This week I created Miss Irene Agatha Flemming, a graduating High School senior. On her Tumblr blog, Textile Quest, Irene shares her pastime investigation into fashion design and the results of her college applications as they come. Of course, the posts are reverse-chronological, so the most recent uploads are at the top. Unlike a story in a book or movie, this makes it so that the end is part of the introduction. The blog is an investigation in creating a character study as well as a creating subtle story arc through ordinary happenings. Irene’s experiences are based on my own four years ago, mixed with my current emotions and interests – the result, I hope, is a believable blog facade.
In creating Irene’s Textile Quest, I initially thought to make it a separate website or page on my domain. I soon realized that to have more depth it would need a couple pages as well as a blog. TQ has an about page and a developing reference page (I’ve noticed on other blogs, real ones, that the reference pages is never quite finished). Another reason for using Tumblr was a complete disconnect from my own website (aside from links in this explanation) so that it better stands as a blog itself.
I’d used Tumblr a few times when it was first necessary for me to keep up with my school work from my iPhone (due to internet connectivity issues). I soon stopped beause the system of posting a blog to Tumblr and having it sucked into the appropriate homework-related blog through FeedWordPress was awkward due to differences in formatting. It was also hard to keep the mobile app posting to the correct blog when managing multiple Tumblr sites. I’m glad that I was a little familar from the experience because it led me to making Irene’s blog a Tumblr. Particularly appropriate because Tumblr is more organized toward artistic networking than Blogger or WordPress.com. A drawback was the difficulty to find a theme that wasn’t distracting, as they are not particularly customizable.
I endeavored to collect and create the variety of media requested in the final project assignment, though, of course, the content leans toward my own strengths and interests: visual media (drawing, design, and video) shared through the web. My own interest in fashion design is not as strong as Irene’s, I’m not looking for a career in it, but I am looking forward to creating a quirky and thrifty wardrobe makeover for myself, having already donated or deconstructed a great deal of clothing that no longer suited my figure. I deliberately made Irene’s language more rambling and unclear, just as I remember my own being in high-school blog and diary attempts. It was really fun and challenging to write as someone else. I’m going to put at least one more post as Irene up, the one I promise in this post about reverse applique, once I finish the project. All this semester I’ve been looking forward to working on practical sewing projects. It was a nice relief to get to start working on one a little early in the form of a video overview of starting to work in reverse applique.
My third favorite part of creating Irene’s Story was closely studying ordinary examples of design and fashion, and creating analytic sketches. This is another way that Irene is a distillation of my interest in clothing. All of the examples are real ones I saw and interpreted, drawn on the back of school-related papers, and scanned. I wasn’t sure, and I knew that a stressed high school student would be very unsure, how readable scribbly handwriting would be when viewed online, so I transcripted all the notes.
In thinking of what advice I would have benefited from most, I realized that my greatest weakness so far in DS106 has been taking time that I didn’t have. I’ve learned how to use tools faster and use new tools effectively, and am excited to #DS106 4life. The skills I’ve learned I will continue to develop. I thought altering a nike swoosh adverisement to read “Just DS106 it” would suffice to convey my advice, then in the search for the advertisement, I found a combined “Keep Calm and Carry On” and “Just Do It”. This remixing of iconic phrases ingrained in our culture seemed perfect to remix into advice for both myself and other students of DS106. I took the DS106 website logo (which is a transparent off-white PNG) and found a #DS106 skull logo (a symbol I connect strongly with the class because the sticker was my first mysterious encounter with the name). I used Photoshop Elements to remove color by decreasing saturation and make both match the black and white of the “Keep Calm…” poster. It was simple to copy the ‘IT’ and move it over, and cover up the ‘DO’ and nike swoosh at the top, pasting over them with “DS106″ and the pirate symbol.
I’m happy with the simplicity of the result. I love to subvert advertisement and use its design in such a way to convey a message without selling something. I don’t often realize my design ideas, and it takes a great deal of tries to visualize an idea with strong design. The remix of several ideas and their strong designs surpasses the strength of all of them.