Final Project: Photo essay

My maternal grandmother is a painter and this past weekend, she had her first ever  “vernissage” to showcase her art to our family and closest friends.

Mind you, she’s 94.

Anyone who has met her knows that she is the embodiment of a hard working woman: from raising 8 kids alone after being widowed, to owning her own business, she did everything.

She was also an artist. She painted on her free time, even if it was very limited. However, I always thought her art and her business went hand in hand: she was known for making the most beautiful fur coats and for being an incredibly talented seamstress. I’ve always loved fashion, which I believe I inherited from her.

The amount of work put into making the following pieces not only prove her artistry, but it also shows the dedication she put into everything she did in life.


2004: Flower girl dress. I do not remember wearing this dress, as I was too young to recall this memory, but I’ve seen it so many times in family pictures. The details on the dress truly create a story: from the adorable pink flowers details to the Crayola and food stain on the top part of the dress, this truly is a depiction of me as a child.


2008: My First Communion dress. I was excited about my first communion, not for the event itself, but because I knew my grandmother was going to make my dress. She had made clothes for me before, but this time it felt even more exciting because I knew she was going to make my vision into a real piece. As she was quite old when she made this dress, this is the last piece of clothing she made for me, which is why I cherish it so much.


I remember going to the textile store with her and seeing those exact beads. I begged her to buy them so she can add to my dress, and of course, she did.

The details on her items is the best part for me.


2002: My Brother’s Jacket. This is my brother’s jacket that my grandmother made him, from when he was a young toddler. Even if it never belonged to me, the older I get, the more I appreciate it. It’s literally the coolest jacket I’ve ever seen for a kid, I actually wish I had this jacket today, in my size, so I can wear it all the time.


I’m obsessed with this badge for some reason. Again, the details is the best part.


1989: My Mother’s Wedding Dress. Hands down my favourite of my grandmother’s creations. When I was a little girl, I would go into the basement and admire the dress because it reminded me so much of Cinderella’s famous gown. Now, when I look at it, I have a hard time believing it was a dress from a 1980s wedding and not something from the Victorian era.


Once again, the details just amaze me.



La Jetée

After watching Chris Marker’s La Jetée (1962) in class, I was so impressed and moved. Even if the movie came out years ago, it still felt very fresh and innovative to me, proving that it was clearly ahead of its time. It is very powerful to see photography and narrative mesh together like this movie did, which ultimately redefined my perspective of what a film should be. Not only is the technique avant-garde, but the way it mends several opposing themes, such as reality and the construct of time, all together inspired me to reach for wider elements that are out of my comfort zone, and project them through my work.

Yayoi Kusama: Presentation

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who is known for her work in installation art and her sculptures. She rose to fame in the 1960s and was a pioneer of the pop art movement in New York. During this time, she also was famous for her politically charged performance art. She has influenced many artists such as Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono. Her work mostly deals with the themes of feminism, especially in the male-driven Japanese culture at the time, and her personal struggle with mental illness. In fact, her work has saved her from her troubled past, as she used her art to process the traumas of her life.

(Presented in class on March 8th 2018)

Kusama powerpoint

Podcasts homework

The Rookie Magazine podcast is one that I often listen to an absolutely love. The host, Tavi Gevinson, is also the editor-in-chief of the Rookie Magazine, an online magazine focused on women’s issues. In the podcast, Gevinson interviews women such as singers, athletes, authors and much more.

The podcast I found is 2 Dope Queens, hosted by the comedians Phoebe Johnson and Jessica Williams, where they do skits and stand ups as well as interview fellow comedians.

Photoshop assignment



For my poster, I decided to do a poster of the famous show Mad Men, but with a feminist and surrealist twist. In fact, I decided to use one of the show’s main characters, Betty Draper, in one of her most memorable scenes, where grabs her son’s BB pistol and shoots her neighbor’s pigeon, while dressed in her pink and fluffy pyjamas, cigarette hanging on her lips. This imagery is a strong symbolism of the oppression of women in the 1960s and the trapped lives of housewives that was imposed by society. Although the show does have very strong female characters and addressed, even satirizes, the sexist comments of their male counterparts, I wanted to make a poster that empowered the victims. This is the main reason why I switched the red color of the show’s main logo for a fuchsia pink, as a may to reclaim this colour in a more empowered point of view. Also, the purple and starry background not only sets the surrealist tone to the poster, but with the yellow New York skyline, the two objects form a background similar to the one from the famous 60s TV show Bewtiched. I was inspired by this show because it follows the story of a housewife and it was aired during the same era that Mad Men takes place. Plus, the New York skyline is obviously there to indicate that the story mostly takes place in the Big Apple. Finally, I altered Betty’s appearance to make her appear more like an oil painting because I think it suits the aesthetic of the poster, but this scene is also very transformative and crucial in her character development. Therefore, I wanted to immortalize that.

My first assignment

In this class, I would like to not only improve my photoshop and photography skills, but I would also like to learn to do new things, like how to make a podcast or how to make a good photo essay with moving stills. I’ve always loved listening to podcast and admiring photo essays, so having the opportunity to complete this project in this class is very exciting for me.