Is this the end? Reflecting on DS106.

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I find that as this class comes to a close, I wish I was starting it all over again. Not because I feel I didn’t get enough out of it, but because there is an infinite amount of possibilities for not only what kind of stories you can create, but what you can learn. DS106 is about creating art on a platform that is constantly shifting. The humor and relevance of these stories may have a short life span, but the experience of creating them is highly enriching.

As I review the journey, from that first cold night, lost on campus, seatless, and meeting my professor for the first time via Skype to today, its hard to describe what the experience is like. My recommendation is that everyone experience it for themselves. One warning: heed the professors advice- there is a LOT of work to be done and the assignments are mezmerizing and easy to lose oneself in. Go ahead and let yourself get lost. I think that is part of the fun, although frustrating, part of it.

For someone like me with three constant complications to college life (child A, B, & C) as well as a host of other challenges with being a decade older than my peers, a commuter student spending more time in traffic than in the classroom… this class was hard to manage. But now I feel like I am squarely launched in my process for defining what the web can do for me in my personal and professional life. My own personal cyber infrastructure.

Now for the semester in review. Here are some items that I believe are my best submitted work in digital storytelling (in my humble opinion):

Ghostly Lullabye Story – It’s interesting to me how I can stress over an assignment until suddenly the “magic happens” and it all comes together and its better than I hoped. That was the case here, as I was experimenting with audio editing in audacity, downloading ambient sound from, and trying to create quality recordings with just my laptop. Since I was home and multitasking, I decided to record the sounds of my life: baby cries, mommy sings a lullabye, baby eats, goes to sleep, etc. In playing with the sound effects i discovered my story and it developed from there.

Bagman Campaign Poster, as Marie AntoinetteMarie Antoinette Santorum Bagman Campaign Poster

The best part of this assignment was that it was paying homage to another DS106′er, Brian Short, and his hilarious comedies starring a paper bag puppet named Bagman. My favorite of his videos was his impression of Rick Santorum, so I used a joke he made in the video to make a campaign poster of the Rick Santorum Bagman as Marie Antoinette.

Princess and the Frog “un-Disney” Poster
Princess and the Frog poster

The realism and minimalism give a completely different look and feel to the big-budget story of the princess and the frog with this design assignment. I enjoyed using the color splash look also for even more unexpected contrast.

Alternate Valentine Card

I love this assignment on so many levels. The sentiment is mushy in all the right ways (noncommercial, genuine, spontaneous, etc). The design is simple enough but decorative enough at the same time, with neutral colors, layered textures, and pops of red for impact. Then of course is my award-winning greeting card writing skills. Keeping it simple and heartfelt. Like a digital handmade card.

 Inferiority – Image with a Message
Inferior - Image with a Message

This is one of my favorite quotes, and I liked how this photographer composed this shot. I also exaggerated the colors and played with text size and color to get the message across. It was a simple assignment, but I liked it a lot.

Man on Fire – Splash the Color
Man on Fire - Splash the Color / Daily Create
I think I enjoyed writing about this as much as I enjoyed the outcome of the photo, because reflecting on what I did helped me realize why I did it, and why I liked it so much. The meaning behind it makes this my favorite visual assignment, and I love color splash technique.

Daily Creates:

Troniversity – Upside down photo
Tron-iversity Library

Super Food – Unconventional food
Super Food

You can see right through me – Super close-up
You can see right through me

For the love of Feet! – Feet that show how your day is going
For the love of Feet!

The End is… Here? Or perhaps just the beginning of something new.

As DS106 comes to a close, I reflect on all I’ve learned & experienced, all I have tried (successfully and unsuccessfully), how I have been inspired and entertained and disturbed by others. It has been a roller coaster ride.

Call me a thrill seeker, because I loved it.

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