Events
  • You can easily spot The Little Friends of Printmaking in a crowd—their inky hands and clothes are a dead giveaway. Their work is just as distinctive. JW & Melissa Buchanan first made a name for themselves through their silkscreened concert posters, but soon branched out into further fields, designing fancy junk for whoever would pay them money. In addition to their work as illustrators and designers, they've continued their fine art pursuits through exhibitions, lectures, and artists’ residencies, spreading the gospel of silkscreen to anyone inclined to listen.

  • "In publishers’ terms, Shock and Awe – a hefty, intellectual book about glam rock – is timely." - Jude Rogers, The Guardian

  • Solmaz Sharif

    Mar 01| Lectures
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    Solmaz Sharif’s first collection, Look, was recently published by Graywolf Press and is a 2016 National Book Award finalist. Her poetry has appeared in the New Republic, Granta, Poetry, and other journals. Her first collection, Look, was recently published by Graywolf Press. A former Stegner Fellow, she is currently a lecturer at Stanford University and lives in the Bay Area.

  • Join us on Thursday, March 2nd for an evening of conversation and exploration! Connect with fellow alumni, see friends, tour our new buildings, and meet President Ferguson at this Alumni Night reception. It will be a casual and fun evening and we hope you can join us. 

    The evening includes:

    A beer and wine reception 

    Introduction of the new Director of Alumni Relations Phil Scanlon

    Campus tour

    Visits to the Anna Craycroft exhibit at the Ben Maltz Gallery and Millard Sheets Library

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  • Brendan Folwer was born 1978, Berkeley, California and lives and works in Los Angeles. His solo exhibitions include New Portraits (2017), Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, Portraits (2016), Mathew, New York and New Pictures, Six Sampler Works, and Benches (2015), Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles.

  • One of two "Show and Tell" hands-on book events held inside the exhibition Tuning the Room in the Ben Maltz Gallery, featuring selections from the highly regarded Millard Sheets Library Artists’ Books Collection.

     

  • Paul Lisicky

    Mar 08| Lectures
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    Paul Lisicky’s memoirs include The Narrow Door, a New York Times Editors' Choice, and Famous Builder. He is the author of a collection of short prose entitled Unbuilt Projects, and the novels The Burning House, and Lawnboy.

O-Tube

Toy Design student experience

Sep 13, 2013
Nick Hayes
Spotlight Category: College
My experiences in Toy Design

- Nick Hayes, Game Designer at SpinMaster

I was 30 years old, married with one kid, and had just about finished six years in the Army when I realized what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to design tabletop games. I had spent my entire childhood surrounded with games, playing and designing them. By my mid-twenties I had forgotten about my passion for games, but it was coming back in a big way. After years of doing what was necessary to get by, it was high time to start doing what I wanted. Time to get that dream job. So I began to research what it would take to become a toy or game designer. I eventually learned about Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, one of only two schools that offers a bachelor’s degree in Toy Design (the other is the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC). As soon as Uncle Sam let me loose, I moved the wife and kid to LA and registered for classes. That was four years ago. My time at Otis just ended this year and I’d like to tell you about the experience.

The Toy Design program at Otis is absolutely fantastic. Over the last four years I designed action figures, vehicles, plush, preschool toys, board games, and fashion dolls. I learned model making, package design, marketing, juvenile anatomy, child psychology, and game theory. I spent countless hours every semester developing my drawing skills. I learned 3D modeling. I improved my speaking and presentation skills by regularly presenting toy concepts to classmates and faculty. I was surrounded by like-minded, enthusiastic, and extremely talented people who kept me going when the sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon and I still hadn’t finished rendering my last few drawings.

But the experience was much more than just what I did. The curriculum and faculty made up the rest of it. Every single Otis Toy Design faculty member, from the part-time lecturers to the chair of the department, is either currently working in the toy industry or a toy industry veteran. Some of them are true veterans, designers who made the toys I played with as a child (and believe me, it was awesome getting to meet and learn from these guys). This means that every class is borne from first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day business at places like Mattel, Hasbro and others. This isn't theory, this is the real deal. And I wouldn't have known that if the Toy Design department hadn't bent over backwards to make sure every student in my class had an internship at a major toy company. I took an internship at Spin Master right after my sophomore year, and that experience more than any other made me realize that toy design is probably the best career out there. I would even go as far as to call it the bee’s knees.

So where am I now? I finally got that college degree (and two more kids). But best of all, I just accepted an offer as a game designer at Spin Master. That’s right, I landed my dream job. And I can tell you right now, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for those stellar four years at Otis.

 

Orginal article posted at Chitag.com, May 25, 2013.

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Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist