My Culture: Hero Image, is a  project centered on the culture and communities we come from that influence our design work and how it define us as artists. The purpose of this project is to find a single word that encompasses our community. I chose the word "sound" to honor my city's country background. 
The first task we were given was to create a complex structure to help us  understand the relationship between figure/ground. In order for us to accomplish this we had to understand visual form with hierarchy and meaning, in order to create negative/positive shapes as well as providing contrast to the structure. Ultimately I went with the last image because of the valley-like appearance  and rounded shape it took on. 
Photographic Exploration
The purpose of this was to understand how image, cropping, framing, context, juxtaposition, and resolution relate to meaning. How isolating, deleting, or including framing aspects of an image can alter its meaning. This exercise is to look at how we see images based on a variety of factors point of view, signs, symbols, metaphors, visual elements, juxtaposition and cropping. The photos I chose represent the sound of the southern valley (i.e. what the songs were about) and what remains of the country sound in my city.  I looked for images that reminded me of home, and what makes the sound still echo, all the way from Bakersfield to Seattle.  
Pattern + Color Palette Exploration

Next we  had to create a color palette that is derived from one of the images above.  We also had to make patterns using letterforms derived from our hero word or create repeated shapes that respond to our culture.
Final Image
Welcome to the Central Southern Valley of California, where the rolling yellow fields echo the sounds of the rich Country Bakersfield Sound. The historic agriculture community fiercely protects its unique blend of vibrant cultures, personalities, and state-wide growth. For neighboring residents of California, driving through Bakersfield may seem bland, yellow, and boring. But what you would never know, especially as you drove through, is the existence of a vibrant community. Bakersfield is famous for being the home of country music singers Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, and has the nickname "the country music capital of the West Coast." This is a result of the large number of Dust Bowl refugees that settled in the area. As a result, the sounds and colors of where I claim my culture always seem to always blend together. 

Below you can see the process I took to get to the final first image. The transition from understanding type. color, pattern, contrast, hierarchy, and space is clear as I try to share my visual message of what the Bakersfield sound means to my community and myself. 
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