Upon entering the front of the Tentcraft building for the first time, I encountered a familiar face—a cardboard cutout of Darth Vader (complete with Viking helmet). My first thought was, "At last, I have found my people." Freshly minted from design school, I have been given the opportunity to be the art intern at Tentcraft. Hi there, I'm Kristina Buntic. Nice to meet you.
Production & Philosophy
One of the major philosophies at TentCraft is that if you understand the entire production process, you'll gain a thorough knowledge as to how your job affects the process. So—I spent my first few days at TentCraft in the production area where the fabrication of our tents happen. It's a massive area filled with all sorts of different processes—all essential to the ultimate goal: assembling the tent and shipping it out. It also contains a large holding area for tent frames (in boxes), which has the potential to stage the greatest game of hide and seek, this side of the Mississippi.
In production, I learned about the different printers and their capabilities—from the Zund cut table (which can cut wood, some metals, and of course fabric) to the industrial strength sewing machines used to fuse various tent pieces together (all of which have the potential to take off a human finger—luckily, extremely talented individuals operate them). Just the other day, I was called back to production to help assemble my very first tent! It was easier than it looked, which was a relief, since I struggle at pitching the average camping tent. Nevertheless, quality and efficiency rein at Tentcraft, so I was bound to succeed.
Keyboard Shortcuts & Design Ninjas
The Artists at Tentcraft are a talented bunch. While shadowing each of the artists, I was amazed by their efficiency. They truly are design ninjas substituting nun-chucks for keyboard shortcuts. For anyone who is unfamiliar with what keyboard shortcuts are, here is some clarification: they are a small combination of computer keys, when executed properly, deliver a faster means to an end. Keyboard shortcuts are essential in the world of design. I probably embarrassed myself while watching our artists work, with my mouth hanging open in awe. Their carefully developed "claws of fury" (as I affectionately call them) are impressive to observe and they'll certainly have me sharpening my claws in the weeks to come.
My Desk & The Importance of Coffee
My desk is located in the Art Department/Project Management section of the main office building. Actually, it's more like the Sales/Marketing/Art Department/ Project Management wing, since we all intermingle together. SMAP sounds a little more fun so let's use that. The close proximity to one another not only fuels the fluid machine of progress but also fosters a strong camaraderie among the team which also means plenty of fun.
My desk bridges the point between art and project management—and akin to any other workplace desk, populated with a computer, post-it notes, and telephone. Yes—that's right. I have an inter-office phone number. It's everything an intern could dream of; however, I must confess that I nearly gave myself a heart attack when I thought I heard the first ring from my phone. Each time a phone rings near me, I silently twitch. I'm hoping to muster the courage needed to greet the opposite voice the day my phone actually rings (Let the hazing of the intern commence).
There is one final item on my desk that I consider to be of the utmost importance: my coffee cup. Yes, coffee. Did I mention that my employer provides coffee and hazelnut creamer? It is the diffuser of Afternoon-Contagious-Yawning-Syndrome (ACYS) and the sweet nectar that fuels creativity.
As I enter my first full week here at Tentcraft, I find that I am expanding my skillset daily. Under the tutelage and guidance of my fellow employees, I know that I will be molded into the best designer I can be. I sure am glad to be here.