Living with the depression

Stopping by a Counseling Center at university campus I attend in the beginning of the semester, put me in a slight shock. It was just the beginning of the semester, but the facility was already packed.  As I stepped inside, I saw many turned their faces down to the magazines or phones. It seemed, everyone were either afraid or simply ashamed to manifest their struggling situation. After that day I saw those people around campus; they weren’t strangers anymore. I often wondered what they were going through and how I could help them.

It wasn’t long after, that this issue became more personal. My close friend shared about her struggles with depression and couple suicide attempts. Even though she wasn’t thinking about ending her life anymore, it was still hard to face daily life.

In this project I attempted to show her thoughts and feelings. Even though depression might have different faces for everyone, still a lot of people describe it as life without meaning and color. It also seems that depression is often accompanied by loneliness.

P.S. Since the topic is personal I asked my other friend to model for this project, to represent the friend I mentioned earlier in the description.


Salt Lake City – Street Photography



Not a Typical Honeymoon

Vanessa Murillo, a sophomore studying accounting and Edison Murillo,a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, met on the first day of classes Winter Semester of 2017.

Since then, they were inseparable. After dating for two semesters, they set their wedding date for Aug.26.

The wedding destination was easy to choose as Vanessa confessed. Vanessa is native to Houston and Edison came from Spain to pursue his career in the U.S. The couple decided to get married in Houston.

Right after the semester ended, the couple flew straight from Rexburg, 10 days before the wedding.

Courtesy Photo

Like every ordinary couple, the future Murillos were preoccupied with the wedding plans: dinner, decorations and sealing in the temple.

“Within two days of arriving to Houston, people started telling us that there was a tropical storm coming to town,” Edison said. “They were asking us If we had a backup plan for the wedding or if we were still planning to go on our honeymoon.”

Vanessa said she didn’t think much of it, since previous hurricanes used to change directions and never got to Houston.

“Our plan before the wedding was just to ignore it,” Vanessa said.

Courtesy Photo

Even though they were determined to have their celebrations on the 26th, the weather thought otherwise. Hurricane Harvey was gaining momentum and was not going to change its direction. Four days before the wedding, the storm was already hitting Texas and moving toward the city.

To ensure the safety of people, the Houston Temple closed over the weekend, so Vanessa and Edison decided to move their sealing up two days to Aug24. The wedding ceremony and reception took place within the family circle and close friends, seeing as many of the original guests were unable to attend.

Harvey hit the night of the Murillos’ reception with heavy rain and wind, flooding all the surrounding areas next to the chapel where they held their celebrations.

“It looked like the heavens were pouring buckets of water,” Vanessa said.

Courtesy Photo

Edison and Vanessa said they cancelled their honeymoon vacation in South San Padre Island, and spent the day after their wedding serving others in the community. The neighboring retirement home flooded, leaving elderly people in water up to their necks. The Murillos, along with many others,helped to transport people to charter buses, so they could later be evacuated to the north part of Houston.

“This is not how you would imagine your honeymoon,” Edison said.

Edison and Vanessa weren’t upset by the situation, but embarrassed it as an opportunity to help their community.

“But, it was a humbling experience,” Vanessa said. “It made us see the perspective on life and what it is all about, helping those who are around. It added a new meaning to the covenants we made in the temple the day before.”

Courtesy Photo

The engraved dates on the wedding rings of Edison and Vanessa still have the original day they planned to get married, Aug. 26, the day when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. It serves as a reminder for the Murillos that plans tend to change and life is about serving others.


Published  Oct 14, 2017 , BYU-Idaho Scroll



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.


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 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!









Photoshop 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 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.