Week Six Survival Tricks

I spaced out my time this week much better than I usually do. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I did all three of my daily creates, and I really enjoyed them! I have been becoming more comfortable using Pxlr to create unique images.

I decided to complete the Character Design as my first design assignment, and I spent a long time looking through all the different ways to individualize my character. After working on my own character, I knew I had to take some initiative and find her a survival group, so I read a bunch of people’s character introduction posts and messaged two people to be in my group, both of whom said yes. My survival group has four strong female characters, and I believe we will do quite well in the apocalypse together.

For my six stars of design assignments, I chose to create a Word Cloud for my character and I created my own design assignment to make an ad for a charity. I knew I wanted to make my own social media post to let people know about shaving my head for St. Baldrick’s, so I decided it would be efficient to make it an assignment for this course.

Throughout the week I was watching the Ted Talk videos and completing the Canva tutorials, but it was not until towards the end of the week that I wrote my reflection on it. This really opened my eyes to design and made me feel more confident because I do not have much of a background in the subject.

Next, I completed the Design Blitz, which I enjoyed running around campus for. And I even found some The E.N.D. evidence while searching around the HCC for posters.

The last assignment I completed was the Alternative Book Cover, which took me much longer than I had hoped. I really struggled to make it look the way I wanted. I plan I making an appointment with the Digital Knowledge Center to get a tutorial on photo editing so I know which tools do what, and I can complete what I want faster and better.

This week, I made sure to leave a few comments on people’s blogs, and it made me realize it is much more interesting to read someone’s post and leave a comment rather than just reading the post and leaving the


Group dynamics can be tricky. What’s been the most successful group you’ve been a part of and what made it work?Image may contain: 8 people, including Ashley Thompson, Hailey Schunke, Nora Marie Snyder and Spencer Schryver, people smiling, people standing, tree, sky and outdoor

The most successful group I have ever been a part of was my second team when I was serving in AmeriCorps NCCC. We worked together for six months, and although we often disagreed, we made sure to listen to each other’s perspectives and come to a compromise. We all had our own roles on the team, which made our projects and work run smoother. We recognized where some people excelled and others lacked prior skills, and we taught each other how to be better as individuals and as a team. Some of the most important things to do in a group are to be supportive and to listen because everyone has something valuable to offer.


An Alternative Cover for ‘The Book of the Unnamed Midwife’

I created this alternative book cover for ‘The Book of the Unnamed Midwife’ using both Pixlr and Canva. Originally, I was hoping to have an abandoned highway with half a person on the edge of the cover holding their hand in a fist.  I wanted the person to represent the main character as being alone and willfully and independently strong. However, I could not find an image that would work for the person, so I decided to keep the idea of the abandoned highway and focus on the book concept from the novel. I edited the image to make the highway look like it is coming out of the book because the from the preface into the body of the book, the reader is pulled into the story.

Below is an image of the real cover for comparison:


DesignBlitzing @ UMW


This designblitz took me on quite the adventure around campus. I took pictures in the UC for hierarchy and color; the boardgames sign on the TV emphasizes “boardgames” by putting the word in larger size text, in the poster about watching the Olympics, they used the colors from the Olympic rings in the text and the way they broke up the text into different colors made it easier to read.

My next stop was the HCC, where I found the #UMWMade poster. This poster used the design concept of contrast because it uses a dark text color on a bright yellow background. Also while I was in the HCC looking for signs, I found some evidence

While walking around campus, I found two more design concepts. On the front porch of Seacobeck, there is a sign that announces the future home for the College of Education. This sign uses alignment because the text is neatly aligned on the left side. As I continued to walk around, I stumbled across an equality bumper sticker. I believe this uses the concept of space very efficiently because it is simple and straight to the point, yet has a lot of meaning.


How to Design

The videos of Scher and Carson, as well as the tutorials on Canva, made me realize how being creative and taking risks is an important part of design. Although through some of the Canva tutorials created structured “rules” on how to align your design correctly and how to pair fonts well, it also encourages you to put your own twist on your design. I have used Canva a few times in the past to make posters and social media announcements for clubs on campus. I always love creating designs on Canva because the site makes it so easy and it almost feels as if I am playing a game. Despite this, I had never gone through any of the tutorials, and they were very informative. By going through the tutorials, I will be able to create designs more quickly on Canva and have a general background to what looks best and catches people’s attention faster.

Scher and Carson’s videos made me feel more confident as someone with minimal experience in design. I found it interesting how Carson was not originally a designer, which gave him a different perspective on the job. It seemed like he was less likely to follow the construct of design and more likely to create what he wanted to create. I really loved his advise of utilizing who you are into your work because it encourages a more fun side to the work. This seems to compliment Scher’s ideas on solemn vs. serious because she discussed how when she began a new design concept it was fun for her and serious, but as she continued it and the style became more mainstream, it became solemn and less enjoyable.

The videos made me wonder if Canva is a bit solemn because it is so popularly used and has pre-prepared designs to edit. I would like to explore Canva more and see how I can make my designs more unique on the site.

Shaving my Head for Childhood Cancer Research

For my second design assignment, I decided to add my own assignment to the assignment bank. The assignment I made is to create an ad for a charity. I created an ad for St. Baldrick’s, which raises money and awareness for children’s cancer research. In about three weeks, I will be shaving my head at one of the organization’s events in DC. My goal is to raise $300, and what better way to raise money than by designing my own ad to raise awareness! If you are able to, I would really appreciate if you could donate! St. Baldrick’s is an amazing organization that supports an extremely important cause. If not, that is totally okay and please feel free to share this with your friends and family.

Creators Note:

To create the design, I used canva,  which is by far my favorite design application. I chose the poster format, but took creative liberty when organizing and designing it. I chose the green, orange and clover theme because St. Baldrick’s is based around St. Patrick’s Day (Its a pun and puns are the best). I am quite happy with how the poster turned out!

Tala’s Word Cloud

I used wordclouds.com to create my character, Tala’s word cloud. I used her backstory to retrieve the words for her cloud, and I deleted the filler and unimportant words so the word cloud would be more representative of her. I decided to make her cloud in the shape of a tree for two main reasons. The more obvious reason is because she is an ecology major in college, and feels connected to nature. The second reason is that through her past she has grown so much and been able to withstand so much hardship. I imagine Tala can relate to the three because despite negative circumstances, she is able to grow and prosper.

I edited the colors of the word cloud to seem natural; green for the tree and blue for the sky in the background. I decided to “shrink the word cloud” to make sure all of the words were in the image. The overlapping of the words represents the chaos of Tala’s life.

Tala in Her Natural Enviroment

I placed Tala in a lush environment, standing on a rock next to a river. As an ecology major, she would find her self amongst nature quite often. I believe she would find peace and connection with nature because she has minimal connection with other humans.

To keep her prepared on the go, I gave her a hip-pack to carry necessities. I also decided to give her a bolo tie, mostly because I hope bolo ties will be “in” in the future.

Creator’s Note:

Saving the animation of Tala with a transparent background helped the process of editing her into the background image of nature. I really enjoyed looking through the different “items” for customizing my character and editing the colors to make her unique. If I ever need to make another animated character, I will definitely use the Hero Machine. 


How to Survive Week Five

This week I told myself I would get my work done in a timely manner. I started out the week well by gaining my bearings and watching all of the videos and going through the resources for the week. On Wednesday, I got thinking about my character, Tala Madeira and wrote her an in-depth backstory. Wednesday was definitely productive for me because I also listened to the Peoria Plague Radio Show and tweeted along with some of my classmates. On Thursday, I watched the videos by Jad from RadioLab, but then I got caught up in other assignments and responsibilities and did not submit my reflection then.

This fallback in my schedule led me to finish the rest of the work over the weekend. I enjoyed exploring Audacity and getting some tips and tricks before beginning my own audio. After exploring the Frequency 2156 page, I got really into developing and editing my audio for the site. I recorded myself for that assignment just using the microphone on my headphones, but it seems to have worked well. For the two other audio assignments I completed (Humming Away and Call Me, Beep Me), I decided to take advantage of the vocal booth in the HCC. Although it was nice and quiet in there, I think it will be more useful once I figure out how to use all the tech inside it. I will definitely be visiting the Digital Knowledge Center this week for a tutorial!

Overall, I would say it was a pretty fun week, The End-wise.


How are you feeling? Be specific.

This week I have been feeling extremely tired and overwhelmed. I have had so much to get done, and all I wanted to do was take a nap. Slightly afraid a plague of fatigue is sweeping over the school, which will lead to a constant stage of sleep, AKA death. But, hopefully, it is just from a large workload and the fact that we are approaching midterms.