Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Final Finals

Well my dear readers, I'm back! It's been too long - I apologize for the blog break, but it was necessary for me to focus on school. I've finally finalized my final final! At least until next semester...

To prove to you that I'm not just making excuses, I now present two of my finals. One of the truly wonderful things about being a graphic design major is that you often have final projects instead of final tests. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be up 'til midnight trimming out my final project than studying 'til midnight for a final test! A blessed thing indeed.

The first final was for my Digital Publishing class. Assigning us to present a portfolio of our work over the semester, the teacher set the class free to package the digital submissions (stored on a CD, USB drive, or SD card) in an interesting way. I decided right away to use a USB drive, and initially I ordered a key shaped drive. Unfortunately that drive didn't arrive in time, so I ended up with a smaller one. Multiple ideas floated around my mind - hollowing out a book with a flash-drive shaped hole, presenting it with a fancy certificate like it was a royal proclamation, etc. Then the light bulb lit up - literally! Since all of the designs I needed to present were the product of their own initial idea, why not package them inside a light bulb? That's how I came up with this:

I took one of these light bulb jars from Hobby Lobby, and wired my flash drive to look like the light bulb filament. I also designed a package for it to sit in, just like one you'd see in a store. Continue on for a full 360 degree view.

I've chosen to blur out my last name. You know, for security.

Bright ideas. Very happy with how this turned out.

The next project was for Computer Illustration class. The challenge here was to come up with a concept on our own, figure out how to create it, and then implement our design. We'd done several greeting cards with interactive "swinging" elements in the class, and I wanted to try my hand at a Christmas card. These are difficult because almost everything has already been done. Plus I wanted something that looked kind of hip and trendy while still pointing to the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus Christ. I conquered the first challenge by designing the card as a tri-fold brochure with angled panels - something I've never seen in a Christmas card. To incorporate a modern feel I used flat colors and bold patterns, plus a contemporary color scheme to boot. Here is my solution:

This panel photographed really poorly for some reason. It looks much crisper in person!

That's our family photo and name I've obscured - you get the idea, though, right?
Here's a snapshot of what my digital files look like:
You can certainly see some Zentangle influence in the front panel, huh? If you spot Beeline and Jonqal, you're thinking right up my alley. Knowing Zentangle has helped me pass a majority of my college classes, including drawing classes and computer design classes. Yay for Rick, Maria, and all the folks who help bring us Zentangle!

I have to warn you that I may be taking another leave of absence from blogging soon. If you've been following for a while, you know that I got on the Disney College Program and will be moving to Florida and working in Walt Disney World starting in January. I'm playing blogging by "mouse" ear. One of the things on my list of to-dos while I'm there is to complete a Zentangle while casually sitting on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom (Yes, I am a Disney geek!), so at the very least I will post that here. And just think of all the opportunities for fun backgrounds to the Diva Challenges in Disney World! I've also started a blog specifically for my Disney adventures, which can be found at - come by and visit, and if you have the inclination subscribe to receive email updates. It should be fun!

Also, Zentangle in Motion part 2 is now officially in the works! Whether or not it will be ready before my Disney departure is still uncertain, however. I'm really excited about it, and I hope to get it made and uploaded ASAP!


  1. Oh Zach! How clever you are! SO impressed!
    Your blog followers have missed you big time!!!
    I do hope you will post Zentangles when you can!!!
    I have bookmarked your Disney website to check into also.
    We are having up and down weather in central FL now.
    So bring something of everything. I am wearing jeans and a sweater today and had the heat on this morning for awhile (only 48 out this morning!) But Monday afternoon I was at the pool! Go figure. Just a heads up that you will not be in tee shirts and shorts all the time until mid February when we usually settle back to tropical again! Some on down!

    1. Thank you! Yes, we were in Florida a couple years ago in February, and we had to buy sweatshirts! Don't worry - we have very up-down weather here in Texas too. I'm used to it :-)

  2. These projects are so great! What a clever light bulb idea - I'm sure you got an A!!!
    And the card is fabulous, too:) I agree, graphic design has the best finals. I wish I had tried to major in that:)

  3. I really like the card. That was quite a design project, and a great message. Good luck on your schooling in Florida.