Nina Edwards, Fashion Illustrator and Pratt Professor, Discusses Her Inspirations, Passions and Career Achievements

Courtesy of Nina Edwards

Nina Edwards is a fashion illustrator based in New York City. She currently teaches Introduction to Fashion Illustration, Portfolio and Special Projects, and Creative Careers at Pratt Institute’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). She earned her BFA in illustration from FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and her MFA from California State University, Fullerton. Nina has been active in the fields of graphic design, editorial illustration, greeting cards, and social expression for over 20 years. Her expertise includes digital and watercolor illustrations and the integration of opposing elements such as traditional and modern, Eastern and Western, and art and technology into illustrations and designs.

Nina’s work has appeared in numerous publications, book covers, books and magazines editorials, licensing products, and art galleries. Her portfolio of clients includes: Art Hearts Fashion Week, Style Fashion Week, New York Garment District Alliance, Scholastic, Bridal Guide Magazine, Girls’ Life, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan Magazine to name a few. Keep reading to learn about Nina’s inspirations, passions, career achievements and her journey as a Professor at Pratt Institute.

Pratt SCPS: What motivated you to pursue a career in the fashion world and where do you draw your inspiration from? 

Nina Edwards: My passion is to inspire and empower myself and others to live the best version of ourselves. I use fashion art as a vehicle to develop and elevate for excellence. I get inspiration from everything in life. Movies, music, museums, art galleries, other artwork, fashion shows, flea markets, magazines, internet posts, my children and husband, friends, nature, people walking down the street, my dreams, etc. I believe we don’t go looking for inspiration. It will come to you on its own, like happiness.

Courtesy of Nina Edwards

Pratt SCPS: What has been your greatest professional achievement and what would you consider the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in order to achieve it?

Nina Edwards: I was working full time as a senior graphic designer in a mid-size San Francisco advertising agency in the beginning of my career. My great professional achievement was to art direct and design collateral for huge brands including Starbucks. My biggest challenges in that position were my communication and presentation skills. To overcome my shortcomings, I joined a Toastmasters club where I learned and fine-tuned my public speaking and interpersonal communication skills, and gained many opportunities to network with professionals in the design and art licensing industries.

Pratt SCPS: When did your Pratt journey begin and what do you enjoy most about being an educator in this field? 

Nina Edwards: My journey at Pratt started in the winter of 2015, when I was invited to conduct an art licensing and intellectual property law workshop at Pratt. It was well-received and about 40 people attended. I enjoy sharing my professional experience with students from different countries and backgrounds and teaching and inspiring them to be better artists and designers. As a teacher, all my illustration, design, and communication skills are put into practice while I am teaching and guiding my students. I was born and raised in Taiwan and speaking Mandarin is an asset for me when teaching students from China and Taiwan.

Courtesy of Nina Edwards

Pratt SCPS: What advice do you have for creative professionals who desire to launch their own art and design careers in the future? 

Nina Edwards: Know who you are, develop clear art styles for your brand, think outside the box, networking constantly in person and online, and never stop learning. Know who you are, develop a unique art style for your brand, think outside the box, network constantly in person and online, and never stop learning.

This fall Nina will be teaching Intro to Fashion Illustration in the Creative Careers program at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Make sure to follow Nina on social media to view her most recent portfolio work and to learn about her upcoming events and projects.

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Summer 2020 at SCPS – An Overview of Upcoming Online Courses, Intensives and Workshops

Courtesy of Fiona Szende

The spring semester is wrapping up at Pratt Institute which means it’s time to get ready for the summer! Registration is currently open for the summer term at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). In accordance with the stay at home and social distancing measures in place across New York City due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pratt Institute has transitioned its summer programming to an online format. For information about the efforts Pratt has in place to continue to support students throughout this unique time period visit the Pratt Health Advisory webpage.

The transition to virtual teaching presents a range of exciting possibilities for the Pratt community to learn and create together. We encourage current and prospective students to take advantage of the opportunity to study remotely at Pratt SCPS through our online summer programming. Students will have the option to select from a wide range of courses and intensives that can accommodate all schedule types. Whether you’re looking to build your art and design portfolio or simply interested in diving into a new subject area, consider enrolling in one of our credit or noncredit intensives.  To make the selection process easier, here’s a roundup of all the programs taking place this summer online at Pratt SCPS.

The first set of courses offered online this summer are Credit Summer Intensives. There are two sessions taking place with classes meeting virtually over the course of four weeks during the months of June and July. Students interested in registering for the credit summer intensives can choose from the following areas: creative writing, digital photography, drawing, fine arts, fashion design, architecture graphic design, illustration, industrial design, interior design, sustainable design, three-dimensional design. To learn more  about the intensives being offered in each summer session: Summer Credit Intensives.

Student Painting
Courtesy of Daniel Terna

If you’re interested in enrolling in summer courses that have even more flexible class time schedules, consider registering for one or more of the Two-week, Three-Week and Four-Week intensives.  These intensives will be taking place from June through August. Select from an assortment of intensives that include lighting design, design leadership, human centered design, exhibition design and visual branding.  To learn more about the noncredit intensives being offered throughout the summer: Noncredit Summer Intensives.

In conjunction with the array of course options available to students through our Summer Intensives programming, is the online PreCollege Summer Program geared specifically to high school students. Students interested in the online PreCollege Program have the opportunity to select from a range of credit and noncredit courses modeled off of Pratt’s undergraduate programs and taught by Pratt faculty. The online PreCollege Summer Program is a great opportunity for high school students to explore their creative passions, prepare for college, and create an exemplary art and design portfolio. To learn more about the courses offered to to high school students at Pratt Institute this summer: PreCollege Summer Online Program

With the beginning of the summer term just six weeks away there is no better time than right now to plan out your summer. Make the most of this time by registering for one or more online courses at Pratt School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

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An Insightful Conversation with Master Florist and fleursBELLA founder, Bella Meyer

Courtesy of fleursBELLA

For the month of February, we are spotlighting Master Florist, and creator of fleursBELLA, Bella Meyer. Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Bella about her incredible family history and learn more about her immense portfolio of accomplishments which includes obtaining a Ph.D. in Medieval Art History from the Sorbonne in Paris and working for the French Embassy in NYC. Bella Meyer was originally born in Paris, but raised in Switzerland, and naturally found herself immersed in the world of art being the granddaughter of historic artist, Marc Chagall.  As fate would have it, Bella Meyer was destined to build upon her grandfather’s legacy in the art world through creating her own impact in the field of floral art and design.

In 2005, Bella created her floral design studio, fleursBELLA and officially opened the doors to its current location in downtown Manhattan in 2010. Her voyage through the world of art into the field of floral design is as enchanting as her magnificent floral design studio. This spring Bella will be teaching an exciting workshop in the Floral Art for Interiors program at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). Keep reading to learn more about Bella’s professional achievements, family history and her journey as an educator at Pratt Institute.

Pratt SCPS:  Bella you have an incredible resume of accomplishments and a profound history within the art field, could you share a little about your background and what led you into the world of floral art and design?

Bella Meyer:  Art was always the focus in my life. I grew up in a family which believed that art was essential to existence. My father needed to reflect through an art work to understand a thought process. My mother’s main attention was directed towards her father’s work, my grandfather Marc Chagall, who in turn, fiercely believed in the necessity in Art, and its spiritual powers. And so I came to understand that I needed art! Reflecting on its meanings, continuously inspired by daily discoveries of artistic creations, old and new, I also felt the need to make things, to paint, to draw, but this maybe more as expression of great respect to whatever I saw. This need of extrapolating what I felt around me, lead me to design and build theater and dance costumes and props, and even puppets to tell some fleeting stories. I wanted to bring vibrant colors to spaces and moments.

Thus, it was an extraordinary revelation when I was introduced, led by a floral designer, to the richness of the flower market on 28th Street, as we entered the ominous 2 room caverns of Fischer & Page. What magic! I couldn’t believe it: There it was: the complete world of thousands of colors just glaring at me! Tulips, ranunculus, roses, scabiosa, all made me understand that they owned the wisdom of all hues in nature, and only they could lead me to an understanding of this immense world of colors. I had been familiar with the street flower markets in Europe, and readily bought them, always attracted by their colors, to bring and give to my mother, my grandfather, my friends; Yet the possibility of using them, or working with them, to create a specific message, had never occurred to me before. It took me another few years, after learning about floral design, through reading, taking classes and interning, to have the courage to create fleursBELLA.

Courtesy of Saskia Kahn

Pratt SCPS:  How would you describe your artistic aesthetic and what inspires you?

Bella Meyer:  My aesthetic is probably more organic, but strong lines, movement and colors are equally prevalent. Nature is my inspiration. A walk in the forest will always give me clues and answers. The sky, and its light, will give me such encouragement. And then, yes, a single little flower, or a leaf, and the deep silence of a prairie are equally as important, as is any message which might emerge from some one’s art work.

Pratt SCPS: What would you say has been your greatest professional achievement so far? 

Bella Meyer:  Walking into our studio fleursBELLA, with my team organizing the flowers in the front to welcome customers, or working on some wonderful, unique designs for various events, makes me feel very grateful and quite proud! And then I reflect on the large installations we did over the years, whether they were for BAM, on their main Opera Stage (Hermione), or transforming the huge then still raw 2 World Trade Center floors into a large forest, or covering the Frank Gehry staircase of Signature Theatre with thousands of orchids and ticket stubs. Having a colossal but ever so ephemeral looking angel fly down into the rotunda of the Art Museum in San Diego blessing nature and all visitors.

I love for us to take on challenges to respond to smaller art shows, and ever so respectfully and delicately create a dialog with the work exhibited. Bringing in large flowering branches, or small accents to a restaurant, thus creating a mere quiet backdrop to the diners, seems to be just as big an achievement as surprising knowledgeable guests to any Botanical Garden Gala party. Each project brings its own inspiring challenges, and thus feels to be yet our greatest professional achievement

Pratt SCPS:  When did your Pratt journey as an Instructor begin and what has it been like?

Bella Meyer:  My journey with Pratt started in the fall of 2017, when I was still teaching periodically for Flower School New York. Eileen Johnson, its founder and now former director, had introduced me to this wonderful new program incorporating Floral Art into the various disciplines which Pratt has to offer. Each season, I have been greatly inspired by how much the students are bringing into the class.

Pratt SCPS:  As a Faculty Member in the Floral Art for Interiors Program what legacy do you hope to impart to your students?

Bella Meyer:  Well, legacy is maybe too ominous a word, but I hope to give students the freedom to approach each floral creation in their very own and unique ways, while reminding them of listening to each flower’s movement, colors and needs. A floral design can only shine, if it tells a story; thus each arrangement is unique, created from the designer’s heart.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bella Meyer and her upcoming workshop at Pratt SCPS, A Wild Duet: Celebrations of the Arts via Foraged Materials, visit our main website.

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RA Friedman, Figurative Artist and Pratt SCPS Faculty

Courtesy of RA Friedman

For the month of October we are spotlighting Pratt Institute School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Faculty member, RA Friedman. RA is a figurative artist who works at the crossroads of drawing and photography. Intrigued by the idea building bridges to the past and experimenting with older forms in order to find new relationships and relevant expression, his studio practice is informed by a background in science, theater set design, and fine arts. A regular contributor to The Laboratory Arts Collective Magazine and faculty member at Pratt Manhattan as well as continuing education instructor at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, he recently completed a suite of nine multi-figure compositions created with a pinhole camera. Keep reading to learn more about RA Friedman’s professional achievements and his journey as an educator at Pratt Institute.

Pratt SCPS: What motivated you to pursue a career in the creative world?

RA Friedman: I gradually and more or less naturally gravitated to it. I started out in science/engineering but found myself pulled first into theater and then the visual arts. I just felt there was something very primary in this field that I needed to have in my life. Little did I know where it would lead!

Pratt SCPS: What would you say has been your greatest professional achievement so far?

RA Friedman: I have been working on a set of complex multi-figure photographic montages for about eight years and I just created the ninth image. They were made with a camera that uses a very small aperture, often called a “pinhole,” instead of a lens. I have been invited to exhibit these and do a short residency at Lewis and Clark College in Lewiston, Idaho where I will do a number of workshops, including one demonstrating the unique methodology I use that falls between photography and drawing/printmaking.

Pratt SCPS: When did your Pratt journey begin and what has it been like?

RA Friedman: It began by chance. I met Suzanne de Vegh, the director of Continuing Education and Professional Studies, while I was running a vintage portrait booth. We stayed in touch, shared ideas and I taught my first class, Analog Photography in the summer of 2017. As an undergrad, I had been a Pratt student for one year when Pratt still had an engineering program and I ended up teaching in the same wing where I had studied thermodynamics!

Teaching has really been a joy. What I love about the classes at Pratt is the students are extremely creatively and intellectually sharp; not only do they delve into the material, their energy and ideas open up my thinking.

Pratt SCPS: What has been the most important lesson for you as an educator in this field?

RA Friedman: What I have long believed has shown to be true: As a teaching artist, the creative and technical inquiries I invite my students to experiment with need to be parallel to my own ongoing student practice. The educator’s “homework” is to put in as much quality time in the studio as possible, pose the hard problems and dig for resolutions so they can share that journey with their students. On the practical level, I’ve learned not to make assumptions, think ahead, and to always be a little over-prepared.

Pratt SCPS: What upcoming courses will you be teaching at Pratt?

RA Friedman: In the fall, I will be teaching for the first time The Visual Nature of Photography. The goal of the course is to evolve new ways of thinking about what photography can be. In five, three-hour workshops we’ll explore the connections between the technical and process-related aspects of photography and the resulting outcomes. Students will engage with ways of working that will shift their perspective, such as photographing with pinhole cameras made out of cardboard and plastic “toy” cameras.

If you’re interested in learning more about RA Friedman’s upcoming course in the Fine Art Certificate program visit our main website.

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SCPS Faculty Spotlight: Gabriel Cohen

Courtesy of Gabriel Cohen

For the month of August we are spotlighting esteemed Pratt faculty member, Gabriel Cohen, who teaches undergraduate and continuing education courses at Pratt Institute. This upcoming fall semester, Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) launched the Writers Workspace. A new program geared towards students and creative professionals interested in growing and further developing their writing practice. Beginning on October 2nd, Gabriel will be teaching, 1st Chapters: Start Your Novel, a 10 week course that will focus on guiding and preparing budding novelists in taking the first steps towards composing a novel. It will also be useful for writers who may have written some previous drafts.

As a longtime Pratt faculty member, Gabriel Cohen brings with him an extensive and impressive professional and educational resume. He is the author of a literary novel, four crime novels, and a nonfiction book, and was a finalist for an Edgar award. He has written essays for the New York Times, Poets & Writers, and TimeOut New York just to name a few. He is also in his tenth year at Pratt Institute and has previously taught writing at New York University, the Center for Fiction, and Long Island University. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Gabriel Cohen about his life and career. Tune in below to hear all about his  background in the creative world, his literary accomplishments and his approach to teaching as an educator.

Pratt SCPS: What motivated you to pursue a career in the creative world?

Gabriel Cohen: I grew up in a family of writers, painters, and filmmakers, so I was exposed to the creative process very early. I studied English in college, then went on to a stint as a musician and songwriter, and did freelance journalism for a weekly newspaper. I shifted to writing mostly novels because I find it enormously satisfying to imagine characters, places, and stories, and then use craft to make them come alive for readers. I love how both fiction and nonfiction promote a deeper engagement with the world and with other human beings. (I especially love researching and writing about New York.)

Pratt SCPS: What would you say has been your greatest professional achievements so far?

Gabriel Cohen: I was excited to write features about this city for the New York Times, including articles about con artists who actually “sold” the Brooklyn Bridge, and about the brash Comments sections on neighborhood blogs. And I was proud to publish five novels, but an especially satisfying aspect of my career was publishing a nonfiction book about how to survive divorce, and then getting letters from total strangers around the world who said that it helped them get through tough times.

Courtesy of David Iskander

Pratt SCPS: When did your Pratt journey begin and what has it been like?

Gabriel Cohen: I am beginning my tenth year of teaching at Pratt. I have enjoyed helping Writing Program students improve their craft, introducing freshman students to nonfiction through explorations of New York City*, and learning about design myself when I teach thesis writing to graduate Design students.

*For example, I take them on a field trip to write about the Fulton Mall. I ask them if they could write about the city if they were deaf and blind, and then I read them an amazing essay by Helen Keller in which she did just that.

Pratt SCPS: What has been the most important lesson for you as an educator in this field?

Gabriel Cohen: I believe that as a professor I have a responsibility to always keep working on learning about education and improving my teaching technique. It doesn’t matter how good a writer someone might be if they can’t help students learn the craft. I started a program at Pratt to enable teachers to get together for informal meetings to share tips about how we can improve as educators.

I teach that writing is an act of communication as well as self-expression, and that as writers we have to learn craft in order to be able to provide vivid, engrossing experiences for readers.

Pratt SCPS: What upcoming courses will you be teaching at Pratt?

Gabriel Cohen: I’ll be teaching a freshman Studio writing course and a novel-writing course for undergraduates, as well as this adult course for the School of Continuing and Professional studies.

If you’re interested in learning more about Gabriel Cohen’s upcoming course at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies visit the main website. Make sure to  subscribe to our blog stay up to date on all of the upcoming features!


The Student Leadership Team behind the PreCollege Summer Program

(from left back row, Sam, Madison, Veronica, from left front row, Janelle, Eva, Laura, Moby & Urva) – Courtesy of Sam Stuart

The PreCollege Summer Program wrapped up a few weeks ago, however it would not have been a resounding success without the dedication and hard work of this summer’s Pratt PreCollege staff and leadership team. The Pratt PreCollege Summer Program is a month long academic program geared to high schools. It’s a wonderful opportunity for close to 400 students to explore  their interests in art and design and to get a glimpse into what the college experience is really like. At the conclusion of the program students receive elective college credits and have the honor of showcasing all of their hard work in a Final Exhibition. In recognition of the successful end to another exceptional PreCollege Summer Program, we’ve chosen to spotlight the amazing contributions made by the Pratt PreCollege leadership team this summer.

The leadership team was comprised of eight current Pratt Institute students. Each team leader had an extremely active role in all facets of this summer’s program. As a group, the leaders were responsible for their individual roles and duties which included student advisement, coordinating operations, field trips, cultural excursions and additional activities, as well as overseeing the mentors. There were over 30 student mentors this summer all of whom are Pratt Institute students. Who better than Pratt students to mentor, guide and advise PreCollege students about the Pratt experience. Being a part of the PreCollege Summer Program is an experience like no other. Current Pratt students are able to gain highly useful skills that will guide them in both their academic and professional careers.

In recognition of their invaluable contributions to the success of this summer’s PreCollege Program, we’d like to introduce you to the dream team that helped to make this summer’s program a truly exceptional and memorable experience for our PreCollege high school students. Meet Eva, Veronica, Urva, Samuel, Madison, Moby, Janelle and Laura, the Pratt students who helped to coordinate  and oversee various aspects of both the academic and activity related components of this summer’s program. This leadership team had an integral role in making sure all facets of the PreCollege Summer Program came together seamlessly and provided invaluable support to the PreCollege Office staff.

Courtesy of Sam Stuart

Here’s a quick breakdown of each other the leadership team members and their individual roles this summer. For this summer’s PreCollege program, the leadership team was divided into two additional teams within the main team that would be responsible for specific aspects of the program.  The subdivisions were categorized into areas of focus: academics and activities. Team leaders that were a part of the academic team were responsible for coordinating the academic side of the PreCollege program which included student advisement, studio operations, faculty and student support in the classroom and studio space, and assigning mentors to groups of PreCollege students based on their art and design concentrations groups.

The  academic team leaders were the following Pratt students: Veronica, (Grad student, Art Therapy & Creativity Development), Urva (Grad student, Communication Design), Samuel (Senior, Photography Major) and Eva (Sophomore, COMD Graphic Design). Eva a sophomore in the COMD Graphic Design Program was the Design & Operations Coordinator in the PreCollege Summer Program. Her responsibilities included providing design support to the PreCollege office and in addition to this coordinating various operations and working with other team leaders to insure that all aspects of the program ran effectively on a daily basis.

Also providing operational support in this summer’s program was Samuel, a senior in the Photography program. Samuel’s role this summer was being the Studio Mentor Coordinator. Throughout the summer program the PreCollege students would be immersed in a full day of course work and in the evenings they would attend studio space sessions where they had the opportunity to continue to work on art and design projects. As the Studio Mentor Coordinator, it was Samuel responsibility to coordinate which mentors would be assigned to oversee and lead specific studio space sessions based on subject concentrations.

Courtesy of Pratt PreCollege

One important facet of the PreCollege Summer program is ensuring that all of the students have adequate support and resources. Occasionally students requested or needed advisement for a variety of reasons and two of the members of the PreCollege leadership team were responsible for connecting students with the appropriate on campus resources in order to ensure they received advisement and support were Veronica and Urva. Veronica,  a graduate student in the Art Therapy & Creativity Development Master’s program, and Urva a graduate student in the Graduate Communication Design program, both had the role of being Graduate  Assistant Student Advisers. Their contributions to this program included being a resource for students  needing advisement, faculty, coordinating and managing mentors, and providing support to their other team members.

The leadership team members that were a part of the activities team this summer included the following Pratt students:  Madison (Undergraduate student) Laura (Senior, Art History Major), Janelle (Senior, 2D Animation Major), Moby (Senior, 2D Animation Major). Each of these team members were responsible for coordinating the field trips, cultural excursions and additional activities for this summer’s program. They also coordinated and managed the mentors assigned to each field trip and excursion and provided additional support to both PreCollege office, faculty and students.

Laura, a senior in the Art History program and Madison an undergraduate student, were the Art, History and Culture coordinators in the program this summer. They were responsible for coordinating the cultural excursions and assigned mentors to guide PreCollege students during on campus and off campus museum trips which included visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Guggenheim.  Janelle and Moby, both seniors in the 2D Animation program, were the Activities Coordinators this summer.  They helped to support this summer’s program through scheduling and coordinating field trips and weekend activities which include trips to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Governors Island.

Courtesy of Pratt PreCollege

Although this summer’s program has come to a conclusion, the contributions of each of the Pratt student leadership team members was essential to ensuring that the PreCollege students had a rewarding experience in the program. These leadership team members not only contributed a great deal through their hard work and dedication, but they were able to gain invaluable organizational, interpersonal and teamwork skills that they will be able apply to both their academic and professional careers.

To learn more about the Pratt PreCollege Program  visit our website. To stay up to date on the latest student features from  DESIGNTERRA make sure to subscribe. Don’t forget to follow Pratt PreCollege on social media: Facebook, Instagram.

Perfumery and the Evolution of an Industry

Photo: Courtesy of Christin Hume

Over the past half century,  the  fragrance and perfumery industries have gone through periods of both growth and transformation, but none more immense then these last ten years. According to a recent market research report conducted on the current landscape of the global fragrance industry,  shifting consumer demands are playing a key role in the development of new fragrance products and perfumes. These changes are challenging perfumers, fragrance brands and fashion companies to rethink their product development and marketing strategies.  One of these key consumer demands is the  necessity for more transparency in product manufacturing, packaging and marketing.

Transparency has become a vital concern for consumers across industries. When it comes to the fragrance industry it’s not enough to have a product that smells incredible.  Today’s consumers are interested in the details. Specifically the science behind the perfume (ingredients), the product manufacturing process and information about each of the individual perfumers. It’s not enough to launch a new perfume under a historic brand name, consumers want to know: What was the idea and inspiration behind each scent? What are the ingredients? As well as was it created using sustainable  methods? It’s more important now more than ever for fragrance brands to adapt to these shifting demands.

Accompanying the growing need for transparency in product development and marketing, is the groundbreaking transition towards more diversity in the fragrance and perfumery fields. The 21st century is seeing more and more women from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds making waves in the global fragrance industry. Allure Magazine recently published an interesting editorial analysis on this shift towards more diversity in the fragrance industry. In their article, The Changing Landscape of Perfumery, they make note that, “For the first time in memory, women are occupying a slew of top spots in the fragrance industry.” This is a major milestone for women across the board because historically women were not at the forefront of the fragrance industry.  The core of the rationale behind this relates to the history of perfumery in different regions of the world and in  particular in France.

Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Sikkema

Historically perfumery used to primarily be a family business  managed predominately by men. Things began to change as family businesses turned into global brands and corporations. Which gave women more access to the perfumery field. As the industry continues to grow and expand the hope is to see more of a transition towards diversity and inclusion.

At Pratt Institute’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) we strive to keep up with the changes and innovations occurring throughout the perfumery and fragrance industries. For many years we’ve collaborated with the acclaimed and renowned Cinquième Sens, a leading perfumery school in France, to offer an exceptional Advanced Perfumery Certificate Program  which prides itself on being at the forefront of the advancements and transitions shaping the fragrance industry.

Students enrolled in the perfumery certificate program are presented with the opportunity to dive into the field of perfumery through an extensive and exploratory certificate taught by outstanding and esteemed faculty members who possess decade’s worth of experience within the perfumery field. The objective of our perfumery certificate program is for students to not only receive a superior perfumery education, but to acquire the expertise and knowledge to apply their education into a fruitful career in the creative world.

Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Sikkema

As the fragrance industry continues to transform and expand, it will be necessary for the established perfumers and fragrance manufacturers as well as the new generation of perfumers to learn how adapt to this changing landscape. There is a significant demand to integrate transparency in product development, distribution and advertising. As well as a growing need for perfumers to be more transparent about who they are, where they’re from and what in particular inspired the creation of their fragrance products.

SCPS Faculty Spotlight: Ray Mendez

Ray Mendez

“My singular goal is to facilitate businesses’ success by nurturing their brands’ souls.” – Ray Mendez

For the month of May we are spotlighting esteemed Pratt faculty member,  Ray Mendez, who teaches at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. This June,  Ray will be teaching, Organizational Creativity for Business Innovation, a two-week Summer Intensive course on Pratt’s Brooklyn Campus where he brings his singular goal (quoted above) to life for his students. During this course, Ray will teach his time-tested approach to students, unlocking their abilities to help their businesses achieve in days what would typically take years.

Ray is currently a partner at Masa&Boz, a brand and process design consultancy that helps organizations develop evergreen feedback loops between themselves and their customers. At Masa&Boz, Ray works with marketing leaders to create and implement communication and digital frameworks. Ray honed his creative skills as a creative director in Amsterdam, Mumbai, Berlin and New York at large and small agencies. This is how he learned to foster a culture of change and help businesses reset themselves for the future. He has worked with brands like Apple, Russell Investments, the Empire State Building and non-profits like Greenpeace, the National Women’s Law Center and NY Cares.

Ray also works with business leaders to articulate their visions, link sales to purpose, develop innovative products, package business ideas for the investment community, integrate complex digital ecosystems, name new categories, and design brand experiences. His work pushes his clients’ creative boundaries, propelling them to new levels of success, and earning him numerous awards including a Gold Lion at Cannes.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ray’s upcoming summer intensive course,  Organizational Creativity for Business Innovation,  visit our main website.

Summer at Pratt SCPS: The Breakdown On What to Expect

With the beginning of summer just a few short months away, we at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies would like to invite current and prospective students to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered through our summer programming. Whether you’re a local to the New York or New Jersey area or visiting from another part of the country or  globe, we encourage you to make use of the many resources available to  you at Pratt Institute. Studying at Pratt enables students with the unique opportunity to work side by side with some of the most creative and inspiring individuals from around the globe, whose diverse cultural, professional and educational backgrounds and experiences have led them to pursuing an art and design education at Pratt. Having New York City as your backyard is an exceptional perk because it places students in an advantageous position to utilize the best that this vibrant city has to offer.

Now that the spring semester is winding down, it seems fitting to start looking ahead and planning for the upcoming summer season. Every year at Pratt SCPS, we offer an extensive schedule of summer programming for students and adult learners interested in taking advantage of the warm summer months in NYC. This upcoming summer, we’ve slightly revamped our Summer Intensives programming, to offer students an even wider selection of courses and workshops that can accommodate the schedules of all types of working professional and students.

The first selection of courses offered through our Summer Intensives program this year is our credit intensives. There are two summer sessions being offered that run four weeks each. The first session runs through the month of June, (beginning on June 3rd) and the second takes place in July (beginning on July 1st). Students interested in enrolling in our credit summer intensives can choose from the following subject areas: architecture, creative writing, digital photography, fashion design, fine art, graphic design, drawing, interior design, illustration, sustainable design, industrial design, and three-dimensional design. For more detailed information on the courses being offered and the schedule of each summer session: Summer Intensives.

For Students interested in noncredit intensives SCPS is offering certificate programs that range from one week to ten week intensives spread throughout the summer. Our noncredit intensives feature programming in the following subject areas: branding and digital marketing, exhibition design, floral art and design, furniture design, graphic design, motion graphics, perfumery, photography and video, visual merchandising design, public speaking, accessories design, painting, mixed media arts, product design, architecture, lighting design, digital drawing, jewelry design, interior design and much more. Noncredit intensives are ideal for creative professionals and students interested in sharpening their skill sets and expanding their knowledge on a particular subject. For more information: Noncredit Summer Intensives.

In conjunction with the array of course options available to students through our Summer Intensives program, is our PreCollege Summer Program geared specifically to high school students interested in getting a head start on an educational and professional career path in the art and design field. Every summer we welcome hundreds of high school students to our Brooklyn campus for a month long academic immersion into art, design and architecture. Students who attend the Pratt PreCollege Program get to select a concentration of study modeled after Pratt’s undergraduate course study and will automatically be enrolled in art history, foundation and portfolio development classes. At the end of the program students will receive elective college credits and have the opportunity to showcase all of their hard work in a Final Student Exhibition. The Pratt PreCollege Summer Program is a great opportunity for high school to explore their creative passions, prepare for college, and create an exemplary art portfolio.

Whether you’re a student enrolled in one of our Summer Intensives or the PreCollege Program, you’ll discover that you  may occasionally have downtime. We encourage you to supplement your course load this summer by taking advantage of being in New York City. This city is arguably one of the greatest in the world with an unparalleled  art and design scene. From the diversity of people, cultures, sights, foods, and landmarks to the intersection of culture, art, media, design, business, architecture and technology, New York City offers an assortment of the most profound and unique art and cultural experiences on the planet.

Studying in New York during the summer presents the exhilarating challenge of trying to see and experience as much as possible during the only time throughout the year when the weather is optimum for exploring. In fact, every neighborhood in this city comes alive during the summer, offering something unique and intriguing for all kinds of creative types. If you’re primarily studying at the Pratt Manhattan Campus, why not explore the endless array of art galleries in Chelsea and SoHo or the captivating modern architecture near the High Line and Hudson Yards. If you’d like to be more adventurous head uptown towards the Museum of Natural History on the west side or the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the east side.

As a Pratt student you get free or reduced entrance into a variety of museums throughout the city including the Guggenheim, MOMA, The Whitney and the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) to a name a few. If you’re studying at Pratt’s Brooklyn campus, be assured there are just as many wonderful landmarks, galleries, and museums to visit. Including the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the Brooklyn Museum. To learn more about the wide array of resources and activities available to students at Pratt Institute: Student Life. 

There is something truly unique about taking classes during the summer at Pratt Institute. It maybe the long warm days, the beauty of the New York City during the summer, or the plethora of activities and resources available to students at both the Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses. Maybe it’s the energy of Clinton Hill and the adjacent neighborhoods surrounding the Brooklyn campus or the vibrancy of Union Square just steps away from the Manhattan campus.  It could be a combination of all of these things that make studying at Pratt during the summer such a distinctive educational experience.  If you are a current college student, a high school student or a working professional who is on the fence about whether to enroll or register in  one of our summer programs we urge you to seize this  opportunity to study in New York City this summer at Pratt. The rewards from such an experience could prove to be immeasurable.