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Final Critique was on May 4th, 2021. the process of putting a presentation together made me reflect on my growth and further improvement from this semester.

I started my presentation by giving the expectations that I had for myself from the end of last semester. I knew my aesthetic was over-the-top and I needed to use to better serve my purpose. And maybe a minimalist approach to design would be more appropriate at times. Lastly, taking detours and allowing mistakes to happen was something I wanted to try. With the goals I had for myself, I started my presentation.

I talked about my three studio project and interactive design project in a chronological order so one can see how my thinking process has progressed throughout the semester.

By the end of the presentation, I was able to do an evaluation for myself. My biggest growth was trying new mediums. I have not made a video in my life until this semester, which sparked interests in me and I was able to make four videos by the end of the semester. Moreover, my work has always been two dimentional, and I am glad that I jumped out of my comfort zone and built something 3D. I wanted to be more crafty and use my hands more, this is something that I could push further in the next school year. I am lucky to have so many resources around, having a laser cutter and a Risograph printer within walking distance was such a blessing, and using the resources around me pushed me further in the exploration of mediums.

The completeness and depth of concept have progressed throughout the semester. I felt more confident presenting my project becuase it felt complete to me. There is always room for more conceptual depth though, I want to challange myself to think more logically and make better executions.

I ended my presentation by talking about what I can improve based on this semester’s performance. First thing is that I should work smarter, not harder. This is more of a thinking related problem rather than work itself. I have always created more content when I feel stuck, but the solution is not more but less. Instead of being a generalist, maybe a specialist is more suitble for me. Focusing on editing and tweaking one design when I run into a problem instead of creating another ten designs that are not that good. This requires mental power and a switch in mentality which happens over time with patience. I believe if I become more conscious of my choice while designing, this change will come eventually.

Taking a step back is another thing I should do more often, a maximalist aesthetic does not equate to a maximalist approach. I could simplify and give myself some restrictions. For example, when I allowed myself to only use geometric shapes and colors in Moondance, the thinking process became less clustered. I realized last semester that I work better under restriction instead of freedom.

Lastly, I need better executions to match a good idea. Better execution is better craft combined with a smart, well-thought out deliverable. My craft is lacking, so is my attention to detail, I need to be more carfeul and detail-oreinted.

All three critics gave wonderful feedbacks. Chris suggested that I should look into good type foundries and study typography on my own time. I agree with that whole-heartedly, I know typography is not my strong suit and I don’t have the natural sensibility for micro-typogrpahy yet. With studying more typography, my choice of typeface would improve. (He has observed that I liked using display type, but sometimes more subtle type is better.) He also suggested that sometimes I could just allow it be, allow the synthesis to happen without trying too hard. (Trying too hard is a problem of mine as well.)

The other critics stated that they have seen a natrual progression of my literal imaging (post-cards project) to more of a abstract one (drop the ball, moon dance). They encouraged me to keep pushing myself to a create a less-literal visual language.

They have all enjoyed my Drop the Ball video very much, which was surpising to me. They liked the simplicity of it and the poetic nature, and I could make more content like that and push it further. Being able to connect with people and express feelings accurately with a visual language is the goal of design. I have a passion for story telling and I should use that to my advantage and maybe even write more.

Over the summer, I intend to do more studying on my own. Looking into type foundries and read more typography books would be helpful. Learning more about p5 js and the basic computer language is the next thing on my to-do list. I intend for this summer to be a fulfilling one with lots of reading and reflection.

Lastly, I will trust the process. James has convinced me.