This is an image I made during my sophomore year of college, representing my zodiac sign, Pisces. Aside from the zodiac representation, it also represents my ruling planet Neptune, and my affinity to water. When I made this, I was thinking about zodiac signs in an artistic way, and let my imagination take me to what lead up to this photo. The original photo of me was posing on the scaffolding bars. At that time there were people fixing up the one of the buildings at my old college. The blue bar-like handle of my weapon you see was actually a scaffolding pole. I cut myself and that pole out of the original image, blended it into the ocean backdrop, added what looks like a harpoon shooter to the tip of the pole I was hanging on to, and blended in a photo of Poseidon to make it look like I’m emitting the spirit of the God of the Sea. The name on the corner of the photo (Aurora-V Gala) was my personal symbol at the time, and I would use it as a mark to say I made the image. I made this image because I have great interest in mythical beings (Though I don’t like to spend too much time reading about them. I’d rather visualize it in photos like these), and was particularly inspired by the ocean god. The image of this being that projects from me in this photo sparked ideas to me the most, because it goes well with one of my favorite oceanic sounding songs, called “Sun In Your Eyes” by Above and Beyond. The song’s soothing beginning, dramatic climax, and soothing fade at the end caused me to imagine a scenario where I’m out in the middle of the ocean, where no ship has ever traveled. In this scenario, I encounter various beings never before seen, including a silhouette of Poseidon himself. My photo manipulation is also representative of my masculine and my feminine characteristics, as they sometimes carry themselves with grace and a calmed mood. The fact that people often find me unapproachable and somewhat intimidating at first glance is the reason my photo represents the calm and graceful side of me. I’m usually in this mood when I’m by myself, because I have no one around to draw my chatty and silly side out of me. I also use this side of me to keep myself from paying people mind when they judge me by appearance or stare too long. Staring back at them with the same calm mood makes them turn away to avoid my eye contact as well. Thinking in terms of spirituality, it’s as if a guardian spirit (In my case, I prefer to imagine it as Poseidon due to his intimidating stare in my photo) repels them away to protect me. I’m not saying this is for real, but when I use my imagination, I see it that way. It’s fun to re-imagine various situations based on what goes on in one’s mind, so long as you don’t lose touch with reality either.
Kat’s Music and Comics Corner (Issue #2)
Trust is the foundation of any good relationship. It is what helps relationships thrive and survive in the worse of conditions. Now, imagine a post-apocalyptic world where your survival depends on who you trust. Would you choose to live a life of solitude and mistrust, putting your survival at risk or take a different kind of risk and put blind faith in someone and hope for the best? This question is explored in comic book writer and artist Jeff Lemire’s volume one of Sweet Tooth.
Sweet Tooth is a dark and gritty story about the journey of a human-animal hybrid named Gus and an older man named Jepperd to a supposed reservation where other human-animal hybrids reside. The setting is a dying world affected by a sickness called the Affliction that only affects humans and not these human-animal hybrids. The first volume spans four issues which enter the relationship between Gus and Jepperd. Gus is naive, having been raised in the seclusion of a forest by his late-father, and follows his gut instinct which tells him to believe that Jepperd is a good person despite his violent and coarse nature. Jepperd serves as his protector and nicknames Gus, Sweet Tooth, after Gus takes a liking to a chocolate bar he gives him.
Jepperd doesn’t need to trust Sweet Tooth because he is clearly the dominant of the two so having gained his trust he takes this to his advantage. Sweet Tooth on the other hand has not much of a choice but somehow remains hopeful that Jepperd is someone he can put his trust in.
The art of Sweet Tooth has a gloomy palette which sets the scene for the post-apocalyptic world Gus and Jepperd live in but also sets the scene for a theme of trust that is on the fence of good, evil, and unknown. The proportions of the characters are sometimes off which is just one way Lemire showcases how imperfect the world can be and in this imperfect world he has created trust is something that, too, is off and imperfect.
To survive in a world like in Sweet Tooth, you need both trust and mistrust. Trust in others to form a community of survival but also mistrust in case something goes awry. Does Sweet Tooth’s optimism and hopefulness conquer Jepperd’s possibly devious intentions or does he succumb to his fault of being too trusting? Trust me, it’s worth reading to find out.
– Kathryn Fornier
Kat’s Music and Comics Corner (Issue #1)
Daoko, a Japanese singer and rapper, has a voice that cannot be described in one word. An original sound that encompasses words like haunting, soft, dreamlike.
In her newest, eponymous album, DAOKO, she explores the strange and the creepy sounds associated with outer space. Daoko’s voice ranges from kawaii (the Japanese word for cute), in the song “Kimi”, to ominous, in “JK”.
“Suisei” starts off the album with Japanese lyrics that translate to “It twinkles and shines, between the stars, when we dance until dawn.” Immediately we are drawn into a world beyond ours and this space theme continues in other songs like “Ichiban Boshi” where she sings “Let me explode, let me emanate, and cause a great many shooting stars.”
Overall, the album is a space opera odyssey that takes you to all the planets and then some. To answer the question she poses in the album’s 4th song, “Yume Utsutsu”, beyond that sky, what’s out there? A wonderful electronic space dream called Daoko.
– Kathryn Fornier