What is it that I am trying to investigate in my media practice? What I am most passionate about?
I am most passionate about storytelling through creative writing and photography. I gravitate toward personal stories about struggles that people have tried to overcome.
What are my strengths and weaknesses?
My strengths include writing and finding patterns in unrelated objects to create a theme for a story. I have coding skills under my belt, and I know some basics about photography. However, I need to learn more about photo editing and video editing, so that I can create stories in other mediums besides writing.
What are the core elements missing from my practice? How will I obtain them?
I want to learn more about building a brand, managing multiple design projects, and how media companies are run. Aside from design courses, I plan to take more classes in media management in the course of pursuing a certificate in this area along with my master’s degree. I also want to learn more about Adobe Photoshop for photography and image editing to enhance the basic skills I learned after taking this course. I also want to improve my skills in video production and in web design so that I can create rich, interactive multimedia content for the website projects I plan on developing and launching in the near future.
What was my preferred media before the course? After the course?
My preferred media before the course were photography and website design. After taking this course, I found that I also enjoyed writing stories and narrating them in a short video. I’d like to try making videos with some poetry pieces I’ve written in the past, and try to weave my words with the images I capture in future photography projects.
What is the next topic, theme, or question I would like to investigate in my next project?
I would like to explore how people come to terms with the various facets of their individual identities — their race, nationality, culture, gender, health, political and religious affiliations, etc. — through exploration of different types of storytelling, such as poetry, fiction, spoken word performances, and videos. I want to create a space where other voices can be heard, where people who might feel as though they’re not always represented in the current mainstream media may have a place to share their own stories. I was inspired by Warsan Shire’s poetry, and after witnessing the unfolding of her writing’s influence on Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and the corresponding visual album, I wanted to refocus my blog to publish stories that explore the intersections between culture, gender, and identity, and maybe help resolve the issue of the lack of representation of minority voices.
What is something I learned in this class that I could teach to someone else?
I always get excited about helping people who are new to blogging set up their blogs, and after this semester, I’m confident enough in my skills to be able to show others how to do some basic HTML and CSS coding to design and customize their own websites on Adobe Dreamweaver.
What is something I will try to do next semester that I have never done before?
I think I might try learning about graphic design and typography through a Design Principles class that I registered for in the upcoming Fall semester. I’m interested in learning about how graphic design and typography affect our individual interpretations of reality, as well as within the everyday social context (our reactions to subway ads, the characteristic changes in design as neighborhoods become more gentrified, etc.).
What is something I will try to do every day or every week that I did not do before this course?
I want to take one photograph per day and post the photos to my Instagram account. My motivation in doing so isn’t really to gain more followers on social media, but rather to learn more photography techniques, now that I have my own DSLR camera, and get feedback from other people who appreciate photography.
What is a creative project that I would do with a budget of $150 million?
If I had a budget of $150 million, I would launch my own magazine, purchase my own studio office space, and hire my own staff of writers, photographers, videographers, and social media managers to create content and run all of its corresponding media campaigns across social media platforms. The topics in the magazine would include articles about what it means to grow up as a minority in the U.S., intersectional feminism, stories of immigration, and stories of personal struggles that people are working through and have overcome (e.g. stories about dealing with mental health, body positivity, relationship struggles, changing careers, etc.) through artistic and creative projects that they’re working on. I envision this magazine celebrating diversity and providing positive encouragement for helping bridge the assimilation gap across generations.
How could I do the same project with a budget of $150?
This is my current annual budget for Verge of Verse (vergeofverse.com), where I currently blog and publish some creative works that my friends have submitted. I want to expand Verge of Verse into a full-blown online magazine where people can publish their creative pieces and works in progress, as a way to not only get published in the digital space and include it in their portfolio, but also to build a community where creative people who are passionate about storytelling in all of its various forms can also come together to support each other’s accomplishments and gain valuable feedback from each other. I’ve had this website for over a year now, and I want to devote time to develop it further. I plan to reach out to new and emerging writers, photographers, and creative storytellers who might want to publish and feature their work and build the online magazine with me.