In this unit we reflected on who we are and what values we hold to help us learn more about ourselves. We used the information we brainstormed to create our personal college essay. We also learned different uses for Photoshop such as painting with acrylic and water color, and some basic compositing. In Animation we focused on learning how to use Maya and Zbrush by creating our own character and weapon.

Who am I

Through this unit, especially in English, we were tasked with various brainstorming activities to better understand ourselves. We looked at what we values we have. Some traits I value are creativity, art, entertainment, and beauty.


For this project we practiced using Illustrator to create a Mandala. We drew one slice of the Mandala which was repeated and reflected around the whole piece. We created both a colored and a black and white Mandala. We then chose one of the designs to laser engrave onto something.

My Mandalas

This is a picture of my black and white Mandala.
This is a picture of my colored Mandala.
My final mandala etched on gold plastic.

Mandala Reveal Video

Mandala Artist Statement

I really valued the experience of getting to do a simple relaxing project after getting back into school. It was a really good refresher on using Illustrator and Adobe After Effects. I also learned how to split and repeat patterns on Illustrator. Having the experiences of making both the monochrome and colored mandalas let me improve my skills in creating them.

I created my black and white mandala based off of traditional Mehendi designs and also foxes and Shinto gates. I took parts of my culture and weaved them together to make my Mandala. In the colored mandala I took inspiration from the outside, and created an autumn and leaf themed mandala.

This I Believe Video Production

For this project, we used the This I Believe Essay that we wrote in English class to make a video. We used found images and After Effects to create a video that reflected what we were talking about. We used various features of After Effects such as opacity and rotations to create a more interesting video. We also used video effects such as the Zolly Effect to show our technical skill with the program. I really enjoyed this project because it allowed me to practice all of the skillI had learned the previous year.

The Disappointment of Perfection

As a child I always got straight A’s. Even though I was put in the lower reading group, I was still able to excel at all my classes and because of that I believed it was normal to get straight A’s.  In middle school I learned for the first time that not everyone got straight A’s, and as time passed the subjects that had previously been so easy for me, had become more and more difficult. I was used to only putting the minimum amount of effort needed, so I started to become more and more frustrated when the results didn’t turn out in my favor. I soon realized that nobody’s perfect and it isn’t such a bad thing to mess up or make a mistake.

Recently, I started a new job, and I was so excited to do a good job. My first day there I spent an hour and a half just reviewing the menu. In my mind I had spent so much time reviewing the menu I believed that I had perfectly memorized all the items. It was a slow day so not many people had come into the store, and each time they did, my coworker would take their order and show me how to operate the computer. I felt like I knew everything about the menu and started to get bored. Then my coworker called me over to take someone’s order. I was so excited I finally had something to do, at this point I knew that I would be able to input her order perfectly. 

“What can I get for you today?”

“Can I have a crispy squid head?” A what? It took me a second to realize that my coworker was already pointing to the item on the screen. I regrouped my thoughts and finished taking her order.

From this experience, my belief was further reinforced. It is so easy to forget that failure is part of human nature, and our imperfections make us who we are. Instead of fearing failure we should embrace it. I believe that expecting perfection will only lead to disappointment.

This is a screen capture from my After Effect interface for my This I Believe Essay video production. All of my files can be seen on the bottom showing when they cut in and out.

Photoshop Art

For this project we learned how to use various mediums and brushes using Adobe Photoshop. We learned how to use both watercolor and acrylic brushes to create art pieces. I had never used any special brushes while painting on Photoshop before, so I valued the ability to learn how to use them.

Pastel Painting

Watercolor Painting

Final Painting

For this project, I decided to make a spooky Halloween themed art piece. I used the pastel brush, because I found it to be easier to use than the watercolor brushes. One thing I struggled with when creating my painting was making a semi-realistic clear bottle. To fix this, I looked up various images of bottles to see how I could make mine more realistic. One thing I would change is making the background of my painting to be more like an old renaissance still life, rather than just having splotches in the background. I am the most proud of my skull. This project made me realize how difficult digital art can be, and gave me a new appreciation for it.

Photoshop Compositing


In this unit, we learned how to use the softwares Maya and Zbrush. We used these softwares to create our own character and weapons. Here are some of the rendered projects we created.

My Character Concept
Temple Render
Fire-hydrant Render
Skull Render
Character Head Render
Weapon Design