I love to paint and draw. When I was young, despite pleas from my mother to not play with my food, I would make images from my cereal or macaroni. When my parents bought me crayons, I was not content with the basic eight color crayon pack; I desired the 128 variety set. Even at such a young age, I knew when to use sky blue versus aquamarine. I would often go beyond the coloring books my parents bought me; I drew and colored images of my very own images. I gave life to many heroes, villains, and ancillary characters. My characters came with a backstory, motivations, and a psyche. I soon started to create storyboards with a three-act plot. My story of a wallaby trying to cross the outback to reunite with his family showed how much I allowed my imagination to grow.
Despite my stretched-out imagination, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a string of animated movies using computer graphics. They were completely different than the animations that previously filled the television and movies. I was watching talking toys display spatial order like never before. Colors now had shade and characters had more nuanced facial expressions. I noticed shadows, ripples and folds. While these additions may appear supplemental, they are significant to the overall experience of the story. These supplemental additions add nuance to the story and help build a connection to audience members like me. I was witnessing a paradigm shift in storytelling.
Computers and the digital revolution have provided me with a new avenue to express my imagination. I could now convey emotions in my characters, use diverse shades of color, and utilize different textures. I started to learn about computer codes and software design. Computers are powerful tools but they require mastery to achieve accuracy and precision. I soon learned to respect this magnificent tool. Embedded within the structure of digital logic, ironically is a freedom to create highly realistic images with organic and fluid movements. Computers can display things like water and wetness, which were difficult to do under hand-drawn animation. Design software, powered by physic-based engine can make grass move randomly and hair wave in different directions. All this helps to promote the storytelling experience.
I would like to continue to improve my knowledge of the computer graphics medium so that I am free to use my imagination to fuel ideas for stories to tell. If I want to tell a story that takes place underwater or use a character with scales or fur, I can do so through computer graphics. I believe that true progress comes when we overcome the obstacles that prevent us from applying our human potential. I do not think that computer graphics will force the extinction of other storytelling mediums; I believe that computer graphics animation enhances our ability to continue our proud traditions of storytelling. I believe in the experience that comes from storytelling and that is the very reason why I am excited about the direction that computer graphics can take me in my quest for the perfect storytelling experience.
Last December, my art teacher announced to the class an art contest to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King. The theme of the contest was racial unity towards prosperity. While it sounded very intimidating, surprisingly an idea immediately came to me. I thought of an image in TIME magazine I recently saw of a painting of dozens of hands with thousands of tones and colors huddling around one another in a brick wall with a group of innocent, giggling children holding hands in the foreground. I was inspired by the innocence of the children and the focus of hands. I believe that hands are the tools for human progress, creating the first stone tool to the nuts and bolts of a hybrid engine. Anyone's hands have the potential to make something great regardless of skin tone, but I think the greatest thing we can do with our hands is to reach out to another person's hands and to hold them. So I decided to paint three hands of different races and colors holding a picture of spring against a winter background. I wanted to show the promise of a future together in harmony juxtaposed to the current imperfect reality. I wanted to show the greatness of our future belongs figuratively in the hands of our children. They will make a better future because they are united in aspiration and not divided by skin color.
A couple weeks after I submitted my art piece, my art teacher notified me that I was a finalist for the competition and I was invited to attend the Visions of Unity Banquet to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King At the banquet, the selection committee awarded my painting third place in the competition! I felt truly honored just to be invited but when I found out I won, I was truly humbled. I had never won anything before or received any comparable accolade. I also could not believe my painting even placed based on the other art pieces I saw in the competition.
While it was pleasant to receive recognition for my artwork (Few artists would mind the attention!) I took a lot of pride that my artwork contributed to the promotion of the ideas and principles that Dr. King espoused. It is important to keep his dream alive of racial unity because unity makes our society better; a society that does not value merit is a society that does not last. I would like to continue to use my gift of art to promote unity, human aspirations, and human potential. Art has helped me discover my voice and that even though it does not produce a sound, it can speak volumes. I can convey messages in ways that that have eluded me with essays and speeches. We all can contribute to the progression of our society and it starts with reaching out and holding someone's hand.
This is a great community and I thank you just for reading these! If you have the time, please at least just post one concise sentence about what you thought about my essay? :]