During this unit, we emphasized the ability to incorporate our personal characteristics into the content we created. More specifically, we were answering the question “Who Am I?” whenever we created something. One of the first assignments that asked us to do this was the Mandala Project in Digital Media, this allowed us to express ourselves however way we wanted to through Mandala art. In addition, we were prompted to evaluate ourselves through various essays in English. The main essays we drafted were our I Believe Essays and College Essays. Lastly, after gathering information from English, I used the same information when creating my Public Service Announcement in Adobe Illustrator.
- Headphones: Music is one of the most important things in my life, hope to pursue a career in it
- Karaoke Mic: Reminds me of family reunions
- Lego: A significant memory of my childhood, made many connections with people through Legos
- My bike: My main mode of transportation as a teen, connected with my best friends through biking
- PS4: One of my main hobbies, met new people from around the world
- Basketball: Was able to bond with my dad using basketball
- Rice: I eat rice any chance I get
- Boxing Glove: I would get to bond with my cousins while watching boxing matches
- Keyboard: My main instrument when creating digitial music
- Saxophone: The first instrument I learned
One of the first projects we did in Digital Media this semester was the Mandala project. In this project we were able to express ourselves in our mandalas. The process of creating them in Adobe Illustrator was very relaxing, which allowed me to work on mine for long periods of time. While making my mandalas, I was able to take a break relieve a lot of stress from other work I had at the time.
Mandala Artist Statement
When creating my mandala, I valued being able to create a piece of art while being in a somewhat meditative state. During the creation of my mandala I was never really worried about how it would look, because I was very relaxed when drawing it. I was relaxed to the point where I lost track of time and spent a little over an hour creating it. Being able to use art as stress reliever ultimately gave me a new view about mandalas and how they are made. While making my mandala I learned that I am capable of making a piece of art that is calming, which I felt I wasn’t really capable of. I also learned that I am capable of being focused on a piece of art for a long period of time when I am in a similar state as to when I was making my mandala. If I were able to get into this state again, I think I could become very productive in completing other work as well. Lastly, being exposed to this new form of art has provided a stress reliever that is very effective, which I will most likely visit again in the future.
This I Believe
One of the main essays we assigned to write was the I Believe Essay. This essay asked us to expand upon a strong belief that we had. The actual process of writing the essay included finding specific examples and times where our belief came up. The process of making my I Believe video included recording an audio version of my essay, and then creating a video using visuals related to my essay. This project was able to improve my skills in Adobe After Effects, more specifically my ability to transitions through different images.
Every now and then I might stress about someone else’s progress or success in comparison to mine, but ultimately I believe that self-improvement only happens when you put the main focus on yourself.
Being the youngest child of three, my siblings were one of many people I was compared to. My dad would always sit down with me and we’d work on math problems daily. Looking back, I was actually pretty good at whatever he threw my way, but there’d always be the occasional “try to be more like your sister, she’s really smart.” This never really bothered me because I was too young to even care, but it was now always in the back of my head. As I grew older, my parents had slowly cemented my eldest sister as the “golden child” as they had seen that I wouldn’t be as academically successful as her.
This would ultimately become the foundation of my constant comparison of myself to others later on in life. I believe that the older I became, the more I compared myself to others at an unhealthy level. These comparisons often fed into my general overthinking, which would take up large chunks of time during my day. My comparisons to others would later become a daily occurrence no matter where I was or who I was with. Although this became a prevalent element in my life, I can recall one event that was helpful in reversing the mindset I had at the time.
A couple years ago, I had a friend that made the same type of music as me. He started making his music a couple years before me, so whenever he would show me his stuff, I was always fascinated by the complexity of them. Although I enjoyed listening, I would always question myself whether or not I would ever reach his level of musicality. This thought would almost always come back whenever I created a piece of music I wasn’t too fond of. Instead of using his music to motivate, unfortunately it had the ability of discouraging me from truly growing. Thankfully, I noticed this, so next time, I decided to use his work as a motivator to improve myself. The next time I listened to his music, I listened more attentively and took mental notes from what I was hearing. I also figured that since I really liked his work, we could collaborate, so after I finished listening, we exchanged emails and started working on music together, which was essential in finding improvement within myself.
This became one of many events that helped me realize the importance of putting the focus on yourself in order to grow. Now, whenever I start to compare myself to others, my new mindset changes that thought into how I can learn from others. I have discovered that the best way to grow is not by comparing yourself to others, but instead by comparing yourself to the person you were yesterday and continuing on from there.
During this project we were taught two different methods of painting in Photoshop: Pastel and Watercolor. Personally I used pastel art for my final project. I personally enjoyed this project because I usually always like learning new forms of art, like the Mandala project. I also had fun being able to learn pastel and watercolor because we were able to recreate real photos by coloring over them. This made our final products look somewhat professional.
Pastel Painting Artist Statement
While creating my painting, I was able to become more patient with pastel brushes become often I had problems with how they worked. I also became better at somewhat blending contrasting parts of my painting. I had problems with making my painting properly form a landscape because it initially looked really messy. I eventually overcame this by not thinking too much about making it look exactly like what I was emulating, but instead just focused on making more of an interpretation of the image. If I were to change anything it would be to add more details now that I know more techniques. I am most proud that I was able to continue to improve the more I experimented with painting during this project. I will probably apply the patience that I have learned to future projects, which I feel will help me significantly. This project has made me appreciate art to another level because it has helped me realize that artists must have many characteristics that allow them to create their best work.
Public Service Announcement
In addition to writing an essay about one of our strong beliefs, design students were prompted to create a public service statement and illustration related to our belief. We created these illustrations in Adobe Illustrator.
Public Service Announcement Artist Statement
In my illustration, we can see a man walking from darkness to light. The man walking is surrounded by colorful symbols of his hobbies such as basketball, painting, and music. Behind the man is a large shadow that is casted of him and each of his hobbies. In the background are multiple large buildings filling the horizon. The main message I am conveying is the idea of self-improvement by the comparison of who you were yesterday. I tried to implement light and dark colors to emphasize the progress my character was making day by day. On the right side of my illustration I used brighter and vibrant colors compared to the left. The use of gradients was also essential in conveying the message of progress. I also took this into account when creating the shadow of my character and its hobbies in order to show improvement from the past.
I made this using Adobe Illustrator. I used many tools within Illustrator, but after being told about using a gradient for the background I decided to use that as the main component for my PSA. The gradient I used in the background was able to show the transition of night to day. I used dark to light gradients on my buildings, character, symbols and concrete. Another way I expressed my dark to light these was by creating a cast shadow for my character. Initially, I envisioned having a desert as my background instead of a city, but I had issues with creating realistic desert in terms of texture and shadows. I also had problems with what to include in my PSA as far as background elements and elements involving my character. I solved this by simplifying my background and character.
During this production, I valued being able to go in-depth into a project just from using the I Believe statement. As usual I enjoyed continuing to use Illustrator because I feel like every time I use it I significantly improve as an artist. Lastly, I appreciated being able to incorporate different techniques into my illustration in order to successfully convey my message.