Trinity’s Avatar

About my Avatar:

That’s me in the corner.

A picture captured from the reflection of a darkened computer screen shows one of the few images of myself I keep on my phone. I like to think of the photo as a candid selfie: a still life taken without any intention besides capturing the moment – that moment involving me studying for junior year finals in a dragon pajama onesie at my dining room table, probably eating Twizzlers, bored out of my mind. By the end of my junior year, similar scenes had become so commonplace in my life that by the time finals rolled around, not commemorating that part of my life somehow felt like an injustice. I chose this particular picture of myself to add to my collage because it is an honest depiction of me.

The main picture in my collage is of a summertime dusk in my neighborhood with Venus and a yellow, waning moon that, from a favorable vantage point, looked to be hovering directly over my house. I love to watch the sky from my neighborhood. In the suburb of a suburb where my hometown nestled, the sky always seemed to answer our unspoiled stillness. Living 45 minutes away from the city among the locally owned coffee shops and the single acre family farms, phenomenon such as golden celestial bodies piercing through the deepened blue of an early evening sky are possible. Later that night, just enough starlight would seep through lightyears of space, blackness, and the light of streetlamps to keep me up for hours, dizzying myself with wonder and an uninterrupted upward gaze, bemused at my luck to witness something so clearly that was wholly hidden to so many other peoples and places in the world.

Of course, none of this magic is remotely perceptible through the lens of an iPhone camera, and I knew that when I reached for my phone. Taking this picture was less about my camera’s ability to represent the scene the way I saw it and more about securing a keepsake from time. If that photo had been taken in better quality, I’m sure I would be raptured by the beauty of the sky all over again with each viewing, but the photo would call for less mental work reliving the experience. Through time, the memory conveyed would become less and less concerned with recalling the night itself and more about the photo. That being said, this photo (and others like it) functions best on a personal level; its significance is not something readily accessible to an unfamiliar eye.

This is exactly why I chose it as my avatar.

My blog is intended to be a space not only where readers can hear my voice but can see through my eyes. In my writing here, I want to express what I perceive as true and real – to learn to communicate clearly enough to make the esoteric recognizable and intimate. As A writer, I want to be able to lend whoever chooses to hear me my whole self, so they can feel through my experience and see from my point of view.

Sketch 1: Avatar

Due: 9/9

Tag: sk1

Objectives:

  • Very basic photo editing
  • Introduction to the concept of Creative Commons
  • Uploading and publishing to your new WordPress site
  • Visual images as representations of complex conceptual topics

Avatar

Once you’ve created your web site, you need an image to represent yourself and/or your site for the class: an avatar. Your avatar can be whatever you want it be but try to create something that both reflects your personality and speaks to the topic for this class in some way.

Start by choosing one or more of your own photos as the basis of the avatar, drawing something yourself and scanning it, or finding one or more CC-licensed images on Flickr that you can modify. Make certain to keep a note for yourself of the URL for the photos you use if they are not your own.

Crop and otherwise edit the photo(s) in a photo editing application (like Photoshop or PicMonkey or Pixlr). You can create a layered or collage effect, if you’d like. Add your name on your badge in such a way that it’s legible — it can be your full name, just your first name, or the nickname you want to be called this semester.

Your final badge should be square and at least 512 pixels wide and high. Please make certain your badge is square so that it will fit into the design on the student sites page.

Publish

When you’re done, you’ll need to put the image two places, with an optional third:

First

Load the badge into your Media Library and publish it to your site in a blog post. (If adding it as a feature image means that the entire square image won’t display, then also insert the image into the post itself.)

Image showing where to add tags and a feature image

Include information and links in the post about the source(s) for images included in your badge.

Write a paragraph or two about why you chose those images, what aspects of yourself and your interests are represented in your badge, and/or what difficulties you faced in creating the badge.

Please tag your post with the tag “sk1,” plus with any additional tags that you think are appropriate.

Second

Go into your dashboard to Appearance > Customize > Site Identity. Load the image as your site icon.

Finally

If you do not already have a gravatar, create a gravatar account and load your avatar there. From then on, your avatar will show up as your picture when you leave comments here and on other students’ sites.