DIG 3174C

My Creative Journey to UCF

By Miko Jimenez

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Digital Media & Phtography

Learning The Ropes

As a freshman going into high school, I was required to take at least 2 semesters worth of art classes. I selected Digital Media I & II.

In those classes I was taught how to use Photoshop to manipulate images and create basic graphics. I started to take an interest in graphic design and photography.

In the end I decide to continue by taking the photography course in my sophomore year.

Looking back at the images I had taken then, they were pretty terrible. But, I did manage to win 2nd my entry in our school's fall art show.


Video Marketing

Applying Knowldge

Before entering sophomore year, I was invited to join our school's Leadership Team. This gave me some valuable leadership positions, but it ultimately allowed me to put into practice what I had learned.

In that summer leading up to the start of the school year, the existing media production club had disbanded and the club sponsor left the school.

The leadership advisor asked for a group of people to put together the freshman orientation video but no one stepped up. In the end I got roped in for knowing "technology". The group of students and I were walking into unknown territory but in the end we managed to pull through.

In succeeding with that small project, I was ultimately given the opportunity to manage and direct the all of the organization's video needs. This included all the major affairs including homecoming, prom, and the talent show.

My time working with the leadership team helped me to grow, not only in my knowledge of the Creative Cloud Suite, but also as a someone who could lead others in group activities.


Joining Yearbook

Stepping Out of the Box

At the end of my sophomore year, after already taking photography class and working my first year with the leadership team, I decided to join the yearbook staff. It would prove to be the biggest and most challenging undertaking I would have ever encountered.

As a 1st year reporter, I was given the opportunity to sharpen my photography skills with athletic photos and candid shots. I also learned a myriad of skills from investigative journalism, networking with different people, meeting real-world working deadlines, and selling a product.

Our staff is very small compared to other high schools. Because I had taken the 3 digital art classes, all taught by the same teacher who advises the yearbook staff, I was promoted to double as the sole design artist for the book. I learned to create page layouts and optimize my graphic design workflow for mass projects.


Ones and Zeros

Learning to Think Logically

While pursuing my creative interests through yearbook, I kept an eye on my future career paths by taking up computer science classes in my junior and senior years.

I learned to code in Java and a little bit of C#. We create games in Unity and learned 3D modeling in Blender. Out of class I played with fake programs and made mock websites.

Ultimately I wanted to take up being a photographer as my main career. But acting pragmatically, I wanted to have a path to fall back on. At the very least I could be a photographer as a side hobby.


Miko Jimenez Photography

Getting Down to Business

From the opportunities and knowledge afforded to me by being on the yearbook staff, I decided to take on becoming a freelance photographer seriously.

It was at this point where I started to draw up how I would market myself and create my branding.

Armed with the understanding of how to design page layouts, I applied my skills to designing my first website. I specifically chose not to use a website builder because I wanted to have full control over the design and function of my website.

In making my first full website, I had learned how to operate web hosting services, manage IPs and issue SSL certificates. I picked up how to program in JavaScript, PHP, and SQL. Additionally, I learned how to handle clients need and meet their expectations.


Yearbook Editor

A Fresh Perspective

Entering my final year of high school meant that I would receive senior roles on the yearbook staff. In fact I was given three editorial roles, student life copy editor, co-athletics copy editor, and most importantly design editor. I was given the most roles out of all the staff, including the editor-in-chief.

As design editor, I was given full reign, with the input from the other editors, over the design and execution of that year's theme from cover to cover.

While being design editor allowed me to put everything I had learn up until then into full display, I gained some new insights about the world as a senior about to graduate high school.

I started to care more about the little things in life and view photography as a tool for introspection.


Choosing UCF

A New Chapter

By the time it was time for colleges, I only ever had UCF on my mind.

Well I hadn't really put any other thought to other colleges because I had always grown up here in Orlando with UCF right in my backyard, just a few minutes from home.

If I had to say give a proper answer of why I chose this place, I would say it was because of the great computer science program I kept hearing about and the many opportunities that UCF had to offer.

I was accepted in Fall 2018 and started working towards a degree in computer science and minor in digital media.


Changing Majors

A Fork in the Road

Well past the drop/swap deadline in spring of 2019, I decided to switch majors from computer science to digital media.

I was getting frustrated with the higher and abstract concepts of math. I felt that this was not the career path I wanted to go with for the rest of my life.

I chose to take on digital media - web design track because I saw an opportunity to utilize both my talents as a digital artist and as a savvy front end developer.

After two more semester, I was sure that I had made the right call to switch. The intricate dance between art and technology felt familiar and exciting while advancing in more complex subjects.


The End, For Now

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