Introduction

Over the course of the Conceptual Unit at Freestyle, I have learned to think more abstractly, communicate ideas in new ways, and explore my artistic style. During the Conceptual Unit, I completed projects from Digital Media, Design, and English class which can be seen here on my Conceptual website. In English class I wrote several different kinds of poems, including a Photo Haiku. I also wrote an Expository Essay about one of my passions. In Digital Media, the primary focus of my work was completing this website by using Adobe Dreamweaver, but I also converted the poems and the essay that I wrote in English into digital formats by recording them and in the case of the poems, transforming them into a viewable, more dynamic form. I also produced an experimental piece of music in Digital Media with Pro Tools. In Design, I used the concept behind one of my poems to create a piece of art by doing a photoshoot and then editing the product of the shoot in Photoshop. My Conceptual Website brings all of these elements together in a cohesive and accessible way.

In English, I was tasked with writing an Expository essay about something that I’m passionate about. The purpose of an Expository Essay is to explore an idea that may be unfamiliar to the reader. I chose to write about Krav Maga (a form of self-defense) because I practice and enjoy it and because not many people know what Krav Maga is. To find out more, listen above.

Poems

 

I wrote lots of different kinds of poetry during the Poetry Unit of English. I wrote a Free Verse Poem entitled “In The Crystalline Air”, a Spoken Word poem called ???, and an Ekphrastic Poem called “Through the Haze”. Ekphrastic, which comes from “ek” and “phrásis” in Greek or out and speak in English means to react to a piece of art in a poetic context. At the very beginning of the year, Freestyle Academy took a trip to SFMOMA where along with other juniors, I was tasked with picking a piece of art to write an Ekphrastic poem on.

As a result of the time that I spent working on poetry at Freestyle I have grown as a writer. Writing poetry allowed me to expand my literary skill set, think and observe the world around me differently, and learn to convey a message in a less obvious way. Creating the poem photos and the audio to go along with them helped me to get more familiar with Photoshop, Protools and recording audio. I really enjoyed making the poem pictures in Photoshop and creating music for the poems.

Free Verse Poem
Spoken Word Poem
Ekphrastic Poem

Haiku

 

At the very beginning of the semester I was charged with writing a Haiku and then taking a picture to add depth to my Haiku. At the time that the Photo Haiku was assigned, I was traveling in the London and at a total loss for what I should photograph. As I went about my business I kept my eye out for things to take pictures of. On one of my last nights in the city I spotted a plant growing between the iron trusses of a bridge near the Tube stop. The unlikeliness of the plant’s circumstances caught my imagination, so I decided to use it as the subject of my picture. I took several pictures of the plant while my dad held a light over it. To create the finished Photo Haiku for English, I picked the best picture, edited it extensively, and then overlaid the text of my Haiku onto the photo.

In Digital Media, I took the Haiku a step further by making a title page in Photoshop and then producing music to set the tone and mood of the poem in Pro Tools. I brought the three elements of the Haiku project together using Adobe Animate combine the title page, music, and the Photo Haiku itself to create a short video.

The process of connecting my Haiku directly to a picture was an interesting one, as it made me think more about what I was trying to communicate with the Haiku and how the picture would add to that. I liked editing the photo even though I wasn’t able to use Photoshop to do so. Instead I edited the picture on the long plane ride home with a photo editing app called Snapseed. I also really enjoyed creating the music for the Haiku.

Screenshot of Adobe Animate file on Photo Haiku.
Art

I am exloring the feeling of Peace through the experiance of Remembering.

Thumbnail of Conceptual Art piece.
Click image to view art.

The Design Conceptual Art assignment was to photograph an object based on the concept statement of a poem from English. I used the concept statement above, which is from “In the Crystalline Air” to base my photo off of. The goal of the Conceptual Art assignment was to create art in which the concept behind it is as significant or more important than the art itself. The art is supposed to communicate the concept through objects or symbols instead of through literal representation.

The inspiration for my photograph was a section of a poem called In the Crystalline Air that I wrote based on memories I have of winters at my grandparent’s house. The lines that inspired my picture read “Frost-coated leaves and ice-gilded ponds / Sparkling in the rising sun.” The first line describes the beauty of the winter countryside as the sun rises on a new day through using cold, frozen imagery. The imagery in the first line alludes to a memory’s frozen nature. I drew the idea that remembering allows people to take a step back from their normal perspective into my art by freezing a leaf in water, thereby creating a giant ice cube with a leaf in the middle. The ice represents the buffer between the leaf and the viewer. The leaf represents the memory itself. The second line is a reference to the rosy way in which people remember things. Oftentimes memories are recalled with more fondness than they were made with. I portrayed the positive light that memories take on by slightly blurring the picture around the leaf.

After I wrote the poem I faced a bit of a conundrum; it is not terribly straightforward to take pictures of winter in California for obvious reasons. I eventually decided to freeze a fall leaf in a bowl of water. I shot the leaf on a white ceramic platter. In the latter half of the shoot the bottom of the ice began to melt, causing it to slide around on the platter which made it more difficult to position the shot, which resulted in tricky edits I had to make in Photoshop to remedy the background mishap. The most challenging part of the editing I did in Photoshop was to fix a corner of the background in the photograph that didn’t match the rest of the picture. I deleted the incongruous corner, copied the opposite non-problematic corner, shifted it to the other side and rotated it to fit the space. My final edits were to smudge and blur the borders of the copied corner to blend it with the rest of the picture.

Screenshot of photoshop file on conceptual art piece.
Music

The Experimental Music assignment was to create a one minute song using Pro Tools. The mood of my music is ethereal, which stems largely from my use of bells from Xpand!2, a Pro Tools based virtual instrument. I created several tracks in Pro Tools so that I could create a layered melody with different synthesized bell instruments. I used a Midi keyboard to play the various parts of the bells. My Experimental Music also has percussion that I created using Boom, which is a Pro Tools based drum machine. I used dynamics to fade different parts of the track in and out or emphasize particular important aspects by using the volume tool in Pro Tools to change the dynamics of a given track at the specific points I wanted.

The process of producing the Experimental Music was slightly frightening because although I’ve played Trumpet and Piano for several years I have never attempted to create a piece of music for others to hear or for a graded assignment. Despite my qualms, I was able to create the music and even enjoy the process. My favorite part of the process was coming up with an initial melody and then extrapolating off it and changing it to create a song that develops and changes over it’s duration.

Screenshot of ProTools that was used to create the Experimental Music.