The assignment prompt for Tracing Pages requires the comparison of two visual close readings in analytical essay format. In my essay, I concluded from page 174 from Stitches and page 170 from Spinning that both authors use the panel to panel transitions and the presence and absence of facial expressions to compare themselves with their mothers. David Small stands up for himself in between surgeries in a staredown with his mother by imitating her vicious glare, and Tillie Walden closes herself off from her mother in an act of neglect when she is late to pick her up from cello practice and causes her to witness a scary car crash.
It was difficult to choose only one moment from each text to compare, so instead of searching for two pages that mimicked each other, I focused on each book separately. I chose a page I found interesting without worrying that I would need to compare it to another page later on. This method proved to be successful because once I began the tracing process I realized both pages had themes of facial expressions or lack thereof and interesting panel design. These themes made the inductive writing process easier, however, it was still uncomfortable considering I am unfamiliar with the writing style. Inductive writing forced me to push my critical analysis to the front rather than building up to it with a cushiony introduction. This made me feel exposed because I felt I hadn’t given enough background and would automatically be put in defensive positioning. It was also overwhelming to notice the sheer magnitude of meaning behind “the secret language of comics”. Each page of a comic book has seemingly endless possibilities for underlying meaning just based off of the panel transitions alone, not even what is inside the panels themselves! Before tracing my pages, I didn’t realize how much each author used frame angles and transitions to influence the consumption of a page. Now I can see how calculated each frame is in what the author choses to show or not show.
My fourth Sunday Sketch has proven to be my most difficult. Not only did I struggle to come up with a creative idea, but my computer itself decided it doesn’t like this assignment and therefore has crashed three separate times, each time making me start from scratch. If I had to choose one word to describe my experience in creating this sketch and post, it would be “frustrating”. First, finding CC-licensed images is a constricting experience that leads to pages and pages of creepy, dimly lit images. Secondly, once I had an idea of what I wanted to do, none of the available images fit my idea of noodle soup and blonde hair. In my search, I came across a random picture of a bird with a weird looking beak, and that is what inspired my creepy collage. Funny enough, I think the word to describe the image I created would also be “frustrating”. The bird is silenced without its beak, but the pen is a common indicator of speech. Looking at the image makes me feel trapped like I am the bird trying to speak in a language I don’t know.
I am enrolled in a Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and these visual notes are not from that class. These notes are actually from the discussion section of my ANT 202 class, also known as Concepts and Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Last Wednesday, all I talked about during my first and last period of the day was race, gender, sex, and everything inbetween. My notes from the discussion period were clear and concise, making them the perfect pick for my visual note taking sketch assignment. I am a natural doodler. Look through my notebooks and you’ll see doodles covering all the margins. When I doodle I listen – the constant movement of my pencil keeps me focused. That being said, I have never drawn anything productive towards the class, it is normally clothing or miscellaneous objects. I am enrolled in a Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and these visual notes are not from that class. These notes are actually from the discussion section of my ANT 202 class, also known as Concepts and Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Last Wednesday, all I talked about during my first and last period of the day was race, gender, sex, and everything in-between. My notes from the discussion period were clear and concise, making them the perfect pick for my visual note-taking sketch assignment. I am a natural doodler. Look through my notebooks and you’ll see doodles covering all the margins. When I doodle I listen – the constant movement of my pencil keeps me focused. That being said, I have never drawn anything productive towards the class, it is normally clothing or miscellaneous objects.
I was nervous to properly portray my notes visually, but once I let go of my Giulia Forsyth-style expectations, the ideas started to flow. Race, gender, and sex were all presented as different categories, race intersects with both gender and sex, and the difference between gender and sex was argued to be negligible (Judith Butler). I wanted to show those intersections and lack of boundaries by creating walls and breaking them. Within each region, I attempted to use as little words as possible and enjoyed playing with color to portray deeper ideas. While I am pleased with the outcome, I know for the future that I would prefer it if my visual notes were connected by a greater theme like a color scheme or a font.
I was walking to the library when I noticed a bunch of pink flowers surrounding a bike stand. They reminded me of the design accounts I follow on Instagram that incorporate nature with fashion. Inspiration struck, and I was off looking for fallen flowers and other pieces of nature on my way to the library. One of my many passions is fashion design. I used to fantasize about it as a career, but reality struck, and my secret desire was pushed aside to the margins of my notebooks. This sketch assignment gave me the opportunity to embrace fashion design in a creative way. The dainty flowers and earthy leaves immediately made me think of a fairy. After sketching the base, I mixed and matched until the outfit and wings resembled something of a fashionable fairy. Is it perfect? No. Did I have fun and do I want to continue making outfits out of nature? Yes. The process of making and uploading this sketch also proved much easier than the first sketch, making me feel hopeful about my technological abilites moving forward.
How do we gain confidence as readers and writers? For me, my confidence relied heavily on the approval of my teachers. It wasn’t until recently that I understood the value of my creative process and the work that it produces.
Finding the content for my literacy narrative was easy because I can pinpoint specific moments in my academic career that had strong affects on my reading and writing, but finding the words to encapsulate those moments was difficult. I felt uncomfortable writing about writing because it made me hypercritical of my work. It was a feeling that worked well with my narrative considering how I discovered a main part of the process in creating good writing is being comfortable feeling uncomfortable. Not everything I write will be my best work, but I have to start somewhere and trust my process.
My avatar is a blend of two photos I captured digitally with my name written in a bright golden color. Besides not knowing how many pixels my avatar was, my biggest struggle in creating my avatar was choosing its content. I first thought of my dog Ginger who I love and miss and then, I thought about my love for eggs. When I tried to combine my love for both it didn’t feel right. The next problem was finding pictures I was allowed to use. My current favorite artist is Leon Bridges, however my favorite album title of his is not for republishing. From this obstacle, I realized I the easiest place to find publishable photos is from my portfolio. I took two years of photography in high school, and though I tried to become an expert in film, digital was my specialty. My avatar is a combination of a photo I took in my garden from the beginning of my senior year and a self portrait I took towards the end of my summer year.
Each photo is special for a different reason, but both are connected to nature. The flower garden is a place where I go to sit and think. I can think for hours without interruption, my mind wandering from one topic to the next without hesitation. When I feel more anxious than normal I journal about what is on my mind. When journaling sometimes seems like too much work and the weather is nice, I go outside and stare at the flowers or the trees. The blowing of the wind and chirping of the birds take me to another world. A world with just me, my thoughts, and no expectations. The flower in this photo was my favorite because it captured the sharp light and soft shadows all while keeping its deep red color.
The image of myself was taken on a photo walk in the spring of my senior year. The assignment was to take a self portrait, but instead I wanted to take a walk around my neighborhood and see if any of the nature or architecture caught my eye. I had forgotten that I was assigned to take a self portrait when I saw the mirror in the driveway and thought it would be funny to take a picture of myself jumping. I couldn’t quite capture a jump, so I settled for a leg in the air. It was goofy at the time, but I am a silly person, so it worked well in capturing my personality in a picture. This image also relates to comics on a visual level because of the thick black ring surrounding the mirror. In typical comics, there are frames around each image so the reader can follow the sequence of the page. In my case, the mirror frame created an added layer to a larger photo, making it difficult to understand the photo as a whole without thinking about.
The blended images are brought together by my name written boldy across the top. The font allowed for the photos to be displayed and the color of the letters are meant to represent my last name: Golden. I love and identify strongly with both my first and last name and wanted to find a creative way to include Golden within Marlie, a.k.a write Marlie in a golden color.