Guest Entry: From Norway to NYC

We’re really delighted to share a guest entry from Parsons Illustration student, Vilde Kleppe Braanaas:
When I was 21 it was a very good year; I’ll never forget it. Fall 2010 I came to New York City to study illustration at Parsons with little experience from that specific field. I am a Norwegian woman currently finishing my Bachelor degree in Visual Communication at The National Academy of the Arts and Design in Bergen. I had never before explored illustration in the depth that I felt it deserved, and my fear of ruining blank pages was one that I had to confront. My school in Norway encourages going abroad and for me New York was a natural choice as a cultural Mecca.
Although I was in the illustration program I also took classes in Fine Arts and Design and Management. Working with different professors and students from all over the planet in a dynamic and supportive atmosphere was truly inspiring and broadened my perspective on designing for the global village the world has become.
On the critical side I had expected a greater focus on environmental issues, since this is emphasized in the schools profile. I thought this would be embedded in every process. Parsons has a lot of power, and above all the institution should produce thoughts. We can set norms instead of trends, change minds and affect how we relate to each other and our surroundings.
The Dean, Sven, told all of us in a meeting in August that during our education we had to travel somewhere fundamentally different from what we were used to and explore it in order to grow as designers. Coming from a tiny organic farm on a Norwegian mountain, Parsons, New York and everyone in it, gave me impulses I know I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I hope to return to the city soon, because there is yet so much to experience, share and create.
Links to Vilde’s blog and portfolio: