Life update and projects

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about anything. Since then* I’ve graduated, unexpectedly lost a family member, went to a music festival, went on our annual family vacation, and have continued to work as a graphic designer for myself and others. It’s been a bit of an odd whirlwind.

During that time, I was contacted by the folks at DFTBA Records (they don’t forget to be awesome, as per usual) because I had once designed a poster for the fictional band The Hectic Glow from John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, now a movie. Now the poster has become a shirt and is part of the official The Fault In Our Stars store. As I’m sure you can imagine, this was very exciting to me. In all of my excitement, I completely forgot to blog about it!

The greatest band you’ve never heard of—The Hectic Glow.

I have also been trying to be more crafty. Since around April I have been trying my hand at needle felting—a process of sculpting raw wool into any shape—and I’m excited to do more. One of my favorite things I’ve made is this little elephant, and I’m excited to make more!

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And so I’ve begun a handmade craft store, much like Etsy but also free of cost. The store is on Storenvy, and I have felted items and Golden Snitch holiday ornaments (Harry Potter of course).

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So it’s exciting times for me and I hope it continues. I’m planning on making more items, felted or not, and I hope it takes hold. The best part about it is if someone wants me to make something, they can easily let me know and I can do it. I hope soon I will have a wider variety of stock items once I know what types of felted items are popular.

Do you have any project ideas? Let me know!

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*Not entirely true, since my last post was Fourth of July fireworks after graduating, but I didn’t really write anything.

Fireworks before the Fourth

Well, it’s almost Fourth of July. That means fireworks everywhere and a lot of me flinching from synesthesia because I sometimes see bright lights from noises (a double whammy with fireworks). But last Saturday I muddled through it, focusing my energy on taking photographs with my camera on a tiny tripod on top of a rock wall (which led to very crooked pictures and thus a lot of cropping).

If you want to learn how to take long exposure fireworks photos like I did, check out Photojojo’s guide to shooting fireworks. The majority of these were 6 second exposures.

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Not fireworks, just fire. Long exposure of a fire pit.

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Bonus: yesterday we had a weird storm and this is what I saw when I looked at the sky at sunset. IMG_439007022014e

 

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Much Ado About Music: A Musical Study of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing

This is it: my last essay of my college career. That’s it. I’m done. It took a bit longer to write partly because I didn’t want the classes to end, and partly because I kept forgetting that I was watching a movie for the purposes of writing a paper instead of pure entertainment.

So without further ado, I present my essay on the music of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.

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The Ethics of Ebooks: Downloading in the Digital Age

Putting the finishing touches on my portfolio, I only just realized that I’m missing an essay from a year ago that I never published online. It is an ethical look at the illegal downloading of ebooks and how to help the industry change. Let me know if you have any comments!

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In the Eye of the Beholder: How College Students View Graphic Design

It has been a while since I’ve written anything on this blog, and for good reason. Instead of writing here, I’ve been writing my senior thesis—and it’s finally done. If you don’t want to read a 22 page paper, feel free to view my more concise Prezi presentation.

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Thinking of design ideas

I tend to have difficulty trying to create something just for the sake of creating something. For example, if there’s a contest or a class assignment that just says “make a magazine spread about anything,” it takes me a really long time to figure out what “anything” will be. It’s a lot easier for me to be told to make a spread about a specific topic.

I know this probably has to do with creativity, and maybe this means I’m less creative than I’d like to say I am. But I think the root of the problem isn’t just creativity, it’s just that I need some sort of direction to narrow down the possibilities from an infinite number of choices. Infinity is a daunting concept, and I’d much rather avoid it. Besides, when I work for a client I [hopefully] won’t be told to “just make anything,” as the client would at least tell me what the design should be about.

I think this difference can possibly defined as “art” and “communication,” two concepts that divide graphic design and graphic design schools. Many schools put design in their art department, and if I were at one of those I may be better at designing “anything.” But I’m at a school where graphic design is in the communication department, and so I need to have concepts given to me first so I can convey them through design. That’s not to say that art has nothing to communicate, because it certainly does, but the abstract concepts they come from are entirely different.

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Turkey, Spinach, and Cheese-filled Biscuits

While at school & cooking for myself, sometimes I’ve gotten inventive. Today was one of those days, equipped with turkey burgers and the ever-popular pop & bake biscuits. What did I make? Well, I’m not sure what to call it other than Turkey, Spinach, and Cheese-filled Biscuits. (I suppose descriptive titles are satisfactory.)

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To accomplish this, I cooked the turkey burger with some spices (I use Morton’s Nature Seasons a lot, so I used this today) until it was almost done and chopped it up. While that was cooking I preheated the oven to 350° F (like the biscuit tin says) and opened a tube of Pillsbury biscuits (this time they were the flakey kind) and split them each in half so they were essentially shorter (the flakey kind makes this easier to do). I greased my muffin tins and put one half of a biscuit in each place, and subsequently divided the meat into each. (I found one turkey burger is enough for 6 “muffins.”) I then added a few leaves of spinach and some grated mozzarella, careful not to go over the edge of each piece of dough. Once everything was in, I put another half-biscuit on top, doing my best to push the edges of the top and bottom biscuits together. After 14 minutes (the biscuit tin said 14–17 minutes so I went by that) the stuffed biscuits were ready. After a minute or so they were cool enough to pick up and eat—which, of course, I did.

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This recipe is pretty limitless, as there are so many different ingredients that can go with these biscuits. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to comment below—I’d be interested in discovering new possibilities.

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