Week in review… did I live up to my blog title?

Spoiler: I don’t think so. It’s been more like “I’ll show you a picture, and leave you confused.” Aaah!

It’s been a long week. Setting up the blog itself and connecting everything was something of a logistical nightmare… I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so many tabs open. I was hesitant at first to sign up for so many things and to have a bigger web presence. I’m not even active on Facebook, so suddenly registering for flickr and Soundcloud and making a Gravatar and connecting them all was a huge mental block that I had to get over. I hope I have everything connected correctly. My posts show up on the DS106 Blogs feed, so maybe I’m safe! The hardest part of it all was picking a URL. I like to think I got creative with mine.

I spent quite a long time working on customizing my blog. I’ve used WordPress before for a few other classes, so it wasn’t too bad. I’m just very picky! I’m happy with the theme, the background, and the colors. The font will be the death of me, though. Do you see how huge this font is? I tried to edit the CSS and everything to change the font size, but I’m no coder. I’m just a dingdong with a huge font.

What I’ve realized (through Prof. Polack’s comments) is that in my work, I’ve been spending more time looking at the how did I do this? rather than why did I do this?, and it’s the why that is the crucial point of storytelling. Storytelling is communication, and as it’s mentioned in this week’s video courtesy of the Toledo Museum of Art, we’re in a new age of communication. The digital world is prime for storytelling, even if the conduit for the story is a 16x16px sprite of a weird looking purple cat.

I made the mistake in that post of not explaining why I made the sprite and instead choosing to detail only how it was done. I made the sprite because Animal Crossing is important to me. It’s something comforting, like putting on pajamas and having some hot cocoa. Bob is one of the most recognizable characters and one of the most popular villagers to have, and I’ve been his “neighbor” for years. We’re like friends, except he’s not real. Other people have other favorite villagers, and when they move away it’s kind of like losing a best buddy. In making the pixel art of Bob being Bob-ish, I think I was trying to communicate how important that game is to me. I’ve made a lot of friends because of it, and when I get to play with them it makes me feel like throwing my arms up and relaxing like that cool cat.

The same is true for my Crappy Font post. Why did I choose to redo the Washington Post as Neopets? I regret making it, because swapping WaPo with Neopets makes it seem like I think the Washington Post is as credible a news source as Neopets. I literally only made it because I thought it would be funny to see the title in the goofy Neopets font. There was no underlying “it’s fake news” agenda here. Just good old, “haha, remember Neopets?” The things that I make need to be explained. They have a story, or rather, the visuals are the story, but I’m the only one that knows the full context of why they exist.

One of the Daily Creates that I made this week referenced political events in its center panel. I do think that as we move forward in the class, some of the things I create might be more influenced by or reflective of current events. The Crappy Font post could be interpreted as political, but I’d really rather it not be. (The intent should have been made clear.) There are opinions of mine that have come through in my work, but obviously that hasn’t happened in the majority of the assignments. Many of them are context-free mysteries, and I need to fix that.

Overall, I feel like I probably didn’t meet the requirements for the week. My writeups for the Visual Assignments were lacking. As proud as I was of the things I made, I neglected to explain why I made them and what effect I wanted them to have. Some of them may have the opposite effect that I wanted, and the effect that I did want was never articulated. I do have trouble explaining why I made something that I’ve made, which will probably dog me for the duration of this class. I sometimes expect that people will just get the story or the message that I’m trying to send, and this week it’s been clear that that isn’t the case.


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