Nita Flowers was born in California, grew up in Japan, and then moved to Palatine, Illinois all before coming to Milwaukee. He is fluent in Japanese but spent the majority of his life so far in Palatine. This knowledge in multiple languages pushed Nita to focus his thesis on this skill. He wants to create a fun, engaging way to learn language that includes more conversational examples that could be used in real life. Nita noted that Generation Z has been recorded as being the age group most interested in learning a second language.
While discussing Nita's thesis we also talked about what sort of graphic design realms Nita enjoys the most and whether or not he would want to do that for a living. Nita dislikes app design and finds it draining, while social media design, photography, and typography are more interesting areas to Nita. Along with these Nita is enjoying his Publication design class and is in the midst of creating a magazine centered on alternative health. Nita said while he enjoys it he is also comparing himself to others throughout the process. Nita is also extremely interested in photography. He only started very recently but is looking forward to learning new skills and using them in graphic design projects.
Along with these skills and hobbies, Nita is focusing on cutting down on social media. He believes that he is often overstimulated by the influx of content coming through the screen and is trying to listen to more podcasts and listen to more soothing music while working on homework.
Compared to Todd's writing style and voice, Jason Mcdowell's is extremely dry and unconvincing. He argues that parking lots are replacing old beautiful buildings which is decreasing the beauty of architecture in Milwaukee. What he fails to do is convince the reader of those old buildings' beauty. Since the argument is based on a subjective opinion Jason should have been highlighting not only the full buildings but the character and detail of said buildings. Some of the photos he provides are so old and grainy I can't distinguish what I am supposed to like about them.
He states that "No matter what the reason is for demolition, it's still a shame to see a classic cream city brick building replaced with the personality of a parking lot." Personally I have no opinion on classic cream city buildings- maybe talking more in depth about their history or choosing one parking lot renovation to highlight and do a deep dive on would make the reader care about it more.
Where Jason could be talking about the quirky and unique aspects of the demolished buildings, he spends time reiterating to the reader that no one thinks parking lots are beautiful. I agree with some of his sentiments but his voice does very little to aid me to those conclusions, and in some areas completely steers me away from them.
Todd’s voice in his works is defined mostly by his use of lush descriptions. His constant comparisons between nature and his approach for an art piece are the best reflection of this. He makes sure the reader knows he is a well-practiced and observant artist through these beautiful descriptions, going through the role of the lines in his etchings as well as the in depth look at the different application of paint in the pieces he saw in the Phillips Collection.
His love for his craft comes across so clearly and though there are pictures to contribute to both of these written pieces I feel they are almost unnecessary- Todd's descriptions are that lively and accurate. In this way his voice is extremely distinct, words and phrases I would not have paired with art pieces jump off the page to pull the reader into the way he sees the piece and the connection he has to it. He convinces the reader of his own interpretations effortlessly.
"The haziness of the vase contour behind the sharpness of the peach creates space like a distant mountain range on a foggy day."
To see so much in the negative space of an oil painting and chose to view it like a mountain of all things stands out to me so much, I begin to see it there myself.
Blog #2 - National News VS OnMilwaukee
When looking through articles about the late Queen Elizabeth, NPR’s article stood out to me the most. I only saw one other article talking about the link of colonialism to the Queen and how that is affecting the way people mourn (or don't mourn). It’s extremely important to talk about these feelings and why they have taken root and avoid sweeping them under the rug out of ‘respect’. Many people think something should be acknowledged when it comes to the crown's history with colonialism and outdated, dehumanizing ideals. The crown still holds many crystals stolen from countries that were under their rule at one point, and the British museum holds a large number of stolen artifacts. For one family to hold access to these jewels and feel so entitled as to not have a second thought about returning them to their rightful owners is astounding and disrespectful- especially when considering the majority of these rightful owners have suffered at the hands of Britain. I appreciate the closing line NPR utilizes, "It is time that we come to terms with that history of enslavement, that history of colonization." It is time we think about the monarch more critically and less in a way that most Brits do, not as an emotional outlet for the people to relate to but as a residue of an older school of thought- perhaps one we do not need to acknowledge anymore.
In regards to the design of the website, I appreciate its legibility and clean hierarchy. NPR’s main audience is 30-40 year old men, though they try to keep the design relatively gender neutral as well as class neutral. They make it very easy to find other resources through them that relate to the topic you are reading about, including pop up ads for podcasts and other articles. There is a lot of intentional white space so you are forced to fully take in the text and not be distracted by bright colors or large text.
OnMilwaukee’s coverage of the Queen’s death is sparse, though they did acknowledge it through a republishing of an article covering a point when the queen’s boat drove past Milwaukee. This is the more accepted way of covering the Queen’s life, going over charming or honorable acts she/the crown took part in and ignoring the rocky past. This specific piece is interesting looking at through the lens of a Milwaukian but past that there is nothing exemplary about the event. It is important to take the ‘wonder’ out of the perception of the crown as none of them really did anything to deserve the pedestal we put them on. None of them will ever truly care about their subjects or anyone that they view as beneath them. Maybe if one of the younger generations was next in line this could be different and there could be some sort of change but with Charles ascending I highly doubt he cares about any of the crown's mistakes or affiliations.
Aside from this neutral coverage of the Queen’s death, OnMilwaukee has a very distracting website. It is very difficult to focus on the article as multiple pop up ads flicker from one state to another and the entire website has a very colorful and bright color palette. Even the pop ups for other articles are difficult to read, text is placed on a light blue background with an image that competes with this color palette of oranges and blues. Overall it is a functional website but there are many areas that could be improved upon.
Blog #1 - Notes on Local News Websites
MIAD senior, Communication Design Major, Illustration Minor