Month: February 2018

Week 6: A Recap

Week 6: A Recap

We’ve made it through Week 6! I didn’t know if I’d make it! This week has had its absolute ups and its awful downs. For one thing, I had to say goodbye to my sweet yellow lab, Molly, on Thursday after 14 years together! I hate it, but I’m getting through it!

Besides everything that’s been going on in my personal life, it was DESIGN week! I definitely think this week was definitely one of my absolute favorites. I got to discover a creative side of myself that I didn’t ever really know I had!

First, I completed three Daily Creates (Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday) :

(Not quite sure why my picture isn’t coming up for that last Daily Create, so here it is: )

 

Next, I watched two TED talks! The first was given by Paula Scher, and the other was given by David Carson. Both were very interesting! Paula Scher is most well-known for the creation of the Citi Bank logo! She also has taken different things, such as the US map, and turned them into her own art by recreating the map only using the names of cities, countries, states, etc. Pretty cool, right? She also has included humor in her designs. For example, one sign that she created was a bathroom sign that just said “Go to the bathroom” with an arrow in the direction of the restrooms. She takes ordinary things that we see everyday and turns them into something more noticeable and exciting! David Carson is also a very humorous designer. He originally started out as a sociologist! His designs are more minimalist, but are still quite interesting! They can be interpreted in numerous different ways! I’d love to see more of both Scher and Carson’s works! If you’d like to read more about how I felt about both of these individual designers, I wrote a recent blog post about it! Check it out!

I also got to work through a few tutorials on Canva.com! I have a new-found love for Canva! It’s so much fun and there are so many possibilities of what and how you can create!

The next project I worked on was my DesignBlitz! For this assignment, I had to illustrate five elements of design with images that I took! The elements I chose to depict were hierarchy, proximity, color, alignment, and space! Here’s the end product:

My favorite assignment from this week is next! It was to create an alternate book cover of the novel I am reading for this class for the semester, California by Edan Lepucki. I’ve barely started it, but it is a post-apocalyptic novel about a husband and wife who are learning how to survive in the wilderness after their world is stripped from them. I really liked the original cover, and wanted to continue the theme of the original to my new updated version. Check it out:

My second-favorite assignment from this week was getting to bring my apocalyptic character to life! I’m so excited to continue Annalise Huddleston’s story! Please join along in the journey! As I stated last week, Annalise is a doctor who specializes in cancer research and care. When I created her on Hero Machine, I decided I wanted to go ahead and dress her in appropriate clothes for the apocalypse, but put her in her own “natural” environment, the hospital.

Another favorite assignment from this week was getting to play with writing out Annalise’s name as a personal “logo,” if you will! Here’s the result:

The next assignment was creating a word cloud to describe and depict Annalise! I included words to describe her, as herself, and also words that describe doctors and their profession! I also really love the contrasts of all of the colors!

One last assignment I did was try to help Martha find her apocalypse hat!! She’s lost it and we NEED to find it! It’s urgent! If you know anything, please let me know!

One of the last things I did this week was become a part of a survivalist group! I’m so excited to work with my teammates! They all seem very nice and open! I can’t wait to be able to work our different characters into a story together! We need to make a survivalist group name! I’ll make sure to talk to them about that this week! I’m working with Taylor, Rachel, Morgan, and Emily! I am looking forward to getting everyone and fighting the apocalypse with each other!


WEEKLY QUESTION:

Group dynamics can be tricky.
What’s been the most successful group you’ve been a part of and what made it work?

I have definitely worked in groups that just haven’t worked at all! High school was the trickiest.

However, the most successful group I’ve ever been a part of would have to be the group I was in for a presentation we had to do in my Intro to Cinema Studies class. We were assigned a passage in the book, The Beguiled, and we had to adapt the passage in the book to a “storyboard” that we would use to turn the passage into a part of a film. We worked very well together, and I’d definitely work with each person again! One thing that worked so well was the way in which we communicated all the time. We kept each other in the loop. We’d send each other messages like “I’m working on this scene” or “I just finished this.” We also laid out an outline that we all agreed upon. Then, we divided the scenes/shots up amongst all of us evenly, and everyone was allowed to have a say of what parts they wanted to do/work on. We compiled everything into a Google Presentation, and ended up getting one of the highest grades in the class!! I was thrilled! We all were! It was definitely so great! Communication was key, as well as the fact that we each made time to all get together and work on the project as a group instead of only communicating through texting and Facebook Messenger.

A Word Cloud!

A Word Cloud!

Word Clouds are always fun! I remember as a kid, we would have this day in school where it was just a day for writing. The whole day was devoted to going around to different groups and “seminars” where they would show us a fun new way to write a poem, short story, word clouds, and more. One of my favorite things was when we would write poems or stories by writing them in a pattern of an object. For example:

Source: Technology Rocks Seriously

Mine never turned out to be in the shape I wanted because I could never keep in the right pattern. I would be so mad because then it just looked like a huge blob.

So, when it came time to work on this assignment, I was worried I would get the same results. However, luckily, a computer is much better at this than I am. So, I chose to write a list of words that I felt described my character, Annalise Huddleston, as well as words that describe a doctor’s profession on wordclouds.com Then, with a click of a button, the words were transformed into the symbol for a woman, like you see on the door of the women’s restroom. (I had chosen this layout beforehand.) The first time I clicked “Apply” as to get my result, I realized I didn’t have enough words to fill up the entire symbol/pattern so I needed to come up with more words! It was almost like playing Mad Libs. Then, after finally having enough words, I realized I wanted my character’s first name to be the most prominent and outstanding word in the word cloud, so I then had to figure out how to rank each word, so that the rank would correspond to how large each word would be! Finally, after fixing all of the little loose ends, I had my final product. I decided to change the colors and fonts I was originally given in the beginning. I really love our school colors and love the contrast between the navy blue and white/gray, so I decided to implement these colors in my word cloud!

Am I forgetting any words? Let me know!

 

Dr. Annalise Huddleston in Her Natural Environment

Dr. Annalise Huddleston in Her Natural Environment

Annalise Huddleston returns! I’m really loving my character, I must say! It’s so much fun getting to design, write about, and just overall create someone totally fictional! She feels real, to me, in some ways already!

This week, I was able to use Hero Machine to create an animated depiction of what Annalise looks like, in my imagination! You all might imagine someone else completely different! Should I add anything to her? Should I get rid of anything? Let me know!


Annalise is in the hospital corridor! She comes here when she wants some peace and quiet. Typically, the patients don’t know exactly who she is, so she doesn’t have to make any kind of small talk or take care of anyone in this specific ward. In this specific image of Annalise, she is dressed up and ready to fight the disease(s) of the apocalypse.


BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS POST:

When creating Annalise, I knew I wanted her to look kind, but also ready for anything. I think this depiction of her definitely shows she’s ready for anything, but also that she’s easy to talk to, and she wants to care for others. I didn’t want to make her look like some kind of monster, and I also didn’t want to make her look like she is some superhero. I wanted her to look as normal as I could. I definitely think her look is going to change quite a bit as the apocalypse continues!

“California” Alternate Book Cover

“California” Alternate Book Cover

One of my design assignments from this week was to create an alternate book cover for the post-apocalyptic novel I am reading this semester! The book I chose to read was California by Edan Lepucki.

Source: Amazon.com

I have just barely started this novel, but thanks to the upcoming spring break, I will have plenty of time to read it!

This is my own cover for California:

So why did I choose to create this the way I did?

Well, I really like the original cover filled with trees, which by the way are turned 90°. Since I have only just started reading, I basically know that the husband and wife duo, Cal and Frida, must survive in the wilderness after the apocalypse has destroyed the world they once knew. Frida is also pregnant! When I created my own cover, I decided I still wanted to include the forest theme, due to the fact that that is where Cal and Frida are now residing, and I also wanted to incorporate a silhouette of a couple consoling each other. I really like, when I’m reading a book, when the author illustrates one or more of the characters portrayed in the book so that I can start off the book with a good visualization of who I am reading all about. This silhouette in my version of the cover does not allow anyone to know what the two people look like. I decided this because I want to keep the mystery sealed for the reader!

Let me know what you guys think! Would you publish this cover?

It’s A DesignBlitz!

It’s A DesignBlitz!

One of my assignments for this week to create a DesignBlitz! Very similar to my PhotoBlitz from a few weeks ago, this week I was to take pictures of five different objects that illustrated five different design aspects! Check out my results below:

The first picture (the top left) is of my bookcase in my dorm room. In my opinion, this image depicts the aspect of hierarchy because the books are in order of tallest to shortest, and on the far left of the shelf is my journal which holds many secrets and emotions! The second picture (the top middle) is a picture of another shelf on my bookcase that holds a handful of picture frames of my family. They are all displayed tightly because there is not much room for them to be separated. In this case, the picture depicts the aspect of proximity. The third photo (the top right) is a picture taken this past summer when my family and I went to the Chihuly Museum in Seattle, Washington. This was one of the glass pieces that was displayed in the ceiling as you walked through one of the hallways. This image definitely depicts the design aspect of color! The fourth image (the bottom left) is a picture of the window in my closet. It is very symmetrical, therefore depicting the design aspect of alignment. The last picture (the bottom right) is a picture of the wall next to my desk in my dorm. I have my little UMW flag and a painted “E” that my sister gave me for Christmas. This picture depicts the design aspect of space!

This was a lot of fun! At first, I was very nervous about completing this assignment. I wasn’t sure if I would understand how to do it, and I was afraid of being able to find examples of the elements. However, then I realized that literally so many examples of these elements are around me all the time, I just had to look at them!

A Reflection on Design

A Reflection on Design

When you hear or say the word “design,” what is the first thing that pops into your mind?

Is it clothing design, interior design, graphic design, etc. or something completely different?

This week’s focus was on design and how to implement design in different projects!

I watched two TED talks this week. One was given by Paula Scher. The second was given by David Carson.

Paula Scher is well known for her creation of the Citi Bank logo. She discussed how design is a type of “play” (like children playing, not the show you watch in a theater). She explained how sometimes people can get so bogged down in their work that they forget to have some fun with it to make it their own. After the Citi Bank logo had been published, Scher began to paint! She painted and created a map of the world, but instead of making it an accurate map of where each city/country/state is, she mixed them up!

Source: ArtNet.com

The entire painting is made up of the names of each continent, country, state, city, etc. Another project she worked on was turning buildings into artwork! She decided to cover buildings in different words or phrases to make them her own. She also made sure to talk about how much she hates the font, Helvetica, because it is used in almost everything you see! Textbooks, maps, articles, posts, etc.! So she decided to turn her hatred for this type-face into a design-project! Check out some of her work below!

Source: John Clifford on Core77.com

Cool, right?

I love her artwork! She also included humor into some of her projects, such as this funny bathroom sign:

Source: Society for Experiential Graphic Design

The ways in which she chose to design different elements is pretty amazing, if you ask me. The best part of these examples above is the fact that she had such a fun time creating each one. She turned a passion of hers into her career and also something she is very well-known for. Some of her designs are over-the-top, but still fascinating and fun to look at. I’d love to go to a museum or an exhibition where all of her work is displayed in one place!

David Carson, before becoming a graphic designer, was a sociologist! He was fascinated with how different images/projections made people feel after seeing them. His work differed slightly from Paula Scher in that his work is more minimalist. However, I feel as though both designers are trying to send the same messages: Have fun with it and find the humor in it when you can!

Also, Carson’s designs are slightly more vulgar, but still are sometimes funny. Here are some examples:

Teacher sitting naked on a stack of books.
Source: DesignBoom.com
Don’t Mistake Legibility for Communication.
Source: David Carson Design

Carson, during his TED Talk, also talked about the two images below and how even though one “sign” is missing a letter doesn’t mean that there are two different messages being told, or are there? He then added a funny line when he said, “Which one would you park in front of?”

Source: ProcessandSkills.com

I almost feel as though David Carson is asking his viewers to comprehend his messages and designs in their own minds, without there being a right or wrong answer. That’s one thing that is exciting about design! You can look at an abstract painting or a cloud in the sky, and one person might see an elephant and the other person sees an umbrella!


While discovering more and more about design, I went onto Canva.com and processed through a number of different design tutorials! The seven I went through were:

  1. Tips for Titles
  2. Color Relationships
  3. Marrying Text and Images
  4. Introduction to Infographics
  5. Canva Tips and Tricks
  6. Perfect Presentations
  7. Building a Brand Kit

These are just several of the possible tutorials you can work with on Canva when trying to create your own designs!

Before this class, I had never played around with Canva, except for when I was trying to create a logo for my main domain! I never knew how many options there were! You can make a presentation, infographic, image, etc.! It’s kind of like an amusement park for designers! The possibilities are endless! Unfortunately, I had completed all of my design assignments for this week before I worked with Canva, but the next time I have to create something, I will definitely be using Canva! It’s so user-friendly and fun!

Week 5: We Did It Guys

Week 5: We Did It Guys

Once again, we have reached the end of another week surviving The End.

This week, the focus was on learning all about audio! I’ll say this. I’ve become much more comfortable with using different audio platforms such as SoundCloud and Audacity. I used to hate recording my voice and then having to listen to my own voice. I’ve slowly overcome this fear/hatred.

In the past, as I wrote in a post earlier this week, I have worked with audio for past assignments. Last semester in my digital studies class, I had to record my own podcast. In that podcast, I talked about my dad, who grew up in the late 50s and 60s, and his childhood in which he didn’t have nearly as much technology as we do now. Also, back when I was in high school in my Spanish class, we had to record ourselves saying vocabulary words or phrases as numerous homework assignments. I dreaded those assignments. I was so embarrassed by how I sounded, especially since I had to speak another language.

One assignment I did this week was compiling one recording that includes some of my favorite sounds! I’ve never really thought about what sounds I like, but I know what sounds I do not like. Nails on a chalkboard, metal scratching metal, alarm clock, etc. In my recording, I not only thought of my own favorite sounds, but I also thought about sounds that many people enjoy. The sounds I included were a thunderstorm, a cat purring, a summer night, a car driving down the road, and someone playing the piano. If you’d like to listen, you can listen below! Let me know if you like any of these sounds, and also the sounds that you like but I didn’t include!

Sounds are constantly being created and heard, whether you realize them or not. There is that famous question, “If a tree falls in the woods, but no one is there, does it make a sound?” The answer is yes (at least in my opinion).

Sound and audio also can help tell stories! I listened to the DS 106 radio show on Wednesday night. On the show, there was a “fake” news broadcast in which a deadly disease and an alien invasion take place. Slowly, you hear everyone begin to be affected by this. One of the reporters tries to explain what is going on, but tragedy begins to occur. While listening to this, I “live-Tweeted” while using specific hashtags so I could join the conversation with my peers! Below are some examples of what I was saying!

Another assignment from this week was leaving a message on the website Frequency 2156. If you’ve never heard of this site, it’s a website in which anyone anywhere in the world is able to record and publish an audio message for everyone and anyone to listen to. People on a completely different continent are able to leave a message that I or anyone else can listen to. Another very important aspect of this website is the fact that everyone leaving messages are survivors of the apocalypse that hits in the year 2156. Who knows if we’ll have access to this website during the apocalypse, but we can only hope! In my message, I asked for help, while also adding background noise to make it sound like static and interference! I encourage you to leave your own message! Here’s my message!

The last audio assignment I completed this week was one where I mixed Disney with the apocalypse. Yes. You read that correctly. I searched “disney villain songs” on YouTube and I got quite a lot of results. I downloaded the audio from the videos I liked and was able to cut certain parts all together to make a story about the apocalypse. I tried my best to make it somewhat relate to the movie I watched last week, The Road. Listen below! Who doesn’t love Disney?

Finally, the last assignment I did this week was create my own character for my class’s apocalypse! I came up with a character whose name is Annalise Huddleston and she’s a doctor. I’m so excited to see where I take this character through the rest of the semester and through a story! If you’d like to get to know my character more, then you can find out more about her in this post!

That’s all for this week! See you guys on the other side of next week!


WEEKLY QUESTION:

How are you feeling? Be specific. 

I’m good! I have gotten all of my assignments for this week, which is always a relief! I had a lot of fun exploring with audio! This past week has been quite overwhelming. Reading after reading. Paper after paper. Assignment after assignment. This class is enjoyable and I love it. I’ve also been trying my absolute hardest to avoid the flu that seems to be spreading around like wildfire. I don’t have the time to be sick! I’m also very ready for spring break! Two weeks to go!

 

Once Upon An… Apocalypse?

Once Upon An… Apocalypse?

As another audio assignment from the assignment bank, I completed one that incorporates Disney and the apocalypse! I was immediately drawn to this assignment due to the fact that it had to do with Disney. Who isn’t excited by that?

So what did I have to do? Well, I needed to compile a recording that includes different Disney lyrics that are then put together to tell a story. This was definitely a challenge. For one thing, I haven’t watched a Disney movie in quite a while. However, if anyone asks Cinderella is my favorite.

The songs I used are as follows:

  1. “Let it Go” from Frozen 
  2. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid
  3. “Be Prepared” from The Lion King
  4. “In the Dark” of the Night from Anastasia
  5. “Savages” from Pocahontas
  6. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan
  7. “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King

The recording I ended up with in the end slightly reminded me of the movie I watched as an intro to video, The Road. It reminded me so much of this because the lyrics from “Let it Go” reminded me of how desolate and empty the world was for the man and the boy. I also felt that the song and the description of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” fit the man and the boy pretty well. They had nothing left except for each other. The rest of the lyrics from the other songs feel as though they fit The Road too because they had to protect one another and probably felt like this was all just one big nightmare. Let me know if you agree!

Source: Giphy

(I apologize for any choppiness in my recording. I could only cut so much without cutting too much.)


BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS POST:

As I said above, I love Disney so much. I knew I wanted to do this assignment, but at the beginning, I was worried I would never be able to pull this assignment, of four stars, off, especially if I needed to relate it back to the apocalypse. After looking at some of my classmate’s submissions, I realized how I could do it! I went to YouTube and typed in “disney villain songs.” I got videos after videos, and even some playlists. I listened to and watched quite a few clips of Disney songs, and when I found a line I liked, I made sure to save the video. Then, I went to 4K Video Downloader, and downloaded the audio from each video. From there, I edited all of the music together in Audacity and once I was finished, I played it back and I really liked what the end result was/is. I also like the last clip of audio in my recording from “Hakuna Matata” in which Simba says, “Oh well… Hakuna Matata.” I just feel like that line sums up what people might feel during the apocalypse if they’ve had enough and have to stop worrying. What do you think? Let me know!