When I was thinking about this assignment, I could not decide which movie scene to recreate. I talked to my roommate and we decided to choose this scene from the movie Twilight. We chose sweatshirt that was similar to the one in the original photo. We used the whiteboard as our background and the main object was this red apple. Overall, it was very funny to do it because we had to take more than ten photos and we were laughing after each of them as we could not get the right position oh either hands or the apple. Therefore, as it made us laugh and forget about other work to do for a few minutes, I enjoyed this assignment.
As I spent time sketching for this assignment, I started noticing that it was much easier to sketch it than I thought before. The peacefulness and calmness that we can feel from looking at the picture are what made me pick this photo. At first, I thought that I will sketch everything that I see. However, as I was drawing I decided to sketch only what is in the focus, not blurry backgrounds due to the fact, that I wanted to make an even greater focus on simplicity of the moment and on the fact that if a person is asleep all she needs in this most unprotected moment is calmness.
Photo: by me
The items I usually carry in my backpack:
- Book weight.
I felt this was a relatively simple project because I typically don’t carry much in my backpack. I don’t know that this really represents me, but I guess I typically do keep things simple and organized. While making this image, I made sure to keep everything in line within the width of the bag in order to create a line of sight within which to view the items. I think getting the lighting right for the image was the most difficult part because I didn’t have a good light source. I overcame this by changing the light gradient in the photo editor on my phone. I don’t think representing myself in a catalog of the stuff in my bag as a type of writing because I typically associate it writing with language. However I do see how one could make such an association.
Contents of my backpack:
- MAUS (1 & 2)
- 2 notebooks
- Pencil case
In my opinion, this assignment was one of the easiest ones due to the fact, that I just took a photo of what is with me on a normal day. I just emptied my bag, found a relatively large space and arranged everything that was in my backpack. I think this photo represents how organized I am because I do not carry with me too many useless things and I am always organized and prepared for my classes. However, I think this photo does not fully represent me because I have a lot of interests that I simply cannot relate to the things I carry in my backpack (for example films, music, photography, etc.) In fact, I did not leave anything out of the photo, therefore, this is just a typical collection of the things that I have in my bag every day.
Photo: by me
After reading the assignment for this sketch, I started looking for everything in groups of three. I noticed the number of posters on my friends dorm room walls, stacks of drawers under beds, countless hanging lights, etc. However, nothing stood out in terms of creating a narrative. It wasn’t until I was sitting at my desk, when I noticed several photo booth pictures pinned to my bulletin. Each picture came with an expression and the idea stemmed from there.
I have to admit I struggled in the beginning with this assignment. I was a bit discouraged, because the previous sketch assignments came to me fairly quickly. I think this was in part due to the fact that we had to find or create the artistic visual as well as a narrative. As opposed to being given a page from a book, or using notes to create a visual image.
While looking around my room for inspiration, I gazed upon my chess board. After giving it a stare down, I knew how I wanted to use it for the triptych. I thought it would be interesting to play with the expectation of the names for each piece by swapping the title of knight for pony. In order to compose the triptych, I set up all of the black pieces to give the viewer a setting of a chess game. I then isolated the white pieces to highlight the individual characteristics of each piece. I used my desk lamp for extra lighting to further accentuate the pieces and draw attention to the background where the names were placed. To me, the most challenging part was combining the individual photos I took into one photo. However after finding a website that could do it, the rest of the editing was simple. The route I took for this project was different than most of the other assignments we’ve done because I used pictures instead of drawling. Overall I found this process to be relaxing and enjoyable.
Due: March 4
Find a relatively large empty space. Take your backpack, messenger bag, or whatever sort of bag you carry around with you regularly, empty all the contents out, and arrange them carefully that they represent a visual snapshot of the stuff you tote around with you on a normal day. Then take a clear photo showing your bag and the stuff and upload it to your site.
Note that like the avatar or the literacy narrative, this too is a type of autobiographical composition. If you have something in your bag that is private, embarrassing, or for some other reason you don’t want it in the picture then make the editorial decision not to include it. Or vice versa, if you would like to assume a certain kind of persona then you might consider including items in your catalog that might be less than fully true.
Add some text to your post listing the items represented in your photo, preferably adding in a bit of explanatory and/or funny commentary along the way. This can be a paragraph of text or a list or whatever format seems most appropriate for you. When these sorts of posts are done by publications, like say The Verge or Timbuk2, they are often not so subtle efforts at product placement but for our purposes there is no reason for you to engage in such advertising games.
Along with the photo and your description of the items, include a paragraph reflecting on what it was like to craft a self-portrait through this photograph. How actually representative is this image of you as a person? What sorts of choices did you make in order to create the image? What was challenging about this assignment? Is representing yourself in a catalog of the stuff in your bag a type of writing? Why or why not?
In How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels, Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden carry out an extended discussion of comics through repeated analysis of the single Nancy strip by Ernie Bushmiller from August 8, 1959 (at the top of this post). They explain that “one of the least tangible yet most significant implements in the cartoonist’s toolbox is the varied use of rhythms.[…] One repetition makes a pair. But add another and the repetitions have become a series, the basic building block of all rhythm. A set of three has the smallest number of elements that can establish a pattern (as well as violate it). Three implies more to come” (134).
For this week’s sketch assignment, create your own triptych comic. As you compose your triptych, I most want you to focus on creating a story with a very clear beginning, middle, and end. Your story can be minimalist, impressionistic, comic, dark, weird or whatever you want it to be — but make sure that each panel of the triptych moves that story forward from beginning to middle to end.
You can draw your triptych, or create one using photographs, maybe along similar lines as the webcomic A Softer World, which ran weekly for about twelve years starting in Feb 2003. Emily and Joey published 1248 comics in that time, each consisting of three panels with photographs and words superimposed on them – often it seems to be a single image cropped into three panels, but sometimes it’s three photos taken as a series – and then the title of the comic appears when you hover your mouse over the comic (creating space for a sort of fourth panel or commentary). The comics tend to be quite dark.
I’m looking for compact and playful storytelling through both images and words. It’s an opportunity for you to play with irony, humor, and/or wit.
Add a paragraph reflecting on your triptych comic. What choices did you make in crafting your narrative? Describe the composition process a little bit. What was challenging about this assignment? How is crafting this sort of comic strip different or similar to other writing you’ve done this semester?