Ali Jay
Senoir Thesis 2020 Blog


Blog 1

Self Assessment

    The most successful project I have ever tackled was the “Barrel Room Sessions” video series during my internship at Mile High Spirits Distiller. We got it sponsored by Pepsi, and I booked 6 major bands to come and play a few songs for each episode. They have not been released yet, because the whole season will be 12 episodes. Due to the pandemic, I cannot actually release them to view until we can finish the bookings. I designed the set, helped with artist hospitality, booked them, and got together the best team of videographers in Colorado to join the team. It turned out wonderfully so far! I would say this is almost my most critical team role I have every fulfilled because I went from being a design intern to a full time talent buyer as well. It has been my foot in the door to the Denver music scene and built my reputation higher than ever before. Musicians and budgeting the bookings are equally overwhelming.  My go-to skill to overcome any obstacle in the music scene is to always look to my role models for guidance. Strengths others acknowledge in me range from my sociability, management skills, photography talent, and ability to bring communities together. 

    Every week I would have to find bands and book them out for months in advance, then create their graphics for every event, and do all of the budgeting and hospitality. Most times I would also do some concert photography during my events as well. The skills I enjoy the most, would be connecting with artists on a deeper and a more professional level. The skills I have mastered but would rather not use every day would probably be doing video work, simply because it is so time consuming and there is always more room for error, which keeps me nervous and on my toes. The strengths and skills I believe will be the most helpful to me after I graduate will be practicing more video editing and I would like to do more marketing as well. The skills I am missing would be more practice with website design and honestly I still don’t feel like I am very good with photoshop even after all these years. I would like to be able to illustrate better as well. 

My top five strengths:

  1. Relationship Builder

  2. Demographically aware

  3. Creative with eventing ideas

  4. Skilled photographer/videographer

  5. Morally-Driven to support artists of all kinds.

My weaknesses are time management, because I typically push myself too hard to do as much as I can for everyone that needs me. My other weakness, would be the level of confidence I have with my design work. I feel like starting with my degree with no idea how Adobe softwares worked really scared me and set me back to feeling like everything I made was generic and didn’t stand out. It wasn’t until this degree helped me find my love for my camera again, which may be my overused strength, that I felt this degree would continue to be of use to me. The least successful project I have ever worked on would have to be pretty much anything I’ve done in my junior year with animation. It was very confusing for me but once I understood it better I began to actually really love it. My three weaknesses that I want to overcome with my thesis project is to become a better designer, step out of my comfort zone with out fear, and have something I am actually really proud of making. I want to learn how to keep my process simple but sleek, so that my time is managed and I can produce something of higher quality.


Blog 2


PASSION: With out passion in my job and my team, I lack motivation. If I am not passionate, then how could I possibly be the right person for the job? 

RESPECT: I treat others with respect and expect respect in return. If there is no respect, from my past experiences, then typically there is a lack of communication that could break a hard working team apart. If I feel disrespected, I will find someone to work for that is deserving of my loyalty.

COMMUNITY: I believe in community to be one of my strongest values. I am a team player, and I think the most support for businesses always starts with a foundation built on community. I rely on my music community in all aspect of my life, whether it be personal or professional; they rarely let me down.

While the pandemic has hindered my ability to connect with my music community and ability to take on work like I used to, I do feel like I am living in alignment. All I can do is go though this metamorphosis we all are going though until things may become normal again. The choices I have been making recently, have actually come with a new epiphany of adulthood, thanks to COVID19. Seeing all our jobs we were so passionate about get put on the back burner or even terminated, changed my perspective a lot. I now have a 5 year plan, to live in low income housing, and work  a well paying job I am not very happy with for now, until I can purchase a home and build a studio. The studio is my dream right now. It will be shared with my partner, a record producer. We will create an atmosphere where bands and artists will be able to not only record their albums, but also the other half of the studio will be my photography/videography studio. I value local musicians trying to make it, and it is my dream to help them find their way. (Plus commuting to my back yard will be pretty great too.) Community, and passion will drive me all the way until my life’s next venture.  These are not just my values, they are my passions, and my goals. 


Blog 3

If I can make my thesis music industry centric I think it will help my ability to work in all areas of the industry, from design, to eventing, to interface structuring and social media.

My current internship is helping with the design aspect, but not working for a media outlet right now is holding me back. With COVID, the only platform for me currently to help in the industry with social media.

I think that designing an application for touring bands to borrow instruments/amps/gear on the road and to connect while on tour for social or hosting purposes is a great idea to get started for when COVID is over. The only thing I worry about is if COVID will ever be over. The future of the industry I have invested all of my heart and soul into has gone ablaze amidst the pandemic, and every idea to keep the industry alive has taken its course. There has been so man live streams the only people getting money for their streams are the already established bands under labels doing their best to take care of them. I have many mentors and every single one of them is struggling. My resources range from a couple of high up mentors at Clear Channel (iHeart Radio) to festival coordinators to the under dogs of the Denver Music Scene. I have no intention on giving up on the music industry and my biggest challenge this year will be to create something of use for the world of music media.

My timeline seems near impossible to figure out. If the pandemic wasn’t happening, it would go as follows: 


Blog - Research Question draft #2

Step 1 - Based on the feedback you have received and your continuing research, in your blog, please rewrite (or create anew) the question that you feel is the closest to expressing your interests while defining the problem and how design will be used to solve it.

Visually, I received feedback that my typography wasn't very good. As far as my branding plan goes, I haven't received much feed back from classes recently due to my absence. My bands are currently really happy with my ideas thus far. For my ID kit, I feel like I need to work on my mission statement and I don't want to change my logo because it is already well known so I have been struggling to draw up some new ones.

Step 2 - Take your newly refined research question and ask no fewer than five non-design majors to read it and tell you what they believe it means. Be sure to note their responses and any questions they ask for clarification. Also, as is the case with any survey, be careful not to lead or bias their responses. After you have conducted your survey, in your blog, please recap the participants' responses and your thoughts in paragraph form.

As far as my branding plan goes, I have created a template for 3 bands (with 4-6 people each all giving input) of different genres to tell me what they want to see in the different levels of branding tiers. My greatest feedbag was social media assets, headshots, and Instagram video clips. My new question is, what is my most reliable resource to learn about social media posting?


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