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What qualities or unique characteristics do you possess that would allow you to contribute to the UCF community? At first, I didn’t know how it could be done. Transforming six sheets of white foam board into a ‘Warhol-esque’ abstract version of a 19th century telephone was beyond my comprehension as an 11-year-old. But as my father shook the can of black spray paint, I was captivated by the dice-like sound it made and the specks of black mist that flew onto our canvas transforming it like magic. We continued to build upon this structure: carefully fashioning buttons, knobs, pulleys, and a circular dial pad. The process of crafting that antique telephone awakened me to a depth of understanding that it takes a certain ‘creative eye’ to behold a masterpiece from a mere foam board. If someone had told me that this simple middle-school assignment would be the impetus to start my own clothing line, I would have laughed. However, it was that project with my dad which propelled my creativity.
I began expressing my ideas through various mediums; I taught myself Adobe Photoshop, and began adapting seemingly “normal” objects into works of art. My biggest muse for my artistic awakening was producing captivating graphic art as album covers for musicians. By the time I entered high school, my talents grew and so did my reputation as an album artwork designer, as I was sought out by musicians of all genres to create for them. Besides providing me some part-time income, I began to build my portfolio. Word of this spread at school and I was commissioned by Student Government to create the branding for the Class of 2015 T-shirt. My design sold out within the first week. This launched several projects through various school organizations over the last four years. It also steered my passion to combine my art with clothing.
Riveted with high fashion, yet scared to take the next step, I shifted my focus to clothing design. How many high-schoolers could be successful in creating their own clothing line? I felt destined to try, knowing this could be a game changer. Immersing myself in a world of cut-and-sew, fabric variety, and color palettes; the designs flowed effortlessly. In sheer irony, my ‘unflattering’ sketches became the cornerstone of my flagship collection. “Beauty in the ugly” is my mantra, and the appeal of my designs evolved within the crooked handwriting, dodgy doodles, and crafty catchphrases. I spent hundreds of hours studying fashion, pouring over designs and developing my own style. Through the progression, the elimination, and the refinement, I thus assembled the perfect collection: maximizing the minimal, attaining the most polarizing, eye-capturing design to match the perfect tone while accompanying a fabric of just the right texture.
This summer, while living in New York on my own, I finalized all the designs and decided to venture out to get my collection to the market. Hesitant, I took a green duffle bag filled with every single one of my products to Mercer Street in SoHo. To my relief, the buyers at the boutiques loved the pieces, though, they came with some constructive criticism. I went back to the drawing board and used their suggestions to make my pieces even better. Currently, my samples are being produced in the Garment District in New York City, and several boutiques are eagerly waiting for my final designs. My clothing line, Equipt Color by Lior White, is on track to be released in December of 2016.
With my creativity, I can contribute so much of an artistic vision to the University of Central Florida’s creative community. With the programs and academies that UCF offers for its entrepreneurial and innovative students, I will use those resources to my advantage to be able to contribute, with the skills I possess, to the UCF community. Business savvy and originality are just among short of the lengthy list of contributions that I can make at the UCF, where I plan to make a huge impact. I firmly believe that my creative eye will never cease to behold the extraordinary in the ordinary. Whether transforming foam board into a telephone replica, or sewing fragments of fabric into the perfect pieces, my opportunities are infinite.
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