Digital Storytelling - Blog Entry 1 - "Where do we go from here?" / by Bryan West

I grew up in Bay area, CA, I graduated High School in '03 and spent about 5 years searching for direction. My poor self-esteem had led me to essentially give up on art as a career, so I spent most of my time working a plethora of manual labor jobs, singing in a Punk Band, and attending far to many parties. It was a fun, but painfully empty existence. I reached the end of my rope in 2008 and enlisted in Americorps NCCC, where I would put my idealism to good use rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Ike. The world of non­profits led me to obtaining a job with an Conservation Corps, and I spent the next 3.5 years leading trail construction crews, and providing leadership training to college interns. From 2008 to 2012 I briefly lived in Denver, New Orleans, Galveston, Lake Tahoe, Flagstaff, Santa Cruz, and settled in San Jose. At one point I was considering Conservation as my permanent career, but promotions came with longer work hours, and an increasing detachment from a social/personal life. The 60+ hour workweeks were exhausting, but the time spent in the woods and cut off from society gave me a lot of perspective. I started drawing again, and became obsessed. I was constantly trying to get as much time as possible to just sit and draw. I became increasingly aware that my current job would not afford me enough time to practice as much as I would like, so I began researching schools. This of course led me to Full Sail, the scholarship, and a very long drive from San Jose to Winter Park.

This blog will serve as a record of my time at Full Sail University, and showcase my various creative effort and projects. Currently, the blog will feature work from my digital storytelling class, but I expand the blog to include work from other classes and some personal work.

My primary takeaway from digital story telling is my increasing awareness of the process of distilling an idea to it’s core.  I tend to work out my projects by research, sketching, and thumbnails. This is a very helpful process, but I tend to forget about things like word maps, and charts which are really essential in design and visual storytelling. My hope for this class is that I will continue to find things that I need to work on, so that I will become a more well-rounded artist.