When I was signing up for my Sophomore classes, I was already taking a few advanced classes in Math, Science, and English, as well as making it my goal to play in my High School's string orchestra for all four years. So when I saw that I still had room for another kind of elective class, I was super excited - because I was always willing and ready to learn something new. Reading through what was offered, I was intrigued by the Graphic Design and Digital Art classes that were available - they were the perfect fit for both my love of art and technology.
Graphic Design (2012)
My first semester as a Sophomore, I took Graphic Design which was an introduction to logo design and brand identity, as well as the basics of using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. This is when I really learned the importance of doing lots and lots of preliminary sketches before you start your work on the computer. I enjoyed this class a lot and I seemed to catch on to using the programs quite quickly.
Digital Art (2012)
Digital Art was the class that I took in my second semester as a Sophomore, and opposed to Graphic Design, this class focused on the more "fine art" side of digital, visual art. So for me, there was a lot of experimenting with filters, effects, and image manipulation. I enjoyed this class just as much as the first, and the end of that school year only left me craving more.
Media Technology (2013)
As a Junior, I was happy to have found another class that was a bit similar to the previous design classes that I had taken. In Media Tech, we learned a little bit of everything - digital imaging, film, and Flash animation.
Graphic Design - Student Art Portfolio (2014)
My last year in high school, I had the opportunity to take Graphic Design a second time, but this time with an emphasis on choosing some more personal projects and with the intent of creating a small portfolio of work throughout the school year. By this time I felt more comfortable with composition, utilizing different fonts in my work and with using Photoshop - I still struggled a bit with Illustrator at the time. By participating in the A+ Program at my school throughout my years in high school, I was already anticipating using my scholarship to attend my local community college to earn a degree in Graphic Design - it was true love.
Digital Imaging & Illustration (Fall 2015)
In Digital Imaging, we were assigned one project that I had seen before but never had made myself - creating geometric images with vectors. Little did I know that I would spend almost 3/4 of the semester on that! (I did do some smaller projects in between, but that portrait became my biggest obsession.) But I had a vision that I wanted to make just right. I chose one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Melanie Martinez, as the subject and I really wanted every segment of her face to be divided into triangle shapes only. Within each triangle, I filled in a two shade gradient color-picked from the original image. I loved this technique, because the finishing image would look pretty normal from a distance, but up close or blown up you can see all of the individual pieces of color that make up the image.
Typography (Fall 2015)
I mostly loved learning about the anatomy of type and the different varieties that are available to me as a designer. While it was not immediately a favorite class for me, I did enjoy what I learned - especially as I experimented more in Photoshop with creating cool effects and textures with type.
Page Layout (Fall 2016)
I have just finished up my second-to-last semester in community college, and I really loved taking Page Layout. But I have to be honest, I enjoyed the branding part of it way more than the actual "page layout" as far as the idea of mapping out something like a magazine, or something. I am still not a fan of Adobe InDesign at the moment, but hopefully in the future I will get more used to navigating and using it more often. My only complaint would be that I felt so rushed with creating these projects, just because I previously had a class in which we basically did the same thing but with the entire semester on our side. (I guess I had been a bit spoiled.) But I know that this is how things work in the real Graphic Design industry, so I had to quickly suck it up and make some great stuff. Overall, I am pretty pleased with most of my work, though I know with a little more time they each could be even better in concept and presentation.