I liked the idea of messing with the meaning of a book title. Many are symbolic or draw from an important line in the story. But taken out of context, their meanings may not be clear. As such, this assignment had me essentially examine classic books with odd titles. I immediately found To Kill a Mockingbird. This is a classic story of childhood and race relations, but out of context the title essentially discusses death. Perhaps it could be interpreted as a suspenseful horror novel? Subject in hand, I searched for images of dead mockingbirds to create the backdrop for the horror edition of the book. In advertising the title and author, I specifically used a font (AR DARLING) which evoked a horror feel with its slightly distorted lettering. I used a related font (AR CENA) for the fake testimonial. Naturally I used the master of horror, Stephen King, as the one giving Harper Lee praise for her new terrifying novel. The final product gave me a good laugh, and is featured below.
I was inspired by this post to complete the tapestry assignment. This is essentially an exercise in minimalism, as historically these tapestries had to tell narratives in a somewhat simplistic fashion (after all, these tapestries had to be hand-sewn). I ultimately chose to try to convey the overarching story of Xena: Warrior Princess through tapestry design. Xena is the armored figure upon a horse (who somewhat resembles Argo, her steed throughout the series). Behind her lies the death and destruction of her past (when she was a Grecian warlord). The standing figure represents Hercules, who put her on her redemptive path, symbolized by the the central sunbeams. Next to Xena are her fallen weapons, referencing the pilot episode of the series where Xena buries her weapons in a bid to escape her past. Ahead of her lies Amphipolis and Potidaea, where she will meet Gabrielle (represented by the golden woman) who will be central to cementing Xena’s path to redemption. Underneath these visuals is a modified quote from Julius Caesar (one of Xena’s main nemeses). This quote hints at the larger themes of the series, indicating that this redemptive path is part of Xena’s destiny. The first part of the statement also highlights Xena’s strengths in this context. The final product is below, and hopefully conveys these themes effectively.
I’m a huge film enthusiast, so I loved the assignment idea of messing with central plot points of movies. What if major events had never happened? How would this impact the rest of the movie? I find such questions inherently fascinating, so I had to try my hand at these alterations. As such, I began combing through my favorite movies, eventually settling on examining Aliens. I’ve always loved this film. In fact, it is one of the only movies where I truly think the sequel surpassed the original. But what if Ripley had never been rescued? What if she was dead when her pod was discovered? The rest of the movie would simply never have happened. So I grabbed a screenshot of Ripley enclosed in her pod, and added an altered version of the dialogue following her discovery. The result is below.
The Word assignment‘s image caught my eye as a visual depiction of “magic”. The individual letters told a story in addition to the overarching word itself. The assignment essentially gets the creator to start exploring the visuals that are evoked when we think of certain words. For my creation, I attempted to visually depict the word “Ancient”. I picked a font in Paint that had some distortion and areas that were deliberately incompletely filled (AR Darling). This would ideally evoke older texts and aging materials. I then started typing the word as I would in a normal word processor, and then began to “sink” the latter letters. My hope was to create an effect where it looks like as the letters progress, the word begins to sag under the weight of time.
I liked that this assignment was essentially about determining which characteristics define you. So I ultimately went with describing a major aspect of my identity: my digital identity. I chose to use my avatar as my cover background (this has been my standard avatar for around 4-5 years now). I chose the title because my YouTube handle is UvaSEP. This is a very odd username that was automatically derived from my first email. This email was created for me at UVA’s Summer Enrichment Program. It is completely arbitrary. Yet my YouTube channel has almost 100,000 views, and this is the name my viewers know me by. It’s a curious phenomenon, and one that I have simply procrastinated addressing. As such, I figured its an odd enough situation to make an intriguing title that may potentially draw hypothetical readers in, while also referencing an important part of my life (namely video-editing). The final product is below.