Tag Archives: design

Finding my Career Path

When I was a young child, I was gifted a workbook that prompted me to draw what I wanted to be when I grew up. To this day, I still clearly remember the colourful butterfly I drew on that page.

Remembering the blissful days of my childhood when things were so much more simple and all I wanted to be when I grew up was to be a colourful butterfly one day. If it was only that easy. If only I could fly off, care-free and explore the world… No, I’m not a butterfly, but that beautiful butterfly I drew may have signified my exploratory phase into the beginnings of my career: venturing further into the world of visual arts.

Thus, I grew up to love drawing: something that had never ran in my family background. I would draw on any surface I could set my hands on (yes, I remember drawing on the headboard of my bed with a ballpoint pen) and I spend hours on the internet looking for tutorials when I was in middle school. My cute cartoons and illustrations became more detailed, attempting to replicate a photograph on a blank piece of paper. Realism drawings of still objects became hyper-realistic until people thought I had suddenly become a photographer. I naturally developed an eye to see the world and the spaces around me differently, converting the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional realm in front of me. I thrived in it and it didn’t take long for me to find a sense of identity through drawing and sketching. Everyone around me was certain I was going to be the next Emily Carr. It seemed like I had my career mapped out for me after many long nights of practicing in my bedroom: my professional career path had already been set for me.

The last hyper-realistic drawing I have drawn to date. — March 2015

 

So it began: my senior year in high school and I was one of the handful of students who had gotten a letter of acceptance into Emily Carr University on the spot. This was what was deemed to happen my whole life by my peers. Was it fate?

Not too long after I received a letter from Simon Fraser University, informing me of my acceptance into their School of Interactive Arts + Technology (SIAT), I had to make a big decision. I had never heard of this program and didn’t know of any graduates or alumni from SIAT. I spent my whole childhood moving a pencil around on paper, was I really going to make the transition to digital design? I thought, and thought hard for awhile, but I sensed an urge to explore my skillset: where could digital design take me? At the end of the day, I followed my gut and took the leap into the realm of design. This period marked my transition into technology and design, pushing my sketching pencils into the back of the shelf.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know how to code and I only had intermediate experience with Photoshop. The summer before my first year in university, I spent hours and days going through online tutorials to learn as much of Adobe Illustrator and InDesign as I could. But I loved it. I loved that making a mistake was a simple and quick CTRL/CMD + Z to fix. Strokes and lines were so much smoother, cleaner and there was no accidental smudging — this was fool-proof.

Illustrations done on Adobe Illustrator for a freelance project — October 2015

Slowly, the time and demand I had for sketching decreased and since my second year, I have not posted a single photo of a drawing. Do I miss it? Yes — I can recall the nights when I was upset and drawing took me into a place of serenity, a place where my worries did not exist. It will still always be a part of me: when I brainstorm for my designs, knowing how to sketch is always at the core and every time, it brings me back to my roots — where I started and came from: pencil and paper.

Rough sketches for a game design.

I have made my transition from an artist to a designer and I’m not turning back.

– E

Check out my portfolio work!

Peer Review #3

Here is the link of my peer’s site: http://thewisechild.ca/

I will begin with the peer review with my thoughts on the content of the website from the perspective of a reader.

First of all, I like the “About Me” section. This was the first thing I read on this website and it gave me a good explanation on how the website was named and what the topic was. Also, I found that Kaiya minimized her personal information such as major, origin or hobbies in her introduction. Considering that she said she did not want to be labeled (except feminism) , I  think this minimization helps readers to keep an open mind.

Also, I think the topic for this blog, self discovery and feminism, is very interesting. I am also quite into this topic and I really enjoy reading the posts. However, I  think it would be better if my peer Kaiya could dig deeper into feminism. As a reader who is also interested in this topic, I hope to encounter something more specific and more personal (since it is about her own self-discovery) such as Kaiya’s thoughts or comments on a particular event that related to gender issue.

Next, I will also review my peer’s design.

First, I like her choice of pink color. Usually people would link pink color to female so it fits the topic of website (though some may argue that linking pink to female could be a stereotype). I also found that pink color frequently appeared in Kaiya’s photos which matches to her design.

However, I found the categories are somehow confusing. I could not find a tab that can take me to the posts of PUB 101 directly. In order to find the process posts, I will have to go to “Posts” and then choose from categories on the right side.

Also, under the category of “Posts”, there are sub-categories such as Race, Gender or Body. When I clicked them, I found that the sub-categories  are still empty. I think some of the existing posts could go under these sub-categories. It would be better if Kaiya could organize her posts.

The “Travel Gallery” and My Aesthetic” are also somehow confusing. I  like those photos but I could not find the relation between the photos and the theme of this website. It would be better if Kaiya could tell the readers some stories behind the photos and how these pictures related to her journey of self-discovery.

I am looking forward to know more stories of Kaiya, the Wise Child. 🙂

Making Changes

After writing a peer review on design and reading the review of my blog’s design, a lot changed. Feeling a little bit stuck in my theme’s constraints, I completely scrapped my old blog’s look and opted for a new theme. With a bit of research I stumbled upon the Sela theme, one of WordPress’s own themes. I loved the theme’s focus on bright photography, vibrant colours, and interactive settings. In comparison to my previous theme Zillah, this new theme creates a sense of openness and welcomes readers into the page in an interactive and involved manner.

I’ve loved working with this theme and am excited to continue exploring the many different features offered on this platform. Aside from the theme itself, I have also added a travel gallery, photos in my side bar, and an email registration prompt to keep up with my posts. I intend on exploring ways of bringing music into my blog, as well as share buttons for my posts.

Design is definitely a big focus for me in my blog as I know its a huge part of what makes me want to read a blog. Bad design is my #1 turnoff during first impressions. First it goes poor design, next is cluttered advertising , and to knock the website completely off my radar is bad grammar and spelling mistakes. So as I said previously, design is very important for me and I will continue to improve the look of my blog as I go!

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For lecture this week, we touched on digital literacy and the dangers of fake news. As an exercise we broke off into groups and searched different topics that have caused controversy; my group and I’s question being “Do refugees receive more financial support than Canadians on welfare?” After doing our research and looking past the top hits, the simple answer is no.

This rumour can be rooted back to this tweet by a woman named Carole on twitter. This tweet displays an image of false calculations displaying a yearly income of a refugee in Canada compared to the average income on welfare. With articles like this CBC piece and responses by the Government of Canada, this false claim is easily refuted.

Although fake news dominates our internet world, doing some quick research into the source of these stories can be the matter of spreading racist ideologies and being a positive ally to a population in need.

Peer Review #2

Here is the link of my peer:

http://devonzphotography.com/

Theme:

The theme my peer had selected is called Fotografo which seemed to be a theme specially designed for posting photos and images. The URL indicated that his website was about photography so I think he had selected an appropriate theme.

Customization:

On my first glance, I really like the title “Nothing Found” and what he said under the title: “Sorry, but nothing matched your search terms. Please try again with some different keywords”. I think this is very unique and would attract people to keep browsing this website.

I  could not find a lot of customization on his “About” section. The “About” section was not edited at all. It would be better if he could introduce himself briefly under the “About” section such as when he started photography and why he liked photography.

Typography:

There was only one post, the Peer Review #1. I found this post was quite difficult to read because 1) the font size is too small; 2) the background image is too colorful while the font color is too light. Like what we had discussed during the lecture, it would be much easier for reading if the contrast between the fonts and the background is strong. I would suggest him to change a plain background image or to make the fonts bold.

Site Structure:

On this website, it only has one major category which is for our course. It would be better if he could create more categories to present his photos and images.

Social Media Integration:

Because this website is about photography, I think he could add some links that direct people to his other social media account such as Instagram if he had one. Therefore, people who got interested in his photo could have a chance to contact him.

In sum, I like how he used the theme and designed the title but it would be better if he could amplify the contrast between font and background. Another problem is that there was not too much content that I could comment on. As a photography website, there was not even one photo yet. I would hope to see some of his works.

 

 

Design Flaws

I have been stalling on writing this blog post because I know I have much more to do. Although I like the general look of my blog, I’m not sure that it has enough visual interest to draw people in. I’ve tried introducing headers and backgrounds, I’ve tried replacing my blog’s title with a title header image, I’ve tried virtually everything I can think of that my theme allows. It seems that I may have to explore my options of switching themes and see where that takes me.

What I find most difficult about my theme is the fact that the features I find most appealing about it are only seen with high quality photography and lots of posts. Since I’ve made the decision to hide my PUB 101 posts from the main page, I am lacking in my front page content. I’ve considered a few options, and before I switch themes I intend on playing around with creating a static front page filled with pictures of my travels, my high school career, and essentially my life. I hope that this will bring both visual interest and a visual connection to my life.

In order to fulfill the above suggestion, I have tried creating a page to feature my images, but the image slider requires multiple images to work. Next I tried a gallery post, but then of course the slider requires multiple posts to work. I’ll be playing around more to get the visual I would like. I’m in the process of writing my second blog post which (albeit a little late) should add more personal connection as it will feature personal photos and stories from my past.

Although this process post isn’t much of a reflection, it has birthed many ideas and I look forward to trying more!