Integrative Seminar 2 Learning Portfolio Reflection Post: “Cross-Course Reflection”

I am Luolin Qin in Fashion Design major, even though I have never done anything related to fashion in my first year. Even though I did a great job in general (which I would give myself 95/100), I still hope that I would not be kicked out in my sophomore year, and after accomplishing that I will continue my goal of getting high GPA in my courses.

In most of the classes in my first year, I have done two things the most often: stepping out of my comfortable zone and getting closer to my confident zone. For stepping out of my comfortable zone, it means to accept and use new things I am not familiar with (software, carpentry, etc.). At the beginning of the fall semester, I suffered from making projects out of adobe software because I was a fledging apprentice in digital world. To overcome the obstacles (and not to fail the courses), I was insanely diligent in going to Learning Center and asking professors to solve the problems I had. The hard work paid off, and I gradually improved my grade to 3.94 at the end of first semester (what is worth mentioning, I improved my grade from C to A in my drawing class). Even though the process was painstaking, I still could find excitement and joy because I gained more skills that I found helpful to my future assignments. For example, after I stepped into the world of Photoshop, I spontaneously fell in love with it because I could make whatever I wanted as long as I had the control. More than 60% of my projects in first year involved Photoshop, and I did make a leap-and-bound progress on “creating something from nothing”. By testing my limit, I can improve my aesthetic taste and creativity, instead of block myself in the boundary I set before.

final project of drawing class, done in Photoshop

Stepping out of my comfortable zone doesn’t mean to completely abandon the styles or method I have before. For me, it is also important to show my strength and personality in my work. In my Studio final project last semester, I under-estimated the difficulty of making a sculpture which I had never tried before, which resulted in a failure. I learned from the mistake and tried to avoid that from happening again. In the second semester, before I started every project, I thought about the failure in order to warn myself to set up a “planned plan”.

Two highlights which can partially represent my working method are my final project in Time and Studio 2. In my Time class, the major obstacle for me is to use Premiere Pro to make videos. This is not something in my comfortable zone because I struggle to apply the special effects, transitions, timing, and overall quality of the video. The only thing I can compete with the expert classmates is creativity. In the making process, I tried to reach to my confident zone as close as possible, and at the same time I learned to polish my video in details. Specifically, I made a video about intersections between real and fake worlds by drawing on film. The final presentation included a video and a cooking dish, which received complimentary from my professor and classmates for my individuality.

In my Studio 2 final project, I fully expressed my drawing techniques. By doing what I am good at, I dared to take some risks on using different media (acrylic board for laser cut) and trying different styles of drawing. In another word, I not only stayed in my confident zone, but also stepped out of my comfort zone in a suitable range. Also, another interesting thing in this project is that I borrowed reference from my seminar research paper, which was a new method for me. I tried to make connection between my academic paper and artificial product, and when they interact, I have more inspiration in both writing and drawing content.

Studio 2 final project

Overall, my learning in all of my courses is positive. I cannot set up for specific goals next year because I cannot predict the future. I didn’t do anything related to my major, which I feel a little compassion. I hope I can do projects related to fashion, and find specifically where my interest is during my study process. Another thing I hope to do is that I can apply some useful content from literature classes (history, etc.) and possible minor program (food study) into my design to generate the classes I take. Last but not at least, I still need to find a balance between abstract ideas and concrete understandings (from viewers especially). There are a lot I can learn about, and what I need to do in school is to explore the infinity of art, the universe, and myself.

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