Christine Waxstein

posted Nov 6, 2015, 8:38 AM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Nov 6, 2015, 8:55 AM ]
Christine Waxstein

Christine Waxstein won the award for her 2012 thesis, "Digital Illustration: The Costume Designer’s Process For East Tennessee State University’s Spring Dance Concert 2012", available at This thesis was the capstone for her graduate work towards a Master of Arts in Professional Communication at East Tennessee State University, USA.
In her master’s thesis, Christine Waxstein documents the research and developmental processes of creating East Tennessee State University's Spring Dance Concert 2012 costume designs and renderings. Her thesis describes design creation from research stage to idea formulation to the conception of costumes using inspirational images, illustrations, performance photos and videos. The show involved a collaboration of many in a compressed timeframe. Incorporating digital technology into the rendering process saved time, expenses, and helped clarify the designer’s choices. Christine’s thesis details this 2-year study while providing readers with valuable insight into her innovative process.
Technology was not only used throughout her research project, but was also incorporated into the presentation of her study. Christine found an inventive approach to incorporating visual representation of the performance footage from Spring Dance Concert 2012 which showcased the final product of her designs. She embedded YouTube videos into the PDF document of her thesis so that the viewer can watch the clip without being redirected to another site. The web addresses were also listed for the hardcopy version. This was a method not seen previously at East Tennessee State University and is something we found notable about her ETD.

Christine Waxstein is the Digital PR Specialist for the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). Originally from Half Moon Bay, CA, Christine relocated to Tennessee in June 2006 upon graduating high school. She then attended Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech & Theatre in May 2009. Christine worked as the House, Volunteer Services, & Assistant Box Office Manger at the Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College until leaving in January 2011 to attend graduate school. In December 2012, she graduated from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) with a Master of Arts in Professional Communication. Christine was then hired at ETSU as the Division Secretary & Box Office Manager for the Division of Theatre and Dance in the Department of Communication & Performance where she worked until being hired on at UTK.

Christine has an extensive marketing background with particular emphasis on graphic & web design as well as social media management. She has worked for other notable companies including Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, the Historic Tennessee Theatre, and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Award Acceptance Video

Transcript:  Greetings from Knoxville, Tennessee! My name is Christine Waxstein and I am truly honored to be this years recipient of the Innovative Learning through ETDs Award presented by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD). I am forlorn that I was unable to attend the conference in New Delhi, India to accept this award in person, but I am grateful to be given this opportunity to Thank You via this recording. I owe a special debt of gratitude to the School of Graduate Studies at East Tennessee State University and, in particular to Emily Redd, who thought to nominate me for this award. I also would like to thank my wonderful Thesis Committee headed by Karen Brewster who served as Chair, Cara Harker, who additionally served as the Director for the Dance Concert, and Cher Cornett.  I could not have completed Digital Illustration: The Costume Designer’s Process For East Tennessee State University’s Spring Dance Concert 2012 to the same level without their guidance and expertise.

The use of technology played a vital role in not only the creation of the digital design renderings for the project, but also in the presentation of my thesis. I believe using embedded videos into the actual paper was an innovative means to present the finalized costumes while incorporating footage taken during the concert. This allowed for a real time representation of the completed design. Particularly with Dance, the way the costume moves is a crucial element that was considered throughout the design process and I was pleased to find a way to effectively present that.

Additionally, I utilized software in an innovative way. I incorporated the use of Adobe Photoshop, which is popular in the Photography World, to create my design renderings. This is not a program widely known to Costume Designers. Using any sort of computer programming to create renderings seemed to be foreign at the time of my research. I attended several conferences where I was able to meet Costume Design Professionals from around the country, many of whom still used the traditional method of hand sketching their renderings. The focus of my study was on finding new ways to utilize this technology to more effectively translate conceptualized ideas while potentially saving important resources like time and money.

In my thesis, I offer the novice Photoshopper step-by-step instructions on how to create these renderings. I hope that this presentation may inspire a few of you in the audience to take a look and try it out for yourself. Again, I thank you for your time and appreciation for my receipt of this honor. I hope you have 
a great rest of the conference and I look forward to reading all about it. Thank you.