Create Sound not Noise

There is a lot of depth to the sound bits in any RadioLab episodes, as can be heard in this compilation. Behind dialogue, there are many sound effects that set the stage. They are more than simply ambient sounds, these are purposeful nudges from the creators that steer you towards creating a mental image that matches the one they hoped youd see. The dialogue itself is so much more than a two way conversation, often times Jad speaks as if he is talking solely to the listener, other moments he is in debate with Robert and yet in other moments he has side conversations with the scientists and guests he interviews. These multidimensional conversations always being with and return to the anecdote while constantly building on the original story with ongoing questioning.
Robert Krulwhich is an interesting counterpart to Abumrad, he often disagrees with Jad or guests of the show, whether he is simply playng devil’s advocate or not remains in question. But his role is essential, with perfect agreement the discussion would always stop short. But his contesting leads the story onward and in new directions, but they never fail to return to their original thoughts. This show likes to do more than just conversation and background noise, they aren’t even necessarily attempting to create an artificial visual experience. They’re trying to create something new and different, one of their most impressive uses of audio to tell story is in their episode called Emergence (listen from 46:30-56:00). This is an episode that discusses the phenomenon in neuroscience whereby organized, coordinated outcomes arise from chaos without any obvious director or leader. They used a choir bursting into harmony after a suffocating cacophony as a demonstration of this process, bringing understanding of an extremely complex topic to the general public.
In the”dissection” of the interview with a papermaker, I feel as if I got a better understanding of why my podcasts have not been very successful yet. I have yet to find a way to create the broken narrative that Rob Rosenthal describes. This was definitely a component of radio storytelling that I have been subjected to before without being fully conscious of it. As frustrating as it is for me to realize so late something that is really somewhat obvious, I am excited about how this will impact my future attempts at storytelling. I know now that my approach to interviews has been wrong all along. Rather than proposing a strategy and schedule to seek out stories and interviews, I have been recording spontaneously whenever I find myself in the midst of something intriguing. These interviews are, at least, not contrived but their utter lack of structure makes them kind of useless in storytelling. I need to plan and approach people in advance so that I can interview them in their true habitat. To create the broken narrative, I’ll need to collect content that includes the sound of their work with and without descriptive dialogue, as well as discussions that extend into other aspects of their life and are unhindered by background noise.
It is completely possible to tell an audio story without the addition of any sounds from external sources, in the story on the papermaker, that is precisely the style of the interview. I’ve always found these types of interviews particularly pleasing, they’re far more authentic and give the impression that you’re simply sitting in on a conversation. But the power of storytelling truly reaches an apex with editing, you can imply certain emotions with background music or sound effects as can be heard in this TED Talk intro. At the beginning of the clip, the music is jovial and the mood of the story matches the music. When the music suddenly stops, the mood shifts completely. There is a sense of sadness and desperation in the speaker’s voice that went completely unnoticed before. It is tempting to believe that something about the woman’s tone of voice changed, but if you listen closely that is not the case. The woman speaks with the same intonation throughout the entire clip, only the mood of the music changes, influencing your interpretation of the clip.
Sound editing such as the one heard in the TED Talk clip is subtle and serves a metaphoric purpose, but foley artists are much more deliberate in the sounds they create:

This is an outdated method of sound production, but it is no doubt an art form, and it would be quite an interesting task to attempt. The foley artists have to be extremely intentional with each noise they produce, they don’t merely step up and down to create the sound of footsteps. As the man in the final sequence stumbles away from the fight, the foley artist steps up and down, mimicking the exhausted and injured gait of the man in the clip. But just like the other types of sound editing, these have very nuanced effects. To create a fully encompassing audio experience, sounds editing in storytelling must be well thought out without being over-produced. There can absolutely be too much going on in the background. This is the art of creating sound, not making noise.

Radio Isn’t Dead

My bed isn’t like the one in the front room. My bed sits on a metal frame with tiny plastic wheels that carve into the pale blue carpet of my shared bedroom that faces the backyard. Breezes drift through my open window, carrying the fresh scent of young green leaves which does little to dispel the staleness of my cluttered, cave-like quarters. I don’t choose to spend a lot of time here, this is where messes are made and dreams are had. But in the front room, everything shines with an off-white cleanliness. Oversized chestnut furniture with outdated stains surround a queen bed, I am just tall enough to hoist my body onto this sea of pillows and blankets. The mattress is a foot and a half thick, draped in a quilt, the heavy kind that traps you under a loving weight of comfort and is lined with cool silky edges.
I like to lay here and let the sunlight that can’t quite reach my own bedroom touch softly against my cheek, forcing my eyes to close. No matter what time of day it is, the sunlight that enters this room is always gentle, it flits through drapes that flow gingerly in the breeze like tired ghosts. I close my eyes and embrace the light, and just listen. Outside I can hear the jovial shouts of skin-kneed kids as they dart across sidewalks, their dirty bare feet slapping the pavement with each nimble step. The sound of traffic is distant from my little cul-de-sac, occasionally an airplane rips through the silence overhead, if you stay long enough you’ll hear train whistles too.
From a small wooden radio, a full voice is speaking neutrally over some topic I don’t care to understand. But I listen to the clarity of his voice anyway, unhindered by any background noise he speaks on and on until calling on another voice to join him. These voices come with ambient sounds, resonating in the distance. I never take in what words anyone says, but the radio is always on in this home. In the kitchen, it’s music of the 1940’s, harmonic songs that always seem just a little off pace. But in the front bedroom, it’s always talking, just talking.
The voices of Carl Kassel, Ira Glass, Jad Abumrad, Robert Krulwich, Kojo Nnamdi, Peter Sagal and Paula Poundstone are part of my home. In any language, their voice would be recognizable and comforting, I don’t need to understand them to feel their warmth, excitement and passion. Talk radio has followed me throughout my entire life, I can recite the intros to RadioLab, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me and NPR fundraising pleas by heart. And even with all this listening, I don’t know what makes a good story, but even the experts don’t seem to know. Storytelling is not a consistent experience, because experiences worth retelling are not consistent.
Storytelling through audio alone has always been extremely compelling to me. I figure that if you can capture someone’s with simply your words, then you’ve stumbled upon something significant. Being a huge fan of podcasts, my friend Ian and I are currently in the process of attempting to make our own podcast, so hearing what Jad Abumrad and Ira Glass have to say about storytelling is incredibly important to me. I’ve begun recording sound clips whenever I can, even when there is no discernible dialogue. I thought that maybe this would be the key to stumbling upon a great story, but all I have are a handful of relatively meaningless audio files. As both Jad and Ira discussed, good stories must be sought after, they won’t simply come to you. And once you have them, you need to mold them into something worth experiencing.
I don’t think there is any particular strategy to finding good stories, the most structure you can give to this process is to create a schedule for yourself that forces you to be out in the world, talking to people and listening to the world. I think it must be particularly difficult to keep up with the task of storytelling, already Ian and I have become sidetracked in our attempt to create our own podcast. We have the desire but few ideas, the potential but not dedication. But Glass and Abumrad have me feeling inspired again. I recently interviewed a man who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and is currently hiking the Pacific Crest trail. The interview is not necessarily interesting, but I felt a bit of a thrill just attempting to capture the essence of our brief conversation. I’ve listened to my collected audio content again and again, not knowing if it’s worth listening to or not. And If it isn’t, I don’t know how I’ll find the courage to throw away what doesn’t work, but I know that I must find the will to do just that. This week’s audio storytelling creations will draw me back in to my original projects, and with Jad and Ira’s advice, my podcast might actually live.

In addition to Jad’s video on how radio creates empathy, I also watched this video and included my reflection of it in this blog post:

Week Two-Design Storytelling


I made two reflections based on the readings, videos and podcasts that I used in my design creation this week:

1. Vignelli’s Cannon Reflection:

Noticing the Unnoticed: Reflecting on Vignelli’s Cannon

2. Reflecting on “We Are All Artists” and several other resources:

Everyone (Even Fred, the YouTuber?) is an Artist


The Good, the Bad and the Accidental

Daily Creates

Design Assignments

1. For this assignment, I had to rely on what I had learned from Vignelli about typography. The text in this movie poster is almost more iconic than the images, and try as I might, the font from the orginal poster could not be recreated. Altjough I followed the example of the original poster in the way that I oriented the text, I did have to rely on my own sense of balance since the proportions of my poster differed slightly from that of the original. I referenced the Everyone video on Symmetry because of the contrast between the living and the dead, the human and the inhuman, that is represented on the poster. This project was worth 4 stars.

Sometimes a Fart Joke Makes You Cry

2. This project was all about minimalism and color for me, I definitely drew some inspiration from the Simply Clever minimalism section of Visual News. This project was worth 3 stars.

L’Air de Panache

3. I found myself referring to Karen Kavett’s introductory video on color theory frequently during this project. Her mention of the unattractive vibrating sensation that results through the use of analogous colors is part of what inspired me to recreate a more attractive, but equally striking project. This project was worth 3 stars.

Beware of the Failed Franchise

4. I may actually order this shirt, I’m glad that I was finally pushed to design what has merely been an idea for so long. The project was worth 2 stars.

Ferrous Wheel

5. I had a lot of fun with this assignment, I could create these images for hours on end. I think in my free time, I’m going to try to apply more concepts of design to projects like this. Once I become more adept in the use of GIMP and programs similar to it, I will be able to put more energy, time and effort into the design of the content than the logistics of its creation. This project was worth 3 stars.

We Were Already There

GIF Projects


Over and Under and Under and Over


Some People are like Bad Sushi

Additional Activity this Week

I made an effort to reach out to my DS106 cohorts with a few end-of-week questions:


Places To Visit


Make Your Own Data

Storytelling Through Design-


Event Advertisement

This week was definitely a greater challenge than the past week. I have always found the concepts of design rather easy to understand when presented in text and with examples, but when I am required to go out in search of those elements in the designs that exist in my world, I am struck by just how ignorant I often am to my surroundings. Design should be so well-thought out that it can go unnoticed, but I should be able to recognize the use of colors and typography and the many other design elements of my world. However, this is no easy task, and this week was particularly challenging because of that. This made the DesignBlitz my most challenging assignment. I took dozens of pictures for each of the design elements I chose to discuss and when I sat down in an attempt to analyze them further, it became apparent to me that I actually really did not know why I had chosen those images as representative of the characteristic. Ultimately, I found that analysis of design was most accessible to me in those contexts which I inherently analyzed designs. This included advertisements and packaging in stores.
I am most excited for what I learned this week in my use of GIMP. I was nervous initially when I saw the “Are We There Yet” assignment because I had absolutely no idea how to cut out a portion of one image and transfer it to another photo. However, by looking at tutorials created by previous students I was able to tease apart the methods. I am still frustrated with the GIMP tools that I don’t yet understand how to use, and I plan to research the application further so that I can make better use of it. I had to accept some of my projects before I felt I had truly created what I had envisioned just because I was unsure of how to manipulate the photos in the ways that I wanted. Even though my projects like “We Were Already There” and “Beware of the Failed Franchise” were slightly different from what I had originally intended, I am still proud of their outcome.
I also suffered a bit this week from my need to achieve the aesthetic that I hold so dear. My initial product for the “Warning” assignment did not at all come out as I had hoped, in fact it was quite ugly. So after having spent a little over an hour planning and creating it, I discarded the whole project and started again. I’m glad that I did this though because my final project is of much higher caliber, I’m not afraid to show it off like I would have been with the original. But, because I believe in learning from mistakes, I did post my original attempt in my Thoughts & Ideas category.
I was excited that I was able to incorporate a little biochemistry into my work this week, although I am sorry to anyone who has to read through it (I know it’s not the most riveting subject to most, but I’m completely captivated by it). Every time I am able to intertwine my passion with the artistic world, I feel like I’m proving to myself that art and science can coexist, so this really is a significant feat for me.
Of all the projects that I worked on this week, the GIF projects were my favorite once again. The “FIG” project was particularly fun because it required me to jump into Lake Tahoe again and again until my feet started to get a little numb. As I discussed in my first reflection, I feel as if we all have some instinctual sense of design. I found myself naturally placing text and arranging colors in ways that fulfilled the advice of the design resources I had consulted. Humans have a natural tendency to create beauty and functionality, however there were many instances in which I felt what I had created was off in some way that I couldn’t quite place. I have hardly any instinct at all when it comes to analyzing designs that I did not create, so this week was extremely educational for me.
I am becoming more comfortable with my online interface and I’m excited to break into a few more digital tools in the coming projects. I was able to improve upon my blog posts by embedding links in text and creating tutorials with screenshots for each project I made. During this upcoming week, I hope that I can use a few new tools and work on fictional storytelling. I’m a very realistic and practical person, so a little fiction would do me some good.

The Good, the Bad and the Accidental


To see my DesignBlitz album, visit my Flickr.

Color is my favorite concept to consider in design. I’ve always been fascinated by the physics of light and light energy as well as the biological and chemical significance of color. In nature, color is never random. Trinidadian Guppies demonstrate evolving colors and patterns on their scales with every generation. Unwittingly, these little fish are the product of the most successfully designed fish of the previous generation. There are two major consequences of color: attraction of a mate and attraction of a predator. Too bright and the fish will be a quick snack for the Killifish far before it is able to reproduce. Too dull, and the fish will live a long but lonely life. Thus, many generations of guppies show greatest fitness among the fish who are an intermediate display of attractive spots and duller, camouflaging colors.
This delicate balance of color and pattern is the unconscious task of organisms all over our diverse planet, but it is also the goal in advertisement. The right color scheme can give a lot of power to advertisers, but strike the wrong notes and you will turn people off of your product. It’s a battle between subtlety and attention-grabbing. Your design must flaunt itself without being too garish and obnoxious, it is a delicate balance between attraction and detraction. I wonder where on earth we could have possible been inspired….
Though I could have captured the concept of color in a much more appealing or artistic capacity, I decided that I wanted to discuss this concept with a photo I captured at a grocery store. Living on the other side of the country for the summer has made being a consumer a little more exciting for a few reasons. The first one being that my pulse is a little faster simply due to the stress of how much more expensive everything is, and also because of all the regional products that are brand new to me (and yes that pun was absolutely intended). Some products, though new to me, are iconic such as In-N’-Out Burger. But others are foreign to me, their packaging catches my eye easily among the other far more familiar options.

I noticed the packaging of the pictured Yerba Mate from several aisles over and was instantly drawn to the cans. The design is very compelling, not because it is beautiful but because it is so brightly colored and to be quite frank, a little ugly. Vignelli mentions that color is representative, it holds meaning and symbolism but it is also very much entwined with appropriateness. Which made me wonder: was the color scheme of this can designed for this exact purpose of drawing me in from a far, even though I was no further enticed by what I discovered? If so, then these colors are very appropriate for the goal of the design, and the creators are relying on other elements such as the name of the drink, descriptions, typography and so on, to attract consumers.
However, as a consumer, I was utterly distracted by this design. I was examining the can and looking at the small details of the green elements. They clash with the bright yellow background of the can, but not too harshly. There are tints of green in the yellow which relieve some of the harshness. The green, while metallic and bright is a cool green and the yellow seems to be a somewhat intermediate temperature being neither too warm nor too cool. The color of the text is a cool red that comes as an afterthought because of how striking the other colors are. I even sat there wondering if this was a can of soda or beer because I was so preoccupied with examining the other colors of the can that I didn’t even look for the fine print to identify the beverage (which turned out to be a type of tea). Karen Kavett’s video about color theory was most useful in dissecting what it is about this color scheme that is so unsettling for me. Based on her short video, I think the green and yellow of these cans are analogous colors, they appear next to each other on the color wheel. They have similar hues which make them a little intense to look at, although there is some relief because the yellow is not quite as saturated as the red text is.
Nevertheless, the eyes are not drawn towards the red text at all because of the glaring yellow which then contrasts strongly enough with the green that my eyes are always drawn towards the places where green and yellow meet. This seems like a bit of a failure in the use of color in advertisement, I think the intense design is successful in catching the attention of a consumer, but fails to complete the more important task of enticing the customer to pull it off the shelf.

I chose the photo above to consider the element of typography. I think of typography as analogous to diction in literature. It is a subtle but powerful tool that can completely alter the message we are sending to our audience. In the case of this packet of Oreos, the lettering is curved and off-center, written to appear only on the cream-filled center of the cookie on the packaging. There is only enough space on the Oreo to write “Double Stuf” with one “f” rather than two. When I saw this in the store, my friend Nils pointed to the packaging and said, “Look, these Oreos are so full of cream they only had room for one “f.” Nils was kind of joking but I began to wonder if maybe he was right. The orientation of the lettering makes the cookie seem overfilled, the spacing between letters is tight and resembles that slightly flufflier appearance characteristic of Double Stuf oreos. This really is a clever use of lettering if it is the case. As the words appear on the cookie, they letters themself appear more delectable as if they could be eaten right off the package. In my minds eye, I can imagine walking around the rotund cookie and finding that extra “f” that I known ought to be there
However, with a little research, I found that this was not the motivation behind dubbing these cookies “Double Stuf.” In an article found on, it is revealed that the typographic choice on the packaging was in order to avoid certain liabilities. These oreos, apparently, are not technically double-stuffed. There is nowhere near twice as much creme in these cookies as compared to the originals. At first, I found this rather disappointing. I figured that I had read too far into the packaging and that I had let my recent readings on typography make me overzealous, imagining design where no credit is really due. But then I thought back to Vignelli, who spoke of the importance of pragmatic design. Whether intentional or not, this typographic choice by Nabisco creates an elevated visual experience. I can bite into these sweet letters and feel thick folds of cream slicing into strands between my teeth. I can imagine the too-fat cookie overflowing in my hand, just like the elephantine letters sit plumply on the packaging.


The design above was chosen to represent minimalism. This tapestry is very plain from its characters, to its color scheme, to its overall threading design. The most extravagant component of the rug is the fringes on either end and even those appear sparse and under-done. This is not a particularly appealing decor, but it is some kind of Swedish symbol. Though I was unable to determine exactly what that symbol is, I believe that the rug is in accordance with the “Less is More” principle mentioned in this Smashing Magazine Article. The design does not jump out at you or demand your attention, rather it waits for you to notice it on your own.
With so few components, the design does not tell you much, every conclusion about its meaning would have to be speculative. However, there’s not a lot of room to speculate so the simple rug can always tell a simple story.

This final photo is emblematic of balance and symmetry. The objects on the mantel seem to cause the shelf to tilt slightly to the left. The larger horse and the tin on the left side pull weight in their direction. However, the two vases on either end are identical and re-establish a sense of symmetry along the mantel. On the right side, the smaller horse, while identical in size the the two horses in the middle, appears dwarfed in its contrast with the biggest horse. The absence of a tin container on the right side of the mantel makes the entire display appear incomplete and lopsided. However, the right side does appear to be weighed down by the small iron pot that hangs from the underside of the shelf. The presence of the large circular emblem on the stones gives a sense of density that is shared by both the right and left mantel.
Although the sides of the mantel are not equal, they do display some sense of abstract symmetry in the ways that they contrast. There is a sense of equality despite their differences. Neither one has more or less of anything, they are simply different. I don’t find this design particularly appealing, not that it is a bad design, just that it is a little unsettling. It shifts the implied balance of the entire room so that the left side of the building seems to tilt with the same subtlety of a see-saw. Perhaps I’ll rearrange things when my hosts aren’t looking….

We Were Already There

Are We There Yet?-Changing the concept of a photo by altering the background of the image.

The Story Behind the Story-

The kinds of adventures you have with your high school buddies are often not really adventures at all. Limited by funds; legality and transportation, the range of possible activities are dwarfed compared to your weekend aspirations. But if you’re cast among a group of people with the exact right chemistry, these non-adventures become something else entirely. In my junior year of high school I alienated myself. School was hard, AP chemistry was making me feel stupid and I wanted to hide from the world. I began spending most of my time alone, making up excuses as to why I would unavailable for yet another weekend plan. But as senior year came around, I was plucked somewhat reluctantly from my solitude and landed somewhere strange.
I had always had friends in school, I was on plenty of sports teams and was inherently social. But something about my junior year had taken all of that out of me, and suddenly I was being coaxed into socializing every weekend. This group of friends were not innovative in their hangouts. There was nothing truly unique about our plans, but everything felt unusual. We placed ourselves in the same basement doing the same activities each night. We played Super Smash Bros and classic card games, we listened to new music and talked about politics. New people filtered in and out of our weekend get-togethers, but the core of the group rarely changed.
I usually felt like more of an observer than a participant at these gatherings, but I felt wanted there. Even if I didn’t have much to say, there was always a place for me. I felt like an ethnographer, diligently taking in the antics of a group I was only just becoming familiar with. I watched freestyle rap battles and listened to the guys of the group as they formed a circle to talk about their emotions, all with Frank Sinatra playing in the background. Our time together was never really based on creating fun or experience. There was no desperation to enjoy a moment or give the impression to onlookers that we were having the time of our lives. It was always about conversation, debate and not being alone. We didn’t feel like we had to manipulate our surroundings or circumstances to have a good time together. The original photo in this gallery was taken during one of the truly adventurous events of our time together. We began a tradition of renting an Airbnb during summer and winter breaks to keep in touch throughout college, this photo was captured on Skyline Drive in Luray, Virginia. No matter what backdrop I place behind to original cutout, the photo is such a clear representation of what we have always been as a group: Simply taking it all in, wherever we go, whenever we get there.

The Tutorial-

This project was relatively straight forward, although I definitely ran into a few issues. To begin, I selected the photo that I wanted to use and opened GIMP. I then used the free select tool to cut out the people in the photo:

Once I had completed the selection process, outlining the portion of the photo I wanted to remove, I clicked Edit>Cut.

From there, I opened another photo in a new GIMP page. I got all of my photos from StockExchange.

With the new background open, I clicked Edit>Paste and the picture I had recently cut appeared over this background photo. I moved the picture around to position it, however I could not figure out how to shrink this pasted image.

Additionally, I was having trouble finding the “move” tool at first and had to re-do the image several times because I kept accidentally cutting out portions of the new photo. I eventually found the “move” tool under Tools>Transform Tools>Move. After many frustrating attempts to resolve the issue, I settled on simply showing a portion of the cut out image in the final product.

Ferrous Wheel

Creating a T-shirt- design your very own t-shirt

The Story Behind the Story-

I love puns, inside jokes and chemistry. This is a T-shirt that I would wear with pride, extremely nerdy pride. This past semester in biochemistry, we discussed a large number of co-factors, more commonly known as vitamins. These are the functional portions of enzymes, the proteins that carry out all of our metabolic reactions. One of the enzymes we discussed, Aconitase, a key component of cellular respiration during the Tricarboxylic acid Cycle (Krebs Cycle).

Aconitase is responsible for the hydration and subsequent dehydration of citric acid to produce iso-citrate, an intermediate of the cycle. Aconitase has a unique iron-sulfur cluster at the center of its active site that is able to coordinate the substrate of its chemical reaction, positioning it precisely so that the resultant product has a specific form of stereochemistry (the way the atoms of the molecule are positioned around each other.)
Prior to the discover of the iron-sulfur cluster, it was believed that aconitase functioned through a ring of iron atoms coordinated with some electronegative non-metal like oxygen or sulfur, this theorized structure was dubbed the “Ferrous Wheel” given that Iron with two valance electrons is named a ferrous atom. This proposed structure was eventually disproved, however I have always thought it would make for an excellent t-shirt. It would only make sense to a chemist or biochemist, so I chose not to include any text so as to make the joke somewhat exclusive. I have been planning to create this shirt for several months, so this project was a perfect choice for me.

The Tutorial-

To make this t-shirt, I used the CustomInk design lab program. CustomInk is a relatively new company that makes custom t-shirts. The tool was incredibly easy to use. I simply uploaded the photo I wanted to use, and then began using the tools of the site to reposition the image on the shirt. I also took advantage of the many style and color options available on the site.

Beware of the Failed Franchise

WARNING-create a warning poster for a fictional hazard.

The Story Behind the Story-

You would think, that after six films, that if the characters did not adapt to be able to more intelligently navigate a world overrun with horrifying aliens, then at least the creators of these abominations would find the means to create a new plot. I have seen almost all of the movies in the Aliens Franchise, and they are startlingly similar. I do have to admit that the first and second installments of these movies were very much enjoyable, but they have repeated their story lines each and every time.
I have witnessed impassioned debates over the meaning and symbolism of the elements of each new installment of these films, but I fail to see how either one differs from the other, except for the very clear disparity in quality. The original movies staring Sigourney Weaver were far more entertaining and well-crafted. I can’t help but think that she makes the iconic face pictured in the warning above with each additional sequel. In the initial stages of producing this design, I intended to create a warning for Xenomorph sightings, but as I worked on this orginial design my mind was swayed for two reasons. The first being that my original content was quite ugly, lacking many of the aspects of color, typography and use of space that I had researched in Vignelli’s cannon earlier this week. The second being that I felt I was betraying my own feelings of annoyance to this undying franchise. This is a necessary warning to all those who can still be spared: watch the first and second installments of the Aliens franchise, and then never (ever) look back.

The Tutorial-

To begin this process, I downloaded the image I wanted to use and opened it in GIMP.

Then I selected Color>Colorize and decided to use the default blue hue that the program selected. I thought this tint would soften the original image a little more, making it less obvious that it had been cut from a different background.

Next, I selected Tools>Selection Tools>Free Select and cut out Sigourney Weaver’s face.

I then copied and pasted the image to a blue background in a PowerPoint and began adding the text I wanted and repositioning the images to make hide the sharp edges of the face that had been cut out.