Assemblies- Sketch 11

Looking closely at the Cocktail Construction Visualization allowed me to realize how to go about this overwhelming sketch assignment.  At first glance, the different patterns and shapes scattered throughout the page were extremely confusing. but, I then noticed the key that tied together what each drink consisted of.  Making a key and laying out all eleven Sunday Sketches, four graphic novels, and six larger assignments allowed me to visualize common factors for each part of this Visual Literature Freshman English Class.  

Making the key of common themes of this course and deciphering which projects included each category was sort of challenging.  While some are simple such as “creative approach” and “storytelling”, I felt as though they had to be included to show the theme of this class as a whole.  In addition, I used the three course outcomes to frame some other parts. Knowing which projects formed my skill on revision and reframing projects, taught me how to use a new rhetoric technique of visual representational storytelling, and included textual analysis to strengthen my writing skills will be extremely useful for my Reflection Cover Letter.  

Framing this “Assemblies” assignment uncovered a lot of the synthesis of this class as a whole.  A big example of this took place with the “Data Analysis” section of my key. Our last two assignments- Data Visualization in Your Everyday Life and Mapping Spinning- were the two obvious data analysis projects we completed during this semester.  However, looking back at the coursework allowed me to realize that this theme has been consistent. I have interpreted Tracing Maus and Comparing Palestine and Pyongyang to also include this type of skill in more of a textual way instead of visual.  For example, though we close read individual pages of Maus for the assignment, the overall project of making three connections that encompass the novel as a whole track data throughout the entire layered story.  In addition, comparing and contrasting Palestine verse Pyongyang forced me to uncover similar themes consistent throughout the novel and track their relevances in retrospect to each novel.  

The sunday sketches as a whole show the diversity of visual representations.  Many include personal representations of myself in non-traditional ways. Who would have thought a cartoon avatar, photo of what I carry in my backpack from day to day, or “True Story” would mirror a personal narrative.  As a whole, this course has gone beyond boundaries of a traditional english class. IMG_20180426_0002

Data Viz From Everyday Life- Sketch 10

Coming to college and being away from home I have made a conscious effort not to abandon healthy habits throughout my everyday life.  The five factors of this category I decided to track are how many of my 75mL camelbak water bottles I drink per day, if I eat breakfast, how many times I take the stairs up to my rooms instead of the elevator, how many hours of sleep I get, and how many miles I do on the treadmill that day at the gym.  As I was mapping out this data visually, it struck me how dependent these habits have to do with my schedule for that day. For example, some days I have time for the gym while others it is impossible to fit it in between classes and homework. I know that I had a large chemistry exam on April 11th at night so knew the gym would not fit in that day.  In addition, It seems as though the days I miss breakfast, the most important meal of the day, falls on Tuesdays or Thursdays. These days of the week I have an 8:30am class that I am usually rushing to. Significantly less hours of sleep took place the nights before the two exams I had during the two week time period I tracked. Finally, more hours of sleep take place over the weekend because I am able to sleep in later instead of waking up for my morning classes.  

A flaw within my data is that there is no basis I could compare it to.  When I tracked how many times I took the stairs up to my room on the fourth floor of my dorm, I did not track how many times I took the elevator up.  Days that I only took the stairs four times could just be because I only went up to my room four times that day. It does not necessarily mean I took the elevator much more those days.  I am in class from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. on mondays so do not go back to my room till late in the afternoon. It is inevitable for me to take the stairs less these days.

Since I was tracking data that took place so frequently throughout the day, there were definitely times where I had to estimate different factors.  I know there are times where I quickly went downstairs in my dorm to print something and did not have my phone with me to track the stairs I took back up.  In general, however, I hope I got a good estimate of the healthy habits I have put into my everyday life here at Emory. Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 8.03.43 PM

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Mapping Spinning Reflection

We have discussed many times in class how Tillie Walden’s graphic novel “Spinning” cannot be described as being “about figure skating.”  “Spinning” is more of a coming of age story of an adolescent trying to find herself as she is growing older and realizing she is unlike those around her.  Though she is writing about her true scenario where she practically grew up on the ice skating rink, the story uses figure skating as more of a metaphor for how Tillie is going through her life.  I decided to focus on seven different characteristics that together are what figure skating consists of for Tillie; they differ from positive to negative and from striking to obvious.

From an outsider’s perspective figure skating consists of sparkles, elaborate costumes, and particularly outstanding posture; they see it as a very feminine sport.  But, such positive aspects, as well as the genuine thrill of succeeding in the craft, take place very rarely within “Spinning”. I noticed this while reading the book but wanted to see what aspects were overpowering these positive ones.  Everytime Tillie talks about having to put on makeup, do her hair, and wear the proper shade of tights she dreads it. In addition, the genuine thrill of success only takes place four times throughout the entire story based on the data I gathered.  Behind the sparkles there is exhaustion, particular technique, constant discipline, expensive rink time, and competitive teammates. These characteristics burden Tillie constantly, as I expected. But, I just was unaware of how drastic this difference is.  I went through each chapter constantly adding ticks to my spreadsheet next to the technique and discipline sections because this is what the intense sport of figure skating is truly made of.

The hard work and dedication to move forward and upward in the sport of figure skating mirrors the hard work it takes for Tillie to attempt to fit in with everyone else.  She is not surprised when she passes her tests on the rink because she “always [passes]”. In the judgemental teenage state she is in, she is afraid to show her true colors and come out as gay to those around her.  She is able to “pass as straight” even though she has always known something else was a part of her. This is similar to how she is able to cover up the discipline, emotion, strength, and hard work that goes into this sport as outsiders just see as feminine and natural.  

The striking aspects of figure skating also corresponds to Tillie’s family life.  Instead of her parents watching her compete, easily pay for rink time, and supporting her as she grows as a figure skater, her personal life at home is consistent with the hardships and intensity within figure skating.  

My map is a simple bar graph that is split up by chapter and color coordinated by characteristic.  I collected data chapter by chapter simply but there were definitely points where this was challenging as I had to decipher what category certain scenes would fall into and choose breaking points for these scenes.

In general, it is obvious that the red, green, and yellow bars of technique, fake friendship and loneliness within the team, and critique drastically overpower.  However, the visual effect of my map is flawed as I split it up by chapter. If I skipped doing this, you would be able to compare each characteristic to each other rather than only within a specific chapter.  For example, the black bar is very high for chapter three which looks like it is taking place a lot while in respect to the entire novel this true friendship characteristic rarely takes place.

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Comparing Palestine and Pyongyang Reflection

As I heard from many students in our class, this assignment initially overwhelmed me.  Where to start with two heavy graphic novels? But, I decided to take a step back from the prompt and look over the notes I took during our class discussions.  This allowed me to first take in the main ideas, similarities, and differences within “Palestine” and “Pyongyang” into account. I then decided to discuss the obvious difference in graphic approach which mirrors the difference between the two storylines.  I also went into detail about how the way both journalists collected information for their texts; how they had to do it in different ways for the two extremely diverse environments they were in. Collecting images to back up my arguments throughout this assignment was much more difficult than I initially thought it would be.  While I remember certain panels in my head from my first read through the graphic novels, finding them was difficult let alone making sure they were in the right context for my argument. For example, “Pyongyang” has a plain flow so finding panels that actually backed up my specific argument by just flipping through the book was more difficult than intended.

Sketch #9- Recreate a Movie Scene

My initial idea for this sketch assignment was to recreate the famous “Lady and the Tramp” noodle scene.  I was anxiously waiting for a meal that the duc served noodles of any sort so I could make two of my friends pose for this photo.  But, every time I browsed the ducling for noodles they did not have.  Of course the one week I need the duc to have a certain food they did not.  So, my friend had the idea to pose with the famous poisonous apple from Snow White.  Another Disney scene I could use food as a prop for.  I was so happy she thought of this idea while I was complaining about my simple duc request.  I can barely tell my friend and Snow White apart in this photo!!




Sketch 8- Combophoto

I really enjoyed browsing Stephen McMennamy’s gallery of combo-photos.  His artistic combinations are made in a seamless manner that almost trick the eye and brain.  Each piece is unique, satisfying, and very fun. One of his photos had bones involved which sparked my idea for this assignment.  At first I thought I would make pencils the bones in a cartoon skeleton image. That initial idea posed a challenge as skeleton images on their own have tons of details that I would not be able to match even with different sizes of long pencils.  So, the X-ray idea came to mind. For some reason I also began to think pretzel rods would be more fun than pencils. It was challenging to cover the original X-ray in this cartoon image and even more difficult to shape, size, and angle each pretzel to make up a rib cage.  I was not able to add other bones and details; I stuck with the bare minimum. Without professional tools, I also was unable to crop the pretzel rods perfectly as background space is shown. In general, however, I definitely appreciate the simplicity and playfulness of my final product for this combo-photo sketch assignment.  IMG_8567

Tell a True Story

When we were told to think closely about an adventure, conversation, or experience from break for this sketch assignment, what I would do came to me immediately.  In addition to a home cooked meal, clean bed, and time with my family, my favorite thing about going home is seeing my best friends and going to our favorite place in town.  My town is on the water which has its many perk including the most amazing views at anytime of day- especially sunset. When my friends and I got our drivers licenses, our favorite activity became taking drives around town and singing along to our favorite songs.  We would drive the same streets over and over again taking in the moment as much as possible, especially when leaving for college got closer. Our favorite road is this one way street that we either stop the car at or loop around countless times. Here, you can look out across the water into New York City.  During the day you see the skyline and at night you see the lights that depict the magnitude of the big apple city. We call it “The View.”

I loved the Novel The Things They Carried.  After completing it, I was blown away how Tim O’brien’s war experience does not actually align with the “true war story” told.  Some characters do not actually exist within his life and scenes did not play out as written in the novel. But, the “true war story” is the generalization of the soldiers during this war experience.  So, telling my true story in this comic is not the exact scene that may or may not have taken place with my friends at home during spring break; it is the adventure that I have gone on countless times all leading up to the same view.  The view that depicts home for me.

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Collin Combs in Class Sketch

With the warm weather just around the corner, I decided to pick the photo with the teenager jumping into the pool.  Warm weather brings outdoor activities and summer brings free time for adventure.  This teenager’s spontaneity looks exhilarating.  For some reason the spikes that his wet hair makes with the gravity of his flip depicts this for me; I worked to exaggerate that in my sketch.  This photograph is also very simple with large shapes taking up the majority of the space instead of smaller details. As I spent time looking closer at the photograph, this became more apparent.  For the cheap camera and unprofessional circumstance this photograph was taken under, there is not even that much of a blur. Today people spend so much time aligning the click of a camera with a jump.  It is down to the second to actually get the model in the photo to be in the air. Even with the unprofessional situation and complex jump, it worked out perfectly. I love that this photo was definitely meant to exist.


Graphic Literacy Narrative Draft Reflection

Turning my Literacy Narrative into a comic was much more frustrating than expected.  I was not sure if each panel went with the flow of my written essay. Are they in the correct order? Do they actually illustrate what I am trying to get at?  The feedback I got on the draft of my graphic literacy narrative was very helpful. Firstly, I was pleasantly surprised that my peers were able to follow the shift between present and past that I worked to portray.  They understood what I was getting at, but recommended aligning the panels to make the constant shifts more visually appealing and easy for the eye. Since I was so unsure if the storyline was coming across in my visual panels, I added text boxes to some points to describe the situation.  My peers recommended cutting down some words and making these short sentences instead of the long blurbs I included. Understandably, seeing large chunks of words on a page initially intimidates the viewer. At other times, I used speech bubbles and thought bubbles to illustrate conversations and internal realization as this was a prose essay.  My peers thought I could make these neater so they will be read seamlessly within the story. Since these are used so often, this feedback definitely makes sense. I could also change up the frame from panel to panel. Too many might be straight scenes between stick figures instead of giving the eye a refreshing image that helps the reader dive into the story.  






Tracing Maus Reflection

I was initially extremely overwhelmed by the tracing, annotating, analyzing, and writing that is involved with this project.  I kept putting off starting my two tracings because I did not know how to narrow the whole first book down to one page. I knew once I did that I would have to do the same task for the entire second book except with the addition of finding a connection to my first page.  I almost gave up and thought I would just flip through the book, land on a page, and somehow figure out some analytical connections to make. But, I suddenly remembered the Parsha Truma page that stuck out to me when we read “Maus” chapter by chapter. Plus, after going over the page with the pile of Vladek’s photo memories in class so extensively, I realized how much I had to say about it.  As I traced each page slowly and patiently, the little details about precise flow, adequate image, and much more stuck out to me. This made annotating easy. The hard part was picking just three main ideas to write about as so many details I noticed were splattered across my scanned traces. I purposefully picked broad connections to dive into so I could incorporate many parts and because of how lose my connections between the two pages were.  It was a challenge to get diverse ideas on completely different pages of the series to come together in one concise manner. Looking back on the project, I am happy I started it so far in advance allowing the prompt to soak in and my thoughts come together before submitting my final product.

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