Chelsea & The City: My first pages at TIME

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This Thursday marks five weeks since I started what I like to call, “real life.” I had to re-count about eighty times because that just didn’t seem right – but lo and behold it is. I was obviously a little (OK, very) nervous coming into my first job in New York City and not knowing anybody. But, I have had such an amazing experience getting settled at TIME. They really let me just jump right in.

So since I’ve had a little time to get a few pages out there, I would love to get some feedback on some of the work I’ve done. (Click for a larger view.)

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The two spreads are for a feature I did in our international edition, and it was a pretty big challenge for me. I think it could have been more creative, but I was happy with my headline treatment and matching quote treatment. This was my first practical experience designing a feature story about an international issue. I had never really thought about the challenges of doing that. How do you design a story about a complex issue in a compelling way that will make people want to read it? What elements other than photos can you use to draw readers into the story? I’m used to designing either traditional newspaper pages or incredibly artsy features for a magazine, but here I had to think a little bit about both. I’m really excited to get work on more and more of these.

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This is the world spread in the Briefing section. It’s one big puzzle with several different pieces to fit and flow together. I was really excited to start working on this page – it’s a very fun challenge. I also did the illustrations on the left in the orange boxes.

I know it’s not much, but I would love to get a few critiques on these pages. I am so excited about everything I am learning and would love to learn more from all of you!

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Besides what I’ve learned at work, I’ve also learned a few key “I live in New York” lessons:

You always have to be carrying a cup of coffee. Preferably Starbucks — let’s face it; it looks the coolest — because there’s just something about that green circle.

When crossing the street, you must, at all times, stand at least a foot into the road to be ready to make a run for it as soon as the last car drives by. Waiting for the light to change would just be silly.

If you don’t want to be bothered just put on your sunglasses, pop in those headphones and be sure not to smile. Clearly you are way too busy to deal with anyone else.

What a city.

— Chelsea

(Chelsea Kardokus is a freelance designer for TIME magazine in New York City. See more of her work here.)