Monthly Archives: May 2018

Creating Alternate History


What would the world be like if the British never colonizes The Americas, India, or Australia? My book aims to explore this idea through the eyes of a teen who went from our universe to another.

Creating this cover and description was a long process with my indecisive mind juggling multiple ideas.  First off, I used Canva in order to create my design. I clicked on the book cover option.


I then had to decide what I wanted my book to look like, I went through all of the options to give myself some inspiration and eventually chose a clean looking design with a sunset in the background.

Next, I had to think of a title, I chose “Stay Put” because that is what the would be colonizers were doing in my book. I went into the text editor and changed the font and the size.

Then I changed the author name to my own. At this point I was just doing little changes because I still had not decided the overall look.


I went into the background image finder and typed in ‘old’ I was not sure what I was going to find, but I knew that I wanted an older look to the book so I went with it. I found an old wood looking image and thought that it looked good.


I changed the color of the font because the white was unreadable on the background. I changed it to red because I thought that it gave it an interesting look.

After thinking for a while, I decided that I did not like the name so I changed it to “Cease All Movement” as if that were any better. I changed the background to the mast of a ship because that is how the British got to all of these places so this photo gives the book more of an identity.

Once again, I had to change the color of the text because it was not readable with the background. I tried multiple different colors until I decided that shades of red looked best. I moved around where the text was on the image so that it was easier to read and it also makes the design a lot more interesting.


I then changed the title of the book one more time. I chose “Ending the Beginning” I think this title would intrigue the reader into at least looking at what the book was about. It also aptly describes the premise without giving too much away

Lastly, I wrote up the inside cover of the book. I created a genderless character named Sam that this experience is happening to. I wanted to keep the description interesting yet also vague enough that people have to read it to figure out exactly what it is about.

I had a lot of fun with this project. Being a creative writing major, I love creating story ideas. Being able to design a book cover will help me in the future if I ever decide to write a book because then I do not have to pay anyone to do it for me.

I’m halfway through understanding design!

This week we are learning about design. I have done multiple assignments that have taught me to appreciate all of the little steps that go into advertisements and other objects.

I have worked on two daily creates that allowed me to express some creativity in design. The first one was to put a face onto another picture. I chose to use my dog Jynx’s face because the photo I used of him is my favorite photo that I have ever taken. I had a lot of fun looking through all of the options of where to put his face and ended up deciding on a monkey.

The second daily create was to use different fonts to convey different meanings. I wanted one font to show a cute and sassy tone while the other was to be menacing. It is so interesting how the same message can mean totally different things.

For my next assignment, I watched two TED talks about design and I learned that one of the most important things is that it has to be fun. While I was going through the Canva tutorials, I found myself to be really interested in all of the aspects that go into design and can easily find myself having a great time designing something completely on my own.

Lastly, I went around trying to notice design in my everyday life. I took photos of things that display different design techniques and have learned to distinguish what all of the terms mean. I found that there are objects in my everyday life that I had not truly noticed before that I can now appreciate having this knowledge.

Question of the week!

When thinking about what in our past I would go back and change I have a lot of things pop into my mind. I would stop Hitler and Trump from gaining power. I would keep Freddie Mercury, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin alive. All of these things would benefit society in ways that I could not comprehend. If i had to choose one thing to change, it would be to stop British colonization. What would the world be like today if they had not went all over the world trying to settle in and change those who already lived there. Cultures would be true to form and not influenced by British ideals. I wonder what changes there would be in everyday things that we take for granted. What would the composition of the world look like? Would be get along better or worse?

So far this week, I have learned the basic of design. Having newfound interest in making my own content, I cannot wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for me.



Noticing Design


In thinking about what I was going to do for the design blitz, I looked through the eight principles of design and tried to think about them as I went about my daily life. The first thing that I noticed was the cover of The University of Mary Washington’s alumni magazine, (which I helped make by the way.) The way that the different fonts are used to convey the most important information uses the design technique of hierarchy.



The next thing I noticed was while looking through my mom’s Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Each photo is set up in a way to highlight every product. In this particular photo, since the products being sold are lights, the background is a darker color. This is an example of contrast which is generally used to highlight the most important information.




I was looking through UMW’s main site and I found that it is very consistent. The background coloring is always a shade of blue with the text being white. It allows for the user to easily access all of the information and to not be distracted or put off by random colors.



The next thing that I noticed was in a workout book that we have laying around the house. On every page there is a photo of the muscles used in each specific workout. The design could have easily gone wrong if the lines pointing to each muscle became interconnected or was too close or far from the photo. The information is in perfect proximity to the photo allowing the reader to easily understand what is going on.





The last photo I took was of something that I see everyday but never took the time to actually look at. At my house, my mom decorated the walls with photos of bikes. I have always known they were there but I never actually looked to see what they were. When I looked at this specific photo I realized how well designed it is. The way the blue fades into the orange captures a sense of peace that is the intent of the design.

I find it fascinating that all of these images that I referenced are things that I have either seen before or have seen things similar to. I had never taken into account what goes into each design and what they actually mean. From now on when I see even a seemingly simple design I will be able to appreciate it for what it is trying to get across and the means by which it does so.

Understanding Design

Looking at Scher and Carson’s TED talks, although they were saying similar things. The way that they emoted changed the message that they were sending.

Throughout Paula Scher’s talk she emphasizes the importance of working seriously but not solemnly. She claims that serious work is taking chances and designing in a way that the designer has never tried before. Solemn work is sticking to what is known without having any fun. She says that while the word serious is used, when you are working seriously it is fun.

David Carson has a similar message throughout his TED talk. He showed multiple examples of his work and explained how much fun he has through the design process. He also does things that he wants to do without worrying to much what others are going to think about it. His work is more eccentric and exciting than most graphic designers which you can tell just through his energy throughout his talk. His designs inspired me because they are something that he is so proud of and it is clear that he loves his job.

In working through Canva tutorials, I have found that it a great new resource for me to use. The tutorials were really easy and I picked up on the concepts quickly. In my work this week I hope to be able to have fun with my designs as Scher and Carson mention.

This week is complete.

This half of the week has been filled with fun activities that allowed me to create fun stories and explore my photography.

I first worked on some fun daily creates where I was able to use a new (to me) technology. It involved using Bitmoji in order to create a scene. I also had the idea for an app for introverted people so they do not have to be social. The third daily create involved picking a music video that has a lot of meme-worthy material.

For the main assignments this week I chose the genre mystery. I went into each photo trying to figure out how the genre could influence how I took the photo and what story lines I could create.


When I was photoblitzing, even though I was running around like a maniac, I was trying to think about taking photos in a mysterious way. I decided to make the some the photos a little out of focus so that the person viewing them has to think about it a bit.

For the second assignment I chose to do two visual assignments and combine them to make a cohesive story. The theme for one of the assignments is the apocalypse so I worked that into my mystery theme.  I am extremely proud of this because at first I did not know how I was going to infuse mystery into the photos. Looking at them now it is clear to me that I was able to accomplish it.

I am so happy with what I was able to accomplish this week. I have always wanted to get into photography but was wary due to not having an expensive camera. Hopefully, I am able to get out and take more photos and make them look semi-professional. It was not until after I had finished the assignments that I found out that the apocalypse theme did not have to be included in the photos. I guess that would be the one thing that I would change, if I had known that then maybe the mystery theme would have came through more than it already does. I am so excited for the coming weeks, especially because I have no clue what is ahead. I cannot wait to learn some new technologies and skills that I will be able to use in the future.


It ends in a flash

In a world where everything has gone dark, the animals start to attack. Even the cute little rabbits and squirrels are bound to rip your face off. What caused the world to end up this way?







All you can remember is a flash of light. When you look at your phone all you see is this photo. You can barely make out what it is. Is this the cause of the end of the world?


For this assignment I had to create a before and after of an apocalyptic scene. My mom has a backyard full of plastic animals so I immediately knew that I wanted to work with them somehow. I first had to decide which of the many creatures that I was going to choose. I decided on the rabbit with the squirrel in the background because they are both fairly docile and innocent creatures so making them evil and dangerous would be interesting,

I then went into my photo editor and only made two changes that made a huge difference. I reddened the eyes and darkened the photo. It is crazy how those two things changed the scene entirely.  I then went into Juxtapose and put the two photos together. The Juxtapose site is made by Knightlab which I have used before for other tools. I had never heard of this one before so I will definitely try to use it again.

For the second half of this assignment I chose to do the blackmail assignment.  I had a hard time deciding what exactly to take the photo of. I then thought about my story line. I already made this apocalyptic world that has gotten darker and wanted to play with the mystery aspect of it. What if nobody knew what had happened? I thought about the difference between dark and light so I decided to take a blurry photo of a set of light switches. I brightened the photo a whole lot and played with contrast. Something I enjoy about this photo is that from certain angles it looks like it is pure white, but depending how you look at it you can see the switches.

I enjoy how these images look like they have nothing in common but because I have created a story they make sense, at least to me. This was a really fun assignment that allowed me to think outside the box and tell a story of my own.


I have always been fascinated by abandoned buildings and have wanted to explore them. Looking through the Rosewood Institution on Abandoned America I was really excited. All of the photos were beautiful but they also were extremely creepy. I love the juxtaposition between beauty and unnerving. I think that if I were to ever pursue photography that would be my aesthetic.

Something that I have learned today is that photoblitzing is fun. I was running around my house for fifteen minutes trying to take good photos. I was exhausted by the end. The tip that I took to heart most was the rule of thirds. While I am sure that not every photo I took has the rule applied, I thought about it while I was taking the photos. I had immediate ideas of what photos to take once I read each prompt. The hard part was trying to actually execute the ideas while keeping all of the tips in mind. I wanted to get through all of the prompts, but clearly I was not able to. I am going to have to work on taking my time to get a good photo instead of rushing. Overall, I think that I took some interesting photos.

Time at start of photoblitz

Photo dominated by a single color

Something Futuristic


Cool Angle

Bright Light

Shoe or Foot

Object looking alive

Converging lines

Things that don’t go together



I’m Doing Stuff!

This week has been really busy but also exciting. I’ve started to actually post things on my Instagram. I’ve had it for a while but never really knew what to do with it so hopefully this class will help me get inspired to post more. I was also able to post to my blog for the first time!

While most people my age are active on Twitter, I’m not. I don’t tweet hardly at all. I mostly just read tweets by celebrities and other people I enjoy. My goal is to be more active on my own account.

For the past three days I’ve been getting a handle on how to use all of these different platforms. I was able to finish a Daily Create, which was really fun.  

Question of the week!

My favorite type of stories are always mysteries. I love trying to solve cases alongside a character. I love crime television shows because it is so fun to follow along someone who actually seems to know what they are doing to solve a crime. While I don’t typically watch or read fictional mystery stories, there are still so interesting because they never get old. For me, with other genres, they can get repetitive and stale. With mysteries they tend to always be something new which is why they are my favorite.