Listening: Kirk Franklin/tobyMac - Let It Glow
Reading: needmoney.doc (LOL)
The curriculum at DigiPen Institute of Technology involves rigorous foundational coursework reinforced by a project-based learning approach that allows students to apply their skills and knowledge in an industry-like environment. Describe a time when you have successfully applied something you learned (on your own, from work, or from a class) in a creative, artistic, or academic endeavor.The first time I learned that colours have emotions was during a Sunday morning, doing my duties in church, through the hands of a 7-year-old boy with Down’s Syndrome. On happy days, Jesus was green and the crippled man was yellow. On sick days, the shepherd was brown and the sheep were blue. On angry tantrum days, Mary was red and infant Jesus was black.
It was an epiphany to find out that there was actually truth and reason behind the colours artists use to symbolize certain emotions to convey the mood of their pieces. It was a real life lesson in colour theory and a teaching in how closely art relates to real life.
Going on this route of an artist and designer has been one of the greatest changing points in my life. I have loved drawing and computers since my childhood, and I choose to not let my passion stay as a hobby, but seek to improve myself by taking a Diploma in Digital Media Design.
Since then, I have become the unofficial marketing director of whatever events that my non-artists friends have planned. I did up posters and websites, in the process of which I learned more about working as a designer.
Recently, I went on a community service trip to Dujiangyan in Sichuan for the survivors of the 2008 earthquake. One of the activities we did was to have the children paint a huge banner, stamping their palm prints on the cloth and writing down their dreams. In preparation for it, I bought poster paints, plates and other materials. On the day itself, I helped in drawing guidelines and markings on the banner and in coordinating the children as to where to print on the banner. Due to the excitement of the children and the sheer number of them, it was slightly chaotic situation, leading to a stressful experience for my group. Thankfully, the banner was completed beautifully in the end without any major problems.
It was only during the debrief that I realized how smooth things went on. There had been two groups assigned to two different camps of temporary housings, and the other group’s banner exercise had been more chaotic than ours. Both groups were very grateful for my advice and guidance as we realized that the banner exercise would not have been that successful. (They would have used the paint without mixing water in which will result in more mess at the banner and at the washing area; they would not have marked out the area for the children and the banner will end up badly composed, the time for the paint to dry could have been left out of the schedule’s calculations…) I too, am grateful for my experience in doing projects at Nanyang Polytechnic and at DigiPen: it was through these grueling projects that I have how to plan this banner exercise so well.
Right after I returned from Sichuan, I was roped in my father (Centre Director of Care Corner Family Service Centre Woodlands) to be a volunteer film director and cameraman for two short promo videos for an upcoming corporate retreat that the centre wanted to produce. My past experiences came in handy once more as I sketched out storyboards and blocked out everyone’s positions.
On the shoot for the first video, due to the drizzling weather, I was forced to rush through the scenes, which, on hindsight, sharpened my improvising skills. During the editing and compositing process of this film, I had to make do with the little footage that I have and piece them together to form something comprehensible and presentable. With that many limitations, it was as though I as doing yet another school project. It makes me feel that the many specifications given for our school assignments are indeed adequate preparation for dealing with the restrictions that non-school work tend to have as well.
The second video gave me more flexibility as it was indoors – free from the constraints of bad weather. The staff were cooperative, and thanks to them, I was allowed more re-shoots and had the opportunity to experiment with more angles. It was also easier to relay instructions indoors rather than outdoors, and having learned from the previous shoot, I was also more able to relaying instructions that the amateur actors can understand. Learning to cope in group projects and getting along well with people in school was really necessary in working out of school too.
In the end, everyone enjoyed our time together. When the editing was done, the video was shown during the company’s corporate devotion. I received feedback from both my father and his staff that the audience were truly entertained and laughed a lot, so much so that all of the other centres and branches of the company started asking Woodlands Centre more about the activities that will take place during the retreat. Everyone got very excited and enthusiastic after seeing the promo videos.
I am very glad that my skills gained from Nanyang Polytechnic and DigiPen were able to help out those around me and bring joy to everyone it reaches to. This further convinces me about the beauty of the media and arts.
I am very blessed to be given my pair of skillful hands and my creative mind. I hope to become even more skillful and creative through my next three years at DigiPen.