Archive for October, 2009

Sonia Avila Leads Southwest Airlines Design Team
(5th in a series on Communication Design Alumni)

Sonia Avila (front left) and her Southwest Graphic Design team

Sonia Avila (front left) and her Southwest Graphic Design team (from left to right) John Jones, Quyen Dong, and Trent Duran.

“I’ll never forget how I got into design, “explains Southwest Airlines Graphic Design Team Manager Sonia Avilla (2003 BFA Communication Design) Southwest Airlines Graphic Design team manager. I read an article about design and came to talk to Carla Tedeschi in her then “cave “ office wedged in between restrooms in the architecture building. That was all it took.”

Avilla returned to Lubbock recently to assist Tedeschi, associate professor in Communication Design and the program’s coordinator, by critiquing some student projects and later giving tips to all Communication Design classes on how to land a job in the graphic design field.

She remembered about her SoA days.  “I lived at home and had a job, so going to college wasn’t terribly costly for me, “she flashes a smile. “I was a cartographer- several of us in my family were. I drew maps at first by hand and then later digitally.”

“Critiquing projects this morning reminded me of the old days here — some miserable; some great. I remember the camaraderie though – going out at all hours to eat and talk— struggling to learn in the college atmosphere. I miss some of those moments . . . and some are not design-related!”

That afternoon, Avilla presented “Yummy Work” starting with a simple, large sandwich going on to the meat, hold the mayo, don’t forget the pickle and more. Using the making of a sandwich as analogous to building a successful career, she explained decisions she had made in her own career, relating some triumphs and pitfalls while offering suggestions like 1) research companies – find out their customers and what they really do 2) network—no getting away from design people – look for them 3) tie everything together in your portfolio – letters, cards, leave behinds and 4) look professional – dress and smell appropriately for an interview – no gum!

Design Seniors Take 2nd and 3rd in Matador Video Challenge

Students from Assistant Professor Francisco Ortega’s Communication Design ART 4357 (Motion Graphics) class competed in the university-wide Matador Video Challenge promoted by the Office of the Provost, Quality Enhancement Plan XX and two of them are receiving awards for their entries.

Communication Design senior, Roxenya Grevel placed 2nd with her video titled “Diversity” and Iylana Putnam Nassiri, also a senior, placed 3rd with her video titled “Mutual Respect” (click here to read about another of Iylana’s recent success stories.).

Interestingly, Shane Nassiri, husband of Iylana Nassiri, took the 1st place award with a video titled “Excellence Is.” Iylana explains, “Shane is an Electronic Media and Communication major.  Both of us were in classes that required us to enter that contest, so we couldn’t help but compete against each other.”

To see more of the submissions, click on this Facebook page.

Professor Terry Morrow Begins His 41st Year

Terry Morrow with alumna, Cakky Brawley, during 40th Anniversary Studio Alumni Invational Exhibition

Terry Morrow with alumna, Cakky Brawley, during 40th Anniversary Studio Alumni Invitational Exhibition

Professor Terry Morrow begins his 41st year this semester as art professor at Texas Tech. It is a momentous time and an accomplishment that current students, faculty, and alumni applaud. He spent eight of those years additionally as Assistant Art Department Chairman, Art Department Chairman or Director when the school was called the  Art Department, and two-times as Interim Director at the SoA.  Morrow has always been ready to come forward as needed, which showcases his outstanding service and regard for students and the faculty. He is a perennial favorite professor with students and sought after as a colleague. He began our interview by telling me:

I guess I will continue to teach as long as I have health, still enjoy it, and feel like I have something left to contribute to the students. I used to get sons and daughters of former students when I did SMAP (Saturday Morning Art Program for high school students who are serious about art) but it’s grandchildren of graduates, now. I still enjoy it and as teachers, we owe it to be mentors – always.

In a recent interview with Scott Dadich, BFA Communications Design, 1999, the Creative Director of Wired magazine, he agreed that Morrow was a mentor. He said, “Terry Morrow was a great mentor and I started out in his SMAP program and was there every Saturday all through high school to learn. Later, when I went to Tech, Professor Morrow would look in on me to check how my classes were going. In his classes, I learned so much about drawing.”

Many students agree with Dadich and really treasure the times they spent in your classes. What made you decide to go into your field?

As a child growing up in Austin, I liked drawing and got to experience a program like our SMAP. It made the difference. Yes, it did inspire me to start SMAP here over 30 years ago.

In what ways has your art influenced you?

Art has been a part of me that always grows. It nurtures me. Being able to observe one’s world, aesthetic things— shapes, form, light— it’s a way of getting at who I am.  I chose Printmaking because of its relationship to drawing-latitude of the processes -painting and design together.

What changes have you noticed in teaching?

When I began here in 1968, I would say that only half the faculty was engaged in teaching. Now we have a good and caring faculty – no more unconscious state of routine “zombified” teaching.

How has your teaching changed?

Standards called for in NASAD  (National Association of Schools of Art and Design) helped me set a standard—not to go to automatic pilot. I combine some philosophy when I teach figure drawing, because in the beginning some students have a fear of drawing the human figure.  In this class, we watch old movies and observe great body movements. I know that it is connecting when in class, a student, Paloma Lidzy, sophomore, said, ‘ Professor Morrow, look at what you have done. I walk around campus, studying people now all the time and think, my – her calves are very pronounced!’

His next class that night was studying photography and the body, he explained to me. The class was going to study Paul Simon’s song “Kodachrome.” I’m humming it  to myself “Momma, don’t take our kodachrome— or Terry Morrow— away.”

Iylana Nassiri’s Magazine Spread Chosen for “Creative Quarterly”


Senior Communication Design student, Iylana Putnam Nassiri recently had a magazine spread selected on a competitive basis and showcased in Creative Quarterly, The Journal of Art & Design, Issue no. 16. Nassiri’s spread was developed in Carla Tedeschi’s (Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of  Communication Design) Publication Design Class last spring.

Creative Quarterly is a national publication that showcases work produced by important artists, photographers and designers. An emphasis is placed on the work of emerging artists and designers as well as practicing professionals in their quarterly competitions.

Nassiri explains, “Our assignment was to find a random article (I don’t even remember where I found this one) and then design a magazine spread for it. The article talks about the Golden Ratio in flowers, shells and beehives, so that’s why I used those images, and then I also took some mathematical diagrams of the golden ratio and used those in my design. The grid on which this design is laid out is also based on the Golden Ratio in rectangles.”

She selected this spread for the competition because “it was my favorite thing. I had worked on it all semester, and actually it may be my favorite thing I have ever designed!”