heathers again? shocker!

In a completely unforeseen turn of events, I’ve decided to theme another assignment around the 1985 move Heathers! The goal of this assignment was to make a minimalist movie poster! I decided to go with the KILLER (in all senses of the word) movie Heathers because it both fits the 80s theme of our class and gives me permission to think about the MUSICAL which is a brilliant work of art. Much like my minimalist poster!

the tag below the gun reads “Created by Dama Adhikara from Noun Project”

so i feel like a more apt label for the style of this poster is “minimal-ish”, because I am not, and have never been, prone to simplicity. So although I did my best, and I believe I was mostly successful, i would call it true minimalilsm. However! I used gimp again and it wasn’t a four hour painful process (like this one was). I actually started out my creation in Microsoft Paint, where I created the color block for the background (red, green, and yellow, because each of the three Heathers wears one of those colors throughout the film). Once my color block was finished

I opened it in gimp, where I made a few changes. First, I cropped the image so it was just colors. Then, I rotated it to be vertical stripes, because I feel like that emphasizes the poster aspect more, as well as nixing any sense of hierarchy that comes with the colors being on top of each other. Additionally, I decreased the saturation and contrast of the block to make it more subdued like the Heathers’s clothes in the film. After that, I went to the noun project, where I downloaded a few files to complete the poster. I used a headstone, a couple embracing, and a gun to try and embody the main essence of the film, and then scaled and moved them around as need be. After all my icons were settled in place, I realized I wanted to add in another color, blue, because that Veronica’s color in the musical, and I figured having a really bright blue in there could make for some nice contrast. So I chose a nice blue, and then used the paintbrush to go for a kind of airbrushed vibe behind the embracing couple (JD and Veronica). My initial thought was to put the blue under the headstone, but the implications of doing so are Not in line with the plot of the film. Finally, I searched around gimp for a nice font to put the movie title in, and stuck in vertically down the side. I did this because I think it evens the poster out nicely, and I’m a sucker for vertical words.

Overall, I really really like how this came out. Its a little reminiscent of this creation that was literally the first thing I ever made for this class! My gimp skills are coming along slowly but surely, and I like the minimalish approach that I took; it helped me remember that I don’t have to throw ten thousand things at a piece to make something fun to look at.

gimp on, -liz

bibliography & attributes!

kissing image: Love by Luis Prado from the Noun Project

gun image: Gun by Dama Adhikara from the Noun Project

headstone image: gravestone by Andrejs Kirma from the Noun Project


imagine how is touch the sky

i tried using gimp again! am i supposed to introduce gimp with an article? i hope not! regardless of the answer, my affinity for both no caps and random caps For Emphasis should alert my fair readers to a certain. nixing of traditional grammatical structure in favor of ~Aesthetics~. but back to gimp! the prompt i undertook called to “take an existing image & change the concept in where you are at & what you are doing” the phrasing for this assignment confused me a little at first, so i looked to the examples for confirmation. and it was there that i found the work of fellow umw ds106 Kyle! def rec checking out his creation here!

Spider Man Reaction GIF

so without further ado, here is what i ended up with!

so theres a lot to unpack here, but lets start with basic process. i started with this photo

which i took on one of the actually pretty & not freezing days we had last week! so my immediate thought for this photo is TIGHTROPE, because the way im hanging on to the tree there is reminiscent of an unskilled tightrope walker! so! i googled tightrope, the skyscraper tightrope, because dream big, right? & thus decided i liked this photo

i like the way it has an actual tightrope person on it, i like the contrast. From there, i put the first photo, the one of me on the tree, into gimp & started erasing the background. learning gimp pt 1. i couldn’t figure out how to make the eraser bigger and with harsher edges, so i googled it! eventually, through a mix of google and clicking around, i found the modify your eraser tab & did just that! However, the first thing i actually did was google how to merge to images in gimp, & watched a video that told me i had to put the nixing background image on an alpha channel. so i did that & THEN, after modifying my eraser, i zoomed in and out of my photo to try and nix as much background as possible. then i added the skyscraper photo into gimp & essentially spent an hour playing with dimensions and trying to get both of them to be on the same screen on top of each other. i had this Very Weird thing that kept happening in which i would open the me as a layer on top of the skyscrapers, and then when i dragged me on top of them it created a blank space rather than a photo of me. i shouldve snapped a screenshot but alas yorick (& does anyone have any idea what and/or why that was?). alls well that ends well however, because i eventually got some good dimensions and good placement and ended up with a pretty funky fun final product!

oh yeah dancing GIF

gimp, as i have mentioned NUMEROUS times in previous posts, is really really hard for me to work and figure out, so even though this is Clearly Edited, i’m really happy with it and proud of myself for not giving up! a few things i do wish i could have thought through better do exist though. For example, since a tightrope is much thinner than a tree trunk, there is a good chunk of my leg and arm that is missing from the photograph. i tried shaping what leg i did have to seem naturally hidden behind the other, but i’m not sure how well i really did on that bit. additionally, i gave myself a little bit of a haircut rather than go Crazy stupid on the background erasing between literal strands of hair, but i don’t think that’s as noticeable.

Overall a fun assignment and i enjoyed taking my pic out of context and making me seem Really Cool and Brave. Although using gimp was difficult, i ended up actually mastering a few of the tools thanks to perseverance and hard work (& this youtube video & this youtube video & this website page & this website page). i did a lot of googling :).

ill see you on the tightrope, -liz

Image result for imagine how is touch the sky

graphic design is my passion

so the general vibe that i got from the readings and articles & my minor rabbit-holing is that less tends to be more, and that good designs tends to be somewhat timeless. And I understand this and the appeals of this, especially for brands trying to build brand recognition, but it kind of goes against the everything about me. my personal style & aesthetic tends to be pretty “throw A Lot of things together and have enough confidence to make it work” I like colorful things, i like patterns (i’ve even started to appreciate a little pattern mixing here and there), and there’s very little about me and the things i create that shoot for “simple” or “timeless”. i like stuff. the way i speak and the songs i listen to vary by the month, sometimes even by the week. and although all of this is not explicitly design related, it all feeds into my being and thus into my approach to design. All this said, i certainly don’t completely reject all of the tips that i’ve learned, because i recognize that some of my attempts at design are, in a word, bad. my desire for stuff and interest and much often does not translate well into designing things. As the brainpickings article put it “complexity has to be very carefully managed or it becomes chaos”. I go for complexity, and end up with chaos.

Thus, i really like the tips concerning how to make a design interesting without going crazy going stupid, like using negative &/or white space. the font rules were interesting to read about too, the sizing guidelines and the idea that its less about finding the exact perfect font and more about making the font work for your purposes using formatting and all that fun stuff. Additionally, i like how chaos and asymetricality are not completely written off as Bad Design, and are recognized to have a time & a place & that they can be useful and good when used well and correctly.

like I said earlier, i do recognize the importance of timelessness for brand designs & brand recognition, but I kind of don’t see why its as necessary for all other types of design//for design as a whole (as it is implied to be in the Vignelli booklet). why not go with the current fashions or with funky new ideas and cool things. what really made me Feel Contrarian to the point of timelessness was the push to use primary shapes and primary colors. that plus the use of first person plural made it feel very much like the author was telling what to think which I Do Not Appreciate. I also might be letting my passion for things and much get the best of me, but restricting myself to the colors red yellow and blue and a square (even though thats a hyperbole) seems neither efficient for design purposes or any fun at all.

but maybe thats just me? -liz

Weekly Summaries

week freaking 5!

it almost rhymes! would you call that a slant rhyme? unsure, i disgaree with and hate slant rhymes as a concept so i’m probably not the best judge. anywho ds106! this week was full of totally rocking daily creates that you can find right here!

In order to orient myself to audio storytelling as a concept, I then listened to the videos, as well as to the Moon Grafitti podcast. Overall this was so so cool and i really like podcasts (any recs?), but for my full thoughts and feelings go check out my post!

the next thing i tackled was the radio show brainstorming ideas, because i was thinking about 1984 by George Orwell and that was best way to incorporate it into my ds106 life. I finally finished 1984 and jimminy christmas 10/10 but also Am A Little Afraid. 1984 wasn’t the only thing I talk about though i promise! don’t believe me? the radio show seems like its gonna be a lot of fun, and i look forward to working on it and seeing what we come up with!

speaking of radio shows! one of our other assignments was to listen to and tweet along with ds106 radio. I did this on thursday, but i’m kind of devastated i didn’t do it earlier because it was so much fun! i really enjoyed hearing everyone’s thoughts all at once, the hullabaloo was super appealing, but thats kinda just my entire personality 🙂 this was such a cool one, a really interesting mix of suspense and Analysis which i really respect.

and now onto my assignments. ill be honest, my time management this week was Through The Floor, and that is reflected a little bit in my assignments (it also could be because of unfamiliarity with audacity, but good time management could have easily negated that at least a little bit). But oh well, all weeks can’t be amazing weeks. I started out with the sound effects story. I really enjoyed looking through and listening to the different sounds, but the editing them together was certainly less fun. It got done though! Trying to create an ooky spooky vibe was cool and fun, and a nice mild departure from my usual modus oporandi of fluffy cute happy (which is a lovely and wonderful aesthetic that i am not dissing at all!)

There was my ds106 radio bumper, which was cute and fun and straightfoward and overall turned out pretty well. Although its within the guidelines, it is a little short, but I just wasn’t sure what else to fill the time with. Since it could be used for Any Show, it felt unnecessary to add my name. I am pleased with my little catchphrase bit at the end tho!

The next assignment I did was probably my favorite. I had to leave a voicemail for a fictional character, so I decided to take some creative liscense with the Les Miserables musical (which was came out on Broadway in various places in the 1980s) and leave a voicemail for the lovely Marius Pontmercy. This was super fun because I got to incorporate little easter eggs from musical AND it wasn’t huge heavy difficult editing, which i Love To See.

Finally, the third assignment I went with was one in which i needed to have a phone conversation with myself! This was cute and fun, but I wish I would have figured out how to incorporate more content. Its a very surface level conversation, about romantic pursuits and hangout plans, which is a valid conversation that people do have, but I think I certainly could have improved it by adding more Substance to the discussion.

Playing around with Audacity was really fun, and coming up with different dialogues and plotlines was a good time, but there were a few setbacks. The biggest thing I struggled with this week was that I rely very heavily on body language and body/arm gestures to communicate my meaning. In day to day speech, I often dramatically pause while waving my arms about in order to illustrate some sort of point, and it works very well in person. With only audio, however, I can’t just have 6 seconds of silence and expect audiences to understand what I’m trying to communicate (because I wouldn’t be communicating anything). Additionally, the vocal booth is in the audio editing lab, in which there were often people chilling and editing audios, so I had to not only listen to my own voice, but I had to grapple with the fact that other people whom I do not know could also hear me yelling about how marius isn’t dating a prostitute (or whatever I was recording at the time). Fingers crossed I don’t mess up my time management as badly next week and here’s to hoping those people don’t think im crazy.

happy valentines! -liz


talkin to myself

this was delightful! I had a lot of fun with this assignment, of which the goal was to record a phone conversation with myself, but to try and make it seem like its two completely different people! Here’s the final product!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, but also in the spirit of you don’t need a significant other to be valuable and important, I decided to focus my conversation on plans between friends for a Valentines lady hangout sesh! I start it off with a little bit of a monologue from the more valley girl type character, and then it devolves into planning and goodbyes.

Although I might be taking the listener out of the setting with my use of the word galentines, I tied this assignment to the pop culture theme by looking up the most popular slang of the 80s and absolutely INFILTRATING my dialogue with it. Additionally, the bagel bites and crystal light bit at the end is based in research on popular 80s snack foods! lots of cereal on the list, which seems Kind Of Odd. Nevertheless! The next step in my process was the purloin the vocal booth to record everything. Regarding the order of recording, I decided to record each gal seperately so that they would be on two different tracks, thus making it easier (I think) to maneuver their parts around and make it seem more conversational. Once everything was recorded, I went into audacity and first changed the pitch of each part so that it sounded more like two different people. Then I moved everything around, added and removed silences to make it sound more natural and gave it another listen through. I decided after that, that the valley girl voice (the second one to speak) would be better suited to a faster speaking voice. So I sped up her voice by like 10% and then had to readjust everything to fit again :(. It was worth it tho! The final step was to add 20 seconds of telephone ringing to the beginning in order to establish that its a phone call, which I got from- you guessed it- I am really happy with how this worked out and I think its Hilarious, especially with the Very Stereotyped 80s and valley girl slang.

This was just such a cool assignment; I’m quite happy with the final product. I really enjoyed just playing around with audio and sounds. Also slang has always been something I’m super interested in, especially and specifically current slang, but seeing the history and old slang terms was super cool too! I think I certainly went a little bit heavy on the slang, but honestly that amount kinda tracks with how much current slang I feel like I use in (non-professional & non-academic) speech, so mayhaps not!

gotta motor! -liz


marius pick up your phone

This assignment had me leaving a voicemail for a character from some sort of media. I decided, in keeping both with the 80s theme and with my personal interests, to leave a voicemail for Marius Pontmercy regarding his shirking of his revolutionary duties. Give it a listen!

This was really, really fun to make, I really enjoyed pretending to chastise Marius because he just Always Does This when he’s “in love” and this time it just can’t fly because the Revolution is Starting!

To create this, I started by recording myself a few times in the vocal booth, in different pitches and with different emphases. I ended up settling on the last take I took, in which I used my normal speaking voice, rather than a deepened, surfer-dude type vibe I had used with the others. I chose this because it was the best take regarding how and what I got out, but also because then I gave myself the opportunity to play around with audacity and the effects! So I did thus! I copied all my audio into audacity and then deepened my pitch so that I sounded less like a lady. I then started messing around with the bass levels, but I don’t think that had any real effect. It might have made me sound less like a bad cartoon villain with a voice modifier, but not that much because I still sound like a cartoon villain with a bad voice modifier. After I was happy with how my words and voice sounded, I inserted a phone ringing and answering machine sound from this website! and then, a few minor cuts later, my masterpiece!

This was just so much fun because I love Les Miserables and even though theres negative chances of Marius having and answering machine and of his buddies having phones, playing like they did was a fun modernization. I also had a lot of fun with the references to the musical, like calling Cosette “closet” and quoting “Red and Black”. I really wise I had figured out how to make my voice sound more realistic and not Obviously edited, but there’s only so much one can do I suppose.

do you hear the people sing? -liz


a face made for radio

thats a really mean thing to say and i don’t mean it in regards to anyone including myself its just the most clever title i can currently think of for my ds106 RADIO BUMPER!

This was really cute! a nice one take shot to get me into the groove of using audacity. Also helps that I proceeded to listen to the ds106 radio show that night, so I heard a couple of them in action; which was super funky fun! I had a really good time using my voice to its fullest extent with this assignment; because the lack of visual stimuli means I need and want to compensate with Super Interesting Voice Tricks!

rest easy -liz


the disappearing lady!

tonights radio drama was a part urban legend part Anthropocene-ic investigation of a popular urban legend about a lady whose mother disappears from a hotel after having seen a doctor for some unknown illness. Not only was this a really interesting story, but the live-tweeting aspect of the radio show was super cool! I made a few Integral Contributions to the discussion like


however, it wasn’t all insightful contributions like these; I was, at many points between 830 and 930, quite confused, as illustrated by tweets such as this one!

In all seriousness, however, this was a really interesting and fun experience. Overall I really enjoyed hearing the different endings to the story and the implications and ins and outs of each one. I think it would have been even cooler if the narrator had been able to explore the female protagonist end of things. It was mentioned, but I’m Always Ready to hear more about ladies and their place/lack thereof in history. However, the anthropocene is also super interesting to me, like, the very concept is just Wild and Really Fun to explore. Tweeting along and interacting with my fellow ds106ers was so cool and i liked being able to bounce ideas and concepts off of one another. That being said, my personal contributions to the discussion were overwhelming more reactionary and invested in the story itself, rather than the aspects of its storytelling, which, although not horrific, is not ideal. Enfin, the disappearing woman and ds106 radio gets a 10/10 in my book!

retain your physical form! -liz


scooby do vibes

so my original plan for the short story with only sound bytes was a titanic-esque drowning story, then i realized that was a little bit dark, and changed pace to a more lighthearted ooky spooky vibe, much like the popular cartoon scooby do!

scooby doo toothpaste GIF

and here she is, in all her glory, fresh from my soundcloud page!

The starting point for this story was the background spooky music, it was my inspiration for the rest of it! I started with the spooky background, and then spent time on this website searching for footsteps and roars and all of the other necessary sounds for a mini horror story! I then copied them all onto a single audacity file and moved them to fit and flow nicely and naturally together. I made a few minor edits to the volume of each clip, just to make it feel more real, but other than that its mostly the original sounds!

scooby doo party hard GIF

As for thoughts behind the work, I was really honing in on the Scooby Do “scary but you know nothing Really Bad is going to happen” vibe. In my minds eye, the storyline is that someone wanted to go exploring, so they did. They walk up to an old abandoned church building, open the door, see a scary monster which roars at them, they scream, freeze for a minute, then slam the door and run away to their car (but like specifically the mystery machine). The use of the Wilhelm Scream may have been a little bit in poor taste, given its known-ness and how easily recognizable it is, but I couldn’t help myself and I do not regret it!

scooby doo halloween GIF

I really enjoyed scanning through the different sounds and searching for exactly the right one for my purposes and then cutting and editing it to work within the story. Also I really do forget how fun and important audio is to a story, and stripping everything else away made that abundantly clear in the best way possible. Overall a really fun assignment and a concept that I sort of want to pursue further. It reminds me of those “x song” but its played in a Very Specific set of circumstances that just really strike my fancy. (theres an assignment to make one of those but for copywright reasons I decided not to do it).

stay safe -liz



a 20-30 minute radio show is in our ds106 futures! wahoo! 20-30 minutes isn’t too terribly long, but it certainly is an amount of time that needs a modicum of planning and idea generating before jumping in.

cat jumping GIF

so im currently reading 1984 by Geore Orwell, and my oh my is that a BOOK. I’m really enjoying it so far (im not finished quite yet so no spoilers!) but i think this could serve as a super interesting basis for a radio show. my thought here is some sort of analysis on perception of the 80s- through pop culture- before and after (and maybe even during, depending on time) the decade itself. the only pop culture that focuses on the 80s but is from before then that i could come up with was 1984, but its not as if 1984 is scant of things to analyze. As for perceptions of the decade afterwords, there is a lot of pop culture that is set in the 80s, like the muscial Rent or the (newish) movie Bohemian Rhapsody. But yeah i think the pop culture perception/expectation (depending on from what point your looking at it) of the 80s from other decades could be super duper interesting to explore.

related to that, i also feel like it could be cool to just dissect 1984, but thats a kind of super professor-y and mayhaps not ~storytelling~ enough.

so yall may or may not have noticed via my blog posts and assignment inspo, but I’m really into broadway musicals. Thus, i feel like another fun and cool radio show idea could be the musicals that premiers on (& maybe even off) broadway throughout the 1980s. There are a lot of good ones, phantom of the opera, les miserables, sweeney todd, and little shop of horrors, to name a few!

Similarly, discussing plays and musicals that take place in the 1980s but are not from the decade, like Heathers, Fun home, and angels in amercia, for to focus more on our current perception of the 80s. i just like musicals

okay last thing, maybe exploring the slang terms and usage of language in the 1980s. Slang has always been super interesting to me, i just love using it and hearing it and learning about how it comes about, so i think focusing in on that could be kinda fun. also in the heathers movie they say “how very” a Lot and i want to know if thats legitimate to the period or just a Cinematic Decision ™.

stay very, -liz