Self Portraits

26 02 2012

Below is a picture of myself that I took showing my true self; without much makeup and my hair in its natural state. After I took the photo I began working on my symbolic representation self-portrait. At first I was not sure how I wanted to go about it and then I researched symbols that pertained to everything I care for and symbols that make me who I am in an interesting way. The things I wanted to showcase in my symbolic representation were family, my interests, my relationship with my boyfriend, and my future.

Below is the symbolic representation of  my self-portrait that I drew out. I decided that I wanted to make this resemble my face, because it is after all a self-portrait. Of course the symbolic portrait looks nothing like me, however, it is an abstract drawing of me and what makes me unique. The self-portrait that I took accurately portrays me, for it is my natural state. The self-portrait doesn’t show what I am interested in, my hopes and dreams, or my relationships; it only shows how other people see me.

If one were to look at my symbolic representation they would not know what is going on until it is explained. I chose the symbols for certain reasons, because they represent what makes me Angie Elise Cardona. The viewer might not be able to see that the representation is in the shape of a face. At the top, I have two symbols that pose as my eyebrows, “squiggly lines” and a gavel. The “squiggly lines” stand for my zodiac sign, Aquarius. The gavel stands for my future as an attorney. I am going to RWU Law School in August and in three years I will have a law degree. I have wanted to be an attorney for the majority of my life.

For my eyes I have books and a silhouette of a couple dancing. The books represent my love of learning and reading in my free time. When I am not doing homework, I am occupying myself with reading autobiographies or other books that have interested others. The silhouette of the dancing couple represents my love for dancing. I have won many awards for dance competitions and it has been a huge part of my life since I could walk.

My nose is represented through a tiny person getting measure and reaching 4’9”. Being short is what makes me unique, especially since I am considered a legal midget. I could not picture myself anything but the height I am, and I guess it is a good thing I love wearing high heels!

On both sides of my nose I have a yin-yang and three spirals. The yin-yang represents the relationship I have with my boyfriend. We have been together for three years and we truly have a connection that is unbreakable. The three spirals represent myself branching off to my two younger siblings; my brother and sister. They truly make up who I am for without them I would be nothing. We all balance each other out because of the age differences. My brother is 1 year and 1/2 younger than me and my sister is 11 years younger than me.

For my smile I chose to write familia, which translated into English from Spanish says family. My family is the most important thing to me. They are the reason for everything good in my life. On my mother’s side there are 17 of us (and one on the way) and we are all extremely close.

The blue spirals coming down the sides of the photo represent my curly hair. I feel as if it is represents my ethnic roots and I should be proud of it.

Finally, on the bottom of the photo are two flags that represent my heritage. My father comes from Puerto Rico and my mother comes from Guatemala. I embrace both cultures as my own and I am proud of where I come from.


Spectatorship and Power Relationships in Advertising

21 02 2012

The first photo, shown below, is of Jessica Alba modeling for Revlon top speed nail polish. Jessica is often seen in ads for cosmetics because of her beauty and model appearance. As the ad appears, Jessica is looking straight into the camera with her nails on her face so she and the nails become the central focus. The way her hands are placed on her face indicates that while she wants to be the object of the photo, her hands/nails are actually the main objects because of the advertisement for nail polish. Jessica places her hands on her face so the viewer looks directly in her eyes. One could even made the statement that the message is “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” based on Jessica’s eyes and the fact that the nail polish comes in different colors (bottom left). For Revlon, beauty is fast and comes in many colors for your needs. Just as we saw in the art of Las Meninas, the viewer automatically looks at the Princess because she is the center focus. In this ad, Jessica’s eyes become the center focus and the viewer goes straight to them. We can also state that the rule of thirds is applied to this ad because the eyes are right in the middle and the hands are directly proportional to each other.

The second photo, this time of more than one person, is an ad for Gucci Guilty, a new fragrance for men. The ad shown below is of a woman model and Chris Evans, famously known for his role in the Fantastic Four films. When one views this ad their eyes go directly to Chris Evan’s eyes. Rule of thirds can also be applied to this ad as well because Chris Evan’s eyes are the main focus and the model below him balances out where his face is positioned. The way he and the model are positioned makes one have the assumption that because he is wearing this fragrance, he is in control and she cannot help herself but throw herself at him. This ad is putting Chris Evan’s in power simply by wearing this cologne. Chris is depicted as having power because he has a beautiful woman who is lusting for him. His eyes and subtle smirk  give us the feeling that he is enjoying being in power and having the woman fall all over him. The woman hung over Chris Evans is unaware that she is being photographed because her gaze is not towards the camera, it is in the direction of Chris Evan.

One could make the comparison of this ad to the Jessica Alba nail ad that since the eyes, of both Chris Evans and Jessica Alba, are in the center that they are the main focus and instil power and a bit of sex appeal for the viewer. The saying goes for advertisements, “sex sells”. As stated previously, both of these ads have persons who are very attractive and have a seductive look to them that demands your attention in order to sell their products. Both advertisements we found in Vogue magazine and are directed at the female audience.


14 02 2012

Appropriation is defined as taking a meaning or idea that belonged to another and changing it to make it your own in terms of meaning, style and idea.

The photo below is the first thing I thought of when I thought of appropriation. It is a photograph that was taken during a Banksy art gallery opening. Banksy is a highly skilled and highly controversial street artist who is responsible for many of the works of art around London. I come to know about Banksy during a film class and watched a documentary of street art, featuring the road to finding Banksy and what he stood for as an artist. The film is called “Exit through the giftshop” and it is truly and inspiring and well put film.

During his art gallery opening in Los Angeles, California, Banksy presented an Indian elephant covered in red and gold paint blending into the wall paper to symbolize that the problem of poverty, which is a giant issue, is hidden and ignored.While making a statement of poverty was being ignored, the message that was taken from this work of art was animal cruelty. To support Banksy, when you can paint an elephant and have that stand as a symbol for a greater cause, you know you have skill and determination.

Banksy is not your typical street artist, for his style and works of art have definite meaning behind them and show things that are not quite what society wants them to be. For example, one of his street paintings is a KKK member hanging by his neck. Now the message for Banksy is that what that KKK member did to others is what has been done to him. Others in society will see that as “KKK members should be killed”, or something to that affect.

With respect to the painted elephant, Banksy was trying to send the message that a terrible crisis is happening all around the world and it has to stop being ignored. The elephant being placed in a room covered in the same decor as the wallpaper shows that you really can’t mask the problem and shouldn’t ignore “the elephant in the room.”

Banksy received much hated feedback on this certain display because they felt that the elephant should not have been subjected to that “torture and humiliation.” However, Banksy’s platform and reason for his art is to prevent violence and cruel acts. Therefore, he used non-chemical paint and the elephant was washed off right after the premier.

The reason I chose this particular piece of appropriation was because this work stood for a good cause, to make others aware of poverty, while others were more concerned with non-harmful paint on an elephant. It goes to show that there are good deeds that become punished.

In my personal opinion, I think that when there is appropriation it should be made for a good cause, not just to do it. Web designs that turn Obama’s face multi-colored are just for looks and designs, there is no real value no message behind changing the picture to blue and red. Just having that picture of him should be the message of hope and equality for he is the icon.–VG8rY0QG8obyUCw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=175&vpy=196&dur=768&hovh=178&hovw=284&tx=152&ty=133&sig=104885765414188181326&sqi=2&page=1&tbnh=139&tbnw=193&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0

Icons in our society

7 02 2012


The photo I chose as an advertisement using an icon was Audrey Hepburn’s Longines Dolce Vita Watch ad. Audrey Hepburn is a well known actress from the 1950s with one of her famous roles in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.  When one sees Audrey Hepburn, they see her as a symbol of beauty, grace, sophistication and being a classy woman. The films that she has started in show off her pride and confidence of being a woman, which is no surprise that she would appear in ads targeted for women that would advertise objects to enhance a woman’s beauty and confidence.

In this ad, we see how the advertiser uses a simple yet elegant body position of Aurdrey Hepburn that is the same as the position of the watch. What we can conclude from this is that Audrey Hepburn is symbolizing beauty and being feminine, which is what consumers will get if and when they purchase the advertised watch. This is a perfect example of what Peirce talks about, “icons resembling their object in some way. ” As stated before, the watch is positioned the same way as Audrey Hepburn’s body stance.

When it comes to semiotics, we can break down the photo of the message that the advertisers wanted us to get and the message we create when we see this ad. The signifier is the Longines watch that is being advertised and the signified is that by wearing this watch, you can become more elegant looking, just like a famous actress. The quote in the ad, “elegance is an attitude”, also demonstrates that wearing the watch instills elegance,pride and a confident attitude  in the women who purchase the watch.

I would say that this ad does not personally persuade me because I am not one to wear watches, however, it could be persuasive to women who wear watches based on the fact that women are always looking for ways to be more elegant and beautiful. Even if women looking at this ad now in 2012 who wear watches, might not be persuaded based on the icon, Audrey Hepburn, because she is from an earlier time period than many young women now are used to seeing. If the women in 2012 were to look at this photo they would probably not recognize who the actress is unless they have seen “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or have learned about Audrey Hepburn prior.


Below is the link to the site this photo was taken from.,r:2,s:0


29 01 2012

This is my first post for COMM 265 with Professor O’Connell for Spring Semester 2012.

Design Query:

1. Is there a difference between “Art” and “Design”
or are they one and the same?

– I believe art can come from passion and talent. Artist engages in their work not for the money, but because that is what they love to do. Design comes from practise and learning to eventually gain some sort of monetary value.

2. If you own an automobile, which is more important: how it looks or how it drives?

– I would prefer how the car drives as opposed to its exterior because looks are not going to allow me to get to my destination, the way the car drives is.

3. Have you ever lived with an object you initially thought was ugly and then changed your mind about it after a period of time?

– If there was something not asethically pleasing about an object but I kept it anyways, then that means I have grown to either deal with it or it has become who I am and in the end says something about my character and what I find interesting subconsciously.

Final Project- Angie Cardona, Taylor Sumser, Anna Schmidt

18 12 2011

For our group’s final project we chose to make a website highlighting many of the terms and skills we have acquired during the course of Visual Communication 101 with Professor O’Connell. The reason we chose to make a website is because we felt it would be the best and most visual way to showcase the skills we have and knowledge we learned. When meeting, we each came up with different ideas and then finally came up with the website. Some of the ideas that came about were creating a game with definitions and visual match ups, another was an affinity map in which showcased the different blog sketches and assignments we have done and categorize them according to difficulty, and finally we thought of a simple power point presentation that served as an advertisement for the class that would be showcased to potential students.

Upon our second time meeting we finally chose to go through with the website idea and design, which would be not as difficult as it may sound  because Taylor has iWeb, a program on his Mac computer that can create a website without much hassle. We ruled out making a game because the assignment is to make a final project that showcases what we have learned. If we were to make a game then it is only asking the students in the class to let us know what they have learned. We ruled out the affinity map because we felt that it was too simple and we wanted to do a project that is not only clean, but put together with effort. Finally, the power point presentation seemed like it would be tedious and not exciting to the audience. With the website, we used our skills and knowledge of color and background, what the audience would like to see and learn more about, and how we have little information on each topic so the audience can decide that they would want to take this class with Professor O’Connell to learn more.

Each of us took on two different parts of information to contribute to the website design. Taylor took on the role of creating pages for Decision Support, which dealt with different diagrams and how those diagrams help make the audience come to a decision. He also took on colors and their perceptual factors.Taylor also put all the pages together during our final meeting for the project.

Annie took on the role of Brain Functioning and Memory, which went into detail about different patterns, theories, and memory. She also wrote about dual-coding, its’ benefits and Schriver’s Model.

Angie took on the role of portraying data visually and visual thinking. For this process she made a mind map of visual thinking and its’ components to show how one could learn visually and easily.

Overall, this project could not have been done without the support ad work of each member on the team. We are all very proud and excited about the final outcome of the website. It may look easy and not time consuming, but in fact long hours and hard work went into making a great final project to be shared with the class.

Anna Schmidt

Taylor Sumser

Multivariate Display

7 12 2011

For my multivariate display, I chose to work on something creative and went with “where did my money go to in the month of November 2011”.

For my table I made decided on seven things (food, gas, clothing, miscellaneous items, alcohol, LSAT registration, and Law school application fees) that I spent the most money on in November 2011. Once I had made graph I put all the money into percentages and made a pie graph. I thought that this would be an appropriate quantitative way to show my data because this helped me see what was the most I spent money on and perhaps I can change it for next month.

The second quantitative graph I made was a bar graph. Different from the pie graph, the bar graph showed the correct amount of what I spent as opposed to percentages.

For my first graphic I made a flow chart showing my decision making for  spending money when I need to. At first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write in the flow chart but then I started from the obvious point, making sure I actually had money to spend before deciding what to spend money on. I personally first make sure my fridge is stocked and my gas is filled first before I buy anything else, which is what I wrote for my flowchart.

My second graphic I used was an affinity map. This was the hardest to come up with because I wasn’t sure how else to to graph my own information in a way that looked good and made sense. This was also my AHA moment. An affinity map made the most sense to me because I divided it (horizontal line) by needs and wants and (vertical line) by expensive and less expensive. I then printed out things I purchase and taped them according to the horizontal and vertical lines.

When I first sat down to work on this assignment, I thought I had a good idea in immigration in the United States for the year 2010. Unfortunately, whenever I tried to do a graph or chart, it did not mesh well together and I wanted to make a great product, not a half fast one. I was not able to come up with any ideas to put the idea of immigration as a whole.

The theoretical principle I felt that worked best with my work would be Occam’s Razor because I felt that especially in the flow chart I used less ink by only making steps for food, gas and miscellaneous. Had I taken out miscellaneous items and actually wrote them all out, that would go against Occam’s Razor with adding unnecessary ink.

If I had more time to work on this assignment, I would have drawn the items on the affinity map rather than print them out because it would have been more personal and unique rather than a print out.

Overall, I am pleased with the work I have done because in the end it is my own work rather than get the information from another source. It is crazy to believe that this is the last individual assignment for Intro to Visual Media and I think I did a great job with it.