Reflection 2 (First Major Project)
This first major writing project taught me a lot about what it means to use visuals to enhance the topic of conversation. I finally received my first legitimate collegiate grade and it put my mind to ease when I realized I didn’t do that bad. I have never done this type of project before in a writing class, but I did take some art classes in my first year of college, which helped me break down this particular movie poster. The Cars movie was one of my generation and something I wanted to go in depth about more than the other posters we were able to choose from. We were given specific guidelines to follow when analyzing the poster, but something that Doctor Wielgos stressed in the class was that the guidelines were exactly that, guidelines, just something to follow while completing the project, but by no means would he penalize us for veering off the beaten path. I loved this attitude that he projected, because I was never the type that liked doing things the traditional way. I was more interested in doing what I wanted when writing because it was easier for me to focus on what was in front of me. There was a purpose, I believe, as to why Doctor Wielgos assigned each project in the order he did. There was a teaching moment behind each project, which would build up to the end of the year research paper.
I was happy with my choice of poster for the visual project, because it was something that I could relate to. Animation was one of the most interesting things to me as a kid and as I grew with the development of animation I progressively became attached to the world of animation. Breaking down that poster taught me a lot about the ability to capture your audience’s attention through placement and medium. The author is so specific with every little aspect of the poster and that taught me to do the same with my papers. I had to be intentional with my arrangement and my medium in order to lock in the desired emotion from my audience. I look back at the topic choice and understand now that it was the best choice for me. I was able to break down the poster easily and explain in detail why the setup of the poster was displayed in that manner. My intentions/goals for this project was to come out of it with an understanding of arrangement. I wanted to learn how to organize details in a way that would create structure to my papers. I wanted to learn how to setup each major point in a way that people could read through it and not stop and say, “That doesn’t make sense!” I don’t want people jumping around back and forth trying to piece together the thoughts, because I was to lazy to take the time to outline my paper.
I found the most interesting aspect of this project was incorporating pictures and textual aspects in an argument or explanation. I didn’t realize that size and color could even effect how someone views something, but it does. I learned that certain colors could grab your attention without someone even realizing it. I also loved the idea that the poster in this case can tell a story and create a buzz for the audience. This project grabbed my attention and I realized for the research paper I would want to go into the background of animation and how things are created. I knew I would want to learn more about animation, because that was something of importance in my life and something I knew I would want to write about. I enjoyed the non-traditional approach to this paper. We were able to create our own design plan and means of communication. This project would make me want to discover more about animation and it lead to my research paper topic.
This first project taught me that gathering information is a necessity in order for you to create an efficient paper. You can’t wait until the last minute to start researching and expect a perfect grade on the paper. The information for this project in particular was easy to find, but I knew that for the research paper I would have to give myself a little more time to complete the work. I think that the most challenging part of this paper was the thought process and what I mean by that is the breaking down of the poster. I was challenged to try and discover the author’s intention behind everything. Although it was the most challenging aspect of the paper, I believe it was the most fun aspect as well. It was fun to put myself in the author’s shoes, trying to think of why I would place a specific item in a certain area. I was almost a critique breaking down the poster and telling a “visual professional” his poster was a quality one, even though it was already a famous poster. It made me think outside of the box and really showed me the importance of structure in the world.
This paper was a stepping-stone for the future. I thought that I was able to break down the poster very well, but overall I learned to create structure and organization in my paper, which would help for the next project. In my opinion I passed the first quiz of my college writing career, but there was some need for improvement and the next project would take my visual learning to a whole new level. This time I would need to tell a story by using pictures and captions, something that I would quickly realize wasn’t as easy as it would seem. I am grateful that this first project taught me how to break down the positioning of pictures to tell a story or create a certain mood. My story telling skills would be drastically put to the test, because this time there would be no connection with anyone in my audience.