He’s hungry alright… for tears.

For my final design assignment this week, I’ve chosen to make a Computer Book for Kids. The one I ended up making would have really helped me out when I was younger, and now I’m kind of mad that it didn’t exist before. When I was a kid, I used to get in internet fights all the time. I would get in fights even though I knew the other person would make me cry. I was on a never ending quest to always be the smartest person… on neopets. I would get into a fight with anyone whose opinion just seemed stupid to me; I’d fight them if they misspelled a word or if their grammar was poor. I remember having an argument with someone over whether or not Santa was real, and I was the one arguing that he was. So, it’s no wonder that I got picked on quite a bit whenever I would open my mouth.

In eighth grade, I had a falling out with a group of friends online. Two of them harassed me over MSN for a few months before getting bored, but it was awful for me. I didn’t have anyone to go to – my mom didn’t understand “internet fights” and she wouldn’t get how much someone can hurt your feelings over the internet until she joined Facebook a while later. I only wish that there had been some kind of book… an easy to read, fun for all ages rundown about online cruelty…

very angry caterpillar

So I’ll be the one to go back in time and put this scary lookin’ dude on the shelves at Borders. I’m about to save myself a whole lot of grief. Check ya later.

As usual, I made this using my preferred software Paint.net. This one was a little bit simpler, but as a kids book I think it’s probably best to keep it simple. The gallery below shows my process.


That’s just offensive. Let’s watch it.

For the fourth design assignment, I chose to make a Minimalist Movie Poster – I really like the look of minimalist posters, ads, art, makeup, etc., so I thought I’d try my hand using a movie that I’m a big fan of. I actually didn’t see the movie until I was in high school, probably 5 years after it came out, but I like to think that if I was 12-going-on-13 and saw the poster that I had just made, maybe I would have seen it in theaters.

Imagine. It’s a Saturday in late Spring of 2004 and you are 12 years old. You’re a little bit of a weirdo and you have maybe two friends, and you’re at the theater with your family. What is there to pick from? Shaun of the Dead… you’ve probably already seen that. Kill Bill? Not old enough to go in. 13 Going on 30? Yeah right, mom! Hang on though. By the end of the concession line, there’s a horrible poster just DRIPPING with pink. You’re going to throw up. Pink is so… pink. And you’re 12 and cool and you stay up until 3am with a voice recorder trying to see if there are ghosts talking about whatever thing ghosts talk about. One thing sticks out though. This poster is offensive as heck.


What the frick is a baby prostitute? But 12-year-old you can already kind of relate to the one singled out girl. Yeah! You know what it’s like stick out! To be ostracized! Lindsay Lohan, though? “Maybe she’s the one that smells like a baby prostitute,” you might snort. Surprise: she is. Mom buys you a ticket for Mean Girls, and you’re lucky to see it in 2004 instead of years later, after never getting any of the references. And you love every second of it.

That’s my dream scenario, anyway.

This was a tough thing to make. I went for minimalism but I think I still wound up with a pretty busy-looking poster. It also kind of looks like a polaroid picture, to which I think Karen would say something like, “but it doesn’t look cold…?” And Regina would roll her eyes, because she can’t shake her head, because her back is broken. Anyway, here’s a gallery of the steps I did. As usual, I did this all in my preferred program, Paint.net.

The icon that I used is “girl” by N.K. Narasimhan and is licensed under CC BY 3.0. The original image was resized and recolored for this poster.

In the eye of the storm. Wait, wrong weather metaphor

It’s been a wild year. I think a lot of people would agree. Sometimes there’s so much going on it’s like being caught in a tornado of unending crappiness, and all the debris keeps hitting you in the face and saying, “you thought that was the worst it could get? Look at THIS!” Smack! I’d definitely say the past year has been rough. Maybe the past two years. Who knows when it started? We’re all stuck in this crapnado now!

There are some things that are sort of nice though, when you stop to look around. I saw a cardinal on my front porch today, and there’s a new swath of honeysuckle growing along the fence. The very chubby black and white cat that stopped coming around our house after our own cat’s passing has started coming by again and sunning himself on the wooden bridge that crosses over our creek. I got to see a lot of my family two weeks ago, despite some rather unfortunate circumstances! It almost feels like..


I chose to take the Contradiction Creation assignment in this direction because sometimes I feel like it’s easy for me to come up with a negative thought to slap onto a nice photo. I think a tornado best encapsulates the feeling I get from checking the news or talking to people about anything other than silly things. It’s just overwhelming, terrifying, and it can change at the drop of a hat. I remember as a kid, I would be watching cartoons and the audio on the TV would cut out for a few seconds to play that loud, unforgettable BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! and there would be a red ticker at the bottom of the screen telling me which counties were affected by the tornado warning. I would bag up my stuffed animals and hide in the basement. That’s what I feel like doing sometimes, but I just gotta remember… some things actually seem pretty okay.

For this assignment, I started by searching for images of tornadoes on flickr through Creative Commons. The final image above is an edited version of “nssl0054” by NOAA Photo Library and is licensed under CC BY 2.0. The gallery below details the steps I took to create my version of the image. This is all done in Paint.net, and the colors chosen for the text and details were provided by DeGraeve’s Color Palette Generator.

What the heck is that?!

I’m a person who loves scary stories – I like ghost stories, stories about weird creatures, and stories about hearing a tap-tap-tap on the window but no one is there. I love them even though they scare the living daylights out of me. Usually after a spooky-show-bender, I have to watch a few episodes of something light-hearted like Bob’s Burgers or The Office to get rid of the thought that there’s a super scary ghost waiting for me outside my window right now!!!

I wrote on my about me page that I’m terrified of bigfoot. I don’t know why, but I just am. He may very well be a super chill dude, but I’m not about that bigfoot life. For the Are We There Yet? design assignment, I thought I’d poke some fun at myself for being so scared of something that probably isn’t even real. Probably. It better not be. Inspired by the iconic Patterson-Gimlin filmspooky trailcam pictures (this was the only site I could find whose list of photos didn’t include animal death, so fair warning if you’re thinking about googling 🙁 ), and clickbait YouTube thumbnails, I present to you…


A while ago, I was in a bookstore with a friend of mine when she sent me the following picture of myself. It’s already horrifying on its own. My posture! Add in the creepy factor of receiving a picture of yourself when you’re in public. What the heck, man? Here I am, wandering aimlessly, holding a Totoro plush that I never bought, looking like Gollum in a wig, completely unaware that there is a candid picture of myself waiting to be opened. Not cool, but it sets the mood for my creepy Are We There Yet design challenge.


I needed a good forested background, so I hit Creative Commons to search for one. Mr. Loren Kerns‘ photo was perfect for what I wanted, and allowed adaptations.  Woo! Here’s how I spookified myself.

Having made this, I don’t feel any less afraid of Bigfoot, but it does make me want to run past someone else’s trailcam.

The background photo that I used, “Forest,” by Loren Kerns is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


Edited 6/1/17 to give proper photo credit.

Sorry Zelda, I’m busy. Cooking.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at video games. Sometimes I just play them the exact opposite of how they’re meant to be played, like taking a Mario Kart route backwards just to see how everything looks like going the wrong way. When there’s a boss fight, or any inkling of confrontation, my hands get kinda sweaty and my heart rate goes up. I get too nervous to play anything where you have to be constantly watching your back. I do, however, like the new Legend of Zelda game! Big confession: it’s the first LoZ I’ve ever played, except for the 10 minutes I spent wandering around in Ocarina of Time on the N64, not knowing what the heck I was doing. I love open world games, and hoo-boy this is a slam dunk. I’ve gotten lost, gotten my butt kicked, gotten the life scared out of me by those octo-dudes throwing rocks at me from the river (RUDE!), but mostly, I’ve wasted a lot… and I mean a lot… of Zelda’s time.

That poor girl has been waiting for me to come destroy Ganon, but here’s an honest look at how I’m playing the game:


I can’t help it. I take on every quest that people give me. I’ve always been that way. All these people need my help! Plus, who knows what kind of awesome thing they might give me. If I play a game, I want to play it as close to 100% completion as I can, so you bet your Hylian butts I’m going to do all these quests for you. And Zelda… well, she’s been holding up fine for the past hundred years. She can wait while I pick up some freaking mushrooms. And flowers. And gems. And fairies. And collect weapons… sorry Zelda.

For this cover, I snagged the original photo from a Eurogamer article comparing the American and European covers for the game. I chose the American version. I think it looks more dramatic, and I liked how the pale color of the title contrasted with the dark grassy rock in the foreground. The font I used is The Wild Breath of Zelda from dafont.com. (I guess she hasn’t had time to brush her teeth.) Click on through the gallery for the steps I went through to remake the cover.

I did end up moving my text around to even out the space between each line of text, as well as adding an ellipsis on the second line. Afterward, I cropped the picture so that only the actual game cover was left – no more keep case.