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Final Blog Post: Course Completion

With the Fall 2020 semester coming to its conclusion, there are many things to talk about, such as the skills and experienced gained during my time in CT 101. So without further a do, let’s get started!

One of the very first things we learned about was how to add gifs to our blog posts! Gifs are such an amazing tool to use because they help make a message more fun and dynamic.

For example, take a look at the gif and caption below.

Caption: “The face when I’m hungry but the waitress finally brings my personal large pepperoni pizza.”

By combining both an gif and a caption, I’m able to make a funny but powerful message. There are many fun websites to check out more gifs, such as https://giphy.com/.

Alongside gifs, we also have memes! Although memes can be in the form of both a gif or image, both are equally iconic.

Below are some popular memes found on a great website called Imgur!

What all of these have in common is their ability to bring people together. When these memes become icons of the Internet, people begin to associate these images with a certain feeling or message. As you can see, the “Success Kid” in the image above is a way for users to express their feeling of accomplishment. All in all, memes are a great addition to the Internet.

The next thing we learned about in CT 101 is the DS106 Assignment Repository. Essentially, it is a website that helps students discover new possibilities by introducing them to creative assignments.

Throughout the semester, I’ve done a number of assignments;

a cereal box cover,

a fashion design,

and a written letter to my past self.

This variety of assignments has taught me that creativity is NOT  linear concept, it is always flowing and branching out. I never imagined I would be creating cereal boxes or drawing designer dresses, but here I am actually doing it! The core idea I have learned from DS106 is to always be willing to try something new.

Now, the biggest project we had this semester; creating our own websites! Feel free to check out my website at https://paperpig.net/!

My website is designed to be a Personal Portfolio site where I can post my own works such as professional or personal projects that I’ve worked on.

I was able to add an Instagram social feed into my website. Now, whenever I add posts to my Instagram with art I’ve worked on, it automatically updates the social feed as well!

I also added a digital photo gallery,

and even created my first blog post on my website!

While I did encounter some frustrations such as trying to learn how to customize all of the widgets and pages, all in all, I’m super happy with how my website turned out and I plan on consistently updating it and finding ways to make it better.

I plan on applying the skills I learned in this class to the real world. My goal right now is actually to become a User Experience Designer, so the skills I’ve learned from creating and developing my own website will definitely be beneficial to me in the future. It’s also extremely important for me to appeal to audiences as a designer, so being fluent in the language of memes and gifs is essential for keeping up with the times.

I will proudly say that I deserve an “A” for the class. Aside from completing all the required blog posts and even creating my own website, I have developed new skills and reached my personal goal of “Broadening my horizons”, as mentioned in my first gif blog post.

Gif Caption: “How 2020 Killed Me”

As much as I enjoyed taking part in CT 101, I’m honestly a bit burnt out from this semester and from 2020 in general. This is probably one of the hardest years of my life so far, so hopefully things will be better in 2021.

Thank you for creating such a wonderful classroom experience Professor Seslow. I can promise you that this is one class I won’t ever forget. I wish you all good luck, for the present and for the future!

Copyright and Issues

Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to use and recreate their own works. It’s purpose is to protect creators from people that may try to steal or pirate their original content. Although copyright in itself is a positive thing, there have been concerns about extremities brought about from this concept. One of the most notable examples of this is Youtube videos being taken down because of “Copyright Infringement”.

One of the laws that protect users from potential issues regarding copyright is fair use. Fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. What this means is that users can utilize resources they find online and take their own spin on it, HOWEVER, this does not mean they can take credit for the original work.

WARNING: The video below has distorted colors that may induce some discomfort in people’s eyes. 

A meme popular back in 2016-2017 was “You Reposted in the Wrong Neighborhood”. People would use this song to make remixes of video game characters singing uses voice lines found in game.

Disclaimer: However, this video below is fine and will not induce any discomfort. 

One of my all time favorite remixes from this meme is “You Reinposted in the Wrong Neighbourhardt”. The creator of this video uses the beat from the original music video, but he creates a song using the voice lines said by Reinhardt, my favorite character in Overwatch.

After watching the TED Talk by Larry Lessig, one quote that really stuck to me was “It is a literacy for this generation. This is how our kids speak.” This phrase refers to expressions of creativity found on the internet, such as making remixes of songs (like in the example I showed). The Internet has become such an important part of our lives that our children use it to share their feelings and thoughts, whether it’s through text, emojis, gifs or even making their own content like music, Youtube videos and video games!

There’s a video above that, in my opinion, is a good representation of what the Internet has to offer if creators are given creative freedom. The animator that created this animation did NOT create every single asset put into this video. Many of the songs, sounds and even the characters themselves are NOT an original product created by the animator. However, because of fair use, he is able to use different resources he found on the Internet and create a wonderful piece of art that brings joy to the large audience of Youtube.

All in all, while I wholeheartedly believe hard work should NEVER be stolen, people need to be given the freedom to create what they want. The best things in life are always a combination of many things.

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Vaporwave, what a genre!

 

Vaporwave is a genre of music and aesthetic that embraces the simple beauty of the 80s, utilizing deep purples, neon blues and VHS styled imagery. It has a very futuristic yet retro vibe to it which makes it appealing to both older and younger audiences.

I personally LOVE vaporwave. Although I’ve never heard that specific term until now, I’ve actually had encounters with it while browsing Youtube before attending CT 101. While watching the video Vaporwave: Genre Redefined, he mentioned Japanese vaporwave which caused someone in my brain to tick and I searched up “Japanese Vaporwave” on Youtube.

What I found out was I’ve been listening to vaporwave this whole time! The video above includes a song originally by Anri, a japanese artist in the 80s, that has been remixed to fit the vaporwave genre. It’s accompanied by a clip from a Japanese animation shown during the 90s. It’s one of my favorite songs to listen to when I need a break from work or school.

Although I wouldn’t personally create vaporwave designs, I think they’re very intriguing! The art style itself SHOULD be considered old fashioned, but it’s actually very refreshing and soothing! Also, now that I’ve realized my love for vaporwave music, I’ll continue searching for more songs to jam out to!

Vaporwave…how much nostalgia it brings!

DS106: A Letter to Myself As a Child [Self Reflection]

Dear Isaac,

This is your future self from the year 2020. I’m writing this letter to let you know that I am doing well, despite some of the struggles I’ve been going through. Unfortunately, I can’t say life gets easier once you grow up because in all honesty, it’s been a real race trying to keep up.

What I can tell you is that you grow up into a fine young man. While I did drop out of school two years ago, I got back on my feet and am currently working towards my dream career of becoming a User Designer. Yes, not a doctor or police man, a designer! Your passion for creativity blossoms exponentially, so keep drawing in that sketch book and don’t mind those remarks your brother makes about your doodles!

All in all, I want to let you know that I am proud of you for coming this far and that you don’t have to worry about your future. I’ve had to deal with a lot anxiety because I was trying to do what would “make my family proud” or “make me the most money”, leading me to a dead end.

Instead of worrying about what others want or what is the “best way”, reach for what you want! Scribble in those books, splatter the paint all over the wall, let the ink from your markers bleed through the paper! And most importantly, never stop doing what you love.

From your older self,

Isaac Moon

P.S. You get a really sweet and pretty girlfriend!  😀

This assignment was pretty fun! Anyone else that wants to try it, just click on the image above to check it out!

 

Websites in Progress!

After spending a few weeks on our websites, it’s finally time to see our progress.

The first website I checked out was by Clark Vaillant, at https://clarkv4.com/. His website is a website for gamers, and he talks about news such as the hottest console of 2020, the PS5.

I left a comment on his website talking about how great it was that he was creating a website centered around video games. As a gamer myself, I love hearing about the newest consoles or video games being released. I also really love the background image he uses for his website. The logo combined with the controller really sells the website’s theme as a whole.


The next website I checked out was by Louannie Smith, at https://raaiwlou.com. First of all, I absolutely love the background image on her website. It’s a gorgeous but light hearted image that puts my mind at ease.

After observing Louannie’s website, I left a comment talking about what I liked about it. I personally love the overall light hearted themes and the fact that it’s more of a personal journal website rather than a business/portfolio website makes it casual and relatable.

All in all, I love the designs and themes of our websites so far.

Adding Social Feeds and Posts

Hey CT 101. I’m happy to share that I finally added an Instagram social feed directly to my personal website, paperpig.net!

I decided to place it in the Blog Sidebar widget so that it can remain visible while on the homepage. I also managed to embed both the Instagram social feed and an Instagram post into a blog post!

All in all, I’m really enjoying the updates and improvements I’m making on my website. Can’t wait to learn more!

Personal Website Customization Part II

This week, we continued customizing our personal websites and added a lot of much needed features. One of my concerns when I first started up my website was the notice that kept saying “Not secure” whenever I entered my site. After watching Professor Seslow’s tutorial, I learned that we needed to install a plugin called Really Simple SSL and once that was done, the message no longer popped up!

The image below shows you that my website now has a lock icon next to it, showing that it is now secure.

I was also able to install the Contact Form 7 plugin that allows the website moderator to receive messages directly from users without using email. A pretty useful feature!

The image below shows you the page where you can add and edit the Contact Form feature.

The image below show you how it looks like when you actually go on my website. 

 

The last thing I added to my website was a digital art gallery, as shown by Prof Seslow. It was pretty easy to do and I think it looks great! However, I did run into an issue. If you see text I circled in red, the title of the Digital Art Gallery page is stuck on the left side, but I would prefer to have it directly above my art gallery like in the video demonstration. Hopefully there is a simple solution to this.

Mid Semester Assessment…It’s been Awesome!

We’re already halfway through this pizza- I mean semester! There is so much I’ve learned in CT 101 so far and even though we are getting close to the end, I’m still excited to see what new things we’ll learn for the rest of the term!

I’m proud to say that I’ve developed many great skills from this class. Some of the thing I’ve learned include the power of communicating through blog posts,

using gifs to express my thoughts and emotions,

creating my own CT 101 memes,

and even starting my own personal website! (Click here for the blog post talking about starting up my website!)

Collectively, the blog posts have taught me that I don’t have to write everything like an essay, rather, I have the freedom to integrate my own style of writing into messages I post online. As a communicator, this gives me relief and excitement because I personally believe the formal guidelines of essays and college papers restrict my range of creative expression.

After enrolling in CT 101, I’ve learned that at my core, I am a creative person and always have a plethora of ideas in my mind. One of my long time hobbies is drawing in sketchbooks, however, after taking some time to search for other ways to exercise my imagination, I have discovered other forms of artistic expression.

(The image above is not my artwork). One of the things that I discovered because of CT 101 is an art form called flat landscapes. While starting up my personal website, I used a copyrighted image for my background, however, I already knew that if I truly wanted to make my website my own, I would have to create my own assets to express what kind of artist I am. My plan for the future is to illustrate my own flat landscape for my portfolio website, paperpig.net.

I have grown as a student, artist and person, but I know I still have many things to improve on. Some of the things I want to focus on even after completing CT 101 are my web development coding skills, learning to use software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and improving my writing skills for blog posts and textual content on my website.

My plan for my website, paperpig.net, is to make it my own personal portfolio website. For future semesters and even after graduation, I want to continuously add more content regarding projects I’ve been working on such as school assignments, personal drawings and illustrations, motion graphics animations and when the time comes, even work related projects to showcase my experience.

I will proudly say that I deserve an “A” for the class. Aside from consistently attending lectures and keeping up with my blog posts, I have developed new skills and reached my personal goal of “Broadening my horizons”, as mentioned in my first gif blog post. CT 101 truly feels like a class that is more focused on student growth rather than giving out assignments for the sole purpose of filling out a quota.

As we get closer to the winter solstice, I begin to realize that my time in this class is coming to an end. Even though this class is only a semester long, I’ll cherish all the experiences I’ve gained, such as the profound discoveries I’ve come upon.

As a closing note, I just want to thank Professor Seslow for being such an awesome instructor. Whatever you have in store for us for the rest of the semester, I’ll be waiting anxiously in my seat for it.

 

Starting on Personal Website Customization

After doing weeks of blog posts and even thinking up our own domain names (my website url: paperpig.net), we were finally given the opportunity to actually start up our very own websites! Because I wanted to make my website a personal design portfolio, I wanted the homepage to give off creative vibes, so I uploaded some of my favorite artwork as the background. Unfortunately, because I do not own this image, I will have to update it in the future, but I’ll most likely try to recreate something similar to create the same warm effect.

The very first thing I did after uploading a background image was creating the site’s identity. For the site’s title, I named it Paper Pig, and the tagline is Design Portfolio for Isaac Moon to briefly describe the core focus of my website. I also had a little fun and uploaded a silly logo to accompany my site title in the Google Chrome tabs.

Also, I managed to make my first blog post on my OWN website! I’m so happy with the capabilities of reclaim hosting.

Overall, I’m very happy with the beginnings of my new website. Even though there are many things that still need to be done, I can’t wait to learn more about developing our sites over the next few weeks! I’m overjoyed that I’ve finally hopped onto the Web Designer/Developer train.

Creating our Domains and Setting up Web Hosting

CT 101 continues to be my favorite class, adding new and exciting things for us to learn, like creating our own websites!

Setting up my domain on Reclaim Hosting was easy enough; all I did was create an account and use the code that Professor Seslow generously distributed to the class. Once I installed WordPress onto the control panel in Reclaim Hosting, I was able to finally generate and create my very own website!

I initially wanted my website to be paperpig.com, but apparently that domain name was already taken (which is strange, because when I typed searched it, nothing showed up). In the end, I decided to call my website paperpig.net.

I did run into one issue though. Every time I try to access the website after logging into my Reclaim Hosting account, it shows me this website in the image below.

[Below: Incorrect Website]

The only way for me to have access to my actual website is to either use an incognito window or look at it using my phone.

The image below is the actual website.

I also took some time to look over the different kinds of customizations we would be using, and I have to say, I’m really excited for the future updates I’ll be making. I’m especially looking forward to playing around with the colors and theme options.

I hope that for the rest of the time I have in CT101, I’m able to create a beautiful, professional website that resonates my personality and interests. I’m hoping that I can someday use it as a portfolio website when I start my career in UX Design.

The image below comes from a portfolio website created for and by Kuon Yagi, a Japanese UX/Web Designer. I’m absolutely in love with how he designed his website and if you actually visit his domain, his backgrounds and menus actually move as you scroll down the page. All in all, very modern and exceptionally creative. I hope to one day have a website that looks as cool as this one.

 

 

The Internet’s Own Boy- Blog Post

Aaron Swartz was a brilliant programmer who helped create amazing things, one of them being one of the internet’s largest repositories of information, Reddit.

Aaron Swartz, along with Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, founded Reddit and created a new culture in the Worldwide Web. If you’re not sure what Reddit is, it is a social media platform that allows users to have discussions about topics that other users have submitted. Because of this freedom of expression, news on Reddit ranges anywhere from group discussions about politics, personal confessions, or even entertainment like posts about silly cats.

The creation of this medium is significant because it has changed the lifestyles of many people. Many people use Reddit everyday for different purposes, some of the most popular reasons being related to personal anecdotes. Although I don’t use Reddit too often, if I ever have lingering thoughts in my head before bed, such as my fear of losing a loved one, I’m able to find a plethora of descriptive discussions on Reddit regarding these darker topics. Because content on Reddit is created by users, you can find discussions on pretty much any topic you like.

Below is a post regarding fear of losing loved ones. 

Below is a post regarding depression because of college, something which I’m sure many of us have gone through.

Personally, Reddit is a place that helps me cope with the struggles in life. By reading these relatable anecdotes and even having discussions about these troubles, I learn that I am not alone.

All in all, after observing the impact that Reddit has on the lives of people, including mine, I can confidently say that Aaron Swartz’ dream of “making the world a better place” has definitely come into fruition.

 

 

 

 

 

Picking a Domain Name

After hearing that we would be making our own websites soon, I got really excited. It’s always been my dream to have my own website.

Initially, I was just going to use my own name as the domain website, but then I gave it some thought and chose to use a unique nickname instead. Ultimately, my great idea for an online nickname was to call myself Paper Pig. The inspiration for this name actually came from an Instagram post I made over two years ago, where it shows a sketch of a pig holding a pencil.

However, before I finalized my decision, I made sure that the name I chose was unique and never used before. I googled the phrase, “paper pig” into google, and thankfully, the only results that showed up were images and links relating to Peppa Pig, a famous children’s cartoon. After making sure “paperpig.com” and “paperpig.net” weren’t taken, in the end, I made the decision to make the domain of my website “paperpig.net”.

Why the name, Paper Pig? Well, for starters, both words in the name have special meaning. The first word, “Paper” is a term to show my artistic side. I enjoy many things, which include drawing, building figures, making desserts, painting, using Photoshop, learning how to design websites, and I’ve even tinkered with video game design a short while back. Also, as I’ve learned in User Experience Design, all ideas start on paper, no matter how complex the project may be.

Below is an image of a paper prototype for a phone application.

I’ve chosen the word “Pig” to be in the name because I absolutely love pigs. Not only are they cute, they are also friendly, loyal, and most notably, they are intelligent creatures. They are extremely social animals and even enjoy listening to music (a hobby that I partake in on a daily basis).

Aside for my love for pigs, I’ve always found animal-styled avatars to be more creative than human avatars. Personally, I think it would be really interesting for a pig to be an artist/designer.

As for the content on the website, I actually have the intention of making this website a portfolio for any future jobs I may apply for. I would primarily be uploading design projects I’ve done, however, I’d still like to include more recreational works like personal drawings and paintings. I would also include some info about myself, like a short bio describing my interests and goals.

Below are some of my Instagram posts, showing what kinds of drawings/painting I would upload.

I’m really looking forward to making our own personal websites. My core goal is to build a creative and professional website that I can manage and update for the years to come.

 

DS106 Fashionista

For my second project, I decided to work on the Fashionista assignment. I chose to do this assignment because I wanted to learn more about clothing design for characters. Coincidentally, around the time we were introduced the DS106 is when Inktober started.

Inktober, occurring every October, is a time period where artists around the globe pledge to draw and ink their artworks everyday for the entire month of October. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to stick to my pledge because I get so caught up in schoolwork, but thankfully, because CT101 is so flexible, I was able to include another addition into my collection of Inktober drawings. In the image below, you can see my Instagram post showing a sketch of a woman wearing a party dress.

Overall, this assignment was really fun and I recommend others to try it out! It’s not everyday you feel like a fashion designer.

DS106 and Future Assignments

 

For the two projects we were required to choose from the DS106, I decided to pick the “Design Your Own Cereal Box Cover” assignment as the project I would complete, and the  “Fashionista” assignment as a future project.

Below is my completed cereal box cover I created using Photoshop.

I wanted my cereal box to look at least somewhat convincing, so I used a lot of cereal box references like Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, and many other popular cereal brands. I noticed that one prevalent theme all the children’s cereal had was a colorful, vibrant mascot representing their cereal brand. This inspired me to create a cereal box cover using All Might, a character from my favorite show, My Hero Academia.

The next project I’ve chosen to do some time in the future is the “Fashionista” assignment. I’ve always loved drawing characters in my spare time, but I’ve never specifically focused on clothing and fashion. I want to expand my creative horizons a bit by learning how to draw beautiful clothing that people can wear during special occasions. When I begin this project, I plan on doing my best to design a bridesmaid dress because I’ve always believed these dresses accentuate a woman’s beauty.

Assignment #3: Are Internet Memes Art?

Memes are such an important aspect of the internet that it’s safe to assume it is more than just art; it is a culture.

When most people think of memes, they think of something funny, and with good reason too. Users of instant messaging apps like Facebook Messenger tend to use memes in the form of images or gifs to create an emphasized message that is usually hilarious and a bit outrageous, like a bunny with a humanlike smile to show how happy they are (this gif made me laugh quite a bit.)

However, you can use memes to show other emotions besides happiness.

What’s also great about memes is they introduce people to new topics and genres! An old but great meme that is still remembered today is the “Rick Roll”. It was a meme that was created around the time when Youtube first came out, and the main idea of it was to trick users into clicking on a video, then showing Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley.

I was introduced to Rick Astley through the Rick Roll meme, and I still listen to his music even today.

I think my favorite part about memes is the massive variety that is available. Websites like Imgur and GIPHY  provide new memes to the internet everyday, and they let you know which ones are trending. In my opinion, the most hilarious memes are the ones you can relate to the most.

Whether it be my sad bank account balance,

Laying in my bed and having trouble sleeping,

Last minute panic from trying to do a ten page paper in one night,

Or even trying to stay healthy during the school semester, all these memes, in one sense, are a funny but are also somewhat accurate portrayal of how I feel about certain things. It’s come to a point where memes are not just an “activity” I take part in, but rather, a method of self expression.

What’s awesome about memes is although most people simply just view them, we can ALL make our own memes! Using Make a Meme, I was able to make some pretty cool ones about CT101.

I’m really loving this class so far, but I just realized something…