Inspired by this post
Aside from the fact that I made from scratch black and white swan costumes for my roommate and I (challenge me to a duel with a glue gun, I dare you), I’ve honed my graphic design skills, become more obsessed with painting, and dipped my toes into the world of film production. I’ve always been a very creative person, doodling all over any sheet of paper I’m given, buying materials for DIY projects I’ll never see to fruition, and just generally daydreaming about any kind of creativity my brain can grasp.
Hopkins has really allowed me so much opportunity to grow my creativity. I feel like Hopkins is stereotyped as this cold, scientific institution, but I’ve experienced a world that embraces creative thinking and encourages students to create.
Mostly, this past semester, this encouraging attitude has sprung up in one of my film classes, Intro to Visual Language. It’s a requirement for all Film majors on the Critical Studies track, though it has quite a few production projects! At first, I was terrified. I didn’t know how to attach a camera to a tripod, I didn’t understand composition, and me trying to operate Adobe Premier was embarrassing. I finished the class with 3 short films, one of which I’m proud of, and a vastly greater knowledge about the world of film production.
In case you didn’t believe me that there are courses that really encourage creativity, the above is—seriously—from my Intro to Visual Language course. We spent about an hour physically creating a light show, using different materials like water, kaleidoscopes, overhead projectors, our hands, and a feedback loop created with a camera. We chose different songs (from Kanye to 80’s dance hits) to set different moods to our light show. I felt like a kindergartener, encouraged to explore different things, receiving pure hands-on learning. It’s not often in college that you have so much freedom within the classroom.
I acted for awkward test shots…
And eventually created my first teeny, tiny film, which was a short project that required us to cut on motion.
Revolutionary it is not.
But it was my first time ever operating a camera, and for what it’s worth, I got an A!
After studying a huge range of different filmmaking methods and elements, our class was finally ready to tackle our final project. We were instructed to create a short film (under three minutes) that combined everything we had learned that semester, from composition to sound to editing.
Stills from my final film project
I was proud of my final project, a 1 minute and 21 second scene of me and my dog navigating my farm. It was pretty much an exploration of composition, something that I had been criticized for in my previous film assignment (which, fortunately, I am not showing in this blog). My professor loved my composition, and complimented me on my choice to film this setting. I improved so much in film production this semester, from not knowing how even operate a camera to filming myself while wrangling a high-strung black lab.
So, zero to demihero in terms of film production! Woo!
Hopkins has allowed me to be creative for grades, but also for my activities. I’m serving as the Director of PR for Alpha Phi this year, which means that I work on the marketing team to run our social media platforms, create merchandise, and design awesome content.
For spring recruitment every year, we redo our Facebook page with fun, new graphic digs, and create profile pictures for every sister to publicize rush and Alpha Phi!
I’ve had so much collaborating with other sisters in marketing, namely Roxanna and Megan, to create this awesome brand for Alpha Phi. They allow me so much creative freedom, though are always there to give constructive criticism and opinions. We have a ton of stuff in the works right now in terms of apparel design, so I’ll keep you posted on that!
And, finally, my creativity extends past my academic and extra curricular life and into my personal life. Painting is a recent hobby of mine, but I don’t know why I didn’t start earlier. It’s so cathartic, and relaxing. Sometimes after a stressful day, all I want to do is squeeze out some paint and run a brush over a canvas. I love that it’s so therapeutic, and yet at the end, I have a product to speak for! Netflix and snacks are certainly therapeutic, but productive? No.
I’m so glad that my major lends itself to creative pursuits. I feel starved without creative outlets, and I know that for some of my friends, it can be a struggle to balance school work with personal enrichment. Luckily, my classes and activities allow me so much artistic freedom, and I never feel bored or unfulfilled.
They say not to combine work and play, but I happily will!