Creativity Post

A little bit of everything 

Over the past few months, I have done a culmination of far too many things creatively to rant on about on my CAS blog without boring my readers, however I will give you a few small snapshots into the greater things I accomplished this semester. Admittedly, initially, I always thought of CAS as something which highlights a monumental non-academic achievements which you have participated in, but over the past few terms I have gradually learned that that is indeed not the case. CAS is about how you incorporate these 3 elements into daily life and how you benefit from it and how others benefit from you taking part in them, so this time around, instead of focusing on one major event aside from those already described in my CAS blog, I chose to take a step back and admire the bigger picture, by looking at the ways in which I employ creativity in my day to day life. Creativity has become of the essence to me as of late because I have just gone through another tumultuous turn of events where we went from online school, to in person school, to online school and lockdown… yet again. It’s almost like we come full circle each year!

Needless to say I have been taking part in activities that both consciously and subconsciously employ my creative side ranging from creating posters and posts for various social media sites for my service groups, to mindfully taking part in meditation sessions to coloring and photography and last but not least… music. This term I have come to have a more focused approach on myself in terms of self care and learning to derail a bit from the often draining academic train that is the IB outside of the classroom.

I have done everything from helping my mom rearrange the living room, to creating and organizing aesthetic Pinterest boards of things I hope to accomplish, to serenading my dogs with Jason Mraz accompanied by my guitar (this is a secret), to dedicating time into making playlists with over 200 songs each to match each mood I’m feeling to name a few. I have also actively spent more time on perfecting photography and editing as well as just spent a laidback day doing therapeutic coloring with my friend and just sat down to do guided meditation for 15 minutes each day. None of these activities may seem extremely glorious, but as someone who is constantly on the move and a bit of a workaholic at times, I am proud of the fact that I have gotten myself into the consistent rhythm of taking at least an hour away each day to unwind, which earlier, I found shockingly difficult to bring myself to    do.

This time around the activities I have done in terms of creativity are intended not to please others but to to satisfy myself, a much needed serotonin boost of sorts as I feel like I strive too often to make others happy to the extent where I don’t tend to my own needs and just end up stressed and frustrated instead. Usually my outlet for releasing stress is being on a pitch kicking a soccer ball around, but with lockdown weighing heavily on Sri Lanka again, I have had to find more creative ways of stress relieving, keeping my mental wellbeing at the forefront of my mind.

Accomplishment wise, mine may not be a great deal astonishing, but I do have to acknowledge the fact that this is somewhat of a major personal milestone and that by putting myself first at times, I have become more attentive to my interactions with others! For example, my Spotify is now a carefully curated list of playlists ranging from classical, to rap, French music to improve my listening and speaking skills to numerous others that capture my emotions. It has also given me the ability to get to know a few of my classmates better due to similarities in music taste and it have given me a great amount of joy to be able to share something that I consider personal to myself with others. I have also dedicated a fair share of time to spend with my friends, for example the other week my friend Shreya and I decided to do online coloring for about 30 minutes which was a great way for us to catch up given that we hadn’t seen each other in person for a while and in the way that we were able to work as a team to carefully complete each piece!

< A piece I created with Shreya during Lockdown

Moreover, something else that I have taken up as a new endeavor is meditation. Initially I must admit I was a bit skeptical but one night I was so overwhelmed by my work that I thought the only way to calm myself down might be to try meditation so I spent about 30 minutes of my night the first time listening to Deepak Chopra’s ‘Fear’ to calm myself down, and what did I know, it worked! From then on I spend 15 minutes each night listening to a podcast of sorts and attempt to focus on nothing else but my breathing and the words of the narrator in that time and it has been proven massively relieving each time.

That aside something else that I have been spending significant time on is photography, personally, I tend to take a camera or in the least my phone with me wherever I go, so in that way I can capture an image at a moment’s notice. I was truly able to exercise my aptitude for photography when I was in Hanthana,  the views were spectacular and I had just discovered some presets on Polarr which I immediately had to use. In a way, I was aiming for a more abstract image of things simple due to the composition of the landscapes and I wanted to make something different. Needless to say, I am really happy with the way in which they came out and can’t wait for another opportunity take more photos like that again! Similarly, I have also been paying attention to my video edits.  I must admit though that with the end of my DP1 experience nearing, I have been finding less and less time and motivation to edit, which does make sense because at this stage I do need to be prioritizing my school work.

In my off time however, I have spent a small amount of time working with new apps like Cap Cut to try out new filters and transitions. For example, my most recent exploration is creating videos with photographs that turn 3D when a certain effect is applied, I am constantly blown away by the developments in technology and I was fascinated with the outcomes. Although my editing account has reached somewhat of a hiatus for the time being, I have every intention of starting it back up full force when summer vacation starts so I’m really looking forward to that!

Last but certainly not least is my newest update on my adventures in the kitchen. When comparing  my cooking  from when I started this  blog to the work that I am capable of doing now, even the blind can see the extent to I have improved by in only a matter of months. My cooking has grown from me only being able to make instant ramen and a fried egg to being capable of  making a full meal! Sure, I do occasionally have my missteps (often because I have an irrational tendency to improvise), but also because trial is the only way towards perfecting newer recipes. My parents have so much faith in my cooking now that I was even given permission to bake a batch of cupcakes completely unsupervised if would you believe it!  (They came out tasting amazing for the record, although I grossly misjudged the ingredients and ended up with a 22 instead of the mere 6 I needed 💀) Regardless, my cooking skills have witnessed a major growth curve of the past year and I think I might just be on the right track to being able to feed myself during university!

Here is of my favorite dishes I made this month, spaghetti and shrimp with white sauce  :))

^ a link to my 3D video edit

Overlay Effect Practice

Continued Experimentation on VideoPad and Filmora 9 Pro

Hey, here’s an update on what I’ve been up to in my process of learning how to edit using Filmora 9 Pro and VideoPad for my video edit account.

General Update

The last few months have been a bit hectic in the editing scene, especially in terms of how much free time and inspiration I had which honestly wasn’t too much. On top of that Instagram introduced a new algorithm which limit’s an editor’s reach, for example, likes no longer matter and for more people to see your posts, more people have to save and share them. This can obviously be a bit disheartening considering that we put hours of our time into making videos that get under 500 views, which explains why my archives have more content than my actual feed, since how much your edit succeeds is pretty random. On the brighter side however, there have also been certain positive outcomes! For example, I just hit 1,266 followers and I had a video of mine pass 4k views! And as the icing on the cake… I got recognized by 3 players, two of who I look up to immensely and my favorite club, Manchester United WFC!!!

The players were Manchester United and the Spanish National team’s Ona Batlle, the USWNT and Arsenal veteran Heather O’Reilly and Sky Blue FC’s  Paige Monaghan. In all honesty, I didn’t know much about Monaghan  since  I didn’t keep up with the NWSL anymore, but I do hugely look up to Ona and Heather. While Ona is  one of the most skilled defenders in the league with amazing achievements in both in the FA and international games, Heather O’Reilly is one of my all time favorite veteran USWNT players who also played with Arsenal till her retirement in 2016. Which… come to think of it means she also shared the pitch with some of women’s soccer’s most iconic names like Abby Wambach and Shannon Boxx. Either way, she has somewhat of a legendary status in women’s football so I certainly found myself a bit stars truck that she knew my name.


Editing Practice

And now for the actual editing…

While I usually prefer to use only one software since it conserves a lot of time, I also know that using both to create an edit creates a much more sophisticated looking end product. I may have a decent following on my edit as of right now, but I am physically a long way away from the kind of editor I aspire to be. This takes days and days of practice especially when it comes to learning new transitions, overlays, effects and colorings etc. in order to produce smooth and creative posts. While in my previous blogs I looked at coloring and the velocity features, these past few months I have been trying to improve my use of the overlay effects.

Usually, any editing software has certain premade features which can be added on top of your regular timeline to create additional effect such as glow or grain, or even in Filmora’s case, certain color gradients.

So what would happen is that I would crop and add transitions to my regular video, but then drag in a gradient overlay say, for example the red one. I would then go to the tab called composting, choose a blending mode, such as lighten and then adjust the opacity in a way that you could still see the video beneath it, only now it would be tinted red. This way I could add multiple tints to my videos so that the coloring could change on beat, which gives a cool effect.

As a an experimentation edit (which I later ended up posting), I made video of the 2019 world cup. I had previously made the sequence on VideoPad and added the old film and glow effect to give it a signature black and white film look and used velocity to slow down and speed down certain parts that focus on skill moves. After exporting my clips, I then opened Filmora, changed the aspect ratio and began adding my overlays. At first I added the chromatic abrasion feature which separates the color spectrum and does so on beat,  that can only be used in small amounts. As for the color gradients, I then proceeded to add blue red and white blank overlays, I chose darken as the blending mode and reduced the opacity.

Here are some screenshot of the final outcomes – (white didn’t make that much of a difference since that was the edit’s original color anyways):

Final edit snapshots:

Link to edit (you might want to watch this in HD and in the picture in picture setting) :




In my last blog post, I introduced everyone to the IVY GIRLS Lead project which I became a member of in late December 2020. However, although in my earlier post, my focus was on the guest speaker element of the project,  another major part of the program that  I want to talk about is the service task which we were asked to complete after our first 2 weeks as a trial to see how well we were able to apply what we were taught to real life.

We were each asked to pick out a topic on which we wanted to work on and then assigned groups with random members based off of our interests. We were then asked to brainstorm a project outline, create an effective plan and then present it to a panel of judges on our final day of week 2. Once approved we were expected to complete our tasks over the span of 3 months (or more) to hopefully end up accomplishing the intended end goal.

I had a difficult time choosing between two topics, gender inequality and ocean pollution. The deciding factor in the end ended up being the fact that I had to choose something that was doable during the COVID situation, and while I was passionate about sport I had doubts that others would think the same way. This is why I decided to continue my efforts which I started out in the 10th Grade with my MYP 5 Personal Project, only this time, with added elements and it being more of a group effort. This would also ultimately help me in fulfilling my CAS goals.

Our progress check in was actually due yesterday, here is an excerpt from what I submitted on behalf of my group members…

Towards the start of  the of Ivy Girls Lead action project, the Reef Revival group consisting of Thimanya and Ayesha and I took on a very venturesome initiative to raise awareness on to raise awareness regarding the issue of ocean pollution amongst social media users; while, taking a personal course of order to do our part in combating the issue in question within Sri Lanka’s oceans. 

Over the course of the past few months we have done our level best to stay true to our goal despite many major challenges we were met with.

Here are few of the biggest obstacles we have faced:

  • Although I reached out to 5 dive centers in order to initiate underwater cleanups and only one responded, we were able to carry out two dives but they shut down too due to the lack of business and risk of COVID (i.e.. having to re-use equipment). 
  • We could not have as much physical engagement as we liked considering the pandemic situation so we were forced to do this within our families and close friend circles in a much less official way. 
  • Thimanya could not get a lot of beach cleanup participants considering the COVID-19 situation as well.
  • School work and distance interfered more with our project than we anticipated, while Thimanya and I kept continuous correspondence via WhatsApp and G-Mail our third group member who was supposed to take on the role of the researcher did not interact with us at all despite how many times we emailed her or used slack, which meant that Thimanya and I had to carry out her share of the tasks ourselves.

Overall, the obstacles that we were faced with, to a degree reduced our productivity and narrowed down the limits of how much we could achieve with our goal during this period of time, however, I am very proud of how we decided to stay true to our initial plan and took up our goals to the best of our ability. 

Here are a few of our greatest accomplishments:

  • We officially launched our social media campaign, Reef Revival which gained the desired amount of traction and so much more than we anticipated we hit 50 followers in 3 days!
  • Our first post, which was a trailer / awareness edit that I made as an introduction to our initiative, reached many activists around the world who congratulated us on our efforts, our friends and family were also very supportive and reposted and shared our content etc. We were pleasantly overwhelmed by the support.
  • Thimanya who was in charge of the beach cleanups carried two out successfully at Pinawatta  within her family and with the help of the municipal council in her district. 
  • I was able to carry out two successful dive cleanups at Swami Rock, collecting over 30kg’s worth of debris, most of our haul consisting of plastic bags and bottles with additional surprising collections of a massive cement block, fish cage wiring, a few corroded poles, lots of rope and ceramics. 
  • We came into contact with a major ocean pollution advocate and social media influencer named Arlian Ecker on Instagram. He’s only 16 and is already an ambassador for Project AWARE with over 2k followers! The Ocean Purpose Project panelist has been a great mentor and has actively encouraged us to follow through with our project. We even discussed the prospects of doing a Q and A or collaborative project with him in the near future! (which we are very excited for! )
  • Our project was kickstarted with the help of many other popular awareness blogs such as SEAFOAM , Bali Dive Time and Aqua5 who loved our content and helped spread the word about our initiative.
  • Our first post had a 36 person share rate which is pretty major for an Instagram post!
  • I was also able to carry out my own beach cleanup with the help of my family and friends at a beach in Hiriketiya which was very polluted to the begin with; the content we recovered ranged from bottles of poison to fishing lines and an overwhelmingly large collection of washed up shoes. 
  • We were able to engage with our followers via the IG story feature, regularly quizzing and educating them on our action; we decided that stories would be more efficient than releasing posts because they get a bigger reach due to notifications that followers get, but we also release a few posts designed by Thimanya.
  • I was also able to log my Data successfully onto Project AWARE’s diver profile which is available to the general diving community and scientists who analyze the data that divers collect. 

What the future holds for Reef Revival:

Hopefully we are able to continue our efforts in the following months especially with the COVID situation easing around the island, we are hoping that for the sake of the project and the local community that Dive Centers are allowed to go back into business so that we can have greater engagement with the community, have more cleanups and make it a more engaging experience. As for the near future, we are currently looking forward to doing the Q and A with Arlian Ecker (plastic free boy)  and hopefully get many more activists involved in the project, maybe even at local capacity. We also plan on  carrying out the installation of the bins in the beaches close by with the money that Thimanya has raised for that purpose and more generally, expanding our following and engagement.

Creativity – Designing Posts + Stories

Activity – Diving 

Service – Raising Awareness + The Removal of Rubbish


Detailed Action Plan:

Progress Check- In ( click link for more images & details ):

^ hiriketiya beach pre-cleanup


Ending 2020 With an Editing Collab!

Video Collaboration of the Year

This might be a little bit delayed but there has been so much going on for the past month or two that I have been waiting impatiently to get the right time to write about it all…

One of the most exciting endeavors I took up over the last few weeks though, most definitely, has to be a 8 part collaboration that I took part in sometime in October. It was finally published in December after a long anticipated wait  (I know that may seem like an awfully long time… but!! the host painstakingly took time out of her day to stitch 8 separate edits together very smoothly and I am in awe in hindsight of how well she pieced it together…)

The collab was initially proposed as a Halloween edit which is still evident in the audio we ended up using ‘Hit the Quan’ ; however, after piecing together edits from different places, time zones, apps and styles it only finally met its completion a few weeks ago mid December.

Making the edit was undoubtedly the most fun part (aside from the reveal); but long before the actual making of the project, came the process of making it into the collab as one of the selected editors. This year’s collab was hosted by one of my editor friends called Maia dubbed nutmegtoby who released the collab with the guidelines. You would pick the player you want to edit and share the selection process around and eventually she would pick the editors to be in her collab (this time it was chosen from a pool of around 34 players for only 8 parts!). (LO 2) 

In my case, I chose Becky Saurbrunn as my player since she’s someone who is wildly underappreciated for her playing and tenacity as a teammate. Not only that but it would have theoretically increased my chances of getting chosen for the collab since she wasn’t one of the players that everyone flocked to try and edit but she was someone who has a quiet but appreciated presence amongst the fans.

I felt absolutely honored to be chosen as one of the editors amidst the many other talented ones who tried out… Needless to say, immediately got to work on my half of the edit. To be honest, I was really proud of my part because the transitions came out pretty smoothly (which for the record rarely happens with the software I use). This goes without saying that I also had a fair share of regret because I used an effect called glow which looks really cool on the editing software but it ruins the quality when rendered and was further ruined by sharing my part via google drive.

Naturally this has always been one of my biggest struggles as an editor in general because, I often feel really happy with the way my edits look on the software itself but after being transferred through 3-4 apps the quality is often ruined which kind of messes up the aesthetic of it. I have learned a lot since, however, and now avoid using the glow effect in my edits, or I just change the intensity of it which is improving the quality of my edits by generous amounts- which I am ecstatic about. (LO1 & 2)

Regardless, after sending my part back to Maia it was just a waiting game. And then… finally came December and the edit was released!! I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit  that by this point I had nearly entirely forgotten that I took part in the first place but, the turnout was very much worth the wait!! It looked incredible! Especially considering how many different apps everyone used (with varying transitions and effects) I genuinely thought that it would be much more mismatched originally but my expectations were by far succeeded.

The best part of doing a collab in my opinion is not being able to see other people’s work till the very end (which is a good thing because you don’t set yourself unrealistic expectations considering that some of these editors have years of experience and have much more high performing editing applications like Adobe’s After Effects. ) It was easy to see that the editors selected were extremely talented and it was nice to get to know new editors through this as well! Honestly, one of the biggest upsides to running an edit account is getting to know a lot of talented people from around the world, especially those who have the same interests as me. (LO 5)

The edit!! ^


Thorns Tribute

Ptfc – In Tribute

The 13th of November this year marked a rather pivotal plot twist in the in women’s football world; the general consensus reached was shock and devastation as fans woke up to news that the Thorns’ star midfielder Tobin Heath had gotten her rights traded to the new expansion club Racing Louisville in Kentucky. You might think, ‘That’s great! This expansion team is going to go places…’ But in reality, majority of Thorns supporters including myself were upset and in the process of lamenting at the prospect of Heath having to leave her home team in Portland after a memorable 7 years. Tobin was one of the original members of the club from when the Thorns were first deployed in 2013 and her influence was impactful to the extent that the many members of the public often connotated her to being the face of the Portland Thorns Football Club.

She was the reason I started following the NWSL and a big part of why I became a Thorns supporter in the first place. She called Portland her home, gave the team its fearsome reputation and expressed her love for her team countless times in interviews saying that she does not plan on leaving…ever. She expressed that being a Thorn was an honor, expressed her gratitude for her fanbase and made multiple crucial friendships during her time there and despite all that; the Thorns without hesitation left her unprotected during the draft pick; most likely without warning because of her lack of response to the announcements.

I felt that her legacy with the Thorns needed to be remembered in time to come and felt the need to give other Riveters something to remember this era by; so, I decided to make an edit in tribute. I spent a long time scouring the internet for interviews, highlights and audios etc. to use to compile my edit. The next few hours were emotionally exhausting as I slowed, trimmed, cropped, colored and re-colored my clips to fit the audio Lost in the Moment by NF which had a rather major lyrical meaning behind it. This was a rather long process as I had to create new colorings as well as custom aspect ratios – both of which were new skills that I had learned in the weeks prior. Regardless, I was grateful for a good opportunity for me to grow in my preset making and velocity editing skills which has been one of my weaker abilities as an editor and one that I only explored during my last practice edit. (LO1 & LO2) Once I was done I wearily uploaded my edit to the internet late that night. I was proud of my end product since I nearly cried making it.

The next day, I woke up to over 1,000 new notifications! I was a little taken aback to say the least, this was mostly a kind gesture to the Rose City Riveters more than anything else but I opened my socials to an outpouring of actions taken on my post. I had also hit 1.1k followers overnight and gotten 113 comments, 139 saves and made 3,107 impressions. I was honored by the numbers but mostly felt a wave of affection for the Thorns fans who flooded my comment section with their gratitude towards Tobin’s time with the Thorns and vented over how sad they were. I just felt happy that I could help them grieve their loss in whichever way I could. (LO7)

Since the file is too big here’s a link to it, make sure to watch on 1080p for better quality!



Velocity + Coloring Practice

Velocity and Coloring Practice + New edit plan

As a part of my endeavors for creativity in my CAS journey, I made a promise to myself to re-start my edit account. I created it a few summers ago hoping to create video edits that empowered females in the sporting industry, but it eventually succumbed to inactivity because of my other commitments during school. (LO6)

However, during quarantine I made an active effort to create and post more frequently, and it has since snowballed into a much larger project that has earned me a lot of positive and rewarding attention on social media, often times from the athletes themselves ! This discovery was hugely motivating to me and I was ecstatic to be able to finally use a proper app that I don’t have to screen record on. I even became a part of a collaboration group where multiple editors choose different days of the week to post every other week.

Naturally, persevering with this goal hasn’t always been easy; edits somedays take hours to finish even days! On top of that I have to deal with complications like editors block (where I can’t find creativity to edit), overwhelming workloads from school and sometimes even experience technical difficulties with certain features such as shakes and transitions are unbearably time consuming and difficult to learn. Needless to say, it does take up a fair share of my free time; but I love it nonetheless! Reading the positive reactions my followers have to my edits always provide a good serotonin boost on a rough day. (LO2 & 4)

Taking this into consideration, I realized that I wanted to balance myself out more; while making sure that I wasn’t overly inactive, I wanted to pace myself so I wouldn’t post 3 edits in a week and be silent for a month. I decided to take a step by step approach; I would make it a point to create at least 1 edit a week (2 if it is my turn to post on the collab. account) and I would use one day out of the week to learn a new skill or feature on the app.

This week I created what is known as an editor’s scrap – essentially what it is, is an edit I wouldn’t qualify as good enough to post but involves me trying out and experimenting with different techniques. For this, week, I decided to focus on 2 skills one called velocity and the other being coloring.

Velocity is essentially the manipulation of real time video content to match an audio. For example editing a clip of a goal or a game to sync with an edit audio beat. I would then use the time manipulation grid on the app that I use (Filmora Pro 9), to slow down and speed up different parts of the sequence and use the beat form bar to guide me in finding beat drops. This was a technique I have been in awe of since I got introduced to editing; instead of having the entire video in slow motion, you can split the clips to go from real time to extra slow; capturing the impact of the moment in a single instance.

As for coloring; it isn’t as simple as it sounds, for one I needed to choose a 3D LUT preset (ready made), I used cool film for mine, and I had to made certain adjustments to contrasts, saturation, brightness and threshold etc. to get the perfect preset for my video (I was actually very happy with the results and saved my custom preset for future use). However, I decided that I wasn’t entirely happy with my edit just yet; I increased the glow effect on the video and used a second editing app VideoPad to enhance the clarity to make the clips more standout.

As for the clips I included, I made a plot twist velocity edit from the 2016 Rio Olympics when the US Women’s National Team lost to Japan; during a critical penalty shoot out to a transition to the team’s unforgettable upward climb to the top during the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.

My intention was to make it both unforgettable and powerful. I did this by using a SoundCloud edit audio titled colors by elvctric and by including subtitles. Overall I was very happy with my productive progress and I even felt proud of my edit despite it being a scrap. Not only that, but best of all, I finally mastered velocity editing!! This has been a major milestone for my learning process after 2 years. (LO3)

Here is a link to my final edit! :))


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