The goal of the Reflection unit was to dig a little deeper into what I value in life. In English, we wrote our Personal Statement. In one of the initial exercise to uncover our core values, we had to think of “essential objects”, objects that symbolize our values. We took one of our objects from English and 3-D modeled it in Animation! Then in Digital Media we wrote, recorded, and edited a Perspective Piece, a short rant.
Who Am I? What am I? A creator, passionate, a learner. The process of answering this question is ongoing. The Reflections Project has helped me become more aware of my own tendencies.
In English we wrote a personal statement, a self reflection piece, that would be sent to the colleges we were applying for. And in Digital Media, we had to record the essay and edit it using Pro Tools.
A thick layer of smog hangs over the chaotic streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. There is only a blue postage stamp of sky. Streams of tall and narrow brick houses tower over the moving crowd. For most of my childhood, Kathmandu was all I had known. Yet my life changed in 2009 when my parents won a diversity visa to the US and we waved goodbye to blackouts, water shortages, and political outbreaks. We packing all the supplies we thought we needed. But what I’d left back home would be intangible.
In my first two in USA, I had moved schools three times. And by then, I felt distant from the American language, food, and culture. But most importantly, I recognized the larger economic divide compared to my community.
In the third grade I visited my American friend’s “typical” four-bedroom house, and my interpretation of affluence was dramatically transformed. When I went home that day, I noticed that our apartment was like a shoebox. I began to resent my parents for not having bigger salaries. Every weekend or so, I would beg and plead to go to the mall just to feel a sense of vicarious instant gratification merely by being around luxury. I was infatuated by American Materialism.
I spent the whole summer in Nepal before eleventh grade. I found an opportunity to intern at a magazine where I was trained to take photographs for events around the city. After one of my shifts, my cousins took me to a talk show hosted by seven Nepalese men and women who had done their studies abroad and had come back home. Some opened businesses in Kathmandu and created their own market. Some were artists who found an audience that would finally listen. The theme of the talk became apparent: Learn, absorb, and come back. These entrepreneurs chose not to abandon Nepal even after seeing the blitz of the developed world. I realized I would soon be at the same crossroads as them.
I realized that not only is Nepal my home, it is my canvas. I when in reality, those resources need to be creatively utilized.
I reflected that Nepal is a rough sketch, waiting for color, tools and precision to shape it better. This talk has resonated with me and ever since. I have constantly asked myself, what will I do with my privileged perspective?
With this mindset, I looked forward to the opportunity of attending Freestyle Academy, an alternative, project-based digital arts school, in my junior year. The most significant project for me was the Documentary unit. I chose to analyze Materialism in America through creating a book and an animation. Through the dissection of commodity fetishism, I saw my one bedroom apartment and goodwill hauls as a gift. It made me understand the larger socio-economic problems that consumerism creates. Unknowingly, my family practiced sustainability through our lifestyle and we had lived with gratitude by consuming less.
One night I created a business plan for a community arts center in Nepal. I know I want to back to form meaningful connections and create an experience and a direction the community to open up societal issues. In my years in college, I want to integrate art and social studies. I want to take back my knowledge to begin reform in the place where it all started.
We were told to create a 1-2 minute rant video on any topic of our choice. We has to use After Effects and ProTools. I chose to rant about Social Media. As ashamed as I may be, this is definitely apart of who I am and who many of us be.
Here you can see my overall end prodcution in creating this vedio.
In Animation class, I took one of my “Essential Objects”, a sharpener, from the reflection process and began to model it in Maya. The first step was to create thumbnails for our objects in Adobe Illustrator. Then I put the images into Maya and began learning the software
The modeling step was the hardest but it got fun after I understood it. We then took our models, and created a UV Map and then took it to Substance Painter, a 3-D painter application, to put textures and colors to our objects.
Overall, this project created a wider spectrum for understanding who I am. Through writing, I have had many realizations about my past and present. I feel I have grown over this short time because I myself am understanding my true values.