Kayla Areglado

Communication Design Student, 2022

Cross-Course Reflection

I came to New York from Manila, Philippines. I grew up in a family that consisted of many businessmen and women, two three doctors, and an engineer, and in a conservative, close-minded culture where a career in the arts is unconventional. I applied to seven universities in total, four of which are in the Philippines and three in the United States. Out of the seven, I was told to apply to only one for the arts, while everything else had to be a STEM related major – now here I am, in one of the best design schools in the world.


I started my education at the New School for a BFA degree in Communication Design. Before coming to Parsons, I only ever had experience creating digital artwork, so I knew that this first year would be a challenge for me. Throughout my first year, I found myself discovering things about myself, my beliefs, and my interests that I never thought would matter to me. Being in the US and at the New School, I feel like I have never been so aware of my race, my ethnicity, and my social background. My past projects involved themes that alluded to diaspora, and I always thought about where I come from when I conceptualize my work.


This past academic year, I also discovered my love for making tangible objects, and not just digital work that would remain on a screen or be printed out. This time last year, I never would have thought that I would enjoy working with wood or clay more than drawing or painting. I’m glad that the first year curriculum gave me the opportunity to work in different media because it really opened up my imagination and my way of thinking. Instead of thinking of a project in one specific medium, I think of it in a multi-disciplinary way, where I try to incorporate what I know about different materials and making processes to come up with an end product that is more conceptually and technically complex.


One of the things I consider as a highlight from this past school year was my Drawing & Imaging final project and the entire process that was involved in making it. We started by creating magnified object drawings, and then photocopied these and cut them up to create a collage that reflected one of the Gestalt principles. We then scanned and digitalized these collages to manipulate the colors. Our final project was supposed to incorporate one of the Gestalt principles and our collage. The process that led to this final project involved a lot of smaller steps that counted as projects, and each step took a lot of time and patience to create. As someone who never really did technical drawing and art, I felt like it took a lot more time than usual to get to a finished product in this class. Each small process project resulted in a lot of frustration, but they all made me gain more and more confidence in my technical skill. I started the class feeling like my art skills were inferior to others, but this was one of the projects that changed the way I saw my art and my making process. The object drawings made me realize that I do actually have some kind of technical skill that I was never able to practice before. The collage (both hands on and digital) took a lot of patience and perseverance to complete, and it helped me find ways of motivating myself to push through in order to find fulfillment. The final project itself is something that I’m really proud of because of the time and effort I put into making it. I remember pulling several all-nighters, having cramped hands, and having my desk be covered in colors because I hand-colored the whole thing with pastels.


The second highlight from this school year is my final project for my Spring elective course called Drawing Through the Making Center. I think it’s the perfect way to end the school year because it is a result of my new-found love for materials and making. For the course, we made use of the different labs/shops in the Making Center, and our final project was supposed to be a work that made use of what we learned throughout the semester that responded to any piece we saw at a trip to MoMA. I wanted it to be a piece that I could keep for myself and a piece that would show my progress throughout the year.


In the coming years, I hope to be able to make use of different materials and making techniques and combine this with the things I’ll learn in Communication Design. I also hope that I can further reflect on myself and bring that into my art.




aregk337 • May 13, 2019

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