Author: scharett

Blog Post #1: Intercultural Communication

While being in another country has this effect on a person, where everything is amazing and wonderful, making every new experience in the country feel like breathing air for the first time, it can also be suffocating. It can be overwhelming. It can be tiring, constantly struggling all the time. Not being able to communicate or being able to get around easily, and missing every little thing about home can really exhaust you.

I’m currently in this state of exhaustion. I am loving every experience I have here in France, but I also am tired and homesick. I completely agree with Barna’s statement, “the innate physiological makeup of the human animal is such that discomfort of varying degrees occurs in the presence of alien stimuli.  Without the normal props of one’s own culture, there is unpredictability, helplessness, a threat to self-esteem, and a general feeling of “walking on ice”—all of which are stress producing.” His representation of culture shock is extremely valid, mostly because I am feeling it. Recently, I became sick, as most of my fellow students have as well, but I found this sickness extremely unsettling. Not because I was super sick, which I was, but mainly because I felt so helpless and defenseless. Not only was I extremely sick, but I also had to go to the doctors, go to the pharmacy, and go to the store, all while being sick. Normally, these would be easy things that I can handle on my own, but in a foreign country with a language barrier and no car, it made things a little bit difficult. I think not only being sick was bad enough, but the stress of being sick and having to do all these things by myself made it even worse. I was able to get everything I needed done moderately easily, but I felt so agitated towards the end of the day because of the struggle that I was mad because I knew I could have taken care of all of these things easier back home in the states, and I would have felt better in no time.

It is just subtle things that can make one go somewhat mad while abroad, at least in my opinion, but in the end, that is all that the struggle is; little things that do not really matter in the first place. We can adapt and learn to be more self-sufficient. I believe 100% that culture shock is winning in my scenario, although I continue to still fall in love with this country more and more each day. I think that culture shock effects most people very dramatically, but we all handle it differently, and ultimately, even if we are having problems and exhausting ourselves, at least we get to do it in a beautiful country.


Project Decisions

I am very critical about myself and my work, sometimes even over critical. I definitely think there is always room for improvement on my designs and I always take critiques and criticism in mind whenever I continue designing. I do feel like I need more practice and improvement always on my design work. I want to spend this summer working and improving my design work and working on building a portfolio and making my work more diverse.

Fulbright Final Program


Design Statement


Weekend in Japan-Weather Report

This project was a 50-second-long After Effects movie of a hypothetical weekend weather map of 4 cities in Japan. This project has exponentially increased my skills in After Effects and Adobe Illustrator. The weather report project implemented many facets of design into the final product, including illustration, type, principles of design, and After Effects.  I learned how to work efficiently and organize my files well.

Visual Identity

The mark I created is representative of the identity I chose to give to the Green Belt. I chose to appeal to an audience that very common in Austin, which are the college kids and young adults. The Green Belt is a place that stressed out millennials can go to let go of their stress. The mark I created has a watercolor background with the colors blue and green to represent the blue waters and greenery that make up the Green Belt. Paired along with a fun, thin typeface that reflects the modernity of the new generation, with an outline of the watercolor shape that matches the font. This project challenged me to use my skills in design, along with my identity of the Green Belt to create an effective and clear mark to represent the Green Belt.

Process Work and Research

I chose to show the swatch I made for my research. I researched the Green Belt, and to get a better understanding of the place, I made a swatch using two photos that I took and made a color swatch from the photos. This is just part of the long process that took place in order to figure out an identity for the Green Belt. The process that took place was long, although it helped me get a better understanding of what and who I will be designing for and will be useful to me in my future career because I know that in order to design something effective, I will need to research and know who my audience is.

User Interface

The Interface Lesson was the beginning of my work in After Effects. I went into this project knowing nothing about the program, but shortly figured it out. The interface is of a hypothetical portfolio app that I fully designed in Adobe Illustrator and made it move as if it was being operated by someone. This was a challenging project, although it helped in getting my foot in the door with After Effects and challenged me to overcome the obstacles the program threw at me.

Plotter Designs

The Plotter project was definitely a process of trial and error, mostly because it was difficult to let go of control. In this project, the goal was to make something that we couldn’t force, by making broad rules to follow that would guide our designs, but not control them. My rules were that I would create one line, then create another and blend the two objects together in order to create a sort of movement across the page. I found this extremely difficult to just relinquish control, but in the end, the designs came out very well and work fantastic as a set.



My zine was created about a self wrote truism that “loving yourself depends on circumstance,” in which I describe that loving yourself is based on where you are in your life, and a more developed and happy person is more likely to love themselves than someone who is unhappy in their life and circumstances. Along with the truism, I designed an abstract set of patterns and a chromatic type to compliment my truism. This project was created to touch on multiple design elements, pushing me to create a unique chromatic type, work on an abstract design, all while working on printing with the risograph printer and in the end, folding all 25 zines in a certain manner. The project challenged me because there were so many elements that went into the design, such as design itself, typography and craft. In the end, I believe the project helped make me a better designer by making me use so many design elements all on one project.


This project was about integrating two different contrasting styles to make a successful design. My class was given a preppy clothing style, and had to choose another style, so we chose bohemian. We took certain elements from both and added them together to try to create a new, cohesive style.


This lesson was more about blending in, than standing out. I hand designed and created a matchbook prop to fit in the background of the movie I chose, Lost in Translation. The movie is set in Japan in the 90’s. I chose a scene that the characters went to a Japanese club and designed my matchbook to fit in with the scene. I learned in this project just how important design is, even if it is in the background of a movie. The prop makes the movie seem more believable and realistic.

Decisions, Decisions

The cognitive map I created was a flow chart to help a girl choose the right shoes to wear based on what they are looking for. In this project, my biggest challenge was to fit all of the information on the page so that it would not look so cluttered. I also had the chance to work more in depth on my illustration skills, and saw some extreme improvements on my illustration work. Overall, this map taught me to challenge myself and work out of my comfort zone.

Map Project Information

For this map, I was given the chance to make a graph map for a made up alias who I was given an Excel document with all of the purchases he made on his credit card. We were expected to make graphs on Adobe Illustrator of some of his purchases with an overall theme. I chose to focus on the amount of money he paid in bills compared to the amount of money he spent on leisure activities. I chose to use bright colors to portray a feeling of  fun, seeing as I wanted to emphasize it to sort of convince him to “treat himself.” This project had me work with the graph tool in Adobe Illustrator and challenged me to research through over 300 items to gather my information. This taught me the importance of research, all while implementing my knowledge of design and type into a map.

Map Project Personal Geography

For my artifact map, I chose to create one that would benefit people on campus who ride bikes. The map shows the school campus and where all the bike racks are, and the shaded areas that surround them. This was made to benefit the students to show them where the can lock their bike that is closest to their class with the most room on the bike racks and with the most shade. In this project, we had to collect information in order to make the map while also designing with an audience in mind. This project will be a benefit to me because it shows the importance of gathering information and being able to put that information to good use.

Symbol Methodology


The process of creating a symbol is anything but simple. The amount of iterations and the length of the process make this project one of great importance. We used a method of process where we started out tracing a picture, then we made illustrations of our ideas, then we made abstract symbols and then combined all three steps until we came up with many variations.

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