I am exploring the feeling of remorse through managing responsibilities.

The Conceptual Project's purpose was to introduce new students into a different way of thinking. Conceptual art relies heavily on metaphors which can be interpreted in countless different ways. Everyone will interpret something differently, so the goal of of conceptual art is not necessarily to convey one idea, but to make the viewer feel something. Even so, the artist will have an idea in mind which requires a lot of depth and definition. In all of our classes we were given the task to truly think outside the box. We had to get away from literal interpretations and cliches and find meaning in symbols that spoke to us. In English class, we read about conceptual artists in the play Red. We also wrote our own poetry, mainly based off an assigned conceptual statement. We'd then go into our elective class and further elaborate the idea of our poetry. In Digital Media, we created accompanying videos with music, images, and text that all contributed to the conceptual statement. The images especially were a challenge, because they had to be an additional metaphors. In Design, we learned the main principals of design that lead up to a photography project based again on the conceptual statement.
For me, the best part of the Conceptual Project was finding the line between pretension and deep. I had a hard time identifying a meaning in some modern art, but in the end, I learned a lot about what's behind the paint, and how to see, not just look. This meant discovering our own interpretations of conceptual art, and finding metaphors that's weren't too literal or extreme. It required a fresh perspective of thinking that is hardly ever found in our regular classes. The poetry unit was specifically helpful to learn the basics of Adobe applications in Digital Media, and to learn to think in a new way in my English and Design classes.

Ekphrastic Poem

The poetry unit began with Haikus, but we soon ventured into several different types of poems including free verse, spoken word, and ekphrastic. My particular favorite was the ekphrastic poem, in which the author writes a poem reacting to a certain piece of art. We each chose a piece of art to react to that was exhibited at the SF MOMA. I had never done an ekphrastic poem, and I believe that most people don’t get the chance to in regular english classes. This activity gave me more appreciation for Freestyle and the outside-the-box thinking process they encourage. My poem was simply paired with a picture of the piece, and a small description of the artist.

Picture of a sculpture made of bronze, aluminum, and steel by George Segal. Picture of a sculpture made of bronze, aluminum, and steel by George Segal.
Click on image to view photo.

One Way:

Jagged nose and
Protruding chin.

Thick black glasses and
Hair pulled back tightly.

Slender, small face and
A lift from the floor.

Separate souls
Searching for the right way to go.

Crossing courses,
Clueless as to where to go next.

with their own idea of where to go.
They meet,
In a Chance Meeting-

I wish I could join.

Free Verse Poem

The Free Verse poem was also based on the given concept statement from English class. My concept statement was, "I'm exploring the feeling of remorse through the experience of managing responsibilities". My free verse poem went through multiple drafts, the end product following a completely different structure and idea than the original. After polishing the poem, I went into Digital Media and used the Adobe application PremierePro to put together a video for it. The background music was put together in Protools by stringing together and layering different clips of music provided to me, and then changing dynamics and even lengths of certain notes. I exported the music and put it together with text and images in PremierePro. The video's images are all metaphorical representations of my word choice in the poem. We also used the Ken Burns affect in the video, meaning that the point of view pans through the image as time passes.

Spoken Word Poem

This poetry unit was unlike others that I had taken in regular English classes of years past. We dove much further into specific literary devices that poets use in order to convey a message. We also implemented many of them into our own writing, adding a layer of sophistication to my writing that was not there before. It was also quite challenging to write multiple pieces based on the same concept statement mentioned above. This ended up being a very engaging exercise, making it so each of us had to come up with intricate metaphors.

The spoken word poem was the only poem that did not require being based off the concept statement. We had the opportunity to present in class, but were not forced like in years past. Instead, we moved the art form of presentation into video. In Digital Media, we used different tools in the application PremierePro to highlight significant words in the poem.


In my first weeks of Freestyle, we began a conceptual unit, which in English class, included poetry. We learned about various types of poetry and literary devices that make poems strong, and we also wrote our own. We were each given a “concept statement” which followed the outline that follows; I’m exploring the feeling of _______ through the experience of ________. We were each randomly assigned a feeling and experience, and from that concept statement, were to write poetry. Our first assignment was a Haiku. My concept statement was, "I'm exploring the feeling of remorse through the experience of managing responsibility". After I had finished a haiku based on my concept statement in English, we transferred the work into Digital Media, my elective class. Using the Adobe product called “Premire Pro”, we put together images, audio, and text into a video that presented the Haiku. This was a very nice project to start out on to get familiar with Digital Media tools like the application Premire Pro, and also recording equipment. It was a great way to combine producing art, learning about media, and expressing oneself creatively.

This is a screenshot of Premiere Pro which I used to produce the haiku video.

This is a screenshot of Premiere Pro which I used to produce the haiku video.


Experimental Music

Experimental Music explored finding different beats and rhythms that captured a certain feeling, action, or idea. In Digital Media, we used the application ProTools, to create our own music. There were several different instrument plug ins that could be linked to a keyboard. We chose from a variety of different options, including drum kits, pianos, as well as systems that already had hundreds of different options. After learning how to use each of these, we were released and told to create our own music trying to capture an idea. This became our experimental music piece.

This is a screenshot of ProTools which I used to produce the experimental music.

This is a screenshot of ProTools which I used to produce the experimental music.

Parody Music

The Parody Music assignment was our first major assignment in Digital Media. It has been one of the harder projects for me, because I consider myself to be a pretty serious musician, it was a challenge for me to copy a song and make it funny. I don’t normally think of music in that manner, so it was really interesting to have to work with a different thought process. I took my love for coffee, and an old song that was popular when I was younger and smashed them together to create my parody. I learned a lot about how music is made, as well as devices musicians when producing their music, use such as reverb.

Transport Project
A close of photo of a chair's wheel. A close of photo of a chair's wheel.
Click on image to view photo.

The Transport Project was the first formal photography and Photoshop project assigned to the Junior class. Our task was to take a minimum of 100 photos, from interestings angles, of a non-motorized object with a wheel. The object's main function had to be transporting items. After selecting a final shot, we were to edit the photo using Photoshop. The final image I selected was of a chair’s wheel. I went out during the afternoon to work with natural light. To shoot this from an unusual viewpoint, I layed down on the ground and only focused on small portion of a chair leg, primarily capturing one wheel. I used black concrete as my background, so the focus of the image would be very well distinguished. Although this was not my original idea for my Transport Project shoot, I ended up liking the composition of this photo the most, and it helped me learn an important lesson of carrying through with projects too see how they turn out. I was pleasantly surprised. After selecting my final image, I opened it in Adobe Photoshop and began to edit. There are slide bars in photoshop that let one adjust things such as saturation, contrast, exposure, highlights, vibrance, etc. These were the most important tools in my editing process. With these, I changed the color of the metal chair leg and wheel to add more interest to the photo. It altered an ordinary chair into something more playful and enjoyable to look at. Another important aspect of editing was cropping the photo so the background would not distract the viewer from the focus of the image. I lastly used Photoshop’s Spot Healing Brush Tool, Blur Tool, Sharpen Tool, and Smudge Tool to conceal some minor spots in the background of the photo. All of these edits had been previously taught in Design class, so I was more prepared to enhance my image.

Conceptual Art
A photo of gray rocks covering a number two pencil. A photo of gray rocks covering a number two pencil.
Click on image to view photo.

The dominant object in my photo is a number two pencil photographed using the rule of thirds. This was done very purposefully, so the viewer’s eyes would have no trouble setting on the desired object of focus. The pencil is the brightest object in the image in order to over exaggerate what the center of attention should be. Other elements that emphasizes the brightness of the pencil are the dark colored rocks that surround and burry the pencil. When first reading my concept statement, my stomach hollowed out as the memory of disappointing my parents with grades that did not live up to their expectations filled my mind. In my image, the pencil is covered under a pile of rocks. Responsibilities carry significant weight, and it’s no easy task to juggle several at a time. The pencil is almost completely buried, the black gaps between the rocks and pencil suggesting that it still remains possible for the pencil to be pushed farther down and become completely hidden. My inability to manage everthing is shown through the colors of the rocks. Besides the pencil, there is only one object that varies in color, a tinted red rock on the left side of the image. It’s easy to skip over at first, as the pencil is much brighter and demands more attention. The red rock represents my parent’s love, something that was a second thought for me as well, so its placement, that is initially easy to look over, puts greater emphasis on its meaning. Just because it wasn’t the primary focus, does not mean it’s missing. The stone doesn’t add any extra weight to the pencil, it’s simply another element of the situation that I could not see at first.When first editing in Photoshop, one can tinker with the temperature, tint, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, clarity, vibrance, and saturation of a photo. I had to be careful when adjusting highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks, that no one color was too overpowering. The photo could not be too dark, because it would completely take out the red stone, and it could not be too bright because it would take away from the personal experience I was trying to portray. Additionally, I cropped the photo to exclude some unnecessary leaves from the photo. I also used the Smudge tool and a brush with black color to mask a leaf entirely. I would not have been able to conceal this small detail without previous lessons on how to use the Blur tool, Smudge tool, Color picker, and varying brushes.

This is a screenshot of Photoshop which I used to edit my conceptual art photo.

This is a screenshot of Premiere Pro which I used to produce the haiku video.