Like the Narrative unit from the previous year, this Narrative2 unit focused around a story we wrote in English. The story was then adapted into an animation and website in WebAudio and a book cover in Design. In Design, we also did an additional Surrealism and Blink unit, where we experimented with photography and fine arts. I Googled effects that I wanted to try in my website, and I learned to use more Javascript. In WebAudio, I learned the Duik and Puppet Pin tools, which helped a lot with my animation. This Narrative unit had a bunch of content that I had to organize into one website without cluttering everything.


On the left are the paper prototypes I made for this website. Paper prototypes are sketches used to plan out web pages before execution. I thought about Javascript transitions, color scheme, and how to organize content. I followed the color scheme of my book, but I also wanted to include the color scheme of my Surrealist project. I used grayscale photographs from the Surrealism unit as my background and used the book jacket color scheme for the actual content. Click for a larger version.

Programs Used: Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects


In English, we wrote a dialogue-driven narrative story to start off the unit. Since the story had to be limited to two pages, we had filter out irrelevant details. We had to make sure that the dialogue we included either furthered the plot or revealed something about the speaker's character. Since I was in WebAudio, I wrote the story three times over from three different perspectives. This exercise allowed us to give our characters more depth by depicting them from another person's persective. We were also able to explore the idea of a narrator that might not be completely trustworthy and might have hidden biases.

My first column was written in Third Person Objective. It was probably the most reliable of the three columns, since there wasn't a narrator who would influence the storytelling with their perspective.

My second column was First Person from Arya's point of view. Arya's point of view probably had the most biases, since she was almost the antagonist of the story. She was the most stubborn character in the story.

My third column was also First Person, but from Toral's point of view. Toral was a child, so I could make the storytelling more simplistic and childlike.

Third Person Omniscent

After a long Friday, the kindergarteners pressed their faces against the glass window, waiting to be released, and across the hall, their mothers held the same deer-in-the-headlights expression, but their eyes widened in contempt, not envy, as they gawked openly. Sporting a bright pink Mohawk and silver rings curling around almost all of her facial features, Aarya Sarin looked the part of a predator among the domestic, suburban mom majority. Knocked up teen, they gossiped. Poor child will probably end up in juvie.

An energetic kindergartener ran to Aarya’s side. “Mommy, look!” Toral held up a crayon drawing proudly.

“That’s great, Toral! Maybe you’ll be an artist when you grow up!” Aarya said affectionately, ruffling Toral’s hair. “I bet Uncle Tony will love it! Who is that with the blue hair?”


“Oh? What happened to your black hair? Did a fairy use some magic again?”

“Nope! I dyed it!”

“But your black hair is so nice! Why would you want to dye it?”

“Blue is a nice color too!” Toral chirped happily.

“Aren’t you worried about what your friends will think?” Aarya pursed her lips.


“Dyed hair is weird to a lot of people.”

“Not to my friends! They like your hair.”

“You’re not getting your hair dyed.”

“Why not? We’re going to the salon right now anyways.”

“I’m getting my hair dyed again, not you. You don’t understand how this could affect your life. End. Of. Discussion.”

“Fine, I’ll get Uncle Tony to do it,” Toral whispered under her breath. Aarya walked toward the hair salon, looking back to make sure Toral was following her.

“Oh, hey, Aarya, nice to see you again!” Tony shouted from his work station. “And little Toral, too!” Tony added. Toral ran off to watch one of the other stylists.

“Did you two have a fight?” Tony asked. “She’s not her giggly self.”

Aarya sat in the chair, pulling the poncho over her. “Just do the hair, will you?”

“I’ll just ask her later.”

Aarya glared at him through the mirror. “God, don’t. It’s all because you’re so close that she wants to dye her hair.”

“You sure she’s not just mimicking Mommy?” Tony leaned back to admire his work. “Who cares, anyways? Just let her do what she wants.”

“What are you going to do when she suddenly starts getting bullied? When they start leaving her out of their games and cliques and parties?”

“Kids always love your hair; they think it’s the coolest thing ever. Toral’ll be the coolest kid on the block.”

Pointedly ignoring her mother, Toral ran over and grabbed Tony’s hand. “Uncle Tony? Can I get my hair dyed too?”

Tony looked up at Aarya, raising his eyebrows questioningly. Aarya looked down at her daughter. “Alright, fine. But just this once.”

Toral broke into a smile as Tony called over another hair stylist. Toral pored over the catalogue of colors, deliberating between a eye-catching electric blue, a clean azure, and a bright turquoise.

“Go for the azure,” Aarya advised, relaxing back into her own chair.

First Person (Arya)

“Mommy!” Toral ran toward me, a huge smile on her face. She held up her day’s work, a brightly colored drawing.

“That’s great, Toral! Maybe you’ll be an artist when you grow up! I bet Uncle Tony will love it!” Toral loved going to Uncle Tony’s salon; last time, a lady with a huge gravity-defying ponytail had amused the two of us. “Who’s that with the blue hair?”

“Me!” Toral giggled excitedly.

“Aww, what happened to your nice black hair?” I would never give up pink for anything, but Toral’s sheen black hair always made me wonder what my hair would look like if I had never dyed it. “Did a fairy use magic again?”

“Nope! I dyed it!”

Kids went through phases all the time; Toral would forget all about it once we got to the salon. “But your black hair is so nice! Why would you want to dye it?”

“Blue is a nice color too!” Toral replied immediately.

“Aren’t you worried about what your friends will think?” I asked, trying to keep my tone neutral.

“Why?” She didn’t understand.

“Dyed hair is weird to a lot of people,” I explained slowly.

Toral studied a lock of her hair, as if imagining it blue. “Don’t care. I want to.”

“You’re not getting your hair dyed,” I said.

“Why not? We’re going to the salon now anyways.” Toral knew I hated pouting; I could never say no to that face. I had to hold firm.

“I’m getting my hair dyed again, not you. You don’t understand how this could affect your life. End. Of. Discussion.” Even after six years, exercising parental authority was my least favorite part of this job, but it was necessary sometimes.

Toral’s pout wiped right off, and she went for the silent treatment, ignoring me completely.

“Yo, Aarya! And little Toral, too!” Tony frowned. “Did you have a fight or something?”

Tony seriously needed to mind his own business sometimes. “Just do my hair, won’t you?”

“I’ll just ask her later.”

“God, don’t. It’s all because you’re so close that she wants to dye her hair.”

“You sure she’s not just mimicking Mommy? Who cares, anyways? Just let her do what she wants.”

Tony should know better at his age. I turned on him. “What are you going to do when she suddenly starts getting bullied? When they start leaving her out of their games and cliques and parties?”

“Kids always love your hair; they think it’s the coolest thing ever. Toral’ll be the coolest kid on the block.”

Sensing an opportunity, Toral ran over, giving Tony the puppy dog eyes. “Uncle Tony? Can I get my hair dyed too?”

I felt Tony looking through me. Toral followed his gaze and stared at me, probably sensing that my resolve was wearing thin. I wondered if I would regret this. “Just this once.”

Seeing her smile broke me. There was no way I could regret this if it made her smile this much. Toral ended up between three colors, an overused electric blue, a clean azure, and a turquoise that never translated well into reality.

“Go for the azure,” I told her.

First Person (Toral)

"I Spy with my little eye...Toral's mom!"

Mommy's pink hair always stood out from a crowd; my friends and I loved to play games around it. But there was no time for games today. I had something special to show Mommy. Clutching it tightly in my palm, I handed it to her.

Mommy took a look at it and immediately smiled. "Looks like you're going to be an artist, Toral! Uncle Tony will love it!" She hadn't noticed the special part yet. "Who's that with the blue hair?"

Mommy always noticed everything. "It's me! I dyed it!"

Mommy's forehead creased, like it always got when she was worried, but her expression cleared right afterward so I must have imagined it. "Black is so nice though. Why would you want to dye it?"

"I like blue!" I told her. Blue was my favorite color.

"Aren't you worried about what your friends will think?"

"Why?" My friends loved Mommy's hair the best. All the other moms had boring hair colors, like brown and black and yellow.

"A lot of people don't like dyed hair."

"I don't care," I reassured her.

"You're not getting your hair dyed." Mommy was starting to look mad now, but I didn't get why. She had always dyed her hair, time after time.

"But we're going to the salon anyways." I was getting my hair dyed. She couldn’t stop me. Black was such a boring color. Everyone had black hair.

"You're not doing it. End of discussion." Mommy turned away. That wasn't fair! Why did she get to be the only one? If she was doing it, so was I. I would get Uncle Tony to do it. He would listen to reason.

"Hey, Aarya! And little Toral too!" Tony smiled at me, but I knew he had to do Mommy's hair soon.

Aunt Alicia was with another client, so I went to watch her. She waved to me as I came over.

I watched her chat with the customer. She was applying bright green hair on her client, and I wondered what that color would look like on me. It would probably make me look like an alien. As this customer moved to sit somewhere else, I started to get bored. I looked back at Uncle Tony. Mommy didn't look so mad anymore, and Uncle Tony looked like he was in a good mood, so I went over.

I held Uncle Tony's hand and looked pleadingly at him. "Can I get my hair dyed too, Uncle Tony?"

Uncle Tony looked at Mommy. I looked at Mommy.

"Fine, just this once," Mommy relented. That was all I needed to hear.

I jumped into the chair before Mommy could change her mind. As Uncle Tony held up the hair spray, I could only picture the wonder on my friends' faces when I walked in with sparkling blue hair the next day.

In Design, we designed a book jacket for our story. Since I was in WebAudio, our book jacket had to look like a comic book cover, so it was completely composed of graphics and digital images. The front cover had to include a summary of the story, and the back cover had an autobiography and photo. To make it more realistic, we generated a bar code and put the price in the corner.

I chose to draw Aarya with her dyed pink hair to hint at her background. I made flower petals around her to create a childlike tone to pull Toral into the story. On the back, I drew Toral staring forlornly in the mirror to hint at the conflict of the story. I chose to use a color scheme of pink, blue, and brown. I kept everything simple and used basic elements of stripes to add color to the piece. I used more simple, handwriting fonts to make the cover look like it was aimed for children.

Book Cover


Along with the website, we also created an animation of our story in WebAudio using Adobe After Effects. We chose one of our columns as our perspective for the animation. We learned to use Duik and the Puppet Pin tool to create realistic bone movements. We learned to use Time Stretch to be able to create blinking eyes and other cyclic movements. We used lights and the 3D feature to create shadows and make the scene look more realistic. I used a lot of precompositions to keep everything organized.

In English, we drew out our story in a paper prototype form so that we could better plan out our animation. Using these paper prototypes, we created an animatic, a rough draft of the final animation. The animatic helped us figure out how many scenes we needed and all the different things we had to animate in the final product.



In English, we played Surrealist games such as Exquisite Corpse to start the unit. We each gave a presentation on a Surrealist artist; I did mine on Victor Brauner. In Design, we learned HDR, infrared, and black and white photography. We took multiple pictures of the same object from the same angle, only changing the lighting. We used Photoshop to combine the images using HDR. We ended up with three HDR photos, which we used Photoshop to arrange in a Surrealist way. I took a photo of a plush dinosaur, a ruler, and some cracks on a shovel. I used the cracks as a texture on the dinnosaur, and I made the ruler come out of one of the cracks. I used brushes to create shadows.

The Surrealist project was hard for me to start because I had to plan out all my photographs, so I had to have a perfectly clear image of what I was going to do. There wasn't that much I could change about the project after the photography part. I learned to use Photoshop to a larger degree to manipulate images and create HDR photography.


Artist Statement

I took photos of a stuffed dinosaur toy, cracks on a shovel, and a ruler. Each of these photos were taken in Camera Raw and put together with HDR. The dinosaurs has cracks, which reveal rulers inside the dinosaur. In Photoshop, I used the cracks on the shovel as a texture to create realistic cracks on the dinosaur. I used the pen tool to cut out one crack and repeated it. I used brushes to add highlights and shadows to make it more realistic. I planned out my photos so that the ruler would be coming out at a realistic angle, and I put it over the crack to make it look like it was coming out of the crack.

My piece represents the pressure society puts on us to hide our weaknesses and insecurities. The stuffed dinosaur represents our childhood. In our childhood, it was acceptable to be insecure, which is represented by the rulers. As we grow up, we are pressured to hide our weaknesses away deep inside of ourselves, which is why the rulers are inside the dinosaur. But there's still there, unresolved so when situations push us to break, cracks appear, and the insecurities come out. My color scheme was pink and gray. Pink represents the innocence of childhood and the gray represents the crushing reality of adulthood.

After the Surrealist unit, we also had a mini Blink unit. We read the book "Blink," which was about snap decisions, in English. In Design, we meditated and created art by accessing our subconscious mind. We created Zentangles and mandalas. There was more of a Fine Art aspect to this project than any other project we had had at Freestyle.

I found the Blink unit pretty relaxing, since there wasn't a good way to judge whether Blink art was good or bad. It unlocked the subconscious, which is a side of ourselves we don't see very often, so it was interesting to see it come out. I think it was a good way to end the year.