Friday, September 9, 2011

Getting a Glimpse of Graphic Design: Doing a Lifebushido Internship

This summer, I applied for internships, learning belatedly that you have to apply six months in advance to secure a position. I finally acquired an online one with Lifebushido; Lifebushido asks students around the world to work on social entrepreneurship businesses.

When I applied, I asked to be on a skills team since I couldn't decide on a particular project. I was assigned to work with Ashutosh Singh's team; his websites help small business owners gain a marketing presence online. These two websites were Ice Cream Cloud and Bizness Brandy; I proofread the sites and designed logos for both of them. Above is the rough logo I did for Bizness brandy; the one for Ice Cream Cloud is still being modified since I'm working with one of the team's illustrations. Once again, you did a great job Julio.

Working on these websites gave me insight into what graphic designers did as a living. Ashutosh pushed me to keep modifying the logos, changing little details to make the sum of the whole better. Writers have to do the same thing for editors, and it can take several hours to get a satisfactory prototype done. The Ice Cream Cloud one has definitely been the most difficult, mainly with creating a circular logo on Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, but I've been getting better at using Adobe Illustrator to create logos.

Thank you, Ashutosh, for making me part of your project; I hope we can work together sometimes in the future.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Two Months Later

School has started; I'm trying a semester without creative writing classes and with more violin practice. I've learned that parking next to a lake means circumnavigating around it and figuring out which location is ideal.

In my novel, I've written a "why don't you just shoot her" scenario. The scene comes from an immortal exchange between the Joker and his girlfriend, Harley Quinn:

Harley Quinn: Why don't you just shoot him [Batman]?
Joker: "Just shoot him?" Know this, my sweet: the death of Batman must be nothing less than a masterpiece! The triumph of my sheer comic genius over his ridiculous mask and gadgets!

Although the Joker is not the picturesque picture of a sympathetic villain, he has a point. In a novel where the author wants the hero to win, the villain cannot simply kill the protagonist. There has to be a cat and mouse game, a chance for the hero to fight back, and time to hold the story for a long time. In Harry Potter, for example, Voldemort has many times to kill Harry outright but gives him a chance to join him (Book One), fight back (Two and Four), or face his minions (Books Five and Seven, oh so much).

Even if the villain is utilitarian, he cannot kill the protagonist with one gunshot. I don't believe in divinity, but when you control the novel, you are its god. You control what's going on, so you have to manipulate the controls so that a fatal gunshot becomes a flesh wound, or even a swarm of bubbles. In my case, my hero's wound from being shot allows her to escape, just making the "just shoot him" scenario a "nice job fixing it, villain," since the villains are at the tether end of their sanity.

Think about this trope and use it wisely. Wizards in Harry Potter didn't have guns, after all, but they could still be dangerous.