Anna Larson
Anna Larson

Welcome to my portfolio website! My name is Anna Larson, and I am a student at Freestyle Academy. Freestyle Academy of Communication Arts and Technology (usually shortened to "Freestyle Academy") is a design school in Mountain View, California. Juniors and seniors at Los Altos High School and Mountain View High School that enroll in Freestyle Academy take their core STEM classes at their normal schools, but they take English, Design, and an elective media class at Freestlyle. My elective class is Digital Media, meaning that I learn web design and audio engineering. The English class at Freestyle Academy is very similar to a normal school's English class, but the projects we start in English class are often finished using skills learned in the other two classes. In Design class, we use programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator as we learn design concepts and apply them to photography and other design projects. In Digital Media, we use programs such as Pro Tools, Adobe Animate, and Adobe Dreamweaver to create media such as voice-overs, animations, and music, and we then compile all of our projects into one portfolio website per unit.

When I came to Freestyle, I didn't realize just how different it was from normal high school classes. I believe it is more comparable to a combination of college classes and the real world. At Freestyle, I learned to think about the work I was doing in terms of weeks and months instead of days. There was almost no nightly homework at Freestyle, so it was up to the students to stay on track themselves and meet the quarterly deadline for each project. The year also moved very fast. In the span of two semesters, we covered photo editing, music production, website creation, creative writing, illustration, animation, research and research-based writing, color theory, graphic design fundamentals, and more. We applied all of those concepts into professional-looking productions. Completing my projects was one of the most satisfing parts of my junior year, as I got to see just how far I had come since the fall.

The images below are linked to each of my unit portfolio websites. There are four units in each year, and two years spent at Freestyle, making a total of eight websites. Each unit has a different focus, and the websites showcase the projects I completed during those units.

For the Conceptual unit, we learned the basics of the programs we would be using in Freestyle Academy and used them to create several projects, including poetry, photography, and music.
Conceptual unit cover image
For the Narrative unit, we learned how to tell a structured story. We wrote a short story without dialogue, and we adapted it into a graphic novel, comic-style illustration, and an animation.
Narrative unit cover image
For the Documentary unit, we learned how to showcase an interesting person, place or idea. We wrote a paper based on firsthand research and we designed a magazine article to go with it.
Documentary unit cover image
For the Explorations unit, we developed the skills we had learned at Freestyle over the year in an open-ended production. Specifically, I researched character design and applied it to my illustrations.
Explorations unit cover image