What’s In The VCD Bag?

PORTNY_1_FC881201by Morgan Barba

While most kids walk around the Kent campus sore from Zumba last night and bummed over a B- on their anatomy exam, VCD students often feel a different kind of pain.

It’s not just the pressure of three studios’ worth of homework to catch up on. It’s not tension from this morning’s critique. It’s not even the weight of the (design) world on their shoulders.

It’s the weight of those enormous black bags full of … what?

To those who study Visual Communication Design here at Kent, it’s called an artist bag and it contains every item necessary to life. Namely:

  1. First and foremost: 200 tiny Helvetica-ridden alphabet letters… for a project that happened 2 years ago.
  2. A t-square to use as a straight edge.
  3. Rogue X-Acto blades that are extremely dangerous but somehow they just stay there.
  4. More X-Acto blades.
  5. A self-healing cutting mat.
  6. Everything in the world that is sticky:
    Spray-adhesive to seamlessly attach paper to bristol board without messy glue.
    Rubber cement.
    Artist’s tape. There is hardly a purpose for this.
  7. A watercolor pad. Sketch pad. Newsprint paper pad. Tracing paper pad. Bristol paper pad. Elbow pad, knee pad. Feminine pad, even if you’re a guy.
  8. Tissues that dried your tears after your last GD2 critique.
  9. (The same) tissues that dried the blood from your fingers after the last time you broke out your X-Acto blade because INSPIRATION STRUCK at 3 a.m. and you HAD TO COLLAGE.
  10. A Moleskin sketchbook. If you’re cool enough.
  11. A color wheel because figuring out color triads is harder than you’d think.
  12. Paper clips.
  13. A wood burner that you’ll likely never use, but it’s cool.
  14. Many small boxes that you made for 3D Design and can’t throw away because they took you 6 hours to make.
  15. Probably a couple issues of Computer Arts magazines.
  16. A pack of pencils that costs more than a college education in some parts of the world.
  17. Anonymous pencil shavings.
  18. NOT a pencil sharpener.
  19. Various scraps of irregularly shaped paper that you can’t bring to pitch. You may need that 3×7 kidney-shaped chunk of tracing paper… you never know.
  20. Chapstick. You don’t know how that got there.
  21. A receipt showing that you have officially sold your soul to All Media Art Supplies.

At the end of the day, it’s really just a bag full of hopes and dreams that are stained with India Ink and smell like rubber cement. So next time you see a VCD student rubbing his or her hand, remind yourself of the pain that goes into making the basketball team schedule posters around campus.


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