Do you have a non-art practice that you look to for guidance in your work? If so, why, and how do you think it has informed your work?

José: I've been running since I was in ninth grade. My high school of 528 kids was too small that we never quite had enough people to make an actual sports team. Instead, we had what most people would call a marathon team. The school, along with an organization who had been doing this work since 1984, sponsered about 40 kids and a handful of teachers every year so we could run the LA Marathon. It was the first real taste of discipline and endurance I ever had. I figured that I'd do it to get in shape and for the fun of it—instead, I ended up basically dedicating my entire high school career to it. However, once I got here I became busier than ever and the harsh winter days made it hard to wake up every morning to go run. I started slacking and, unknowingly to me at the time, so did my grades.

I've been running on and off ever since I got here, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a direct correlation between the miles I ran per semester and the amount of "good" grades I got for that term. It's the lack of runnning that's made me realize just how vital that practice is for my overall well-being. Because as much as I love to just make things, I need routine and structure in my life. If I'm being honest, I think that's why I chose graphic design out of all the art concentrations available here. Of them, design might be the easiest to pick up. Its digital-centric process brings with it rules and restrictions that keep me on a leash. At times, it feels like I'm zoned out and powering through an 18-miler. On the rare ocasion that I have enough spare time to collage, it feels like I've been off my leash and can sprint at 1000 miles/hour.

I started running again on Sunday after not having laced up my shoes for almost 3 months now. Hopefully this time, the discipline I've aquired through design will help me maintain my daily running routine.