Graphic Design Seniors

Janet Lu, class of 2016

August 14, 2017


The Project

Over the last few decades, Baltimore’s burgeoning art scene has exploded. Boasting a plethora of galleries and museums as well as a source for emerging talent (namely the Maryland Institute College of Art), it is of no surprise that Baltimore has become an artistic hub. Former warehouses act as incubators and art spaces. With an industrious DIY mentality, many artists in Baltimore are freed from constraints common to living in more expensive artistic centers. Artists are free to take risks that they would not otherwise— they rely on themselves, and the help of others— to build their own destinies. 

Collected Collectives investigates the dynamic underground and DIY music and visual arts community of Baltimore. This project acts as a living database and archive, incorporating collected data, photography, video, information graphics, data-mapping, and more, to document this creative community of artists and collectives. This project offers a shared portrait of city, and offers and opportunity for self-reflection.

Collected Collectives originally began as a labor of love— meeting, interviewing, and photographing independent Baltimore city artists and collectives. The project may eventually grow from its current state and expand as the Baltimore City DIY arts scene grows.



janet's Advice

1. Don’t be afraid to do something you’ve never done before. Your classmates and teachers are there for a reason. Have a question? Someone’s bound to have an answer or at least a lead. (Or: Google)

2. Be flexible. Chances are, your work process isn’t going to pan out the way you thought it would, especially if you’re working with or relying on others. Have a backup plan. Have a backup plan to your backup plan. Better safe than sorry.

3. A wise man once told me: “Thesis is just another project.” I never really believed this statement until I graduated. While some may argue that thesis should be the best work you’ve ever done, I beg to differ. No one is going to ask you what your thesis was when you graduate. To future employers, your thesis is just another project in your already killer portfolio. Just try your best and do your thing. At the end of the day, your thesis should be a project that both challenges and interests you. If you decide to take a risk and it doesn’t work out exactly the way you wanted it to, trust me, it’s going to be alright.



Janet is a designer currently based in NYC.
See more of her work at