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The focus of this unit was all about storytelling and the different mediums that we are able to express stories through telling the story as visually as we could, descriptive storytelling, and no dialogue. We deepened our technical communication skills by learning a variety of modern professional equipment and applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver, and Adobe Premiere Pro.

Story

In English, we learned about the elements and structure of a story including how to properly define and create characters, settings, conflicts and resolutions. We created a short story in 750 words or less, expressing through visual narratives, descriptive storytelling, and no dialogue. When it comes to assignments where we write our own story, I always like to base them off stories I have already written, so coming up with plots was the least of my worries. My biggest challenge was to write under 750 words. It was really tempting to write more.

What happens when a wanted criminal is caught by palace guards? Of course, they’d be taken to the dungeon. Irene Alana is a notorious magician in her kingdom who is desperate to escape from prison. She resorts to using her own blood in her spell to break free.

To be honest, I may have cheated a little. I created my character, Irene Alana five years ago and she was already based off certain animals, so I already had a headstart in terms of understanding my character's characteristics and determining animals that best suit her. I figured she was hopeful, active, regretful, reckless and instinctive. However, Irene'ss personality isn't really clear in the story, so rather than basing the animals off her characteristics, I based the animals off her actions instead. I started off with coming up with as many animals as I could and slowly narrowing them down to three.

Make Your Move

Despite the darkness all around, the only visible light came from Irene’s hair. The locks that was once as bright as platinum was now soiled with dirt. Her eyes twitched groggily, revealing her ruby-red hues.

Her head was throbbing and her whole body ached. Although her vision was betraying her, she could see that her own bronze skin was painted with dried streaks of crimson and blotches of purple. Irene looked down at the heavy chains that bound her feet together and the chains that glued her hands to the wall. She was able to touch the floors at most.

Irene was only stuck here because she came to visit to her hometown when she knew she was a wanted “criminal”. She was caught red-handed, literally.

She looked down at the dull green peridot ring that rested on her pointer finger, which had practically lost its shine. She remembered the day she got it like it was yesterday. She had given her lunch to a homeless lady, who was carrying a bag of strange items, and she received the ring in return.

It was like fate. It led her to so many adventures and took her to many places she’d never known. She abandoned her mundane life and embarked on a journey. She met so many people and explored so many kingdoms. It came with danger, but that just made the journey so much more thrilling. The ring was like her map that led her to the unknown.

A tired smile made its way to her face. That’s right… her story wasn’t over yet. There were still more places for her to see and more people were waiting to meet her. What was she thinking, going back home to the old, normal life she detested? She had to make her move- and fast.

She curled herself into a ball and opened her mouth, revealing her razor-sharp canine teeth. Without hesitating, she plunged her teeth deep into her legs. Wincing at the sharp pain, she dragged her teeth downwards in a long, jagged line, blood pooling down.

She coated her fingers in her own crimson paint and began painting on the ground. A blood-red circle with a line through the middle: harmony. Although, what she had in mind wasn’t quite the same. A powerful sound similar to a dolphin’s scream was then released in several directions.

The ear-splitting noise slowly died down, and many people crashed to the ground.

Irene began pulling her arms away from the walls behind her. They were strong, but not stronger than her. Soon enough, the chains finally snapped. That’s one restraint down, and now she needed the ones on her feet. She raised her legs and slammed it down on the ground as hard as she could, shattering the shackles in one go.

Irene shakily stood up, running towards the bars that trapped her inside. She jumped up and kicked at the bars as hard as she could. It cracked a little, but didn’t break. After several attempts, she finally broke through the third restraints.

She didn’t waste any time and ran, she didn’t bother to look at any of the fallen guards, whose lifeless eyes stared back at her.

She thought back to when she saw a bear tear apart a salmon it had caught, teeth puncturing the silvery skin. That’s how badly her legs hurt, but for now, she needed to ignore it and run. Where was she going? She had no clue, but she had to escape before the guards woke up from their comatose state. She made her move and now she was going to get out of here.

She felt something firm and flexible wrap around her, binding her thin body. She struggled against the restraints, to no avail.

More vines began gathering in front of her, forming itself into the shape of a human being. The green vines slowly faded into fair and rosy skin as the other vines began to tumble down their back like curly hair.

With one look at the gold crown and the way she clad in gold and drowned herself in pearls, it was clear that she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.

Irene watched as blood slowly trickled down her wrists where the thorns punctured through.

She closed her eyes and smiled in defeat.

It's okay. Just do it over again.

Illustration

Our assignment was to create a chimera-like animal that metaphorically represents our character in our narrative story. We came up with a list of characteristics for our characters and we chose any three animals that best fit our character. We then combined those three animals together and posed them so that they were not simply standing still and we illustrated them in an angle that isn't eye-level. After we decided how our character-animals looked, we designed a background for them that matches the scenery in our story.

Brainstorm Scetch
Brainstorm Scetch

To be honest, I may have cheated a little. I created my character, Irene Alana five years ago and she was already based off certain animals, so I already had a headstart in terms of understanding my character's characteristics and determining animals that best suit her. I figured she was hopeful, active, regretful, reckless and instinctive. However, Irene'ss personality isn't really clear in the story, so rather than basing the animals off her characteristics, I based the animals off her actions instead. I started off with coming up with as many animals as I could and slowly narrowing them down to three.

Example poses used for character
Example poses used for character

Since my character is someone who is reckless and acts instinctively, she is like a monkey. The way she freeruns throughout the dungeon reminds me of how a monkey swings from tree to tree. At some point in the story, she is shown using her sixth sense. So I came up with a list of animals that either represented spirituality or had a power similar to 'sixth sense'. Out of all the options, I'd say she is most like a hawk. Just like a hawk, she is on the lookout. Hawks are represent spirituality and take lead when the time is right. Due to her inhuman and deadly strength, I compared that brutality to that of a lion's. I wanted my illustration to be captured in the moment where my character is breaking free from her chains.

Lion, Monkey, Hawk
Lion, Monkey, Hawk

Irene’s personality isn't really clear in the story, so rather than basing the animals off her characteristics, I based the animals off her actions instead. I thought monkeys, hawks, and lions were my best options. We weren’t allowed to base our animals off humans, so I felt like I was cheating when I decided to use a monkey’s body as the base of my animal. To give Irene the “vicious” effect I needed, I gave her an lion head. In place of the lion’s eyes, I used hawk eyes and added wings. I started by searching up photos of my animals that were in the position I wanted and uploading those photos to Adobe Illustrator. I used the pen tool to trace over the photos and combined them together to get my hybrid animal. Trying to fill in the traced animal using the pen tool was a challenge because sometimes it wouldn’t fill in the parts I wanted. In the end, it all worked out. After finishing my animal, I created a background. The story takes place inside a dungeon, so creating a background was very easy. However, using linear perspective on Illustrator was much more difficult than drawing on paper. I found it difficult to lead all the lines to a vanishing point. When I combined the animal and the background, it looked a little too plain, so I had to add some details such as cracks in the walls, chains, shadows, and lanterns. Considering all the struggles I went through, I’d say I’m pretty happy with how my hybrid animal turned out.

Music

In this assignment, we created our own EDM-style music using the application called "Reason." I knew I wouldn't be able to come up with my own song from scratch, so I made a remix of a (very) popular song instead. To find my song, go to 1:50-2:04

Audio Book

In Digital Media, we created an audiobook based off our narrative story, which included voiceover, background music, and sound effects. This was done by using Pro Tools. If anything, I really regret composing the background music before doing the voiceover. Because of that, it was a lot harder to record because now I had to rewrite a few parts and I also had a time limit for each part of the story. All in all, creating my own music was a great experience. I had a lot of fun "messing" around with the instruments that was provided by Pro Tools.