I found my avatar on Flickr. It was a sunny day, and I sat outside near the on-campus Starbucks with crossed legs, headphones over my ears, and eyes squinting up to the sky. My mind wandered idly, daydreaming perhaps, through the crevices of my memories to one hot September morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when I went to my first hot air balloon festival. I was only five years old, and I was obsessed. The different colors and shapes and sizes of balloons after balloons drifted from the ground into the sky, and it was the first time (that I actually remember) feeling a sense of wonder.
I chose this avatar for not only because I love hot air balloons (which I definitely do), but because of their symbolic value: they are bold; they wander and travel; they adapt to situations and environments. As cliché as that may sound, there is still truth to that my five-year-old self fell in love with. A part of me wants to find that innocence and naïveté to explore the creativity in my work today that shaped me so much when I was younger.
I came across Simon Wind‘s picture of a single hot air balloon on Flickr, and I liked the range of colors incorporated into it. I added my name and a burst of geometric shapes as layers to it using Pixlr, then saving the image to my computer. I did not really encounter any problems in this process.