Category Archives: design

What it looks like to fail a masters candidacy review

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ W. Churchill After spending an incredible amount of time last week finishing all preparations and submitting all of my work for my masters candidacy review I learned last evening that after the hundreds of hours I have spend […]

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September 25, 2010 - 5:16 pm

Lily - That can’t be right! you are one of the most talented and accomplished woman I know. A real inspiration to all of us. What that review board doesn’t know is how you bend over backwards to help your students, no matter how busy you are. Also they don’t know how passionate you are about everything you do. I think that’s one of the problems with an online program. You are so much more than the sum of your projects (although they do stand by themselves). Where do you go from here? Will you be able to tweak a few things for those extra points?

September 25, 2010 - 5:50 pm

Amanda Kern - Lily I really don’t know “where” I go from here. I have only one more opportunity to submit my work for review to continue with my MFA. We can do this at either week 7 of this quarter (just over 5 weeks away) or during the next quarter I’m enrolled, which given the fact that I will take time off to have the baby that will not be until the summer. I will take the advise of my faculty adviser, review committee and any other faculty who care to offer me insight that will assist me in being better prepared next time around. Though to be honest, the subjective nature of this entire process has left me questioning if I truly need to further my design education knowing that I have proven myself in the industry and as an educator. Perhaps there is some other plan that God has that I am still unaware of. But to be truthful I just wish to finish this chapter in my life in order to continue to passionately pursue my career and also my photography & non-profit endeavors. Who knows there may be other big opportunities ahead that will follow once my education is behind me. More importantly I just truly wish to give all this time I’ve been spending in school back to my family. They are the ones who make the ultimate sacrifice in supporting my educational and career goals and as I experience this failure I am reminded and also fearful of how much time slips away from us and before I know it the kids will be grown and I begin to wonder how much I or they will have to remember beyond my time immersed in either books or my computer pursuing my studies.

January 9, 2011 - 12:05 pm

Meg - Dear Amanda,
I found your site today, and could not help but to comment. I failed my 45 hr review last March, and have been working non-stop at improving my skills via any mode possible. The crazy thing is, you are not the first person I have discovered failed just like myself after no indication from professors or advisers. I contacted my adviser asap and explained my situation. I was basically told that I should have known that even though I received As on EVERY project I submitted, I should be better.

So- know that there are others out there that have gone through the exact same thing. I wish you good luck in your future endeavors, and cross your fingers I pass my second time around (next friday). Keep On Keeping On- You can do it.

October 31, 2014 - 3:09 pm

Michele - Hi Amanda,

I came across your blog today after failing my graduate review this morning and feeling a lot like you described. I was told that I lack most of the basic fundamentals of graphic design, though I do have a great work ethic and passion for learning – and despite receiving all As and Bs thus far in my studies. I am feeling extremely discouraged and feeling like I want to just give up on the program all together. I know this was a few years ago now and just wanted to see if you had better luck your second go-around with the review and if you had any helpful words to share with someone going through it right now. Hopefully you still check this and are able to see this comment, but I’m certainly glad to know I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing!

January 31, 2015 - 6:34 pm

Amanda Kern - Michele,
I did take a second attempt – but before I got too far into the process I had to stop…my 3rd child was born with spina bifida – and has had a lot of medical needs so it was not in my best interest to continue – and to be honest, I really wasn’t fond of their process, even with the revisions.

December 7, 2017 - 10:42 pm

Zomotoors - The general position of each person is composed from of a large number conditions, among which health. Types well-being presented complex system, on which not only common well-being depend, but also working capacity of the organism.

Impossible understand and explore health, types health, and also other components of the healthy strong organism, if thoroughly not go into the next concept. So, the health of a person, to date, is called standard and stable psychosomatic state of the individual.
constant heartburn and gas

My letterpress business cards

“Your identity and your success go hand in hand. Many people sacrifice their identities by not doing what they really want to do. And that’s why they’re not successful.” ~Lila Swell Many of you were here last fall when I began to establish my business and brand myself. I suppose I’m not the typical photographer. […]

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July 1, 2010 - 6:33 pm

Stacy - I love it, it’s beautiful! I’m so excited for you :)

July 1, 2010 - 6:35 pm

Lisa Macon - My mom, Brian and I were exclaiming over your business card Monday night because we’d never seen anything like it before. I really enjoyed reading about how it was made! I appreciate it even more now and I totally understand why you went with letterpress. Thanks for sharing/educating.

July 1, 2010 - 8:22 pm

Cecilia - I absolutely love your business cards Amanda. They are full with design and so much love. A true artist you are to follow your gut and making a statement. Thank you for sharing this adventure with us.

July 2, 2010 - 10:56 pm

Daissy Linares - They look Amazing A!!!
I still remember showing you the first round of concepts and sharing how exciting it would be if down the road they were letter-pressed…!

Once again, thank you for making me part of this process :]

PS, I can’t wait to touch them!!!!

July 5, 2010 - 1:36 pm

Catherine Lawrence - Thank you for sharing the process! Brooks was correct that I would enjoy seeing him at work..he has explained the process many times and I still couldn’t visualize what he was actually doing, (except for the part about getting his hands caught in the machines!) What beautiful cards! What an excellent way of expressing the passion of your vocation.
Catherine Lawrence (the Letterpress operator’s mama).

August 11, 2011 - 10:57 pm

stacey - love the cards :) how can i reach daisy? can’t find anything on her website. please email me her contact info if you can. thanks!

August 16, 2011 - 11:41 pm

Daissy - Stacy, for any design inquires, please contact me at
Thx in advance for your interest!

December 5, 2014 - 3:53 pm

Ana Lugo - Hi my name is Ana Lugo an i have worked for Soolip about 16 years but am planing to move to florida by june 2015 and Wanda Wen the owner she wants me to do a research on letterpress business to see if i move i can still working for her from florida am in charge of the production department i order paper send it to be letterpress and do assembly if the job needs it, so basically am looking for a printer that can just do the letterpress for us we can supply with paper and art is this something you do for other small business? or is just to whole sale? do you have a standard prices?, or Do you give a different quote for every job? i will appreciate any information.
Thank you

Ana Lugo
Director of Production
Tel. 310.360.1512
Fax 310.360.0548
8687 Melrose Ave Suit BM-06
West Hollywood Ca 90069

100 logo sketches!

The new year is well underway and I find myself immersed in staying busy, as usual. I’m about two weeks into teaching courses at Valencia, 3 weeks into a new quarter full of new classes at SCAD while I continue to make up 2 courses from last quarter too. In one of the courses I’m […]

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January 22, 2010 - 12:43 pm

David Wood - 18. The Logo, possibly with different text.
73. Elegance.
83. Good form, could be built upon.
3. Good form, could be built upon.
1. Looks like your logo, and is good but maybe too similar?

My favorite would have to be 57′s “h” and I would look at more ways to incorporate that style, but that’s just me and my opinions. Good stuff, glad I could sneak a peek at your process. Good luck on the assignment.

January 22, 2010 - 12:52 pm

K. Mascarello Simari - wow! great ideas!!! thats tough to come up with 100 different ideas! wow! i got to say, i am loving number 38.

January 22, 2010 - 12:56 pm

K. Mascarello Simari - if you made #38 more into kufi style calligraphy with symmetrical and even design, i think it will look awesome!! google kufi calligraphy, you will see what I mean, youre like almost there with that sketch.

February 27, 2011 - 2:33 am

Douglas Bonneville - Do you have an example of the finished logo online? I’d love to see were this ended up!

December 9, 2012 - 8:31 pm

Jim Rush - Hey Amanda, I just recently found an interest in font sketches, and this collection really thought me a lot about the creations of fonts and logos.


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