Since March, a new innovative organization, Blank, has officially been recognized as an on-campus club. Blank is an organization striving to attract a community of Virginia Tech students who have an interest in the arts with the goal of combining each other’s skills and ideas to create more meaningful art.
Blank was built from the ground up, as freshman real estate major and founder of Blank, RJ Sison, has invested hours upon hours of time into crafting an organization that he hopes will attract students who want to pursue the challenge of changing the definition of art.
Dealing with the sudden death of his older brother shortly before his freshman year, Sison came to Virginia Tech “lost, trying to be and do things I really wasn’t into all for the sake of putting myself out there and giving everything a chance,” he said.
Dissatisfied, Sison continued to search for his people and one day he found them. After the initial rough months of college, things were starting to look up. “The silver lining to my rough start was having the privilege of meeting so many amazing artists with such a diverse set of skills who I believe to have limitless potential in the things they’re passionate about,” he said.
After debating the idea of creating a club, Sison finally committed alongside his newfound friends and was prepared to put forth his full attention to this project.
Shortly after his decision, Sison began to build connections and study networking and leadership skills while selecting a team devoted to their mission. He added that once the plan was in motion and he had a team of devoted individuals. “There was no stopping us,” he said.
After immediate success in recruiting and approval by the school, a small group of around 10 individuals began to meet regularly and Blank was on its pathway to success. The first step in the right direction was to plan their first project together as a team.
Together, Blank members practice a different style of thinking that encourages artistic minds to work together in a unique way. “This viewpoint of the arts facilitates integration within the various arts communities here at Virginia Tech, and allows for the creation of works that otherwise would not be possible,” Sison said. This allows for a level of creativity and possibilities in projects not found in other arts clubs on campus.
To kick things off, members of Blank brainstormed together and decided to design and produce their own pair of sneakers from scratch, called “The Blank S1ate.” “They’re called ‘The Blank S1ate’ to reflect upon it being our first shoe. The triple white color acts as a canvas, allowing individuals to express themselves on a single pair of shoes, whether that be drawing, painting or even just living in them,” Sison said. After success as a team, the shoes were put up for sale on their website, vtblank.com.
The next project on the schedule is to produce a short film, appealing to a different speciality within the organization. Still in the makings, the film will be produced entirely by club members and will be broadcasted on their Instagram and Twitter.
Along with projects specific to Blank, members also expand and actively work within other creative communities on campus. For example, a number of members were involved with Zappy’s Word on the Street fashion show, which occurred April 17, helping with photography, modeling and designing.
The thinking process behind these projects and organization is complex. Sison describes it as a belief that members support, stating that “the arts are interdependent to one another by nature.”
With this mindset, Blank is not limited to specific projects and can explore any area of the arts that they choose.
With just a little over a month since their official recognition by the school, Blank has recruited over 120 members and is meeting all of their initial goals, including member quotas and project completion –– although, this is only the beginning. “I envision Blank to one day be one of Virginia Tech’s largest and most active organizations in the school,” Sison said.
To continue expanding, Sison said that “our next step in our young life is taking every lesson learned during the first chapter in our story and elevating our work ethic, quality of production and efficiency to come back stronger to an entirely class of incoming creatives.”
With a big future ahead of them, Blank members are working around the clock to brainstorm new projects and ways to get their name talked about on campus in order to prepare for a productive year filled with artistic and organization successes as a whole.
According to Sison, members bond on a deeper level due to their shared passion for the arts as a whole, unlike other organizations.
“What brings me joy is being able to see authentic and passionate creatives come together on a scale that’s larger than any individual. What brings me pride is seeing the ideas of such an eclectic group of college kids come to life,” Sison said.
To get involved with the growing organization, follow @blankatvt on Instagram and Twitter to get in touch with management. Simply direct message the account to find out about upcoming interest meetings.