Name: Sarah (pictured left) and Hannah Friesen
Hometown: Portland, OR
FIDM Start Date, Major, and Campus:
Sarah: I started July of 2009, Visual Communications, Los Angeles
Hannah: I started July 2009, Fashion Design, Los Angeles
Sarah: I took a year and a half at Pacific Lutheran University as an Art Major with an emphasis in Sculpture and a few General Education classes at a community college to transfer to FIDM.
Hannah: Oregon State University for a year, and Evergreen State College the year before that.
Admissions Advisor: Laura Gorham
Tell us a little about yourself.
Sarah: I'm an artistic, motivated, hard working, and creative person. I enjoy road trips, camping, knitting, painting, cooking, and researching new things. I look for beauty in the forgotten and mistreated. My favorite aesthetic is the recycle/upcycle trend, but I really love industrial, antique, and vintage styles as well. I'd like to be an art student for the rest of my life, there isn't a skill I don't want to learn (from life drawing to glass blowing or paper making).
Hannah: I’m kind of a hippie when it comes to life and designing. I want to somehow improve the world through the way I live my life. I aspire to be an environmentally friendly designer, using recycled, reused, or natural fabrics. The designs that may develop from these fabrics range widely from athletic apparel to bridal couture.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
Sarah: I am extremely proud of the scholarship I won for my first year of school here. I'm not sure I would have been able to attend without it.
Hannah: Getting 100% on my final project for Ms. Reigelman’s Fashion Sketching II class. The assignment was to do color matching in a creative way. I chose to use embroidery thread to embroider patterns that corresponded to various famous women from history and I called it "Ode to our Grandmothers."
How did you know that FIDM was the right college for you?
Sarah: Once I realized I wanted to do window displays I started researching colleges. While I was on a road trip I decided to stop in for a visit and everything about the school seemed right. It seemed like a place that offered all kinds of opportunities, and the best part was that the kind of homework I'd be getting was the same kind of stuff I liked doing in my free time. It was nice to find a place where I’d be surrounded by other motivated and inspired creatives.
Hannah: My sister actually convinced me to come. After visiting I realized that if I really wanted to learn the industry inside and out and gain the skills I wanted I couldn’t stay at a school known for Engineering and Agricultural sciences. Now that I’m in my last quarter I want to stay longer because the learning is endless and the resources are priceless.
What are your thoughts on going to school with your twin?
Sarah: It's just like the old days really, only this time we're not at home with parents and we have to cook our own meals. I think since we have different majors its almost like we go to separate schools, because none of our classes overlap.
Hannah: We’re not the kind of twins who are inseparable or telepathic or anything so we function just as well separate as we do together. It is fun when people freak out when they figure it out though. Because we are in different programs teachers and friends don’t realize for a little while that there are two of us.
How did you choose your major?
Sarah: I knew I wanted to do retail display or environment design, so that's the reason I was driven to research and visit the school in the first place. It was a relatively easy decision.
Hannah: I think I can thank my mom for this one. She allowed Sarah and I to dress ourselves from the day we could physically do it ourselves. We were some pretty mismatched kindergarteners, but I would never take back those terrible class photos because dressing poorly led me to differentiate myself not just from my twin but also from the rest of the crowd. Thanks Mom!
Sarah, tell us a little about your scholarship entrance project.
I had to create an inspiration board, store layout (including display fixtures), magazine advertisement, and window display for my choice of department store. I went with my favorite, Anthropologie.After a little brainstorming I came up with a theme that correlates with the aesthetic of their stores and everything went pretty easily from there. My theme was "Let's Make This Depression Great!" playing off of vintage elements, the Great Depression, and the economic issues that were happening at the time.
My favorite part of my project though was the magazine advertisement. I took a friend of mine to Anthropologie and we purchased clothes for her that fit the theme of my design, then we went to an interesting park in Portland and photographed her with props and elements that I had collected. I compiled the best photos and created a layout in Photoshop that would be great featured across two pages in a magazine.
How did you feel when you found out you won a scholarship?
I felt so many emotions all at once. It was amazing because when i got the call I happened to have just been dealing with financial paperwork for school and worrying about how we were going to make this adventure happen, and then I got the call. Laura Gorham (my Admissions Advisor) had asked the committee to call me herself and that made it even more special, coming from someone I knew. She just laughed when she heard my mom and I screaming on the other end.
Tell us a bit about your internships.
Sarah: I walked into Anthropologie with a resume and a book with some work samples and had an impromptu interview on the spot. I got a call back after the weekend and later worked out the scheduling and such. I believe my title is Visual Team Intern and I get to help with whatever they need. Right now we're creating the elements that will go into the large displays for the holiday season.
Hannah: Last quarter I interned for a company called Gas’d. Imani Waddy is the designer and founder of the company and his message is of sharing love through creating and expression. I enjoyed my experience because he really trusted me to do everything from processing orders to designing new things for him. This quarter I’m actually going to be processing some of his orders as a part time job, so I’m looking forward to that.
What do you expect to gain from attending FIDM?
Sarah: I hope to gain the experience and knowledge base to get into a visuals position with a great company. I know I've already learned so much here, now at the final bit of school I'm learning how to apply the skills I have into a sought-after resume and portfolio.
Hannah: A great set of technical skills, an understanding of the industry, a network of friends and industry contacts, and the knowledge that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. Seriously, you get out what you put into your education and that lesson is priceless.
What is your ultimate career goal after graduating from FIDM?
Sarah: Ultimate sure is a big word! Of course I'd be thrilled if Anthropologie would have me as part of their visuals team, but I'm also looking into other options as well. I would love to help create and brainstorm the concepts for a store's visuals, creating prototypes and new designs would be amazing. Ultimately though, I hope to stay within the retail world and experience and create as much as I possibly can.
Hannah: I have three career goals that I would love if I could achieve simultaneously, but you really can’t be in three places at once. One goal, probably the first I will look into, is getting into designing for Nike up in Portland. Another is designing for Anthropologie or Free People. And the final goal would be to be a bridal designer for either a company like Vera Wang or Priscilla of Boston.