Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years!

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Video Podcast

My assignment was to make a video podcast about how I am affected by the economic crisis. It's a little rough because I had less than a week to make it, but enjoy.

Labels from Jess Klein on Vimeo.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Today I got heat in my house. I am sooo excited.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ramblings on my state of mind mid semester

For seven years I tossed the idea of graduate school back and forth in my head while I worked jobs in the museum world. People think that museum work is glamorous and have visions of you working next to masterpieces and talking theory all day long. However, the reality of my jobs were that I was used and mistreated for seven years because I was young and capable. My salary was so low that I could barely afford rent in combination with food. Thus the prospect of furthering my education to take me to a different place- a different field- a field that I was meant to work within was incredibly tempting. I prepared myself by taking continuing education classes and applied and ultimately was accepted into a program in New York. I felt so much excitement going into work and declaring my resignation to say that I was going to graduate school. Admittedly it was a bit weird because I had mentored so many people through the process of graduate school for museum studies that to leave the safety of my current office felt uneasy.

Although I had simultaneously applied for funding to the graduate program while I was applying for acceptance, I was offered a small fraction of the cost of education. This meant that in order to attend this school- the school that I had been watching from afar and admiring for seven years- I needed to take out 3 loans (2 government and 1 bank) and move into my parents house. I had not lived with my parents for close to a decade and moving back was exceptionally difficult. One of the big difficulties with moving back home was the fact that my parents had not expected me to return so they moved into a smaller house. I now live in the basement area of the house (which is over an hour and a half from school) with no door, no privacy and no heat. In order to get to my 9am class in time, I have to wake up and catch the 7am bus to the shuttle train to transfer to the train and then transfer once more. However, because I have such a long commute I have time to reflect on my work at school and I often wonder to myself- is this all worth it?

My classes this semester were adequate. Yes, they expanded my world and allowed me to think about new things. I was not in love with my teachers. I was not pushed to do work that I thought was particulary exceptional in any way and I struggled with the idea that I was doing "graduate level work" when my undergraduate counterparts sat right beside me in my classes. I see a few people singled out in the class and they get their names called and the choice opportunities for things to do within the department and I find myself feeling jealous. I think to myself, it's okay, you are not coming to the program with the skills that they have- but admittedly it is hard to ignore. I feel like I am just someone with some illustration skills who is easy to overlook. I like the sense of community that I feel amongst my peers and I think that social aspect of school is certainly worth it. However, I find it really difficult to become friends with people in the program when I spend over 3 hours of each day commuting, 8 hours of the week working, and then a large period of time studying. I hope that next semester will be different. I think that the first semester is difficult because you don't have a grounding in what's happening in the program. Moving forward I will have more confidence in my class choices and more enthusiasm for various activities that happen within the program.

I feel that the program is disorganized. It's not obvious how I can get specific mentoring or even what opportunities are available to me within the department. I find myself trying to learn what is happening and only by chance do I ever really hear about some amazing event that ties in with my interests. Additionally, I find that the ongoings between the Administration and students are very impersonal. I find it bizarre that I get emails notifying me to look at a website to learn about an invoice. I find it even more bizarre to get an email from the president of the school stating that because of the financial crisis funding for school may not be available next year. May not be available? How can something so ambiguous be sent out? I had worked for seven years and now am going through so much just to attend this program and now am going to have to attempt to take out a forth loan. Even just the prospect of this idea is daunting. So that is my upset with the Administration of the school. I just feel that I should be given the respect to receive these basic services.

This is a period of ambivalence for me. I know that I sound extremely negative and down. I feel that it's a struggle. I know that this is not a trade school and that I am going to leave Parsons with something more than the possibility of a future income, but I find it hard to accept inspiration when all day I think about how things are going to fall apart. Everywhere I look I see a label and to me that is equated with a price tag for something I need to purchase. This can drive you crazy. But it's not just money, it's getting the assurance that I will be okay, that I am doing creative work that is meaningful and that I am not just a number.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


another exciting assignment for my Animation Concepts class.

Weight from Jess Klein on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vote by SMS!

This article talks about how Estonia is going to be the first nation to allow voting by SMS. I'm really shocked that America has not found more accessible ways to allow people to vote. For goodness sake- we are still stressing to get to our specified "voting sites" on a friggin Tuesday! Tuesday. It's like we have to make a special effort to vote. If people really cared about democracy then they would make voting a more democratic process and begin to look into alternatives to allow people various entry points into the vote.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Storyboardin- Fishin story

Here is my storyboard for my final project for my Animation Concepts class. I want to create a "quiet" story that shows a simple loving interaction between a father and daughter.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

For the Birds

Here are some birds I made for a friends twitter php application.

Monday, November 10, 2008

For my Animation Concepts Class

We were all given pieces of this song and our teacher is going to put them together and make a rockin music video. :) Here is my 14 seconds

SS7_Jess Klein from Jess Klein on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Little Big Planet

In addition to be tired, frustrated, elated and all pumped from the 24 (which in my case was 30 + hour ) game jam, my group won an award. Here is a little press:

Little Big Planet rocks. You should play it. Even if you hate games.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I like paper and I like planes- Take1

I made this flipbook for my Intro to Animation Concepts class. Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mexican Band Austin TV video Shiva

I really love this music video. On the animators website you can see the video and the animatic and progress shots. It's really awesome. Plus, the music's pretty good. (click the picture to get to the link- I couldn't get the video to post).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Self Portrait

Today is my first day of grad school. I had to do a self portrait for my interface class that represents how I interface with the world. I took that to mean- at the moment.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm still alive

I survived Bootcamp! (barely)

Anyway, this video is pretty interesting. Enjoy

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Last Day of Work

Today is here. I had been counting down to this day and now that it's here I have butterflies in my stomach. Anyhoo... to celebrate endings and more importantly new beginnings, here is a video that I had never seen before but seems to be somewhat popular in the UK. It gives me so many ideas for clothing design.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Leaving my Job

I have mixed feelings about leaving my job on Friday. Of course I want to leave and start on my new trajectory and to leave the obnoxious- ulcer causing- office politics. But there is something kind of uncomfortable about leaving a place that you have worked at for three years.

I spend so much time at work. I wake up- take the train- work and sleep with very few activities in between. Just writing that makes me realize how I need this change of graduate school. However, you build up these relationships at work that you know would have never lasted in "the real world." You have the office gossiper, the guy into sports, the women who are in their late 40s who have never married and I wonder what am I to them? Am I the nice girl, the bubbly one? I'm really happy to move beyond this little bubble, but sort of sad because I know that I will never speak to these people again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

....being patient

I have not posted any of my art work because my computer died, rebooted and lost all her memory, as I said in an older entry. I have now passed the stage of crying in the Apple Store and humiliating my boyfriend. I am waiting for CS3 to arrive at my house. It is on back order and they said that it should get here at some point in the next 10 days. I am also counting down the days until I finish work and begin graduate school.

This patience thing is not really one of my better qualities. I am the kind of person who gets a gift for someone and hands it to them a week before their birthday. I get excited and emotional. Yes, I am a dramatic, emotional person, however, I don't think that's such a horrible thing. I often hear people at work refer to women as being emotional or sensitive with a clearly negative implication. It's unfair for us to equate feelings, emotion and sensitivity with specifically women and it's equally as unfair to think of these as negatively charged words. I think that my feelings and emotions define who I am and influence my work. Wouldn't you want a partner who is sensitive? emotional? I often feel embarassed by my obvious feelings about things, when really I should re-claim my feelings and be proud that I am not socially inept.

Eleanor Roosevelt said that "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." That is a comforting and enabling sentiment. I hope that you, friendly reader, can feel free to express your emotions as I do, and if you can't I highly recommend watching Grave of the Fireflies. If you don't cry after seeing this, then you are a heartless, soul-less person who needs to go to therapy.

So I am going to push through the next two weeks- being patient and emotional. I am scared, nervous, happy, hopeful, anxious and ready. Moving out of Brooklyn, quitting a secure job and spending way too much money for graduate school all at once is a big deal. I think that I can get through it though. I am so thankful for having supportive family and friends. I'll try to keep Eleanor in my mind as I get through the next two weeks!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Today my bus was delayed by twenty minutes because a tree got stuck in the back door. This was after waiting 30 minutes for the bus to arrive after my 1 hour train ride. Yesterday my bus was delayed by 20 minutes because a handicapped passenger needed to use the wheelchair lift and my bus driver couldn't get the chair to lift, because he said, that the bus was so old that not all these gears work. Again, this was after the long commute on the train. Luckily, we were able to get the man in the wheelchair on the bus. I am feeling a little frustrated with the commute. I am sure that this won't be so bad when I start school in September- but until then, I am on the train at 7:19am and get home around 7:30pm every day. I know that I am doing this to save money, but geez, this is really killing me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


"You have no more files, mam."
Those were the words that the so called "genius" iterated as I continued to have my meltdown. Mam might as well have been substituted for "crazy woman who cried in the apple store and now I have to deal with."

No files from my hard drive were recovered. That means I have no applications, no documents, no music, and... no art. It truly pains me to say that I have lost my portfolio. There were so many opportunities for me to save the files and be proactive just in the event that this situation would happen. Now, I must live with the fact that a certain part of my artistic record has been eliminated.

As an artist living in this age of computers, many of my fleeting thoughts are momentarily captured and then deleted. This is an unfortunate thing, because some of my best creative ideas or hints of an idea come from doodles on a train ride or chicken scratch at a restaurant, and now this world of spontaneity is dismissed. I create something, and then decide that I don't like it for one reason or another, and then I immediately send it to the "Trash". Because of the categorization system forced upon us within the computer, I am quick to judge my work as "save" worthy or "trash". There is no gray area. No room for experimentation. No time for letting something rest and returning to it later. The immediate nature of the delete button allows me to remove something that at one time was so precious to me. However, now, as I mature as an artist using the computer as my vehicle for expression, I have fallen into a systematic methodology for producing artwork the same way that I produce email. I create, I decide if I like it, I delete it or send it. Obviously a part of me feels that now that I acknowledge this pattern, I need to work against it and I don't know if I can. A computer is a tool. Yes, but it is more than just a tool, it is something that we feel more connected to than a paintbrush or a pen because it not only allows us to create our art, but it permits us to connect to the public and private sphere of consumers. Sometimes that consumer is a family member or friend, and at other times it is a client.

This computer has allowed me to please people. I have created designs for public and private consumption. The one thing that I could have done to care for myself and my work, I did not do. I did not back up any of my files. I feel so helpless and a little lost. I don't know how to explain the connection that I feel with my artwork. My work is like an old friend, and the longer that I look at it, the more I can give to it- to take our friendship to another level. Now, I will not be able to return to those files. Of course, now I will not be able to represent myself by my artwork from the past few years.

If only I had given the care to my digital art that I do to my work on paper, this situation would never had happened. I need to allow myself the freedom to create as purposefully or spontaneously as I do offline. This is difficult to say, because I love the crispness and professional-quality of work that I do digitally, however, in a way it is more important to have those moments of messiness. In these moments, something can change. A mistake can turn into a new idea and that will lead to a new project.

I am hurting. I don't really know what it is that I have lost specifically. This event coincided with the sale of my grandmothers house. Now that she has passed away, I feel this overwhelming sense of loss. Those feelings of a lost friend that I felt when my grandmother died are being rehashed in my mind, similarly to the loss of my art. In my museum, we talk about impermanence a lot. I understand the concept, however, I am not there yet. I am in the stage where I need to appreciate what I had and have lost and feel that pain of knowing that I will never see my art or my grandmother again. Maybe soon I will feel a sense of renewal or freedom from my past, but right now this pain, this is something I need to feel.