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Festa fellowship graphic design recipient finds link to Zink
June 13, 2013
Mastrangelo screen-printing a shirt at Zink Shirts, where he will have the opportunity to gain experience with screen-printing and running a small business.
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A recipient of the Festa Fellowship is spending the summer putting his graphic design skills to work at Zink Shirts, located in Oswego, N.Y.

Justin Mastrangelo, a second year Master of Arts (M.A.) student, has been given the opportunity to incorporate his skills in graphic design and the desire of owning a studio of his own one-day.

Zink Shirts is a locally owned and operated screen-printing business that started in a small town near the Hudson Valley area. Glenn Zansitis, the founder, had the opportunity to move the business to Oswego and in December 2012, Zink Shirts opened.

Mastrangelo holds up his finished product .

Mastrangelo first became aware of Zink Shirts after seeing the business card designed by Zansitis.

“I saw his business card a year and a half ago and it is still ingrained in my mind,” Mastrangelo said. “It was an old quill, like a feather and I do a lot of quill or pen and ink work.”

Leading to Zink

Mastrangelo, who is from Savanna, N.Y., became interested in graphic design in high school, where he began working on the computer.

After obtaining his associates degree from Finger Lakes Community College, Mastrangelo decided to pursue his Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) at SUNY Oswego.

“I came here (SUNY Oswego) and it was like the floodgates had open. There was a lot of competition and there were so many people,” Mastrangelo said. “Everyone’s work was outstanding compared to mine, so it really pushed me to get better.”

The first semester at SUNY Oswego, Mastrangelo had the opportunity to intern at Step One Creative in Oswego, N.Y., where he worked on logo and identity design.

While working with his mentor, Cynthia Clabough, chair of the art department, Mastrangelo made a lot of breakthroughs and his work has progressed immensely since arriving at SUNY Oswego.

“I did two years here and I wish I had come here for four,” Mastrangelo said. “I really wasn’t happy with where my work was or where I was career wise.”

Graduate School and beyond

“I came here (SUNY Oswego) and it was like the floodgates had open. There was a lot of competition and there were so many people,” Mastrangelo said. “Everyone’s work was outstanding compared to mine, so it really pushed me to get better.”
Justin Mastrangelo
Student, Art

After Mastrangelo graduated with his B.F.A, he took a semester off before returning to SUNY Oswego for his M.A. with an emphasis in graphic design.

For Mastrangelo, graduate school has been an opportunity to continue growing as a designer and networking to find more opportunities to get better and gain more experience.

Zink Shirts was just that, an opportunity to help Mastrangelo progress, network and gain experience in a creative professional business.

“At this point, I don’t really have too much professional design work so I need some of that within my portfolio,” Mastrangelo said. “I see myself in the long term, probably owning a small business so it’s about learning that side of the creative professional business.”

Mastrangelo would like to someday own a small studio with both design and illustration.

“I searched around, but (Zink Shirts) made the most sense for me and where I’m at in my life right now,” Mastrangelo said.

Mastrangelo will have the opportunity to create and use his own designs, prepare orders, and understand the operations of a small business.

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