Monthly Archives: September 2020

Simplicity Is Key

Week 3:

This week I focused on organizing the structure of my website and deciding on the types of content I want to post.

For this iteration of my website they key is to keep it simple so that my content can stand out. Because the purpose of my website is to showcase my work, I don’t want it to be cluttered with other interface elements or even other content. In order to map out exactly how I want my website to look created a sitemap with a detailed overview of what I intend to include as part of the website. When making the sitemap I really wanted to consider how to make my work the focus of the website. I debated if I wanted to showcase myself as a freelancer as well with the hope of getting a few side jobs. I ended up going against this idea because I feel it is important to establish myself as a designer at a first and then slowly transition into freelance or corporate positions.


The portfolio section itself is highlighted at the very front of the website after a per statement about myself and my work. I knew that I wanted to incorporate a portfolio grid so that users could get a sense of the projects I work on right at first glance. The homepage portfolio section will show a few projects that I want to be highlighted and then the rest will be available through the portfolio page. I went back and forth about including all my pieces of work on the homepage however in the end decided to stick with this format for now. Once a portfolio cover is clicked on it will bring up the case study where I explain the project details, my roles, and the process. Portfolio case studies are driven by the visuals of my work and the process is explained through development sketches and photos.

Ultimately, the main use of my portfolio is to house the design work that I am proud of so that I can use it when applying for job and volunteer opportunities. In this case, I don’t need much content that is separate from my work. An about page is crucial, as potential employers may want to learn more about my skills and abilities to see if I am qualified for the position. So far I have set up a basic page that includes a photo and short description of myself. In the coming weeks, I plan to supplement my about page with more information regarding my fluency in design software, previous awards and accomplishments, my resume and a more detailed personal statement. In addition to the about page, I added a contact page where I can engage with my audience if they see something like or would like to work with me. This however is not the main focus of my page, but rather an additional element. I included a contact form so prevent the need for displaying personal information because at this moment I have yet to create a professional email address for contacts.

I believe that I have created a solid foundation for the content of my website and look forward to not only adding more content but also editing the look and feel. So far I have been unsatisfied with my portfolio theme. It works great and has the elements I want in a theme however I don’t feel there is a lot of options to adjust the styles. I have been really struggling to find a theme I believe suits the design of the website and am hopeful that I will have the chance to explore other themes in the coming weeks.

Mini Assignment 1

The first mini-assignment was to create a popular culture ‘meme’ that is related to your website. I decided to create a meme on something that I feel will relate to a lot of designers when it comes to creating or updating their portfolio. I delve into more details about perfectionism in my blog post Done is Better than Perfect so be sure to check it out!

Mini Assignment #1 Hello Cinematic world

Defining Cinema and film

Since the literal meaning of cinema and film are closed to each other, there are certain confusion about the usage of these two words in either articles or public propaganda. Also, in daily use of the vocabulary “Cinema” and “Film” it seems like we have ignored the differences between them. However, there exists essential differences between cinema and film. In this paper, I will first analyze the essence of cinema and film to have a clear distinguish between them. Conclusively, I will present my definition of cinema and film in my own words.

According to the literal meaning on dictionary, film was interpreted as the thin plastic used in a camera for taking photographs or recording moving pictures and it also means a form of story-telling at the cinema or on television. Cinema is interpreted as the business and art of making films and it can be also interpreted as a place where people go to watch films for entertainment. Comparatively, the literal definition of cinema is boarder and more abstract than film which film contains mainly film art and cinema contains the combination of business and film art as an industry chain. In another word, film tends to include the things happened within the post film production period. For example, the script design, the filming technique, the director and so on. Cinema tends to include the things after film production when the films are released in public. It might relate to the film social influence, the audience reflection on film and so on. Since the definition of “Film” in about producing a film, then the essence of film is function of presenting visual experiences. For example, the film Armulf Rainer(1960) which we watched in class is a film purely about back and white visual experience. The repetitive and alternant black and white scene emphasized the awareness of real time, moreover it discusses the relationship between metronomic time and film time. It also allows the audience to watch the film with their eyes either open or close to feel the changing of light. Also in the film Lemon(1969) by Hollis Frampton, the filmmaker created a visual experience of looking at a lemon under the changing lights. Without any idea present in film, the audience will still have their own interpretation and understanding of the film. Rather than the film meaning, the visual experience presented by the film offers more space for the audience comprehend. As Stan Brakhage argued in his article “From Metaphors on Vison” that pure film that we as human usually react to the stimulation by how we are taught to react, but pure film put away the subjectivity and forces us to see something which have not yet structured. The visual experience of film constitute film as an art form which is purely used to deliver experience. Within film, the motion, the light, the time, the materiality and color and sound are all important for the film maker to achieve certain visual effect in order to create a satisfied visual experience to the audience. However, within the pure films, meaning of the film is less important comparatively.

 As the film developed and matured, more and more films are released in the cinema and the entertainment demand on film gradually increase. As the film industry expand, more and more films are produced for business needs. The fast-food-style filmmaking more or less will impact the overall quality of the film and the so called trendy film can sometimes lost the pureness of filmmaking. Imagine the film Lemon(1969) is remade and released in the cinema, there will be several so called trendy idea put in the film to fulfill the audience and there will be more personal subjective concept put in the film which totally lost the original visual experience which the filmmaker was trying to create originally. Therefore, if we see the cinema from an artistic aspect, the commerce in cinema become unnecessary and alienated which impact the visual experience that the film is presenting and even the idea which the film is delivering. Cinema, as a form of developed film or the media of film contributes to the film propagation and publishing. Imagine there is no more cinema at all, films lost their biggest media for propagating and publishing which is huge strike on the film commerce but not the quality of film itself.

 Above all, I believe there is no such pure cinema but only pure film. The film art form itself can keep its pureness by focusing on the art work itself but cinema cannot avoid its relationship with film business demand which is conflicted with the pure cinema. Overall, film can be defined as the moving image art form which create visual experiences for the audience and cinema can be defined as a media of film in order to perfect the entire film industry.

WEEK WRECKER 2; ONLINE LEARNING

The Reasons I Will Academically Underperform this Semester because of COVID-19:

The topic of Covid-19 and the effects it has had on people’s lives is a tiresome and unfortunately necessarily overdone topic. However, most posts about the virus carry a sense of hope. Asking people to look on the bright side. They get to stay at home, they get to find appreciation for things they never thought to before, university students are able to spend more time learning and less time commuting. This is what I am angry about this week Disclaimer: I understand that coronavirus is a very serious topic that deeply impacts many people’s lives. This post is only to hopefully bring some humour into a sad and often unnerving topic.

The Commute

Fall Semester is my favourite of all. You get the best mix of rainy, snowy, and chilly. The weather is ever-changing and every day brings a new surprise when you walk out the front door to head to the bus. You get a chance to drink your coffee, listen to music, maybe even catch up with a friend on the bus. This is all IMPOSSIBLE from the comfort of my own home. When I wake up for class, half the time I forget to even open the blinds. My music feels too loud in the morning when it is not trying to cover up the screeching of the Skytrain, and absolutely no one wants to wake up at 8 AM just have a pointless chat.

The Camaraderie

This is an essential part of being a student. The feeling you get as you look at all the other forlorn faces on the bus makes you feel like you’re not alone. Watching others slump over in their chairs as the night class clock strikes 8 PM is just not the same as watching blank zoom squares. The look two students who are essentially strangers give each other when a professor does something particularly weird will never happen. The only person I can make eye contact with is the reflection of myself on my laptop and if that isn’t sad, I don’t know what is.

There is also something difficult about hanging out with your friends when you have looming deadlines. However, with in-person school, meeting up to study allows for talking and getting work done. With these virtual study groups, I would rather just turn the video off and work on my own. It feels disingenuine and makes for a lot of longing for the good old days.

Recorded Lectures

Although these are great for classes that you never would have shown up to if they were in person, they really do put a damper on taking classes with professors you love. They don’t tell their usual jokes, because who would laugh? They don’t have the same passion, because the energy is not the same when you sit in a room by yourself and record. They also tend to go really fast. I find myself rewatching many portions of lectures because professors forget we are taking notes and therefore do not take the pauses they normally would. All this to say that by the end of a one hour recording I’ve spent two hours scribbling notes that will later anger me to read.

The Experience

One of the reasons many people are excited and motivated to enter into post-secondary is because of the legendary stories people tell them when they’re kids. The stories of independence, parties, friends, food, and just the pure experience of being in the building of thousands of others who are making the choice to better themselves, unlike high school where they are there by force. It is being young and getting to learn things that finally make you feel like you know something worth your time and can share it with the world. This experience that movies often try to capture, old people, talk about, and professors and administration try to facilitate is just not achievable in the online world. This September I enter into my last year and I am grateful that I got to spend a majority of my undergrad in the classic university setting. However, I am still saddened and of course, angered that this is most likely the way it will end. No grand goodbye or ceremony, just the “leave meeting” button on zoom to wave me off.

PROCESS POST WEEK 2; SETUP

Setting up this blog has proven to be more difficult than I had expected. As the theme of this blog goes, I became frustrated many times throughout the week trying to configure the layout. Even now as I write this post, my blog is not meeting the standards I had unconsciously set for myself when I started. However, my anger only goes as far as aesthetics. Before writing any of the content, posting any of the links, or even researching similar blogs I made a vision board. I put what I wanted my posts to convey on this vision board and by collecting and sorting the images I was able to get a stronger sense of what I want my posts to feel life. It allowed me to flesh out more of why I wanted to do this topic.

I have seen a lot of anger on the internet and I wanted to know why. In what ways is people’s anger on the internet a reflection of everything they don’t say in person? An article I read by Dag Wollebaek examined how anger on social media can create an echo chamber effect. Allowing those who seek validation of their opinions in real life and do not receive it, to be rewarded in the online space. This is an immensely interesting topic for it shows how the internet is not a replacement for real-life but a supplementary space for people to get what they lack in reality.

This idea of using the online space as an aid is also something that I found in an article by Schwengel called “Technology as a Crutch For Teens.” Although this is not an academic article it makes some fair points. People are using the internet as a means of avoiding emotional instances in their real lives. This type of segway from real-life to online is something that I think this blog can embody.

I found that by using the internet in the ways that people who mistreat and misconstrue the meaning of it, allow me to amalgamate an increasingly interesting collection of emotion that will only ever be expressed on the internet and never in person. It also gives me the opportunity to see whether using the internet in this way actually affects my real life and in-person interactions.

Works Cited

Wollebæk, Dag, et al. “Anger, Fear, and Echo Chambers: The Emotional Basis for Online Behavior.” 2019.

Schwengel, Riley. “Technology acts as a crutch for teens” The Bucknellian (2012). https://bucknellian.net/24128/opinion/is-verbal-communication-a-dead-art/

Done is Better than Perfect

Week 2:

This week has been all about finally setting up my portfolio! From the inability to completely control themes and the nerve-wracking process of publishing my first piece. 

Two things you should know before diving into the process of my setup: 1) I have been attempting to create a professional portfolio for my design work for a little over a year now and 2) I am a major perfectionist which is why I have yet to publish anything. I feel like this is something a lot of designers struggle with, especially when it comes to creating their portfolio. The phrase “done is better than perfect” rings a bell here because truly this should have been the case. However, the perfectionist and insecurities inside me would not allow me to create anything that less than perfect. After all, for designers your portfolio can make or break your job opportunities and success, so why should I settle for anything less than perfect! Well, that warped way of thinking is what landed me in an intense cycle of research and development without any real progress to show for it. What I should have done was just an experiment. Experiment with different web-building platforms, different visual identities, and just get my stuff out into the world. What I did instead was a demand too much from myself by thinking I could create the perfect portfolio of an experienced designer right out of the gate. More often than not I skip right over the learning process and attempt to become a master. For this iteration of my portfolio, I want to focus on just getting my pieces online and presenting my self online. The design and self-branding of my website will come with time, but at least I’ll have something to show for it now. 

Now once I had purchased a domain (which proved to be much easier than I expected) it was all about setting up the site and customizing it. The first step was choosing a theme. Now originally about a year ago I had thought the best way to create my portfolio would be to code and develop it myself so that I could have full customization. I very quickly realized that this was no small task, especially since at the time I had no HTML/CSS experience, although I had been eager to learn. From there I had moved onto wanting to use Webflow as it seemed to be the best no-code editor for full customization. While I had every intention to do this (and still plan to do this eventually) there is a large learning curve to the Webflow interface and did not seem to be the best option for a ‘quick and easy’ first iteration. Here is where PUB 101 comes into light a fire under me and forces me to breakthrough my perfectionism. WordPress was the given platform we needed to use to start our website, so that was one choice that was made for me. However, the problem of customization arises again when deciding on a theme. WordPress is known for a lack of customizable options for each theme. I spent a while (more than a while) debating if I should invest in a paid theme that would allow more customization so that I could stand out from the crowd. In the end, I decided that the Perfect Portfolio Theme would be a good starting place since it had the homepage layout I was looking for. I customized as much as I was able to but am still trying to find out ways that I can make it feel like my own.

Uploading my first portfolio piece was a lot more nerve-racking than I imagine, and I already imagined it being hard! I believe it goes back to my nature of being a lurker, I don’t love having details of my life or personality readily accessible for anyone to view or judge. Even though I knew I was going to need to post my work eventually the thought that it is finally online for anyone to look at is a little scary! I am proud of the effort that when into assembling my portfolio piece and the time I spent writing my case study. I feel better knowing that I presented my designs in the best light that I could have and that while the look of the website might not be on par with my expectations, the work will hopefully stand out for itself. 

To close I just want to reiterate that perfectionism doesn’t have to hold you back unless you let it. The whole point of doing anything new is it learn and grow. My insecurities and perfectionism cost me a lot of opportunities that I couldn’t take advantage of because I didn’t have a portfolio. Now I’m trying to unlearn this behaviour and push myself to just get started. Done is better than perfect, right?

Play when…it’s your best friend’s birthday

Let me tell you a little bit about September 23.

It’s not unusual

Usually, it begins with a spurt of texts sent over to my best friend (all in caps, packed with non-verbal screams, sent with confetti for that extra pizazz). Usually, I spend the morning staring at my closet, as if the perfect birthday-night-out look will just come together itself. Usually, she rolls up into my driveway with Ariana Grande oozing out of the car speakers, as we yell at each other in the street complimenting each others’ outfits. Usually, we hit 3 (maybe 4, if we’re feeling extra saucy) restaurants in one evening, stopping in-between to grab some content for the feed. Usually, even after we’ve established that we’ve both had our fill, we stop at Starbucks on the way home. (Venti refreshers, always.)

Unfortunately, as we’ve been reminded over and over again, this is not like any other year. This is no “usual” September 23. This will be the first time in years that I won’t be able to celebrate my best friend in-person. And it stings a little bit.

Okay, a lot a bit. 

Ain’t no crying in the club

But we’re not gonna let this bring us down! We’re here to vibe, party, and toast to the absolute gem of a human being that is my best friend. How lucky am I to be in your orbit. 

So here’s a spunky mix dedicated to my bes fren, my hypewoman, my main! These are tracks that remind me of her, mark special moments in our lives, or are bops that I know I would’ve queued up in the car on the way into the city.  

Sound on & celebrate! Luh you, main.

Talk bout Korean Noir Films

Memories of murders(2013) The Crucible(2011) So-won(2013)

There are certain similarities between the three films which I will further discuss in this paper. First of all, all three Korean films are an adaptation of actual cases which has happened in Korea. Behind the film Memories of murders, there was a real serial killing case that happened in the 1980s. The killer has raped and murdered a number of young women in an extremely brutal way, however, the killer was never caught, and the case was never justified by law. The film Memories of murders simulates the brutal killing method and the entire process of the police investigating the crime from a god perspective to tell the entire story to the spectators. The film The Crucible (Also called Silenced) was an adaptation of a novel about an actual child sexual abuse case that happened at a school for disabled children in Korea. The film talks about how the inhumane teachers and school principals sexually abuse the young disabled children in school and how the new teacher in town Kang In Ho fights against the corrupted judiciary and the pressure of wrong social value for the right of these disabled children. Different than Memories of murder, the film did not avoid the rape scenes which challenge the viewer’s acceptance. However, these rape scenes play an important role in the film. If there are no such rape scenes, it is difficult to protrude the inhumane of the crime, the hopelessness of the children and the apathy of people in society. The last film So-won (Also called Hope) is also an adaptation of an actual child rape case. The little girl So won in the film was raped and abused almost to death on her way to school along. The film shows how the parents of So won and the psychological consolation teacher try to protect her from social rumours and offer her psychological guidance. Moreover, the film shows how the judiciary and police force are bribed and corrupted in society. As the development of the film, the real-story based films are becoming more and more popular in the film market especially in the Korean film market. These real-story-based films increase the authenticity of the plot which creates more sense of immersion for the spectators. The keynote of realism creates a sense of hopelessness in which the spectators are feeling actually being in the plot, but they can do nothing to change the circumstances and help the homeless children. Beyond that, various social problems can be disclosed and expressed through such an influential media to match with people’s concerns.  Rather than saying they are films, it is better to call them the reflection of social problems.

   The real- story based Asian noir films have gone beyond the ornamental value and they tend to have social influence value. The film, as a media to deliver values and culture to society, has the responsibility to influence society and it should be responsible for what they deliver. Among the three films Memories of murders, The Crucible and So-won, the film The Crucible has the greatest impact on Korean society and even the Korean law system. After the film was released on screen in public in 2011, the entire society and the authorities started to pay more attention to the child rape and child sexual assault issues that existed in Korean society. Under the influence of the film, the Korean legislative published the new law about violent sexual assault and used the name of the film to name the new law as “The Crucible law”. Also, the government utilized certain laws to restrict and supervise the welfare institutions in Korean society in order to use to power of law to prevent the sexual violent assault from happening again. Moreover, the government publish the amendment law of lawyer to abolish the corrupted and absurd latent rules existed among lawyers to maintain justice on court. The Crucible is the first film in Korean film history which has the power to change the law and it is the highest achievement of a noir film. Marsha Kinder has argued that The American Friend “demonstrates what film noir can be at its best by arousing and expressing the human emotions through noir films.” However, the Asian noir demonstrates what noir film can do even better in contemporary film and modern life background by having both ornamental value and social influence value. Beyond that, The Crucible discloses the hidden crime; it promotes to the protection of the weak in the society; it promotes the correct value to express the pursuit of justice and it expedites the completion of the law system. Chelsea McCracken mentioned Lee Hyang-jin’s idea, who is one of the researchers on Asian film noir in the article “Oldboy and Korean film noir”. Lee Hyang-jin argues that “Asian noir provides a social critique by contrasting old, Confucian, and new, materialist and capitalist, social values that coexist in modern Asian societies.” These Asian noir films heritage the depression, the twisting plot and the preference of using dim light on screen from classic noir film and meanwhile express its own critique by using modern social value and concept. Other than the huge influence of The Crucible, Memories of murders and So-won also shows how noir films can do better in modern society. The film Memories of murders depicts the defection of law and the absence of legal sense in the 1980s to 1990s, especially in the rural areas in Korea. The film So-won Above proves how influential a noir film can be and shows that noir films have been developed and adapted to modern values.

Talking to Strangers

Week 1:

This week’s process post was inspired by James Hamblin’s article “How to Talk to Strangers” (2016) where he discusses the unexpected importance of striking up conversations with everyday people. While I was not able to strike up many conversations with people in the physical world (due to coronavirus), I will be comparing my past experiences to that I’ve recently had online. First, you should know that I tend to be a very private individual and thus don’t enjoy giving out personal information to people I am not close with. That being said I am pretty much an open book once people get to know me. 

In the past week I have only had two interactions with strangers in the physical world; one from a delivery driver and one from a Facebook marketplace exchange. Since these exchanges both had a specific goal they ended up being short and to the point. The delivery driver was dropping off Ikea furniture and simply asked for my signature confining that I had received the purchase. As I didn’t see much of a reason to keep him longer than needed we didn’t stay and chat. The Facebook marketplace interaction was slightly more lengthy and had a combination of online and physical components. I had messaged the seller about the availability and spec of a Kobo they listed. They were quick with the responses and were already entertaining other offers. As this was meant to be a gift for my grandma, and the only one available I was much more persistent in my messages than I usual. I was putting a lot of effort into persuaded him to accept my offer, e-transfering him right away and arranging pick up for the next day. The next morning I met the seller outside their building for the pickup. I was within the timeframe I had mentioned, although on the earlier side. The seller who was punctual with his messages took a while, around 10min, to meet me. Looking back I was a little anxious and worried while waiting outside the building. I thought maybe he would turn out to be a scammer, or maybe I was in the wrong place. The actual interaction was again very straightforward – I grabbed the device thanked him and left. In fact, I was almost surprised by myself how fast the exchange took place. I did have people waiting for me in the car, and we were late for our breakfast, so I ensured that I grabbed it as quick as possible. However, I didn’t even take the time to notice or thank the seller for including an additional charger that was not listed. I felt a pang of guilt at the end of this exchange for not engaging him as much as I thought I should have. To reconcile this I sent him a message after the sale thanking him, and as what happens with stagers I will probably never see him again. 

The online interactions I’ve had this past week are quite different from not only my physical encounters but also even past online interactions. In the world of COVID-19, it seems as if almost all my interactions are done online. For the most part, I use online methods to text or video call close friends and family. I have never been super active on social media sites, or in large group chat text chains. I prefer to lurk around and see what is going on, only rarely participating myself. However, since school is online this semester I don’t have the usual means of connecting with classmates in person. This has lead me to learn how to be more active on social sites, specifically this week with the hope of forming groups for school projects. For the first time in a while, I don’t know anyone in some of my classes which has to lead to a lot of anxiety trying to find partners for group projects. I have found myself trying to be proactive by posting about myself in discussion boards looking for partners and even actively emailing other students with the hope of pairing up. This is something I would be much less likely to do in person as I can be fairly shy and quiet, due to my lurking nature. 

I am excited to use this class to finally start up my portfolio and hopefully move past my insecurities of being active online!