Marlie’s Avatar

Processed with Rookie Cam

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.

Sources: App, Photo Blender

Ore’s Avatar

My avatar is a combination of a snippet taken from one of the pages of a comic book series called Archie (published by Archie Comics) and a self-made background containing my first name, Ore.The Archie comic book series were by far, my favorite books to read during my childhood and were the first thing to come to mind when I was pondering what to use as my central focus for the avatar.

The snippet which showcases three of the main characters of the series—Veronica(left), Archie(middle), and Betty(right), originally contained a different background which displayed several other characters in a classroom setting. Because of this, one difficulty I faced when creating this avatar was cropping out only those characters from the rest of the scene. Initially after realizing this difficulty, I opted to search for a different central focus instead; however, none of the other options that I came up with satisfied me leading to me circling back to my original idea.

The Archie book series were simply the perfect option as they relate to both the class as well as myself. The Archie series are a collection of comic books which is the same genre as many of the texts we will be reading in this class. Alongside that, the Archie series is also a big part of my own childhood. In Nigeria, where I lived for a good part of my childhood, these comics were extremely popular among the children from my school so I was naturally attracted to them as well. Additionally, I was also heavily invested in art back then so the idea of using art to tell an interesting story also intrigued me. I believe my avatar represents not only the theme of this class, but also several of my childhood experiences such as living in Nigeria, and my school as well as the development of my interest in art.


My Sunday Sketch Avatar :)

I’ve created my avatar by finding a bright and colorful skyline image on Flickr, adding a pretty sun in the corner, and drawing my very own stick figure superhero flying through the sky. I chose my background image because I felt very connected with the beautiful warm colors that the image used and the simplistic city view that was drawn. My favorite images have always been ones that contain suns, rainbows, and lots of color because it makes everything so much brighter and more light hearted. I think the picture demonstrates my warm personality and sunny disposition through all of the features in its design. In addition to creating an image full of very aesthetic colors, I chose to draw in a superhero to further connect my avatar with the class at hand.
Our class topic is The Secret Language of Comics: Visual Thinking and Writing so I really wanted to include some aspect of that into my avatar. In my opinion, superheroes are one of the most common and obvious comic book features. I’ve read many graphic novels and comics throughout my childhood and adolescent life, and the few that contained superheroes were always so fascinating to me. Not only can superheroes have extraordinary abilities, but also warm and generous souls that lead them to protect humanity and make their worlds a better place everyday. Drawing my superhero was definitely the most difficult part of creating my avatar. It took several attempts and a lot of precision, but ultimately I was extremely pleased with the outcome. Also, a big part of who I am is my belief in the equality of all and power of women in this world. Clearly I’ve decided to make my superhero a female to demonstrate a sense of girl power in my avatar because although women may be outnumbered in superhero universes, I believe the few great superwomen we have outweigh all the rest of the men immensely.
Creating this avatar was such a fun activity and felt very useful in learning more about photo editing, drawing, and online photo resources. I like the avatar I made a lot and I think it really demonstrates the warmth and happiness of who I am as well as some of my beliefs and views on the world. After finishing this assignment I am even more excited to further my creative journey through this class and learning more about the different creative outlets I can express my ideas through.

Image Sources

Sawyer Steinmiller’s Avatar Post

My avatar is a very flattering picture of one of my friends, Alyssa. I made her my avatar because she took 200 pictures of herself on my phone during lunch one day and I thought a beautiful photo of her would be a fair way of revenge. Surrounding Alyssa are various photos of my dogs! My dogs are in my avatar because I miss them dearly and they were an integral part of my life back in Washington DC. One of my dogs’ name is Dobby- he is the black one. Dobby is super friendly and smart, but extremely loud. He barks at the door whenever anyone makes a noise. Biggie is the bigger of the remaining two dirty blonde dogs. He is super shy to strangers, but is a great cuddle buddy to family. Welby is the third dog. We rescued her from hurricane Harvey, and she has suffered many hardships because of the storm. She is blind, deaf, cannot make noise and cannot go up steps. Therefore, she is stuck in one room all day unless we move her.

Making my avatar was not hard at all. Even though I have never edited a photo before, the instructions were super clear to me and I had my friends around me while I made it- this made the process extremely fun. In terms of content, I tried to make the subjects of my avatar as lighthearted as possible, hence why I chose friends and dogs as the theme. I wanted to make my avatar lighthearted because that is the theme that I am trying to relay through my comics and blog. I have previewed the novels that we will be reading in class, and they all seem to address the depression and sadness in the authors’ lives. I am a poet, and I am used to expressing my negative energy and ranting about my issues through poems, but I have never used any creative outlet to show what brings me joy in life. I want to use the medium of this blog and comics to show who and what makes me happy!

My Avatar

My avatar is a watercolor painting that I made with my name at the bottom. My painting is of a sunset over the water, because I feel that looking at a sunset is very calming. I chose this as my avatar because our English class focuses on comics, in which art is used to tell a story. I painted this while I was evacuated during Hurricane Irma last year. My family and I had stuffed our valuable items into the trunk of our car before driving to Alabama. I was glad that my family would be safe but I couldn’t help worrying what our city would look like when we got back. I was in a hotel room and since all of my assignments had been cancelled due to the hurricane, I decided to paint this. Even though this scene looks nothing like that of my hometown, this served as a reminder of the serenity of the past. Thus, while this may seem like any painting of a sunset, there may be more meaning to this painting than what meets the eye. Similarly, in comics, pictures drawn may appear to give clear and accurate depictions of situations. However, as we have learned, when comics are analyzed, deeper meanings can be uncovered and artistic and stylistic elements that shape the story can be uncovered. 

I feel that my avatar gives insight into who I am because it shows that I love creating art, and it  provides an abstract depiction of an event from my life. Additionally, due to the focus on comics within our class, my avatar connects to a topic from our class.

My Avatar

My Avatar Design

My avatar is a shot from one of my favorite films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (written by Charlie Kaufman), with a text overlay of the nickname “Gaz” as some refer to me as. For the record, you are welcome to call me Isaac OR Gaz. I will respond to either. “Gaz” is a shortened name my grandfather, other, and brother used in school from our last name “Gazmararian.”

The process of designing an avatar was surprisingly hard for me. I knew it would include something related to film, as that is a big passion of mine, but I struggled picking any specific film because I love so many of them. Initially, I worked on combining an image of the black hole from the film Interstellar with the image from the film City of God, as both films are two of my favorite movies, are from completely different genres, and relate to my other passion for space. However, I struggled with the layout of the images and how to best overlay/crossfade them, which eventually led me to simplify my design and settle on the image from Eternal Sunshine.

Interstellar (2014)
City of God (2002)

For those who don’t know, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a film about a two people who decide to erase all memories of the other from their own minds after they break up. The film flows in and out of reality and memories as events bleed into each other and the protagonist (played by Jim Carrey) questions whether or not he wants to finish the memory-wiping procedure. While the story seems fantastical, the film hits on some ruthlessly real emotions. It deals with the breaking down of the idealization of a romantic partner, how people change in relationships, how all-consuming romantic relationships can be, and much much more. I love the film for its realistic portrayal of human emotions which can’t be cleanly categorized. There are only two films in my life that have helped me through romantic break-ups, the movie Her by Spike Jonze and Eternal Sunshine. Both films share a certain level of humility and vulnerability that I find lacking in other “romantic” films. The film also has beautiful cinematography, which smoothly moves the viewer through memories (sometimes in one shot!). That type of lucid cinematography is something I have learned from and attempt to apply it to my own short films. The film is also written by my favorite writer of all time, Charlie Kaufman (writer of Adaptation, Being John Malkovich, Synecdoche, New York, Anamolisa, etc.), who consistently crafts wholly unique films with an odd sense of structure, pacing, and character which I cannot find nowhere else. Kaufman’s films almost feel like a character itself.

Suffice to say that this film has impacted me many ways, as a person, a cinematographer, and a writer. There are few out there like it. I initially chose to slant the text because I thought it would look cool, but now the more I think about it, I like how it almost feels like the name “Gaz” is laying down next to Clementine and Joel, as if I am part of the film.

Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders.” – Mary Svevo, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindFriedrich Nietzsche


My Avatar


My avatar is a combination of the bat symbol and Gotham’s silhouette, resembling a searchlight that shines into the dark sky. Batman has been one of my favorite superheroes since my childhood. After I grew up, I found the philosophical meanings behind the stories very interesting. They pose serious questions on human nature and the concept of justice.

Despite the multi-universe setting of the Batman series, the character of Batman always has multiple facets – a crazy rich, blithe playboy during daylight, an invincible superhero ruthless to villains, but also a soft and melancholy soul due to his traumatic childhood. Like most kids, I was first fascinated by his physical prowess and his dedication to justice. Being one of the few superheroes that do not have inherent superhuman powers further excited my admiration. Back then, Batman was perfect in my mind. However, with the timeline of Batman’s life rolling out through various productions, such as comics, films, and video games, Batman became less a hero or an idol to me, but more a concrete human being. As my age grew, I started to understand and empathize with the conflicts inside him. These conflicts are the philosophical questions that people have been trying to answer for thousands of years – about family, society, justice, and the best approach to it.

The combination of the bat symbol and Gotham’s silhouette reflects a philosophical thought I hold – the world is about balance. Gotham was founded to buttress more wealth and supposedly a better life, but too much wealth eventually led to corruptions and crimes. Excessive evil then contributed to the emergence of Batman (Bruce Wayne created the Batman persona and committed to justice after he witnessed the murder of his parents.) and his allies like James Gordon to balance out itself. On the other hand, the superior power of Batman was more than enough for mobs and corrupted police, resulting in the appearance of super-villains like the Joker and Mr. Bloom. These super-villains do not focus on material benefits but commit crimes because of their pessimism towards human nature, the antithesis of Batman’s belief in good humanity and justice. Batman and the Gotham City shaped each other and cannot be separated. As said by an ancient Chinese philosopher, harmony, or a more modern word, sustainability, is the balance point between good and evil. 

“Where there is darkness, light.”


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