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A Brief Reflection: A Junior Design Students - Narrative Character by Avery Tan (2019)

The synopsis of my narrative is as follows: A Vietnamese girl is assigned to a group project in history class on the Vietnam War. Over the course of the class period, she struggles with coming to terms with her ethnic identity and reflects upon why she chooses to suppress her Vietnamese side. I illustrated the scene where the protagonist is in the school restroom mulling over how she has chosen to interact with her culture. To represent my protagonist’s personality, I combined several creatures (fox, hawk, cat, betta fish, and deer) to create a unique character. The fox aspect of my protagonist’s personality is her intelligence, her ability to discern the reasons behind her feelings. My protagonist’s independence and stubbornness are represented by a hawk and a cat respectively. Her aggressive attitude resulting in her loneliness is represented by a betta fish; her insecurity despite her tough exterior is symbolized by a deer.

There were several steps involved in the creation of my illustration. My peers and I first brainstormed animals that could represent the personality traits of each of our characters. I then sketched out several settings from my English narrative using either one or two-point perspective. After finalizing the background sketch, I compiled images of various restroom elements in Adobe Photoshop to make one cohesive background and repeated the process to create my creature; these two files would serve as references to be uploaded into Adobe Illustrator. In Adobe Illustrator, I used the pen tool to outline both the background and the creature. Each color in my illustration is a tint, tone, or shade of 5 hues selected from a Pantone color wheel. To blend colors, I used combinations of gradients, the feathering effect, and adjusted opacity levels. For details on the creature’s main body and on its tail, I used the brush tool. As a final touch, I added shadows by manipulating shapes with the mesh tool and changing their opacity and shades. Related website
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