Week 15-Activity-Student Choice

Jimena Gutierrez
3 min readDec 13, 2020

This is what I came up with for something new! I always wanted to work with chemical structures and make an art out of it. I want to celebrate what these simple molecules do in everyday life. Here, this “sky” is filled with Caffeine molecules! It’s called C8H10O2N4 (Its formula). My medium tends to be drawing, but this time, it’s a short video.

“C8H10O2N4” by Jimena Gutierrez. Made in 2020. Medium: Silver and Glitter gel pens on black paper.

Meaning of this piece: The caffeine molecules spread all across this dark background was to portray them as the stars. Look closer, and the bonds express them as constellations. This wasn’t supposed to be a drawing, but an animated visual of the brevity of their illumination. The stimulant is mood boosting, so it shines! Unlike the actual stars, the caffeine’s time to shine is limited. Caffeine is pleasurable and energizing, but it’s not a stable drug. That means that it’s short term, thus, the effects don’t last.

I drink it to make myself feel happy and energetic in the mornings when I don’t feel motivated to start on schoolwork.

A lot of people drink this everyday and build up a tolerance with a possible dependence on it. Some feel irritated without it as a result. This is where the “Don’t talk to me until I have had my morning coffee!” phrase comes from.

My Thoughts: I think I did well on portraying how caffeine “illuminates.” It’s delightful as that light. Still, it burns out quickly, and a 100 milligrams of it is enough to influence performance. It was difficult to get the lighting correctly, because the black paper was too bright. Other than the celebration of caffeine–in which I have done–I also wanted to do it for an aesthetic, and I have done just that on a small scale!

I used my iPhone for recording, but it doesn’t do well when it comes to focusing because the shot requires to start off as dark, and can’t focus on time when the light comes, so I apologize if the video was blurry. Additionally, Youtube lowers the quality for some reason.

The chemical structure of the stimulant Caffeine
The chemical structure of Adenosine. The backbone of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)

About Caffeine: Caffeine is effective in keeping certain people awake, and sometimes improves focus! I like to drink things with it because it sometimes makes me feel that way, and significantly improves my mood sometimes.

Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors that trigger feelings of tiredness caused when Adenosine, the backbone of ATP (the body’s useable source of energy) binds to them after being used up for energy. Another interesting thing about the receptor is that it blocks dopamine receptors whenever adenosine binds. Caffeine may be similar enough to bind to adenosine receptors, but not similar enough to block dopamine, which can cause people’s moods to go up! More detail can be seen in this video by TedED!:

Behind the Scenes!