Boardalk Empire Vignette

Boardwalk Empire

Kathleen Corgan is an artist and filmmaker with a formal education in the Visual Arts and a 20 year career in the Motion Picture Industry.

Kathleen graduated from Boston University School of Visual Arts with a B.F.A. in Painting, and is currently a member of the International Cinematographers’ Guild, with a list of credits including Angels in America, The Namesake, Boardwalk Empire, and The Other Guys. She currently lives in the Hudson Valley with her partner, Francis, and her four year old son Roman, and is working to establish herself as a Graphic Designer for digital and print media.

A little bit about Kath:

  • What would you like to be doing five years from now? Working as a Graphic Designer either with a firm or freelance as a full time career.
  • How many brothers and sisters do you have? One sister, younger. I also have an almost four year old son.
  • How do you usually get to campus? How much time does it usually require for you to get to/from campus & home? I drive – after dropping my son at school it takes 30 – 45 minutes…depending on traffic – 9A is totally unpredictable!
  • What language(s) do you usually speak at home? English, and when Grandma visits a little Spanish to teach Roman.
  • Who do you know, other than a teacher, who has earned a college degree? All of my family and most of my friends. This is a college renaissance for me since I earned my BFA 20+ years ago! 
  • What’s one thing about yourself that you’re proud of? As difficult as it can be at times, I’m proud of choosing to tackle new challenges when things seem too comfortable.
  • What’s something you enjoy doing in your free time? Currently most of my free time is spent with my 4 yr old son, but otherwise I have been an avid motorcyclist and performance motorcycle instructor for many years.
  • Do you hold a job? If so, what is it, and about how many hours/week do you work? Although I’m currently in the Camera Union, I have been taking time off work to care for my son and now to attend classes toward a career in Graphic Design.
  • What is something you like about college? It’s always great to be learning new things!
  • What is something you don’t like about college? I want to be finished and working in the field already…
  • Why did you choose to enroll in this course? I’m working towards a Certificate in Digital Arts and want to gain knowledge in the principals of Graphic Design as part of my fundamental learning.
  • What’s one thing that you want to learn in this course? I want to learn how to thoughtfully analyze a client’s idea and be able to conceptualize and implement a successful design across various media delivery platforms. Is that one thing?
  • Do you belong to any clubs or organizations – in or out of the college? I’m a member of the International Cinematographer’s Guild IATSE Local 600 as a Cameraperson. I’m also on the board of the Lake Woodrock Homeowners’ Association…a great way to meet and enjoy time with the great folks in the little neighborhood we moved into a couple years ago.
  • What other courses are you taking this semester? Typography
  • Are you looking to earn a degree at Westchester Community College? If so, about how close are you to completing it? I’m working on the Digital Arts Certificate. This is my second semester. I can only take two classes per semester, so with transferred credits I hope to complete the Certificate by Spring 2015.
  • My ideal job would be… A graphic design job with a firm where I have some flexibility to work both from home or in the studio.
  • Three adjectives others might use to describe me are…Hardworking, pragmatic, and inquisitive.

In matters of opinion:

A graphic design image I like:


Punctuation by Stefan Sagmeister

This poster by Stefan Sagmeister was one of a series of 24 limited edition posters that the Neenah Paper company commissioned in 2004 to various designers to raise money for the Books for Kids foundation. Each designer got a punctuation mark for which he or she had to execute a design. Stefan got the apostrophe and came up with this clever arrangement saying that the “apostrophe is in the letter elimination business”. More on this design if you click the image back to the MoMA website.

I like this design because he deals with the problem of how to incorporate the apostrophe in a visually clever way, by cleanly incorporating the apostrophe’s shape into the image of the gun in the most opportune place. I also like the simplicity of using only one additional color with black and white in order to pop focus onto the punctuation mark, while keeping the black gun illustration striking with its graph-like rendering. Finally, his idea of the apostrophe killing off the sacred letter and using the gun imagery is a great way to illustrate his own commentary on the destruction of letters in language.

A graphic design image I don’t like:


David Bowie Let’s Dance Poster by Mick Haggerty

While I love David Bowie, and love the cover design of many of his albums, I never was crazy about the graphics on the release of his album “Let’s Dance”. Although I appreciate the start of a basic simplicity of the two-tone frame and the boxer silhouette, the block lettering of his last name, the retro color scheme, and the play on the dance steps over the top of the boxer image feel very dated in an early 80’s kind of way. In fact this poster just screams 80’s to me at its most trendy…there’s nothing here that’s much more special than the posters of a similar time frame for a John Hughes movie, the GoGo’s or Stray Cats album covers, or just about anything else 80’s retro. It’s a trendy era reminiscing on a kitschy one, and the look just kind of falls apart for me. That said, this Bowie poster was ultimately successful in the sense that it heralded the most commercial work to date of a music legend…both this design as well as the music were an appeal to the masses. Perhaps another reason it still leaves me cold.

A graphic design image I’m not sure about:

Jazz in Willisau-Eskelin-Bennink

Jazz in Willisau: Eskelin-Bennink by Niklaus Troxler

I love Typography; I’m taking it together with Graphic Design One this semester which I think will be a great pairing! When it comes to this poster, it definitely caught my eye, and my instinct is to love it. This is a Jazz concert poster for an ongoing series put on by Niklaus Troxler…who designed all the posters for each performance in the series. For that reason, he almost gets a pass for the marginal readability of the concert information in these graphics; presumably most people reading this poster were familiar with the series and already knew much of the information, in fact this design could have been a breath of fresh air for them. I also like the way he increased the size of the type from top to bottom to lead the readers’ eye much like an optometrist chart. However, it just takes too long to get the information out of it for what is needs to impart. I’m looking at Bosch when I need late Matisse. And as much as I do like it, it forces the reader to work just a little too hard to get the info it wants to deliver.


6 thoughts on “about

  1. I’ve been replying to your emails; reply just bounced.

    ‘Kathleen Corgan’
    An error occurred while trying to deliver this message to the recipient’s e-mail address. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please try resending this message, or provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.

    The following organization rejected your message: strange.mail.mindspring.net.

    Scott Zaluda had one bounce as well.


    • I don’t think mindspring uses “.net” – curious that Microsoft servers are using it (presumably the school end – I don’t use Microsoft) did you try re-typing @mindspring.com?


  2. Here’s the detail on a bounce from yesterday – another reply to one of your emails:


    Diagnostic information for administrators:

    Generating server: wcc-exchange-4.sunywcc.edu

    pickering.mail.mindspring.net #550 IP is blocked by EarthLink. Go to earthlink.net/block for details. ##

    Original message headers:

    Received: from WCC-PS2-CSPA1 ( by wcc-exchange-4.sunywcc.edu
    ( with Microsoft SMTP Server id 8.3.342.0; Thu, 6 Mar 2014
    15:47:31 -0500
    Subject: Graphic Design 1 – West Comm College
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”UTF-8″
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Return-Path: MDF1@SUNYWCC.EDU
    Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 15:47:31 -0500


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