Creative Current 2022-2023 - Page 18

Fine Arts Spotlights

Design Professor Lands Project in Times Square

When Assistant Professor of Design Ron Edelen dives into freelance design projects with some of the most recognizable brands in the world , that translates into opportunity and real-world knowledge for his students .
Last year was a busy year for Edelen . While he devotes much of his time to teaching Jacksonville University media art and design students , any spare moment outside the classroom is spent conceptualizing projects for ad agencies and brands like T-Mobile , Porsche , and Couchbase .
In collaboration with San Francisco-based ad agency Skona , the most visible of those projects was for Couchbase , a tech company launching its initial public offering .
In Times Square , the marketing mecca plastered with advertisements , lights , color , and people in New York City , Edelen ’ s motion design for Couchbase was featured in the middle of it all – illuminating the curved 12,000-square-foot Nasdaq screen as the company opened trading on the New York Stock Exchange .
But he says the hard work and long hours are well worth it . It not only keeps his skills sharp , but he can deliver relevant , realworld knowledge to his students , which is crucial for faculty of any discipline .
“ A student could come in and say , ‘ hey , how can you do XYZ in this new application ?’ And having that exposure in actual commercial practice helps me not only navigate them and facilitate their learning but also respond in a way that ’ s relevant ,” he said .
Leveraging longtime contacts and clients landed him several design jobs in the past several months for high-profile clients .
For T-Mobile , Edelen designed work to go along with its launch of 5G networks for business applications . In the past , he ’ s also helped the mobile phone provider design 3D enhanced , mobile-compatible immersive websites .
He ’ s also helping Porsche promote its test track in Atlanta , Georgia , where drivers can test out different car models . He helped design digital materials on how customers can custom-build their vehicles and experience driving them on the track . That project has yet to be released , he said .
Those clients join a long list of major brands Edelen works with , including HGTV , Volvo , Mack Trucks , Google , Amazon , MetLife , NFL Network , Regal Boats , BMW and Dr Pepper .
Prior to teaching at Jacksonville University , Edelen owned a digital advertising agency in Charlotte , North Carolina for over 10 years .
While his main focus today is teaching , Edelen keeps a large roster of ongoing projects for his extensive network of clients , translating that experience to guide students in his classes .
“ There ’ s a lot of commercial value and benefit to designers in the marketplace ,” he said . “ So we talk about how you charge for what you do from a fee-for-service base . How do you negotiate salaries ? What ’ s the difference between hourly and value based ? All kinds of things that we need to discuss as creative individuals in today ’ s economy . But it ’ s hugely important to justify the value that we bring .”
Along with the upper-level design classes he teaches at Jacksonville University School of Art & Design , Edelen teaches a course in creative entrepreneurship . There , he ’ s able to impart his knowledge and help students better sell their talents .
If students want similar gigs to his following graduation , Edelen stresses the importance of finding a niche within design , whether that ’ s a field of study or design specialization . For him , that ’ s emerging technology such as mixed reality , motion and immersive interactive design .
“ When there ’ s a project associated with those areas of interest , I raise my hand and we jump onto it ,” he said .
By Katie Garwood
www . ju . edu / steincollege 10
FOLLOW FOLLOW US US FOR FOR THE LATEST LATEST NEWS NEWS STEIN COLLEGE MAIN ACCOUNTS @JULBSCFA Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for our Creative Arts Series events JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ACCOUNTS @JUALUMNI @JUALUMNI_FAMILY Visit www.ju.edu/social for the entire directory of Jacksonville University social media accounts Friends of Fine Arts The Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities relies on the generosity of our donors to fulfill our mission. We gratefully acknowledge the following Friends who have made gifts of $250 or more during the past fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Members receive complimentary tickets to select Creative Arts Series events and invitations to exclusive Friends of Fine Arts events throughout the season. To join this distinguished community of supporters, visit www.ju.edu/give/steincollege/ or call (904) 256-7345. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Aegis Consulting Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Aenchbacher, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Baker Mr. and Mrs. George G. Ballis Dr. and Mrs. James Beasley Mr. Mica R. Bethea Mr. Gary S. Black Mrs. Margaret Black-Scott and Col. David R. Scott Peggy and J.F. Bryan IV Ms. Thoi T. Bullard Ms. Sherrill A. Casey and Mr. Bela Bakai Cathedral Arts Project Mr. and Mrs. Michael A. Cirino City Year Jacksonville Dr. Lee Ann Clements and Mr. Jeff R. Clements Mr. and Mrs. Artie Clifton Ms. Jackie Cornelius Tim and Stephanie Cost Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Mr. Darren Dailey Hon. Robert Dees and Mrs. Margaret Dees '86 Ms. Kelly A. Delaney and Mr. Laird A. Myer Mrs. Patricia A. Delaney Mr. Kevin Delgado Ms. Melissa M. Delgado Mrs. Candace Dickens Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson R. Edwards Mr. Julian E. Farris First Coast YMCA Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan D. Fleece Dr. and Mrs. Robert G. Flick Dr. Erich D. Freiberger and Ms. Cari E. Coble Mr. and Mrs. John R. Frus Dr. Janet M. Haavisto Mrs. Carol Harrison The Hartley Press Healy Foundation Mr. and Mrs. David G. Healy Mr. and Mrs. William E. Hill Mrs. Cynthia R. Hoffren Jacksonville Symphony • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Mr. James C. Johns Mr. and Mrs. Charles Joseph Ms. Mari Kuraishi Dr. and Mrs. Gasper Lazzara Ms. Tiffany E. Leach Ms. Susan M. Masucci and Ms. Katie McCaughan Mr. and Mrs. Matthew S. McAfee Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. William J. McNeiland Mr. John J. Miller and Ms. Marica Pendjer Mr. Joel A. Mott III and Mrs. Linda M. Cliff Frank and Karen Pace Mr. Brian A. Palmer Mr. Clifford H. Parrish Mr. John J. Petrakis Mr. Mark F. Polanis The Rockley Family Foundation Dr. Christine M. Sapienza and Ms. Jasmine Bragg Dr. and Mrs. William L. Schirmer Mr. Daniel Schlueter Mr. Thomas P. Schmidt Dr. Sonja Schoeppel Mr. and Mrs. William J. Schroder Ms. Dorothy D. Smith Mr. and Mrs. Darnell Smith Dr. Timothy C. Snyder and Dr. Michael Mastronicola Mr. and Mrs. William K. Spiers Linda and David Stein Mr. and Mrs. William J. Struck Theatre Jacksonville Mr. and Mrs. James Tilley Ms. Frances E. Tompkins Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Torres Ms. Dana L. Tupa United Way of Northeast Florida Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Watson Ms. Christine C. Whitney, PA Carolyn Munro Wilson Ms. Linda Wisler and Mr. Andrew E. Starnes Zimmerman Family Foundation