A day in the life of Kegan Indiana

Kegan made the turn for his second circuit. 130 pounds, he recorded in his little shabby notepad. He moved with robotic precision, but organic fluidity, lift after lift, nailed to perfection. In the gym he had no worries, no homework, no people to care about – it was just him and cold metal of the barbels.  He wasn’t one of those body builders who goes to the gym to show off his pile of muscles. In fact, he looked like any other guy until he scaled a rock face, bulging his chest like a mountain.

The well-used gym shoes were sending the message that fitness fashion wasn’t the goal, but the result of exhausting training. He wasn’t looking for a recognition rather self-affirmation and satisfaction.

He was not sprayed on mutual courtesy. I think that day that I spent with him in the gym, was the only time when he broke his habit of silence. “You should consider exercising,” he told me, doing another squat. Ten circuits and he was stress free and ready for a day in the office.

There were two offices Kegan was a part of. First, the Reading Center, the facility that offered help for those who wanted to master college study and the second, the big call center in town, Melaleuca .

The Reading Center, as a part of the campus, carried chill and relaxed atmosphere. The average size room with big as shop front windows was a mix of all kinds of people. There were tutors, the senior or more experienced students and those who needed the help or simply, a study buddy.

Kegan was one of the tutors. He taught his students reading strategies, time management and test taking skills. There weren’t any unnecessary time gaps in his schedule and he required the same from those he taught.

Even though, there wasn’t any dress code the tutors had to follow, but fresh ironed shirt and a pair of work slacks were his usual attire. To keep it more casual, he never wore a tie. Was his look dictated by his other job or himself, is still a mystery to me. It wasn’t just his looks that were clean-cut, but his posture. Everything about him seemed so well put together, inspiring the confidence.  He was a senior, hardworking and single. That’s all anyone knew about him, until you talked to him more openly.

It was the space that they shared in their mother’s belly that made Kegan and his twin brother, Ryhs close and almost inseparable. Kegan was only few minutes older, but he’s little brother seemed always to know better. Ryhs was always the one to suggest the crazy ideas.

It was his idea, when they were three years-old, to take the hockey stick and chase their younger sisters around the house. Ryhs and Kegan were partners in crime. While the youngest seemed always to get out of every trouble, Kegan suffered all the consequences.

It’s the stubbornness that made him seemed so confident, but that wasn’t the trait his dad appreciated, suppressing his bad temper.

“I’ve learned my lesson. It’s stupid to get mad,” he told me explaining why he’s chill and laid back now.

The childhood lessons didn’t go in vain and Kegan carried his nonchalance into his adulthood. When he turned 17 and it was time to go to college, Kegan simply tagged along with his twin, starting art classes. It wasn’t his forte, but he worked hard, that just the way he was. “I worked my butt off, drawing and painting,” he shared his “love” for his major with me. It took him all his college years to realize that wasn’t what he wanted for his life career.

Part of him had always wanted to go for adventures and his middle name, Indiana, seemed foretelling his possible future. There was always a struggle between self-discipline and freedom, just like in the childhood – chasing sisters around the house or being punished. Exercising was that freedom for him, in fact that’s where the stubbornness came in handy.

Kegan is a senior in university. In a week, he will throw his graduation cap in celebration of all the hard work and efforts. What will he think of holding the diploma of bachelor of arts?  Will he pick up the brushes and pencils again?

“I’m just a person. I’m not perfect. I don’t have everything figure out,” he confesses.

All the confidence fades away denouncing a typical university graduate, with all the uncertainty and doubts about the future. But for now, he will start his day tomorrow with 130 pounds, well used shoes and a new self-record.




One homeless person saved




[Hook] 60.900. 60.900 homeless people are in shelters in New York. And I will join them tonight. Those were my thoughts as I landed in New York.



  1. Leaving New York dream. Jogging in Central Park, watching Broadway shows on the weekends, going to the beach to Coney Island and shopping in Macy’s.


  1. Felling lost and helpless.


  1. Discovering my uncle. No need for anything.


  1. Breaking down. Discovering that people are good.


  1. Calling to my friend Artiom.


  1. Man on the subway. Dealing with Russian Mafia.


  1. Friend’s place and feeling loved.




            People are good and we need each other to survive. Go out there and save the one.

Advertising campaign

Summer moves on and the long-awaited summer break is here. Spending almost 3 months inside studying and submitting projects for homework, now i want to take an advantage of every sunny day. Playing outside, swimming and relaxing with friends is definitely on my list this summer.

But, before I go wild, last project to work on. 🙂


I found my inspiration in NIKE ad campaign for Dubai Open.

NIKE’s mission states, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”

The legendary University of Oregon track and field coach, and Nike co-founder, Bill Bowerman said, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

Bowerman was a teacher who showed athletes the secrets to achievement.

Owning a pair on NIKE shoes does make me feel like an athlete.

For my last project I had to analyse the ad campaign and create new ad that will fit the campaign.

Campaign ad analyses

I think the design in simple, clear and as always sends the message of victory and success.

The colors in the ads are very simple and bold. The background along with the color has some texture to make it more interesting. If you look closer you can see some dots and minor scratches.


They used San serif typeface for their statements. It has a clean cut in letters to slanted stokes like in the typical book font.

The statement is also placed under an angle. I think it adds to the message. The angles give the sense of direction and they lead your eye and take it outside the ad box. It makes me think that there are no limits in setting records.

On the top right corner there is a NIKE logo. It’s so clear and universal, so there is no need to explain whose ad is this. Along with that there is information of the event.

They also use a lot of color contrast to make emphasis in words. You understand that’s The Dubai Open.

With the main message they used the same trick. It encourages you to GO FOR!

Talking about the athlete placement in the ad, his figure is also clear and not clattered. There is no tennis net, cheering fans or referees. His image also overlaps the words.

After picking on those details it was easy to get an idea how to create the new ad.

New ad

I found a great picture of a tennis player in Pixabay that I thought would fit perfectly for my ad.

Applying my Photoshop skills I cut her out of the background to get rid of extra.

I though that the color of the background would also be a great match. Green color goes along with orange and light blue of the NIKE ads.

But the color wasn’t everything I had to do for the background, I had to also add some texture to it.

The texture looked like old paper, with dots and scratches. I went to texture.com to look for that would look like papyrus or old book page.


I overlay the texture and the color background and created that texture I needed.


I realized that creating new ad requires analyses beforehand.

Small details like texture, color, typography is what pulls all together. Those are basic design principles. Along with it don’t forget about simplicity of the design and diffidently don’t be afraid of negative space. Keep your focus on the message.

And for now… up I go towards new summer records! There are no limits! Make your summer count!








PPhotoshop Ad


Pthotoshop…. Will than mean I would be able to edit all of my pictures now and hide the face break outs and cut out random people from the background?

Those were my first thoughts as my teacher announced that we will work with Prhotoshop 🙂

I think this program is pretty easy, but it will take time to get the essentials for sure. I think I start getting used to Adobe, but each of the programs has slight differences.

Photoshop Ad

So, this time I was working on creating an ad for a mop. My target audience is single females, 25-34 years old, who has Associates and Bachelor degree with income of $15,000 to 39,00, and who consume media through TV and blogs.

Single girls always want to be pretty, but we know that’s not how they wake up in the morning. Sometimes I think of a messy hair as a mop head 🙂 So that’s what gave me an idea for my ad.

For this project we were suppose to combine real with unreal, so we can practice the Photoshop skills. And, I feel like unusuall things catch the attention quicker as something cliche and generic.

Understanding the source of media consumption gave me the outline for ad sizes. For TV Static Ad the sizes will be 1920px by 1080px (150-300 resolution/dpi) and for Web/Blog Static Ad – 300px by 250px (72 resolution/dpi).

I went to pixabay.com to get free picture. I found one that was made by RyanMcGuire and I thought it was just perfect!

Find a mop head picture was the next step. That was the one I found.


I loved the color scheme of the first picture and I decided to stick with it.

White color is always associated with purity along with blue and grey giving the meaning of the
balance.  Those colors are often associate with the Scandinavian theme which has been
very popular lately.


So for my slogan “Your floors don’t have to be as messy as your morning hair” I chose Nueva STD Italics Typeface that is Serif type. I chose Italics because it has this angle and it gives the impression that the letters are also blown
by the air from the hair drier.

First draft

So I cut the mop out of picture and layered it over the picture with the girl with messy hair. I also had to rotate the mop so it could be on the same side.

I went with Libman company logo, because thier motto is “Embrace life’s messes.” So, it all worked together.

Everything seemed good, but the mop got lost on the the light background. So I decided to make the background darker to make my point. I made the logo smaller and added the company’s motto.

Does that look better? I think it does! So this size of the ad will be good for a TV ad.

This one will fit perfect into the blog.


I realize one thing! Think crazy! Even when you think that your idea might sound silly, go for it. Baceuse it might catch the attention of your audience righ away. None of us wants to see what they have already seen before.

Never ever forget the basic principles of design. Colors, typography, alligment. It all matters. Notice how I placed slogan on the same level with the hair dryer? Yes, it works. Let those small things do their magic!

Make your objects stand out, it’s ok to exaggerate sometimes. Always be open to a critique.




Icons in Illustrator – Feeling summer


Is it summer already? Time flies and I don’t mind it, especially when we talk about summer. While school is still going for me, I try to enjoy my time outside as much as I can.

As I was looking for an inspiration for my Illustrator project I thought about something that I always associate with summer, an ICE CREAM!

I created the icons that will attract attention of those who already enjoys their time off school, like school kids on the summer holidays along with college students who can take a break between classes.

I continue to learn about adobe programs and this time I used Illustrator to create my icons.

If you work with this program for the first time, like me, you will soon understand that life in Illustrator goes around shapes. You have to think of every object as a combination of shapes. Circles, triangles, rectangles, stars, ellipses, you name it.  Even though there is a pen tool that you can use to draw, but it might take longer than modifying and combining different shapes together (at least it was for me).

First thing I draw some sketches of my future ice cream. Great tip to be original in your work, try not to look for examples of icons made bu others, rather look at the actuall object you want to use as icons and then try to recreate the way you see it. But, remember that your design should be simple and recogniseable, so there wouldn’t be any questions about the weird shapes put together. Each of the icons should send an individual message.

Remember, think shapes! So I did! That’s how my icons looked before I added color.

But another trick is that they all should be realted to each other. You have to come up at least with 3 rules that your icons will follow. For example, my rules were that all the popsicles will have bite marks, they will have undertone glimpse and will correlate in color.


I chose what was called Romantic Pallete, with lots of pink, pastel green and purple. All of those colors give the attitude of relaxation and ballance. What else do you need for a break!

I found this palette on the Pinterest, and I thought it was perfect not only for the colors but for the codes they had. Can you see the last column has letters and numbers code. As you go to you color tool on Illustator you can simple put the code and it can give you the color you need, no need to spin color wheel looking for the right shade. Perfect!

I added blue circles for my back ground to add finishing look. That was my first time experimenting in Ilustrator and colors and shapes. There are still a lot tricks to learn, but I liked what turned out so far.

Here are each icon individually 60 px by 60 px and 400 px by 400 px


You can check the icons fo clearity of their message if you can recognise in these small picures what is it then you did a good job!


When working with Illustrator think of shapes! Every object is a combination of shapes. It’s like the world of Mine Craft 🙂

If you want to be original, use the actuall pictures of the objects rather than somebody else’s design.

Come up with rules, at least 3 of them, that would be equall for allof your images.

Alway think of color and what message it sends to those who look at your design. There are so many things online than can help you to figure out what color means what.

Keep it simple. You don’t want to confuse the viewers.

All of these tricks help to enxance your design and make it stand out.


Magazine Pages Spread

I started learning how to work in Adobe programs and the first one was Indesign . From the little time I spent using the program I can say that it’s pretty user-friendly. It still takes time to learn where and how things work but it’s not a something that only genius can work with.

Oh, and using Mac added a little struggle to it as well.

Regrets and Resolutions

Going to school, trying to catch up with homework and job sometimes feels overwhelming. I often think about the time I spend and how much of it I simply waste.

So the article I chose for my magazine was just about it, how to live the life without to its fullesst without any regrets. This was a talk given by one of leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.

I hope that article would help college students  like myself to enjoy life and feel peace that comes from understanding that there is hope in tomorrow.

Introducing principles of design

In one of my classes for Visual Media I discovered that not only images and font type helps to deliver the message but the colors as well. Every color sends a message, such as red is very bright and is associated with energy. A lot of times this color is used for sports activities. Green color represents balance and clarity.

For my project I chose blue color as the main one. This color is associated with peace, content, rescue and hope. Its pallet perfectly adds to the message.

I took some pictures of my friend and a building outside my apartment.

I like how in the first picture the windows make the my eyes go up, as a reminder that there is more to life.

The second picture of my friend Anna, represents all the college students that often think about their life and wonder what the future holds for them.

The third and the last picture, shows that we can always start doing things that mean the most.

As I was working on this project (some people might say it’s a project, but I spent some good time doing it) I incorporated the skills I’ve learned about typography earlier.

As you can see I used the principle of Alignment. I placed headline word Resolutions straight under the word Regrets. You can draw a line through those “R’s”.

Along with that I incorporated the principle of Proximity. I put the words of the headline all together because they are related.

Other principal I used in the principle of color. If you scroll up you will notice how the second picture with the girl has the white background. I took the shade of the blue color from the first picture of the building and added the color to the background, so all the pictures had common color. 

The last trick I used was Typography.

I took different typefaces for the headlines, quotes and the text. For my headline the quote on the last picture, I used Oldstyle font, you can identify it by looking at the diagonal lines of the lowercase letters noticing that they are slanted.

I used Sans Serif typeface for the text.

One of the tricks for typography that you can mix different faces from different categories of type. You also should not forget about the principle of Contrast. Use size, color, thickness, structure to take advantage of it.  


It’s amazing how little thing can make your design stand out. Implementing each principle mad my magazine spread sheet look professional and interesting to the reader.



That was my first time holding a semi proffesional camera. I used to take  lot of pictures and selfies on the phone, but this time is was different. First of all it wasn’t the smartphone that I used. Second, this time I knew some professional tricks and rules to make my photos stand out.

I was also intorduced to the works of one of the most amazing photographers, Steve McCurry.  So in this post I want to use some of his works and mine to evaluate the rules he uses that I followed as well.

Steve McCurry  is an American photographer who has worked in photojournalism and editorial. He is best known for his 1984 photograph “Afghan Girl”, which originally appeared in National Geographic magazine.



The Rule Of Thirds

The first rule for a great composition is the rule of trirds. You can see how the second photo has a table drawn. The lines devide the photo into sections. To make your composition balanced you should put the focused elements in the thirds of the whole place of the picture. It is even better if the vocal point can be placed in the intersections of those lines.

photo by Steve McCurry
Photo by Steve McCurry

In this photo form Steve McCurry’s travel to Afganistan he did a great job putting the man along the line as well as the bike. It’s perfectly aligned with the horizontal line on the bottom.

photo by Maryna Voievodina


I used the same rule in this picture I took in San Francisco. I put the couple on the motorcycle in the intersection of the lines. Eventhough red car is kind of steeling a little bit of spot light from them.

Leding Lines

The second technique is leading lines. This means that the diagonal lines on the photo lead to the main object of the image.

photo by Steve McCurry

In this photo of a man in Morocco McCurry used the lines of the wall to help the viewer follow them and bring focus to the man. It’s so simple, but it makes a great difference. We don’t need to wonder around the image trying to figure out what is the main object.

photo by Maryna Voievodina

I did the same with this picture I made in the library. The bookshelves lead perfectly to the chair. There are so many leading lines around! You just really have to look for it.

The Depth of the Field

photo by Steve McCurry

The last method to make your main object to stand out and be sharp is to add the depth. In this picture the boy is the main focus. His face is clear and you can see every detail, like every separate hair, blush on his cheeks, while the rest of the background looks blurry.

photo by Maryna Voievodina

In my picture I wanted to make the flowers the main point. I wanted it to draw attention to itself.  Notice how you can slightly see other plan on the background.


People tend to like organized photos more than those that have chaotic composition. The main rules of photography such as the Rule Of Thirds, Deapth of Field and Leading lines help make images balanced, well composed and attractive. You might say that the rules are there to break them, but I learned that rules in photography are there for you to become a great photographer. Try youreself and see the difference!


Book Cover Typography


This book cover was designed by Milan Bozic, a senior art director at HarperCollins.

The typography of this cover is very clear and easy to read. The image adds to the message and gives a little hint what the novel might be about.


Typeface #1

The first typeface he uses is called Oldstyle. The way you can recognize it, by looking at the diagonal lines of lowercase letters. They are at an angle or slanted, and have a curve as they meet the stem of the letter.

Typeface #2

The second category of typeface used in this cover is Script. The phrase “a novel” looks like handwritten. It may seemed that it was written or even painted. This distinguishing feature helps to identify it pretty quickly. It can be also subdivided as script that doesn’t connect. You can see that there is a space between each letter.


The first thing that you can notice is the contrast in size and color of the letters. This contrast is pretty obvious that shows that it a well applied design principle. The words “big brother” are bigger and they draw the focus as the reader looks at the cover. Using only black and white colors designer takes advantage of such simple contrast.

Other principle that is being used is Structure. Using two different typefaces also adds an interest to the picture.


Because of good use of the principles of typography this book cover is very easy to understand and read. The principle of contrast attracts reader’s attention. It’s very simple and balanced, there is no other things that distract.


For self-portraits. Not for selfies



This ad was created by SUMSUNG. I love art and that’s why I choose it. The image using pun underlines the unique characters of the product.

The selfie craze and the Samsung ad campaign are a vivid reminder that we live in an age in which something cannot possibly have happened unless we have a photo to prove it—and further that we then have to flaunt the selfie-captured activity via social media.

Particularly disturbing in this case is the collision of selfie and art for this ad campaign. Van Gogh was a prolific self-portraitist and created the images of himself as an opportunity to perfect his art and to save the expense of a model. He most certainly never intended his likeness to be manipulated and exploited to sell a product.




Even though they use central aligment, the line with small font aligns with the thin  line. It adds peffect finish to the whole text.



The proximity of this ad doesn’t draw away from the main message that the image caries, but puts the main focus on the company name. the text on the bottom is well synhronized.



This ad uses a lot of repetition of colors. It helps to keep focus on the image better.



The ad uses contrast of sizes using small head on the picture and the bigger of the person who’s taking the picture.



I love how colorful this image is. The designer used a lot of hues and shades of blue and orange.


Designer used all of the  basic principles (Contrast, Repetition, Aligment, Proximity, Color). It made the ad the main message of the ad clear and understanble. contrast between the history and reality keeps the audience interested.

Just Breathe

Bags packed, snacks prepared, alarm set, last memories captured, and clutter thrown away. The apartment was sparkling clean, dark, and silent. I was scrambling my thoughts together in anxious anticipation. It wasn’t my first move; in fact this was my fifth in the last four years. Is the taxi ordered? Are the documents in order? Is he departure time and date correct? On the morrow I would embark on a new adventure, a new chapter in my life. But why was I so worried?

The morning came quickly with the feeling of emergency and panic, a last night residue of searching the web on airport departure procedure. As I woke up, I realized the ordered taxi would come too late. Rushing to my mom’s bedroom, I tried to find as many taxi service numbers as I could. Ukraine has a tendency of not having any cabs available that early in the morning. It was four o’clock in the morning. A warm, peaceful September morning still dwelled on its summer past. It was hot, stuffy, and muggy. The air was filled with the moisture of the sea, and I could feel the salty drops on my body. There were only a few lit up windows in the apartment complex across the street, people trying to catch the last hours of sleep before rushing into a daily routine of work, school, traffic, and ideas of lunch. Only a solitary, diligent town worker was outside, sweeping the first evidences of fall, the leaves, and he seemed to enjoy his calm routine. It was like the constant tide. I could hear his “swish swooshes” minting the music of the morning. I desired to stay home, to choose the easy way, to sleep in and spend another day chatting, eating, and swimming with my mom. But, I never looked for easy ways in life, and why should I make an exception this time?

 The alarm rang again, piercing the solemn silence of the room, bringing me back to my preoccupations. I rushed to the bedroom to wake my mom, but she was sleeping so peacefully that I didn’t have the heart to do it. Finally, after a couple of minutes, the pressure of the situation caused me to yell, “Mom, wake up! We’ll be late! Wake up!”

Her shocked, but intent expression surprised me. She jumped out, carelessly throwing her comforter on the still warm and so welcoming bed. She was ready to put her multitasking skills to work in the same second, rushing to the kitchen to warm up some water for morning tea. I left her in this subtle solicitude just so I can have more time to order a taxi.

After calling every taxi service in town and being rejected each time, hope slowly faded, quickly replaced by tears rolling down my cheeks. At this time of great distress, the curiosity sparked, What would happen if I missed this flight and stayed at home? I could think of different options and solutions, and that’s what I would usually do in a similar case. But the moment the thought appeared, determined logic spoke familiar words. Don’t give up! Push through! Looking at the phone as at the enemy, I started to dial.

“Hello, ‘Taxi Road’ how can I help you?” the voice on the other end sounded so calm and tranquil.

“Can I order a cab for Ilfa and Petrova Street, please?” trying to calm and hide my frustration and fussiness, but the high pitch of the voice didn’t seem to want to listen.

“Yes, we have one available cab at this time, but it can only come in 10 minutes. Will that work for you, ma’am?”

What should I say? Should I take the offer? It seemed like the only available saving grace this morning. Or, should I refuse and take a risk to find another one? But, I was tired and done with the hard ways for this morning, and I released the words, “Yes, please!”

The scurry made the time pass quickly, but the nervousness made if feel painful. The phone lit up and proclaimed, “Your taxi is waiting for you.”

We quickly put all my luggage into the car and took off. I said to the taxi driver as we got inside, “We’re running late, please get us to the airport fast!” Now, my whole life depended on the middle age taxi driver, his driving skills, and the green color of the traffic lights.

We were cruising through familiar and well known streets of the city that quickly became my home for the last year. They were so still and restful this early morning hour, not knowing I was leaving. I wanted to capture it all and save it in my memory: Market sellers putting their fresh produce on the stand, bus stops and people walking their dogs early in the morning. I knew it wouldn’t be the same the next time I was there. The mall seemed to still remember the sound of my and my girlfriends’ heels and laughter from my last night’s farewell party.

Just in time, the national anthem started to play on the radio. What a coincidence! I thought to myself. Its words rejuvenated my weak spirit and rekindled the desire to go for my dream, even if meant moving to another country.

We got to the airport, just in time, when they opened the registration. We made it! But, the opportune arrival didn’t calm my nerves down. My whole chest was hurting, and the blood pressure rapping the heart bit in my head.

Mom seemed so preoccupied with the taxi, getting to the place on time and packing the breakfast that I could hardly tell she was nervous. But I knew my mom, and I knew her world was tumbling that day. All of her kids had left the nest, and she didn’t expect some of them to go as far as they did. She was apprehensive, trying to get all of my American friends’ phone numbers and make sure she got my new address down.

The queue moved quickly, and it was my turn to check in to the flight. I was struggling to hold back my stubborn tears. Then I looked up at my mother, and her glistening eyes mirrored mine.

We awkwardly hugged goodbye as the people in the line gave us bothersome looks. “I love you, Mom!” I tried to tell her I loved her in a comforting and “it will be okay, Mom”, mood.

The first time I really breathed that morning was on the plane. Just breath! I made it! I’m on the plane!  As I took my seat, I heard the familiar words of a flight attendant, “Dear ladies and gentlemen! On behalf of Captain Green and entire crew, welcome aboard Ukrainian International Flight Kyiv-New York.”

Now I was ready, ready to embark on a new adventure, a new chapter in my life.