As my first project at Freestyle, we created various projects within our Conceptual unit. The various types of projects were Conceptual photos, music, and videos. The idea of Conceptual art is that our final products are more than just good looking, instead they are threaded with deeper meanings. This website utilized my beginner skills in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Pro Tools, and Premiere Pro. In each of my classes we created different elements to partake in our overall project. In English, we started with our Haiku Unit. After writing traditional Haiku’s we moved onto poetry in the form of Free Verse, Spoken Word, and Ekphrastic. Each of these projects includes an image or video to accompany it. In design we started off with our Transport photography assignment. This assignment entailed us to demonstrate a deeper meaning by taking a photo of something that included wheels and was a mode of transportation. In Digital Media, we created a website that includes everything from all of our classes. Additionally the videos that are with the poems, were created in this class too. During this project I learned lots about programs that were new to me like Pro Tools and Premiere Pro, as well as improved my skills in Photoshop and Dreamweaver. In this project I enjoyed seeing all of the possibilities that I have at Freestyle. This project gave me the freedom to create whatever I wanted in each of the projects. What made me specifically like this project was how much I learned and how much I will take away from it.
During our first unit in English we studied poetry and had the chance to write multiple different styles of poetry. The three poems we wrote were an ekphrastic poem, a spoken word, and a free verse poem. After our field trip to the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, we selected a piece of art that really spoke to us. This piece of art resembled what we wrote about in our ekphrastic poem. An ekphrastic poem is normally a vivid and dramatic poem created as a rhetoric of a artwork. Since this piece of poetry specifically allowed me to write in whatever style I wanted, this creative freedom allocated me to write with no certain structure and caused me to grow my skills as a amature poet. My goal for this poem was to write something unique and interesting to read that fully represented my emotions. My intention for the writing was for it to sound like what I was thinking in my head. For the poem I chose the “Sound Structure” bridge to write about. When creating a video to go with my poem, I used Premiere Pro and created a dramatic and dark affect in the video. This was purposeful because it allowed me to illustrate the feelings I described in the poem and felt in real life. The mystery and blackness of my video were the main parts of production that I enjoyed. It was fun and new for me to create something that was not all bright colors and happiness like most of my productions include. This theme and overall attitude of the poem allowed me to grow my skills in video production and in Premiere Pro in general.
i look down
do my eyes deceive me
i look between the lines
first glance was nothing, but relieve
the next, not so much,
a quick flash of my lashes
a feeling of terror
clouds my awe of my surroundings
all i see are smiles
unaware of my fear
why is it different
why is it different, for me
i look up,
i walk across the grates,
shaking from my knees down
finally crossing the high wire
Free Verse Poem
The second poem we completed was a free verse poem based off of our concept statements from before. My concept statement was “the feeling of nostalgia through the quick passage of time.” When thinking about writing a poem relating to this, I wanted to use visual imagery and auditory imagery to develop and image in the reader’s mind. My inspiration was a sundial and clock. The first stanza represents images of the sundial and the second stanza represents the clock. Both of these objects depict my concept statement by showing the quick passage of time and the images that are associated with that. Since this was one of the first videos we created in Premiere Pro, I used basic transitions and text for this poem. Using Premiere Pro for this video helped me develop my skills and my awareness of all of the different effects that can be added into videos. I enjoyed making this project a lot because recording in the Studio let me gain more knowledge of the professional equipment and software that I have access to at Freestyle Academy.
Spoken Word Poem
The last poem that we wrote in English was our Spoken Word Poem. The name of my spoken word poem is A Never Ending Storm. For this assignment we were asked to find a topic that was meaningful to us and that we wanted to speak out about. For me this poem was one of the hardest to write because of it’s emotional nature but it made me grow as writer. I grew from writing it because I was forced to write all my emotions down on the page and tell others a story that influences my life today. I put this poem together by writing a story out of an event and person in my life today. I wanted this poem to be impactful towards the people who hear it. I valued being able to speak out about something important to me in this assignment. There were little restrictions and this gave me a place to write and make me feel better about a troubling topic.
This is a screenshot of my Spoken Word Video production in Premiere Pro.
For this assignment we were asked to make a photo haiku out of a concept statement that we randomly selected. My concept statement was “the feeling of nostalgia through the quick passage of time.” Immediately when I saw this I thought of looking at photos or taking pictures. Many people take pictures of things to remember them and when looking back at the photos they are nostalgic of those memorable times. Using the traditional Japanese style of writing a haiku with the syllables of each lines as 5, 7, 5 respectively, I was able to develop a metaphoric haiku. My use of imagery in the first and second lines allowed me to describe photos in a more unique way. By mentioning that they disappear and leave marks, I was depicting the idea of memories in our heads. Normally, we remember only some of our memories and sometimes even the important ones can become unclear, these lines were my way of illustrating this. The last line was my connection to the photo I used as a background. This was more clearly displayed in my revision of this haiku. Which said “Photos melt and burn, leaving marks which wash away, rents left with regret…” The last line I used an old phrase of calling parents “rents.” By doing this I was able to remain at the syllable count but include another layer to my haiku. This relates to the cooking utensils in the background because often parents cook for their children. This common activity made me think of how parents take photos to record their children as they grow up. But once they are fully grown they are left with regret because they realize they did not take enough pictures throughout their daughter or sons childhood. Furthermore my inclusion of cooking utensils was to demonstrate how varying our memories can be and how easy it can be to take for granted our memories. I enjoyed this assignment because it allowed me to write in a very different way than most writing assignments. The requirement to use haiku structure challenged me to think metaphorically and to use imagery to illustrate what I was thinking. Also I valued this assignment because it taught me more about how culturally different writing and poetry can be around the world. Part of the production that I enjoyed the most was learning how to use Premiere Pro. In Pro Tools created ourselves from a variety of music loops and then converted that music and put it into Premiere Pro where we added titles, text, and pictures. By creating this simplistically styled video I was able to advance my basic skills in Pro Tools and learn more about Premiere Pro. Even though the software can be frustrating at times it taught me how to remain calm and how to find ways around the problems I faced.
This is a screenshot of my Haiku Video production in Premiere Pro.
For our first project in Design at Freestyle Academy we were asked to use composition, lighting, and our camera skills to create a photo including a mode of transportation with wheels. One of the requirements for the photo was to not use motorized transportation and the other was to take our photos outside. By taking photos of nonmotorized objects we were able to show objects that were frequently used in the past. Our focus on different time periods allowed us to stray from our current technologically advanced world and get back to the basics. The second project that we worked on was our Conceptual Photo Project. For this project we used our randomly selected concept statements to take a photo and create a concept to show in our art.
The mode of transportation that I chose to take photos of was rollerskates. To make the photo more interesting, I shot from the below; looking up at the wheels. By taking the photograph from the bottom I was able to put more emphasis on the wheels and include a more interesting background. If I had shot the photo from the side you would see lots of random things in the background: birds, tops of trees, clouds, and etc. Also shooting from the side is the same as shooting at eye level, which is the perspective we see everyday. Often we never see objects from the bottom because we are always looking directly at them. Since I wanted the emphasis to be on the wheels, using the background of a trellis with plants allowed me to keep the focus on the rollerskate, instead of on random objects. Furthermore, the pink on the rollerskates contrasted with the white background of the sky, while the yellow wheels contrasted with the green vegetational background. The contrast of the wheels and background allows more focus on to be on the wheels and for a more interesting picture overall. When looking for a place to take my photo, I picked this trellis because of its’ partial exposure to the sun. By keeping my rollerblades out of the full sun, they were not too bright and therefore the brightness was not a distraction from the main emphasis: the wheels. All of these elements helped focus on the wheels and the mode of transportation.
When editing my photograph in Adobe Photoshop, I wanted to make sure that all of my selections were exact, allowing me to make my edits blend in rather than stand out. Since I focused mainly on my selections I was able to practice my skills using the Magic Wand Tool, the Quick Selection Tool, and the Layers Pallette. Using my prior experience in Adobe Photoshop, I was able to advance my skills with these tools and make my selections more precise. I discovered that while editing my photos with my prior techniques and methods was easier, it was also helpful to keep an open mind to the methods I learned in class. By using keyboard shortcuts, making selections was more efficient and had less error within them. The new skills I obtained in class and my prior Photoshop skills helped me to subtly change aspects of my photograph. By taking advantage of photo filters on selected parts of the photo, I put more emphasis on the wheels and the white flowers. Specifically using Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation, Shadows, and Highlights. These effects helped me make my photo more realistic after the changes I made to the wheels. Overall this project helped me learn important things I will keep in mind in the future. One thing I learned besides new Photoshop skills is that sometimes I might not always like elements I add to the photo, but there are many tools to modify the problem or delete it completely. As a takeaway from this project I will always remember that even though others might make suggestions it is always important that I (the artist) like it. Even though my expectations for the result may be higher than my final product, it is always important to accept my work and acknowledge the challenges I faced. Most importantly, the ability to know that I learned a lot from each piece of artwork I created and to not give up on the artwork just quite yet.
Conceptual Art Diptych
I am exploring the feeling of nostalgia through the quick passage of time. This artist statement was drawn randomly and was unique to me.
The photo that I took includes floating candles in water in a glass bowl. Each object in the photo represents a different part of my concept statement. First and foremost, the floating candles represent growth. Since each of the candles is in the shape of a flower, their growth represents the passage of time. In the photo there are some pedals from the flower candles that have fallen off the “flowers,” this is to demonstrate how time ages things and people. Time aging people directly affects their memories and how well people can remember them and the details that make them up. The flowers are in the form of candles to resemble how eventually the memories will be forgotten once the flame is blown out. The water that surrounds the flowers is the clear and clean to symbolize how memories are when we first experience them. All of these objects are in a clear glass bowl to resemble how others can watch people experience memories first hand. By peering through the glass people are watching their family and friends create memories and then eventually watch them lose their memory of them too. Also, looking through the glass resembles how people often look back at their memories and feel nostalgia towards them. By shooting at night, I wanted to capture the reflection of the flames onto the glass. Each reflection is slightly different to show how memories vary and can change in our minds. All of these elements support my concept statement to show how one might look back and think about their memories and feel nostalgia as a result.
My photograph exemplifies my concept statement from English because it adds elements that would otherwise not be thought of when reading the statement. The idea of peering through the class is one specific part of the photo that would likely not be thought of. The photo gives the concept statement a visual to see and relate to. The darkness of the photo portrays a sense of complication and darkness to memories. Although the flame from the candles shines brightly, the darkness and wind surrounding it will cause the candles to eventually burn out. The colors that give off pink and red tones give the viewer the feeling of warmth associated with the feeling of nostalgia.
For this assignment I learned more about using the spot healing brush to cover up parts of light on the reflection of the class. Working with a reflection is something that I have not really done before. By using this glass bowl, I was able to grow as a photographer and when I used Photoshop to make edits. I explored with contrast and vibrancy filters on parts of the candles. By selecting only the candles I was able to learn more about the highlights on the candles as well as the ones they gave off. The dark background lighting and the bright candle flames contrasted, which encouraged me to slightly brighten the background and partially color the flames. Every edit and filter that I used were crucial to the overall feeling of the photograph. During this month we learned a lot about Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity (known as C.R.A.P in Design). Most of these elements were used in my photo and allowed me to better tell the story of my concept statement. Contrast is present between the candle flames and the dark night background. Repetition is used by multiple candles and the same colored candles. Alignment is slightly shown by my use of the rule of thirds in the photograph. Proximity is demonstrated in the locations of the candles to show a relationship. Overall, I learned a lot about taking photos and making small but meaningful edits.
For this assignment in Digital Media we were instructed to write lyrics and make a parody song. I took a different approach to this assignment and ended up writing something more like a cover. By using the song “Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac,” and two very good singers, I made the song more dramatic and less like a parody than I intended to. Even though my final product differed from the original assignment it was still enjoyable to make. Using Pro Tools we removed the vocals of the original song. One of the factors that goes into this is you can only remove so much of the vocals yourself. Mr. Flo described it as removing the eggs from a baked cake. Since it is only somewhat possible to remove vocals completely, you can slightly hear the original song vocals in the background. This was probably the most disappointing part of my song, but taught me that my final projects will not always end up how I want them to be. After removing the vocals in the song, I recorded two Mountain View High School students, Sebija Hadzicanovic and Nick Ferrari singing to the lyrics I wrote. With their singing I was able to make a cover that sounded better than I expected to listen to. In Pro Tools, my addition of Reverb gave the song an echoing effect. This interesting tool allowed me to adjust what the singers sounded like in different rooms based on natural echo. The reverb effect sounds slightly different and helped me cover some of the original lyrics as well. Overall, this project was my first attempt at song writing and the use of Pro Tools and the studio at Freestyle. For me writing a parody song was a baseline to the potential I have to write songs and produce music, I know now that I can only improve from here.
Even though I do not consider myself to be extremely talented regarding musical arts, our assignment to create an experimental musical track allowed me to branch out and try something I have not done in the past. For this project we were asked to create some instrumental music based on a specific emotion. Instead of making it based on emotion on wanted it to be more about experiences and change. The idea of exploring new things and growing, inspired my music. I wanted to make music that reflected on these two aspects of life because both of those things were necessary for me to make this music. To me this piece of music means that I was able to grow and explore new art medias. But specifically the music is meant to be something that is happy and rhythmic but also relaxing and tribal.
For this music I used various computer generated guitars and drums. I created a theme of Reggae by using instruments that sounded similar to Reggae themes. Using ProTools, I was able to take full advantage of their wide variety of instrument loops and sounds. For me this was one of the hardest assignments in this semester. I think it was the most challenging because I have never made music before. Also I am mostly interested in creating graphics, so making music was something brand new to me. I think in the end I am satisfied with my first experimental track and in the future I will be able to improve and learn more about producing music.