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Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • Exquisite Beauty is the first retrospective and publication to document the eye-dazzling ceramics created by Ralph Bacerra (1938–2008), a Los Angeles–based artist known for his innovative approach to surface embellishment. Curated by Jo Lauria, the exhibition features more than ninety of the artist’s finest pieces—dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been the focus of a major exhibition or publication.

  • Opening Reception for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

O-Tube

Toy Design Academic Excellence: Dustee Womack

Hometown?
Visalia, California


Why Otis?
I had a degree in business from SDSU [San Diego State University] and worked various jobs in marketing and sales. It was great experience but I was not creatively satisfied. While my husband was in Iraq with the Army, I took art classes at night at OCC [Orange Coast College] and focused on painting and ceramics. Much of my work looked “toylike,” and my painting teacher noticed this. He mentioned Otis’ program, and I immediately got excited! The moment I saw the toy design online that night, I was determined to go. My husband reenlisted in the National Guard in order to transfer his GI Bill to me so we could afford it.
 

Interesting things you did outside of school?
Making earrings; camping and hiking; bicycling; scavenging around swap meets to find cheap, weird, little treasures; and having all these adventures with my husband and my little puggle, Odashi.
 

Most influential class?
Preschool with Joyce Mesch, sponsored by Spin Master. Our class had a unique bond together and with our instructor. We worked as if we were at a toy company.
We shared ideas, provided feedback, collaborated and improved our concepts each week, and shared them with the Spin Master team. It was challenging, intimidating, and fun all wrapped into one. This class was the foundation of my confidence in my design ability.
 

Most influential faculty member?
Mike Andrews’ model-making knowledge opened my eyes to the idea that if you can think of it, there is more than likely a way to make it. I have always made little sculptures and dioramas but many times hit a wall when I didn’t know how to make them work. He also showed us the value of making a quick model to test out an idea. Jeannie Hardie, my games theory instructor, taught my most challenging class, and I worked myself to the bone. She told it like it is, was honest, and let us know where to improve. Learning game theory helped bring out the logical thinking I tucked away in my brain, and has helped me in all aspects of design. If you can explain how to play a good game well, you can explain almost anything.
 

Favorite place in L.A.?
The Barcade on Western has old arcade games for 25 cents, affordable drinks, and good music. . . .It’s a good “end of your day” treat!
 

Impact on your work/life?
I had been working for the last ten years and completed a business degree. At Otis, I learned how to make the work enjoyable.
 

What’s next?
I landed an amazing job as a designer for Disney Planes at Mattel. It is much more rewarding, challenging, and fun than anything I have ever done.
 

Something unusual/idiosyncratic?
I eat popcorn almost every night, make earrings out of almost anything, I am drawn (like a bug) to anything that glows, and I have a special voice that my dog understands.
 

Information/tips for future students?
Extend yourself past what’s offered in your major. Seek out the class that can help you improve. I knew I needed help with Photoshop and drawing, so I took special classes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and pinpoint where you need to improve.