The Narrative Unit emphasizes storytelling through art, creative writing, web production, and other digital media, and challenges students to express a story in their own style. Students develop these skills with professional equipment such as:
- DSLR cameras
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Animate
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Tascam Audio Recorders
- Adobe After Effects
- Adobe Audition
- Avid Pro Tools
- Google Apps
I valued the creativity I had to implement and the tools I used to make my light cover and other projects.
Geometric Light Cover
The title of my Geometric Light cover is “Lost in Thought,” which adds a deeper meaning to the otherworldly and space motifs in my design. This geometric light cover can be interpreted in two ways: literal and by the title. Space is an interesting setting and an ideal object for metaphors and deeper meaning. Rather than to try to convey a specific message though, I am trying to convey a specific atmosphere and mood with my light cover.
I am trying to convey the atmosphere and feeling of being lost in thought and curious about the various things around oneself. Space is a perfect representation of being curious and lost in thought (I would argue almost being overwhelmed with these emotions) because space is one enormous unknown. People are afraid of and pulled towards the unknown, because as the word itself indicates, we do not know everything about it. Space is completely alien and foreign, and that vastness can cause one to feel lost as people start to ask questions they can’t answer. To balance out these serious themes I chose to portray a cat being abducted by a UFO to add a bit of humor to my piece.
I learned many valuable things while making my geometric light cover. During the process I learned how to manipulate Illustrator to fit what I wanted to do. I watched tutorials to help me with Illustrator and while watching one I discovered the ‘Merge Shape’ tool. Instead of wasting time on manually adding anchors and deleting segments of lines to combine shapes of my light cover I could just click on the two objects I wanted to connect and Illustrator would do the rest of the work for me. Although this was not the only tool I used and the only challenge I faced, the ‘Merge Shape’ tool helped me by making my workflow faster, less frustrating, and more efficient. This is why I value this project, as without creating the Geometric Light Cover I would not have found ways to be better at illustrator.
Illustrator T-Shirt Design
During this project, we applied our previous illustrator knowledge to create a design of our choosing, me choosing a T-shirt design!
For this project, my original idea was to create a shirt with a cheesy pun. I didn’t know exactly what pun it would be yet, and spent a while brainstorming what I could put on a shirt and went from there. I decided I wanted to put something more than words on my shirt, so I brainstormed my interests and landed on a general list. My list included: Video games, cats, the fantasy genre, D&D and more. After thinking about it for a while, I decided I’d want to focus on two things: Cats and video games. Initially I tried thinking of a pun about video games, but I didn’t want my shirt to be geared towards a specific game but rather video games in general. This left me with the option of making a pun to do with cats, which isn’t difficult at all. I then knew I wanted to incorporate the pun “Pawsitive” in my shirt but I wasn’t sure how to do it. Contemplating my choices I decided on cats in a potion bottle charm and the writing +1 pawsitive energy on the bottom.
I learned a multitude of things from this project, namely how to use clipping masks. I’m still not completely comfortable using them but I have a vague understanding of how to use them to shade pieces in illustrator that I make in the future. I learned how to shrink objects around the center and not only one corner, which helped me create a potion bottle outline perfectly fitted to the inside glass plane of the bottle. The hardest part of the entire project would be coloring. Due to some objects in my art being brush strokes, I couldn’t convert them to live paint as it’d ruin the shape of the brush strokes. I ended up having to rearrange a multitude of lines and groups to color the line-art so that nothing would overlap something it wasn’t supposed to. The coloring turned out consistent and I am happy with the result, however I want to find if there is a more efficient way of coloring in the future.
Short Story Production
The short story assignment was originally assigned in English, but manipulating it by creating an audio visual recording was done in Digital Media. Here are my process photos followed by the final product. We were challenged to create a narrative and then edit it in Pro Tools with sound effects to create an immersive audiobook experience. Hope you enjoy!
Madeline screeched to a halt as she almost missed the red light in front of her, too lost in thought to mind her surroundings. Mumbling a few curse words, she straightened her back and turned off whatever music was playing on the radio, hoping to take her mind off of work matters and instead focus on the slippery road ahead of her. Her hopeful plan didn’t work; with the next turn into her neighborhood, she found herself bombarded once again with a flurry of thoughts, much like the rain crashing around her beetle-like rusty car. A cameraman struck by his own camera… She thought, tapping her finger repeatedly against the steering wheel. And yet he took a picture of himself 8 hours after his estimated time of death? He wasn’t even the photographer who was supposed to be at the event! With that many elementary school kids and teachers why didn’t anyone see anything suspicious? We couldn’t even identify him! Ridiculous!
As an expert detective with many cases under her belt, Madeline found this one to be particularly puzzling.. She’s solved every case thrown at her, why would this one be any different? She couldn’t stop thinking about all the minute details and how they wove together; the more difficult a case was to her the more… Irresistible. Like her puzzles at home, every case had a solution. She just didn’t know it yet. I’ve already spent all night at the precinct, she mused. A few extra hours at home won’t hurt… she continued.
“You can solve this easy-peasy!” Madeline sneered, mocking the cop who gave her the case file. “It’s not like you haven’t done this before!” She continued, expelling her pent up frustration through the use of her car horn. The car in front of her was merging into her lane without a blinker, a punishable offence in Madeline’s book. Not that she’d be sending anyone to prison at this rate. Pulling into her house’s driveway, she closed her eyes, rubbed her temples, and took a deep breath in and out. She was not going to misplace her anger on her family.
The door clicked shut as she shuffled into her cozy toy strewn home, her short hair drenched. She briefly glanced at the juice glass placed on her puzzle table and instinctively reached to take it off before remembering she still had her soggy shoes on.
“I’m home!” Madeline yelled while picking off her wet coat, almost tripping over a pair of children’s shoes.
“What did I say about Max leaving his muddy shoes in the hallway? I thought we agreed he should at least hose off his shoes before coming in.” She sighed, too preoccupied to really give much thought to anything constructive.
“Sorry, you took the car to work today, right? The weather is awful… Definitely not the time to bike!” Her husband’s voice answered from the kitchen.
“Yeah, I took it to the Undead Cameraman scene. That case is an absolute nightmare! We couldn’t find anything, can you believe it? The rain washed away any usable evidence we could have collected! No fingerprints, no artifacts, and the lab couldn’t get anything conclusive from what little we did find. Only thing that we know is that the blunt force trauma on the victims head matches the camera imprint we did at the lab, but that really doesn’t give us much to go off of… By the way, where’s Max?” Madeline rambled as she trudged into the kitchen, hoping to see both her husband and son eating dinner there. Maybe they could make her day a little better, give her new perspective, comfort, or perhaps even a distraction?
“He’s in his room, ‘supposed to be taking a nap after staying up late last night.” Her husband Lucas noted. “He was waiting for you, y’know. Getting him to sleep is impossible sometimes… Maybe he gets it from you!” He teased, pointing at Madeline’s ever present dark circles under her eyes. “You’re not planning to work here after you just got back, are you?” He frowned, sitting at the dining table motioning for Madeline to sit as well. About to reply, Madeline pinched the bridge of her nose. On one hand, the case she was working on would itch her until she solved it like an ever present mosquito bite, but on the other hand, she knew she didn’t have to work on the case outside of work. She also had other familial responsibilities to take care of, like helping out with chores or spending time with her son. Her son! All of her thoughts slipped away as she thought of her son’s round face and big smile, contagious even at the simple thought of him. The worries of work and stress slipped away as she realized that any time spent with her son was worth a thousand unsolved cases, no matter how frustrating or important.
“No, I don’t think I will. It’s my time, not time for work. You said Max was taking a nap?” She smiled, and as if to answer, a loud series of thumps resonated from Max’s bedroom.
“Supposed to be.” Lucas laughed. “Dry off before you go see him, you look like a wet rat.” He winked, throwing a towel at Madeline.
Madeline offhandedly rolled her eyes as she gratefully took to towel to dry off her damp face and hair.
“Thanks,” She deadpanned, hurriedly starting up the stairs. She opened Max’s room quietly on the offhand chance her son was very loudly sleepwalking and found him on the floor searching through his toys. He immediately stopped, expression and movements as still as a photograph as he realized he was caught; His eyes widened as a series of emotions passed his features ranging from shame to excitement.
“Mommy!” He yelled excitedly, forgetting his other toys at once. Madeline crouched down as Max clumsily barreled into her arms, both parties smiling ear to ear. Max buried himself in his mother’s arms only to suddenly recoil with a comically exaggerated look of disgust plastered on his face.
“Your hair is wet! Ew!” He giggled, dragging Madeline into his room. Madeline chuckled, a sound solely reserved for those closest to her, and followed him into his toy-strewn room.
“Now, just because you have an excuse for not sleeping right now doesn’t excuse you from having a messy room, what happened here?” She gently asked, watching her son dart from one corner of his room to the other. What remnants of unsolved cases and dead bodies that still plagued her mind fell away as soon as her son started to construe a tale of despair and woe to explain himself. A warmth settled onto her as she listened, skeptically nodding along, knowing the reason he wasn’t sleeping was to wait for her. That’s all that really mattered. She was home.