In the Reflections unit, I was tasked to answer the question “Who am I?” Through creating different projects using Adobe Illustrator, After Effects, Photoshop and Premiere Pro, I was able to express myself in different mediums and establish my identity as a person and as an artist.
In Digital Media, we got to draw personal mandalas using Illustrator. We set up our files so we could draw on one “slice” of our mandalas and it would automatically reflect across the entire drawing to create beautiful, circular art. The entire process of drawing my mandala was really relaxing and it was especially satisfying to see the final product.
Mandala Build Video
Mandala Artist Statement
Making my mandala was a very calming process. It was really relaxing getting to be able to draw out all the different strokes of my mandala and watching them all reflect across the artboard. It was really cool to watch it all come together as I worked from the inside of the mandala out. Adding color was also really satisfying because it helped to unify the entire mandala even more by applying a color palette to the entire thing.
From making this mandala, I learned that I like to go with the flow. My entire mandala was based off of elements of water like waves and flowing lines. I didn’t think too much about the plan of the mandala and just drew as I went along. This mandala taught me that just like my drawing, I can learn to adapt and go along with whatever is thrown at me, just like water flows through everything.
This I Believe
In English class, we were tasked to write a “This I Believe” essay in which we express a belief though a brief personal essay. In Digital Media, I took that essay and transformed it into a video using After Effects.
This I Believe Video
This I Believe Essay
I believe that other people’s interests are none of your business.
One day in eighth grade, I was in class when the boy sitting next to me pointed out my shirt. The shirt in question was of my favorite band and I had gotten it a week prior from their concert, so naturally I got excited. To my dismay, he criticized me for listening to that band, told me to listen to some “real rock” music and then proceeded to list out some “real rock” bands for me to listen to. I don’t remember exactly what happened next, but I know that I ignored him after that comment. However, the conversation left me baffled, shocked and a little offended. I was simply wearing a shirt of something I enjoyed, yet that was somehow enough for this boy to give me his unwarranted opinion.
Even four years later, I haven’t let go of his comments. This situation could still very easily present itself today as not a lot has changed since. The band in question is still my favorite band and I’m very often wearing a sweater of theirs. But the one thing that has changed is how I would respond. Rather than just sitting there, I would respond with a simple question: Did I ask for your opinion?
The truth is, when that boy called out my shirt, he was judging me on the most superficial level possible. He knew that I liked the band enough to wear their shirt and that was it. He knew nothing about my attachment to that band and what they meant to me. There was no way for him to have known that the band on my shirt meant the world to me just from the outside, yet he still felt the need to tell me his opinion. It was that complete lack of regard towards my personal connection that hurt me the most. I remember being really angry at him but no matter how hurt I was, I wouldn’t fire back at those bands he listed out because I was in the same position as him. I knew nothing about what those bands meant to him, meaning that I would never be in a position to retaliate.
I’m someone who has always found inspiration in everything around me and I have never hidden that. This means that people can make unwarranted judgments of who I am based on the media I consume, the clothes I wear, the dreams I want to pursue and so much more. And those people can make all the criticisms they want, but they will always be surface level judgments because they aren’t me. It goes the same way for me too. I could quickly judge someone based off on their interests, but at the end of the day, I have no idea what it means to them, so who am I to deny them of that personal connection they have?
In Digital Media, we learned how to use Photoshop to create artwork. We learned digital painting, compositing photos together, and even making 360 art. Throughout this process, I was able to learn how to recreate traditional art though an online medium. I was also able to further develop my skills as an artist and find my voice through visual art.
Photoshop Pastel Painting
For this project, I drew one of the final scenes of the show The Legend of Korra. The city is in ruins after the final battle, but the yellow beam, a new spirit portal, stands as a beacon of hope. I had a lot of trouble getting the sky right. It was supposed to be a blend of blues, purples, whites and yellows to create a dark, yet beautiful sky but I couldn’t get it right. I tried to replicate it exactly like the original and failed every time. I eventually went for a different approach of adding a base layer of purple and adding lighter layers above it to reach my end result. The sky actually ended up being one of the things I’m most proud of in this piece because I liked how I was able to look at it from a different angle and have my own approach. It’s exactly what this piece represents: new opportunities in times of failure.
In Film, our project for the Reflections unit was to create a video essay about ourselves. The goal was to create a two minute film that shared a more personal side to our personalities. For my video essay, I focused on my attachment to different types of media that I’ve influenced my life. I first wrote out my script, recorded myself reading it, recorded footage of myself and then finally edited it all together into the final product.
From this project, I was able to strengthen my ability to think outside of the box. Since I had to do everything on my own and pretty much entirely from home, I really had to put in the effort to make my video essay pop. On top of that, the narration of my video essay was naturally challenging to visualize, so I really had to think abstractly. In the end, I was able to find a balance of abstract, unconventional ideas and straight forward footage for my final product.