Week 5 – Painting 1 – Graffiti


I didn’t think I would struggle this much just to do the project. As much as I was looking forward to going to Venice Beach to do the graffiti on the wall I had to do the project at home due to a few issues. The struggle began with finding a surface that I could graffiti on. Luckily I found several unused poster boards in my closet that were thick enough and the perfect size! Once I had set everything up and decided which cap sizes I was going to use I came across a delay. I may be an engineering major but somehow I could not figure out how to use a spray can. It took me about LITERALLY 20 minutes to figure out that there is a small circular piece of plastic that does not allow you to press down on the cap and spray the paint. I had to look up videos on youtube and read articles online. I got so frustrated that I threw the can and saw the circular piece fly off the can and then I concluded that that was what was preventing me from starting my project LOL. Due to the lack of materials I decided to try different colored backgrounds and see what the contrasts would be. I personally love the colors blue and brown especially when used together. I decided to use the green and white backgrounds because the white cardboard with he blue looks like the sky while the green paper with the blue paint kind of looks like the sun and the sky blended together. Monique is my full name but my closest friends and my family know that I respond to Moni more than I do to my full name so I decided to use my nickname.


Week 5 – Artist Conversation – Ralph Acosta

 Exhibition Information

Artist: Ralph Acosta
Exhibition: RELAX: Reimagining Los Angeles International Airport
Media: Photography, Typography, Videography
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: Currently working on it. Facebook.com/
Instagram: None

Ralph Acosta brought his passion for all things travel and airport to life in his MFA thesis exhibit. Ralph first started his educational career about twenty years ago when he first got his degree in Studio Art at California State University. He recently graduated from the Masters of Fine Art’s program in Graphic Design. To Ralph’s disbelief the hardest part about earning his MFA was in his first semester back at CSULB because he had to create art in a more modern way which allowed him to become more open minded. While doing his undergrad, he was taught to approach art in a certain number of ways, but once he got the hang of creating art with a more modern approach he broadened his skills.

Ralph Acosta’s exhibit included a mobile application, a video, typography and several photographs. His mobile application, Observa, was intended for those who love planes and coincidentally are traveling. It allows you to track your flight, check arrival time, and see the type of plane you will be boarding. He is currently working on refining the application, improving the design interface, and searching for a coder who could help him improve the app with such things. The typography that was included was interesting and showed the design flaws that many interior designers encounter. While drafting and creating the font, Ralph thought about the color schemes and the aesthetics of the font. He chose the color blue because it reminds him of the sky and the ocean which are commonly seen while flying on a plane. The orange color seemed to pop out to him and is readable in contrast to the blue. He mentioned that he was hoping to edit the font due to the huge gap in the spacing. Ralph did not account for the flaw while printing and displaying the font. Many of his fellow peers along with his professors had advised him to send his work over to LAX in hopes that they would use his designs in the airport, but he is still refining all of his pieces and will send it once he feels they have been perfected.

I can honestly say that Ralph Acosta’s exhibit has been my favorite this semester. I am currently a fourth year Civil Engineering student who is interested in specializing in airport engineering/design. As a child, I too was fascinated in airports and loved flying on planes to visit my family and loved ones in Mexico. I always associated airports with a sense of wonder and adventure. A place that allows a person to leave the life they’re currently living and take a break or be someone else in a new city even if it’s just for a couple of days. My viewpoint and passion for airports may be from a more technical stance due to my studies, so seeing the design and aesthetic part of the airport has made me more passionate about them, as a whole. I’m able to see the process that goes for designing the interior of a space rather than focusing on just the exterior and being able to give all those who travel through it’s walls the comfort and sense of wonder that I was once able to feel as a child.

Week 4 – Art Experience – Automatic Drawing

This week we did our first drawing assignment of the semester, automatic drawing! Automatic drawing is a type of drawing that must be done with a partner and is sort of a bonding experience. You must have both hands, along with your partners hands, on either a pencil, marker, or in our case a pastel crayon and draw whatever comes to mind. The drawing should be a bit abstract and some people engage in this with a certain ambiance.

I chose my best friend, Vincent Santos, to experience this project with. My mother also threw away some of my art materials so he was nice enough to share with me use his pastel crayons (you da best Fishy). We decided to do this project at the CSULB campus library on our traditional Sunday study dates in the basement. At first we began the project and we could not stop laughing. We were so out of sync that I tried to draw a heart and we ended up drawing a figure that looked more like a taco! I’m happy that I chose Vincent to do this project with because I don’t think I would have had this much fun with anyone else. If we could redo this project again I think we would try to use more of the space we had, used more color, and I would try to not press down on the paper as hard since we ended up breaking all of his pastels.

Week 4 – Artist Conversation – Cintia Segovia Figueroa

Exhibition Information

Artist: Cintia Segova Figueroa
Exhibition: Mexico Already Changed
Media: Photography, Cinematography
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
Website: CintiaSegovia.com
Instagram: Only has personal account

Cintia Segovia is truly an amazing artist whose exhibition has truly made a mark on me. Cintia is currently a second year graduate student at California State University, Long Beach where she is a student of the School of Art’s Photography program and emphasizes her work on analog and digital photography. Cintia is working towards her Masters of Fine Arts degree. Cintia’s story began in her Native Country of Mexico, where she was born in the Country’s capital of Distrito Federal de Mexico (D.F.). Most of her inspiration for her exhibit is from her roots and heritage. Cintia first fell in love with photography when she was seventeen years old and bought her first 35 mm camera shortly after. Unforunately, her parents did not approve of her studying photography, so she spent her undergraduate studies studying Mass Communication in Mexico. Cintia is currently a professor at California State University, of Northridge where she has been teaching introductory photography courses for the past three years. She always knew she wanted to become a photography professor because she says that it is refreshing and inspiring to watch the new generation of photographers create art and watch them grow and push the boundries within themselves and their work.

Mexico Already Changed is a sincere and humble ode to her native country and her new life in America. Her pieces of work could be slightly controversial due to the nature of her pieces which involve politics and the Mexican media. She has created a video where she writes her own dialogue which is inspired from Mexican news outlets. She discusses the importance of her cinematography and why she writes her own dialogue, “able to re-enact her own chiste”. In translation, the videos that she creates allows her to tell her jokes and put a piece of her sarcastic and witty humor in all of her pieces. Another one her pieces was the talking robot, “El Roboto”. This moving robot is made of a bottom motor and a monitor. It also includes a sensor which helps the robot approach the crowd and asks them questions such as “are you a member of the Communist party?”.

As stated earlier, I had stated that the exhibit left a mark on me. In her “El Roboto” piece she shared to the crowd that the robot asked the crowd questions that were on the online questionnaire before applying for a green card or a visa. This triggered my emotions because my parents have immigrated from Mexico and went through the extensive process  of becoming U.S. citizens. It made me angry thinking about how my parents might have possibly had to answer these questions as well. The exhibit also made me think alot about my culture and the dynamic of being a young Mexican-American in America.


Week 3 – Artist Conversation – Nicole Goudarzian

“Best batch of images we have had.” – Nicole Goudarzian

Exhibit Information

Exhibit Coordinator: Nicole Goudarzian
Exhibition: From Here to There
Media: Photography
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Website: does not currently have one
Instagram: @nsleepless

About the Artist

The exhibit that was hosted in the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery was an interesting and unique exhibition. The From Here to There exhibit is a special exchange that was created between the University of Central Florida and California State University, Long Beach photography departments. This exchange began when a former professor from the University of Central Florida joined CSULB’s photography department and thought about how much exposure the students from both coasts would benefit from it, and they make sure to have an exchange once every semester.

Unfortunately, we were unable to talk to the artists responsible behind the beauty, but we were privileged enough to talk to the woman who coordinated the exchange. Nicole Goudarzian has coordinated the exchange for the last two semesters. She is currently a senior in the photography program working towards her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree and says her emphasis within photography is surrealism. Nicole explained to us that this exchange is very popular amongst students and that all pieces that were admitted into the gallery were jury pieces. Jury pieces are pieces of art that are submitted, critiqued, and then chosen to be a part of the exhibition. When asked whether she had ever submitted any work to be judged, Nicole said she would have loved to but the actual coordinating of the event itself requires a lot of time and is very exhausting.

The gallery in itself was an experience and had a a vibe that was unmatched. Each photo was different as far as content on it whether it was a landscape, portrait, or a series of objects but what they shared in common was that it took me to another state, specifically Florida. The art itself gave east coast vibes, rather than the warm and inviting photos that are normally captured in California. The photo series that stood out to me the most was the Baby Ladies by Christina Maldonado. Both photos had a fun and flamboyant vibe with a powerful message. One image was a series of photographs that displayed nine girls with their backs towards the camera and the second photo was  a hand with its middle finger up while holding a lighter with the word “FEMINIST” on it. Christina Maldonado captures the spirit and the burning fire within everyone to be a feminist and to want equality despite the gender you associate yourself with. It made me feel proud to be a woman and it inspired me to keep being fierce and push through society norms. As a woman in the field of engineering I have encountered a lot of criticism or jokes regarding my sex and my career field of choice. Many do not believe that I have a passion for my field or that I have great skills equipped for higher level maths and physics concepts. The suggestive finger is something that I would like to compare as my success. The more successful I have become throughout my college career the more I have been able to prove to those who doubted me that women are able to conquer the field.



Week 3 – Classmate Conversation – Marysol Jimenez

img_5336 On this weekly installment of Classmate Conversations I had the honor of meeting Marysol Jimenez! (https://marysolj.wordpress.com) It is a funny story regarding Marysol because we have a few friends in common but never had the chance to meet or talk until this week outside of the School of Art galleries. We figured if we already knew our names why not get to know each others’ story!

Marysol is a 21 year old fourth year Sociology major who also started her journey at California State University, Long Beach in the fall of 2013, such as I. Marysol was born and raised in Compton and is a second generation Mexican American. Shortly after sharing that she was from Mexico we discovered that our families are both from the state of Jalisco.  Marysol is very passionate about makeup and believes it is an art. Make up is a form of self expression and allows you to experiment with colors and enhance your face. She spends any free time she has watching YouTube tutorials on different make up reviews, looks, and application techniques. She was originally admitted to the university as a Pre-Social Work major, but decided it was not what she was passionate about. She mentioned how much she would love to help families and children as a social worker, but she feels that she would be too upset with some of the cases she would deal with in her career. Marysol says that one of her favorite memories at CSULB is the year and a half she spent forming on campus.

We did not have a question of the week so we decided to ask ourselves a question which still related back to art, so we decided that if we could major in art what medium would we specialize in. Marysol would love to do photography. She believes that photography has an amazing way of capturing memories and emotions in the single click of a button. She also mentioned that with social media it has allowed us to see more beautiful art and different styles of photography besides self-portraits (selfies) on social media outlets such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.

“Stress is killing me”

At first glance, it might not be clear what exactly is going on in the photo. This picture is an accurate representation of something I feel is killing me, metaphorically. With a multiple variation of factors in our lives Americans seem to be much more stressed now than ever before. I can relate to this strongly. Balancing a social life, helping around at home, full time student enrolled in upper division engineering courses, and work has me constantly worrying about all of the things I have to do and complete by a certain time. I knew I wanted my project to revolve around school since I dedicate so much of my time to my studies and my education. I wanted to depict a stressed college student who could no longer handle the pressure and decided it was easier to end their life rather than to fight through and get through school. I needed help to get these shots so of course I asked my mom if she could help me. At first, she seemed confused while she watched me wrap my Macbook charger around my neck and made a comment about how I look like I’m killing myself. Once explaining the purpose and the message behind it, it opened her perspective and allowed her to see the images in a different light.

Classmate Talk – Yonathan

classmate talk wk 2

In a class lacking engineering majors I finally met a fellow engi-nerd! I would love to introduce fellow classmate and mechanical engineering major, Jonathan. He’s a transfer student and is currently in his 6th year. Yonathan is a highly involved student here on campus! He’s joining the American Society of Civil Engineering (A.S.C.E.) club this semester and has been a part of other organizations on other campuses. We bonded almost instantly over courses we have taken and professors in our departments. When asked why he decided to take this course he revealed that he’s a big fan of art and he wants a class that is not as demanding as his other engineering related courses. He once sketched almost every day but as he got older and become more involved in school he did not have time for it.

This weeks question was “Is art actually important? In today’s world?” and Yonathan believes it is. He thinks it is important and that it can alter the way one views the world. He touched on the topic of political cartoons and how although they are satirical pieces they are able to change the perception one has on laws or politicians. Shortly after, he began to mention how he believes that music is art and music influences the younger generations. Musicians such as Kanye West have become such artists and have expanded on the definition of artist.