12 November 2009

Creativity is Serious Business

This week Otis released the 20o9 edition of the Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region. That is a bit of a mouthful to be sure but the report, now in its third year has quickly become a key source for the media (on and off line) when citing the impact of the creative industries in the greater LA area (the report includes data for Orange County).

The report was unveiled at the Omni Hotel downtown and featured comments by Dr. Nancy Sidhu from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) followed by a panel discussion. The panel was moderated by KCRW's Frances Anderton and included Sir Ken Robinson (a noted thinker and leader on creativity and leadership), Andy Mooney (Chairman of Disney Consumer Products) and Laura Zucker (Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission).

Working at Otis I routinely tell students and their parents that an art school education is (contrary to some thinking) a pathway to many career options and the report supports that. Here a few tid bits-

  • One of every six jobs in the region come from the creative industries, nearly 1 million in total
  • Companies in the creative industries generated over $139 billion in revenue and contributed $5.1 billion in state and local taxes as a result.
  • The average annual salary of people involved in making toys in the LA region is $101,899

The entire report can be read at www.otis.edu/econreport

Speaking of toys, the very large cherry on the top of the sundae was the announcement that Mattel is making a gift of $1.85 million! The money will be used to provide scholarship and instructional support for the Toy Design and other programs at Otis. In addition to the gift Mattel International President Bryan Stockton presented our President, Sammy Hoi with a one-of-a-kind Barbie that was designed by Otis alums who now work at Mattel.

03 November 2009

Mia's Motivations

I just finished reading a great interview with Otis alum Michelle Mia Araujo ('07) on Art Nouveau Magazine's website. I've been following Mia's career pretty closely ever since we used one of her images for an ad in Juxtapoz Magazine, and it's been rewarding to see how she continues to grow as an artist.

The interview covered a lot of expected ground- when did you know you wanted to be an artist, creative influences, favorite subject matter, and such but I think my favorite answer to a question was how she responded to "What is your favorite color to incorporate into your work?" to which she replied "Interesting question: I don’t really think of colors in that way, probably because I’m naturally a drawer, so I think with lines."

You can read the entire interview here and you can learn more about Mia's work here.

*image- detail of "My Mind's Eye" from Art Nouveau Magazine article