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.

Don’t Follow Strange Noises

Exploring Frequnecy 2156  was a unique and fun experience. I really enjoyed its collaborative strategy to creating a digital story. It is intriguing to imagine people from all parts of the world experiencing the end and trying to communicate with one another. This crowd-sourced audio lets the listeners add in to the story and continue the stories of this post-apocalyptic world. This site greatly supports the concept of a co-imagined experience that both the listeners and sharers engage in.

Audio as the medium for this site lets the listeners be more creative when imagining each person’s situation. From my perspective, it also gave a feeling that the people are alone in their unique situations as the listener cannot see them.

For my own contribution to Frequency 2156, I recorded myself on Audacity. I added three sounds from  I used a zombie breathing sound which startles my character and encourages her to go see what was creating the sound.  I used a walking sound to create an image in the listeners mind of her walking towards the noise, and then it ends with an added sound of a zombie attack. When I uploaded my audio to the site, the site added a background that muffled my audio a bit, but I think it added to the effect of a mysterious post-apocalyptic scene. I placed my audio at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, and it is the one labeled: Beware There are Zombies.

Learning about Audio

Personally, I do not have experience creating audio, but I do enjoy listening to audio. I have always appreciated podcasts and I have been using them to get through long car rides and tedious tasks for years. I completely agree with Jad Abumrad from RadioLab that listening to stories can take you into a dream-like state.

I also agree that radio is what it lacks. What you cannot see you imagine, and your imagination is more impactful than anything that can be shown. I love his idea of “co-imagination” because radio does bring a connection between the listener and the speaker. It calls for a need for the listener to understand the speaker.  My favorite podcast to listen to is The Moth by NPR. Whenever I listen to it, I end up laughing and crying out loud, which goes to show that you do not need visual to make an impact.

In the second video, Abumrad mentions how it is the storyteller’s job to make a circle of connection, which can bring the listener to a dream-like state. Often, when audio is done well, I feel like I am thrown into the story and I am no longer a part of the real world.

Through the tips and videos, I learned how important it is to use the right equipment and be in a controlled environment when creating audio. These factors and editing and layering make a huge impact on the final product. I hope that as I begin to use Audacity and create audio, I will become more comfortable and be able to create audio that puts the listener into a dream-like state to become connected with the story.

Apocalyptic Short Stories Review

The first apocalypse short story I chose to read was There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury. Published in 1950, this is a futuristic story set in 2026. Although most people do not live in them today, the concept of a “Smart” house does exist in this day and age. It was so interesting how the author achieved a pretty accurate representation of modern technology. In the story, somehow the humans are no longer around, but the technology of the smart home is still going through the old house-owners’ daily routine. I began to take note of how technology is able to outlive humans and survive without us, and immediately after I wrote that down, the house had the fire and began to malfunction. This short story was extremely easy to read as it was fun to think of how it is possible that the concepts could happen in our future reality.

The second short story I read was Finis by Frank L. Pollack. Published in 1906, it is understandable that the female characters seemed fragile and not as knowledgeable as them men, but it still bothered me. The way the characters were not very well introduced or described made it slightly hard to follow in the beginning. The action towards the middle of the short story was the most interesting part, but then the author made the poor mistake of adding a love scene to the end. Overall I would say it was okay.