Category Archives: Art & Music

The importance of animation

The like button has many different variations even though it means the same action. Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, or any other social media site, there will most likely be some sort of button to show your appreciation for a post. However, what’s that one thing separating the like button across all platforms and their version of the like button? The animation. It’s one small detail that is hard to notice at first, but it’s there to give that app a sense of identity. If it were to disappear suddenly, it would lose that sense of identity and would feel bland. 

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Animation is seen daily, but people might not know where to look or what it would look like. So what is animation? In simple terms, animation is a type of illusion to trick your brain into seeing movement from drawings, pictures, and CG models. What are some examples that use those types of animations? Shows on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon use frame-by-frame animation to make 2d drawings of characters move. Movies from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel. Avengers Endgame where they had to animate the movement of Thanos or even in video games where almost everything is animated to tell the story. 

Now that we have a good reference as to what animations can be let’s talk about another place where you can find animations, Snapchat filters. Everyone who has used or knows of Snapchat has probably heard of filters. The primary term for filters is to add or remove images and backgrounds to a video or picture. Take for example, the dog filter where it adds big, floppy dog ears and a tongue. The filter’s code tracks the person’s face so the ears and tongue move along with the head, which actually follows one of the 12 principles of animation. Follow through or overlapping action. Follow-through is a crucial part of the animation process where the secondary features of the character or object, like the dog ears and tongue, follow through with the motion. An example of follow-through is a superhero flying with a cape super fast, and then stops suddenly. The superhero stops in the sky but the cape caves in around the body because of its forward motion. When you go on Snapchat, take a look at that dog filter and move your head to get a good idea of how the follow-through works.

There have been a lot of examples of animation in social media, but where else could you find it that most people would never think about? How about sports? Next time you’re watching a Football game, try and spot how many overlays there are on the screen, the transitions that cut to another camera position, and then compare them to other teams. Most teams will have their own branded transition or overlay for TV to make it more unique and personalized. It’s one detail that you might have never noticed but can make a massive impact on the game’s feeling. 

Animation is seen by everyone in today’s society even if you don’t look for it. It can be in many different forms like huge CG or 2d characters in movies and shows, overlays on sports stations, filters on Snapchat or Instagram, and the small things just like a like button.

Cooper Funk is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

A high school artist’s reflection

As an artist, there’s always opportunities to make art in many different mediums, and there are hundreds of other mediums out there, both in traditional and digital. I have personally been drawing with pencil on paper for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until more recent years when I began to gain more of an appreciation for other art mediums. I finally started to branch out into other mediums and expand my abilities beyond just simple sketching. However, even after all these years, I still enjoy basic pencil and paper sketching, so let me tell you about the different ways that I have made art and the many programs and mediums I have used.

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Starting first and foremost with the basics, is pencil and paper. Ever since I even knew how to draw, I was always drawing traditionally. As a kid I would always grab as much printer paper as I could and a stack of pencils and doodle away for hours. While I was never the best artist or respectful of the rules of being an artist like composition and anatomy, I still enjoyed the process of drawing and creating cartoons on paper. As I got older, I got more accustomed to the method of traditional drawing and began to flesh out my own unique style, and began to work more both in the traditional method, and the digital method as well. 

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Getting older introduced me to the method of “digital art,” where I could scan in my traditional drawings through a picture to an art software program, and then add digital coloring and lining. This process certainly took me a while to get used to, as it was essentially drawing the same thing twice, but as I did it more and more, and developed my skills further, it became my preferred method of drawing. With my digital art, I still try to keep a sense of “cartoonish-ness” in my drawings; creating something expressive that someone could view and enjoy upon first glance. However, traditional and digital cartoon drawing isn’t the only thing I am capable of, as I am familiar with another medium through Photoshop editing.

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Everyone and their grandmother has heard of Photoshop before, and for a good reason. It’s arguably the most versatile picture-editing software out there, and has been around for years and used by millions of people across the world every day. I have only recently started using Photoshop in the last year, as most of my summer class in Intro to Digital Art was focused on using pictures and editing them through Photoshop. Even after the class was over, I still wanted to do more with Photoshop, and I didn’t want to let my talent go to waste. Over the summer, I watched tutorials on how to create posters, and create graphic design logos. While I am still learning, I hope I can continue to improve and further my abilities.

Wanna learn Photoshop? Check out this free course being offered on YouTube!

While I initially started off with one medium, I slowly grew to appreciate and use more artistic outlets and mediums. Growing my abilities has taught me that it’s okay to leave my comfort zone, and that going outside of said comfort zone can help me to become an even better artist than I would be inside of my comfort zone. I have been an artist for many years, and I don’t see myself dropping art anytime soon, and I hope to continue my passion for years to come.

Jackson Reichardt is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

A Review: Hogwarts on Broadway

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child​ came to Broadway on April 22, 2018. It takes place 19 years after the events of ​Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. All of the original characters are now parents, and they have to deal with new responsibilities. Hermione is the Minister of Magic, Harry is the Head of Magical Law Enforcement, and Ron runs a silly joke shop. In an odd way, each of those professions end up tying into the dark story. 

Albus Potter deals with being the son of the great Harry Potter and being in Slytherin, unlike the rest of his family. It is in Slytherin where he meets Scorpius Malfoy, his best friend. Albus soon thinks his father is not the hero people say he is. Albus and Scorpius use time travel to save “the spare” Cedric Diggory. They end up corrupting the timeline, erasing people from existence, and creating an alternate evil reality. Not only is there the adventure of Albus and Scorpius, the story of Harry, Ron and Hermione continue on in the show. Harry begins to believe Voldemort is still out there, ready to strike again.

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The cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. (Photo Credit: Playbill.com)

I was lucky enough to go and see the show in early August. The show is split into two parts, each two and a half hours long. The special effects for the show makes it appear like magic is real. The show was filled with effects that blew me away. From people appearing out of fire to evil creatures flying over the audience. The show was very well done.

The cast is complete with great actors portraying the iconic characters. James Snyder is the actor who plays Harry Potter. He was in many small films and tv series, but his biggest was She’s the Man, a teen rom-com in 2006. The young actor playing Albus Potter is Nicholas Podany. He has not starred in any movies, but he has appeared in a few episodes in the CW show, Hart of Dixie. Jenny Jules, is a English actress who plays Hermione Granger alongside Matt Mueller as Ron Weasley. Jonno Roberts plays the Slytherin nemesis Draco Malfoy. He has starred in many TV shows throughout the years. He was Declan Stanwick in the comedy show, Wrecked for nine episodes. Many of the actors have starred in crime shows like Blue Bloods and the NCIS franchise.

After the second part of the show, I was able to go behind the scenes. I got to meet the main cast members of the show, James Snyder, Nicholas Podany, and many others. Since the actors cannot reveal the “secrets” to the magic, I was unable to figure out the way the magic is really done. Each character seemed to have many costumes, some are even identical to the rest. The production crew really did a great job with the show. A family friend of mine Kimberly Dodson, played Rose Granger Weasley. She told me she is a “swing”, so she covers 12 tracks. This means she has to prepare for 12 different roles and she goes on whenever they need her.

This is a great show to see, especially if you are a Harry Potter nerd like I am. It’s funny, dark, advernterous, and has an amazing story. The play was written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. I highly recommend seeing this show. The show has a rating of 91% by critics, and a 3.7/5 for the book. Do you think you’ll see the magic?

Ethan Webber is a sophomore member of The Quill, and is also a member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Highlighting Student Achievement in the Arts

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Fine Arts week has just concluded. This, for students of Saint Joe, marks the beginning of the end of the school year and the opportunity to see new expressions of emotions. The crown jewel of Fine Arts Week is inarguably The Art Show. Student art is used to decorate the second floor of Xavier Hall and the main entrance of the building. The art created by students throughout the year is presented at this gala. With many beautiful pieces of art, one would be hard-pressed to not find something they like.

IMG_1921I spoke with the newest member of the Art Department, Ms. Bastidas, and asked her what new projects she implemented into her classes. Ms. Bastidas explained that she introduced several different pieces seen very rarely in the shows of the past; she brought in weaving, charcoal portraits, mask building, soapstone carvings, still lives, and much more. Ms. Bastidas explained how she wanted the art created by students to express their emotions through their pieces and to learn more about symbolism as they incorporated it firsthand. Many of her fundamental students, as well as her advanced students, were able to show their rising talents by touching the canvas with their imagination–and brush of course.

The AP Studio Art students are renowned for creating some of the best art in the show, and the best art by these students is being displayed in the center of the studio on the second floor of Xavier Hall with even more work being placed in the showcase next to the front doors. The art coming from these students is quite diverse as well. Some of these students took to inspirations one would not expect to see in a high school show. One student, Aaron, had several paintings within the show that expressed the second side of life here within Baltimore City; these pieces show the disparity of living within the underdeveloped areas and the impact it has the young men and women’s social standing. To quote Aaron, “My inspiration are the daily struggles that I experience and visualize with my brothers of the Baltimore streets. The conflicts of the denomination of lower class African American population should not be overlooked!” (Born Dead & The Temptation)

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“My inspiration are the daily struggles that I experience and visualize with my brothers of the Baltimore streets. The conflicts of the denomination of lower class African American population should not be overlooked!”

As shown through our past art shows, inspiration can come from anything. Joseph R, a senior, stated that his inspiration came from not only the pieces of art his teachers have created, but the relationships he has with those around him. Joseph also explained how his pieces don’t require the inspiration from a person but rather, “the way the paint interacts with the canvas leads me to the next step in the process.”  Another student, Alex F, explained that sometimes you don’t need inspiration from the environment but just from how you feel. For example, two of his pieces displayed in the show were labeled after emotions and depicted them as such through the alteration and destruction of the canvases. To quote him, “Art is the greatest escape from reality.” This is a great way to teach the significance of art and why the young men of Mount Saint Joseph should involve themselves with the wonderful experiences of art.