Friday, November 6, 2009


My midterms went better than expected. My History of Art exam just sort-of came to me. I got an A on English and 4-d, plus compliments from the corresponding professors. I did not have an exam for Drawing, but I think I am in decent shape. Even the most hated of all classes, Light and Color Design, went incredibly smoothly. I still have a lot of working and improving to do, but I think I am on the right track for the semester finals.

Dear Family, I am depleted of supplies. I am in desperate need of the following items, if you can help with just one item, it would help tremendously, many are inexpensive individually. I will consider any help an early Christmas present:

This first one (paint) is by far the most important and urgent thing I need.

1. Golden Acrylic (must be this brand): Primary Magenta (Red), Primary Cyan (Blue), Canary Yellow, Black, Titanium White, Zinc White, (they come in 2 and 5 oz, I would be thrilled with either size)

As far as I know, there is no set containing just these colors, so they must be purchased individually. Any secondary
set (orange, purple, green), tertiary set (red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, indigo, violet) or
neutrals other than black and white (greys, browns, and various umbers) CAN NOT be used. I have to make all my
colors from the primary's, so any other paint colors would just go to waste.
2.Col-Erase pencils (color pencils that can be erased) light blue (and I would like a few other colors to choose from as well, but the light blue is most important)
3. Plastic Palette: Can be any type. Any brand. Nothing fancy required, just need a place to mix my paint (other than cardboard)
4. 11X14 or 14x17 Bristol Pad (Regular)
5. 18x24 Newsprint Rough Surface Sketchpad (Any number of pages or brand)
6. Golden Acrylic: White Gesso (I don't need more than 8 oz to last me through next semester)
7. 8x12 or 8x11 1/2 sketch book
8. 8x12 or 11x14 or 14x17 Tracing Paper
9. 18x 24 Sketch pad, (not newsprint. I have found that Penny Sketch is the cheapest, but this may not be true everywhere. Also the pads have varying numbers of pages, so what may seem cheaper may actually just have half the number of pages, so watch out for that)
10. Pink Pearl Erasers (big pink erasers) and Kneaded Erasers (squishy grey erasers)
11. Compressed Charcoal Sticks- Square (preferably hard, any brand but General)
12. Vine Charcoal- Hard (any brand but General)
13. Index Cards- yep, even in art school, every college student uses them.
14. 1/2 inch masking tape
15. Conte Pencils- Black and white

My school runs the largest and most complete creative materials store in Brooklyn, or so their website says. The Pratt store is really close to campus, and I get a discount. So If you want to help but don't want to pay the cost of shipping, there are gift cards, and I have an account to which money can be added. Talk to me or my Mom for details on this.

If anyone is interested in my video project, it is in pixilation style (stop motion with people). I took about 600 pictures with a digital still camera and edited their duration to make it appear to be video. The sounds were recorded on a portable recorder and edited to the video. It can be found at (I suggest copy and pasting this into your address bar).

I should have the memory card to my camera very soon, so the next blog will have a link to pictures of art, Pratt, and more.

Friday, October 23, 2009

First Chunk of Freshman Year

Hello blog followers, please read the "things I have learned about New York/ College" blog first. Its raining multicolored leaves. My school has a lot of trees and the north likes to loudly announce changes in season. Its a pretty atmosphere which I will hopefully post pictures of soon, (Im waiting for the memory card to arrive in the mail). Thank you again Jamie for the camera. I can either give a photographic or video tour of the school to all those who are interested in seeing my campus. Art will also likely be posted, but, be forewarned that the pieces are a lot of very specific assignments created to teach specific elements. This means some of it could be potentially weird and/or abstract. If anyone is interested, I also have video projects.
I have learned a lot. I am in the center of the world, but more isolated than a Buddhist monk. I am constantly drowning in paint, buried in a book, or locked in the dark corridors of an editing lab. I do occasionally escape to find the artistic and cultural hotspots for New York residents. I have not participated in any of the traditional tourist activities (ground zero, empire state, bus tour, statue of liberty, central park, etc.), but I probably will eventually. There are a lot of free concerts, interesting thrift/vintage/costume stores, and interesting hangouts.
(in this context) Hangout [Ha ng out] n.- A place of interesting cultural interaction. Young and artistic individuals collectively agree to congregate in a typically urban setting. The appeal lies in members wanting to observe and be around other members. For example, a man with dreadlocks comes to interact with the breakdancing asian, who is there to see the trendy art chick, who is there to see the cool writer dude, who wanted to meet a small galleries' curator, and so on. The location is usually adorned with music and either snacks or a bar.
Basically its a cliche, art school kid thing to do, but its fun while its not old. Unfortunately, I have been to busy to spend more than a few hours on things not required for school. The other thing I spend my time doing is watching a lot of movies. I have seen dozens of movies that are mainstream classics, as well as obscure movies that are defiantly worth at least one watch. I recommend Fargo, The Godfather 1 and 2, The Warriors, The Kill Bill series, The Shining, O Brother Where art tho, The Lord of the Rings series, Eraserhead, and a small list of more obscure movies, to those who haven't seen them. The film club is producing a short film, and me and two of my friends are writing the script. I am not sure how we convinced the rest of the club to delegate this task to three freshman, but I think we are doing a good job. We will likely also be involved in the production and post production. I am not sure when it will be completed, but I will be sure to let everyone know.
I camped out for SNL, got tickets (which means they let people in based on the number of non-reserved seats and the order of the tickets). They were letting people in, Hannah went in the elevator, and I was the next in line after her. A few minutes later we got the word that the last group had entered the elevator and they hoped we would try again. It was so sad, but crazy story right? Luckily, in a joking way, me and Hannah had planned for this event. It came in handy, when the unlikeliest of events actually happened.
I am seriously considering switching my major. I am currently Illustration and think I might like Animation. I love Illustration, but I could potentially be even happier with Animation. This would not affect any of my credits, as they have the same freshman classes. It would only affect the direction of my classes from this point on. My favorite foundation class is animation based. I think the major would combine my love of Illustration and Film. I would like feedback on whether or not I should switch.
There is probably a long list of other things I should write about, but I don't remember them at the moment. Thank you for reading this far, and I will post more soon as time allows.

Things I have learned about New York/College

After several thousands of years, I am back with another blog post. I have a lot to say, but I will start with

Survival of the Northest (Most North)- If someone is from a city north of your home city and/or, in closer proximity to New York City, it is presumed they know more about NYC than you do, regardless of whether or not they have ever been to NYC before. If you find you know a piece of information about the city that they do not, it is best to reveal it to them as if they already knew it.
Person A (from San Diego) : I just found out the A line on the subway is undergoing repairs for the next two weeks!
Person B ( Green Bay): I know.
Person A: Ahh man, I should’ve asked you before walking all the way to the subway station.
Person B: Don’t worry buddy, you will get the hang of it eventually.

Despite the fact that Person A’s father lived in Queens, New York and he visited several times a year, and person B had never actually been in NYC before coming to school here, Person A respected Survival of the Northest, or the Northest rule. Thus he just avoided a potentially heated debate

The Exact Location of Long Island- looking at the ground could have saved much of my time spent searching for the location of long island. For those of you who don’t know, Brooklyn is on Long Island. People who claim to be form Long Island are generally from one of two counties north of here known as Nassau and Suffolk. Though Brooklyn is on Long Island, it is never really thought of in that way. There is a Hierarchy system in place as you approach the 5 boroughs of NYC. From Nassau and Suffolk there is Prince county, Queen’s county (which contains the borough Queens), King’s county (which contains Brooklyn), and I assume that makes Manhattan some kind of deity in the eyes of those who delegated names to the counties. Along with this we can assume Staten Island is the mute nephew of the region, and the Bronx is the delinquent uncle.

The Exact Location of Thugs, Criminals, and Lunatics- Brooklyn surprisingly is not the hang out place for all the scary people in NYC. There are scary people in Manhattan too….and we have already discussed the Bronx. (the scatter of criminals is true, but it’s honestly not that bad)

Bright Lights, Tall Buildings, and Elegant Shoeboxes- They say everything is bigger in Texas. But to someone who has only ever known that super-sized world, New York often looks as if it were built for elves. It is easy to be thrown off by many things in everyday life that we Texan’s rarely take into account. A New Yorker must consider, “can the subway withstand one more person? Because that big guy is headed our way.” And “Can I make it between those people and the columns, or will this end with me bouncing off that guy in the Giant’s jersey?” And so many other things we do regularly. The microwave, for instance, works very well, but only fits a bullion cube, or a neatly folded piece of gum. Luckily, I fit very well into crevices, so I am doing quite well.

People Smell Bad in Large Groups- that’s really all there is to it.

Upperclassmenn- The upperclassmen in college are surprisingly similar to upperclassmen in high school. They share with followers of the Northest (Most North) theory, an unshakable faith in their area of expertise. They share with High School upper classmen the belief that when talking to freshman, their area of expertise extends over almost everything. This is intensified by the art school vaccine: varying doses of self-importance’ that is apparently required of every art student. Like both Northest and high school upperclassmen they are generally good and interesting people, but require careful approach in certain situations. The main difference between high school and college upperclassmen the amount freshmen listen to them. College freshman are now generally the same size as their condescending counterparts, and are no longer impressed by their cool cars, especially in New York, where everyone rides the subway anyway.

Public Transportation- Would you like to ride the bus? Before you answer, let me help- you don’t want to ride the bus. It is similar to the annoyance of the school bus except the rowdy kids in the very back are now sleeping homeless people. Your best friend that you shared a seat with on the way to school is one of the alternating bus riding regulars who enjoys staring at you creepily through ancient eyes. Taxis are expensive, and in a pinch, they don’t like to come to Brooklyn (my theory is that Manhatteners and mad because Brooklyn Is still friend’s with the Bronx). Walking is impractical; although the whole city is on about 3/4ths of an acre, there are steal and glass mountains blocking most paths. That leaves one golden option, and this leads me to the next bullet.

The Magical Land That Lies Beneath Us- Subways are fun because they are like a circus you get to be apart of. There are often performers trying to earn money -break dancers on the trains, a 12 year old candy salesman I see every few weeks delivering the same speech, people playing the drums on various buckets, foreign people with instruments I have never heard of, theatrical individuals reciting a shockingly universal speech about their subway pass running out to passer Byers (my theory is includes a, etc. The atmosphere wouldn’t be complete without those people in attire that have to be some kind of costumes, for they are too odd to be real clothes. There is questionable food from shack venders, a constant humidity, and plenty of unidentifiable smells. Even the train helps. The sound of a subway train coming to a stop resembles the simultaneous combination of all the animals at the circus.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Orientation Week

When school starts the post will be less lengthy and frequent due to time factors, but I will do my best.

Orientations on safety, transportation, loans, the city, and all other functions of the workings of college and New York life consumed many hours of the orientation week. At night there are optional activities intended to familiarize the students with each-other and the campus as well as have fun. Adorned with club music, casino equipment, and eccentrically dressed art school faux gamblers, a bricked courtyard formed by the meeting of several of Pratt's largest and oldest buildings served as an interesting sub-level spot for Casino night. The shadows of the dying day through the trees of the large lawn adjacent to the Engineering Building marked the start of the outdoor movie night. Nights of this orientation week each held one of these type of events, which varied in student attendance based on the agreed communal interest in the activity, and even more so on the student body's knowledge of parties on campus and in the area. The schism of the nights was a battle of large scale dodge ball matches and elaborate Pratt game shows versus the parties on the top floor of Pratt's slightly off campus Willoughby Hall and trendy New York club spots. I suppose complete escape from the predictable activities of college life are nearly impossible at any college. However, having little interest in the more sycophantic school oriented activities, or being at the mercy of seemingly predetermined college ignorance, this past week has provided some interesting experiences. I found myself avoiding the widely publicized events, on the roof of my dorm with a few close friends. We enjoyed the view, happily refusing to let the call of either stereotypical scenario dictate our night. Ruling out the activities of an entire day, I met a friend from back home near Parsons in Manhattan (a rival art school known for its world renowned fashion design), and she showed me around her stomping ground. I felt important as I walked past the lines to get free admittance into the Museum of Modern art. Not being a huge fan of "modern" art, I was very pleasantly surprised to find Matisse's "Dance," Van Gough's "Starry Night," Frida Kahlo's "Self Portrait With Cropped Hair," and Dali's "Persistence of a Memory," in the collection. She took us to an above ground railway converted into an elevated walkway overlooking the harbor before heading home. This day timing delivered us to the harbor to witness the sunset illuminate the orange and silver water and imitate the glow of the glass skyline. It was just one of those moments. Imagine a rectangular prism with a rectangle of the same proportion removed from the center to create an interior courtyard. Do that, and you picture the mini park within my dorm where last night's barbeque went down. After the upperclassmen and graduate students proved unable to start a fire (and I began to question the education system), I alerted my roommate to the rescue, as he darted downstairs to start the fire and provided the live music that would ignite a full blown singalong of our favorite songs. Turns out art school kids have good taste in music. The sense of family within my particular dorm is unreal. Being the least luxurious and most claustrophobic of all the dorms, everyone gets to know each-other. Large movie and music sessions in the common rooms complete the experience. All is well.

I am set on supplies due to the help of many of you, I recognize and appreciate everything that has been done to get me this far. Thank you.

Contact info:

James Cody Walzel
200 Willoughby Ave Unit 58932
Brooklyn, NY 11205-7521

Cell: 214-417-0356


Monday, August 24, 2009

New York

Flight was same as all flights, not what your here for. I stepped out into the New York dusk and told the taxi driver to take me to Brooklyn. The New York experience started with the cab driver who couldn't speak English; communicating through nods, grunts, and hand gestures we made it to Brooklyn. As I drove into the heart of this living city the feeling flooded the cab for the first time, my possessions in the trunk, and no intentions of leaving, that this was my new home. Arriving at Pratt my high was immediately counteracted as the driver helped me unload.... ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE SCHOOL! Sounds like a mild inconvenience right? You'd think differently if you lugged over 100 pounds of luggage around the gates of your school on a hot night in the somewhat unfriendly section of Brooklyn only to arrive breathless and several hours late to sign in. After that, it has all been great. They have mandatory and optional seminars on every bit of info you'd ever want to know about the school and all things associated with it. We have gotten several free meals, an outdoor movie on one of our many expansive and aesthetically appetizing lawn areas, and a performance from an international comedian. Within the gates of this school it is a different universe, the atmosphere is unreal. The buildings are scattered throughout, the acres within the gate, ranging in age, style and history, connected by brick walkways. The trees drape scenic shade over the lawns and hills adorned with sculptures of all styles and concepts. The age and history of the buildings vary. There are touches of connivence of new technology and modern resources, but fortunately they do not overpower the charming historic aura of the institute. I will post pictures when I manage to get hold camera to take some with. As the administrators are just arriving, the volunteering upperclassmen have pretty much singlehandedly run the place for the past few days. Through my school I get free entrance to a lot of museums around the city. I also found out that this school was built in 1886 to be ready to turn into a shoe factory overnight were the school to fail. The original machinery has been preserved and still stands within the East Building. Also the book/movie "Art School Confidential" was written based on the author's experiences here as a student. Now I must ask for some help:

Your support is very much appreciated, I will take advantage of these opportunities that I am so fortunate to have.

If you want to write to me or send anything, my mailing address is:

James Cody Walzel
200 Willoughby Ave Unit 58932
Brooklyn, NY 11205-7521

If you want to contact me electronically call/text/email- 214-417-0356
Thank you for interest in my adventures, and all your support.

James Cody Walzel

Friday, July 31, 2009


The plane ride to London was fun. I went with my girlfriend Hannah, who's Dad lives in London for business. The plan was to get up each day and buy a day pass which includes the underground throughout the city and the train into Liverpool station. Hannah's Dad had to work during the week, but was with us on Saturday and Sunday, and took us out to eat or watched t.v with us at night. There were so many places we went and things we did that I don't even know the name of, but I will attempt to convey what I can of the trip. After arriving around 12 London time, and taking a nap, Hannah's Dad showed us around the town where he lives, a suburb/village of London. Fortunately most of the museums and attractions turned out to be either free, or much cheaper with 2 for 1 deals.  We soon found that English candy was delicious, went on to experience the overwhelming extravagance and size of Harrods's, then took a stroll around the area and ate Lunch at the Wellington arch. Making our way to Trafalgar Square, we visited the national portrait gallery and decided not to go to the national gallery out of tiredness. Next was a visit to Big Ben and Parliament. Tate Britian, a ferry ride up the river Thames to Tate Modern, a walk across the millennium bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the business section of London filled our second day. An early train ride to Paris followed by the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame is how I spent Saturday in Europe. The next day we took it easy and visited an English shopping center, went to see Harry Potter, and went out to eat. The next few days were a series of outdoor markets, cool vintage stores, the Tower Bridge and aimless wondering through the streets of the city. Normally it would be dangerous to wonder through an unknown city, but London has no guns, and appears to be extremely safe and clean. On our wonderings we encountered the Portobello market, but thats the only one I knew the name of. On our last few days we were happy to find that the Science Museum was free and amazing, we were able to tour the historic Globe Theatre, and the famous Madam Tussaud's was worth the wait. After the expansive wax museum, we checked out Buckingham palace to wrap up the day. Our last day before the departure day was a great one to go out on. The Aquarium started off the day, followed by a movie museum, riverside performance art/entertainment, and a Salvador Dali exhibit. We got back in town for a last night dinner and to stock up on English candy for the ride home. For pics, go to: