The Conceptual Project was the first project of the year. Its purpose was to show students how to express themselves in unconventional ways: through poetry, photographs, music, and more. Every single class required thought and analysis. It took thinking to create poems and it took analysis of those poems to create photographs and music that reflected back. English showed students how to express themselves through poems and writing, focusing on methods that played with the rhythms of language and expressed hidden meanings. Design introduced Photoshop and special camera techniques, showing students how to express themselves visually through photography. Digital Media then showed students how to put their words and their art into a music video, using ProTools to create music especially designed for each piece.

In the sections below, there are examples of how I chose to express myself through writing, art, and music, showing my own iew of the world. Each piece is amateur in its showing, but wholeheartedly attempts to convey some great meaning. Overall, this beginning project took a lot of effort, but it was interesting to see how one could express themselves through visual and audio effects. It was fun seeing how to use each different program, and gave me even more ways to express myself artistically.

In English class, students wrote what was called an expository essay, often called a 'passion essay'. The point of the essay was to write about something you cared about deeply. I was inspired to write about daydreaming.


English first began writing a free verse poem, then a spoken word poem, and finally an ekphrastic poem. The free verse poem was based off a randomly picked concept statement. A concept statement explored a feeling through some event, for instance: “I am exploring the feeling of admiration through the experience of religion.” Otherwise, it was completely free territory, allowing the student to write the poem however they liked. The spoken word poem was about any topic the student wished, focusing mostly on methods such as rhyming, alliteration, and more. Basically, the spoken word poem was meant to sound “nice.” The ekphrastic poem also focused on using “nice-sounding” methods, but also to base the poem off a photograph of an artist. In this case, “ekphrastic” is a poem that responds to a work of art.

Throughout this entire project I can most certainly say without a doubt that I hated making these poems. I disliked every single one for a variety of reasons, but I also realized something important. There is no fun in making a poem sound nice; it is far more fun to write one. Most of all though, it was interesting to create a visual representation for a photo that went beyond a literal meaning. Creating a visual metaphor through objects, or finding some narrative within the poem, there were many ways to represent each poem if you tried. It was also interesting attempting to mix music for these poems; you often had to take into account the atmosphere you wanted for each piece. It was time consuming and rough, but oddly enough, it was fun and rewarding all the same.

Photo of Free Verse Poem
Free Verse Poem
Photo of Spoken Word Poem
Spoken Word Poem
Photo of Ekphrastic Poem
Ekphrastic Poem
Photo of Ekphrastic Poem
Ekphrastic Poem
Photo of Ekphrastic Poem
Ekphrastic Poem

The Haiku was first introduced in English. The haiku was a short Japanese poem that alluded to a season while also holding a surprise in the last two lines. English took this poem a step further by adding a visual aspect: a photograph taken by the student representing the haiku. In Digital Media, we took the haiku and the photo and made music that matched the mood of both. All together, the video represents and enhances the mood and meaning of the haiku through visual and audio effects.

Despite being short, the haiku was amazingly complex. Five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third again, this was a strict but simple rule. Sneaking in the “kigo,” the seasonal word, and using the most effective “kireji,” the cutting word, was difficult, especially when attempting to deliver the meaning of the haiku across. It was valuable attempting to dig deep through what I wanted to say, instead of tossing the haiku out with little to no thought. There was meaning in every word and every syllable.

Digital Media took the photo haiku created in english class and turned the project into a music video, complete with music made especially to express the mood of the poem. Using the program, Adobe Animate, to create the video, the project was the first step to learning how to create high quality videos. Below is a picture of the videomaking process for the photo haiku.

Photo of videomaking process in Animate

I am exploring the feeling of self-acknowledgement through the experience of running away.

Photo of Conceptual Art
Conceptual Art

The conceptual art assignment was meant to be a “visual metaphor.” Using a poem written in English class, the student would shoot a photograph that represented the poem in some way other than literal. The student would take this photo using techniques they learned, such as adjusting the ISO for brightness and adjusting for the rule of thirds. Then, using Photoshop, the student would enhance certain features of the photo, such as an object’s color, to either make certain objects pop out or fade away unnoticed into the background. Finally, the artist would create an artist statement explaining what the photo meant.

Once more, much thought went into the process. I made many mistakes when selecting which photo to use; I accidentally had a bright orange bottle of paint dead center of the photo. Through Photoshop though, I was able to desaturate the bottle so that it didn’t appear quite so shockingly. I valued being able to learn from my mistakes though, which will probably cut my editing time much less next time.

The photo represents my spoken word poem. The lines “I caught myself running away one day/I watched him run” and “I like to think he was all by himself/just him versus him” refer to the narrator confronting himself, as if he were two different people. Before the narrator can leave behind a part of himself, he has to know what he is abandoning.

The vampire represents the “I” in the poem, and the owl represents “him.” To make the vampire appear superior to the owl, I placed the vampire on higher ground and on white paper, so that he also seemed “in the spotlight.” This is also because the “I” is the speaker’s outward appearance, and the “him” is the speaker’s inner self. I increased the brightness on the vampire and the owl to show them being at odds with one another. I shot the orange bottle in the background by accident. It took extra work to desaturate the bottle.



The Experimental Music assignment was a free-for-all. Students who could play instruments could record in the studio, or use music loops provided by Freestyle Academy. Through the use of ProTools, students could fade at the beginning and end or pan music to the left or right ear, amongst other methods. The inspiration behind my music was meant to sound “nice” since I can’t play any instruments. Despite that, alongside music loops, I used the piano as well. I often faded loops to silence to emphasis the piano, or mixed together both the loops the piano to create a harmony of sorts. Often changing in tone and mood, the sounds have no purpose other than to sound “nice.”

The name of my music is 'Eccentricities.' The entire bit is basically nonsensical tunes mixed together in a choppy manner: one part ends, another begins. Each bit is eccentric in its own right and sounds rather strange when put together, thus 'Eccentricities.'

Despite being unable to correctly use any instruments, I chose to use a piano anyways. Most of all, though it probably sounded strange in the end, it was fun creating something I liked doing. I enjoyed and also valued gaining experience through ProTools.

Below is a session I created in ProTools to create 'Eccentricities.'

Photo of ProTools session for experimental music