18 Days & a Backpack, a film

'The Cali Trip' from the summer of 2019 with my three friends – Remi George, Joey Fields, and Jalen Greiser. 

From July 8 through the 26, 2019, my friends and I traveled by bus from Cincinnati to Chicago, by train from Chicago to San Francisco, by bus and train from San Francisco to Yosemite, Yosemite to the Redwood Forest, then by plane back home to Cincinnati.

This video is an extension of the 18 Days & a Backpack project, using the same original journal handwritings as well as my friends' own handwritings. This video shows the in-between moments and uses three songs from our collaborative Cali Trip playlist we listened to throughout the trip.

Baba by Samuel Collier, an album cover by me

Sam wrote this song, Baba, for his girlfriend's birthday, and asked me to make an album cover. I painted swirls of watercolor, hand wrote the title on a notebook page, combined with a film photo I took of Sam in summer of 2018

Looking Back While Thinking Forward — freshman english class final reflection: collage & essay  

At this time in my life, continuing to move forward has been a constant thought. While this pandemic, COVID-19, has caused social distancing and new lifestyles unlike anyone would have ever expected, it has also allowed for room to grow and to look at the light in your world with a new set of eyes. Being at home all the time, compared to being at school in Athens, has allowed me to reflect on the way I create, and move forward in my process.

For this final, I decided to approach the creative project first. Since being at school, I have learned that I work much better when things are physically in front of me and I can feel the paper as I shuffle through it with my hands. Although it may not have been the best paper-saving method, I decided to copy every essay I wrote in English this semester into a single word document, then print it all off. From 25 pages I crossed out, cut up, and created a two-page collage story about my freshman experience by using my own words I wrote throughout the semester. In this creative project, the intro explains my mindset going into freshman year as I realized I was gaining literacy in ‘Finding Myself Through The Words of Others’, followed by ‘A Rhetorical Look’ at pieces of writing that help me to effectively read texts, then acknowledging the power that ‘A Visual Analysis’ holds within it, and finally an overall reflection where I combined words and phrases from past reflections and the ‘Perspectives’ paper to craft together things I have learned and things I will take with me for the future.

During spring semester, I had been taking a journalism precision language class as well as a photojournalism class mixed with this freshman English course. This mix of creative and project-based classes allowed my storytelling and editing abilities to progress. My photojournalism class helped me to look at my role in photography and communication by trying to craft a single image to tell a person or persons’ story. My precision language class helped me to realize the weight of a word. “Words should be weighed and not counted,” and “The word is half of one who says it, and half of one who hears it,” are quotes that came up during a class lecture one day and have stuck with me since.

When I write, I think more. Writing helps me to organize my thoughts and create more meaningful communication. Though I have become a good talker in face-to-face interactions, when I am trying to formulate something complex, writing it out helps me to make it as effective as possible. Writing also helps me to remember things. I have kept a personal journal for a few years that I write in every so often, but back in the fall when school started I began to carry a small notebook and pen around with me everywhere I went so I could write notes and thoughts directly onto paper in the moment. This has helped me to be more attentive and reflective to moments in time as I mark them in my notebook and my memory.

Reflecting on my freshman year from an academic and social sense has helped me to process all this change in the past couple months. Time is something that keeps on going and going, we just have to keep up and do the best we can. It feels good to be in a position here at home where I have come to peace with that realization as I am being all that I can be.

Athens Hearts

Each of these hearts were found or created, and photographed in Athens, Ohio. Making this series of photos, like photography always does, made me look for the beauty in everyday life. As I spent my first year in Athens, I started to realize how much love the town and the people living in it had to show. 

Thank you to all the people who showed me love in Athens <3

Wishing You Godspeed, sunrise timelapse

I took this timelapse of the sun rising over on top of Tano Bistro in Downtown Loveland on December 18, 2018.

This was a couple weeks after I got my first digital camera for my birthday. My friend, Omar, and I went up on the roof of Tano Bistro the day before, but I didn’t get what I wanted. The next day, I went back up by myself when it was still dark out, set up my tripod and sat down on the roof with a cup of coffee and listened to Blonde by Frank Ocean to watch the beautiful colors of the sun rise as the morning rush of school buses and cars drove through the streets.

I originally used the song Godspeed by Frank Ocean for the timelapse, but I wanted to enter the video into a competition, so I couldn’t use copyrighted music. My friend Alex Schefft and I sat down in his room and he played on his keyboard until we found this perfect sequence. This video won an award at the 2019 Governor's Art Competition.

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