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my last reflection post ever

WILD time really do be flying when youre having fun. Meaningless platitudes aside, i really cannot believe this is it. This class, although a lot of work, has been such an overwhelming positive experience for me. I’ve gained skills i literally never thought i would have and realized that this kind of techy creative stuff isn’t as intimidating as I had always mad it out to be [see: gif making]. But anyways! the final project! that was a thing! I’m gonna start by going through it media type by media type because that sounds the most straightforward.

Photography! So photography and photo editing REALLY grew on me over the course of this course [hehe], so i wasn’t really too worried with this one. What i did not anticipate, however, was how much i did not want to photograph myself at all points this week, which was terribly unfortunate because that was a big big part of what i had to do. I got over it though, and the photos got taken. I started out by gathering & styling clothing in each of the characters colors [veronica=blue, heather=red, jd=black]. Then I found a place with okay-ish [i was aiming for good but unfortunately did not get there] lighting and a solid background [for editing purposes]. I did some posing and some timer selfies, and then transferred those lovely photos onto my laptop for one last run with my good friend gimp. On gimp, I added an alpha channel to each layer, fuzzy-selected the background, & then deleted it [because its all one color and contiguous so i can just click it away, i’ve learned SO MUCH yall]. Once it was just individual people floating around, I took photos from my personal collection to use as background. I also discovered you can copy/paste different sections of the photo to cover up things you don’t want in it, which is a ridicuously clever feature. I also did some photo editing on picsart, an app that a lot of Clever Fancy instagrammers use for casual photo editing, for some of Heathers photos, which was surprisingly fun and I may or may not [i haven’t decided yet] use that for my own pics. Once I had all of the photos looking the way i wanted them to, I added them to the respective accounts. As far as captioning went, I tried as hard as i could for as many as possible to be obvious lines from the musical [while also still feeling relevant and not outdated] or, if not the musical, be a little bit meta with some movie references.

Still a part of the visual category, i wanna talk a little about the design of each page. Veronica’s page is meant to be reflective of the fact that even though she is a part of the popular crowd, a heather, she is also a pretty well-rounded student who is Kind of Nerdy [this is shown in the movie through her involvement with the yearbook and her relationship with/kindness towards Betty Finn]. JD’s page is meant to be very “i’m too cool for this and i’m angsty so its gonna be in all grayscale” [which is also reflected in the photos of him on Veronica’s page], and Heather Chandler’s is meant to be very instagram model-y and wannabe influencer.

The next category I’m going to call design. The design portion of this final was low key my favorite, which was a little bit of a shocker to me. The design portion was the different surveys and advertisements found pinned on Veronica’s instagram page. I just had a really good time desigining cute advertisements for fake events, and making little instagram stories asking fake questions. part of what appealed to be was also the fact that i could do the fun cute editing stuff, but it wasn’t of my face over and over again. So this part was a really good time, although I definitely wish I could have come up with a better way to showcase it. My reasoning with the video was that puttig each individual post/poster up on a post would have taken up too much space and been stupidly klunky, and i stand by that, but i do wish there was some Other Way [and i’m sure there is but homegirl couldn’t find it].

up next! audio! this one was also really fun. For this, I took two versions of two different songs starring JD and mixed them together so that it was one song and the JDs were singing together, in hopes of acheiving a sort of harmonizing with himself vocal effect [which i think i got?]. This was fun because it was relatively simple audio editing; I did a lot of adding of white space to make sure the jds were singing together, but the end result was really really fun. I did cut out a few different parts so that it was more “this is a song” and less “this is a musical number” and i’m unsure of how well i made the distinction. regardless, the end result was really fun and i’m kind of super proud. unfortunately soundcloud did not want this to exist in their space [which i suppose i respect, because copyright law is a thing] but made putting this on the internet much more difficult. After the initial takedown, i figured maybe i just needed to list more of the artists, maybe soundcloud would accept it then, more artist credit & whatnot. That did not work : (. Next idea was to put it on youtube, but i was afraid the same thing would happen, for youtube is also a little notorious for copyright strictness. After youtube was vimeo, which i recalled hearing was a little looser with that sort of thing. So far it hasn’t been taken down so fingers crossed it will stay that way! So JD’s stuff isn’t actually on spotify, which is a bummer, but it is on the interet and also is really cool, so imma take the win and run.

which takes me to video. I tried my hand at tiktok. that was a TIME. As i mentioned in the photography section, i was not vibing with photographic proof of my existence this week, so finding the motivation to make these tiktoks was HARD. But that got made! apologies for the explicit-ness in JD’s the audio just tracked with the vibe i wanted and i thought it was kinda funny so i used it. gotta keep myself entertained somehow! All of jd’s tiktoks are in black and white, because thats his aesthetic and i was not about to change that, and theyre a mix of pov and Too Cool For This tiktok, which is what a friend and i decided his tiktok vibe would be. I tried [mayhaps unsuccessfully] to reference JD’s plans to blow up the school in one of the tiktoks, but again, not sure how clearly that came across. Heather’s tiktoks were a little more fun to make [fun fact: i own very little red clothing], proabably because my personal aesthetic and vibe is very much not Black and White Filter and Am Cool, so at least as Heather i had color. I really liked the dancing video, which i chose for a multitude of reasons but the most important of which are: its a popular dance and Heather follows trends & its one of like 2 popular tiktok dances that i felt comfortable doing and posting for a Graded Final project. The other tiktok i did for heather, the one with all the outfits, was really fun and i really enjoyed playing with and trying to master all the transitions. I wish I could have figured out a way to better line up outfit switches and audio bass drops/focal points, but as a tiktok newbie i’m pretty happy.

Last and shortest— but not least!— writing. The only reason i’m bringing this up is because I’m kind of unhappy with how the writing flows. I’m not really sure who the speaking voice is exactly, my bones want it to be one of the three I was talking about, but it definitely reads more as an innocent bystander/average high school student. Additionally, I was hoping it would be of a cohesive story and less of an infodump, but i did bring it back around with Veronica and JD breaking up [that was a fun part to write, and a fun video to make, defintely one of the top three videos i made] so by no means am i Completely Unhappy with it, just a few V Noticeable improvement spots. But thats what this is all about then huh. improvement! and on that note, i sign off for the final time.

thanks for everything; this has been an amazing course!

-liz

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heathers but give them socials

The scene opens right after JD and Veronica meet, and then, not long after their meeting, getting together as an official couple. Although her boyfriend is a generally antiestablishment with an alt aesthetic who thus Does Not like social media, Veronica, as a Heather, has no choice but to enjoy it. Her instagram page is mostly photos of her and her buddies out at various events or hangouts, with the occasional outfit pic posted because the Heathers told her to.

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outfit check✌️

A post shared by Veronica Sawyer (@v_eronica_sawyer) on

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A slushees & sand kinda day 🙂

A post shared by Veronica Sawyer (@v_eronica_sawyer) on

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Another Winter formal for the books! ❄️ ❄️❄️

A post shared by Veronica Sawyer (@v_eronica_sawyer) on

Her instagram story, however, is much more reflective of the pre-Heathers Veronica, advertising various school events and playing home to surveys for the yearbook committee. These stay pinned the top of her page for maximum participation.

As implied, the instagram feed of Veronica’s friend Heather (Chandler) is significantly more self-centered; focusing on self-portraits rather than memories.

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Welcome to my candy store🍭🍬🍡

A post shared by Heather Chandler (@h_eather_chandler) on

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are we gonna have a problem?

A post shared by Heather Chandler (@h_eather_chandler) on

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i run this show. don’t you forget it.

A post shared by Heather Chandler (@h_eather_chandler) on

After taking Veronica to a party backfired horrifically on Heather [Veronica puked on her] Heather did a little bit of vagueposting, in which everyone can tell something Is Up by the content & tone of the post, but nobody knows what [and nothing gets resolved it just builds tension!]

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it’s a great view from up top.

A post shared by Heather Chandler (@h_eather_chandler) on

Which tracks with the everything about her, but is amusing nonetheless. Last but not least, however, is the most reluctanct and last enthusastic instagrammar, who only has it due to peer pressure and because he can direct visitors to his soundcloud. The single lucky photo up?

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Our love is god.🖤🤍

A post shared by Jason Dean (@j_ason_dean) on

Converted into black and white, because of course. More up JD’s alley, mostly due to the lack of photographs, is Soundcloud, where he posts mixes of himself singing. This one, written right after he met Veronica, is a sort of “ode” to capitalism, specifically to slushies.

As many artists do, JD uses music to express his emotions, and these songs are no less. This next one was written after him and Veronica were made official, and she was going through some Hard Times [which really upset him]

Although jd is generally against photos, he makes an exception for Tiktok, a video platform that he is Very Interested in, and makes videos with a very specific vibe, partially in hopes of becoming famous, but mostly just to kill time.

Anybody familiar with JD will [hopefully] understand the kind of plan he is referring, and thus be glad that this is merely a video. The costar of JD’s first tiktok, Heather Chandler, is also a tiktoker. She is much more invested in it though. Heather’s tiktok’s are more polished and less niche; she is actively trying to become tiktok famous and it is clear.

Heather tends to play heavily off of the current tiktok trends, but also is sucker for a style video, since that it her absolute jam. Her smaller number of tiktoks is due to the unfortunate circumstances that befell her soon after she began tiktoking. BUT thats the socials of our main players. The only thing left to do is break up the young couple. As so many high school relationships do, Veronica and Jason Dean didn’t last, so as such, Veronica had to clear out her socials of evidence they were together, which is an integral part of every 21st century breakup, and often comes with a few judgement calls on what to keep and what to get rid of.

Westerburg High School’s social media presence, or more accurately that of its students, is a hugely important part of student life, sometimes making life more fun, but sometimes adding unnecessary stress to already chaotic things [like breakup management]. The crew works around it though, and its nothing that can’t be handled.

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like a ds-106er

okay so this assignment was fun because i’ve always kinda wanted to try it, so im glad mashup week gave me the inspiration/motivation to! the idea is to fake a text conversation between two people. I’m still kind of itching to go for the horror vibe ive seen around, but i decided to theme this one eighties because theme! a relatively simple concept, two gals chatting about the madonna concert they’re going to later that night, among a few, smaller various things, but really fun still. I especially like trying to fake two different texting styles and the rush of adrenaline switching phones gave me. So here the video

To start off, i typed up a script on microsoft word in order to have something to follow along with while i was typing. This was important because although i was s p e e d i n g along, to a viewer half of the video is just nothing but those little dots, so i needed a script in order to keep things rolling. after the script was written, it was just a question of not getting any notifications during recording. Didn’t have too much trouble because, as you may or may not have noticed from my phones timestamp, its midnight, but take one did have a wifi notification about midway through recording, which was mad inconveniant. However, during take two, everything went super smoothly and without a hitch. Once I had the recording, i emailed it to myself from my phone and did some minor video editing, just to make the gaps a little shorter and to eliminate me turning off the screen recording. This was super fun and1 10/10 recommend!

get some sleep! -liz

ps the title is a play on a madonna song idk if thats clear but i want it to be

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introducing: pac-tris!

okay so this mashup assignment was really cool and also gimp and photo editing has kind of grown on me. I’m by no means an expert, but i can feel the progress and how much calmer i am while using it, which is super cool and makes me really happy. anyways! the assignment. This assignment was to mash up two different video game covers. Sticking with our 80s theme (because i’ve been a little slack on that lately) i decided to go for pacman and tetris, two of the most popular video games during the 80s. Here are the starter covers for each game!

and thus, pac-tris was born! i knew right away that i wanted to make the squares and rectangles of tetris the little maze thing in pac-man, honestly that was the main influence in my decision of which games to mash, i just thought that would super fun so i did it. and the final cover!

My cleanup work on the “tris” is a little bit messy, but i’m so happy with everything else that i’m not too pressed about it. I started out by copying the different shades of blue and slowly but surely making a gradient like the tetris cover, except sans the title of the game. I then proceeded to cover up all of my hard work (and i worked hard) with the orange pac-man block. In hindsite, not my best move. but oh well, nothing to be done. From there, i spent a lot of time scaling the logos, and the ghosts, and the man himself, from the pac-man art i had. I also tried my hand at the smudge tool, and i think you can tell i’m still a beginner at smudging lol. Once all my little characters were placed, i realized if i made the edges of my paintbrush hard, i could add little pac-man dots for my boy to follow! so i did! After all that, i realized i wanted to call the game pac-tris, not just pacman but on top of tetris, so i tried clearing out the blue from the tris, mostly successfully, and added it as a layer as the finishing touch.

Overall i’m super happy with how this turned out and also this sounds like a really fun game. Logistically i’m not sure how one would play it, maybe spend one round stacking and one round eating, but it feels like it would be a good time.

stack on! -liz

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Assignments

swell-vetica

a remix assignment! the base assignment was a pretty straightforward one, choose a photo (specifically a bad one) and then write something in helvetica font. The remixed version had me turn it into a ds-106 advertisement! Since it was so straightforward, I decided to make a couple because I was having fun and enjoy lookin through my photos (even the Lower Quality ones). So heres the first one I made

featuring a photo of a frog in a puddle on a trail i was walking after dark with a few friends. I l o v e frogs and also love putting spaces between letters for e m p h a s i s, so i think this one was my favorite. I also made these though, which were terribly fun as well!

i had a little bit of trouble with the font color on this photo, because the floor is black and white, but i think it turned out well nonetheless.

really takin the bad photo instruction to heart, i think i took this photo to send to my mom while i was still on campus. (im not joking tho, mug ramen is really good. second only to ramen you make in a pan bc you don’t have a pot on campus)

and last but not least, this squirrel! i love squirrels and am really proud of this photo, despite it being a literal trash can with a squirrel sitting on top. I think its the green of the grass.

So my original plan for this was to add the text in gimp, but gimp didn’t have helvetica :(. So, i problem solved! i copied each image into a word document, then added the text in a colorless, outline-less textbook and moved it where i wanted the words to appear! after i was happy with the formatting, i screenshotted the photo into a seperate word document where i then saved the image along. a little bit long winded, but it worked! this was super fun, and encapsulates most of my feeling about ds-106, that its intimidating at first, but a lot of fun and totally worth it (and i got to do photography, which is

Chefs Kiss GIF by Nick Jonas

keep calm & ds106, -liz

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dream team

my first remix assignment! since we could remix whatever assignments we wanted, I got to walk it back to my favorite media, photography & visual stuff! So I decided to remix this assignment, which said to take a photo and make it look all stiff and old-timey. The first remix that popped up said to add a sidekick, which is super fun, so I decided to go with it! And my sidekick, obviously, just h a d to be my beagle Sadie, so I leashed her up and took her into our backyard for a quick photoshoot. Before doing that, however, I got myself a little bit dressed up to better fit the part of the stuffy, old person in the very beginning of photography. I also tied a scarf I have around Sadie’s neck so that she fit the part of my stuffy beagle sidekick. This was super fun because a) i love my dog and b) I like dressing up! just good good vibes all around. So without further ado, here’s the final product!

This went surprisingly smoothly! Sadie isn’t usually one to cooperate so well, let along stare right at the camera with me! This is the original photo, for comparison purposes.

So after taking this photo, I uploaded it to gimp. The first thing I did was make the pixels just a little bit bigger, to mimic the lower quality cameras of way back when. Then, I added a sepia filter. Then, deciding it was still a little bit too yellow/bright to seem truly old, I messed around with the color balance of the midtones and highlights until I got the photo above. I’m so happy with it, just a lot of fun and I really really like the vibe from the photo.

As far as storytelling goes, I’m thinking I’m some kind of old timey lady figure (maybe a crime boss, maybe a supervillain) who is consistently underestimated by everyone around her because shes a woman, and who is sick and tired of it. This photo was probably taken at the moment when she snapped, one fool to many spoke down to her and doesn’t know what’s coming for him. Sadie and I (although we probably use pseudonyms) both angry, but also tired, which is exactly the feeling after constantly being underestimated. Frustrated, and ready to go to war, but simultaneously just tired of fighting to be seen as equal.

just pay no attention to the flip flops, -liz

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i’m also an exercise instructor

so one of my news resolutions this year was to exercise more! that did not work out (shocking, right?). So as scary and upsetting as this corona situation is, I figured maybe its a good time to start exercising. I knew it was fate when I saw the assignment in the bank, and even more so when I realized this assignment was created by fellow umw ds106-er emily! (in which you should totally check out her post & video, its AMAZING). So, heres my take on an exercise video!

So you may have noticed from the video… i am in now way qualified to be giving exercise advice. I know precious little! I definitely took this a more comedic route, and I think it was my favorite assignment that I created this week (although low key, thats not saying much). I had a lot of fun recording this and coming up with my fake exercises, but I ran into trouble when it came time to add audio to it. I was kind of unsure how to fill the blank time between me being done explaining and the exercise being done viewing, and i ended up just, not doing that. Redo me would love to plan this out better, and would probably include more segments so that I could speed everything up and then have a more appropriate timing for words, and also make it more interesting to watch (although I know a 40 second shot of my staircase is positively THRILLING).

Like I said earlier, i did have a lot of fun doing this one, and i really like the concept i had developed, i just think it could have used better execution. my favorite was walking my dogs and calling them out for being so slow and stopping every 10 seconds, but that bit was harder to record because i was holding two leashes and also my phone camera and it was just kind of a lot. Additionally, I liked my fridge scene and I think I’m hilarious, but the execution wasn’t as good as I would have liked it to be.

Overall, a really fun assignment and certainly would do again, just preferably in a less rushed and generally higher quality manner.

drop n gimme 20! -liz

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im a gamer!

and being a gamer, I have collected quite a few Super Cool moments. As such, I decided to do a video gaming highlights video with all of the cool bits from my most recent gaming session. I’ll give you a warning, its Super Cool ™

webkinz baybee! similar to my previous assignment, except this time is gaming WINS! so this one was definitely harder to make than my gaming flops video, mostly because this one required (of my own volition) audio attached. However, I did not record the audio while I was playing, so I had to record it after the fact. It ended up a whole mess that took ages to try and get everything lined up. My original plan for the audio was to just watch the video on silent while simultaneously narrating, and then just layer the audio on top of the video and bing bang boom done!

It was not bing bang boom done.

The issue started when I was both watching and recording on my phone, so I started the voice recorder, stayed silent until the farm game & then began speaking. This made it really difficult to figure out which silence was pre-me starting the video, and which silence was me post starting the video. And i was not able to figure that out, so i then had to problem solve by chopping the audio into little bits and lining it up (quite painstakingly, i might add) to its video counterpart. You may notice a certain lack of an outro… that is because i could not get the outro to fit, i think because i continued talking after the video ending without realizing it. terribly unfortunate 🙁

Another thing i’m kind of unhappy with is how chaotic the audio sounds. I was going for “a little bit too hype for webkinz” for the comedic value, but ended up more on the side of “holy cow she’s talking so quickly and everything is super jumpy”. Which is unfortunate. I think the best way to correct this would be to just, record myself audio-ly while gaming, that way i don’t have to line anything up and it will flow better and more naturally without as much painstaking alignment.

I chose to play webkinz because i think having an epic Webkinz compilation is really funny, and I like the juxtaposition. Also I’ve been playing a lot of webkinz recently so its on my mind. Along those same lines, its fun and mindless, which is really nice in a game. Overall, I don’t hate how this turned out, but I would love to redo this assignment now that i’ve learned a little bit more about video editing.

keep it cool, -liz

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meet terry

woo! video week! in which i remembered my laptop has a screen recording function & decided to show off my gamer side! (i am in fact a gamer, i play sims fallout & minecraft dont @ me) This assignment had me show off my gaming lowlights, so I decided to do so in my newest gaming endeavor: webkinz. A couple friends and i all bought pandas at the beginning of quarantine so we could play together, and i bought a gray boy named terry. Terry is delightful and a fashion i c o n, but we are not immune to certain gaming flops, which i’ve compiled here for your convenience!

the upside down thumbnail is an artistic choice, made to symbolize just how ~cringe and embarassing~ these video game fails are, definitely not bc no matter which way the uploaded thumbnail file was oriented youtube put it in upside down & i couldn’t figure out how to fix it. It was definitely an artistic choice.

Anywho! this was really fun to make because a) webkinz and b) full stop thats about it. It was really fun to pick out the stupid bits of my gameplay and organize them together in a somewhat cohesive fashion. since webkinz is a game for kids, there weren’t really a ton of ways to fail, so i spent a lot of time in the arcade playing games, because those have to have an ability to lose! my favorite part of this video is probably the last like, 20 seconds, with the wacky zingos batting. Its certainly cursed, but that’s kind of what the appeal is for me. Additionally, it was the most fun to make & i think it really conveys the ~fails~ element of the video. Just miss after miss [after miss after miss].

Overall, this was a pretty straightforward video to make. The editing was a little time consuming, because i had an hour of footage to sort through, and the editing software i used was a little bit basic, but it got the job done & i figured out how to make it work. One of the issues i encountered was that there wasnt really any way to make transitions? I could have uploaded basic photos to put in between each clip, and if i were to redo this assignment, i probably would do that, because its definitely a little bit jump cut heavy. If i continue video making in the future, ill probably look into better editing software, because even though this is Quite User Friendly its a little bit basic for the things i want to do/the quality of video i want to make. The hardest part of this was definitely figuring out where to cut, and how much to leave in so that people know whats going on, but don’t get bored waiting for the ~epic fail~.

the moral of the story is i think i’m a gaming channel now and if you have a webkinz pls comment and we can send each other webkinz mail. but the actual moral of the story is video game flop compilations are really fun to make in all sense, both the playing and even the editing.

add me on webkinz, -liz

ps: cringe culture is dead dont shame ppl for their interests i was just dying to embrace my inner exaggerating to get views youtuber 🙂

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hold on to the memories they will hold on to you

A redo of the assignment I was probably the MOST unhappy with. I had Big Rushed this assignment, and I kind of hated it from the moment I began, but was too committed & proud to try something else. So Here we are, one month later. A little bit more skilled in photo editing. Ready to take it on. For comparison, as much as I would LOVE to bury that assignment within the depths of my blog, here she is

& you can check out the post for my in-the-moment thoughts about her! So. A few specific things that I don’t like about the assignment. I love this quote, and it does heavy resonate with me, but to me its applicable to Large Scale groups of people, banding together and not alienating one another. Building bridges, often even re-building bridges, and that’s not what this photo is. The photo I paired it with is me and my closest high school friends, who have always been an us. So there’s cognitive dissonance there that just really really rubs at me. Also. I dont like how the “paint smear behind the letters” look I was going for looks. I think in my head, it looked more like crayon, less of an even layer of color, because thats the vibe of the quote & also more my aesthetic. Also, my friends and I are beautiful, but it just didn’t sit right with me as a background (probably mostly because of the aforementioned cognitive dissonance). Also likely because its kind of A Lot Going On & thats just not the moves. So, my goals going in: choose a better photo, fix the lettering, nix the cognitive dissonance, and make it so that I Like the vibe.

I ended up changing both the photo and quote, oops. I realised while scanning through my photos to look for one that better suits the quote that I wouldn’t find one, and I was really committed to the Friendship Vibe. So, I scanned through my quotes note & found a more recent quote from the Taylor Swift song New Year’s Day “Please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere”. In context, its definitely Very Romantic Love Centric, but I think it applies to my homies too, I love them & can’t imagine life without them— but yall dont need my sentimental braindump. The important part is that this quote is really cute and sweet and really encompasses a lot of my friendship hopes and fears and etc. So with that in mind, I re-scrolled through my photos. From there I found this one, of my friends and I at an outdoor movie night with glowsticks.

What I like about this photo is that its a much simpler background for the quote, but the glowsticks still provide an element of interest. It also doesn’t have A Ton of colors that I have to worry about text clashing with or making it hard to read. Additionally, its with the same group of people, so it nixes the dissonance that bothered me so much! The next step was to put it into gimp & add the text! I decided on a cute script-y font, because its a) pretty and b) on brand. I added words mostly one by one to mimic the slow, halting way she sings the song (which is part of the appeal of the quote), and colored it white for maximum contrast with the Very Dark background. Once the words were added, individually and in groups, I spent more time than I’d like to admit moving them around to find The Ideal Configuration ™. And here she is! In all her glory!

So I’m super duper happy with how this turned out. I think it might the tiniest bit imagine how is touch the sky” but not to the extent that people can’t understand what its saying. Its kind of weird how we’re all just Dim Figures in the background, but i don’t mind it too terribly much. Overall I’m super happy I had the chance to redo this assignment and create a product that I’m Actually Happy With.

woo! -liz