Sign Language – In Depth Post #2

Start up weeks are always slow, and I haven’t been able to meet up with my mentor yet, my progress has been slow. Since I haven’t met with my mentor face to face it has been a bit hard to incorporate the first three aspects of How to Have a Beautiful Mind, because there has been no sort of disagreement or difference in opinion yet.  I have been able to incorporate one of the three aspects though and that is how to agree. When making plans to meet up with my mentor through her busy schedule I was able to use guideline #7, see if there are any circumstances in which the other person’s views might be right; originally I asked to meet up twice a week for about an hour each because I didn’t want to take up too much of her time. When she later responded she said “Though I understand this is an assignment, two hours a month is not a lot of time to practice,” and that we could meet up more then twice a month. I completely agreed with her in this situation and saw how her views were right. I didn’t think we needed to meet up more then twice a month but for a longer period of time, so now we have agreed our sessions together will be about two hours long and if we need more or less time we will discuss when the time comes.

Though I haven’t had my mentors guidance yet, I have been able to use other sources to expand my knowledge. I have memorized random signs such as apple, mom and dad, please, thank you, sorry, and many others. I have also memorized the alphabet and numbers 1-10. Now even though I have memorized random signs, they don’t do me much good without knowing how to put them into sentences. When I meet up with my mentor she will teach me more commonly used signs for conversations and help start getting those signs into sentences. I am ready for what is to come and excited to delve deeper into the world of sign language.

In-Depth Blog Post #2

The first month of 2019 has gone by, and I have made good progress for In-Depth. I have selected a DAW software and have begun learning the basics of the program. Additionally, I had my first meeting with my mentor. During the meeting we talked about plans for the next few months, what my mentor does, what I had learned on my own, and next steps. Having someone guide me on what I need to work on next is something I have found useful over this past month.

Progress:

On my own, I was able to learn how to navigate and use certain tools of Ableton. Although I don’t know what some things do, I am able to create short beats with what I do know. For example, although I don’t know how to adjust the settings of certain MIDI effects, I am still able to use the basic instrument. And using the base instrument, I can create something. The result of this was the audio I posted in last weeks blog post.

Here is a run-down on what a MIDI effect is:

A MIDI effect is like a filter the instrument goes through before we can hear it. For example, holding a chord on a piano plays all the notes at once, but if you were to add an arpeggiator (MIDI effect), the chord will play as individual notes in a rhythmical pattern. This pattern can be adjusted to change how many times the notes will cycle. However, this is just one example of the many MIDI effects available in Ableton.

My mentor then suggested that I try to use proper song structure. Currently, I am working on creating a chorus for one of the proto-songs I posted last week.

My progress so far has been exceeding my expectations. My initial goal for January was to select and get started with a DAW software. So far, my progress has been going well.

Incorporating Aspects of How to have a Beautiful Mind:

How to differ:

“Different opinions can all have their own validity”

When selecting a DAW my mentor suggested that I purchase the standard edition of Ableton (costs around $500) as this edition did not have any limitations. However, I did not want, and could not afford to spend that much money. And although we both have good intentions, we both had differing ideas on what the ‘best program’ would be. For me, it was something affordable, yet effective. For my mentor, it was something effective with no limitations.

How to agree:

“There is no contribution if you simply agree with everything”

In How to have a Beautiful Mind, Edward de Bono talks about making contributions to a conversation. During my meeting, I tried my best to pay attention to what my mentor was saying, and rather than agreeing with everything, I tried to find ideas that did not align with my logic bubble and asked about them. For example, my mentor said I should learn all the keyboard shortcuts. Although I agreed with using shortcuts for tools that I use often, I didn’t feel the need to spend time learning the shortcuts, it usually comes over time.

Goal / next step:

By the end of February, I aim to have completed 1-2 songs that have good structure.

In-Depth Post #2

In-Depth so far is going great! I am continuing to learn loads about special effects and video editing. Over the past two weeks, I have kept myself busy by spending a multitude of time learning Hitfilm Express. At first I played around with different effects, clicking on almost everything I saw and analyzing what happened. I spent a lot of time watching youtube videos about Hitfilm; I started off with basic tutorials to help me figure out basic editing skills, and then I proceeded to watch tutorials for effects that I actually wanted to recreate. For example, I was interested in creating a Harry Potter style wand effect, so I looked up ‘Harry Potter spell tutorial Hitfilm’ and once I found a video I got straight to work trying my hand at creating the effect (which I will show at the end of this blog post).

 

I also met with my mentor, and he gave me so much useful information! First he showed me a useful youtube video about visual effects, which gives an overview of what they are and how visual effects have evolved over time. You can watch the video here. He also showed me some useful short films that use visual effects, one of which was his own film that he entered into a competition! I was truly impressed by his work because the effects in his movie seemed to really blend into reality. What I mean by this is that he didn’t overuse flashy shockwaves or lasers, and rather used more subtle effects to make his work seem to be a part of the real world, which was what he later taught me. Some of the tips that my mentor provided me are to not overuse flashy/high-contrasting effects because they look out of place and make the viewer seem to think that they are unrealistic. Adding on, you shouldn’t overuse video effects in general, because you want the viewer to retain that sense of amazement during your movie. If they see the same effect repeated over and over again, they might feel like it is getting a little stale and boring. In this scenario, what films such as Harry Potter do is they vary up their spells, and make them all look different. This way although there are lots of wand effects in the movies, every spell is unique and done differently, so we see something fresh every time rather than the same effect.

 

A great quote my mentor said was, “If you think it looks good the first time you view it, then it’s good”. What he means is that when you are watching an effect you created, if you think it looks impressive the first time you see it then it really is a good effect. The reasoning behind this is that your audience is only ever going to watch an effect once, so if it looks good the first time then just leave it. What many vfx artists will do is they spend a lot of time just looking at one effect over and over again, and because they are seeing the same one over and over it begins to feel a little stale in their head. Due to this, they won’t see it as a great effect anymore.

 

During our mentoring session, I agreed with most of what my mentor said. For example, when he said to not have very high-contrasting effects with your scene, I agreed with what he said after thinking a little bit about where he was coming from, and the reasoning behind the point. If your effects don’t match your background, then they won’t look optimal and will seem fake to the audience. He also said not to overdo your special effects, and to include a good portion of physical effects to your movies. I agreed with this point because you want to keep a balance of physical and special effects. If I had a wand in real life that could shoot magic spells, chances are I wouldn’t be tossing fireballs at every single thing I saw. Just like this, in a film you don’t want to have your characters breathing fire all the time. Only have special effects when you need them.

 

When my mentor said that he preferred using rotoscoping over using a green screen, I had a slightly different opinion on the matter. This is because a lot of the video tutorials I saw beforehand used a lot of green screen and not as much roto. Rotoscoping is when you animate a mask around an object/person to bring them out of the background, where green screening is when you take an object/person recorded in front of a literal ‘green screen’, and then remove the background. I could see the reasoning behind why my mentor didn’t prefer green screens, because of how annoying the lighting is and how hard it is to accurately remove all the green, but I could think of more downsides to roto than green screening. Rotoscoping is extremely tedious and takes an extremely long time, and you require immense patience to get aesthetic results. Based on my previous experiences with rotoscoping, I knew that I preferred green screening where possible. I brought my opinion up politely because De Bono says that it’s better to be polite than to be aggressive about it, and it’s also common courtesy not to be rude where possible.

 

My mentor was showing me some tricks he liked to use in his films, and one of them was how he didn’t like to overuse too many effects in the same video. I’m the kind of person that when I discover something new I have to try every single possibility I can manage. It was hard for me to minimize my use of special effects, but I realized my mentor was correct and what my mentor was saying was for my own good. In this case, my opinion just merely differed, because I could see the points of both sides, and I could agree with both opinions on hand. When I am actually going to make my final project, then I will most definitely take my mentors advice, because they have had much more experience than me with this skill.

 

Here is my attempt at a Harry Potter style wand effect, and I apologise for the terrible lighting in the video.

 

That’s all for now, see you in my next post! Ka-pow.

In-Depth Post #2

This year my focus is on learning to cook. For my first meeting with my mentor, we decided to cook Malaysian Chicken Curry, Beef Satay, Peanut Sauce, Steamed Fish with Soy Sauce, and Malaysian style vegetables. This meal taught me a lot of useful cooking skills that I can apply to my life. Such as holding a knife properly, how to adapt a recipe, when to follow exact measurements, and how to cook a lot of dishes at the same time. My mentor taught me that cooking is an art and that a recipe is a guideline, not an instruction manual. One source of agreement between my mentor and myself is that “the secret to restaurant cooking is excess salt and sugar, but at home, it is better to find a healthy balance”. Both my mentor and I agree that although restaurant food is delicious there are other ways to make food taste good. Although this is a sweeping generalization is it one that I personally agree with most of the time. A source of disagreement with my mentor is that “the base of all great cooking is onions, garlic, and ginger”. I agree that all these ingredients can be found in most recipes but find that too much of these ingredients can overpower other flavors. Moreover, Onions have never been my favorite ingredient since I cry whenever they are in the same room as me. Therefore, I can deduce this disagreement as a difference in experience. This can then be called a differ of opinion since neither person is right or wrong. My mentor understood my hesitance to cook with onions and suggested that I try biting a spoon which supposedly decreases my likeliness to cry when cooking with onions. Overall, I have made much progress and am grateful for my mentor’s help.

 

When my mentor arrived with his family at my house the first thing we did was go to T&T for grocery shopping. We looked for all the ingredients listed below in the linked recipes. The most interesting ingredient was choosing a live fish to take back with us for our steamed fish recipe. After arriving back at my house, my mentor and I marinated the beef for satay in a dry rub of spices, ginger, scallions, and garlic. Leaving the beef to marinade we marinated the chicken for the curry and fried it slightly until golden brown on the outside. Adding coconut milk, lime leaves, star anise, curry spices, and cinnamon we let the curry boil. While the curry boiled, we steamed the fish with ginger and red wine vinegar and prepared the vegetables. Cutting the Gai Lan down the stem for blanching and chopping the ends off the watercress we prepared the vegetables for cooking. We then fried the watercress and took the fish out of the steamer. Adding the soy sauce concoction, the fish and watercress were done. Finishing the vegetables and barbequing the beef satay was the next on our list. The last-minute decision to add a peanut sauce was a huge hit with my mentors’ younger kids. Links and pictures can be seen below.

Steamed Fish

Malaysian Chicken Curry

img_1309 img_1310 img_1311 img_1312 img_1313 img_1314

In-Depth #2

It’s been about two weeks since I’ve really kickstarted my In-Depth project. Solidifying Ms. Learmonth, a teacher at Gleneagle, as my mentor was a highlight of those weeks. We haven’t had the chance to really meet and work solely on my In-Depth together due to our busy schedules, but we’ve exchanged emails and she’s helped me with projects for the costume design program in the theatre department at Gleneagle. Ms. Learmonth is very knowledgeable when it comes to sewing and garment construction because she pursued a career in fashion design at one point in her life. Her insight is invaluable, and her help on a skirt I’m currently helping to make in costume design has been really helpful. The piece is more of a side project than something I’m hoping to include in my In-Depth, but I appreciate any and all practice I can get.

Because we haven’t had much opportunity, there’s very little that we’ve agreed or disagreed upon. When making the skirt, which will be featured in the upcoming musical theatre play, Ms. Learmonth helped me understand the patterns and pieces of the skirt, as well as how they’d fit together. She then instructed me to begin with the waistband, which was the easiest and most straightforward part of the skirt. I agreed with this because I would get practice pinning and cutting on a simple portion of the skirt. I’m a beginner, and I understood why Ms. Learmonth wanted me to start with a simple piece first.

The fabric she chose for the skirt was lavender with a darker floral design over it. I didn’t quite agree with the choice of fabric because the theme of the play is very “doobop”-y and I though a solid bright colour would be more suitable. I didn’t voice this because it was my first time making a garment and I knew Ms. Learmonth was the more knowledgeable of the two of us. Later on, the original fabric was scrapped and replaced with a solid red but I still respected her initial decision despite my disagreement.

We haven’t been able to really meet, so there isn’t much else that we’ve agreed or disagreed upon. She’s really just popped in to aid in the projects I’m helping out with for costume design. I hope to meet with her during CL and after school at least once this week. As far as my progress, I’m looking into buying a personal sewing machine and have already started practicing sewing by hand at home and studying patterns at costume design. I’m really excited to see how much I grow over the course of the project with the help of Ms. Learmonth!

In Depth Blog Post #2

On January 30th I had my first meeting with my mentor, Jeff Burke. We met at the office of his company, Spin Key Media. I prepared a number of questions and topics to discuss during our meeting, and we were able to get through all of them. I started by asking Jeff about the process of logo design. I learned that upon acquiring a new client, Jeff gets them to fill out a questionnaire about their company and logo wants. This is something that I didn’t initially think of doing but is actually critical when it comes to client satisfaction. Knowing what the client wants, and more importantly, doesn’t want, is important when designing a logo. According to Jeff, “some clients do a great job with the questionnaire, some are terrible”. Jeff then explained that the terrible clients are very broad in their answers, which doesn’t help with the designing process.

During the meeting, I learned some of the important parts of a logo. Colour is important because it can be used as an identifier. Spin Key Media is the logo and brand designer for a Port Coquitlam beer company called Taylight. When designing the beer cans, Jeff decided to have the different types of beer correspond with a colour. The different colours allow people to easily decide what beer they like. For example, Jeff said that a customer might think that “[they] like the green one, or [they] don’t like the red one”. Colour is used as a product identifier and also helps set the tone of the product or brand. This is an example of something I learned at the meeting that I can use in my logo and brand design.

taylight-all-mockup-bluebg-101618

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also made sure to incorporate the first the aspects of How to Have a Beautiful Mind in the meeting. I tried to agree with what Jeff was saying during the meeting. When I did agree with him (which was most of the time) I made sure to show that I understood and agreed with the point he was making. I was also able to practice differing with my mentor. We were discussing how to use statistics to determine the success of a poster campaign for Eagle Ridge Hospital. Jeff said that “there was no way to count the individual heads that see the poster and decide to donate”. I thought that you would be able to calculate the donation growth after the poster was put up. After discussing our difference in opinion, I decided to make sure that we were talking about the same topic. It turns out that I was talking about only a poster campaign, whereas Jeff was talking about a poster campaign plus radio and newspaper. I then understood why Jeff thought it was difficult to determine the success of one poster. I was not able to use what I learned about disagreeing in my meeting. Since the meeting mostly consisted of Jeff teaching me about his experiences and skills, I found it difficult to disagree with him.

I will use what I learned in the meeting to start my logo design process.

Blog Post #1

How I was mostly able to incorporate the first three aspects of Edward De Bono’s How to Have a Beautiful Mind is through agreeing. Both lectures I went to had very succinct, logical explanations for natural phenomena. In this phase of In-Depth, I am not really focusing on building my own style and opinions, rather, I am focusing on gathering as much information as possible to apply to my later skill-building. I also had a chance to talk with the graduate student we are working with about the traps she is building for her research, and she explained to me why she was using traps made from pop bottles as opposed to the cardboard ones she had in a bag (it has to do with the fact that the box traps need to have a plastic bag on top, and that bag would be compressed by the rain and snow). In terms of disagreeing, I felt the need to investigate saponification further, as it was something I did not believe to be possible. However, I was surprised to learn that even though it was rare, the transformation of the outer layers of the body into a soapy, chalky substance is still possible. In terms of differing, both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Warren talked about the past and present, so there was no hypothetical future to differ on.

In-Depth Blog Post #2: The Next Steps

It has been two weeks since the start of the second In-Depth Project! I have been working hard in the background to create some simple “proof of concept” apps to begin to learn to code as well as following tutorials to learn the coding language. Initially, I did say that I wanted to film a lengthy amount of video of myself coding, but the file corrupted, and I only have 5 minutes of un-sped up footage (out of what should have been 3 hours) which unluckily ended up being footage of myself trying to use the screen recording program. So, I will just explain what I did and include the products of what I have worked on.


 

Status Update:


 

My First App:

The first app I made was a simple image, which needed me to set variables and tell the engine what information to import into the app. It also taught me about coordinates on an app screen, hex codes for colors, and how not to have any errors in the code.

img-20190202-wa0000

Though unimpressive, the app took me around an hour to get working, and two more to perfect. I managed to place a circle, rectangle, a line, a hard to see dot, some text, and an image of “Bob” onto the screen.

Code:

(Keep scrolling for the rest of the post)

package com.dpoon.graphicsdemo;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.graphics.Bitmap;
import android.graphics.BitmapFactory;
import android.graphics.Canvas;
import android.graphics.Color;
import android.graphics.Paint;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.widget.ImageView;

public class MainActivity extends Activity {
    ImageView ourView;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        draw();
        setContentView(ourView);
    }
    public void draw(){
        Bitmap blankBitmap;
        blankBitmap = Bitmap.createBitmap(600,600,Bitmap.Config.ARGB_8888);
        Canvas canvas;
        canvas = new Canvas(blankBitmap);

        ourView = new ImageView(this);
        ourView.setImageBitmap(blankBitmap);

        Paint paint;
        paint = new Paint();

        canvas.drawColor(Color.argb(255, 255, 255, 255));
        Bitmap bitmapBob;
        bitmapBob = BitmapFactory.decodeResource(this.getResources(), R.drawable.bob);
        canvas.drawBitmap(bitmapBob, 500, 50, paint);
        paint.setColor(Color.argb(255,  26, 128, 182));
        canvas.drawLine(50,50,250,250,paint);
        canvas.drawText("TALONS is fun!", 50, 50, paint);
        canvas.drawPoint(40,50,paint);
        canvas.drawCircle(350,250,100,paint);
        paint.setColor(Color.argb(255,  249, 129, 0));
        canvas.drawRect(50,450,500,550,paint);
    }
}

Movement Testing:

After getting that app to work, and meeting with my mentor again, I set out to make movement happen on the screen. However, I was a bit to arrogant when setting out to make it work, and after many hours of confusion, I turned to a resource that my mentor had given me. After another few hours of reading through Javascript for Dummies, I managed to get the program to partially work. When I saw my mentor again, we reviewed what i had learned, as well as skimmed through my rough code to refine and remove the errors.

That is the product of a weekend with too much free time!

Code:

(Again, keep scrolling to see the rest of my post)

package com.dpoon.movetest;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.Context;
import android.graphics.Bitmap;
import android.graphics.BitmapFactory;
import android.graphics.Canvas;
import android.graphics.Color;
import android.graphics.Paint;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.util.Log;
import android.view.MotionEvent;
import android.view.SurfaceHolder;
import android.view.SurfaceView;
public class MainActivity extends Activity {
    GameView gameView; 
    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);

        gameView = new GameView(this);
        setContentView(gameView);
    }

    class GameView extends SurfaceView implements Runnable {
        Thread gameThread = null; 
        SurfaceHolder ourHolder;
        volatile boolean playing;
        Canvas canvas;
        Paint paint;
        long fps;
        private long timeThisFrame;
        Bitmap bitmapBob;
        boolean isMoving = false;
        float walkSpeedPerSecond = 150;
        float bobXPosition = 10;                                      

        // When we initialize (call new()) gameView, this special constructor method runs.
        public GameView(Context context) {                                          
            super(context);                           
            ourHolder = getHolder();                       
            paint = new Paint();
            bitmapBob = BitmapFactory.decodeResource(this.getResources(), R.drawable.bob); 
            playing = true;                                         
        }

        @Override
        public void run() {
            while (playing) {
                long startFrameTime = System.currentTimeMillis(); 
                update();                                                               
                draw();                                                                  

                // Calculate the fps. Use the result to time animations and more.
                timeThisFrame = System.currentTimeMillis() - startFrameTime;

                if (timeThisFrame > 0) { fps = 1000 / timeThisFrame; }
            }
        }
            if(isMoving){ bobXPosition = bobXPosition + (walkSpeedPerSecond / fps); }
        }

        public void draw() {                                          
            if (ourHolder.getSurface().isValid()) {     
                canvas = ourHolder.lockCanvas();                           
                canvas.drawColor(Color.argb(255,  26, 128, 182));            
                paint.setColor(Color.argb(255,  249, 129, 0));    
                paint.setTextSize(45);                         
                canvas.drawText("FPS:" + fps, 20, 40, paint); 
                canvas.drawBitmap(bitmapBob, bobXPosition, 200, paint);  
                ourHolder.unlockCanvasAndPost(canvas);                
            }
        }
        public void pause() {
            playing = false;

            try { gameThread.join(); }
            catch (InterruptedException e) { Log.e("Error:", "joining thread"); }
        }
        public void resume() {
            playing = true;
            gameThread = new Thread(this);
            gameThread.start();
        }
        @Override
        public boolean onTouchEvent(MotionEvent motionEvent) {             
            switch (motionEvent.getAction() & MotionEvent.ACTION_MASK) {
                case MotionEvent.ACTION_DOWN:                          
                    isMoving = true;            
                    break;
                case MotionEvent.ACTION_UP:                
                    isMoving = false;                           
                    break;
            }
            return true;
        }
    }                                               
    @Override
    protected void onResume() {             
        super.onResume();
        gameView.resume();                                
    }
    @Override
    protected void onPause() {               
        super.onPause();
        gameView.pause();               
    }
}

How to Have a Beautiful Mind:

 

In-Depth Post #2

We are currently three weeks into in-depth now, and I am already enjoying the yoga experience. Last week, I was actually able to visit Yoga Generation – the yoga studio where my mentor works – and meet her for the first time. We politely introduced ourselves and started having a conversation about the studio. Our personalities seemed to be similar so getting along was not difficult. She gave me a rundown about how the classes work, her past in learning/teaching yoga, and allowed me to ask her a few questions.

Progress:

After having a conversation with my mentor, I attended my first yoga class. It was a Hatha Yoga class, which is semi-active. At the very beginning of class, my body was so relaxed and comfortable I felt as though I could fall asleep. However, soon we got into the physically-demanding poses and I realized how inflexible I was. I am not naturally flexible so a lot of the movements that are taught are quite difficult for me. For example, between every few poses, we will return to a downward dog pose. This pose requires flexibility in the hamstrings, which I lack. Halfway through the class, I was already sweating tremendously.

Although the poses were challenging, I was determined to maintain the positions for as long as possible, even if it means being in some pain. Nearing the end of the class, everyone was instructed to lie down on their yoga mats in a relaxing position and close their eyes. Calming music played in the background. I felt so exhausted by then and was ready to sleep. Finally, we sat up in a bound angle pose and concluded the class with “Namaste”.

How to agree:

#7. See if there are any circumstances in which the other person’s views might be right.

Since my mentor and I have only met and talked once, most of our conversation consisted of factual information. Because of this, I believe that her points are right. My mentor has more experience in yoga as she has been doing it professionally, so it is reasonable for me to listen and take notes of her experiences. Everyone has their own “logic bubble”, which states that we all believe we are acting logically based on our values, perspectives, and experiences. I try to understand my mentor’s logic bubble and her way of teaching yoga, even if I have my own opinion. After some time, I see her point of view and learn to agree with her teaching style.

 

How to disagree:

#2. Do not disagree just to show how clever you are or to boost your ego.

Yoga is completely new for me, so it may be hard for me to have a different personal experience to begin with. In Edward De Bono’s How To Have A Beautiful Mind, he states that we should disagree with people “politely and gently rather than rudely and aggressively” (pg. 26). There has not been much for me to disagree with my mentor on, so I will talk about the yoga class instead. During the yoga class, the instructor (who was not my mentor), mostly spoke the names of the yoga poses while walking around the room. Luckily, I was near the back so I could look at other students in the room. I hoped that the instructor would go to the front of the room and demonstrate the poses for the class, but she did not. I disagree with her teaching style, but that doesn’t mean she is a bad instructor. In fact, she has more knowledge than I do, so I trust her ways of expressing and teaching yoga.

 

How to differ:

When a difference arises, try to figure out what this difference is based on.

Often during the conversation between me and my mentor, we would bring up the subject of “purpose”. My mentor explains to me what her personal purpose of doing yoga is, and it differs from mine. We both have lead and experienced different lives. Of course, it is likely for the two of us to have different motives for learning yoga. Other than learning yoga for the purpose of this in-depth project, I also want to learn it to better my health both physically and mentally. I have always been interested in how yoga can greatly improve your body and clear your mind. My mentor wanted to learn yoga for different reasons, and that is totally valid. I accept her reasoning for pursuing yoga as it is not just her opinion, but her personal life experience.

I am looking forward to more classes at Yoga Generation!

in-depth v2.1

During the past couple weeks, I have been meeting with my mentor and reviewing some of the skills I learned last year. However, what I’ve learnt instantly is that sketching people is much more different than drawing landscapes or natural images (anything else other than people). Although, I do notice some of the skills reappearing within my artwork, for example, the importance of contrast, sketching lightly, where to start, etc. I’ve only just started practicing my ink pen art, starting off with some basic sketches of objects with ink pen. As for some new concepts, I’ve learnt that with ink pen artwork, it’s important to feel relaxed and not too stiff. Making little mistakes makes it more genuine, as well as occasionally lifting the pen to create gaps between lines. The main target is to create work that feels older fashioned and quick-paced. To the left are the very first sketches I created, quickly just testing some new skills I learned.

 

In relation to the book, How to Have a Beautiful Mind, my mentor and I have been freely talking and finding out some topics that we disagree and agree about. Whenever I meet with my mentor, we conversate about anything really, bringing up stories and topics that are relevant or just wanted to be spoken about. One of these topics is the effect technology has on younger generations and our future. When this came up in conversation, we both politely disagreed with one another, providing some important points that I believe are crucial. Grace believes that technology is too distracting and causes children to forget about the environment they are in, which is understandable. For context, Grace provides three iPads in her classroom for searching up images, and “sometimes when [she has] students using [her] iPads, they get distracted and spend up to an hour ‘searching’ for pictures to draw, wasting both [her] time and their own.” She had made a good argument, specifically because I have witnessed this firsthand, but I still had to disagree, bringing up the situations where technology is helpful and important (for school, work, efficiency, etc). I stated that the discipline and rules involved with providing children with this technology are the main issues, and that technology provides more benefit than detriment. Grace believes that in the future, technology will play too much of a part and humans will become too dependent on technology. There is a little part of me that agreed with this, but the other part of me believes that technology will be more beneficial to us, allowing for major advancement that will ultimately lead to our success. We spoke about it for longer, gaining a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives. I will say, after having some time to reflect, she has convinced me to lean a little more to her side than I was originally. Simultaneously, I believe that my points also edged her a little bit closer to the center as well.