At Freestyle Academy, we used our experiences in real world issues and our interests to create pieces to contribute to our communities. The exhibitions show our knowledge and understanding of not only the subjects, but the tools we used to create the projects. We learn how to effectively communicate through writing, speaking, and the art we make.

From these projects, I’ve learned how to tell more through less clutter. I was to be efficient in my story telling as well as broaden my capabilities as a creator. In visual narratives, communication and heart is the most critical things. If you have nothing to say that you’re passionate about, viewers won’t connect with it as much. A project can have a lot of passion, but if the creator is unable to communicate the essence of it to an audience, people wouldn’t be able to understand it.

In our English classes, we wrote a narrative with the limit of 1000 words. I chose to write about ancient, Greek characters, Orpheus and Adonis, but retold in a new setting. For the audio reading, I used the DR-05 recorder for the narration. My friends, Shan as Orpheus and Jade as Adonis, sent me their recordings of the dialogue. I then edited the audio and implemented sound effects into the reading to make it an immersive experience. having my friends help bring the story to life not only brought us closer, but now we have this artifact of our friendship we can look back on.

Sign here, please.

Transcript

Orpheus would be an easy face to pass in the school halls if he didn’t chat so much. His face was much too average at a glance. That didn’t bother him. People recognized and grew sick of his frivolous speech, so he’d end up in the cafeteria alone. It’d bother me if I shared those complexities.

Orpheus was at the lunch table, stranded, until I came over to show him my petition. Perhaps his loneliness would work in my favor. 

“Not only I, but the 45 clubs would appreciate it if you could sign right there. Mrs. Boris set the deadline for this to be by the end of lunch today.” 

Orpheus’ signature should’ve been easy pickings. Tracing the row of names delicately, he avoided smearing ink on his finger. 

“Tell me, Adonis, is this regarding the upcoming dance?”
“To provide more funds for the clubs, we’ll need the budget cut and redistributed from the dance,” I confirmed.

“You want to impose financial limitations regarding the banquet,” Orpheus stated.

“Yes, the budget cuts.” 

When there wasn’t any immediate objection, I rolled the backpack in front of me to reach for my one Bexley fountain pen. Orpheus’s hand rose, as if that’d coax the panther of a pen towards it.

It continued to sit in my hand.

He longingly studied the pen. The golden trimmings? The sleek, black coating? No person would pass the opportunity to touch it, especially if their name was Orpheus. 

“The dance won’t have the regular level of pristine and dedication as previous years?” 

Talk about overstatements. The dances were at best mediocre and at their worst, heat boxes of sweat and heartbreak. Orpheus could write a Galla-level review of the blasted thing. Regardless, with the patience of a waiter, I held a smile.

“Not necessarily.” 

I took the lack of an immediate objection as permission for the pen to find its way into Orpheus’ hands. It carefully rolled in his palm while I pointed at the empty space.

The tip hovered centimeters above. 

“It’d be rather charitable of me, wouldn’t it?” Orpheus thoughtfully sighed. “Unfortunately, it seems we’ve reached a conflict of interest, dear Adonis.”

I wasn’t going to fall into Orpheus’ trap. I won’t let him swallow my time just because I wanted clarification about his woes. A long sigh stopped me from nudging his attention back to signing.

The back of Orpheus’ hand rode onto his forehead. “It’s just that I want this dance—I need this dance—to be the best it can be, for the bird of my feather.”
“Yes, bu-”
Eurydice.” 

Even the way he said her name sounded like cursive. 

“Yes, but, we also need you.” Just the signature.
“Are you making me choose between a magnolia and this forest of shrubs? Do you want me to reject the future of a destined bond for capitalism? Adonis, have you ever found a person who is not only the East, but Western sun? Who lights your day? Shows you what true humanity and warmth is when all you’re surrounded by is Winter moons? I need you to understand she is the divinity of wood whirls, the harmony in a swan’s call, the euphoria of a ballad. Oh, Adonis, she is the muse of my words!”

In the heat of witnessing what Orpheus’ diary must go through, at least thirty minutes of lunch were wasted convincing this Shakespearean-stan to sign a bloody line. 

A warning bell rang.

Make that forty five minutes.

“Orpheus, you don’t need all those decorations, do you? It’s just one dance.” 

He solemnly shook his head. “You don’t understand.”

“Please, Orpheus.”

“How else am I supposed to win her heart without the reflections of a disco ball or streamers lining the gymnasium? With your budget plan, hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if cookies were cut from the menu options!”

His face reddened at the usage of a word that’d normally be so extreme for his vocabulary.

Extreme words called for extreme measures.

Little to no thought was put into my climb of the lunch table, as if I were auditioning to be featured in a musical. For once, Orpheus was the one staring at me. His face wasn’t nearly as judgmental as the ones of people around us. 

“We can have a dance right here, right now, without your disco lights or treats!” I declared, my adrenaline making my voice louder than intended.

Orpheus tentatively got up. The offering of my hand was enough to convince him to join me on the pedestal.
“You feel life in your moves? The skip in your steps? The tango in your blood?”
Matching each other’s rhythm, we rocked side to side in what must’ve looked like a monkey courtship dance to an outsider. Orpheus’ face scrunched. 

“Yes…” He began to nod. “I do, Adonis!”
“Why do you need those decorations when you have Eurydice to color your world, already?”
With the lack of music, the silence of the cafeteria heightened. I did my best to just focus on Orpheus. He followed my lead in quiet beats before exploding into a firework of realization. 

“You’re right! Forgive me, Adonis, for letting my selfishness cloud my judgement. I don’t need all the lights in the world or Cirque du Soleil to confess my admiration. The dance will still be enough if we’re there!”
I nodded, not paying much attention to his revelation as I gathered the clipboard up to him.

“So you’ll sign?”
Orpheus gave a choked smile as his pen rose into the air. It boldly dashed across the line in a rehearsed fashion before halting.

“Oh goodness, I need to ask Eurydice to the dance, don’t I?”

“…Yes.”

With the ring of a school bell, Orpheus leaped off our makeshift stage.

“Thank you, Adonis. You’ve opened my eyes!” He called, bounding off to where his heart’s compass led to Eurydice, presumably. 

I looked down at the half signature.

Oddly enough, my mouth hadn’t found a frown. 

Pro Tools file of the album art for “Sign here, please.”
Illustrator file of the album art for “Sign here, please.”

For this project, I was inspired by a creature you can catch while fishing in the Supergiant game, Hades. That creature is a “Voidskate”. I made a sketch in Clip Studio Paint for the drawing and then imported it to Adobe Illustrator to create a vector version of it. I grew more confident with layers and the pen tool through this. I’m very happy with the end result. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t change anything about this project. Since the drawing would become something physical, I wanted to make it so that I’d still be happy with it years later. 

I’m proud of how I created shading by using the blocks of colors as well as the belly of the Voidskate. The pose is dynamic and would bring more life to my desk. I learned how to pace myself on projects such as these and 

I’m now a lot more appreciative of vector drawn art pieces. Even if there’s a design that seems simple, there was still a lot of thought put into it to make it efficient. 

A screenshot of the file opened on Illustrator. Not all of the folders are opened because of how many objects there are in them.

My partner, Stella, and I were inspired by the game, Among Us, a game that encourages players to investigate and work together to figure out who the imposter is while completing tasks on the spaceship. We both enjoyed the game very much and went through various song ideas while coming up with lyrics. We settled on the song “Boys Will Be Bugs” by Cavetown since we felt the clear syllables and pacing of the song was best. 

Boys Will Be Sus
Parody of “Boys Will Be Bugs” by Cavetown

I am a crewmate
I do tasks and run around
I try to avoid electrical
And I cannot swipe my card
I feel anxious (anxious)
Tired (tired)
Pretending to be doing task
I know I am sus but
I’ll beat you up if you vote me off
I’m the impostor
And I think this time I’m gonna get green
Don’t vote for me, I was not anywhere close to the body
I did my tasks, Greens acting sus, we have to vote somebody
Don’t mess with me ‘cause I’ll sabotage, I wanna make you lose
Ain’t that how it’s s’posed to be? They’ll never suspect me
You’re voting Green right?
(Green’s voted off right?)
It’s getting dark down here underneath the vents
I clicked “meet” to report you
Now I’ve broken some amends, if
Pink has used med bay
How do I know you’re my friend?
What’s it like being crewmate
I wish I could just run errands
Lyrics for the song parody to follow along.

Writing the lyrics came naturally. The song depicts the story of a player who is pretending to be a crewmate when they are actually the imposter. Their gameplay strategy includes faking tasks as well as shifting blame. A challenging aspect of producing the song was removing the vocals. During the remakes I’ve made of the parody, I added backing kazoo playing as well as mimicked the different backing vocals in the original song to make it more personalized. The song went through major phases, the original version having a voice impression of Toad from the Mario Games. I changed that to be my normal voice so the lyrics would be more understandable. I’m proud of using the feature of having it sound like there are voices coming from different directions, such as for the “anxious” and “tired” bit. I spent time retaking takes for the vocals and adjusting volumes so the parts I want the audience to hear foremost would come to the front. In the song clip used, there were two instrumental parts, so I needed to learn how to have the LPF turn off and on twice in the same song clip to have the bass in the mix when appropriate. It was a slow process to have all of the pieces come together for my parody, but I’m happy with the problem solving and effort I put into it. Removing the vocals from the original improved with each remake. If I were to do it again, I may try to have all of the different parts of I’ve made for the song come together more cohesively. I’m very happy with the syllables and rhyme of the lyrics.

I’ll be able to create more song parodies in the future using the skills I’ve learned from this project. I also feel a lot more confident with ProTools and the program seems a lot less intimidating. I could help others create their own song parodies as well and branch out to make my own songs from scratch. I now know how to edit and make my own vocals, which is already a big step towards becoming a ProTools master.

Screenshot of the ProTools session showing the plugins.

In Animation, we are broadening our skillset not only as artists, but storytellers as well. We created character designs that would later be turned into physical puppets that we could animate with in stop motion. I created a news delivery passenger pigeon, Sinclair. I added sketches around the reference art to give a sense of what Sinclair’s personality would be like.

Character reference of Sinclair’s design.
Creation of Sinclair’s body, involving melted plastic beads, tin foil, masking tape, chop sticks, and wires at this stage.
Walk cycle of Sinclair in stop motion with the green screen.

We also animated characters digitally for a walk cycle. I used Adobe Animate. When creating the walk, I realized a challenge would be the length of the legs. I imagined I was drawing a sack of flour to help me draw the monkey.

Rough animation of my walk cycle animation.
Walk cycle of the Pokemon, Grookey.

We composed all of the cycles onto Adobe After Effects to include shadows, multiplane background and the characters.

Complete mood scene of my puppet and monkey.