Alumni Spotlight: Chris Seabrooks

Professionally, I'm freelancing mostly at MerchantCantos which is a creative agency based in midtown Manhattan. I'm doing a lot of infographics for their clients - who because of the new Trump administration - need to be prepared to answer any and all questions relating to the work that they are doing in the US. The unpredictability of Trump is pretty scary and companies don't want the unnecessary attention.

My thesis has not progressed in its original form, Rubbish. But, a friend of mine is implementing some of the games from Rubbish in her camp for special needs children in Springfield, MA. Although I didn't continue with Rubbish, its nice to know kids are benefiting from what I've learn about my own school experience. One day I'll pick up where I left off and start my own program.

Thesis Forum is a great chance for the public to get to know you. Normally you're doing work for everyone else, people don't really have the chance to see you defend your design and talk about why something should exist. You learn so much about yourself. What you're capable of, what you stand for. For me, it made me look at my past and know that it couldn't hold me prisoner. I would be the man God wanted me to be regardless of the education that I’d received. To say to kids you’re awesome, and you deserve a versatile education system.

How has thesis forum changed over the years? It’s the students that have changed, the work gets better and better every year as they get to see what has already been done. Aside from them, I think you actually get to see what you look like because you record them now. It's like having game film, it just makes you better. I didn't really need it because I'm a dynamite presenter, but it would've been nice of Ron to get it right the first time around... love you Ron :P

My favorite part of the MFA Design program was my classmates. They really helped me so much throughout the whole process, at times even more than the teachers. Being in the fire together really helped us to form some awesome relationships. Shout-out to the the best to ever do it! Class of 2011.

SVA MFA Design helped to be a more complete designer and build a solid work ethic. I didn't really know much about design before I arrived. I didn't even know who my teachers really were, or Steve and Lita. I had to do some Googling after my interview. The only reason I applied was because of the thesis itself. I knew it would change my life, I just had to apply myself.

MFA Design's "do it all" approach doesn't change you, but, it does change your perspective. You find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Also, when you build something from the ground up you really see how much of a group effort design can be. Collaboration becomes easier because you know how not to dominate a project, or when you need to pick up the slack for some non-MFAD graduate...I mean get a better education... I mean its never too late to go back to school...when are MFAD applications due?

What advice would I give incoming students?

Love your thesis.
You have all you need, come with passion.
Work late nights...that's when winners are made.
Make friends.
Invite teachers out for pizza.
Hug Steve (he's a great hugger).
Hug Lita, cuz it's rude to just hug one co-chair.

You can check out Chris's work on his website.