Alumni News

Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 by Allison Byers

There are people who like to paint their nails. And then there are the Floss Gloss girls.

To call Aretha Sack and Janine Lee--who founded the San Francisco-based brand in 2011, along with Monica Kim Garza--nail junkies would be an understatement. "I've been mixing my own nail polish colors since the '90s--I would go to Walgreens and could never find the colors I liked," explains the 25-year-old Sack, who started selling her one-off batches to fellow students at the California College of the Arts.

Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

Zena Adhami's 2012 Design MFA thesis presentation

During the height of the Arab Spring, Zena Adhami (MFA Design 2012) was watching from her apartment in San Francisco as revolution erupted back home.

She decided to make it the subject of her CCA graduate thesis: an examination of the specific media and technologies that were making it possible for her to stay informed from halfway around the world.

This time of upheaval also represented a culmination of Adhami's efforts to reconsider graphic design as a more politically engaged pursuit. "Every once in a while there's a degree of social consciousness among designers, but usually I feel that they're talking to themselves, and that's a failure of design intelligence," she opines.

Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 by Allison Byers

Kevin Wada's fashion illustrations and caricatures have a wry wit and authority mixed with a slick gay sensibility.

In Kevin's own words:
I was born in the greater Los Angeles area, raised in the San Gabriel Valley and went to college at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. I've been here in San Francisco for about five years and couldn't be happier.

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Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Allison Byers

Does the word laminate conjure images of rippled, split or peeling Formica counters? Yeah, me too. But a group of California College of the Arts students reversed my perception by translating the surface material into fluid, natural and innovative chair designs.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by Allison Byers

The executive director of Children's Fairyland, C.J. Hirschfield, probably doesn't listen to deadmau5, but standing in front of the park with mouse ears flashing colored lights on top of her head, she looked ready for a rave.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Molly Mitchell

CCA Glass Alumni Michelle Knox (BFA Glass 2000) and Mary B. White (MFA Glass 1982, BFA Ceramics 1970) are organizing a two-day California Glass Exchange to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the Studio Glass movement and contributions of California artists who have worked with glass. All events take place November 10–11, 2012 at The Crucible in west Oakland.

Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Graphic Design student Mai Ogiya interned at Chronicle Books and designed these two picture books for kids under the supervision of Michael Morris (Graphic Design 2004).

The Story of Christmas features intricate scissor-cut illustrations by Pamela Dalton to follow the story of the nativity from the appearance of the angel to the shepherds who came from the fields and the three wise men who followed the star to pay respects to their new king. The artwork is in the Pennsylvania-German folk-art tradition, with many highly details animals and figures.

Chloe, Instead is the first picture book by Micah Player, an illustrator living in Los Angeles who previously worked at Paul Frank Industries as a designer and creative director. The book tells the story of Molly, who always dreamed of having a sister just like her. But she got Chloe, instead. These two sisters are nothing alike: Molly loves to color with crayons. Chloe prefers the taste of wax. Molly loves to read. Chloe prefers to nibble a book's spine. Molly is frustrated! But then she realizes that maybe sisters aren't the ones next to you on the piano bench, they're the ones dancing to the music you play.

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Work from California
Moravian Gallery, 2012
Paperback, 64 pages, $5

Graphic Design faculty member Jon Sueda curated the exhibition this catalogue documents, and edited and designed the book. It features the work of numerous exceptional graphic designers who are based in California and make work that directly interprets or reflects upon California as subject matter. The featured designers include CCA faculty members Bob Aufuldish, Jeremy Mende, Martin Venezky, Eric Heiman, Christopher Simmons, Emily McVarish, Geoff Kaplan, Brett McFadden, and Scott Thorpe, and recent alumnus James Edmondson. Graduate Design faculty member Megan Lynch also contributed interviews to the publication. The show took place at the 25th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno in the Czech Republic in 2012.

To order the book, please email

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Littlest Birds Sing the Prettiest Songs
Chronicle Books, 2012
Hardcover, 128 pages, $24.95

The San Francisco-based artist Jennie Smith celebrates the folk song tradition with her illustrated renderings of 13 soulful songs, including time-honored Scottish ballads, classics by the likes of the Carter Family, contemporary favorites by Gillian Welch, and more. Smith’s work was featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. The book includes a foreword from contemporary folk legend Michael Hurley, complete lyrics, and playable tablature or sheet music for each song.

The book is designed by CCA alumni Jennifer Tolo Pierce and Brooke Johnson (Graphic Design 2003).

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones
Chronicle Books, 2012
Paperback, 192 pages, $14.95

Michael Morris (Graphic Design 2004) is a designer at Chronicle Books and art directed this companion to HBO's Game of Thrones, which exists in seven foreign editions and an Amazon-only special edition that includes a package and a second book that Morris designed himself.

The book gives fans new ways to enter the show’s fictional world and discover more about the characters and the plotlines. Hundreds of set photos, production and costume designs, storyboards, and insider stories reveal how the show's creators translated George R. R. Martin's best-selling fantasy series into the world of Westeros. It features interviews with key actors and crew members that capture scripted and unscripted moments from the first two seasons, as well as a preface by George R. R. Martin. It is bound in a lavishly debossed padded cover.