Meda 101 Assessment 1

“Saya Dari Malaysia” draws much inspiration from George Ella guidelines. In my poem, I say “I come from a land with 365 days of summer”. I decided to depict this by filming a scenario where I take my viewers through a day of hot and cold moments. From laying down on the beach to going into the ocean. Watching Itzayana beach poem, I wanted to make something like it. The remoscope I have created is more towards a step by step process. It’s a journey where even without sound your brain already knows what to hear. The subtle movements of the elements create the video environment.

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Poor People or Poor System

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You are suffering and I see you suffering, yet I am the one who suffers. This is also known as poverty porn. According to Dortonne (2016), poverty porn is a tactic used by nonprofits and charity organisations. They show us images or videos of people in terrible living conditions hoping to invoke empathy on the viewers. The goal behind this is to use the empathy to get people to give their contributions to the cause. Isn’t it a good thing to be able to help these people? The answer is debatable. Sure it’s easy to call the campaign and give your donation to the cause. What happens after that? Do you know what happens to the money? Is the money being used to help those people you saw being advertised? Or worst is the money going to these people?

I disguised myself as a donation seeker/Pic: mD

Speaking from experience, when I was in Malaysia some people will come approach you and ask for some donation. They would have a folder with lots of graphical pictures of their cause. Some will be about helping old people and some will be about proving for the needy. Thinking about it now that was poverty porn. Them showing me those photos made me empathise with the people in the picture. I did give a donation and that made me feel better as if I had helped them.

Coming back to the topic. Poverty porn is not just about getting funds from people. It is much more twisted than that. Nowadays in television, there are shows that specifically shows people living in poverty and it has been getting many views. For example, Struggle Street. This show was aired in Australia in 2015. The show was made as a documentary to bring awareness to the people about the hardship certain communities were having (NewsComAu, 2016). What I want to point out about this show was that it had received the highest ratings in SBS. Although the show was getting backlash on the controversy it had brought and was also labeled as “Poverty porn”. It had still gained many viewers around Australia (Lallo, 2015). Which come to my point. Watching other people suffer can be a form of entertainment for someone else. In fact watching people in poverty can be a form of gratification to others (Jensen, 2013). Watching others suffering in a way makes you feel better or more thankful for what you have. Isn’t that just twisted? Why can’t we be thankful for what we have already? Why do we need to watch others suffer to feel better about what we have?


There are also terrible side effects of using “Poverty Porn”. According to Roenigk(2014), one of the negative effects is that this encourages people to be donors instead of advocates. If they truly want to help eradicate poverty shouldn’t they focus more on people that will become activist to this cause? Instead of seeking people that will give a one-time donation. Another point is that poverty porn misrepresents the poor. Poverty comes in lots of different angles whether if he/she is having a piece of bread for dinner or does not have enough money to pump gas into their car. When poverty is being televised, they try to show those who are most in need. The “deserving poor” compare to those who are “undeserving poor” (Roenigk, 2014).

My final point about poverty porn is that it mispresents poverty itself (Roenigk, 2014). Most of the time it shows the people are to be blamed for their poverty. What if that’s not the case and it’s due to faults in the system that causes them to be poor. Should the system be more empowering for the poor so that it can help them get out of their situation? It could also be due to culture understand what poverty is. Because of people’s perception of the poor, they would not want to hire them. Poverty porn is more focus on the people’s suffering rather than the solution to help end their suffering. As a conclusion, poverty porn is more than what is being shown. There are so many more factors behind it but they don’t show it to us. Is it because people can make money out of others empathy? Or is it because people do not what to deal with the actually issue and instead do what they can at that moment?


Reference

Dortonne, N, 2016, The dangers of poverty porn, viewed on 26 March 2017, <http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/08/health/poverty-porn-danger-feat/&gt;

Jensen, T., 2013. A summer of television poverty porn. Sociological Imagination.

Lallo, M, 2015, Struggle Street sets ratings record for an SBS documentary, with 1.31 million viewers, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed on 26 March 2017, <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/struggle-street-sets-ratings-record-for-an-sbs-documentary-with-131-million-viewers-20150507-ggw15r.html&gt;

NewsComAu, 2016, Struggle to find the new Struggle Street. viewed on 26 March 2017, <http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/sbs-documentary-struggle-street-struggling-to-find-suburbs-to-film-second-series-in/news-story/60624b54cfb5b9f26caa098e0d61f83a&gt;

Roenigk, E, 2014, 5 Reasons poverty porn empowers the wrong person. viewed on 26 March 2017, <https://www.one.org/us/2014/04/09/5-reasons-poverty-porn-empowers-the-wrong-person/&gt;

Rowlets Digital Art Journey

rowlet_by_bluekomadori-da23wgp.jpgImage result for rowlet

                 Source                                                       Source

Continuing from my previous blog post. This is the breakdown on how I am teaching myself to draw. The first step is to always have your reference out with you. Having reference pictures helps you imagine what you want to draw. I would prefer to have 2-3 picture references. The paper size I am using for this drawing is A5 and I am using the second brush to draw. Before you start drawing, always remember to add in your layer and do not draw directly on the background.

Brush 1.png


Step 1

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It is also good to label your layers. This will help you stay organized as you proceed to add more layers to your drawing. In your first layer add a rough shape on how your character will look like. Add the second layer in (I called it Sketch 2) and begin to roughly sketch out your character. Using the shape as guidelines of its body.

Drawing 3.png


Step 2

Now here comes the interesting part. Decrease the opacity level of sketch 2 until the lines are kind of faded but you can still see the lines.

Opacity.png

Create another layer (Label Clean Up) and start to redraw the line using one stroke. Why? It’s to make smoother lines for your final picture. It also makes it neater for others to see. As I have experienced before, I draw too many lines on what spot to get a nice line. It ends up really messy and after colouring the drawing, the lines will still be there. So, keep drawing that line until you think you have the right one and move on to the next outline. Having said that, Having to keep erasing your line can get frustrating. Instead use Alt + Ctrl + Z command. What this function does is that it moves back your steps. It is kind of like Undo but you can move backwards a few times. While undo only lets you go back one step.

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For one part of my drawing, I was actually lazy to redraw its foot. Instead, I used the Lasso feature (hot key: L). This feature allows you to select a certain part of your work. Once you have selected it click Ctrl + T. This allows you to transform what you have selected. Transform allows you to increase/decrease the size of the selected part. It can also change the angle of the image. Once you have adjusted everything hit enter so that it can now stay in place. After that using the Lasso tool, right click what you had selected and deselect it. That will make the moving lines disappear. Once you have done drawing through and are happy with your lines. Go to the layers on your right and click on the eye for sketch 1 and 2. This means that all the lines are now hidden and only your clean up layer will show.

Hide.pngDrawing 5.png


Step 3

Now it’s time to add colours and just as always you create a new layer and label it as colour. I went to this website https://coolors.co/browser/latest/5 which allows me to find different colour palettes. Here I found Rowlets colours and begin to shade in.

Drawing Colour.png Drawing Colour 2.png Drawing Colour 3.png Drawing Colour 4.png Colour Pick.png

After you have coloured in the base switch to a slightly darker shade of the same colour and begin shading around the point (Note: It depends on where your light source is. If the head is closer to the light the top will be bright while the lower parts will have a darker shade). Following your reference colour your character as it is. If you want to change up its colours go right ahead.

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For my final part, I locked my lines. Click on the layer you want to lock and click again on the checkerboard icon next to the brush. What happens is that only this area will be coloured in. Even if you go out of the line, no colour will appear. This is due to it locking what’s in this layer and only this layer. Colour the line according to what colour it is with. For example, the outer body line colour is same with Rowlets skin colour. Once you have done that it is complete! That is so far on what I have experimented with. Hopefully, with more practice, I can fine tune my artwork. Always remember to practice, the more you practice and get used to it. The better it becomes.

Drawing Colour 5.png

The Art Of Digital Art

Introduction

Technology is on a constant move, always improving and reshaping what we do. For my DIGC335 project, I will be continuing one of my previous projects. The goal was to redraw all my cards that I had developed for a game . However due to my lack of experience in drawing, instead I will be showing my process of learning how to draw with a tablet. At the same time providing insights for others on how to draw as well, hopefully.

Before diving into the process, I would want to focus on how drawing itself has changed due to technology. Drawing has always been a part of humanity and artists around the world has provided us with many works of art to appreciate. However, art is viewed as an analog activity. This is because hand drawing is always preferred. Artist wants to express themselves with their brush strokes and style of drawing. If the computers are unable to mimic the artist style of drawing, how are they going to express what they want to draw? Nowadays tablets are specially made for artist. With the advancement of technology, tablets are now able to capture hand drawings as accurate as it can be.


History

Image result for Telautograph  Image result for The Stylator

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It all started out with the Telautograph, 1888. An invention made by Elisha Gray, which allows long distant written communication (Harbert, 2014). It uses recorded electrical impulses that are that transmitted to the receiving telautograph. A pen is attached on the receiving end which then copies what is being written. This device was mainly used my banks and doctors. The next invention to contribute to the development of the tablet is The Stylator (Harbert, 2014). This was built in 1957 by Tom L. Dimond. The tablet is now able to connect straight to a computer instead of a receiving device. Apple came up with their graphics tablet in 1979. Similar to the tables we have now at the present moment.

Image result for Wacom

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Then Wacom Bamboo was made and has become the newest standard for graphics tablet technology (Harbert, 2014). Wacom tablets are able to digitize hand-drawn work. With a drawing software, such as photoshop. Artists are able to adjust and manipulate their drawing with ease. Wacom uses a clink-and-point manipulation, meaning the stylus and tablet are able to communicate more effectively (Kershner, 2017). It is also pressure-sensitive which allows more detail drawing to be done. An interesting feature about Wacom pen is that there is a digital chip inside of it. Because of that chip, it emits out a magnetic field which is then communicated to the tablet. From this, the pen is able to produce its own energy. Hence why no battery is needed for it (Kershner, 2017).


Cyber Culture

Following it back to the subject it is interesting how the improvement of technology promoted a shift from an analog base activity to a digital base. There is also something amazing happening when someone uses a tablet for their work. It is clearly showing us how our analog drawing is instantly being recognized and displayed to us digitally, that’s a huge step coming from the Telautograph.

Virtual Reality is also taking a step in shifting our analog art to a digital perspective. A new app has been developed by Google called Tilt Brush (https://www.tiltbrush.com/). This allows you to draw within virtual space and it looks amazing. Being able to transform your actions to a work of art is futuristic. They provide a variety of brushes that can help generate smoke, snow and even fire. This shows that the hardware itself is not just developing but the software as well is becoming more advance. Another point worth mentioning is the decrease in materials drawing digitally. As an artist, you would need paper, paint, pens and other materials to make your work. In a digital aspect, you would only need your laptop and your tablet. This would help save a lot in terms of resources and money.


Final Thoughts

In general, it is impressive to see how far tablets has developed. Although we are trying to digitize our experience I believe tablets will never take over drawing. Simply because art is about having options and exploring on them. Art is about finding what style suits you and how you go with it. Also, people doodle when they are bored. You can’t expect them to take out their tablet and wallet every time they feel like doodling. It takes time to set up and you would need some space to lay it all down.


Project Experiment

I would be trying to teach myself on how to draw and documenting my progress. For starters, like any other person trying to learn something new you go to YouTube. I have found several youtubers that provide you with some basics on how to draw but I was still lost on how to use photoshop.

I realized one of my friends does draw digitally quite frequently. I had asked her on some tips and this is what she gave me

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This was perfect for me! Since I am a beginner I didn’t even know what were the hot keys and what some of these functions did. Another advise she gave that helped me start drawing was drawing lines with confidence. This is because I draw repeated lines on my drawing to get the finally picture. In return, this would affect my finally drawing when it comes to coloring it in. Another good tip she reminded me to do is to always create layers. Layers help manage the whole drawing. If you were to do all your work on one layer. Coloring the final product would be much harder and making adjustments to your work can be messy.

On a side note, we are communicating via snapchat. The reason why I decided to use this platform is because I would still need my friend advises on the progress of my work. Instead of sending her pictures that will take up unnecessary space on her phone. Snapchat allows her to see it and it won’t be saved on her end. If she makes a comment of my work that I need to make note off. I would just take a screen shot instead. That’s all the testing I had done so far and will continue to update my progress in my next post!

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Reference

Harbert, R. (2014). The Evolution of the Drawing Tablet. [online] prezi.com. Available at: https://prezi.com/obrvvsvvuwj7/the-evolution-of-the-drawing-tablet/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Kershner, K. (2017). How Wacom Tablets Work. [online] HowStuffWorks. Available at: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/tablets/wacom-tablets.htm [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

What’s Happening Here? #SelfieFirst

Image result for something bad happening but we take a selfie first

Everyone would already know what a selfie is. It’s simple, it’s just a photo you take of yourself using a camera (most commonly using a smartphone). After that, the picture is posted online on varies social media outlets. It is just a simple action but it has caused huge ripples in our society. Why has this simple action created such a dramatic impact?


What They Say

The most common attribute about a selfie is that it is a form of narcissism (Senft, 2015). Selfies are used in a way to help promote oneself (Connolly, 2015). Either with what they are doing or literally promoting themselves to everyone. Our society has adopted this as an acceptable narcissism. I believe the reason behind this is because everyone can take a selfie. Selfies are amateur work, you don’t need to buy a DSLR to take it. All you need is a smartphone and there you have it. The act of a selfie is simple and with our smartphones, we can take as many photos as we like and if it’s not good. Delete it and try again.

Another reason behind this thread is the user’s gratification they receive from their photos. Having one of your selfies liked can mean many things. According to Riordon (2017), one of the reasons why someone likes your photo is because you look hot in it. That gives people a boost in their self-esteem. Imagine what happens when 100,000 people likes your photo. That could mean that many people believe that you are hot.

On the Other Hand

There are also different benefits of a selfie. One of it is to realise self-beauty. Having a selfie of yourself can make you feel more confident (Riordan, 2017). It is important to love yourself for who you are and not get sucked up with what the media think beauty is. Selfies help you to track your own progress. For example, many people would take a selfie of themselves as they are about to take part in a long journey of getting fit. Seeing the progress after the goal is accomplished makes you feel amazing. As it shows that you can do anything once you put your mind to it. It can even be used to help motivate others. If you post a compilation of your progress on social media other people may be moved on what you have done and might end up following your steps.

The Promotion Phase

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Modern technology is also a factor in making the selfie craze grow. Now we have so many different app to promote ourselves. Connolly wrote that Instagram has made it possible for us to promote ourselves with no shame (2015). Instagram also provides the user with the necessary editing tools to make them look better. With filters, lighting and colour edits, their picture can be redefined. Another app that we can say that helps promotes ourselve is Tinder. The pictures we use as our displays are normally selfies. I’ve been on the app and I can say almost all profiles I look through has at least one selfie in it.

Image result for star wars rogue one snapchat filter

Snapchat also encourages people in taking selfies through the filters they have. Some are special filters for an event and some are special due to its location. People would want to show others that they are here so using the filter with their selfie is saying “I’m actually here #nojoke”. Selfies are also used to show your support towards something. When the latest starwars film was being released snapchat had a special starwars filter to go with it. People would pose with it and post it on their story or save it to be posted on another platform.


What Is Being Done

Seeing that selfies have taken over by storm some countries has even taken it into consideration into law. In America, some states have made it law that people are not allowed to take ballot selfies. The justification of this ruling is that they do not want voters to be influenced by these selfies (Wagman, 2016). Other countries have taken different measurements regarding selfies. In South Korea, certain selfie sticks are banned due to the Bluetooth signal that causes other devices to malfunction (“Places around the world that have banned selfies”, 2015). In Saudi Arabia, selfies are not allowed in Mecca as they believe it affects the prayers rituals and causes distractions to others (“Places around the world that have banned selfies”, 2015).


Overall selfies have become a unique trend in our generation. There are many layers to look at it. Some believe that selfies are bad as it makes us more narcissistic. Others believe that selfies can be used as self-love and motivation for oneself. Selfies are also redefining marketing as campaigns can be built around selfies. So, that people can contribute themselves into the campaigns cause. There are still many different angles a selfie can be looked as. Who knows maybe in the future selfies will evolve even further and included augmented reality in it.

 

Reference

Connolly, S ,2015, The good, the bad and the ugly: Are selfies turning us all into narcissists?. TheJournal.ie, viewed on 14 March 2017, <http://www.thejournal.ie/selfies-changing-society-1772622-Jan2015/&gt;

Riordan, H , 2017, What It Really Means When He Likes Your Selfies. Bolde, viewed on 14 March 2017, <http://www.bolde.com/really-means-likes-selfies/&gt;

Places around the world that have banned selfies, 2015, Fox News, viewed on 14 March 2017, <://www.foxnews.com/travel/2015/01/29/cities-and-countries-that-banor-at-least-frown-upontaking-selfies.html>

Senft, T., & Baym, N. (2015). What Does the Selfie Say? Investigating a Global Phenomenon Introduction. International Journal Of Communication, 91588-1606.

Wagman, E. (2016). BUT FIRST, (DON’T) LET ME TAKE A SELFIE: NEW HAMPSHIRE’S BAN ON BALLOT SELFIES AND FIRST AMENDMENT SCRUTINY. William & Mary Bill Of Rights Journal, 25(1), 343-372.

Remoscope and “Where I’m From”

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Remoscope was created by the Lumiere Brothers, it is a method used in cinematography. The camera is a stationary position with a tripod and the recording starts. There are several rules that needs to be followed before the recording can begin (Mariko and Shigeru):

  • The length of the film must only be 60 seconds
  • It must be in a fixed angle
  • There should be no sound, editing, effects and zoom during the recording

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There are several reasons behind this style of cinematography. The first reason is that it allows people to be creative when working around the parameters of a remoscope (Mariko and Shigeru). If there is something you want to capture in your film. The subject must already be there without your influence. For example, you want to film a telephone booth. You would have to find one that is already present and film it there.

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The second point is to allow the person to be independent and not depend on filters or camera features (Mariko and Shigeru). Nowadays there are some many extra features added to our cameras. This style of film making is more of going back to the basics and working with the environment we have around us.

The third point that I believe is very critical is understanding the subject in that given moment (Mariko and Shigeru). The subject is important as it is used to convey your message to the audience. It is also important to look at how time itself is affecting the subject. Within that 60 seconds of filming did the subject changed in any way? Did it lose or gain anything in that time frame? An example is this clip from 12 years a slave, where Solomon was being hanged. The longer time passes the subject itself is being affected by it. Another point about this kind of cinematography is that it allows the viewers in deciding who they want to focus on in this frame. Using the same clip the audience can focus on the people behind Solomon. Aware of his situation but not doing anything to help.

Image result for where i'm from

The whole point of learning this style of filming is to later incorporate it into our “Where I’m From” poem. A poem style created by George Ella Lyon (“Where I’m From, A Poem By George Ella Lyon, Writer And Teacher”). From my understanding the guidelines in making these poems are simple. The content of the poem must be about your life journey but it is not as simple as that. The notion is to explore your memories of where you started out and let your memory be the trigger in guiding you on what to write. In other words, there is no timeline if your memory takes you back when you were 6 and suddenly takes you to your current state. Let it. Follow the flow of time in your mind and see where it goes. I made a small attempt at making my own:

I am from a place of 365 days of summer

A land rich with culture and gluttony

I am from the house of mirrors

Where words never are quite as they seem

I’m from activities and adventures

Thrown into situations if I did nothing at all

 

Reference

Mariko, Kaname and Maeda Shigeru. “The Case Of “Remoscope””. N.p., 2011. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

“Where I’m From, A Poem By George Ella Lyon, Writer And Teacher”. Georgeellalyon.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

Snap Filters Project

This semesters DIGC302 class was one of the best classes I have ever had in Wollongong. Everyone’s projects were simply amazing and there was so much potential in each project. I decided to follow Justine project as she had planned on creating a 360 video experience. What this means is that viewers who watch the video will be able to move around 360 in the video. Giving a greater view of the surroundings of the video. Here is a sample of what she did.

The aim for her project was to create a ‘real’ university/ campus life experience. The motive behind this is to help students who are unable to visit the university. To see what the university has to offer. Justine decided to use 360 videos because it would help give more control to the users on what they would like to see. This format also provides viewers to become immerse into the experience and keeps them engaged. It would also be easy to access as YouTube is allowed to upload 360 videos.

Having a few chats with her I suggested that she do more of a university life experience. This includes going to the class, hanging out with some friends and show what Wollongong as a whole can offer. This is because if the video is just about the facilities of the campus. Viewers may lose their attention towards it as once they have a glance at it they would just skip it to the next part. Half way through the semester she decided to change her project completely. This was due to her experimenting and not getting much results from it #FEFO, Fail Earlier Fail Often. Another issue this project would have faced is getting the university to approve the video. As the video would then become part of UOW image and the video must contains things that the university would associated themselves with.

Her second project she had decided to focus on was creating snapchat filters. These filters would then be used in local events and for businesses to promote themselves. Nowadays more and more people are using snapchat and using a filter can help generate people’s awareness of the brand. Justine had only changed to this project and she had already gone out seeking businesses that would be interested in using these filters. She then made a filter for Glass Alley, a café shop that had just open in Wollongong. This was great progress for her as within such a short period of time she has already manage to get a client and earn some money from it. Snapchat also provides valuable data that can help get more clients. As Justine had shown, snapchat provides data on how many people have seen the filter. This can interest business as it will help people be more aware of their brand.

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The next step to Justine’s project was to create a website where she can post her work to help attract more clients. At the current moment there is a video on her home page giving off relaxing music. However I think its setting the wrong mood. Once again snapchat is something fun and being on the home page first impression is very important. I suggest to have a loop of filters you have already done and place it at the home page. That way people will have a glace on what you have done. Justine’s about page this to have a bit more content. So far she has placed who she is and what she studies. I recommend that she adds why business should use her services instead of others. You could also give some reviews on what other clients have said about you filters, giving her site more credibility. One of the pages she has a how page. A suggestion is to rename it to maybe something like step by step. She can also add how long a request should take. Like a minimum of 3 days prior the even. So she has some time to get snapchats approval of the filter.

She has posted the clients she has work with on her page. My suggestion is that she should place the filters she made for the client with their name. This will help other client picture themselves with the filter. Justine can also have one of the photos taken on the day itself. Once again this helps businesses visualize better on the possible outcome they will have. Justine also shows other filters she has made so far in a separate page. It is good to have this as clients will then have an overview on all of her works. She can also post possible templets she had already created but not used.

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Another aspect that needs to be looked at is the design of the website itself. When you think of snapchat you would think fun. The website that Justine had made is a bit too grey, a brighter colour would be better. For example she could have yellow on the outer layer and have it white towards the center. This will help people associate the website with snapchat as yellow is their app colour.

The next step to talk about is Justine’s contact page. I believe that it has to look better as for now it looks like an amateur work. I suggest that at the bottom of this page have an FAQ section. This will help answer the clients question and help eliminate unnecessary message to her end. Here are some example shots on what she can add to it.

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https://pepperfilters.typeform.com/to/v2LMUn

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https://pepperfilters.com/faq.html

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https://geo-filter.com/purchase/

My final thoughts of Justine’s project is that she has done a great job! She has achieve so much within these past few weeks. She has taken the initiative to find her clients rather than them coming to her and it paid off. The next step after this is to develop her website a bit more. As that will become her snapchat filter portfolio. I also suggest that she practice learning more trick on photoshop, as she is designing her filters there. Investing a bit of time in this and her filters may become even better. Good job on this project Justine! There is lots of potential in this and seeing as how many still don’t know how easy it is to make it, capitalize on this idea.