This narrative unit, students were tasked to explore upon the skills we learned during our past year on using art as a means for story telling. We used art principles, and design among other things to produce projects with the intention of telling a hidden narrative. These came from a wide range of mediums from 3d modeling and animation to physical light boxes.
As an intro into careful storytelling, out assignment in English class led us to create a listener lyrical essay. A lyrical essay is a long poem with a structural narrative and format of an essay. We conducted anonymous interviews about self identity to create a fiction, based on non fiction story. My Lyrical essay in particular was regarding someone’s self identity while having mental health issues. We first began with an creating an interview transcript which was later translated into multiple drafts of an essay, then paired with a visual element.
- Who have you struggled to keep a good relationship with?
My mother, a lot.
- Overtime how have you dealt with that relationship?
I mean for me my mom has sorta gotten…well it’s always been up and down. For dealing with it, it’s been sorta bad for a while for the most part we try to listen and talk to one another. We try to communicate and if we are doing something wrong we try to point it out.
- Can you tell me a story about a time you felt pre-judged or discriminated against for being [insert identity]? Have there been any other experiences like that that you’ve experienced or witnessed?
So even though my mom also had depressions, she and my relatives they sorta do that thing of looking at you like your faking it. They say that everything you are feeling is true but you could be exaggerating things. Two years ago I was sitting in a car with friends and three of them were talking about how this girl was in a relationship and her boyfriend was depressed. Once they broke up of were about to he said he felt like killing himself. I was listening to them talk and they said that he was faking it or being manipulative to his girlfriend. Of course that is a possibility but the way they spoke about ti made it seem like they didn’t realize that suicide is rarely correlated to relationships.
- What kinds of images and stories in the media about [insert identity] concern you the most or cause you to react emotionally? Why?
Per usual, every time i see something alluded to suicide but if I am watching a movie seeing a suicide it triggers a visceral reaction. Midsommar was hard to watch. Also cases in which people lose their family in a terrifying way. Me and my mom watched this show called “living with yourself”. The synopsis is that this guy has a clone who is better than him in every way, and they compete for this wife. And so the last episode the clone comes to terms that he will never be the wife, so he sits in the bathroom and holds a gun to his mouth. It’s a pretty shot but it really moved something in me.
- Do you know of any public figures who have worked for or against the advancement of [insert identity]? (If so, who? And, how do you feel about their work?)
Gatekeeping is so common. I remember this so well. I was doing an art camp and I was questioning what i have (mild ocd) and i was on meds for OCD. I was talking about it in art camp and this girl was like “are you sure? I have self diagnosed OCD so i would know it better “. Like bitch my psychiatrist prescribed me so shut the fuck up.
- Zora Neale Hurston once wrote, “I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.” Does this statement feel true to your own experience in some way? Can you rephrase this statement to express your own experience more accurately?
In class if someone is talking about a problem and is crying about how bad it is, but it seems so minor compared to the things I have to deal with.
- Has your self-image or your perception of your own body ever been challenged or changed by how others see or relate to you for being [insert identity]?
Not particularly, I get self conscious sometime but I mull it over because I hate dressing badly.
- When does you self worth waver?
My self worth wavers so much it makes me wonder about the purpose of my life and life in general.
- Has there been any instance in which you felt ostracized because of your identity? In this case have you felt tense due to other’s opinions of what your worth?
When i went on a family trip with my aunt i felt this. My aunt is from Midwest and a bit traditions. When we were in the car, my aunts daughter dealt with bad mental health and eating disorder last year, and my aunt was like “we are doing all this stuff for her but she is not helping herself,, we are spending so much money but she is wasting it”. Hearing that it made me feel like why do you think your daughter has a mental illness. There is a huge chance that my aunt said this stuff to her daughter’s face. Like that would be the worst possible thing to do.
- This kind of identity is not one said outright, but one felt inside. How do you express your identity as someone who has in the past struggled to have good mental health?
When I sit in my room I write in a journal and himself sob. Sometimes is eloquent written but other times its saying your fucking worthless. I got the journal as a birthday gift for my mom. I have one page “my mother did this is made me feel like this” and the other page is just words in a circle written poorly.
June 15, 2017:
Your mom gives you a journal for your birthday. Seems pretty useless. You didn’t do so well in your high school English classes and people tell you your handwriting resembles the scribble on a prescription. Little do you know, however, that yes, although the journal will not fix the problem in your life, make money, or find you better friends, it’s not useless.
July 28 2017,
You are on a road trip with your family, sitting in a worn down minivan with carpets that collect dog hair around the crevasse. In front of you sit your mother, father, sister, and aunt. That aunt. You remember? The one from Colorado. The one who has a daughter of similar age. Yes of course, how could you forget. The one who would come to tell you words you would vividly remember for the next 10 years. On your long drive to Santa Monica, she squawks about her daughter.
“ We are paying all of this money to help her, but she needs to help herself. We have taken time away from our jobs and personal lives to make up for the little effort she puts into anything. What a waste.”
A waste. You think about these words. You think that your aunt probably spoke these same words to her daughter’s face.
January 3rd 2018,
It’s still winter break. You are in a car yet again, but this time with a group of so-called friends. You act as a mimic, copying their puffed chests and fanciful motions, but you start to get quiet.
Anna tells you that Noah and Emma are breaking up.
“Rumor has it that Noah said he would kill himself if they didn’t get back together.”
“What a psycho!”
“Can people really be that obsessive and manipulative?”
“He probably is just too desperate to keep her.”
Suddenly you want to jump out of a car. The air seems to have thickened.
February 17, 2018
Today, at an art camp, you wanted to punch a girl. After sharing with the class the inspiration behind your fractured acrylic composition, the teacher calls for a critique.
“I don’t think that represents the subject to well. You see, I am self-diagnosed, so I think I would know more about what it’s like to live with that than you.”
Know more? So those 4 years of therapy did not teach you anything. What the psychiatrist had said must have been lies if this girl knows more than me. All those sessions sitting in the couch clutching the ball of sand seemed to have not really happened after all. The few words have suddenly caused your memory to become hazy.
The painting finds its way to a large blue bin.
March 9 2019,
You finally fill the last page of the journal your mom gave you. What started out as a collection of calculated thoughts has now turned into a book of words written in circles. Many pages are ripped and stained with tea, or darkened by black sharpie lines which make it look like a coordinate map.
You don’t feel better now that things are written down. Rummaging back thought the pages make you realize that all of these things you wanted to forget really did happen. Even though the journal has been filled, it’s not the end and you will continue to subconsciously take note of different stories.
During our animation course, we focused on the basics of 3D modeling and animation. We used applications Maya, Zbrush, Substance Painter, and a mix of the adobe programs.
As an intro, we were tasked to model and paint 3d weapons inspired by video game design. I choose to do a nordic inspired war hammer, largely inspired by Poppy’s base hammer from the video game League of Legends.
We then began to develop and model environments. This involved beginning with basic polygonal shapes, then adding details to create items found in the environment. For my scene, I choose to do a bedroom during nighttime.
To fill our environments, we also began learning more about 3d rigging and animation on Maya. Before we had used the software fro only modeling, so it gave us the opportunity to utilize the versatility of the application. The process first began with the modeling and painting of a basic character. This character was then rigged with an automated skeleton the animate, then renders with the arnold software.