Week 15: First-Year Reflection

My name is Emilia Batchelor, and I am a first year Illustration major at Parsons School of Design. Throughout my first two semesters at Parsons, I have been introduced to various creative mediums, while learning new concepts and techniques. When I looked over all of the work I created this year, I realized that a lot of my pieces stem from my interest in raising awareness. Multiple projects relate to my love for marine biology, more specifically the creatures who live in the ocean and what struggles they face due to human activity. The stickers I made for my final in my spring elective include illustrations of sea creatures with accompanying text. I also created a wire sculpture of an octopus, and a jellyfish-human hybrid for other classes. Aside from that common theme, I further explored digital art, creating many pieces mixing traditional mediums and Photoshop or Illustrator. 

A major accomplishment during my first semester was writing a 10 page research paper titled “Increasing Ocean Acidity Affects Orange Clownfish Populations in The Great Barrier Reefs.” The assignment was to write about any topic relating to climate change. I chose this topic because I’ve always loved the Orange Clownfish species and I knew that I would be more motivated to write when I was interested in what I was writing. But considering that writing is one of my weaker skills, I struggled a lot with how to go about completing the assignment. It was the first major research paper I have ever written and I learned a lot while writing. I made a proposal for my topic before outlining the first draft, then I wrote the final draft. I created one draft, and edited that one before turning it in. I wish I could have taken advantage of the Writing Center at the time because I could have gotten more advice on how to structure my paper. I did learn how to footnote and type bibliographic entries manually which prepared me for Integrated Seminar 2’s research paper. I felt less overwhelmed because I have gone through the process before and was more comfortable with it. Overall, the success of this paper is a continual reminder that I can do more than I think I am capable of, and is the first milestone in my academic career at Parsons.

Another assignment that stands out to me is the creative part of my final for Integrated Seminar 1. I was assigned to create a cinematic self portrait revolving around how far I have come since the end of the first semester. This project really made me think about all of the changes that occured in the past 5 months and to see how I have changed and responded to them. As I am not good with video/movie I decided to create an illustration style movie poster, because I felt like my life was like a painfully awkward coming of age story. I chose the style because it best reflects the type of art I enjoy doing, and I knew I wanted to declare as an Illustration major when first semester ended so it gave me a chance to experiment with digital concept art. I drew myself walking down a street in New York City, eyes closed and just enjoying the moment. I decided on that composition because I always feel like I am in a movie when I walk around the city, and I always dreamed of doing living here when I was little. In a way the poster represents a younger version of me and what she dreamed of, and of the person I have become. This piece is important because it gives me the chance to portray how I viewed myself at that time, which can be forgotten when experiencing so many new things.

As I continue to learn and create art during my time at Parsons I would love to explore other mediums and further my interest in combining my two passions, marine biology and art. This year I was assigned to create a garment for studio, which was so difficult because I’d never sewn something by myself before, but after seeing the final product I would love to learn more about fashion and how to create clothing. Also, there is so much inspiring content to photograph in the city, so I would be interested in learning more about cameras, more specifically analog photography and utilize the black room in Parsons.

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