University of Oregon

Wrap Up

Leah C.

June 15, 2010 - 9:00 AM

Hello and thank you all for following my blog! This will be my last submission until fall term. I've enjoyed sharing my thoughts and experiences at the UO with all my readers. I can't believe that I've been sharing a bit of my life through the Annual Givings Program for almost one year. Time definitely flies by really fast! I will have to reread all my entries and relive some of the moments of this school year. So much has happened, for me during my junior year, I'll miss leading the Hong Kong Club, as well as practicing wushu at the Recreation Center with the team. I've beaten myself up quite a few times for not participating in these clubs sooner. I'll only have one more year left in Eugene and I hope to make the most of it once fall arrives.


It's a little nerve racking to think that I'll soon be graduating next spring. Congratulations to all my friends who have dawned the emerald cap yesterday. Their presence on campus will surely be missed. I'll soon follow in their footsteps into a future full of hopes, and dreams. I hope next year, I can study as an UO digital arts graduate at the White Stag. Perhaps even finally getting an internship somewhere. With these two goals in mind, I will be working hard this summer to learn and improve my skills as a digital artist. I would like to sharpen my web design skills, and gain advanced knowledge in the usage of certain programs. During these past years as a digital art student at the UO, I feel that it is about time for me to establish myself as a professional in my field. Not only will I be experimenting, I now need to develop a stronger background in the usage of certain software and apply this into a career.


As the newly appointed HKSA's Senior Advisor and graphic designer, I will be redesigning the UO Hong Kong Student Association website this summer. The site has been long over due for an update. With my skills as the designer, I am getting rid of the built in website template that the previous committee had used. My focus will be making the site more personal and inviting. I will add elements that will reflect how unique and interactive the club is. Also, with a new year arriving there will be a need for new committee apparel! I'm thinking track jackets with a design that reflects the spirit of Hong Kong. Even though I may have not gotten an internship this year, there's still lots of design work for me to do. I've had request on helping on a few small projects for friends, as well as finally getting around to producing some work my portfolio.


My summer will be relaxing and full of preparation of what is to come next school year. I am also opening my Chinese language books again. I really regret not continuing my studies, but now that I have time over the summer, I'll be reviewing all my old text books. My goal one day is to be fluent in Mandarin. With the basic knowledge gained from my Chinese class last year, I believe I have enough skills to teach myself. I can also get help on pronunciation from friends and family. Maybe, if I get further enough, I can catch up and continue 3rd year Chinese by this fall! That would be wonderful. I really missed the close relationship of a language class. I really missed seeing all the classmates I had spent time with for 2 years. That's what so fun about taking a language in college. The high school class feeling is still there. Class everyday with the same people, and close relationships with the instructor is what I missed most. Aside from the intense study, theres always time to joke around and get to know one another, all in Chinese of course.


The future holds a lot of bright dreams and uncertainty. With new classes, I look forward to meeting new friends. I will need to focus my thoughts on what my future plans are this year, and start planing to graduate. I also can't wait for a new football season, hanging out with old friends, another year of preparation for the Hong Kong Club, and improving my skills in wushu when I get back. Time is something that one cannot waste, and I am starting to see that throughout my experience at the UO campus. I honestly wish it could last forever.





Can't Wait for Sleep!

Leah C.

June 8, 2010 - 11:00 AM



I should feel lucky that my last "final" is today. I had powered through most of my final exams and projects last "dead" week, and as you may have read in my previous blog, I just turned in my animation project yesterday morning. I didn't sleep all night, until after my class. Despite the 4 hour nap, I'm still feeling exhausted, but I must keep going! After this class, I can relax and look forward to summer.

Today, at 5pm sharp, I need to turn in a 6-8 page essay for my Chinese Literature class. I am currently working on it now. Earlier I've been mostly sorting, and rereading the stories assigned in for the class. Browsing book, after book for possible topics and key passages to support my idea. I will miss taking this class, but I will look forward to finishing the book of short stories on my spare time.

I apologies for this short blog submission, since it is finals week! ! !


72 Hours of Animation.

Leah C.

June 7, 2010 - 5:00 PM

72 Hours of Animation.



I have to admit, I should've started my animation two weeks ago. Unfortunately, I waited till the last minute and found myself glued to the front of my computer for the past two days. My last final project for "Intro to Animation" was very open, just as long as it was a narrative piece. Today during the last critique, there were many different directions that people took. Still shots, film, Photoshop, and Flash were the main techniques used to collaborate the final piece.


My narrative was very simple, I wanted to make a piece about bunnies. I played with the idea of bunnies multiplying, and taking over a city. My animation was short, and did not get to include scenes of how the bunnies took over the city. Instead I suggested the outcome by flashing newspaper headlines, which were quite vague now that I think about it....I guess that's as creative as I can get at 5 in the morning.


Bunny AnimationI uploaded my file to my New Grounds account, please check it out. I kept it as a swf file, and was unable to export the video to a mov. file for youtube. After the video finishes, it loops again, overriding the music. I forgot to make a start and stop button for the animation so you can just close the browser when the clip starts replaying.

Check it out here! (about 1minute long)



I decided to do a Flash animation, for the final. The only other time I used Adobe Flash was for ARTD 252, "Interactive Digital Arts." I took that class last year with John Park, and learned a lot, but for some reason I found myself lost. I had to relearn the basics, since I don't use the software very often. Flash is such a long process, that really requires much patience. Each frame needs to be drawn to create a desired movement. There are also other ways to achieve simpler movements, such as key framing, but I found myself drawing most of the time to achieve a desired movement. I used a Wacom tablet, to draw out my animation, a tool that all digital artist should invest in. This tablet hooks up to my computer, and with the Wacom pen, I can easily make strokes with much more ease and control than I would with a mouse. These tablets are pretty affordable, I think one can get a small and simple tablet for about 70 bucks now. The school also supplies tablets for students to use and rent, but having your own is so much convenient and well worth the investment.



Chinese Literature

Leah C.

June 1, 2010 - 12:00 PM

I've been studying for my Chinese literature class and I just want to say I love it! This is my first literature class and since the readings are from the 20th century they apply to past and current situations that have affected those around me. I feel like I'm connecting more and more with my own family's past every time I sit in lecture. So much has changed in China during the last century and I find myself connecting more and more of my family's experiences to the readings assigned in class. From the "Great Leap Forward" to the "Cultural Revolution," I have begun to have a better understanding of my family's past, things that may have gone through their minds, and what they saw.


Since I first arrived at UO, I have found myself yearning to take classes that relate to Chinese Culture. From history, art, and language, I have dipped my feet into many. I have a passion when it comes to discovering my heritage. There is just so much depth in China's past and culture. Whether it is good or bad, China is an interesting topic to learn and discuss. I guess you can say I have been "rediscovering my identity," a quote that I used a lot in my final years in high school. Through my art classes at Lincoln High School, I took on the themes and style of Chinese art and symbolism in my work. It was the start for me to connect more to my heritage and to understand what the images around me represent.


It is a yearning, a calling for me to find out more about my family's background and the University of Oregon has opened up many opportunities for me to do so. Even joining student organizations and the Wushu team has really helped me in developing that connection. I hope that many students find as much enthusiasm as I have in learning more about my culture. From classes to student organizations, college is a great way to find and discover one's identity.



Stressed and Frustrated

Leah C.

May 30, 2010 - 7:00 PM

Stressed and Frustrated

I hate drawing right now. There I said it. The artist is ranting now because after spending 5+ hours, the page has become a mess. Why do I feel so challenged? I think it's because I am having so much difficulty in letting my hand loose. I tend to try to perfect things, caring too much about each little line. This is a flaw I am still having trouble breaking as an artist. The subject matter in the end becomes stiff. The sense of the organic shape is lost. There is drawing and there is rendering. I believe I find more pleasure in rendering my images because I like drawing mirror images of what I see. Also, the reason my page is now a mess is because I kept adding too much. First I drew only in pencil, then I added charcoal and white chalk. Terrible combination if one does not plan out the final outcome. I just experimented with what I had and now I really regret it.


This also brings up another point that I have always contemplated, as an art student can our work really be graded? Experimentation is what many art students are supposed to do in order to develop their creativity and style. If the piece does not look good, but the effort is shown, how does one grade the piece? I am expecting to walk out with an A from my drawing class because that is what my drawing professor said to us. Over the many years he has taught, he realized that it is nearly impossible to grade art. Good art can be bad, and what can be considered bad may actually be good. Art is racking my brain as of now. What is desired by me? What is desired by the school? What is desired by society? What do I do? In this drawing class I've been taught to let go of my views, to lighten my grip on the pencil and let my arm glide over the page. Unfortunately, I am having difficulty grasping that.


My final drawing project is pretty open, just as long as we can incorporate the techniques learned from the class. The piece is not due till Wednesday, but I was hoping to finish it in order to start working on my videos effects project, and to study for my Chinese lit exam. Maybe after a day or two, I'll look at it again and fix it. Maybe I'll decide to scrap it and start a new piece. This is the love hate relationship all artists must deal with.



Leah C.
YEAR: 2011
MAJOR: Digital Arts
HOMETOWN: Portland, Oregon

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