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March 4, 2010

Karl Orozco ’13

In terms of schoolwork, my classes this semester haven't been particularly time-consuming (yet!). For this reason, I find myself more inclined to fill up the rest of my schedule with meetings, appointments, and trips to the studio. A bad habit that I do is I often compare how much work I am doing to everyone else. If I meet a double-degree student taking 16 credits while playing a varsity sport, it only makes me feel like I can be doing more with my time.

It seems that with every calendar day that passes, I am being slowly sucked into a studio art major. I think it's interesting to remember that I really had no idea what to major in way back (okay, not way back) in September.

Even though I am not formally in any silkscreening classes this semester, I still find myself spending a large amount of time in the studio. Aside from the creepy sounds the heater makes late at night, I love being in the studio. This might sound a bit weird (as well as sexual), but it's one of the few places that I feel completely in charge of everything going on in the room. I'm not naturally assertive, but I like the sense of power I get when I'm able to provide directions to anyone helping me (hmm... I wonder if this is a bad sign of a more power-hungry Karl to come...). Plus, I get a kick out of watching first-timers observe the process in its entirety, if only to remember my first experience in the silkscreening studio.

I've done a couple posters in the past two weeks. Maybe you've seen them around campus!

Hopefully these posters (designed by Fiz Poliks, printed by me) motivated some people to watch Tori Heller, because she was amazing! Tori Heller is a young folk artist from the D.C. area who is also good friends with several students at Oberlin. Because of this connection, I was able to get a poster in my room signed by her! Hopefully as her stock rises, the value of this poster will rise as well... Just sayin'.

The Denizen Kane concert isn't happening until this Friday, but I might as well use this post to coax more people to come. Denizen Kane is a Korean American rapper/spoken-word artist from the Chicago area. His set this Friday will be more stripped down than some of his other performances, consisting of an acoustic guitar and some spoken word. I printed and designed this poster, which probably explains the contrast in styles between this poster and the Tori Heller one. I'll just say that this poster is a lot more exemplary of my style, if you know what I mean.

Denizen Kane is coming to Oberlin College thanks to the coordinators of the MAASC and AAA. Acronym, acronym, acronym, acronym. AAA is Oberlin's Asian American Alliance. Not to be confused with the nationwide towing service or Asian Alcoholics Anonymous. Meanwhile, the MAASC is the Midwestern Asian American Student Conference, being held at Oberlin College the weekend of March 5th and 6th (this weekend!). To quote, because this description is way more articulate than I could be:

"The conference will examine the role of Asian Americans across various mediums of expression as a means of analyzing the movement of Asian Americans within the realm of new media. We hope that our invited guests inform your understanding of the negotiation and renegotiation of individual and community identities and representations within Asian America as well as challenge the notion of post-raciality. Asian American experiences, and the diverse narratives that form in the intersection of multiple identities, are critical and undeniable voices that shape our society."

I wasn't exactly wholly interested in Asian American advocacy prior to coming to Oberlin, but since joining AAA I have begun to feel a greater compulsion to learn more about Asian America and what needs to be done to spread awareness. I've been especially caught up this semester to help raise awareness for the MAASC. Not just with posters, but with shirts and their website as well. I suppose that now is a good time for more publicizing: Come out to the MAASC Opening Banquet this Friday, March 5th! Guest speaker Kent Ono from the University of Illinois will be there, as well as delicious Indian food! To see the rest of the conference schedule, visit our website.

And now, a random piece of good news: Next year's Oberlin Class of 2014 will be receiving and wearing shirts that I designed! This tradition is relatively new to Oberlin, but what happens is that students are allowed to submit proposed t-shirt designs for early decision students to vote on. The shirt design with the most votes is then sent out to all accepted students in the mail. Nifty, huh? Oberlin doesn't have an official mascot per se, but I think there is some affiliation that students have with the absurd amount of albino squirrels that run around Tappan Square. As you can probably guess, this design is a parody of King Kong, replacing a giant gorilla with a humongous albino squirrel and the Empire State Building with the beautiful Peters Hall. In fact, if you look close enough, you might see this albino squirrel's other dastardly parallel.

Now that we're on the topic of clothing, I wanted to bring up one more really neat project going on in my quirky life: The Oberlin Apparel Design Challenge! Oberlin Apparel is a group of 12 students collaborating to put out a new line of clothing in the Oberlin College Bookstore. Our team is broken up into specific groups to work on the marketing and design aspects of producing a new line of clothing. Then, on April 16th, a runway show of all potential designs will be held in Finney Chapel. What's even cooler is that Michael Alexin (Vice President of Target) and Jerry Greenfield (co-founder of Ben & Jerry's) will be two of the runway judges! To quote myself, "NEAT-O!" So far, this project has been very exciting. We've had a few very official-feeling conference meetings with Michael Alexin, Stephen Bickel (Director of Market Research at D&R International), and Jerry Greenfield. More than anything, I am excited to see the fruits of our labor next year when the new clothing lineup makes its debut. I don't want to give anything away, but we currently have a lot of good material. Stay tuned!

Lastly, I have a website! With a domain! Named after myself! Name of said website? Why, it's www.karlorozco.com! It's still a little buggy, and currently does not work in Firefox. Bear with me... I'm working on it. Anyways, I feel a rush of coolness cruising through my capillaries every time I'm able to say, "Oh, just check out my website." I usually follow this sentence with a signature hair flip and a stroke of my non-beard. Now all I need are business cards.

For one last shameless plug, if any readers need posters for organizations, events, or concerts coming up, let me know and we can negotiate something! I'd be happy to help out. For sample works, just visit my website (GOD THIS FEELS SO COOL!).

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