Monday, July 25, 2011

HumaBLOG.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled onto a video from a site named "humaBLOG" that left me laughing.

Laughing, because it was so cleverly (and cutely) executed! A fast-motion video of someone sketching out their diabetes diagnosis story, with the author vocalizing the story through a voiceover. A simple idea that had to have taken a ton of work.

I had no idea who had created it, but I wanted to find out. And then, as sometimes happens, I completely forgot about pursuing it further.

Then on Saturday, I saw this tweet from @rachellynnae about her You Can Do This Project video, and it all fell into place for me. I felt so silly for not making the connection earlier - I actually knew who had created that first video! (Sorry, Rachel!)

Here's her latest video: for the You Can Do This Project!


Because I think what she does is so fantastic, I wanted to share her story with you. Rachel Scott was kind enough to answer some of my questions, and I'd like to share her answers with you!

Kim: Rachel, thank you so much for letting me interview you! For those who don't know you, can you tell a little bit about yourself?

Rachel: Well, I am a 20 year old college art student working toward a Graphic Design degree. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was eight years old, but that wasn't the first or last time my family was faced with a diabetes diagnosis. My mother was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was eight years old as well, and a year after my diagnosis my little sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three. Every summer I work as a counselor at a camp for children with diabetes and it is what I look forward to every day all year long. So, I think it could be easily said that my life is pretty filled with diabetes.  That's why I have been looking to find a way to create art that reflects me and diabetes.

Kim: What is "humaBLOG", and how did you come up with the idea for it?

Rachel: humaBLOG is really a way for me to share my stories about my diabetes. In the past I have had countless conversations with people about diabetes and sometimes they really understood what I was saying, but most times they had no idea. So I wanted to have some sort of outlet to share these stories to people who would actually understand what I was going through. [...] I came up with a name (which really just came from the top of my head one day while preparing my insulin pump for a site change) and then I wanted to find a different way to share my story.


Kim:  I love, love, love your videos and drawings. How long have you been creating art (diabetes-themed and otherwise)? 

Rachel: I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. But my love of creating art came when I took my first art class in high school. Before taking traditional art classes I wanted to go into the medical field (specifically Endocrinology). I even began taking classes in the medical field before I realized that art and communication was the direction I needed to go. Recently I have taken many graphic design and multimedia classes and that's when I learned how to create digital pieces of art, which of course is my true love. In more than one of my art classes along the years I have used diabetes as a project idea. Mostly just projects explaining me. But recently I had an opportunity to do an advertising project for the diabetes summer camp that I work for, and I had a blast creating it.

Kim: Was there a specific moment that triggered the idea, "Hey, what I want to do with art could translate to what I want to say about diabetes, too"?

Rachel: Actually this happened pretty recently. I have a fantastic professor that I think of as my mentor. He suggested I find my niche in the art world and that I could do really well in something that I truly care about. In my first animation class we animated one of our favorite childhood story books. I enjoyed it so much I began constantly thinking about what else I could animate. I began to think of my childhood, and what kind of interesting stories could come from that. Then I realized that my most memorable stories were about diabetes. I knew then that I had to do something with diabetes and art.

Kim: Can you tell me about the process of making a video like "The Day I was Diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes" (which is the first video I found from you)? It looks like it could be really time-consuming.

Rachel: Well, with "The Day I was Diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes" I had an idea in mind of what I wanted the video to look like. So at first, I had to create some sort of sketches and a story board to work from. But after that, I just set off the camera and drew out the cartoons. I'd like to say it was all done in one take but in actuality it was about two or three takes to get it the way I wanted. After all the drawing, I imported all the video into an editing program and got to work on adding the video, recording voice overs, and adding music. All together it took me about two days of work. However in my newest video I tried my hand in some animation and that took quite a bit longer to get everything to move together. I had to draw everything out, scan it into a photo editing program, make adjustments and move it all into an animation program, and then finally I get to make everything move. It takes a long time, but I enjoy every minute of it!

Kim: What is your favorite project/creating of yours so far, and why? What sort of feedback do you get from others?

Rachel: Picking my favorite project is almost like picking my favorite child. But if I had to choose, it would definitely be my very first art/diabetes video project about my diagnosis. I wasn't sure if anyone was going to get it, really. I honestly just created it to get out of a writer's block for a speech I was writing for school. But I couldn't believe the amount of people who enjoyed it! I had been a quiet member of the DOC for a while but once I got the video out I was welcomed into the DOC so graciously. I was just amazed on how supportive everyone was with my video. I even got a few responses from people who were recently diagnosed telling me that my video helped them. I'm so glad I procrastinated on my speech to make that video.

Kim: I'm glad you did, too. What would you like to accomplish/try/create in the future pertaining to art of the diabetes persuasion? What can we look forward to seeing from you soon?

Oh, it's so hard to tell what I will make in the future. When I make projects the idea just comes to me out of the blue. I am going to continue to make some more animations and some more art. I have quite a few diabetes stories that I want to make into humaBLOG videos and I have quite a few other ideas that I need to sort out in my mind. But I will definitely be creating more projects - I can promise you that!

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Rachel! I'm a big fan of yours, and I can't wait to see the other stories you plan to share.  :)

If you want to find Rachel and her art, here's how!


YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/humablog
Tumblr: http://www.thehumablog.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rachellynnae
Portfolio site: http://www.baroquecollegestudent.com/


6 comments:

  1. This is SO AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing it, Kim. Hey Rachel: great to "meet" another PWD who's the child of a mom with Type 1! Looking forward to checking out more of your blog, and keeping in touch in the blogosphere and twitterverse!

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  2. Oh yay! I'm a big fan of Rachel and her work too! I'm glad you are getting all her connections known. Her videos are beautiful and endearing.

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  3. Wow! I love it! And so did Sweets! She came running over to watch! Very creative, very awesome!!!

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  4. Love the video!! Especially the diagnosis one...very well done and very touching!!

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  5. Kim, thanks for posting! Rachel-I love your video, and I hope to see all of them! : )

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  6. thanks for the interview! rachel is a very talented artist and storyteller!

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