ZIP – Document of Learning #1

What is a specific source of information that you have found valuable in answering your inquiry question?

A source of information that I have found particularly advantageous is Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.

Image result for understanding comics

L i s t e n .

At first glance, it may look like a brightly-coloured book that teaches kids how to write their first few panels, it’s much more than that. It’s almost like a crash course book on the history of what art really is and how it interacts with text, and how we manipulate both mediums. To me, Understanding Comics is a bit of a misnomer – It really should be Understanding Comics with a couple more underlines and a size 60 font.

This book has helped me with my ZIP by teaching me about the origins of the art of comics, which are tightly related to graphic novels, and giving me understanding of how to capture the passage of time, dialogues, action, how to let words speak for themselves, how to let pictures speak for themselves, and how to intertwine them.

Three important things I have learned from this book so far (not the top 3 and in no particular order)

  1. What the definition of a “comic” can be. (It’s a lot more complicated that it sounds.
  2. There is POWER in the blank space between comics.
  3. The idea of a “path” of creation which contains 6 steps. Disclaimer: most people don’t make it past one step.

I recommend this source of info to all visual artists, or anyone who just enjoys a good mindboggle.

Image result for understanding comics

Moving forward, I will be going into research on how to draw a graphic novel. This book is great for history/theory, but next I will be looking at the surface of graphic novels – the art.

ZIP Proposal

I would like to learn about the creation of graphic novels from the artist’s perspective. My inquiry question is this: What are important factors in retaining the story when translating a novel to a graphic novel? (Tweaking of my question is welcomed.)

I’m choosing this skill because I have a passion for visual art. In Career Life Education, we are discussing possible future careers, and I’m interested in an career in art, such as makeup artistry for film, graphic design, illustration, and more. In the past, I have also dreamed about writing books and stories. Graphic novels seem like a great combination of these two interests. What most excites me about working on this subject is being able to bring another dimension to a story.

Currently I know some basics on this topic. I have read quite a few graphic novels before, and when I was in elementary school I took a comic-drawing class (from which I don’t remember much). I have a lot of practice in drawing (mainly human figures, not landscapes, objects, or animals) which is a skill that will definitely help me succeed in my project.

Skills I would like to expand on/learn by the end of my project:

  • Storyboarding.
  • Storytelling through reducing text and adding visuals.
  • Identifying important ideas in a text (to be translated into a visual).
  • Character design.
  • Digital drawing.
  • Layout of graphic novels.

I can approach my english teacher, my friends who have knowledge in making digital sketches, books, and the internet. I also know a TALONS alumna who did graphic novels for an in-depth project, so I might be able to talk to her. Other resources that might be useful to me are Gleneagle art teachers and reading graphic novels.

I plan to demonstrate my learning at the end of my inquiry by completing at least a storyboard, and 5 complete pages of a graphic novel adapted from an existing short story or text. I also plan to keep all my notes, practice, and other work in order to show my learning.

My schedule for my learning will be:

  • Nov. 30 – Zip proposal finalized.
  • Dec. 4 – read “Understanding Comics” (book borrowed from Mr. Morris)
  • Dec 8 – choose a short story or text to focus on. Begin thinking about character design/storyboarding (subject to change because I don’t yet know how to create a graphic novel)
  • Dec. 11 – work on storyboard. Identify key areas in the text to best create a visual for the story.
  • Dec. 15 – begin working on a final copy for graphic novel pages (regardless if storyboard is finished for all scenes yet)
  • Dec. 18 – continue working on final copy or storyboard
  • Dec. 22 – assembling presentation, reflecting on what I learned

Document of Learning – Significance of an object

Here is a picture of my learning centre:

Artifacts from left: Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay, Gordon Ramsay’s Sunday Lunch by Gordon Ramsay, $wear Jar, free-range eggs (Gordon uses free-range when he can), pot, bamboo cutting board, slice of bread (for idiot sandwich), paper towels, family photo, cheesecake, container of flour, container of  garlic and ginger (kitchen staples), “Gordon Ramsay Masterclass” poster, Kitchen utensil holder, salt, pepper. (Not pictured: electric heating element (courtesy of Jiwon), Restaurants Experience poster, Gordon Ramsay title poster)

Instead of giving a walkthrough if my learning centre for my document of learning, I will focus on a specific artifact at learning centre and explain its significance to the life and actions of my eminent person. The artifact I am choosing to highlight is Gordon’s family photograph. I

An important thing I learned about Gordon Ramsay is that family is of incredible importance to him. Of course, this seems obvious. Who doesn’t care about their family? Well, Gordon’s history is a little more complicated than average.

Gordon Ramsay had a turbulent childhood. The main reason for this was his father, Gordon Ramsay (senior, if you will). Chef Ramsay’s father was alcoholic, and worse, abusive. He would physically and emotionally harm his children and wife. He forced the family to constantly move from place to place across the UK, because he was always getting fired from jobs, getting into debt, or some other sort of scandal.

In his youth, our Gordon experienced excessive financial troubles, remembering in his autobiography the embarrassment of having to receive food stamps every week in front of his classmates. Sometimes he was homeless, his mother trying desperately to find a place to sleep.  Gordon was very quiet and reserved in his childhood. His only redeeming quality in the eyes of his father was his football ability, but that was crushed when Gordon’s leg became seriously injured and he could not play on.

Years later, Gordon’s family separated from his father. The dreadful circumstances did not end. Sometimes his father would call them and threaten to kill his mother. They had a little protection in the form of the police.

When Gordon became successful, he invited his father to have a meal at his restaurant, to show off what he had accomplished. His father died before he had the chance. Gordon believes his father would have criticized his food anyway.

Another few factors of Gordon’s undesirable childhood were his brother, who according to Gordon, took after his father, and became addicted to heroin, and one of his sisters, who became pregnant at a very young age. Gordon paid his brother’s way through rehab multiple times, but his brother never got clean.

Gordon’s childhood experiences are not an excuse, but a possible contributing factor to the way he treats people today. However, unlike his father, Gordon understands some of the repercussions of his actions and generally does not take things too far. His poor youth taught him to appreciate simple ingredients and understand that not everybody has foie gras or white truffle in their pantry. He knows how to make his food appeal to both the high and low class.

Gordon has his own family now, and does his best to keep his children “as normal as possible”. This means making them take the bus, having them work for their allowance, and doing his best not to let his fame get to them. He loves and cares for his children, determined to be as different from his own father as possible. His compassion for children also shows through on his show, Masterchef Junior.

Gordon’s family photo is significant because it’s a display of his development as a person and family member. In his childhood, he had a unhappy family who was subject to maltreatment by a erratic father. Gordon has overcome that barrier in his life and taken on the role of a father figure in his own family, and demonstrates social responsibility by building relationships.

Night of the Notables Evaluation

This year, I set out to educate myself and others on Gordon Ramsay’s eminence and influence and to battle his reputation as a lunatic chef who’s only talent is weaving colourful insults.

I met my goal to understand what Gordon has contributed to our world. He is an incredibly hardworking chef who has acquired a number of Michelin Stars most chefs could only dream of. He manages these businesses while filming TV shows, documentaries, and the like which all work towards educating the public on the world inside the kitchen, and in some cases, outside (in shows such as The F Word where he investigates where food comes from). He has written multiple books. He influences a vast number of people all around the globe with his ideas, recipes, and shows. He has participated in a wide variety of charity work. Gordon and his wife have established the Gordon and Tana Ramsay Foundation to support seriously ill children in the UK. He speaks out against shark fin hunting, drug addiction, and more. The Queen has awarded him an OBE for his services to the culinary industry. Of course, Gordon is not a perfect person who has made some problematic statements in the past, but I believe I have educated a few people about how Gordon is not just a television personality.

I could improve by taking more notes. This project, I found that I wasn’t taking many notes because I would write my notes down on a post-it note and stick in inside his biography for reference. I would also like to do more research on the darker side of Gordon and why many people may not find him to be an inspirational figure. I glanced over some questionable stuff he has said in the past (sexist remarks, other generally rude and disrespectful remarks) but I mainly focused during this project to prove why he is eminent.

What I will remember about Night of the Notables was my speech. I had a lot of fun formulating and performing my speech this year. It felt amazing to have people laughing at the humorous words I wrote. I’ll also remember how smoothly the project seemed to run for me this year. Likely this was because I began planning my grade 10 eminent project the summer of grade 9. I would recommend grade 9s to give Eminent a little bit of thought during the summer to prepare. In grade 9, I chose someone I was not passionate about, but only chose because she was like me. This year, I chose someone I was interested in and was excited to learn about.

I’m thankful for my interviewees who took time out of their schedules to speak to me for my project. I really appreciate Jiwon’s help with my learning centre, because she went out of her way to bring me the electric element for my learning centre. I would love to thank and recognize Mr. Morris for taking on such a large project for the first time this year. I really appreciate how l be created new criteria to make the project easier to follow. He was also gracious in accepting critiques and suggestions about the project. 

Overall, this year’s Eminent was *litty* :)

Annotated Bib-BLOG-graphy

  • Ramsay, Gordon. Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen: Temper Tantrums, F Words, and the Pursuit of Perfection. HarperCollins Entertainment, 2007.
    • This autobiography offered meaningful insight into Gordon’s character, childhood, influences, and motivators. I learned about his miserable history with his father, his unfortunate accident that forced him to quite football (something he may have had a career in if it weren’t for the injury) and many of the more important life experiences Gordon had when starting out as a chef. It’s one shortcoming was that it’s a bit dated, written in 2007.
  • Ramsay, Gordon, and Emily Quah. Gordon Ramsay’s Sunday Lunch: and Other Recipes from the f Word. Alhambra, 2006.
    • Here I really learned about what the essence of Gordon’s cooking was/is (when it comes to Sunday lunch). He’s all about connection, pushing the philosophy that all families should have Sunday (or any other weekday) lunch together and offers recipes to strengthen the bond of a communal meal. Offering recipes that are not quite basic, but not quite restaurant quality, I really started to understand some of his beliefs and ideals when it comes to food and recipes.
    • This is an interview with Marco Pierre White, Gordon’s former mentor (turned enemy? Not quite sure what to call it). Gordon writes in detail about his ill experiences with White, and I was interested to hear about the other side. Marco describes Gordon as disloyal to someone who gave him his “big break”. This interview showed me how Gordon’s peers may perceive him and his actions.
    • Gordon Ramsay’s website, of course. To me, his official website emphasized his enormous reach and business. This a website for the “Gordon Ramsay” brand, not the person. It was helpful for providing updates information about his whereabouts, recent activities, and all the restaurants,  books, and other products under his name. This is where I got my idea for a Gordon Ramsay “Masterclass”, which is a class they offer to book on their website.
    • Wikipedia! Though this site is sometimes frowned upon, here I gathered basic information such as birthday, family members, etc. It was almost like a mini biography and offered a fact-based story of Gordon’s life, which helped put some outsider context into Gordon’s emotionally fueled stories in his autobiography.
    • An interview with Gordon about the opening of his then-new restaurant, Petrus. The interviewer/journalist speaks a little about their own perspective on Ramsay, which was great to read and understand how the world saw him during that time. This was when the world still only saw Gordon as a raging, wild, foul-mouthed chef. It’s interesting to see how the his TV persona has evolved.
    • Gordon Ramsay’s Youtube channel. Like the website, it’s likely not run by him. The channel has excellent videos showcasing Gordon’s restaurants, adventures, personality, recipes, and much, much more. I learned a lot about his demeanor that I tried to emulate in my speech and learning centre.
    • This is the cheesecake recipe I followed to create the food that was at my learning centre.
    • Gordon’s infamous Twitter for his well-known insults and clapbacks. It gave me a great idea of how Gordon stays relevant by constant “fan” (I’m not sure if that’s the right word?) interaction. He, or rather, his brand, are much more prevalent on social media than other famous chefs of current times. I have a feeling that his Twitter is not self-run, like his website and YouTube channel.
    • I think this interview is great. It expresses much of how I feel about Ramsay, saying things like Ramsay, a Brit, had come to this country to serve the most mocked cuisine in the world. and History might well record that this moment, or some time near it, was a turning point in British food.  and Gordon Ramsay, the only chef in London honored with three stars by the Guide Michelin, is not a monster. 

Document of Learning – Eminent Interviews

For my eminent interviews, I had the pleasure of interviewing two Masterchef winners: Christine Ha and Luce Manfe.

Let’s start with Christine.
Image result for christine haChristine Ha is an incredibly notable cook. One of the main reasons she is so revered is because she’s a blind chef. She was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica as an adult, which is a disease in which a person’s immune system attacks the optic system and spinal cord. Although she lost her vision, she is still able to create beautiful and delectable dishes while navigating her way around a kitchen, which includes ovens, stoves, knives, and other appliances that might be dangerous to someone who cannot see.


(I had a screenshot of an email but it won’t show up on my blog for some reason.)

I contacted her via the contact information I got through her website. Her assistant replied to me and graciously accepted my request for an e-mail interview.  I came up with 13 questions that I sent to her, and she answered every one of them with thought. She told me a bit about how Gordon Ramsay impacted her as a chef – she calls him “a great mentor and motivator” and charismatic. He told her to believe in herself, and Christine thinks that confidence goes a long way in the culinary world.

She also offered some insight into the world of restaurants. She says that most restaurants don’t earn much of a profit.

“A chef my have wonderful food, but may not have the business sense to keep the restaurant in the green.”

Gordon is able to run multiple restaurants at a high profit and turns out delicious food. From this information, I deduct that Gordon is a great businessman. This is also shown by his ability to aid businesses in need on his shows like Kitchen Nightmares and Hotel Hell.


The second person I interviewed was Luca Manfe. He was born in Italy and moved to America, where he worked as a restaurant manager in New York before he competed on Masterchef. He is the returning contestant, as well as first male contestant to win the show.

Image result for luca manfe

My second interview was a lot more nerve-wracking. First of all, it was with the first Masterchef winner who’s full season I had followed from start to finish, and secondly, it was over the phone, which meant that the interview was happening in real time and I had to think and speak on the spot. I recorded this interview using my phone so that I could listen to if for reference.

He provided some opinions of what he thought of Gordon’s shows. He’s not exactly a fan of the more aggressive shows that involve tons of swearing and anger. He believes that his performances on those shows are definitely exaggerated for entertainment. This is something I want to get across to anyone who only has a stereotypical impression of who Gordon Ramsay is.

Although I learned much from these two Masterchefs, I would say the most valuable thing I took away from my Eminent Interview experience was realizing that if you reach out, you will get a reply. (Duh, right?) I’ve always been scared of messaging people or reaching out to strangers for help, but this year I learned the value of  shooting off emails like crazy. Last year, I just met a past art teacher in person for my interview and didn’t search for alternate sources because I was too scared to hold an interview with someone I wasn’t familiar with.

I think I could definitely improve with my interviewing and communication skills. My family are all people who only clarify our plans at the very last minute. When my brother and I text, he only responds at the last possible moment, the moment when I NEED a reply…and vice versa. Most of our inter-familial conversations go something like this:

Person A: Can we do this thing on Monday

Person B: idk what time

Person A: 4:30

(3 days later)

Person A: ??? ????? ????????? hello

(Monday, 4:20)

Person B: I’m outside

Sure, its frustrating, but it somehow works. Since we’re all such *flexible* people who don’t communicate, I went berserk the first year of TALONS. Schedules who? Planning what?  Actual structured itineraries? Self-directed learning??? It was such a contrast from what I was used to. I admit I was overwhelmed, and I dedicated myself so tightly to having a plan and completing everything and going beyond the call of duty that at the times I didn’t have homework I would just sit on my bed with nothing to do, forgetting that my hobbies existed, that I was allowed to take time for hobbies, still feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. If I wasn’t feeling stressed or angry, I felt wrong. This was because at school, I was rewarded for the work I did when I was feeling upset. I became distant from my friends, because I didn’t consider hanging out with them to be “productive” or “beneficial”. Instead of finding a balance, I went to the extremes. This made me very unhappy all of last year. I wasn’t fun to be around. When I was with my friends, I wanted to be doing homework. When I was doing homework, I wanted to be chilling with my friends.

I now realize that this lifestyle is just really stupid. There’s no better word for it. This year, sure, my grades are slipping, but my emotions won’t. Maintaining high self-esteem without material validation, such as the approval of teachers, is on my list of priorities now.

This all connects back to learning to communicate better, with my family, myself, and interviewees. After an interview, I often found myself wishing I’d asked a different question, or grabbed an opportunity to delve deeper into something the interviewee said. I believe both my interviews could have provided more useful information if I were more competent at communication. I might improve at communicating by speaking out when planning projects or events even if it feels necessary.

Eminent Speech Outline




  • Reputation as a “psycho”, a “lunatic”
  • The drama, the abuse, the humiliation, poverty, unbearable pressure.

Rising Action:

  • Boiling Point: Hit, but controversial – “liberal use of the F-Word”, the way I treated my staff (stress to almost breaking point)
  • “put young people off the idea of a kitchen as a career” (did opposite in some ways)
  • Hell’s Kitchen: People have come to understand how tough it is working in a professional kitchen
  • People don’t cook enough; supermarkets are too powerful. Eating habits becoming so lazy


  • OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire)
  • Changing food habits
  • changing lives
  • changing businesses

Falling Action:

  • I will never have enough Michelin Stars, or have accomplished enough


  • Good food is important. Just look what it’s done for me.

3 Wise Nuggs

  1. Make your work everything you want it to be.
  2. Make connections (networking/self-promoting).
  3. Learn how to speak and negotiate with people.

Document of Learning #1 – Practice Interviews

For my Career Life Interviews, I interviewed two individuals who both have full-time careers in the visual arts.

The first was Ms. Croft, an art teacher at Gleneagle. I met with her before school in person. Here’s a summary of what I learned:

Ms. Croft is a high school art teacher at Gleneagle Secondary. She attended Emily Carr university and did a Bachelor of Fine Arts there. After taking a short break, she went back to school to get a teaching degree. She has been teaching for seven years. She chose to become an art teacher because it was practical, and she feels that she couldn’t have a better position as an art teacher. She describes her position as where she imagined she would have been in 10 years rather than now, and she feels very privileged. She misses her studio work and would like to work on her own art more. She believes that she might be in a different position if she had tried harder to self-promote her art.

She recommends going through an undergrad program, visiting small galleries and openings, networking with like-minded peers (which could result in doing group shows and independent shows). Eventually you could have people such as art collectors buying your work or get contractually signed by a gallery, where you create your art for a period of time, then the gallery displays it and sells it. She says usually fine artists have side jobs along with their art.


The second person I interviewed was the Sr. Digital Designer at Aritzia, which is a Vancouver-based clothing brand. Her name is Merilese Cabebe. She also attended Emily Carr to study Communication Design. As part of her job, she gives campaigns a digital aspect and spreads them all across Aritzia’s digital channels (websites, emails, social posts, etc.).

First of all: I love Aritzia. How many articles of clothing by them do I own? Oh, I could tell you. ONE. Their prices are pretty steep, man. But despite their high price tags, all my friends and most of the people I know love what they create, because their products are high quality.

I personally related a lot more to her, both as a person and in terms of possible career path. I’ve never been interested in being a teacher, but I am interested in design, social media, campaigning, and branding. Through her website, I could clearly interpret her personality and how she brands herself as her own person and business. She writes with a casual voice that’s very relatable and youthful, referencing Kanye West, the Grammys, lip-syncing, and how “[her] eyebrows are everything” (which, relatable.). This makes sense because Aritzia is a company that very much reflects that trendy vibe.

I’m someone who loves to follow the development of trends on social media and in my community. Our ever-changing behaviours as humans (what we like to see, how marketing affects us) has always been of great interest to me. Last year when I took a Digital Media Development class, I learned much about design and what I like creating. When I viewed her work, I realized that it was incredibly similar to my style in terms of its clean, cool, modern aesthetics, sans serif fonts, and wide spacing.  Previously, I only thought of creating art with traditional mediums as a career, but by going through her website, I was inspired to consider this as a job. Because of these reasons, I was more interested in what she had to say.

I conducted an e-mail interview with Ms. Cabebe using both leading and open-ended questions. She had lots to say and every one of her answers was important to me. I like to plan and know what I’m getting into and the amount of detail she offered about her daily life as a professional was incredible. Here are a few samples:

Can you describe what your typical day looks like?
Mornings consist of doing a bit of external research while having my coffee. We have a list of direct and aspirational competitors which I keep up to date on daily, wether that be their marketing emails or what they’re doing on .com and social.
I then check in with each of my team members. What they’re working on. What they need me to review as well as any blockers they’re running into.
A lot of my day is spent in meetings with cross-functional partners planning what we’re doing week to week as well as planning seasons ahead.
I always make time to work on something creative though. Usually it’s a mix of something small: like a weekly campaign which spans from email, homepage and landing page design. As well as something big, like planning the art direction for our seasonal marketing campaigns like Holiday or or Black Friday sales events.
At the end of the day I check in with our eCommerce and development team to make sure everything on that end is running smoothly. Working cross-functionally and being close to the ground is something I enjoy. I don’t believe that great work is done in a silo. We’re all a team and contribute to the big picture.

What are your future career goals?
To work as a Creative Director at Apple Music. I would love to have an impact on how people interact with music daily. After that, I’d love to work with musicians like Beyonce and Kanye West and build out their digital personas online. I would love to creative direct their tours with digital in mind.

Why did you choose to become a Digital Artist rather than another type of artist?
Before I started at Emily Carr, I always thought I’d work in print and magazine editorials. Working in digital happened by accident because I was exploring different mediums via internships I was taking while at school. After trying it out, I quickly learned that I loved working with digital — it felt new and the rules were more loose than how they were in print. Additionally, it’s the medium of our time: where most people are, where they spend most of their time being “social”. It’s a place where anything is possible and there’s so much room for growth.

How much free time do you have?
Not a lot but that’s by choice. I love working and love fully dedicating my time to my craft. I definitely make time for working out at least 4 times a week and going out for mid-week drinks from time to time, but typically Monday to Friday is all about work. Saturdays are my days off though, where I just do whatever I want. I usually put some work-from-home time in on Sundays to create some space in the week, but no one makes me do that. Work life balance is whatever makes sense for you. Don’t ever let someone tell you it’s too much or too little, you just do whatever feels right to you.

I thought it was especially cool that she wants to design tours. I didn’t even realize this was an option! I love music, and I believe musicians are some of the most influential people in the world. Being creatively involved with their art would be pretty amazing. She also gave me great advice on her to pursue a career that I will take to heart.

This interview gave me exceptional insight into what it might be like to become a digital designer. I’m now seriously considering this as a career and it’s opened up a lot of new ideas to me. Honestly, now that I’ve started talking to people in careers I’m interested in, I only want to know more. I think I’ll continue doing my best to gain insight on career paths and maybe even conduct a few more interviews. I’m thankful to both interviewees for their time and advice. Wow, who knew a school assignment would actually come in handy?

Gee, I Could Tell that One was a Doozy – Blog Post #3

The more effective medium for telling the Harrison Bergeron narrative was film. Both versions take place in a nonsensical alternate universe riddled with plot-holes. The story is more confusing and generally ludicrous because of the details it churns out that do not tie in with the idea of its society’s “equality”. One example is the statement “She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous” (3) which makes no sense if everyone is supposed to feel equal. It’s horrendously self-contradictory. The film version is more logical and sensible, because of the details it lacks. Reusing the example of the ballerina: In the film, the ballerinas all have identical masks. (It’s also true that in the film regular citizens are all unmasked, which must mean that they all have “average” faces, even though everyone looks different, but the film doesn’t cover the issue of beauty and masks the way the short story does, so this is less of a plot hole in the film than the written version. Like stated before, the entire Harrison Bergeron universe is fundamentally flawed and painful to attempt to comprehend.) The government’s power is more defined in the film, where H.G. men and the Handicapper General have a more structured position. The film’s government seems to actually have the ability to impose this twisted “equality” on its subjects, whereas in the novel Diana Moon Glampers just seems to run around shooting things just because she can. The film is more emotionally touching. It utilizes flashback scenes to immerse the viewer into George’s experiences and pain where the story uses none. It exercises dramatic irony more advantageously by sending Hazel into the kitchen to wash dishes while her son dies on TV behind her. Lastly, the film is much more realistic and believable. The short story is strange, verging on silly or even stupid, especially during the point where Harrison and a ballerina “[remain] suspended in air inches below the ceiling, and they kissed each other for a long, long time” (5) while in the film they dance around like regular human beings who reside on earth, which is a planet that has a gravitational pull on its inhabitants, including badly written characters.