For the Conceptual Project, Juniors develop their abstract thinking and communication skills to answer the question,
“How can I use unconventional forms to express myself?
This project emphasizes creative risk-taking through poetry, music, and art. It challenged me to express their opinions through a distinct personal aesthetic. I began developing my technical communication skills by learning a variety of modern professional equipment and applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Adobe AfterEffects. During this unit, I learned the importance of getting others to feedback about my projects.
For this project, we had to write a haiku based on a concept statement drawn from a bag. My concept statement was “Im exploring the emotion of disgust through the experience of following my instincts”. We learned about different stylistic choices when writing haikus like seasonal words and cutting words. I really struggled with writing mine But this is what I came up with. Once we had written our haiku we had to take a photo that metaphorically represented our poem. I struggled with trying to find the right lighting for the photo. I wanted my photo to start with everything in line and ordered. After the ordered section I wanted everything to be messy. that transition to represent my decision to follow my instincts. Finally, we overlaid the text onto the photo using Adobe PhotoShop. I didn’t really want to use a highlight color on the text but I couldn’t see the text so I had too. I chose not to use a white highlight because it was too harsh so I chose a soft gray.
Photo Haiku Video
After we had taken the photo and written the poem we made it into a video using Adobe AfterEffects. We had to choose music for this video. then when we chose our music we had to edit the text to come in matching to the music. I used panning with the music to add another layer of complexity to the video. I purposely put the audio to the left when I wrote right and vice verse a. I did this to touch on the point that I made the wrong decision.
This was our first project with poetry and AfterEffects. I really realized how hard it is to write poetry that means something not just to me but to everyone. I also learned a lot about using AfterEffects through this project. This was the first video I edited in AfterEffects. I learned about key stoning and trimming footage/audio.
Exquisite Corpse Poem
For the Exquisite Corpse Poem, we wrote this poem by passing around a piece of paper and only being able to see the line above we react to that line and write the next one. Take that process and repeat this for the entire group. That’s how we wrote this exquisite corpse poem. After the poem was written everyone in the group took a photo to represent their line. After we took the photo we all recorded ourselves saying our line. We took the Raw files from the camera and converted them to .png files. Next, we took both the audio file and the photo and shared them with each other. Then I took all of the photos and audio files and made a video for the poem using AfterAffects. I had to reorder and trim all of the images to fit the audio. I also had to resize all of the images to fit the frame of the video.
For the Project Poem, I wrote an ekphrastic poem ( a poem reacting to a work of art). My artwork is from the SFMOMA a video by Arthur Jafa, Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death. When saw and heard the video I really resonated with the song playing Ultra Light beam by Kanya West. Almost all of the lines in my poem are lines from the song reordered. as a tribute to the song, my poem is called UltraLight. In the poem UltraLight, I am exploring the feelings of doubt, repression, and courage. The narrator starts out question his faith. He knows that God is there for him but he doesn’t feel it. He is doubting his faith whether it’s actually real. Then the narrator moves on and says that his light can’t be extinguished. His faith can’t be stopped. He is taking control of his faith saying it is never-ending. Then there’s a shift to the narrator more observing. Having people searched for no reason and being disgusted. He just wants to be at ease but this repression is too much. Controlling the devil through violence makes you feel strong but are you really controlling him or is he controlling you. He sees how society treats black people vs how they say they do. Then he calls them out on their BS. Then he says how it should be. He commits to following it. We are all the same and don’t deserve to be treated differently. I am the narrator.
Digital Media Photos
Conceptual Project Image
I chose my lacrosse helmet and stick because they directly related to my concept statement. I decided to shoot at night with a flash and a spotlight so I could get really defined shadows. I wanted my background to have a lot of texture and to have a fairly bland color pallet so my subject with its bright shiny surfaces would stand out. I shot with my subjects filling the image at a diagonal to create a sense of movement between the objects.
The two objects, my lacrosse stick, and helmet represent my concept statement because of my experiences with them. Playing lacrosse I’ve gotten two concussions. This image represents the latter of the two. Where I got slashed in the head. I got one concussion in that helmet and I decided to keep playing and I got another one. I justified playing by say what were the chances but it happened again and I had to deal with the consequences.
First, I used the pen tool to select my stick and helmet from the background. I had tried using other tools first because they would have been faster but, they didn’t give good enough results. Then I made the background black and white using an effects layer. That just looked a little strange to me so I ended up using a saturation layer and just desaturating it almost all the way. I wanted the subject to sand out a bit more so I add some saturation to it. I also didn’t like the angles that my helmet and stick were at so I cropped and rotated them. By rotating the image I created white space in my image. I created a black rectangle larger than my image because the places where there was white should have been black. I had to flatten my image an the rectangle together because in the bottom right corner of the image the black didn’t fit. Because I flattened the layers it meant that I could use the healing brush to get rid of the black and extend the texture of the ground.
For this project, we had to shoot items that we thought would be interesting in macro. I shot a bunch of wine charms dumped out onto my kitchen table. I tried lots of different angles and ended up liking this one the best. In PhotoShop I added a vignette in the raw editor. Then I used all of the tools in the RAW editor to get the photo to a place where I could start in PhotoShop. First, I cooled down the image using a filter layer. I also added a color adjustment layer to change the image to reduce the amount of yellow (it was really yellowed out). Finally, I resized the photo to get it ready to be printed.
In Design, I Have developed as an artist. I have learned how to speak like an artist. I can now properly critique a work of art using the elements of art and the principles of design. We have learned about color theory, composition, and lighting. All of these things have made me a better artist.