior recruiter at Sony PlayStation under Sony Computer Entertainment America, talked with approximately 100 current Academy of Art University students of various disciplines about possible paid summer internship opportunities. Smith shared that of the 82 PlayStation internships held by students last summer, four were from the Academy, making it the second largest school the company recruited from.

    Read More »

    John Waters Visits the School of Motion Pictures & Television


    John Waters and Executive Director James Egan. Courtesy of the School of Motion Pictures & Television.

    Legendary writer/director John Waters stopped by Academy of Art University to take an informal tour of the School of Motion Pictures and Television with Executive Director James Egan and MPTV students.

    Read More »

    Online Student Puts Education into Practice While Celebrating Affirmative Action


    (Left to right) Leslie Ralston, Brian Gessner, Bern Rexer, Academy of Art University online student Kristi Pelzel, Aaron Shivley and Peter Alvey. Photo by Nichole Edwards.

    As an Academy of Art University online student, I’m always looking for opportunities to use what I’m learning as a platform. I did just that when I participated in a live event at the United States Department of Labor Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as an assistant sound engineer.

    September 24, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of Executive Order 11246 and the establishment of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. 

    Read More »

    ART U Cross Country Cheered to Top Half at SF State Invite

    It was a buoyant atmosphere for the Urban Knights as they finished strong to sixth place

    XC Group (by Rob Garcia)

    Cross Country. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    More than 170 Urban Knight Nation faithful seemed to be there at every turn on Oct. 9, cheering on Academy of Art University cross country to strong finishes at the SF State Invitational. The women’s team, led by sophomore McKaela Christenson’s 19th place individual result, took ninth overall. On the men’s side, senior Valentin Pepiot (Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media) placed second, helping ART U earn sixth as a team.

    Read More »

    Kamyle Glover, Hunter Allen Named NFCA Scholar-Athletes

    SB - Kamyle Glover (by Kenny Chacon)

    Kamyle Glover. Photo by Kenny Chacon.

    SB - Hunter Allen (by Kenny Chacon)

    Hunter Allen. Photo by Kenny Chacon.

    Recognized for their academic accomplishments and ability to achieve the NCAA Division II motto “life in the balance,” Academy of Art University softball student-athletes Kamyle Glover and Hunter Allen were among the 2014–15 All-America Scholar-Athletes as announced by National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) on Oct. 6.

    Read More »

    Stine Raben Claims Second PacWest Freshman of the Week

    VB - Stine Raben (by Ronald Palarca)

    Stine Raben. Photo by Ronald Palarca.

    One of several threats shown in the ART U volleyball offense in two home victories, outside hitter Stine Raben (Advertising) was selected as Pacific West Conference Freshman of the Week. Career highs both offensively and defensively came for the Schwerin, Germany native at home this past week. The award was based on games played Sept. 28–Oct. 4.

    Read More »

    Three Wins Leads Kevin Mendez to PacWest Freshman of the Week

    Holding the line with consistently tough defense in three wins on the Urban Knights’ Hawaiian roadtrip, goalkeeper Kevin Mendez (Advertising) earned his second Pacific West Conference Freshman of the Week this season. The award was based on games played Sept. 28–Oct. 4.

    Read More »

    Alumni Shine at Roadworks Printing Festival

    In it’s 12th year, the event was a hit with artists and enthusiasts


    Leah Jachimowicz of Coffee n Cream Press. Photo by Meri Brin.

    Each year, the San Francisco Center for the Book hosts the Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival. Artists, printmakers, book artists and enthusiasts all come together to visit with vendors, play with equipment, make pieces of art at do-it-yourself tables and watch as a seven-ton 1924 Buffalo Springfield steamroller prints 3-foot by 3-foot large hand-carved linoleum blocks. This was the 12th year of the event, and quite a few Academy of Art University alumni were there participating and celebrating.

    Read More »

    Kendra Williford's Journey to the Festival Circuit

    Kendra and Michael

    By Jessica Chan

    The next installment of our animation profile series features Kendra Williford. Williford graduated in Spring 2015 with the completion of her film, Leonid in Space. Within these few months, her short has been selected into nine film festivals with awards and merits.

    Why an M.F.A. degree in 2-D/traditional animation & stop motion at the Academy?

    I have loved two things since I was a young kid—drawing and traditional animation. I grew up watching Disney films and wanted to study with [instructors] who had first-hand experience working on those films and in the industry.


    Read More »

    Social Sierra

    “I think the simplest answer is to go to work ready to work hard.” Sierra Sanchez hits the nail on the head when she talks about her work ethic, current position with Pottery Barn and the impact that Academy of Art University has had on her career. As a member of the millennial generation, the digital space is not a foreign idea for Sanchez. With this, she has accumulated much success.

    Read More »

    Succeeding Through Determination


    Alex Suarez backstage at Academy of Art University’s New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 show, interviewing designer Madison Detro. Courtesy of Alex Suarez.

    Alex Suarez, a graduate of Academy of Art University, received her B.A. in fashion journalism in 2014. I caught up with Suarez about her successes after graduation, which include writing gigs for Modeconnect and Fashion Times. During our chat she shared incredible advice, encouraging experiences and a clever sense of humor. Suarez considers herself “still far from making it” right now, but is motivated to keep “moving onward and upward.” This is her story.

    Read More »

    A Fashion Giant Recruits at the Academy


    (Left to right) Gary Miller, associate director of the Academy’s School of Fashion; Iliana Ricketts, online director of the Academy’s School of Fashion; Natalie Vance, Academy alumna and associate apparel designer for Hollister Men’s Denim/Twill; Bobby English, Abercrombie & Fitch design recruiter; Melissa McGhee, associate relations manager for Abercrombie & Fitch Merchandising/Styling and Meghan Riggs, Abercrombie & Fitch associate relations director of design. Photo by Bob Toy.

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 13-14, the Abercrombie & Fitch team came to Academy of Art University’s fashion building at 625 Polk, to recruit senior fashion students to join their burgeoning creative team. Full-time positions and internships are open for stylists, apparel designers, CAD designers and technical designers. Unlike the majority of internships available for students, Abercrombie interns are paid $800 a week along with a monthly housing stipend. Full-time employees enjoy the perks of traveling, health insurance and three weeks worth of vacation days. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not. Though the presentations were specifically for fashion stylists and designers, Abercrombie also offers positions across the company including merchandising, marketing and graphic design. Don’t fret if you weren’t able to attend the event—Abercrombie’s online career center ( is easy to navigate and they are always looking for new talent.

    Read More »

    Voice of Brands

    WorkspaceAtHome_HI RES.jpg

    Academy of Art University alumna Sara Iravani. Courtesy of Sara Iravani.

    Sara Iravani is no stranger to ambition, and since graduating from Academy of Art University with her master’s in 2013, she has put that ambition to the test with an array of creative jobs. Her latest career move: taking on the role of chief copywriter at Stella & Dot. Iravani also contributes regularly to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Style section and has had her work published in SOMA Magazine, SF Gate and Refinery29. We sat down with the alumna to discuss her experience, work and how Australia played a factor in her decision to get a master’s in fashion journalism.

    Read More »

    Street Style: Back to Basics

    Black will always be the new black. This color has spread beyond its stereotypical business boundaries: bohemian, lounge, party/evening, casual, business casual, you name it. Its versatility and the endless messages it exudes are the exact qualities a girl looks for in a signature color. When spotted walking down these San Francisco streets, Mana Syed embodied the effortlessly chic woman San Francisco is known for. With the latest technology and an updated knowledge of the latest platforms, she is ready to go from day to night.

    Describe your style.

    Usually minimalist, focused on black, whites, anything in that group. A complete contrast to my occasional Pakistani style, which tends to include more colors and even patterns.

    Who is your style muse?

    Quite a few! Lou Doillon and Kate Lanphear.


    Mana Syed, visual merchandising major. top: Zara, pants: H&M, shoes: H&M, necklace: Forever 21 & sunglasses: Le Specs. Photo by Alexandria Ceranski.

    Read More »

    An Inspiring Introduction to the Cinematography Industry

    Student S.O.C. advisor, Hugh C. Litfin, takes students to visit L.A. Cinegear Expo

    photo 4_

    (Left to right) Academy of Art University and S.O.C. students Jessie Brickley, Joy Zhang, Brenton Cooper, Trevor Smith, Genevieve Evans, Chenlu Zhu and Levi Salas meet with International Cinematographers Guild President Steven Poster, A.S.C. pictured center. Photo by Hugh Litfin, S.O.C.

    Cinematography instructor Hugh C. Litfin exemplifies Academy of Art University’s way of going above and beyond to provide his students with extraordinary hands-on learning experiences. He takes his students behind the scenes of the most cutting edge production houses in Hollywood and helps them get up close and personal with the industry’s latest technologies.

    Read More »

    Talking Passion

    Steven “NugLife” Solis talks local showcases, creative influences and goals

    I sat down with Steven “NugLife” Solis the evening of Saturday, Oct. 10 after an album release show for band War of Icaza at One Fam Café in West Oakland, Calif. NugLife and rappers Rocky G, Kaly Jay, Kwesi and more, have been popping up at many showcases in the area recently. I first met the DJ last summer when he started doing sets at Dolores Park, something I hadn’t seen before. I decided to catch up with him and ask him some questions.

    So Steven, who would you say are your main influences?

    Forward thinking people, creatives. People who wake up everyday and want to do something different. One person for a few months lately has been my homie Nite Owl. We’re doing totally different things, but I respect his drive. He makes me want to do more.

    What is your ultimate goal?

    Work with those I look up to. Just be beside them. Collaborate with like-minded beings.


    Steven “NugLife” Solis. Photo by Mia Felder.

    Read More »

    Director Tackles Universal Themes of Survival and Parenting in Riveting 'Room'


    Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in A24’s 'Room.' Photo by George Kraychyk. Courtesy of A24.

    In Room, the film based on the acclaimed novel by Emma Donoghue, director Lenny Abrahamson deftly draws viewers into the lives of five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his mother, whom he calls Ma (Brie Larson). The two have been captives in the tiny reinforced shed, which they refer to as “room,” for all of Jack’s life. Ma, who was kidnapped as a teenager and eventually impregnated by her captor, Old Nick (Shawn Bridgers), sees room as a prison.  But Jack considers it home—even a magical place—thanks to his nurturing mother and his imagination and innocence.

    Read More »

    Film Review: 'Experimenter' - The Inescapable Experiment


    Peter Sarsgaard in 'Experimenter,' a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

    Human psychology has been the subject of many an interesting story over the years and now, with Experimenter, Michael Almereyda brings us a look behind the scenes at social psychologist Stanley Milgram’s 1961 experiments that explored the human dispensation to obedience.

    Read More »

    Film Review: 'Victoria' - A Study in One-Take Realism

    Victoria Still 12

    Courtesy of Adopt Films.

    There are many factors that make Victoria a unique film worthy of praise for the sheer amount of planning and organization involved in its creation. From director Sebastian Schipper, the film is shot by Sturla Brandth Grøvlen in one continuous take, so fans of Birdman can rejoice as this style of filmmaking seems to be, rather like Michael Keaton’s character, taking off.

    Read More »

    Community and Connectivity

    Interior design students’ installation at DIFFA Designs event benefits HIV/AIDS research at SF General Hospital’s Ward 86


    (Left to right) Chantal Yakou, Fadi Alnumaani, Kevin Veitch, Alex Allen and Agustin Sanders in front of their installation at this year’s DIFFA Designs event. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Just after entering The NWBLK’s cavernous gallery space where a rollicking cocktail party and silent auction was in full swing, Academy of Art University School of Interior Architecture and Design (IAD) instructor Agustin Sanders stopped in his glittering gold shoes and struck a pose. Behind him, armed with a thick kelly green marker, IAD student Kevin Veitch traced his shadow onto a wide white canvas. By the end of the night, the centerpiece of an installation by five IAD students was covered in a colorful melange of overlapping silhouettes.

    Read More »

    School of Interior Architecture and Design Graduates Launch Successful Firm

    Mitra Gholami and Nik Seif are going from strength to strength as they transform spaces with Deleap


    Academy of Art University School of Interior Architecture and Design alumni Mitra Gholami and Nik Seif. Photo by Celeste Sunderland.

    When Mitra Gholami and Nik Seif met in a light and color perception class in 2011, little did they know that one day they would be working together as partners in their own interior design firm. In fact, during their time as students at Academy of Art University, the designers mostly went their separate ways. “We were ‘hi and bye friends,’” said Seif.

    Four years later, the designing duo, both of whom earned Master’s degrees from the Academy’s School of Interior Architecture and Design (IAD) in 2014, work together most every day at their interior design firm Deleap and are as close as sisters.

    Read More »

    Mastering Limitless Artistic Development

    Academy of Art University alumna Camille Przewodek is a master plein air painter, adept self-promoter and admired teacher. She has honed her extraordinary skill through years of hard work and dedicated study, yet her key to success boils down to one simple thing: she knows herself.

    “I have carved a career in fine art for myself and I have developed my own unique vision,” said Przewodek, who has a trove of plein air painting awards, eight published books, dozens of exhibits and a calendar packed with workshops and teaching engagements.

    “One of the things I’ve always admired about her is she drives herself to find something more personal in her observations and to take the style and the approach further,” said Chuck Pyle, director of the School of Illustration, who worked with Przewodek when he was a young instructor in the ‘80s. “She’s just very savvy and very committed to her art and to making a good living at it, which is really the Academy idea.”


    Camille Przewodek. Courtesy of Camille Przewodek.

    Read More »

    A Passion for Sculpture

    'Eel Walker' bronze sculpture

    'Eel Walker,' bronze sculpture. Sculpture by Mark Newman.

    School of Illustration alumnus Mark Newman has carved out a successful career in the collectibles industry and beyond, by melding his skills as an illustrator with his passion for sculpture. After graduating from the Academy in 1986, Newman landed work immediately, sculpting and prototyping for clients such as Bowen Designs, Department 56, Hallmark, Sideshow Collectibles, Lenox Inc and more.

    Read More »

    Want To Help Change The World? There’s An App For That.


    Image courtesy of Helper Helper.

    Student-athletes at Academy of Art University are competing in something other than sports this fall semester. The Academy and 119 colleges and universities from across the country are competing not just for wins and losses, but for something much more impactful, community service hours.

    Through the NCAA Team Works™ Competition, 120 NCAA schools from Division I, II & III will be participating in the largest community service competition in the history of college athletics. Over 40,000 student-athletes in 38 states will be challenged to see what school can do the most good for their respective community.

    During the 3-month competition, Academy student-athletes will be using the Helper Helper app to find volunteer opportunities and track their community service efforts. For the month of September, the Urban Knights found themselves in the top spot of the Division II competition.

    Read More »

    Drama at Kezar Lifts ART U Past SF State

    The Urban Knights secure an exciting victory in overtime after a 0-0 game

    MSoccer - Kristof Urbanyi (by Rob  Garcia)

    Kristof Urbanyi. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    They did it again.

    Three years after the first time it was done, the Academy of Art University men’s soccer team again turned suspense into glory on Sept. 12 inside historic Kezar Stadium, defeating crosstown rival San Francisco State in front of a big crowd with a goal in overtime for a sudden 1-0 victory.

    Read More »

    Kevin Mendez Named PacWest Men’s Soccer Defender of the Week

    Academy of Art University men’s soccer freshman goalkeeper Kevin Mendez (Advertising) continued a stellar start to his career and earned his second straight Pacific West Conference weekly award in the process, as he was named PacWest Defender of the Week for the week of Sept. 7-13.

    Mendez was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 Kezar Classic. He posted a 1-0-1 record with two overtime shutouts and 10 total saves. He did not allow a goal in 208 minutes played. He earned his second win of the season after shutting out San Francisco State for 98 minutes on Sept. 12. He also led the Urban Knights to their first draw versus Chico State on Sept. 10, playing 110 minutes of shutout soccer.

    Mendez’s award is the third PacWest weekly award the Urban Knights have received in the first two weeks of the season. In the opening week of 2015, Mendez was named Freshman of the Week while teammate Kristof Urbanyi (Motion Pictures & Television) was named Player of the Week.

    MSoccer - Kevin Mendez (by Marley Sutter & Jasmine Dickenson)

    Kevin Mendez. Photo by Marley Sutter and Jasmine Dickerson.

    Réa Laudat Earns PacWest Women’s Soccer Player of the Week Nod

    Thanks to playing a big part in the Academy of Art University women’s soccer team’s first win of the season, senior forward Réa Laudat (Interior Architecture & Design) was named Pacific West Conference Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 7-13.

    Laudat totaled three points (1 goal, 1 assist) in the Urban Knights’ (1-3) first win of the season versus Cal State Monterey Bay on Sept. 8. She tallied the game-winning goal in the 64th minute of the second half and assisted on the game-tying goal in the 43rd minute right before halftime. Her game-winning goal broke a two-way tie and gave her the ART U career record for game-winning goals (5). The victory over Cal State Monterey Bay was the program’s first-ever over a California Collegiate Athletic Association program.

    This was the first PacWest Player of the Week award of Laudat’s career.

    WSoccer - Rea Laudat (by Marley Sutter & Jasmine Dickenson)

    Réa Laudat. Photo by Marley Sutter and Jasmine Dickerson.

    Women’s Soccer Earns NSCAA Academic Award

    Academy of Art University’s women’s soccer team was recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for its academic excellence during the 2014-15 school year. The NSCAA annually honors college and high school soccer programs that have excelled in the classroom, in addition to their work on the field. A total of 859 soccer teams (305 men, 554 women) posted a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher, thereby earning the NSCAA College Team Academic Award for the 2014-15 academic year.

    “We are very proud of our artist-athletes and all of the hard work they put in throughout the school year while balancing soccer,” said head coach Katie Awerkamp. “They are really setting an academic standard for our program for the years to come.”

    WSoccer - NSCAA logo
    Read More »

    Valentin Pepiot Claims PacWest Cross Country Runner of the Week

    Following an impressive finish at the Urban Knights’ second meet of the season, the Ash Creek Invitational hosted by Western Oregon, senior Valentin Pepiot (Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media) garnered his first Pacific West Conference Runner of the Week honor of 2015. The award was based on all conference member competitors in races Sept. 7-13.

    Pepiot finished fourth overall out of 150 runners and completed the 6.3k course in 18:15.2, just one tenth of a second behind the third place finisher. He battled a contingent of five Chico State runners around him, delivering an average mile time of 4:39.8. In the end, his performance helped ART U place fifth as a team.

    This is the fourth PacWest weekly honor for Pepiot in his career and the first by an Urban Knight this season.

    MXC - Valentin Pepiot (by Marley Sutter & Jasmine Dickenson)

    Valentin Pepiot. Photo by Marley Sutter and Jasmine Dickerson.

    Landscape Architecture Students Take Part in Park(ing) Day 2015

    The annual event brought design to the streets with the creation of urban public spaces

    LAN Parking Day  2015

    Park(ing) Day outside The Cannery building. Photo by Jerry Doan.

    Every year, since 2005, on the third Friday of September, PARK(ing) Day has made an impact on cities around the world. Global citizens, from artists to activists to landscape architects, temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The purpose of Park(ing) Day is to make the public revalue their needs of space by impacting the way they experience the urban environment.

    Read More »

    'LADY and the frog' Creator Discusses Her Animation Journey


    A still from 'LADY and the frog.' Courtesy of Tina Hsu.

    Our first profile features Tina Hsu. Hsu’s LADY and the frog was the First Place Winner for 2-D Animation Short Film (full-color) at the annual Spring Show in 2014. Since the completion of her film, LADY and the frog has screened in 27 domestic and international film festivals. While Hsu currently works at Laika, she is doing some freelance work and developing personal projects.

    Read More »

    Meet Your Models: Tulle Snell & Andre Speckert


    Getting into the swing of things. Photo by Shahin Fathi Djalali.

    Tulle Snell is a natural muse bringing her soulful untamed beauty to the podium, while Andre Speckert’s avant-garde panache shakes up a classroom with its magnetic appeal. Together they are San Francisco’s figure modeling power couple. As versatile artistic mavens, they collaborate on stirring photography projects, have taken courses in circus arts and practice culinary wizardry. When the pair isn’t gallivanting internationally, they can be found delighting Bay Area artists with their creativity, exuberance and intellectual mayhem.

    Read More »

    Workshop Teaches IAD students how to HOUZZ


    (Left to right) Vanessa Brockway from HOUZZ partnerships group, Director of the School of Interior Architecture and Design Archana Myer and Lauren Gold, a member of the HOUZZ industry marketing team. Photo by Bob Toy.

    On Wednesday, September 30, representatives from HOUZZ—the leading platform for home remodeling and design—showed Academy of Art University’s School of Interior Architecture and Design students how to leverage the website now and in their careers. In addition to offering a vast array of inspiring design photos, HOUZZ is an online community where homeowners and industry professionals can connect and exchange information.

    Headquartered in Palo Alto, HOUZZ receives a whopping 35 million unique user views each month. Workshop leader Lauren Gold, a member of the HOUZZ industry marketing team, said 90 percent of residential users visiting the site own their own house. Of these, 76 percent are planning to renovate their current home or build a new one. Many HOUZZ users are searching for professionals to help them with such projects.

    Read More »

    School of Fashion’s Graduation Fashion Show named No.1 Fashion Industry Event in BizBash’s Top 100

    The high quality show tops the list for the second year in a row


    A shot of the finale at the 2015 Graduation Fashion Show. Photo by Anthony Rogers, B.F.A. photography.

    For the second year in a row, the School of Fashion’s Graduation Fashion Show at Academy of Art University was named in BizBash’s Top 100 List of Events in San Francisco, notably nabbing the number one spot as the Best San Francisco Fashion Industry Event for 2015. BizBash’s Top 100 list includes everything from meetings to parties to any industry gathering that has the most impact for that year. The list, which includes SF staple events such as Bay to Breakers, the Chinese New Year Festival and our Graduation Fashion Show, includes events from 10 categories such as sport events, benefits and parades as well as film and media events.

    Read More »

    Street Style: New York Fashion Week

    New York Fashion Week isn’t complete without some street style watching. Being that this was my first fashion week, I wasn’t sure what to expect or if there was a specific place to find the best looks, so I teamed up with my friend Sofala Ntweng-Knapton, who is a photographer from Southern California.

    Read More »

    Styling the Way to New York Fashion Week

    Lynee Ruiz is a hairstylist who started in the Milwaukee and Brookfield areas doing local test photoshoots and charitable runway shows, along with some smaller company photoshoots. She was working at Corenza Salon in Brookfield, Wis., when a spark lit inside of her.

    Friends of Ruiz have said that she simply stated to herself and her co-workers that she wanted to do hair for the next New York Fashion Week. Ruiz went on to do hair at some of the 2014/2015 NYFW shows. Having worked with Ruiz, I have personally experienced how she changes a set’s atmosphere. There is a seriousness and attention to detail, but it never distracts from her connection with the model or client. Her success derives from her spirit and determination.

    Read More »

    Open Doors, Open Minds


    Lee Anna Mariglia, Director of Communications at NewCo, training Academy of Art University blogging students on the latest apps for social media reporting. Photo by Stephan Rabimov.

    The concept of open art studios is at the heart of Academy of Art University’s talent showcase and community outreach. Inspired by the same principal of the Academy’s Open Studio for artists, author and former Wired magazine editor John Battelle founded NewCo—an unorthodox business conference where participants have a unique opportunity to meet, interact and experience companies in their native habitats.

    This month, across San Francisco and Oakland, 40 Academy students will have unprecedented access at NewCo 2015 Festival to Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Bloomberg, Wired, Uber, Betabrand and beyond.

    Read More »

    MPTV Grad's Podcast Helps Other Filmmakers

    Listen to the journeys of those working hard for their passion


    Image courtesy of Timothy Plain.

    Up-and-coming filmmakers often face numerous obstacles as they pursue their passion. Raising money, casting actors and handling rejection are just a few examples. It’s a world Timothy Plain, who graduated from Academy of Art University’s School of Motion Pictures & Television in 2001, knows well. And the reason he and fellow filmmaker Alrik Bursell recently launched a weekly podcast called Making Movies is Hard!

    The idea for the podcast came about after the two met through Slated, an online entertainment industry marketplace. They discovered that they both lived in the Bay Area and were interested in making the same types of science fiction-fantasy movies.

    “We got together and couldn’t stop talking,” said Plain, who is a full-time producer for local advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners. “We talked about our frustrations, what worked for us, what didn’t.”

    Read More »

    Into the Battle Arena with 'Game Changer'

    Alumna aims to pitch eSports reality show


    Image courtesy of Savannah Spencer.

    School of Motion Pictures and Television alumna Savannah Spencer had some outstanding opportunities right out of the gate with work on major reality TV shows like American Idol, The X Factor, MasterChef and The Bachelor. Now she’s starting her own company in hopes of pitching her own reality show that will capitalize on the highly popular eSports industry.

    “This is something that has been gaining popularity in the last couple of years,” said Spencer, an avid gamer herself. “It’s still sort of underground and I think the bubble is just about ready to burst.”

    Read More »

    School of Advertising Instructor Champions Creativity in Class and in New Book for Parents

    Kids these days. They’ve got movies, video games, iPads, some even have their very own smartphones. As more and more children turn to screens for entertainment, parents are wondering how they can engage their progeny in more practical, hands-on activities—and we’re not talking about touchscreens.

    A new book by Academy of Art University School of Advertising instructor Matthew Jervis, How to Entertain, Distract, and Unplug Your Kids: Tricks, Tools, and Spontaneous Screen-Free Activities (Skyhorse, 2015) offers fresh ideas (“An All-American Junk Drawer Challenge”), tried and true classics (“Shelling Beans”) and ambitious pursuits that get the brain cells firing (“Redesign Your Room!”)—all with the aim of keeping the offspring occupied without handing them the iPhone.


    'How to Entertain, Distract, and Unplug Your Kids: Tricks, Tools, and Spontaneous Screen-Free Activities' by Matthew Jervis. Courtesy of Matthew Jervis.

    Read More »

    Davis Guggenheim’s Documentary Reveals Ordinary Side of an Extraordinary Girl


    'He Named Me Malala': Director Davis Guggenheim and Malala Yousafzai in New York City. July 12, 2013 Photo by Bob Richman. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

    Malala Yousafzai became known around the world when, as a 15-year-old Muslim living in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in 2012, she was shot and severely wounded by the Taliban for daring to speak out against them. After a miraculous recovery, Malala was more determined than ever to fight against tyranny and advocate for girls’ education around the world.  

    Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim’s compelling new documentary, He Named Me Malala, delves into the lives of the courageous teenager (now 18) and her close-knit family. During a recent conference call with reporters, Guggenheim fielded questions about the movie and what he hoped to accomplish with it.

    Read More »

    Captivating the Runway

    During a stunning show, six collections created by Academy students took to the stage at New York Fashion Week


    NYFW at Skylight at Moynihan Station. Photo by Lenny Groysman.

    It was a sunny day in Manhattan when Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion students presented their collections at New York Fashion Week. It was also the school’s 10th anniversary showing at this prestigious event. This year, the Academy presented six collections designed by eight talented students.

    Read More »

    An Intensive Architectural Expedition Through Europe

    School of Architecture students see a staggering 100 buildings on two-week study abroad trip

    Students in Ruhr Museum Essen Germany

    Students on the longest free hanging escalator in Europe at the Ruhr Museum by Dutch architecture firm and Pritzker Prize winner OMA - Rem Koolhaas. (L–R) Yubo Shen, Chao Chen, Vincent Meade, Liu Chunyao, Misch Alvarez, Nick Manderscheid (AIB), Fikret Cihan Asena, Reid Schultz. Courtesy of Mark Mueckenheim.

    For graduate student Michelee Alvarez, the significance of last summer’s study abroad trip to Europe became clear during a walk through a wheat field on the very first day. “We get off the bus and we’re in the middle of a wheat field, all the wheat is dry and it’s quiet,” she recalled.

    After landing in Frankfurt, overnighting in Bonn and traveling by bus to a tiny German village, Alvarez found herself on a path leading to the Bruder Klaus Field Chapel. The tiny structure designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor marked the first stop on the School of Architecture’s tour of Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Led by Graduate Director Mark Mueckenheim, a group of eight students visited 100 buildings in two weeks. 

    “It transformed I think from just an academic tour to where we really felt like we were on a pilgrimage,” said Alvarez. “Walking through the wheat field you hear the buzz of the insects around you ... it was idyllic.”

    Read More »

    Making an Impression as a Leading Lady


    Camille Grenier. Courtesy of Camille Grenier.

    School of Multimedia Communications student and Parisian Camille Grenier has a flair for the dramatic. It’s a lucky trait for someone as furiously devoted to the art of acting as she is. Her zeal has paid off with a chock-a-block summer packed with film projects with crews ranging from Los Angeles to New York and one trailer done with accomplished director and Academy of Art University School of Motion Pictures & Television instructor Jack Perez in which she is cast in the leading role. 


    Read More »

    Academy Graduate Wins Gold at Student Academy Awards

    Alyce Tzue’s Soar was awarded Best Animated Film at the prestigious awards ceremony


    Alyce Tzue, winner of the gold medal in the animated film category for 'Soar,' during the 42nd Annual Student Academy Awards® on Thursday, September 17, in Beverly Hills. Photo by Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S.

    Since she began submitting her 3-D animated short Soar to top international film festivals last year, Academy of Art University graduate Alyce Tzue has accumulated an impressive collection of awards. But on September 17, she received an honor that was especially sweet: a gold medal from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for Best Animated Film at the 42nd Student Academy Awards. 

    “I definitely didn’t go in thinking we would win,” said Tzue, who credits more than 100 Academy of Art students and instructors for helping her with the film during the three years she worked on it while obtaining her M.F.A. in animation. “I got to watch all of the other films, and each had its own merits. It was definitely a toss-up for who would win gold.”

    Read More »

    Exploring the Failure of the System

    Andrew Garfield opens up about his new film, 99 Homes

    99 HOMES

    Andrew Garfield stars as Dennis Nash in Broad Green Pictures release, '99 Homes.' Photo by Hooman Bahrani/Broad Green Pictures.

    In 99 Homes, Andrew Garfield plays Dennis Nash, a single dad and an out of work contractor living in Florida that is desperate to hang onto his family home that’s in the process of being foreclosed on. When Nash and his family, young son Connor (Noah Lomax) and mother Lynn (Laura Dern), are evicted by merciless real estate broker Rick Carver (played meticulously by Michael Shannon), he finds himself in the position of needing to support his family, taking on whatever work he can get, even if it means crossing the line between doing what’s right and wrong to make ends meet. Directed by Ramin Bahrani, 99 Homes has been heralded at several film festivals since its debut at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. In September, the film was the recipient of the renowned Grand Prize Award at this year’s Deauville American Film Festival.

    Read More »

    'Academy Idol' Recap: Season 5 - Episodes 1 & 2


    Photo by Bob Toy.

    Episode 1: September 30, 2015

    Following a brief introduction from this season’s three hosts, Aundria Jolivette, Lorena King and Frank Diaz, season five of Academy Idol was underway. This year’s panel of judges, Keanna Moody, Alexis Moore, Elizabeth Sweeny, Matthew Cesca and Kiyomi Mitsuda, were on the edge of their seats waiting to see what kind of fresh talent they were about to encounter. In no time, the first contestant, Zachary Santos, was with Aundria Jolivette in the pre-performance interview anxiously awaiting his time in the spotlight.

    Read More »