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The narrative project is the second unit at Freestyle Academy. This unit required me to use multiple different skills that I learned in the Conceptual Unit before this. In English, we were asked to write a short story on a topic of our choice. I decided to write a romantic comedy about two people and how their journey together turned into their own individual journey's. The majority of the story is based on the main character Wesley. Using my new music production skills, I created background music for the audiobook. The top layer of audio is my recording of the story. Underneath, is all of the music that I produced for the important moments in the story: the introduction, the climax, the ending, the love scene, and etc. To go with the story, we created illustrations to create the story as something similar to a comic. The main character was depicted as a hybrid animal. To put everything together we created this website so everything is in one place.

The purpose of this project was to combine all of our skills to create a narrative in the form of an audio, a visual, and as something interactive. Each class required us to create one element of this project. In English I wrote the story, in Design I created the visual and illustrations, and Digital Media I created an audiobook and put everything together with my skills in website development. Each part of the project challenged me to be creative and problem solve. Using Adobe Illustrator I was able to continue to develop my skills using vector imagery. Vector imagery is what differs Illustrator from Adobe Photoshop. Vector images allow me to expand my shapes as much infinitely because they are made of rasture and not pixels. Using Pro Tools I continued to learn how to mix music. Since my skills and interest in producing music is limited, the music aspect of this project was my biggest challenge. Overall this project gave me lots of learning opportunity for various types of software and types of media.

This is a screenshot of my website in production in Adobe Dreamweaver.

This is a screenshot of my website in production in Adobe Dreamweaver.

This is a screenshot of my illustrations in production in Adobe Illustrator.

This is a screenshot of my illustrations in production in Adobe Illustrator.

This is a screenshot of my music in production in Pro Tools.

This is a screenshot of my music in production in Pro Tools.

Story

2706 Miles

His name was Wesley and her name was Emily. They had been together as long as anyone could remember: middle school lab partners, high school sweethearts, college lovers, and graduate school study buddies. It was 2006 and Emily had been requested to move to Washington DC during the election, as the head of Obama’s election marketing team. At the time, both Wesley and Emily were living together in Santa Monica, Wesley working as a partner at his own law firm and racing as a competitive cyclist. Their relationship was struggling once she left, only being four months into her twenty month journey. Wesley wanted Emily to be with him and not have forces pulling their relationship backwards: work, distance, and time. He took seven weeks off from working, handing his duties down to his subordinates.

It was 5am, on his first day out: he carried food, water, his credit cards, clothes, bike tools, a blanket, and an engagement ring. Tires gliding, pedals spinning, gears clicking, he was off. 2706 miles until he reached Emily.His fitness tracker displayed the number ninety which was his average of miles biked for each day in his first week. The second week came he was thoroughly winded, exhausted, and dirty. Bike shoes clanked the ground as he walked across the pavement. He had come across his first flat tire. He ripped a piece of duct tape from his backpack, smacking it onto the tire. He kept riding. Tires gliding, pedals spinning, gears clicking, brakes stopping. Wesley’s knees scraped against the ground, leaving blood and skin against the jagged concrete road. There 3was no bike lane; he was run off the road. Wrapping his sock around his leg, he knew he had to keep going. Tires gliding, pedals spinning, gears clicking, nothing but smooth sailing, until he reached Arkansas, where he shattered his gears. Tires gliding, pedals spinning, gears clicking. He then smashed some of his spokes. Tires gliding, pedals spinning, gears clicking. He kept pushing; it seemed as if he would never reach Emily. Tires gliding, pedals spinning, gears clicking, and he pulled up to Emily’s apartment building. It had been thirty eight days of biking through sun, rain, and thunder. He was greasy, grimy, and raw. Climbing up Emily’s stairwell to her apartment had never been easier. The thought of her ocean eyes, fiery hair, and vanilla scent was worth his excruciating pain.

Emily was now standing in front of him. A vermilion tint covered her lips, a New York Times in hand, a briefcase next to the door; her self sufficiency was clear. Without saying a word to her, he got down on one knee and showed Emily his scrapes and scars. He looked into her eyes and realized he had lost the ring. He wanted her to picture the ring, princess cut with diamonds and sapphires. He thought it was the end of his journey and the start of their journey together. He was standing there on one knee at her doorstep, ringless but still hopeful for engagement. Emily’s mouth agape, no words came out. Her head shaking back and forth swaying with the dangly earrings she was wearing. All he felt was disappointment. Wesley got up and left without saying a word. Walking down into the street he peered into a glass window of a bike store noticing his weak posture and destroyed body. His scrapes and bruises were all for a girl. He was in Washington DC with nobody but himself. He walked into the shop, seeing a bike race sign up. The next day he heard the gunshot and was off down the road. As he was riding he found the ring caught on his brake bar, he threw it on the pavement, leaving it far behind him. He knew Emily had been holding him back. Wesley was standing at the finish line on a podium with a gold metal. He had never won a race before. It was time to make a change to do things for himself. Forgetting about the ring and the proposal was his first step already completed. He grabbed his backpack and gold metal: tires gliding, pedals spinning, gears clicking, he left for his long journey home. 2706 miles all for himself.

This is a screenshot of Flash Fiction grading rubric.

This is a screenshot of Flash Fiction grading rubric.

Illustration

In Design, we were asked to create a hybrid animal and tell our Flash Fiction in the version of a comic. By using the characteristics of the main character, I created a snow leopard, butterfly, and dog. Adobe Illustrator allowed me to work with raster imagery to create this comic. This project helped me learn more about Illustrator and become more advanced with the pen tool. I learned that using lots of different layers is super important when creating illustrations. The different layers allow me to access different elements of the artwork quickly and in an organized fashion. This project also helped me improve my color selecting skills. Overall, the project taught me more about Illustrator and gave me the creative freedom to try out new tools and effects.

Here is a photo of my sketch.
This is my sketch and characteristics of my hybrid animal. This was the first step of the project.

The first step of our projecct was to sketch out different hybrid combinations. We took the characteristics of our character and picked animals that matched those characteristics. For example, a dog would represent loyalty. It was nice to work on paper and draw our idea before we created it in Adobe Illustrator.

This is a photo of all my poses.
These are example photos for my character. I used them to create shapes, shadows, and highlights so that the character looks realistic.

To create an accurate depiction of my animal, I took photos of my cat and dog walking around and sitting. When creating the illustration in Adobe Illustrator, I used these photos to assure that the shapes of the animals were representative of real life. While using Illustrator the photos allowed me to know exactly where different shadows and highlights were.

This is a photo of my final illustration
This is my final illustration of the character from my short story.

In English I created a short story about a character’s journey across the United States. The main character, Wesley, begins his journey in Santa Monica. He then bikes 2706 miles to Washington DC to propose to his girlfriend. Along the journey he faces various problems and learns a lot about himself. For the illustration I created a pig, dog, butterfly, and fox hybrid animal. Each characteristic of Wesley is depicted through each animal. At the beginning of the project I sketched various combinations of animals based on their personalities, then decided on the combination of animals that I liked the most. The dog represents his loyalty, the pig represents his intelligence, the butterfly illustrates his athleticism, and the wolf depicts his strong emotional connections. Although some of the character traits are more visible than others, each animal is illustrated somewhere in the piece. The assignment asked us to create our animal and place it in an environment. When I was almost done with my project, I found a major flaw… Going into the project I really wanted to do something complicated. I wanted to use my skill level to challenge myself and do more then what the assignment asked for. By no means do I regret challenging myself, although it cost me hours of work. I originally used a pa int brush in Adobe Illustrator, rather than the pen tool. The paint brush gave my creature fur and depth. The paintbrush tool also allowed me to create a mystical, detailed, and realistic environment. In my eyes, this was everything that I could have wanted for this project. The problem was that the paintbrush tool creates millions of anchor points, leading to a large file size and a high possibility of crashing my computer. When I was almost done developing my environment, I came to realize that my file would be too big to print, forcing me to start over completely from scratch. With a day left before the due date I created a spin off of the original assignment. Using simpler shapes and no paint brush I created an environment for my creature that I have come to like. Although this environment is not as pleasing to look at as my original, it uses metaphor and detail to relate the creature back to my narrative story.

Music

In ProTools, we created different pieces of the background music. I have included some of the background music below through Soundcloud. The music element of this project was the hardest part for me. It really challenged me to think outside of the box and work in a media that I am inexperienced with. My sounds were inspired by the adventure that the main character faces. The music enhances the story because it keeps the audience interested on more than just the story itself. Audio book All of the different biking sound effects were crucial to putting the audience directly into my story. My main goal when creating this music was to create something that was appealing to listen to. I am not totally sure if I completed this goal. As someone who is inexperienced in music, I can only get better from here.

To practice our new skills in Reason, we created an eight bar EDM track. This allowed us to practice creating drum, bass, and using patterns to create a short beat. I think that this project went decently well for me. I liked the final product of this beat much more then most of my other musical work. When we were done, Mr. Flo combined all of the beats into one track. This created a Exquisite Corpse which is a combination of tracks. My beat is the very first 8 beats. This was our first project in Reason and I loved it. Using Reason is so much easier for me then ProTools. Reason is a competitor and newer version of ProTools. So far, I really like using Reason.

This is a screenshot of my music in production in Reason .

This is a screenshot of my music production in Reason.

This is a screenshot of my music production in Pro Tools.

This is a screenshot of my music production in Pro Tools.

Audiobook

This is my complete audio book with background music and the audio of my story.