Mini-Projects

 

Mini Project 3: Collaborative Project

Me and my photography buddy, Tyler Rollason decided to collab for our collaborative mini project. His theme for his blog is photography and taking a picture a day, while mine has a theme of Nike and sports. Naturally it was easy to combine both of our projects by taking sports of someone in the act of playing sports. We both had agreed on what the project would be in an earlier meeting. We then decided to do the photo shoot in the back basketball gym and get some shots of me playing basketball. Our processes through the entire project stayed on course, as beforehand we decided Tyler would do the photography half and I would do the sports action half. The good thing about collaborating with Tyler is that we already knew each other and worked with each other before in the UTV-13 station for a sports show. The only challenge I say we had was capturing me in the action shots when I was moving because sometimes my movement was too fast for the camera. But other than that all of our work went smoothly and we got exactly what we wanted for the final product. I learned that modeling is sort of awkward because you have to act like you’re doing something that you’re really not. For some shots I had to hold poses for a while and was trying to prevent myself from cracking up. I had fun doing the project and in the end I feel as if I’d be a great model.

 

Mini project 2: Creative Writing

UWG 3 Point Champ

            “And can Kyle McFadden please come down to the court!”

None of my friends recognized my name from the PA system but I know those two words from anywhere. I jumped out my courtside seat in The Coliseum like I was late for school. I imagine my face was lit up with a Mr. Potato Head smile. I got to the court and went straight towards the announcer, gave our mascot Wolfie an exuberant high five, and awaited my free raffle gift, only to be told differently.

“Just go sit in those chairs at that side of the court and you’ll be up soon for the three-point shot contest.”

When I had filled out the raffle tickets in hopes of winning a new Droid Incredible 2 smart phone or West Georgia gear, I had no idea it would lead to me having to shoot three-point shots in front of a gym full of spectators.

It was Hardwood Hysteria, the first basketball event of the year to introduce the men’s and women’s basketball teams and have student activities and giveaways to get the student body excited for the upcoming season. I just went for the free t-shirt and Papa John’s pizza because I thought there would be an actual game that followed, unknown to me and everyone else in attendance I would turn out to be the main attraction.

Eventually I made my way to the opposite basket from where I was originally sitting and made myself comfortable next to the women’s basketball team. I was nervous but as soon as I saw the other guy I was going against I knew I would win my round. At first sight, I thought to myself, “Oh, man, I’m gonna kill Jimmy Neutron in this contest. Haha.” Of course I didn’t say this to him when he sat next to me but underneath my real facial expression was the Grinch-type grin from ear to ear.

The competition was set up so that there were two semi-finals rounds, one with boys and one with girls. The winning boy would be paired with a member of West Georgia’s women’s team and vice versa. Each team would get a minute to make as many combined shots and the winning participant would receive a brand new Droid Incredible 2 smart phone.

“Hey man my name’s __”, he said introducing himself.

Honestly I wasn’t paying attention to him or his name at all. I was watching the half-court contest, where about fifty fellow students were trying to make a half court shot for a hundred dollar gift card to Longhorn’s steakhouse.

“I’m Kyle. Wassup dude.”

“I just signed up for a raffle. I’ve never played basketball before. Do you play much?”

As if I needed assurance that I was gonna beat him, those words confirmed a first round victory was mine.

“I didn’t know I was gonna get picked for this either. And yea I play a little basketball. It’s not my main sport,” I said back to him.

The half-court contest was finally over and the main event was about to start with the girls semi-final kicking off. Reality started to kick in when the event started and I saw how many people were actually in the stands. I took to my twitter to let everyone that wasn’t there know that I was about to take part in my school’s three-point contest.

“I JUST GOT PICKED TO DO THE 3-POINT CONTEST AT MY SCHOOL..SHIT IM NERVOUS BUT IMMA PUT ON FOR HOOD #PVG !!”

It wasn’t really a hood because I’m from the suburbs of San Diego but all my friends that lived on Pine Valley Glen knew what it meant.

As I was typing, my fingers were trembling and I kept making typo after typo on my touch screen. It’s not like I’d never played something in front of a crowd before. I’ve played in Qualcomm Stadium where the N.F.L.’s San Diego Chargers play three times in my life. I guess it was the fact that I wasn’t with a team anymore. It was gonna be just me, a hoop, and a couple thousand eyes all bearing down on me hoping that I wouldn’t win that phone just because they didn’t have the chance too. I think it was the fact that I hadn’t touched a basketball in a while and didn’t want to embarrass myself by losing to little Jimmy Neutron. I do have a sort of a competitive problem when it comes to anything: sports, video games, board games.

The girls had just finished. The score was a lot to a little because the winner was an obvious basketball player and the other girl looked like the people they choose to take part in competitions because the host knows they have no chance at winning the prize.

“Can we have our two male three-point participants come out to the court please?!”

Now I was more nervous than ever. I didn’t have to look at the crowd to know that everyone was looking at me. I made my way to the basket and heard my friends yell out from their seats,

“LET’S GO KMAC!”

I pointed over to acknowledge them, acting like everything was cool but inside I was thinking, “AWW MAN I CAN’T MESS THIS UP.” They weren’t even gonna let me get a practice shot. Basketball is a muscle memory thing and I hadn’t played in weeks. The host went on to explain the rules. Yea Yea blah blah as many shots in one minute is all I heard. I was ready to get this over with. If I win I’ll be happy, If I lose I’m leaving and gonna go be mad in my room. One of the event volunteers under the basket passed me the first ball and I waited for the signal to go. I moved my hat from front to back then I heard the horn, “BBRRGGHH!!” I tossed the first one up. It hit the rim; fortunately not missing everything and making me look like a joke in front of a couple thousand. I started off cold and kept missing but I felt the rhythm come back in my arms and legs and I knew the shots would start falling. Once I made the first basket I knew I had it because I heard the host say on the mic about the other guy,

“C’mon man you gotta make one!”

I could filter out some laughs from the yelling in the crowd directed towards the other basket and I knew what was happening. The same thing I thought when I first saw my opponent, a nerd that had never touched a ball in his life embarrassing himself. Apparently he was air-balling every shot he tossed up. By the time our minute was up, I had won my round five shots to zero. I expected to win but that still couldn’t wipe the Cheshire cat smile off my face. I left the court and went back to my seat near the women’s team to wait for my final round of competition. During our break they used the time to introduce both basketball teams on the floor. I went back to my phone to update my tweets again.

“ AHH I MADE THE FINALS..GOTTA WIN THIS PHONE !!”

I noticed the shaking had made its way back to my hands as I realized what was at stake. I tweeted again, “IF I LOSE TO A GIRL IN THIS 3 POINT CONTEST I’M TRANSFERRING!! NO LIE !!”

After the team introductions, one of the girls made her way to me.

“Yo wassup man. Ima help you win this phone.”

That’s all I needed to hear and I was ready to go. We got called back to the court and I made sure I got to shoot at the same basket I did the first time. It’s something about routine in sports that does something psychologically. But one thing immediately wiped away my calmness as I walking to the basket. I noticed that my opponent’s partner was the best three-point shooter on the men’s team and the shaking and nervous feeling took over my body again.

“DAMN,” I thought to myself. Of all people this guy had to team up with her. I remembered watching him at games last year, shooting shots in the faces of opponents all the time with ease. With no opponents covering him, I knew I had tough competition. I never doubted my own skills and thought I would lose but I was definitely scared of what the outcome might be. Anyways I still had to do it and knew I wasn’t going against Jimmy Neutron anymore so I had to do better.

My girl partner and I took our spots on the outside of the three-point line and gave each other the mutual look like “We got this.” With my hat brim flipped to the back again, my game face was on. The buzzer went off and everyone released their first shots. The crowd was yelling, some for people they knew, and others just making noise out of excitement of the ongoing competition. This round I felt like Kobe Bryant and nothing was gonna stop me from winning this new phone. It was like something wanted me to win the way my shots were falling and the way my partner’s shots were splashing through the net. Swish, swish, swish was the beautiful noise I kept hearing as I threw up shots. I was just feeling it. I was “in the zone.” Then our minute was up and I looked towards the section where my friends were sitting with the look like, “yo did I win this?” By the look on their faces I figured I did. The other two were shooting at the opposite basket so I couldn’t see how my competition was doing the whole time.

We got called up to half court and awaited for the event staff volunteers to tally up our baskets. The anxiety I experienced waiting to hear our scores was too much for me at the moment. Then came the moment I had never imagined when I woke up that Monday morning.

“They got 9 total.”

Then they pointed at me, “They got 17.”

I couldn’t control my facial expression at that moment any longer. I grinned ear to ear and gave Wolfie the hardest hand slap ever. Not high five, hand slap.

“And the winner of the Hardwood Hysteria three-point contest and Droid Incredible 2 smart phone… Kyle McFadden!”

And to think, all I came for was a free t-shirt and a slice of pizza.

Mini Project 2: Critical Project

Artist Statement #2

            When it came to this piece the biggest support for my process was simply my memory of an event that occurred earlier in the school year. When I had the option to write either poems or a story I knew right away that poems would not be a good choice for me because I find writing poetry so difficult. Then I was left to decide what I could write about that would equate to 5-7 pages. I thought of an autobiography of myself that I could make comical or make up something fictional about the many characters I create. After brainstorming and jotting down a couple of ideas I ended up choosing to write about the time I won the three point shot contest at Hardwood Hysteria in the fall semester of 2011. My process of picking this topic went perfect with the theme of my blog which was Nike/sports. That’s when I knew I had mad e my decision on what to write.

Something that would disagree with my process would probably be the creative aspect of the piece because it is non-fiction. So to go against this I added my own creative twist to a true non-fiction story. To do this I added dialogue of my surroundings, which included people and other noises. I also added my thoughts during the event that allowed the reader to know what the narrator (me) was thinking during the event while also seeing the actions.

Something that changed my process would probably be the decision of what to write about. I was going to start a fictional story but the event was such a good memory and fresh in my head still that it was easy to re-enact it and turn it into a lengthy story. The change worked out perfectly for me.

After getting some class mate input I went in and made some changes to my paper. They most included typographical errors that were pointed out. I also tried to change the view of the character that is my opponent in the story. I think that having the mini workshop helped a lot because they were able to point out things form a different point-of-view and things that I had missed when I originally wrote it. As I writer I like to think my work is perfect but its good to have an unbiased set of eyes reading it to point out the flaws. These revisions ended up being the biggest changes in my process of the work because it made me go through, read their proofreading tips, and make the necessary changes.

Conformity vs. Non-Conformity Assignment

When I got this assignment I was faced with the same set of questions I always have for my projects on this blog. “How do I create something comparable to the creativity of other artists in this class?” That was my first dilemma because I know I couldn’t paint anything, draw anything, or make any song like most. Then looking at the categories and restricted words I had to think of something out of the box because all the words that we couldn’t use are the only ones people really associate with. So with that I turned to what is never usually discussed in an art class and which also happens to be my favorite topic, sports. At first I was going to go with the cliché topic that is often heard in sports and competition and how it is a “battle” or “war”. Trying to keep away from such a cliché category in sports I started to look at environment. I planned on doing different sports environments and that’s when I got the idea to do a collage of sports venues where I have been at and also other popular ones around the world. When I was searching for pictures I looked through my phone because I went to several college football games this past season and started looking through my facebook at older pictures of stadiums or arenas I have been in. When I thought I had my mind set on my topic, I noticed one of the banned words on the list was “green” and with all the football fields I was going to use for my collage I knew it wouldn’t work. After noticing a picture of a referee on one of the pictures I was going to use I knew I had the right topic, ethics.

According to dictionary.com the proper definition of ethics is “that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.” This goes hand in hand with being a referee, umpire, or judge in any sport because you have to make the right decision for the fairness of the game without having a bias towards one side or having a conflict of interest. And as I stated earlier there was nothing sports related in the list of restricted words. I then searched for images of different types of referees so I could create a collage that represents how they must be ethical in their respected sport that they officiate.

The hardest part for me in this project was deciding on what to create because I feel that I have a natural restriction on not being able to create poetry or cool drawings/paintings like I always see on the blogs in the class. Then when I decided to make it about what I like the best it became quite easier and everything seemed to fall in place. The restrictions just made me think deeper and create more ideas in my head because I started with war, then it led to environment, and I finally ended with ethics. I feel that restrictions can open up someone’s creativity because it makes them think deeper and forces them to create something outside the given boundaries.

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