Tag Archives: creative

Just the Beginning

It’s been a whirlwind of a semester! As I spend more time at SFU, they seem to get shorter and shorter. I remember in my very first class here- which happened to be CMNS 110, Daniel Ahadi said that “it would be Christmas in mere minutes,” and he was right. 

From start to finish, this blog has been a space for me to express how I feel inside and out as I continue to venture farther and farther into Vancouver’s creative industry. I’ve participated in fourteen shoots, created three major Youtube videos, and walked in a local fashion show. In these past thirteen weeks I haven’t thought much about what I’ve been doing as it’s been a regular routine since July. Although I’ve slowed down rapidly since the weather hasn’t been as permitting, I still feel fully engulfed in the creative industry. With that being said, I was able to open up about some of my personal struggles I’ve faced while trying to break into the industry. This platform gave me an open space to talk about how I feel well beyond a photo. When I first started this blog, I didn’t consider myself a model but now I feel like I’ve definitely earned that title. Even though it was never something I wanted to do, I’m out here every other week standing in front of a camera. I am so incredibly thankful for all the wonderful, creative people I’ve met along the way who have pushed me to create content beyond my wildest dreams. As I’ve gotten older, there definitely have been times where I’ve questioned if being a content creative is where I want to invest the rest of my life. There are times when I’ve asked myself if this dream is just a dream. And there are also times where I’ve pushed all those doubtful feelings aside and just done what I’ve always done best, which is to entertain. 

@778co
@lostportrait
@arjayneyra

For a solid couple of weeks, I struggled to pump out content. Especially during the peak season of papers and unpredictable weather, my creative gears have been getting quite locked up. As you may have noticed, I added another menu option to my site. As I started building up a digital portfolio, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was absolutely insane and completely gratifying to see how many different things I’ve been so lucky to be apart of. Not only have I had the pleasure of working with different brands and companies as a model, but I’ve been able to meet and make connections with those on the team who have inspired me to keep creating and do what I love. Sometimes it’s hard to see the impact you’ve made until you finally take a step back to enjoy all you’ve done. 

I understand that yes there are times I push too hard, and there are times when I prioritize my creative life before other important parts of my life, but I’m still learning. Since day one, if I wanted something in life- and I wanted it bad enough, I knew that no matter what it was, I would go to the ends of the Earth to go get it. No matter how much I’ve always wanted to create, I’ve had my doubts- mostly because I wonder if it’s a stable career path, if I’m getting too old, and if I’m relevant enough…The only thing standing in front of me and my creative life is and always will be myself. It’s a personal problem, but what can I say? The first step is admitting. I’ve seen an exponential amount of growth within myself and that has been mirrored in the content I’ve made.

I know I’ve always worried about graduating SFU with all but a piece of paper in my hand- but I know for a fact, that if I actually want this life for myself as much as I say I do- when I walk by the AQ pond and stare down at my reflection, I’ll have far more to my name than just that piece of paper. Most people would think that graduating university would be the end of a chapter, but for me, it’ll just be the beginning.

Week 5 – Design

The website I will analyze is none other than Apple, that company is has a phenomenal web design. Just like their products, the website is simple and clean. The use of neutral colours further amplifies their products which is the primary focus for the viewers. When you go on the homepage you can clearly tell the featured product apple is trying to advertise. Moreover, what I love about their website are the pictures of their products in HD and how they have made everything interactive and responsive when you scroll down the page. One thing I noticed the most is the typography on the website and how it changes with the background, the font sits really nicely on top of the background making it a smooth transition.

The icons on the menu of Apple are simple, because for a user who is not familiar to the website can easily navigate just by clicking on the pictures associated with the product.

For example, when I visit their AirPods section from the menu, as soon as I start scrolling you notice every inch of the product explained through pictures. You will see the the product stretched out to explain the technology used in the product. Texts come up and disappear as images take over and the transition from white to black background is seamless. The interactive feature is brilliant that it has the capability to make you buy their product in a heartbeat (or at least that is me).

Overall, the website is beautifully made and perfectly balanced, it fully captures the essence of the product. The colour palette compliments the products and makes them stand out from the photography. It is consistent throughout the website, one can even say you could spend all your time on the Apple website, playing with the interactive features and not get bored. Personally the website still manages to amaze me with their attention to detail.

Reflections

I can’t believe that another semester has nearly blown by. It’s insane how fast time goes by when you’re drowning in school work. I wasn’t sure if I was going to share this on my blog, but while I was taking a slight hiatus from my creative life, I was brought great news on several fronts. About a week ago, I was contacted by Numa Models which is a modelling network primarily based in Canada. After speaking with one of their head models on a facetime call, I will now be working with the network in the near future for commercial work. On Monday, I was informed that I was published in not one but four different publications all set to come out within the next couple of weeks. I’ve never been published before, and I owe much of it to my two team members (@jeniegg & @yaboystephan). Lastly, I was contacted to walk in an International Fashion Show based in Vancouver that is set to take place on the 22nd of this month. 

These last couple of weeks have been filled with a crazy amount of good news. I can’t believe that everything I’ve worked towards has been noticed by the right people. It is such a rewarding feeling to know that other people stand by my work. Now, I wasn’t sure if I should share all of this on here because I honestly don’t really like talking about my accomplishments. I never want to come across as someone who is bragging about what they do. As much as I like to share photos and videos of my life, I take my personal life into consideration especially the more immersed in the public eye, I become. I’m mentioned in several blog posts that I lack the ability to properly balance my life and I think that it’s affected the way I create. I used to think that if I pushed myself to constantly create, I would be happy. Although my creative life has been flourishing, I left my personal life in the dust. I like being in control, and my personal life is something that I’ve felt that I never had control of, so instead of trying to work on that, I continue to walk away from that problem by pushing more work onto my plate. I am truly in every which way possibly, a workaholic. And believe me, it’s beginning to catch up with me.

Although I don’t particularly love talking about myself, I think it’s important to reflect on yourself to see how far you’ve come. In order to keep moving forward and pushing the bar higher and higher, you need to reflect on who you were in the past. 

Last semester I took Jody Baker’s CMNS 323W class on advertising. The final project was to create an ad for a product of our choosing (fake or real). This was supposed to be a group project but I decided to fly solo as I wanted to shoot my ad back in Tofino. Although the project was due in April, I started filming during reading break as it was the only time I could go back to the island. I not only acted and rapped in the ad, but I also filmed and edited the entire production. When April rolled around, we were instructed to go to the front of the class and talk about our video. I was so incredibly proud of my production, but in the heat of the moment I didn’t feel like I could back up my video. I remember leaving the room, and I don’t think I have ever been more disappointed in myself in my entire life. If you don’t stand by your own work, then why would anyone else? At the time, I didn’t believe I was in the same league as the other students as I was a second year taking a third year class. Although I made a major oopsie that day, I realized that I had a lot of growing to do on a creative front.

On Thursday morning, I went to David Murphy’s CMNS 226 class on digital media communication techniques. We were screening our 60 second video profiles, and this time I didn’t run away. I sat down with the rest of the students and watched as I was the centre of attention for an entire minute. I don’t think I have ever been that proud of myself in my life. It wasn’t necessarily about the content I produced, but it was more about being able to stand by the work I created and back it up in front of a room full of people. I have been filming clips for this project since mid October. This project shows exactly how far I’ve come as a creative and I’m unbelievably happy to be able to share this with everyone. It’s hard to be vulnerable, and tell your truths to people you don’t know but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. I’ve been completely immersed within the creative industry since July, and since then I’ve met so many amazing creative minds who have pushed me to continue to create and encouraged me to be myself. This project reminded me how much I love to create and lead me back into weekly shoots.

This week, I shot on three different occasions in three completely different areas.

On Monday I woke up at 5:30 am to catch the first bus off the Burnaby campus. I slowly but surely made my way to Richmond to shoot duos with Nicolas Scott (@nicolasscott_) and Jenie GG (@jeniegg). Nicolas and I met through an event company we both work for called, 20one Events (@20one_events). We shot at Iona Beach in autumn wear for a magazine submission. 

After class on Thursday, I rushed off the mountain and headed to an Industrial loft near BC Place. I shot with a large group of creatives and was able to meet several new photographers and a new model! I had a great time at this shoot, but unfortunately due to the large group of people, I won’t be getting back photos for a while.

Lastly, on Saturday I went to Hope with my friend Gary Mo (@yuen.wm). We decided to spontaneously chose a place in BC that the two of us hadn’t been before and shoot there. We shot both photos and videos, and I must say I feel most in my element when I’m vlogging. I’m hoping to transition my audience on Instagram to YouTube within the next couple of years.

I’m glad I took some time off for myself since it encouraged to take a break, and take a breath. As much as I love the creative industry, it has the tendency to sweep you off your feet. My break allowed me to reconsider what I want to do creatively and reflect on what I’ve accomplished in such little time. It’s important to take a step back and praise yourself sometimes, hard work almost always pays off.

Guest Post

Hey everyone, it is the most famous person you will ever meet (beside Beyonce of course) the G-hive Queen, Gina Linetti. I am the Paris of people guys and I was invited by kritisha to share some of my intellectual and inspiring thoughts with you future baby G-hives. I heard this page is all about passion and wanted to tell you where I found my passion for dance, it was when I was…. HA jk Gina Linetti was born with every possible talent. So for all you people trying to find yours, here is a Gina-mandment for free:

“You can be anything you set your mind to as long as you’re already great at it”

Gina Linetti

I said the same thing to kritisha here and look at her now, making her own blog page and that too about dance. I mean am proud to say that her dance is gina approved, and she is the next best dancer than me of course. Did you guys know kritisha wants to open her own youtube channel for dance? I’m telling you girl you should make me your campaign manager. I was born for politics. I have great hair, and I love lying! We will be the best pair.

Anyways, I think I am going to go now cause while typing all this I got stabbed again… Oh no. JAKEEE you were supposed to protect me man, this is the second time this has happened under your police protection. Uh. can no type an y more. lol gotcha i’ll be fine, I got my husband Terry right by my side. Okay. Gina OUT!

PHOTO PROMPT: Domestic Re-Imaginings

A simple exercise to improve your visual eye, without leaving the house.

The premise is pretty straightforward; if you’re in a photographic funk, parameters are your best friend. These images were created within the constraints of my own self-imposed challenge. In just 15 minutes,  I produced over 30 images without leaving the house (therefore averaging less than 30 seconds per image). What can be gained from this kind of activity? By imposing limitations to time and setting, I was able to explore unique choices in content that may not have occurred to me otherwise––achieving this creative mindset is sometimes trickier than you would think.

This is both a useful and liberating exercise for anyone looking to expand, reinvigorate, or practice compositional techniques. For myself personally, there have many upsides the more I have trained my artistic mind to approach the world in this way. Because oftentimes when I am in the midst of a creative block, this is due in part to existential struggles that are infiltrating the rest of my day. So the beauty in this exercise is that it is also a kind of mindfulness strategy as well. Life is a little easier when we can see the beauty in our humble surroundings. 

TIPS & TECHNIQUES:

Here’s what you should keep in mind to get the best outcomes:



  • Use a convenient, portable camera instead of a fancy one. This allows you to focus on the frame instead of technicalities such as ISO and depth of field. (I used my phone.)
  • Imagine that you are creating a sculpture or an abstract painting.
  • Investigate all possible angles: top-down, bottom-up, and eye-level, amongst others. Approach things abnormally. 
  • Combine those unusual angles with odd cropping. Ignore perceived beginnings and ends of objects.
  • Turn your attention towards appealing combinations of texture and negative space.
  • Avoid pre-grouping images in your mind as you shoot. Avoid thinking about thematics or symbolic interpretation. This is about producing and following instinctual impulses.
  • Remember, these images don’t need to be capital-A artworks. It’s okay if you never show these to anyone. But I don’t recommend deleting these; stash them in a sketchbook, virtual or printed out.
THE AFTER: Groupings & Gestalt

Although you can leave this activity after the shooting stage, I recommend taking a moment to review the photographs. I find it useful to bundle these images and begin to experiment with their interactions amongst one another. Personally, I find this secondary stage to be very relaxing and rewarding, so I encourage you to arrange and rearrange your snippets. Good consider-ations include colour palettes, textures, and leading lines. If you’re confused by that last term, hopefully the images down below
give you an idea of what is meant by this.

When grouping your images, consider the famous Gestalt principles relating to perception. In case you’re unfamiliar, these are very helpful guidelines when it comes to UX and design more broadly. (Check out DePaul University’s online resource for more detailed information––the site design itself is extremely outdated but it does provide comprehensive explanations with art historical examples.)

Though all the principles may be at play, I want to draw your attention to a few key interactions:

First, closure tells us that our brains seek out a connection, regardless of whether the elements touch. So we read all these images as one, in part due to their proximity as well. Both closure and proximity are virtually inevitable due to my snapshots up being lined up in this row/column structure (something to be aware of if you choose differently).

However, you will find that various potential arrangements within this structure will provide equally varying levels of compositional success. What you should aim for is a good sense of continuity, so that proximate images almost “talk” to one another as the eye flows from one area to the next. Again, have a look at my visualization of exactly this, below. 

Overall, experimenting with the order of your snapshots within a grouping structure can lead to a really satisfying visual impact. 


Enjoyed this post? Check out my other photographic challenges:

FIGHT CREATIVE BLOCK: 3 Unusual Experiments in Photography

SELF AND SKY: Digital Collages

MINI ASSIGNMENT No.4: Remix
Women silhouettes jumping over a mountain range

Jellyfish with eyes overlooks a tent

Little boy looks out the window at the cosmos

Photographic sources (links):
DANCING ACROSS MOUNTAINS:
> the women > the mountain range
THE GREAT JELLYFISH:
> the jellyfish > the outpost > the aquatic eyes
COSMIC DAYDREAMER:
> the child > the cosmos

Hope you found these my new collages to be enchanting. Which is your favourite? Let me know in the comment section below!

Between the Stripes — A Review

Jenny Chan’s blog, “Between the Stripes”, is a beautifully simplistic space to explore new worlds of music while being within the comforts of home. Especially at a time of the year where I would be sitting inside, by a window, while the weather can do whatever it pleases outside. The design reflects this, as if the sun or the natural light was peering through the window trying to see what I was doing.

 

Exploring the site itself, I first notice there is a strange “social media & sharing icons” link that brings me to a page for plugins with WordPress; I’m not sure if you can get rid of that or not, it’s at the bottom of the page, so it’s not the biggest deal if you can’t. However, it looks a little off just because it isn’t aligned right with the blurb above it that reads “BETWEEN THE STRIPES Powered by WordPress and FancyThemes”.

Like I mentioned before, I love the colors, not sure if you could add a bit more shadow around the title and play around with that a bit more? As for the menus and categories, I also think the Home About and Captures sections would benefit from and stand out a bit more if it was placed on the black stripe, but if that was the point to be in between the lines, I would add shadow to that as well.  As for the content, I love how you incorporated all the different senses in the “About” section. Keep up the Captures page!

Your “Recent Posts” section keeps repeating every time you post “song of the day” so maybe change that somehow, or number the title in each one? As well, as a reader who may want to comment, it was hard to understand that the“post comment” button was there because it is highlighted black, so it was a little confusing until I hovered over it to make a comment. I would change that so it’s not highlighted black. The mobile version of your website looks very nice as well.

I’m loving the social media outreach on the site; it makes it very interactive and builds more dimension to the simplicity of the site. My one suggestion would be to use specific social media pages as the blog, instead of your own personal Instagram, or your own personal Instagram. With a Between the Stripes Instagram, you could post your song of the day, maybe a blurb with it. You can also purchase InstaReport to keep statistics on that as well! I know some music-based social medias post parts of songs and perhaps you could do the same on behalf of the page. My confusion with Pinterest leads me to ask if there is a specific page on Pinterest you’d like us to look at that is relevant to your blog? Because there are many boards related to your Pinterest. Maybe make sure it just links to a specific board or perhaps a completely different Between the Stripes Pinterest account instead of your whole Pinterest profile. Otherwise, I have definitely been inspired by the social media interactivity and aspire to reflect that in my website as well!

If anyone is feeling adventurous and has a craving for new music, definitely check out Jenny’s blog here: http://triangularzebras.com