Reflective Blog Task -Your Professional Identity

It is now reaching the end of the twelfth week of trimester, and next week, week thirteen, is last week of trimester. It has been an… interesting trimester to say the least, with two CIU classes and Production 1, insanity might be a good way of describing it all. And at the end of this twelfth week I find myself reflecting on the very first week of trimester. The quote “I open at the close”, from Harry Potter, comes to mind, but I suppose that isn’t exactly correct… more like I close at the ‘open’. Week one’s lecture was about an overview of our module for the trimester, as well as “your professional identity”. Barring the overview, I wish to reflect on my professional identity as well as what professional identity means.

In the first online lecture, it was made very clear that throughout the thirteen weeks we would be learning skills that would assist us in interacting with industry practitioners and future employees. The online lecture kept comparing all the disciplines of SAE Qantm, showing us how they were the same. One thing that really stood out to me in the lecture was the heading “no future”. Underneath this heading is a singular paragraph talking about how it is common for people working in new media to not be able to imagine their future. I must say, that I have no clue where my knowledge in animation will take me, nor do I know what I want to do with it. I enjoy animation a lot, and over the Christmas/New Year break, I know that I will be continuing to play around with Adobe Flash/Animate and Adobe After Effects. Eventually I hope to write a novel then animate the scenes in it, so the story may come to life, but for now that it but simply a dream.

For the classroom lecture for the first week, our lecturer asked us how we would respond to certain scenarios online. These questions were interesting and certainly made the whole class stop and think. One question, which I’m almost sure has been a recurring question several times in the past twelve weeks, was “what kind of person do you want to be seen as online?” My answer to this question? I want my online presence to reflect me and who I really am, I don’t want to hide behind false identities. My pen-names should just be an extension of me not an entirely new me.

frostieheart-logoWith this answer comes the question – how should I act? What is my ‘Professional Identity’? Hard question, and my answer is; I don’t know yet, at one point I might of said that my ‘identity’ is Icetail of WindClan – Meta-If (that is WAY too long) more recently I might tell you that FrostieHeart is my identity or perhaps I’d claim that my name is Renée Anastasia (comment to ask the meaning behind that name – interesting story how I came to use the name). Last year during my final term of grade 12 I would have answered with “FrostieHeart Design” and then proceed to tell you about my Media studies assignment, where we had to build a brand and website for ourselves. It was never of course published, though I did consider setting the logo I created as my DeviantArt ID. Most of these names do not have or are losing their connection to me and fading away from my identity. Reasons for this can be, in the case of FrostieHeart design, just an assignment and meant nothing to me in the first place, or just a name that used to mean something, but isn’t apart of who I am anymore. I did touch on previous pennames in my last blog post where I spoke briefly on how they were once related to me.

There are many things that I need to work out, both about myself and my art, before I can start to work out my Professional Identity. I am still a student in a Bachelor’s degree in Animation, trying out new techniques and improving my own art style. It is highly likely that my identity will change many times before I settle on one solid identity, and even after I find that identity, I know that it will continue to evolve.

This concludes my final reflective blog post, but that hardly concludes this blog. I hope you marvelous readers will continue to read and support my blog for as long as I post on it.

Until next time!

~Icetail~

Week 1: Overview & Your “Professional” Identity – Self-Directed Practitioners. Medium. Retrieved 9 December 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-1-overview-your-professional-identity-d3037f34cb8e#.jp1pepvo8

 

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Reflective Blog Task – Social Media

Social media is a big part of the creative industry. It practically drives the creative industry, as it allows companies to advertise new products they come up with, as well as communicate with employees, clients and job applicants. However, despite knowing this, I find myself hesitant to use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and other sites like the two I have mentioned. If you haven’t guessed from the title, or from this paragraph, the lecture that I’m reflecting on was about social media. Week 3 of this trimester had much to say about the importance of social media to the creative industry.

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Before I get any further, I would like to make this note to readers; I noted in class last Friday that I should have elaborated more on my use of DeviantArt in my last reflective blog, however, as I sat in front of my laptop typing, the thought came to me that that information fits better in this blog post, instead of where I was trying to fit it.

Image result for we now return to our regularly scheduled program

What is social media? And more importantly, I think, what is social media to me? To answer the first question, I think that I need not go any further than a quick Google search of the definition.

Straight from searching “social media definition”, the result I get is this:

Related imageSocial Media
Noun
Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

This definition describes websites such as Facebook, Twitter, DeviantArt and FanFiction.net. I will get more into these sites soon.

To me however, social media is a complicated thing. I do not class Facebook or Twitter as the same kind of site as DeviantArt or FanFiction.net for the simple fact that the information shared on all these sites is different.

Image result for facebookI don’t like Facebook. The only thing I use Facebook for is it’s Messenger app, and occasionally looking at the Facebook page for one of mobile games I play. I got my Facebook account a few years ago, and when I first used it I thought it was cool, but eventually, due to people typing hate at each other and bringing drama from school into their status posts, I started avoiding the website, trying to use Skype to communicate with my friends, but I found that hard when everyone uses Facebook. Because I don’t like Facebook, I find myself hesitant to participate much on Twitter. I have been told many numerous that social media is important in the creative industry, as the lecture for week 3 said; it allows you to promote your work online in a place where everyone can view it. Despite knowing this, I still hesitate to rejoin the Facebook community or take part in the Twitter community.

On the other hand, I have no problem at all communicating with artists and authors on DeviantArt and FanFiction.net. I suspect that this is because I don’t know who anyone is, and I’m not hearing about their problems all day every day. Not that I won’t help people with their problems, but I can only do so much before it’s out of my hands.

On DeviantArt I am free to share my art, comment on other’s art and have my art commented on. The feedback from other artists is inspiring and is very often encouraging. On FanFiction.net, reviewers always make sure to make their feelings known, though those feeling aren’t always the nicest comments (most of the time they are), they will more often then not give you advice on how to improve, even if it’s not always worded in the most polite way.

frostieheart-logo

Logo designed for high-school assessment

In the lecture, there were two questions asked: what name will I use, and what are the pros and cons of creating accounts under an alias? These were interesting questions questions that made me question why do I use an alias? What purpose do the pen-names “Icetail” and “FrostieHeart” serve me? Icetail is actually the second pen-name I have had, the first being Meta-If (if you have ever been on my first blog or seen my FanFiction.net profile back in 2012-2013). The only place where the name “Meta-If” still applies is FanFiction.net, where it is apart of my current pen-name (which might or might not change…). The name Icetail is one of my original character’s names from my fanfiction stories, and doesn’t do much for me in a professional sense. The name FrostieHeart, I didn’t come up with until two years ago in grade 11 when I got my DeviantArt account. Instead of using the name Icetail again I used the name of one of my World of Warcraft characters; Frostyhart (who doesn’t exist anymore sadly). While I might like these names at this current stage, I cannot see myself using them as a professional alias, they are too detached from my person to be so.

Image result for what is in a nameBut still I have to ask, what do these mean to me anyway? The name FrostieHeart probably means the most to me as a creator at this point in my life, as my current pen-name, though it has no particular meaning in general. I just thought it was cool, and it is so simple to change when I get tired of it. My real name means so much more to me. Rebekah, in Hebrew means ‘to tie or secure’, but that is inconsequential to the fact that it is the name that my parents gave me. I have come to believe that you don’t really have a name on social media, not if it can be so easily changed, merely you type a name into a small box and it remains your name until you change it, whether you inform your watchers or not is a choice that you make.

While it remains so simple to change a name on social media it is almost impossible to retain a single name, where your followers start calling you something, you eventually set that as your name, then you continue on for a few months or years until you feel so detached from the name that your followers have given you and you change your name to the next most popular name you get called, because your followers have changed and evolved, as a consequence they come up with a new name for you. It’s a form of never ending cycle that happens until you settle onto one name, your identity and brand.

However what I am going to dive into next falls under my final reflective blog task topic, being week one’s lecture on “Your Professional Identity”. I do hope you are not too bored with my blog posts, I’ve been enjoying typing them so far. Leave a comment to ask me anything you like, I will endeavour to answer everyone.

Until next post!

~Icetail~

Week 3: Social Media and Your Career – Self-Directed Practitioners. Medium. Retrieved 8 December 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-6-social-media-and-your-career-21ec52b2b003#.cyoowm686

ARPG Character Raffle

A quick cut in from my blog posts to share this with my watchers!! The group, Ottokis, on DeviantArt is holding a Christmas Ottoki raffle:

http://ottokis.deviantart.com/journal/Xmas-2016-Ottoki-Raffle-649703412

Come join! It will be great to have more artists in the group.

But wait! What’s an Ottoki you ask?? Well this is an Ottoki:

Lythia Ottoki.png

Behold the Ottoki (well… my Ottoki, Lythia). They are otter fish. Lythia here is a Guppy Ottoki, but there are also Great White Ottokis and Dolphin Ottokis. They are really cute. My only current art of Lythia is this:

Lythia - Yes.png

That’s all I have to say on this, back to my blog tasks. Hope to see you in the art group x3

~Icetail38~

Reflective Blog Task – Collaborating With Fans

Blogging my gained knowledge from class is a very interesting thing – something I haven’t really done before. In my final assessment for CIU111 (Overview of Industry) I have to write three reflective blog posts, each one on one of the weekly lectures that we have received in class during this trimester. This post will focus on our lecture two weeks ago, on collaborating with fans.

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Old DA logo

I thoroughly enjoy interacting with other fans of media works that I myself am a fan of, as well as communicating with the fans of my own work, be it fan art/fiction or my own personal stuff. The fans are a large community of people who, for lack of any simpler term, stalk the social media profiles of creators, looking to comment on art, talk with other fans or simply discover the next big project of the creator. There are many places to do this, like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and my personal favourite at the moment; DeviantArt. The popular art sharing website allows fans to follow each other, and the profiles of any famous artist who has an account, as well as keep track of popular trends in the DeviantArt community, through DA headquarters.

However in the lecture, I took note of three subtitles in particular:

Crowdfunding

Fan Approval

Fan Response

These three titles stood out for different reasons.

Lets start with crowdfunding. I first heard the term when watching a video from YandereDev, talking about his different solutions to speeding up the creation the game currently designated ‘Yandere Simulator’. In this video, YandereDev talks about how he plans on using a crowdfunding service such as the website Kickstarter, a site that is purely for crowdfunding projects. YandereDev’s video was the first time I ever heard the term ‘crowdfunding’. On Google, the definition of crowdfunding is as such – “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” At the time that I watched the video from YandereDev I didn’t pay much attention to the term, not really seeing how it related to me. When it was mentioned again in this lecture, I came to realise that crowdfunding is

important-information-barbados-1

With this revelation in play, I paid more attention to what crowd funding is and how it does truly relate to me and the Animation industry, and see it as a future  way to fund projects once I have completed my degree.

yuki_no_hana_cover_by_frostieheart-dagsgv9Fan Approval and Fan Response are things that I have always recognised as important, but not really from a creator’s perspective. Fan approval amongst the fans is heavily based on comments and other responses to the creative works of the fans. I have received my fair share of positive and neutral responses, as well as constructive criticism on my own fanfictions and fanart, as well as an overwhelming amount of no response. As an example of this I shall use my own fan fiction story, Yuki no Hana (translates to; Snow Blossom), which is my current work-in-progress on FanFiction.net. My constant reviewer to this story, presea221, often asks questions in their reviews that make me realise when I have erred in my typing or thought process and had to re-evaluate my story to fit in forgotten points, such as when they brought up a character they couldn’t wait to see and I noticed that I hadn’t planned for that character to show up, even though he was integral to the main plotline.

However in the industry, fan approval and response is quiet different to the interactions between fans. In the lecture I note that fan approval applies to pre-existing media, where a continuation of events in a piece of media is carried onto the next. It gets the audience involved with a media work in a way that brings the final product out in a form that the majority enjoy. Of course, one cannot please everyone, and most of the time there will be at least one person expressing their dislike of a particular aspect of the presented media. This is a part of the ‘fan response’.

wildhammer-fact-checkerFan response isn’t just negative comments however. As stated in the lecture, it is positive feedback, which sometimes can help with the decision making process when working out both where the story goes, and what happens to characters. The fans can also point out discrepancies in stories, like at BlizzCon2010 where someone stood up to point out a problem in the lore which had been overlooked by developers, or they can find bugs and glitches, an example of this being YandereDev who puts out his debug builds to his audience and asks them to email him bugs and glitches with his game, which he then fixes. Blizzard Entertainment, after BlizzCon2010, fixed the lore by putting correct characters in their places and adding an NPC, the Wildhammer Fact Checker, as a reminder to not make the same mistake.

I, too, have also had my own stories thrown into my face (nicely) as reviewers point out problems with my versions of events and where I forgot certain parts of the lore I was already writing around. My unofficial beta reader, Defiance-of-Fate, will often point out mistakes I have made in a chapter before I post when I show him the document from my laptop or Samsung tablet. Defiance-of-Fate and I often go over my chapters before I post them to make sure that I still adhere to the plotline of the game/book/anime that I am writing fanfiction for, as well as not contradicting my own plotlines that I create for my stories.

world_of_warcraft___worgen_warlock_by_sandara-daf35cgThis lecture on ‘Collaborating with Fans’ also assisted me a great deal with my assessment for my CIU210 (Media Studies), where, also two weeks ago, I had to get up in front of the class and give a presentation relating to the weekly lecture for that class. Coincidentally the topic of that lecture was about Audiences, Fans and Fandoms, which had several overlapping points with this class’ lecture. I was able to draw points from this lecture into my presentation, especially when I was discussing fanart contests and events. One particular event that I brought up was the Celebrate the Classes event that happened on DeviantArt on August 19 – 31. The image to the left of this paragraph was commissioned from one of my favourite artists on DeviantArt, by DeviantArt for Blizzard Entertainment for this event.

All up, the lecture on Collaborating with Fans was quite interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It drew my attention to terms and services I had previously ignored. Now that I know their use, I shall endeavour to act upon the knowledge.

See you in a few days for my next post!

~Icetail~

References
– About — Kickstarter. Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from https://www.kickstarter.com/about?ref=nav
– YandereDev, A. (2016). Yandere Simulator: Past, Present, and Future. YouTube. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0yXtJuF1SI
– Week 10: Collaborating with Fans – Self-Directed Practitioners. Medium. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-10-collaborating-with-fans-c2cfff5d64fe#.cmnh2k5mz
 – DeviantArt Headquarters. (2000). DeviantArt. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://hq.deviantart.com/
Wildhammer Fact Checker. Wowhead. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from http://www.wowhead.com/npc=51596/wildhammer-fact-checker
– Red Shirt Guy – World of Warcraft Red Shirt – World of Warcraft convention. (2010). YouTube. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fziRzD05yI