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Lex Tan's Portfolio
Transcript of Lex Tan's Portfolio
B.B.S. Communications (PR/Advertising)
Minor: Computer Science
(Keywords according to Strengthsfinder by Tom Rath)
I have a great desire to learn and continuously improve. I equate education — formal and informal — with understanding more about something today than I understood about it yesterday. After all, it is important to acquire additional knowledge and gain new skills.
I possess a healthy fascination of ideas and ways of application through "connecting the dots" Logical and reasonable, I spontaneously reduce mechanisms, processes, proposals, ideas, or formulas to their basic parts and how they interrelate to create results. I take pleasure in designing innovations - things no one has ever considered. I strive to be recognized as open-minded and respectful, and to choose words which force people to stop and think in new ways.
I am grateful for any knowledge proffered to me. I enjoy conversations, media, internet, books and classes, anything which routinely deepens my understanding on topics that pique my interest or curiosity. New knowledge is to be applied and therefore consistently produce topnotch results to surprise often. I do well in group discussions, and have a knack for gathering and storing facts which serve to help me share any sudden insights with others.
I believe in few coincidences, and so I make the effort to find connections when meeting a new person or trying a new experience. My fascination provides me with an interesting assortment of people in my life, which I assert, comes into my life for a definite purpose. This allows me openness to participate in many events with people from all walks of life.
I seek out the roads not taken, and enjoy helping others envision what can be accomplished in the coming months, years, or decades. I am resourceful and enjoy entertaining ideas about the best ways to reach a goal, increase productivity, or solve a problem.
Abraham Maslow says, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.'
"Learn to regard the souls around you as parts of some grand instrument. It is for each of us to know the keys and stops, that we may draw forth the harmonies that He sleeping in the silent octaves."
M. A. Rosanoff: "Mr. Edison, please tell me what laboratory rules you want me to observe."
Edison: "There ain't no rules around here. We're trying to accomplish somep'n!"
— Thomas Edison
“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.“
- Clay P. Bedford
Top Executive of Kaiser Industries
Creative without strategy is called 'art.' Creative with strategy is called 'advertising.'
- Jef I. Richards
Advertising & Marketing Communications Expert & Professor
In addition to being vocalist for the band, Violet Blackout, I was also in charge of brainstorming and designing a desktop wallpaper for the campaign, "Spread The Blackout". The desktop was propagated through social media sites, and at one point, we walked into a cafe and saw a table of fans who had downloaded and displayed the wallpaper on all their iPads and laptops.
This flyer won a district-level Silver ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation in 2011. The flyer was done in class after we were made to research and build an advertising campaign around a automotive brand of our choice.
The big idea for my campaign was "Freak Show" which targeted young working adults, higher up on the social ladder. It meant to convey attraction, exoticism, a flare of danger/forbidden fruit, and affordable luxury. The campaign included ideas which incorporated Las Vegas, NV (Notably the MGM Hotels) into it's video, guerilla marketing (including an "exotic car show" and "exotic car race" in Victorian Era theme).
Chinese New Year Event Flyer
As Graphic Design Director of the International Student Fellowship (ISF), I was in charge of decoration as well as promotional flyers for the 2012 Chinese New Year Dinner (Our largest annual event) The posters were printed up on A3 size poster paper, and displayed a week prior to opening ticket sales.
On the day of the event, I had approximately an hour and a half to set up all decorations of the event location. My team of 4 not only survived the time crunch, but did a wonderful job of setting up table centerpieces, wall decorations, hanging lanterns, traditional symbols of the festival. The use of paper crafts and pooling of resources, ensured that we successfully provided a cheery, welcoming atmosphere for our guests, under a $30 budget.
NISSAN CAR BUS STOP
DATE: November 14, 2011
PREPARED BY: Lex Tan
Create a bus stop which provides information on a Nissan car while providing commuters with a glimpse of “Why a Nissan is better.”. This will provide a service to the public as well as encourage them towards the practicality of such a purchase.
TYPE OF SERVICE: Nissan is a car manufacturer. Decision to purchase is based on need, want, information provided and affordability.
Young, urban commuters. Targeting bus lines near colleges as well as downtown offices.
Informing and introducing commuters to the comforts and affordability of a personal automobile while providing them with some comfort after a long day at work or a cold morning.
POSSIBLE CREATIVE STRATEGY:
Bus stops should be built emulating a Nissan car model which provides a mock interior, with all it’s amenities labeled and information provided, and includes seats and a heater during the cold season (Fall/Winter). There should also be information provided comparing the costs of a car and commuting, both monetary, time, and comfort. Then, there should be provision of contact information, or a way for a service assistant to assist the potential customer.
Informative, Responsible, Sleek, Smart.
Pie-A-Chi Mailbox Stuffers
I stood in as graphic designer for an on-campus fraternity, Zeta Chi (ZX) in 2011. I had a less than half a day to help them design mailbox-stuffers to promote a fundraiser for Call & Response. The following artwork was the final product, which was mailed out to the entire campus.
NISSAN TRAVEL PACKAGE
DATE: November 13, 2011
PREPARED BY: Lex Tan
Integrate the use of a Nissan car into vacation packages to appeal to smart, young travellers. This is a version of “test-driving” through the renting of vehicles.
TYPE OF SERVICE:
Nissan is a car manufacturer. Consumers spend a lot of time, energy and thought on the practicality and affordability before making a purchase.
Young people who travel on a budget or fly Business class.
Allows consumers to have a personal experience with a Nissan automobile, while providing them with an incentive to save on travel.
POSSIBLE CREATIVE STRATEGY:
Have a Nissan Rental “Area” to allow for seamless travel from airports, also work with specific airlines to allow for consumers to earn miles or save money on travel packages. Each car should have informational labels or have a certain promotional voice recording to provide the driver and his/her passengers with information on the vehicle. Also, should integrate with social media to provide information on their feeds about their thoughts, as well as about the car they just drove.
Personal, Savvy, Intelligent, Sleek, Efficient.
NISSAN PARTY BUS
DATE: January 26, 2011
PREPARED BY: Lex Tan
Have a strong brand presence in the midst of our target audience, while providing a service to promote responsible driving. Also allow for incentive and easy access to test-drive a Nissan and increase number of dealership visits.
TYPE OF SERVICE:
Cause-marketing, and brand awareness. Supporting “Responsible Fun”.
The Multicultural Millennial on campuses and seasonal hot markets (Spring Break destinations.)
Create a marketing buzz about Nissan’s stand on having fun responsibly.
POSSIBLE CREATIVE STRATEGY:
Arrange for “Nissan Party Buses” which will make stops at campuses to pick up Spring Breakers along a travel route to popular Spring Break destinations. The students will need to sign up for a limited number of spots ahead of time, but also leave space for the first 5 “at the door” party-goers who are ready to get on the bus and go. The Buses will also travel back at the end of the week to drop the students back off safely. Once at the allocated Spring Break destination, a Nissan stall can be set up for e-mail sign-ups, celebrity performances and also a chance for Spring Break gamers to show off their skills in a virtual “test-drive”, as shown in Nissan GT Academy. This should also help promote the ongoing Nissan GT Academy show. In conjunction with the stall, the Buses can drive around a specified route to pick up or drop off party-goers. The Buses and stall should also give away promotional items and information.
One idea would be to hand out “car keys” to go visit a dealer (along the route on campuses and at Spring Break destinations), and they may test-drive a car IF they pass a breathalyser. Of course, out of all the keys, 3 keys will be real, and the participant may actually have a chance to drive a brand new Nissan car off the lot.
(The entry level Nissan Versa - also touted as a good road trip vehicle, and is in line with the spring break theme is recommended.) Videos and photos are encouraged because most Spring Breakers would appreciate having memories of a good time.
Energetic, Responsible, Fun, Exciting.
DATE: January 26, 2011
PREPARED BY: Lex Tan
Reach the target audience by supplementing and standing behind a widely-supported cause on Sept 22, “World Car Free Day”, by having their e-NV200 serve as an entirely electric, zero-emission “taxi” service in the city/surrounding suburbs during this day OR host another such event.
TYPE OF SERVICE:
Cause-marketing, and brand awareness. Supporting “Sustainable Transport”.
The Multicultural Millennial in targeted hot markets/surrounding suburbs
Appeal to the green trend and create a marketing buzz.
POSSIBLE CREATIVE STRATEGY:
Autoline Detroit reports on New York City announcing that Nissan had won its "Taxi of Tomorrow" competition with a modified version of its NV200 commercial van. The same van that is scheduled to be entirely electric and has already been tested in Japan, Europe, China, New York, etc. It is coined the e-NV200 Concept. This event should be announced and marketed through mail/social media and target specific areas. Also, having people have the chance to win prizes/subway coupons by answering trivia about green transportation, and hand out informational flyers.
Energetic, Informational, Green.
These are some examples of some creative ideas I had on an advertising campaign for Nissan.
The Write Stuff
These are some samples of my writing as Staff Writer/ Opinions Editor for The Brand campus newspaper.
Homecoming, Why Bother?
by Lex Tan
From University of Central Florida’s splashy pool run, Ohio State University’s homecoming cow, to Texas’s “good ol’ American football”, homecoming celebrates traditions that uniquely represents each campus and it’s members, both past and present. But even as stoically American this annual event is, is it worth all the hoop-la, or is it another tradition on it’s way to becoming obsolete?
The birth of homecoming as the tradition of welcoming back alumni was accredited to the University of Missouri by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Athletic Director, Chester Brewer invited alumni to inaugurate the new location of their football field and “come home” for an annual game against the University of Kansas in 1911. It was a tremendous success, drawing over 10,000 alumni and fans for a weekend of speeches, rallies, dances and a parade, with the big game as the weekend's center point. However, it has to be noted that the annual Harvard-Yale game has been inviting alumni to return home for The Game since the 1870’s.
Homecoming has been a way for alumni to reunite and reminisce at their Alma maters as well as connect with their younger doppelgangers. It is also a chance for younger students to network and seek advice from (hopefully) wiser post-grads who have had common experiences. Also, modern day homecomings have their lifelong moments, which can touch the hearts and souls of all present. For example, Mariah Slick, a Down Syndrome victim was just recently crowned homecoming queen of Azle High School, Texas. It was a huge surprise to her and her family, and was a large show of support from her peers.
However, reunions have their downside, and homecoming is no small feat. Many people have already been sucked into the “Competition of Life”, and will begin to compare themselves to their fellow alumni. Better job, more impressive spouse, forget the Freshman 15, the Degree’d 30 is weighing in on every one's mind, these thoughts inevitably drift through one’s mind when it comes to homecoming. This unhealthy competition has lead to all kinds of shenanigans. The Huffington Post reports a lawsuit from post-grads against their mother regarding “bad mothering”, including low homecoming dress budgets.
After having scanned through hundreds, if not thousands of personal accounts of homecoming, it seems that homecomings can be both good or bad experiences, but definitely one that will be remembered. But whether it is celebrated all over campus in a relevant and meaningful way is completely up to the campus and it’s members. So as students of Hardin-Simmons University, let us take the time to celebrate the moments, past and present, this homecoming.
by Lex Tan
One of the major wind farms in the United States, Horse Hollow Wind Farms, Texas is found just 26 miles outside of Abilene, Texas. It contributes 736 Mega Watts (MW) of the 9,410 MW of wind capacity produced in Texas alone, But what does that mean to students, the potential home owner, the job-seeker, the future of our economy?
With reductions in utility bills and lower taxes on green real estate, new home owners across the nation are gleefully taking advantage of federal support and present leaps in green technology to improve their homes. According to the United States Department of Energy, small residential wind systems can help property owners take advantage of prime location, stating the main perk as “Lower your electricity bill by 50% - 90%”. The “small wind“ system could also double up as a water pump, which is useful on a farm or ranch. Besides mini wind systems, home owners can also take advantage of the myriad of incentives provided by their local, state and federal offices. For example, the federal government provides credit of 30% of cost for purchasing and installing (no max limit) a small residential wind system on up to two homes, as long as it is “placed in service” by December 31, 2016.
Well now, for the proud student finally stepping across that degree threshold to find their niche in the American rat race, the green industry has definitely revitalized into the job market. Wind energy alone propels a large portion of this job market boom, according to Worldwatch.org, the wind power industry employs some 300,000 people in the world. This is crucial seeing as coal output in the United States had risen by almost one third during the past two decades, but employment was cut in half due to advancements in technology. Also, IBid.com predicts that global wind power employment will grow as much as 2.1 million in 2030, and 2.8 million in 2050 under positive conditions. If one were interested in taking advantage of the advancements in the green industry, a talk with Dr. Mark A. Ouimette, program director of Hardin-Simmons University’s Environmental Science Master’s degree would be wise.
Even as our education begin to stress the importance of the “green” sector of every industry known to the post-grad, the wind industry still faces challenges. For example, according to the Eleventh Court of Appeals in Texas, one of the first renewable energy court cases, Rankin v. FPL Energy, LLC, on August 21, 2008 involved several complainants charging Horse Hollow’s wind turbines with being a “public and private nuisance”, or in other words, being ugly. That, combined with the general knowledge that Texas’s economy is largely fueled by fossil fuels, lead by Governor Rick Perry, a prominent anti-environmental politician, only serves to confuse people to the fact that Texas is the undisputed leader in wind energy in the United States.
20percentwind.org is a website which displays the U.S. Department of Energy's 20% Wind Energy by 2030 Technical Report, found under the Bush administration. It was found that if 20% of the nation’s energy was powered by wind, it would lower the average household’s electricity bill to about 50 cents a month. At the same time, it lists that “it would support half a million jobs, provide $1.5 billion annually in property tax revenues by 2030, provide payments of more than $600 million a year to farmers and ranchers by 2030, and save a cumulative total of 4 trillion gallons of water”. Thus said, as a concerned reader wanting to support the windustry and all its benefits to our economy, here are some easy ways to get started. Step one is education and awareness, an example of a useful forum shared by both experts and the general public would be openei.org (Open Energy Info). Also, talk to your local utilities provider about purchasing green energy or buy renewable energy certificates through voluntary markets, like Buycleanenergy.org. Finally, start buying carbon offsets, these act as “points” which counteract your carbon footprint by diverting your money to investments in green energy and reforestation efforts, check out Terrapass.com or Carbonfund.org
by Lex Tan
Valentine’s Day is not exactly celebrated all over the world, in fact, some countries have even proclaimed it illegal. According to Time magazine, The Russians have decided that Valentine’s Day is a threat to “spiritual security”. The Saudi Gazette quotes an Islamic scholar, Sheikh Khaled Al-Dossari saying, "As Muslims we shouldn't celebrate a non-Muslim celebration, especially this one that encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women.” Also, in Thailand, it is a crime punishable by law for people under the age of 21 to kiss in public, the punishment being a visit by officers patrolling on Valentines Day to report to said culprits parents.
An interesting practice would be to search “I Hate Valentines Day” on Google to look for like-minded individuals. You’ll find T-Shirts, Anti-Valentine events, a movie, and even several articles by people to will explain to you how Valentine Day is overrated, a great day for businesses only, and how it ruined their relationships. Sifting through these well thought out opinions, including one of how the perfect man drinks blood and sparkles like diamonds, one could come to the conclusion that Valentines Day is in fact a day of silly gluttony and lust.
However, there were also times as kids, when we wrote out Valentines for our friends or made a little craft card for our parents, and actually saying, “I Love You”, even though people say you never really knew what love meant back then. Or how about the time you got that mythical “Secret Admirer” note in your locker, which no matter how you deny it, made you a tiny bit excited. Ditto for you if you wrote that note, and was looking out from the corner of your eye for some kind of reaction.
So, let’s start anew. Instead of the cut and dried practice of buying flowers, candy and mushy poems on stock card, try one of these Valentine Day practices instead. To celebrate love this Valentines Day, spend some time with your friends or family, do a random act of goodwill, open up your mind and learn a little about your fellow man, or adopt an animal who will teach you how unconditional love can be. If you want to do something with your partner, go ahead and ask them about things you don’t really know, like what’s their favorite dish, drink, place to vacation at, or the person they looked up to most in life.
Valentines Day is overrated in the fact that advertisers have pushed into our minds that Valentines Day is a day made to celebrate with our college budget credit/debit cards. Let us push that image aside and find the true spirit of Valentines Day, a celebration of love.
You’ve Got My Tweet!
by Lex Tan
The powers that be in politics are using Twitter today to get the support of the younger generation, mainly college students and young working adults. At this moment, you can get a Twitter account, browse the channels and content of people, and if you so choose, you may follow them. From that moment onwards, everything they have to share, anything from informational news on the Occupy movement to Facebook-esque status about making a sandwich, will appear instantly in real time on your feed. That is, anything under 140 words per post, any more, and you’d just have to reword it. A blessing it seems when it comes to dealing with blow-hard politicians on an election year.
According to Tech Crunch, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo says, “2012 is going to be the Twitter election, candidates who don’t participate on Twitter while the debates are going on will be left behind because the next morning is too late to respond.” Twitter’s manner of “right here, right now” culture is the key ingredient to it’s success in being a part of this generation’s life.. According to Quantcast.com, in December 2011 alone, there were 87,000,000 people, and just under 2,500,000,000 visits in the United States. Of this number, 22% are people aged 18-24, and 23% aged 25-34, which is as one may surmise, the average age for college students and working young adults, all legal voting adults. Twitter not only contains large amounts of an active audience, but serves as a 24/7 public podium. It is comparable to a politician as a candy store is to a kid - You just need to talk loud enough in the right way to the right people to get what you want.
Of course it is simply more than just speaking their “language”. Kids today are smart, Pops. Content needs to be both interesting and relevant to the people you are trying to reach. There is in fact, a line between a highly watched YouTube video that features an auto-tuned political candidate’s rant on high rent, and a boring video that is chock-full of policy data. As The Economist so aptly puts it, “Risk-averse politicians are likely to make their tweets bland, and bland tweeters may be less likely to be followed.” And the election is definitely a risk-filled matter, with people actively poring over the inter-webs for information to cast their vote. In fact, many dubbed the 2008 presidential campaign, the "first social media election." The Pew Research Center states “Three-quarters of Internet users went online during the 2008 election to take part in, or get news and information about the 2008 campaign” In fact, the center also provides additional information on how social media was one of larger contributing factors of president Barack Obama’s win.
In the end, if there is no call to action, then all the information gathering and packaging would be for naught. Elections to the United States Senate are to be held on November 6, 2012, and many have yet to decide on their vote. If one were to want to seriously have a hand in this country’s future, it would be highly advisable to get on Twitter now and sift through the 1 billion tweets a week that its users now produce, to gather some political knowledge. Unsure of where to start? PoliticsDaily.com recommends a few of the top political journalists on Twitter - @MarcAmbider, @TheFix, @PoliticsNation, and @thenote.
What Makes Me...
Use the Right ARROW KEY to Advance.
Mouse Wheel to Zoom In/Out
by Lex Tan
Trying to eat healthy, or relatively healthy anyways, on a college student’s budget is no easy task, and after one too many $1 McChickens, I began to start crawling Abilene for frugal, gastronomic delights. I have recently visited the H-E-B’s deli and rotisserie, which had gone through a makeover this past summer, and I have since become a regular customer.
One glance at the menu would leave you both impressed and suspicious. But in possession of a $10 budget and a size-able male lunch partner, who will go unnamed, I was also secretly relieved. The rotisserie boasts a grill and oven which constantly produces some mouth-watering chicken, pork ribs, sausage and pizza for entree and also, on display behind the glass counter, several savory sides such as macaroni and cheese, beans, and rice. My partner bought a Ribs plate (combo), which consisted of 3 pork ribs, 2 sides, and a soda drink, while I got a half-bird (literally one half of an entire grilled chicken) and water. The ribs plate cost us a mere $7, whereas the half bird cost us $3. Including tax, we spent a total of $10.81. Also, when heading to the register to pay, another deal caught my eye, the deli has a special promotion, a mere $6.99 for large pizzas on Wednesdays.
After forking over some reluctant cash, we got down to chowing down, and were pleasantly surprised. Overall, the food was hands down delicious. The meat on the pork ribs literally slid off when my partner in crime grabbed it by the bone, and after I had sneaked a bite, I agreed with his judgement of “It’s Texas barbecue good!” The chicken is now firmly in my eat-again list, as it is moist, flavorful and healthier than most chicken restaurant alternatives in town. I had roasted onions with my chicken, whereas my partner paired his ribs up with some roasted peppers, which are free additions provided by the deli. Both were cooked to tender perfection. The sides were also note-worthy, I will vouch for the rice, and my partner (As I am not a fan) will do the same for the beans. Which are, to quote him, the “best beans I’ve ever eaten.” Several of the H-E-B partners can be seen around this deli around their lunch breaks, and judging by the clean plates, it is definitely employee-friendly.
If you are looking for a swanky, quiet, dine-in atmosphere, I suggest looking elsewhere, unless people-watching is on the menu. H-E-B is one of the busiest grocery stores in Abilene, Texas, and unless you walk around to the side where there is a little niche tucked away for the “for here” diners, there is a high chance that you will be surrounded by shoppers or fellow diners. On a side note, there have been rumors of another store opening up in town, so keep your eyes and ears open for news on that.
In conclusion, the H-E-B deli is a no-frills, budget friendly, satisfying place to eat in Abilene. It’s hours are 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. and I would definitely recommend it as a regular haunt, even if it’s not equipped with wireless.
by Lex Tan
A little known fact about this reporter, is that she is an avid closet gamer of this generation. By closet gamer, meaning the person who spends a considerable amount of time trading cutesy “PocketFrogs” on any available iPhone or racking up head shots with a Russian accent on Nazi Zombies in “Call Of Duty: World At War”. After looking at the smorgasbord of developed games and consoles available to us today, one might come to the conclusion that we are the brats of the century, as we bemoan the fact that there is, of course, nothing to do.
Multi-player gaming originated from human being’s built-in desire for human connection. Whether it was competition or cooperation, human beings found ways to complete tasks according to certain conditions, time or points. The rules really do vary though, as I have found games that require you to commit suicide, apparently caused by stressful overwork by evil, proprietary corporations, very educational.
Back when a single analog computer occupied entire buildings, and could barely be called a large, bulky metal calculator, our scientists used military research to develop and run tests on one of their newest breakthroughs of the scientific world, “Tic Tac Toe”. This brought about the very first kind of multi-player video game - One console, with several players taking turns, much like a regular board game, on a 2D screen, with a recorded score. The first video game produced, depending of course on one’s definition, in 1958, was “Tennis For Two” , built by an American physicist to cure lab visitor’s boredom by using ballistic missile trajectory calculations to produce a horizontal tennis game. This game was also the predecessor to the famous “Pong”, built in 1972.
The second kind of multi-player game emerged largely due to the popularity of sport games like racing, or tennis. It suddenly became possible for friends and family to play together at the same time on the same screen! Since keyboards weren’t made for 4 or more hands, consoles were produced for the home, which allowed for each person to squint at their portion of a screen while using individual controllers.There were many consoles made, the first by Magnavox, but the most note-worthy vintage console maker, still whispered about today by game enthusiasts, is Atari, whose game systems are collector’s items, if not restored and still played. A modern example of split-screen gaming would be the newest “Resident Evil 5”, available on PS Move, where gamers get to yell and jostle each other with sore “gun”-wielding arms as they flee from a chainsaw-wielding mummy, quite the workout.
The final multi-player mode which has blossomed into itself in the past are real time co-op or competition which has players, not necessarily physically near in any way. The Internet was integrated into these games and their consoles to allow a connection between people, either a block or ocean away. Thus the birth of addictive virtual worlds that people have literally immersed themselves into. This could be disastrous in a college dorm of XBox Lives, where Internet connection is slowed down by enthusiastic gamers fighting for their daily fix (hint,hint). Examples of such world’s are the infamous “World of Warcraft”, “Runescape” (Guilty), the recent “Starcraft 2”, “Halo: Legends”, and “Second Life”.
These worlds have leaked over into ours, providing jobs for professional competing gamers (sponsored by companies), gold “farmers” who get paid to play the tedious, slow parts of the game for you or people who sell rare in-game items for real cash. I also personally know of several long-lasting relationships that have sprouted online while gamers slayed Zerg (alien race) side by side, one that has even resulted in a blissful marriage due to gaming compatibility.
With all the advances in multi-player gaming like convenient iPhone use and motion-activated consoles, I can only hope for the fully immersive game experience that would employ motion sensors, a multi-directional treadmill (current military technology), video glasses and voice recognition. Which will of course be developed like most games have always came to being, by bored college students. I mean, after all, there’s just nothing to do now.
Lex Tan Wan Juin
The following news piece features the trend of animals in Cosplaying.
At Ikkicon 2012, held in Austin, Texas, there was seen briefly the appearance of a snake (Nagini) by her owner, dressed as Lord Voldemort from the popular Harry Potter series. At another Cosplay convention, there was also the use of a service dog, dressed up in Green Lantern cape, leading its owner around the hotel.
This activity is known as Cosplay, short for costume play, a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea that is fast gaining popularity. So it goes without saying that certain pet owners have taken up this trend as well, whether just to take cute photos to be posted online, or having their pet in tow as a prop or centerpiece at a cosplay convention.
Ikkicon is an example of a Cosplay convention, where this grown-up form of dress-up is widely attributed to the growing popularity of the Japanese animation, “anime,” and Japanese comics, “manga,” but can also incorporate characters of any virtual sense. Participants of Cosplay range from beginners, who don cardboard masks or dress in a certain subculture (For example, Punk, Japanese Rock, Candy-Rave), to hardcore craftsman who go as far as to design and create their own costumes and/or props, generating revenue while modeling their innovations. To them, Cosplay is literally, their life. So it only makes sense that their pets are incorporated into their worlds as well. So the next time you see Ariel from The Little Mermaid walking (flopping?) around ComicCon, do not be surprised if you see a four-legged Flounder trotting alongside her.
Dressing up pets is not exactly a novel idea, the history of dog clothing goes back to the days when King Arthur ruled over Great Britain in 520 A.D. They used dogs in the military and
in law enforcement, so they wore protective clothing to help keep them safe in an attack or from the environment. Nowadays however, pet clothing is used both for functionality and fashion, dog sweaters help keep miniature toy poodles warm in winter weather while some people churn out capes and red “underwear” for pets to wear on the outside. Another example of popular pet Cosplay ideas is the use of “shells,” which are basically cardboard pieces attached to a pets anatomy to allow for full motion while “dressing” them up in full regalia. One example was a spaniel who was dressed up in pieces to form a Star Wars robot.
As fun as this pastime is, this leads to some issues, as animals are after all, living creatures whose needs exceed the passion for authentic tribute to an imaginary character. After all, a crowded convention is not the best place to say, a terrified rabbit to be placed on one’s shoulder. Pet owners who introduce their pets to this fascinating pastime should make sure that their pet, as well as those around them, are enjoying the experience as much as their owners. So if you are looking for a convention to show off your pet, try looking up Ikkicon at Ikkicon.com, just be sure your pet is trained as some venues are wary of the wandering pet.
PR Press Release Sample
Our assignment was to write a PR feature on an animal/animals that has yet to be written about. This was the end result.
Business Card Audition
I was given an "audition" to design a 4x4 business card while interviewing for a CEO's Marketing Assistant position. I did not get a call back, but I got a new piece to add to my portfolio!
Gun Violence Forum Flyer
I designed this mailbox flyer based off a poster design by another colleague for this controversial open forum. I was also the International Student Fellowship representative to discuss international gun laws, culture and technologies, and the sole student on the panel with three other professors.