Constantine Stanislavski was born in Moscow, Russia in 1863 (died 1938). He was an actor and eventually moved on to become a director and teacher. He developed a new approach to acting. It took him years of experimenting to get to what is now known as the Stanislavski System. Most acting that we see now has its roots in the Stanislavski system. Before the invention of the Stanislavski System, acting looked more like a comedy play on stage. Melodrama asks actors to practice the movements, gestures, and voices to create the characters = Outside to the inside. Stan “the man” wanted actors to work on characters from the inside and thus create more of a “true” or “real” (ie. not artificial) performance.

  1. Relaxation: learning to relax the muscles and eliminate physical tension while performing
  2. Concentration: learning to think like an actor and to respond to one’s own imagination

  3. Observation: Discovering the sensory base of the work: learning to memorize and recall sensations often called “sense memory” and/or “affective memory”; learning to work from a small sensation and expand it, a technique Stanislavski called “spheres of attention.”
  4. Communication: Developing the ability to interact with other performers spontaneously, and with an audience, without violating the world of the play.
  5. Imagination:
    1. the more fertile the actor’s imagination, the more interesting would be the choices made in terms of objective, physical action, and creating the given circumstances around the character.
    2. There is no such thing as ‘actually’ on stage. Art is a product of the imagination, as the work of a dramatist should be. The aim of the actor should be to use his technique to turn the play into a theatrical reality. In this process, imagination plays by far the greatest part.


Bluetooth Speaker Design Process

Before starting my design sketches, I tried to define the issue or the purpose of the speaker to its audience in a large brainstorm map. I began with the theme of the speaker and the intended audience. Since the speaker is dedicated to people from an older generation, I decided to look into vintage styles and traditional musical instruments or record players for inspiration (the result of this can be seen in the padlet from the previous post).

The theme of vintage musical instruments and record players can then be branched off into two categories, Western culture, and Eastern culture. I did some general research on both cultures with the question “what do people from each culture consider ‘musical’?” The result is shown in the padlet from the previous post. For better focus, I dedicated my speaker design to the Chinese culture.

My final design is inspired by the Chinese traditional birdcage, which often takes on the shape of Chinese traditional architecture (e.g., temples or palaces, etc.). In China, people would keep birds as pets in intricate birdcages convenient for transportation. It is a hobby of many Chinese elders (especially people from urban Beijing) to take their birds for a stroll so they can listen to their birds’ melodic chirps while they walk. Like traditional birdcages, the form of my Bluetooth speaker mimics the appearance of a Chinese Pavillion. The four walls of the speaker would be decorated with a traditional Chinese window design. The controls/buttons of the Bluetooth speaker would be hidden behind a round window with a bird pattern cutout which can be opened to reveal the inside.

My earliest Theatre Memory

My definition of my first theater experience is the first time I ever stepped on a stage and performed in front of an audience.

It happened in my last year of elementary school. I have just transferred from a Chinese local school to the first international community I’ve ever known, The British School of Beijing, Shunyi. As a born introvert who has never spoken English in conversations or classes, I was extremely self-conscious and nervous. In my memory, Chinese local schools barely had any drama clubs or theatrical plays. The only shows at school assemblies were collective dances and singing.

When my homeroom teacher announced that we were to perform a song in the weekly assembly, my first reaction was fear. I have never stepped on a stage and never wanted to be the center of attention in any social event. And my imperfect English only made the situation worse. I was given one line, something about this nonprofit organization called Girl Rising. I quite literally had “one job.” I remember standing under the spotlight during rehearsal, everyone is staring at me, I’m staring at the script… the word…


I have NO IDEA how to pronounce the word, is it rEsing? rAIsing? rEEsing???

In a panic, the words “Girl Racing” slipped through my mouth. To this day, I can still hear the sound of my classmates’ muffled giggles and that one annoying kid mocking me for my mistake whenever I think back on it.

“rīziNG.” The teacher hushed my classmates’ inappropriate reaction to my pronunciation and kindly corrected me.

After this incident, we rehearsed the song multiple times before the assembly, but it wasn’t after a few trials before I finally learned the correct pronunciation. The assembly eventually ended successfully, but I will never be able to forget the embarrassing experience during the rehearsal.


Qualities of An Effective Ensemble Member

  1. To be a risk-taker: willing to be open-minded to new things/ideas
  2. Positive and Energetic: have a good attitude towards everything
  3. Aware and in control: observe how your actions impact other people
  4. Focused: concentrate on what you’re doing
  5. Active listener: find out how you can cooperate with other people’s ideas into yours
  6. Cooperative and collaborative: work alongside your peers
  7. Efficient: use your time wisely
  8. Leaders & followers: know when it is your turn to step up or step back
  9. Positively critical and able to act on that criticism: constructive criticism/ positive feedback

My challenges:

For me, the two most challenging qualities are being a risk-taker and being positive and energetic.

I enjoy being quiet and being in my comfort zone. They’re some of the main contributing factors to my personality. As a visual artist, these factors often come off as beneficial; they allow me to stay focused on my artwork and be an independent learner. I am fearful of failure and embarrassment. Being quiet put me in a position that avoids public attention and I feel safe. The only times where I feel inclined to experiment and be dramatic is in front of intimate friends or family. I hope through taking this course, I can become more willing to challenge myself and be brave enough to take risks and be expressive.

It is easy for me to fall into the pit of harsh self criticism, frustration and eventually give up on a difficult task. This happens all the time when I am creating artworks. I want to do everything as best as I can and push my limits to reaching perfection. But like any normal human, I often fail. When it happens, I am keen to giving up and starting something new altogether. It is an unproductive habit that I’ve developed due to my fear of failure. At the end, I am left with a pile of unfinished work and a heap of negative emotions risen from self doubt. I am respectful of others, but dislike myself. I recognize the harm this causes to my mental wellness, and I am motivated to become more confident about my talents and allow myself to stumble over mistakes.

Logo Design

In this unit, we practiced the process and logo design techniques to create a business’s brand identity.

Students were given four design brief options for the project: a yoga studio, a food truck, a DJ, or any self-chosen idea. I found the DJ prompt really interesting as most DJ logos are text-based, with not many illustrations. I thought it would be the easiest choice for me, who’s never designed a logo before. The DJ prompt was also the most artistic and expressive theme out of the three given choices. Through this project, I want to practice my creativity with fonts and text styles and develop a successful logo.

STEP 1: Finding Inspirations

I first created a Padlet to record my design process. The first step of my logo design is looking for inspiration. I decided to go on Pinterest and search for some existing DJ logos. I found a collage of famous DJ logos and realized that many logos are either constructed of lines and simplistic geometric shapes or printed in creative typography.

The client for my logo design brief has kindly provided a short description of his creative background and audience. Through this, I learned that the majority of his audience group are young males. The music genre the client creates is electronic dance, hard house, and trance music. The logo should also communicate an upbeat, energetic, and fun mood to the audience.

To design a logo that can successfully convey the keywords, we must first understand the visual elements that can trigger certain emotions. I found the theme of the DJ’s logo to be similar to the Tik Tok logo. I generally analyzed the design elements utilizes in the Tik Tok logo to help me produce a general idea of where to focus on for my logo.

STEP 2: Generating Ideas

I began drawing ideas on a piece of paper. I first explored text logos by reconstructing the letters in the client’s name and arranging them in different heights and positions. I experimented with a range of fonts and arrangement styles but felt that letters on their own weren’t expressive enough for the keywords. Hence, I began incorporating illustrations into my design. I incorporated icons such as emojis and hand gestures, which are often correlated with “fun,” and music notes and speakers, which are often correlated with “upbeat” themes. After adding graphic elements, I felt more confident about my designs and circled some of my favorites in red.

During one class, our teacher, Mr. Griffin, invited the DJ to class. After showing him my designs, he shared with me some photos of him with his friends. Seeing his photos, I had a better understanding of his outgoing and energetic personality. I realized the importance of the client’s personality/identity in the logo and decided to revise my design ideas. I ended up with the “face design” in the second design idea post, which is also the client’s favorite design.

STEP 3: Refine

I drew the “face design” in procreate and exaggerated the hairstyle of the character to better portray the energetic and fun theme. The circles in the position of the character’s ear symbolize the shape of a headphone as well as the markings on a phonograph record. The jawline protrudes into the circles, symbolizing the record player needle. The waves in the character’s hair spell out the DJ’s name: ITZME.

I then inserted the iPad drawing into adobe illustrator and converted the illustration into a vector using the image trace tool.

I began working on the text portion of the logo design. I revisited my text-based logos from the first page my design idea sketches. During the process, I was overwhelmed by the possibilities of merging the letters in ways to show creativity that I neglected the legibility of my design. At the end, I decided to keep the texts true to their original design and simply attached them together through lines.

STEP 4: Presentation

In the design brief, the DJ specified the use for his logo: Soundcloud account, stickers, and t-shirt. I was unable to find any Soundcloud account mockups, but Mr. Griffin has kindly provided the class with example mockup files for our logo. I created a total of three mockups for my logo using adobe photoshop.


Made with Padlet

Overall, I’m really happy with my FIRST logo design. I learned a lot about incorporating design elements and principles through this project. Although I was really scared of “failing” this project or creating a logo that I don’t like, I overcame that fear with practice and the encouragement from my teacher as well as the DJ himself. I was able to successfully design a logo that meets my client’s requirement and present the logo through mockup photos. One that I could improve on is the design of the text logo and the legibility of my graphic logo. The texts embedded in the graphics are still challenging to read. With more practice, I believe I could separate the letters into individual “stands of hair” to make the logo more legible. The text logo isn’t the most satisfying design I could have made. But I’m still learning how to use adobe illustrator and doesn’t feel the most comfortable with all of the design tools.

Elements & Principles in Graphic Design: Bookmarks

  • Elements and principles of design are the fundamental building blocks of design used to create any successful design.
  • In this (small) unit, we explored the design elements and principles in graphic design. Upon discussing each term and their definitions, we collected examples for each principle and element. Students were then assigned each with an element or principle of design and were asked to create a bookmark that demonstrates its description.
  • I was assigned with the design principle — texture. Texture is often used to describe a tactile surface: how will a surface feel when you touch it. In my bookmark designs, I imitate the shiny metalic texture in the first design. The second design is a colored version of the first design. The combination of pink and yellow creates an iridescent effect the represents a reflective surface.