Author’s Note

“One of the things that differentiates advertising education from other disciplines is that we’re creative sociologists. We have to adapt, understand, and work with sociological and ethnological constructs, so the curriculum requires constant revisions according to market trends.”
— Mikio Osaki, Chair of Advertising at ACCD from 1995-2008
(STEP Inside Design, May/June 2005)

I never thought I would end up here.

This is so true for me on so many different levels. I could never bottle the excitement of coming to this school in one paragraph or page. But all I can say is that my time here has proven to be a humble, focused, and thrilling experience.

I’m local to Los Angeles, born and raised, so it was inevitable that I would eventually find Art Center. I discovered the school around 1995, right around the time when I graduated from high school. From time to time, I would peek at the work in the student gallery for inspiration. I regarded the gallery as my personal sanctuary, my church, and hoped that one day my work would be up on those walls as well.

That dream wouldn’t come to true until 10 years later. I was promoted to an Art Director, and I came to the horrible realization that I simply was not ready. I was terrified. But instead of continuing in fear, I swallowed my pride, packed up my belongings, assessed my goals, and decided to do something outrageous. I chose to continue my education.

YRBK is an online journal detailing my raw experience as a student of Advertising at Art Center College of Design. I’m an open book and tend to get a little emotional at times with the constant stress. I find it highly abnormal, since I’m a 30 Somthing with a 26 year-old mentality. My school has been rumored as being called a “medical school without the blood”, “design bootcamp” or “Harvard” of design. It’s true. But it’s a sweet surrender.

Art Center is a different kind of education and college. There are no fraternities, sororities, toga parties, or keggers. (Although, some of us wish there were!) The ethos of the school encourages the process of design through exploration, growth, and most importantly–failure. Quite the opposite of what you’ld expect from a $100K education.

But I have seen miracles happen here.

YRBK is a testament to the heartfelt anguish; the lonely days, sleepless nights, emotional breakdowns, and raw frustration of being a student at one of the leading design colleges in the world.

I hope that this blog will find others who think the world’s a little fucked up and work hard to improve it. I hope it provides comfort to those in the sometimes scary and disheartening process of exploration and design. I hope in helps in their pursuits. And maybe even provide a little direction for others still looking for one.

Ray Allan David
10/14/2010. First drafted in September 2008, Revised March 2009

**Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, comments.

rdavid [at]

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