This portfolio consists of the work that I have done this semester in Visual Content and also adds some past work I have done in my International Technical Writing class. To be honest, this class had some ups and it had some downs. I enjoy being able to read about how to understand visual elements more, but at the same time, it was sometimes challenging to make these visual elements, let alone talk about them in an analytical sense. Though sometimes challenging, it was a learning process that I figured I should go through, because I need to learn about the visual aspect in writing when dealing with technical writing.
Being an English major, I believe that I am experienced in analytical writing when dealing with research papers and literature, but when dealing with timelines, photo essays, and mashup videos, it tended to be a foreign language to me, because I am used to using mostly words and not visual elements. Dealing with this, though, I had to reach into the mind’s of Scott McCloud and take what he taught us about visual content and try and bring out a conscious idea for our analysis papers.
For the timeline, we wanted to show how cult movies have progressed through the years, but have still remained the same in some ways. For my photo essay, I thought it would be interesting if I walked around downtown and showed how different variations of graffiti and street art are shown in our area. This varied from actual art done by paid artists, or random civilians walking around in the alleys tagging buildings and signs with spray paint or sharpie markers. Finally, my remix video was one of my more favorite projects of this semester. I had a vision of making a video using Marshall Applewhite in the beginning from the Heaven’s Gate cult. Through this I was trying to show how cell phones almost control our life, like Applewhite was trying to control his followers life. Ending the video, I used a video of Max Headroom, because he has a somewhat eerie feeling to him, and I wanted to keep that kind of aspect going, but what I had pictured in my head, wasn’t quite working along with what I was able to use on my program, but this sometimes happens when dealing with programs and arts you’re not familiar with. It was still an interesting project, though.
When in the revision process, I was still at kind of a loss when looking at my past papers. I decided I should revise my photo essay analysis. When looking at the photo essay, I tried to go back into Complete Photography and find concepts that I could add to my photo essay analysis, but all the concepts that I felt I used already seemed adequate on what I was trying to explain. This made it kind of frustrating at the moment, because I believed that I was still missing something, but I was unable to figure out what I wasn’t doing correctly, so I decided to just change some of the syntax and grammar if need be. Often times, deleting redundant passages and words can often be a great change to a paper.
My weakness, I believe, is my idea of design. To the design majors and architect’s in this class, this was the part where they flourished. I tried to help show an artistic side this semester by bringing out ideas and pictures, but design concepts and art don’t come to me as naturally as my writing does. Though, this made it interesting to me. I found that I was able to picture things in my head of what I wanted something to look like, and it made it interesting, because I would try and reach that goal, but unfortunately, I usually fell short.
Like I mentioned before, me being a English major, I believe that my strengths lie in my writing. I am used to writing analysis papers and formal papers all the time, because it’s what my major consists of. Usually, my grammar is on point and I am able to reach what I am trying to say to my audience. There is no such thing, though, as a perfect writer and I know that I still have a lot more work to do to become even more accomplished. The thing with writing, like anything else, you never reach a plateau of how good you can be, there is always room for improvement and that’s what I plan to do, especially after this class. I would love to improve on my idea of design and how I see certain visual concepts, but my true passion is writing technical documents, so even though I need to improve on design concepts after this class, I still believe that my main focus in life is to keep working on my writing and continue to try and get better.