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Posts Tagged ‘Pratt Institute’

Wherefore Art Thou X-Acto Knife? Kevin Stanton’s Cut-Paper Shakespeare Classics

romeo_juliet cover page
A cut above. The title page for the Signature Shakespeare edition of Romeo and Juliet, illustrated with hand-cut paper artwork by Kevin Stanton.

hamletKevin Stanton remembers the first time he picked up an X-Acto knife. “In an introductory Chinese class I once took, I obsessively chose the hardest pattern for a cut-paper project we did out of construction paper,” he says. “I was struck by how detailed I could be with that knife.” He ended up with a fish that shimmered with painstakingly cut scales and a taste for slicing paper, a technique he returned to during his freshman year at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. “I’d done a portrait in small strips of color-aid for my LCD class that was ridiculously meticulous, and I’m convinced the only reason I passed my drawing class was because my drawing professor liked it so much.”

Now a few years out of Pratt (he graduated in 2010 with a BFA in communications design), Stanton has honed his knife skills to the point that Sterling Publishing enlisted him to illustrate several volumes of its Signature Shakespeare series with his hand-cut paper artwork, which is reproduced in all its multi-dimensional glory in laser-cut tip-ins and scans. On Saturday, Stanton will be among the mix of established and emerging artists and designers participating in Pratt’s annual Alumni Art and Design Fair, where books, accessories, jewelry, paintings, and photography by more than 40 Pratt alumni will be up for sale. We asked Stanton to tell us about the process of taking a blade to the Bard, his experience at Pratt, and what he’ll turn his sharp eye (and sharp edges) to next.

What was your process like for illustrating new editions of the Shakespeare classics?
The process for the Shakespeare classics started with large lists of ideas for spot illustrations that were put together by Sterling’s Shakespeare expert (a Columbia professor, I believe). Then a ton of thumbnails and discussions about colors and sketches and ideas and revisions. Then better sketches and revisions. And basically by the end, I had two weeks to finish both pairs of books! It was crazy, but amazing.

What was the most challenging aspect of this project?
The sheer quantity of illustrations with the time, I think. But working with a group of people brings its own challenges too, but I think we cobbled something special together so it was worth it!
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Pratt to Offer Design Entrepreneurship Program

Sharpen up your business plans, design lovers, because Pratt Institute is launching a design entrepreneurship program. The three-week intensive, which gets underway June 3, will give designers the tools to successfully run their own businesses. “These days, entrepreneurship is a critical life skill that will allow a talented person to design and live the life they want,” says Debera Johnson, executive director of Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, which developed the new certificate program. Courses include “Business and Design,” “Turn Your Idea into a Product,” and “Staying Out of Trouble.” So who should fall out for this entrepreneurial bootcamp? Design professionals interested in starting businesses in fashion, product design, footwear, jewelry, design consulting, or social entrepreneurship. Learn more here.

Pratt Honors Thom Browne with Fashion Visionary Award

Thom Browne is on a roll. Last fall he received the Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Award for fashion, and a few months later First Lady Michelle Obama sported his necktie-inspired navy silk coat to the inauguration. Now Pratt Institute is honoring the designer with its 2013 Fashion Visionary Award, which in previous years has been bestowed on fashion greats including Ralph Rucci, Diane von Furstenberg, and Fern Mallis.

Browne will receive the award this evening at the Pratt fashion show, an annual affair that showcases the reliably remarkable thesis collections of seniors in the school’s fashion design program. “No American sportswear designer better represents the aspirations of Pratt fashion than Thom Browne,” said Pratt fashion department chair Jennifer Minniti in a statement announcing the award. “His highly conceptual runway presentations and impeccable craftsmanship have set standards for excellence and originality that push forward and inspire our fashion students to do the same.”