Final Digital Comic Collage: Haydyn Wallender

Project 1 Comic/Collage. Digitally created by Haydyn Wallender, 2020.

Hi friends! This is the first project that we completed for this class. I don’t know about you, but I was very stressed about making this collage look like what I had envisioned.

My hope with this collage is to portray an aesthetic experience of nature, and present a very calming aura with the blue hues and slight hints of purple tones. I was motivated to take these images and make a collage with them because this is a side of me that no one really gets to see: the huntin’, fishin’, farm-girl Haydyn who is more rough-and-tumble. I like to think some of the fabrics also express this, like the twenty-year-old jean jacket as a hand-me-down from my father. To really get into this, I tried to structure the collage like an outfit with accessories that I would wear, or add small bits of what represents my farm and my hometown. This fits into Scott McCloud’s definition of a “comic”, or collage, for our purposes: “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in a deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer” (McCloud 9).

The materialistic items I scanned are organized in a fashion that attempts to portray the upper body of a human, such as the Yankees hat, jean jacket and the graphics of the navy blue tee shirt. The other items (the scrunchie, bandana, pocket knife and Yeti sticker) are necessities that I have on the farm that are on my person, but not always visible. The scrunchie shows my feminine side as a farm girl, while the bandana links me to an age-old family tradition that we have on the farm. Similarly, the knife is something that is always getting lost, or required to cut twine on the farm, and the Yeti sticker represents the durable, reusable water bottles that we have that constantly are getting dropped out of tractors.

I also chose to include a couple of Oregonian pictures that I have taken throughout my travels in my home state. The coast is one of my favorite places, and so I decided to include the water and that special monument only known to the Oregon coast, Haystack Rock. Anthony Lakes is a small, local location that provides scenic views and forbids motored play toys, which keeps the serene tranquility of Mother Earth. I chose to give these captions because the audience I am presenting this collage to wouldn’t know these local places, and this way, there is an opportunity to use the words as a reminder of the place, which could be Googled later, if one was interested. I also tried to follow the same format on the captions as the one that was presented on the Wallowa Mountains shirt, to keep the unity of the pieces and make it feel more inclusive. This is considered visual mode in our readings and discussions, with the attempt at keeping the same size, style and font of the letters to create that said unity.

Unity and execution of my ideas was extremely challenging though. This was one of my first times really digging into Photoshop, and it was a struggle for sure. I feel a little behind because I am not technologically advanced at all, and get confused by laptops and their endless amount of programs, apps and settings. I think the main thing that helped me was being able to play around with both Photoshop for this class, and Audition for another class, which gave me hands-on experiences that will definitely help me in the future.

I learned that it’s okay that creative ideas don’t always match what you envisioned in your head. There is only so much you can do as a beginner with the program and the items you have available to you, and I had to learn the Yogi mantra “acknowledge, and let go” when working towards the final of this project. I think that overall, I am more comfortable with the program and feel like I could adventure and try new things on the next project. Layer masks and clipping masks are fairly straightforward, but useful tools that I’m happy I learned about for considering future projects.

In all honesty, all of the tutorials were extremely helpful, but the ones that stood out to me the most were the ones I had to go back and rewatch to learn how to do something over again. For example, I had to go back and learn about how to check image size, saturation/hue colors of images, and how to use both the lasso tool and the brush tool effectively. The videos were a nice cushion to have, but I feel like experimentation was key for me in this project.

I am not a fan of producing art in a digital space, but I think that it is a good skill to have for not only future careers, but personal creative ideas as well. Though I know I’m not too good at it (yet), I also acknowledge that it comes with practice.

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