Welcome to my page! My name is Mia Polcyn and I am a student at Freestyle Academy. At Freestyle, I’ve taken classes in Digital Media, Design, Film, and English. Throughout my time in this program, I have created a versatile portfolio full of projects that I am very proud of. Prior to taking classes here, I was never really exposed to the Art world. I have been so lucky to learn from my teachers and student mentors to experiment with new mediums and challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone when it comes to creating. My favorite part about Freestyle is the community. Because everyone here is so passionate about the same things, the amount of support and encouragement spread around daily is incredible.

Outside of Freestyle I am either playing soccer, taking photos of nature or my friends, going on hikes, or creating content for the world to see. I am exceedingly passionate about storytelling in many forms, so most of my work is a mixture of my thoughts in writing and my photography. I get excited about anything involving nature, as I live to explore new places near my hometown: Los Altos, California. Whether it’s waking up at 4 a.m. to watch the sunrise in San Francisco or finding new trails a few cities over, being active and outdoors is what keeps me positive and fuels my passion to create.

Thank you so much for taking the time to review my work. Both of these projects mean a lot to me, as I have put all of my time and effort into making sure that these were they best they could possibly be.

Jack O’Neill Documentary

My first project is a documentary book about Jack O’Neill, credited inventor of the wetsuit and surf legend. I would love feedback on the creativity of the book layout from a design aspect, including use of original photography and illustrations. You can access my digital book by clicking the picture below.

For this project, I wanted to showcase the different stages of O’Neill’s life before he passed. In order to design my 30 page spread, I used applications like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator to complete a finished composition of my writing, photography, and digital illustrations. I also favored the use of color schemes on different pages to signify different times in his life. I was especially proud of my illustrations that are included on pages 15 and 19 because of the time I spent perfecting each one to deliver a message. I pushed myself way past my boundaries with this experience, as I was forced to follow a story into unfamiliar territory. This is a project I will never forget, and one that will continue to inspire me to take risks and dream big.

“Lone” Music Video

For my second featured project, I would like to present my Zenith project (our last project of Senior Year!). I decided to write and record an original song exploring the difference between loneliness and being alone. Then, I directed and filmed a music video to capture the narrative of the song visually. Because of the indie style of my song, I structured my video to have a more vintage mood by using various overlays to emulate the effects of a film camera. In addition, I designed cover art for the video using photos that I took throughout my time shooting. Below is the Cover Art followed by the completed video.

In terms of critique for my video, I want to know how the pacing of the video editing matched with the music itself. I also want to know about my style choice of the video and if it worked or was cheesy. In addition, because I was directing each shot, I would want to know how I could improve my direction in order to successfully instate a specific emotion in her expressions and actions.

For the production of my video, I used Adobe Premiere Pro. I was very specific in developing the composition of each of my shots by paying attention to color and lighting. I picked the model’s wardrobe for each shot depending on our location in order to create contrast and interest in the subject. This project has taught me a lot about set design and has helped me to develop a sense of style in my work.

Reflection of Growth

Throughout my time at Freestyle Academy, I feel that these two projects are an accurate representation of the style and passion I’ve developed. I know I’m truly invested in a project when I put so much time and energy into it that it obtains every part of my mind. It’s hard to focus on other schoolwork when all I want to do is my art. Both of these projects truly symbolize what means the most to me in art: storytelling. Being able to tell the story of an individual that I look up to and the story of myself only help me to not only grow as an artist, but as a human being. Getting to know people at a deep level is one of the many things that keeps me humble and motivated, because each new perspective on the world gives me insight to how I could be living my life a bit differently. I believe that one of the things that unites humans is empathy and understanding, something that is hard to achieve because of the commonality of surface level relationships. Of course, it’s impossible to know the story of everyone you meet, but perhaps sharing a few might be the answer to bring whoever hears it together. When someone leaves this world, they continue to live through memories and the stories told about them for years to come. Being able to say that I was lucky enough to capture the story of someone like Jack O’Neill is something that will never truly hit me. I feel so proud that my work has touched the hearts of others, and it validates my passion for this medium. Furthermore, being able to explore the feelings within myself this past year with my Lone Project has made me realize the value in music even more. This entire process has allowed me to self-reflect on the person I’ve become up until this point, and keeps me grounded to remember the path that I want to follow into adulthood. Thanks to Freestyle, I have attained polished skills in Adobe Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, InDesign and Lightroom to create products with a sense of professionalism. Next year I will be studying graphic design at Loyola Marymount University in LA, and I hope to continue to find new stories to tell everywhere I go. I genuinely believe that everything I’ve learned and developed throughout my time at Freestyle will help me to reach my goals and connect with other people who hope to do the same.