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Ubi Sunt – A Design Exhibition by Emily Zajac

Spending my Friday night at an art gallery is something I find myself increasingly committing to these days, and especially so when a fellow intern is involved. This past Friday our graphic design intern Emily Zajac attended the opening night of her senior design exhibit, titled “Ubi Sunt,” along with several others at the Buffalo Arts Studio.

After work on Friday I took a drive down Main Street to the giant warehouse of a building that is the Tri-Main Center. After struggling for a few minutes to find the entrance, I made my way to the fifth floor and followed the signs through a winding corridor of art and art studios until I reached my destination. The place was packed. A central buffet of hors d’oeuvres and craft beer was surrounded by the capstone projects of nine seniors from Villa Marie college. After several minutes of drinking, chatting and exploring the work of these students, I settled my gaze on the piece I had come here for. Emily was nice enough to give me a tour of her exhibit and a bit of insight into her work.


The Artist: Emily Zajac

Emily Zajac is a senior graphic design student at Villa Marie College. [From Artist Bio]: She enjoys the challenge of making something from nothing, organizing elements on a page, and helping others reach their goals. Emily hopes to use her design chops to help small businesses and non-profits stay focused on their mission and achieve greater with strong branding, effective visual communication, and targeted marketing materials. In her downtime she likes to make handcrafted greeting cards, eat yummy food, and hang out with her cats.


So what is “Ubi Sunt”?

“Ubi Sunt is latin for “Where are they” or “Where are those who are before us.” The phrase was used in a lot of medieval poetry and has since turned into this literary motif that’s used in poetry and music, and so I wanted to translate it visually with a photography series. After that I took the series, branded it and created marketing materials for it: posters, postcards, tickets, a package design for a camera, etc. So ultimately I took this kind of weird concept and translated it into marketing materials.”


Where were these pictures taken?

“It’s kind of an autobiographical series, so a lot of them are of my best friend, my boyfriend at a train station (we’re long distance so we travel a lot to see each other), and then around my house. It’s very nostalgic places – like where I grew up, the buildings out on my property, that kind of thing. There are a lot of images in my mind that remind me of childhood, and so I tried to capture them in these photos.”


Using black and white 35mm film photographs, Zajac captures well a not-so-subtle feeling of nostalgia in her photos that, according to her, “taps into the same near-yet-far memories that every person encounters in their life.”

For more of her work, check out Emily Zajac’s website here. “Ubi Sunt,” along with the other design installations from Villa Marie college, will be up at the Buffalo Arts Studio until April 29th, so check them out while you still can!


© SunSpin Media 2015


People of SunSpin – Dain Kim

Welcome to SunSpin Mondays, a blog series where we showcase what makes SunSpin Media unique –  our people and our personality, every Monday. This week, I sat down with our Associate Creative Director of Film & Video, Dain Kim. Dain specializes in all forms of video production, and can regularly be seen hopping from video shoot to video shoot. She is a fundamental part of what keeps SunSpin in orbit. I wanted to find out more about who she is and how she became a part of the SunSpin team.


The Interview

My name is Dain Kim and I was born and raised in South Korea. I do mainly video production, from event coverage to commercials and anything in-between.

How did you get into film production?

My interest in film started a long time ago, when I first began watching music videos. They are often composed of a bunch of one-second frames, each of which I think is meaningful, so I like how all the small clips work to create one idea. The music then works together to give more meaning to the video, and I’ve always found that fascinating.

What do you love about film production?

I choose this field because it’s basically every form of art combined into one finished product and I love that. I also love that I get to do a thorough analysis of the subject of my films. I think film is about having a complete knowledge about your subject and using that to build layers of meaning, and that’s what makes a film great. My favorite part about film-making is the actual production aspect, when you’re running around getting the actual shots and working with the actors/actresses and camera crew.


How did you make your way to Sunspin?

I was an intern to start off. After I graduated, I kept in contact with my boss, and he ended up recommending me for the position.

What is your favorite thing about working at SunSpin?

My favorite thing is that I am given full control and freedom to develop my own ideas, and that everyone else around me is so open-minded and willing to help make them a reality. I think that is unique at SunSpin.

What motivates you?

New things. New ideas, new goals, etc. I can’t handle too much routine every day. I get so excited whenever beginning something new, whether it’s a project, a relationship, or something else. Sometimes if a project is going really slowly, I break it down into sections so that when we start a new part of the project, it seems like something brand new, and that helps me get focused.


What does creativity mean to you?

To me it’s observation. Creativity comes from thorough observation. Especially when it comes to film, you have to observe and understand your subject matter; and once you do, you can create something around it.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

My boss actually asked me that question in my interview for this job. My ultimate goal in life is to get to know myself fully. Every day I question who I am – and I’m not sure if I will ever be able to entirely answer that question, but I think it’s an important one to always be asking yourself who you are and what you represent. In order to fulfill this I always try and get out of my comfort zone by trying new things and activities like running 5K races, going to music concerts, and pushing myself in whatever I’m doing. I also have plans to go skydiving this summer, and I’m going to make a reservation so I can’t get out of it!

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Artiste Locale: Marcelo Florencio




Artiste Locale: Marcelo Florencio from SunSpin Media on Vimeo.

The 2014 summer SSM Creative Team embarked on a long perilous journey to find the perfect match for their recent rendition of the Artiste Locale. The process of unearthing an uncommon artist seemed daunting at first but your friendly neighborhood SSMC Team pooled their brain power and found the man for the task. Meet Marcelo Florencio; A Brazilian-born, Buffalo-residing glass artist with an eye for all things natural. The man was a magician of sorts, casting spells  and conjuring flames that morphed glass elements into immovable modern figurines and ornaments filled with vibrant color. Although his art was stationary, Marcelo showed us that his work could take flight—almost literally…

During the time spent with the glass artist, the team quickly noticed his ability to multitask through the interview process, so as a result, we chose to ask a series of hard-hitting questions as Marcelo worked on his latest project for an aquatic loving client. Capturing him in this state allowed for an out-of-the-box film approach establishing a very hands-on, interactive interview.

The focus of the interview did remain on Marcelo and his glass art but we wanted to make sure the audience had room to understand his journey to the path of enlightened glass-work. That’s where we intertwined his travels between Brazil, USA and Italy with idea that his art didn’t need to have boundaries to flourish. His cross-cultural studies and aptitude to mold into his new self truly allowed him to become a professional, but what really set him aside from the other artists was his undying love of hybridizing different cultures into his work.

It was extremely interesting seeing Marcelo in his natural habitat and because of this, we were able to capture the essence of his message in his collected state. The end product was an extreme success. We hope you enjoy our last contribution to the summer 14′ SSM Creative Team.  Be well fellow readers and remember, do not let boundaries set you back, let them be transparent as you enter your very own road to success.


Artiste Locale – Bill Battaglia

When I first met Bill at his home in Williamsville, we spent about an hour discussing about his art work, inspirations, and his goals as an artist.

Bill Battaglia, an emerging local artist, is a painter, photographer, and a sculptor. He named his type of art as “Modern Decay”. He enjoys finding and repurposing salvage items like abandon wooden blocks, or wooden pieces, turn them around and make them into beautiful art pieces. He likes bringing new life into old abandoned items. Continue reading


Why So Serious? – Short Film

Greetings everyone!
We’re a group of 5 interns, who just a few weeks ago, were complete strangers. Yeah, faces may have looked familiar, we could have passed one other on campus,  or sat next to each other on the crowded subway.
Continue reading