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Lauren Richel Kelly

MPS Business of Art & Design

Class of 2012

Lauren Richel Kelly ’06 '12 is a New York-based art director, wedding designer, and crafter. She’s worked for both Martha Stewart Weddings and kate spade, and while she’s currently designing for Madewell at J.Crew, Kelly has launched Ditto Paper with her friend and fellow MICA alumna, Gina Dean ’06 '12. Together they offer custom stationery designs. Kelly decided to pursue MICA’s online Master of Professional Studies in The Business of Art and Design program because she felt the program’s unique focus would benefit her as a freelance designer, giving her the skills to grow Ditto Paper even as she continues to lead a busy life. Before graduating earlier this year, Kelly gave Juxtapositions a snapshot of a week in her life as student, designer, entrepreneur, wife, and friend.

Monday

5 am – 6 am: Get started on this week’s very rigorous schedule. I am a very organized person, and I love making “to-do” lists, which ensure I accomplish all I need to do—and with my schedule, that’s a lot! I begin the day by watching a pre-recorded lecture covering memos and letters for Tuesday night’s business writing class.

6 am – 6:40 am: Get ready for work, walk to train station.

6:56 – 8:25 am: Read required texts for Tuesday night’s class while on Metro-North train to Manhattan and again on the subway. We’re covering a broad range of business-related writing needs and styles in this class—today’s assigned textbook reading covers résumés.

8:30 am – 5:30 pm: Another day at work in downtown Manhattan as in-house graphic designer for the marketing department at J.Crew.

5:30 pm – 7 pm: Continue to read for Tuesday’s class on subway and while on Metro-North train home.

7 pm – 11 pm: Eat dinner, spend time with my husband, Craig, and our cat, Marmalade. Check emails after dinner and follow up with clients, as well as my friend and business partner, Gina Dean, for our freelance stationery business, Ditto Paper.

Tuesday

5 am – 6 am: I’m an early bird and don’t require a lot of sleep (which is hereditary). This trait helps, as I’ll spend the early morning continuing to watch pre-recorded lectures for Tuesday night’s business writing class.

:56 – 8:25 am: Read required reading for Tuesday night’s class while on Metro-North train and subway if needed. We have 10 readings assigned each week for both classes!

8:30 am – 5:30 pm: Another day at work!

5:30 pm – 7 pm: Continue the required reading on the subway and Metro-North train home.

7 pm – 8 pm: Eat dinner, spend time with Craig and our cat, Marmalade.

8 pm – 9:30 pm: Log onto online conference center for my MPS business writing class. The MPS curriculum includes designated live lecture times twice a week, and in tonight’s business writing class, we’re reviewing some of our required reading from the past week. It’s fun to interact with my fellow students during our residencies in Baltimore—but the online nature of the course is what allowed me to be a part of this program. If it were held on MICA’s campus each week, I wouldn’t be able to participate.

Wednesday

6 am – 6:40 am: Get ready for work, walk to train station.

6:56 – 8:25 am: Read required reading for Thursday night’s business management class while on Metro-North train and subway. I’m studying profit and loss statements today.

8:30 am – 5:30 pm: Another day at work!

5:30 pm – 7 pm: Continue to read for Thursday’s class on the commute home.

7 pm – 8:30 pm: Eat dinner, spend time with Craig and Marmalade.

8:30 pm – 11 pm: Work on homework assigned in Tuesday’s business writing class—a press release for my business—due Friday afternoon; check emails, and follow up with clients and Gina for Ditto Paper.

Thursday

6 am – 6:40 am: Get ready for work, walk to train station.

6:56 am – 8:25 am: Continue required reading for Thursday’s business management class on Metro-North train and subway if needed. Or, if finished with class reading, read The New York Times for pleasure.

8:30 am – 5:30 pm: Another day at work!

5:30 pm – 7 pm: Continue to read for tonight’s class on subway and Metro-North train home.

7 pm – 8 pm: Eat dinner, spend time with Craig and Marmalade. 8 pm – 9:30 pm: Log onto online conference center for my business management class. Tonight, we’re following a virtual lecture; after a PowerPoint presentation on creating strategic business plans, we’ll discuss real-world experiences from our own work lives.

Friday

6 am – 6:40 am: Get ready for work, walk to train station.

6:56 – 8:25 am: My required reading is finished for the week! Today I decide to re-read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (for the third time) during Metro-North train and subway ride.

8:30 am – 1 pm: It’s Friday! We get to leave at 1 pm during the summer on Fridays. :)

1:43 pm – 2:35 pm: Continue Harry Potter on the commute home.

2:35 pm – 5 pm: Complete my press release for my MPS business writing class; upload the document to MICA eLearning, a content management system that allows everyone involved in the MPS program to upload homework, review recorded lectures, track grades, and-in the student
"common area" discussion board-get to know our virtual classmates. It's harder to form a tight-knit community of artists when they are all sitting
in separate homes during class, but we have managed to create bonds and will continue to support each other.

5 pm onward: Enjoy Friday night; make and eat dinner, spend time with Craig and Marmalade.

Saturday

5 am - 6:59 am: Sleep in! ;)

7 am - 10 am: Work on homework assignment due for Tuesday's class-writing a business plan for Ditto Paper.

10 am - noon: Go to farmers market with Craig, make and eat brunch.

Noon - afternoon: Check emails, respond to clients for my freelance stationery business, and talk to Gina.

Evening: A free evening! I have such a busy schedule between being a student, working full time, having a freelance business, and being
married. I'm just relaxing tonight. Maybe I'll knit or make something with the berries we bought at the market this morning.

Sunday

7 am - 10 am: Work on the business plan due for Tuesday's class.

11 am - noon: Go to church if we're home and not away for the weekend.

Noon - afternoon: Complete homework due on Tuesday for class, upload assignments due to MICA eLearning, and follow up with clients
and Gina.

Evening: Relax with Craig and Marmalade; watch a movie or read The Time Traveler's Wife (I read it every year); reflect on the week and
my experience in The Business of Art and Design program. Throughout this program and when I was an undergraduate student at MICA, the
College has been consistent in its mission to nurture the professional, intellectual, and personal growth of emerging artists and designers.
They have structured this course uniquely for artists and designers pursuing business endeavors and are proving why MICA is such a
pioneer in art education.

Monday

Repeat!