I had decided to go with the idea of using images of shoes to represent genders as they are items that can be so linked to gender yet not at the same time. Also I wanted there to be something very human about the imagery that I used, but not so obvious like a full human figure or a face and have to use a male and female (this was way too obvious choice of imagery), just the shoes work as they could be anyone’s shoes (if you were in their shoes). I decieded to use converse as they are very much a unisex shoe that doesn’t connect to a gender so the shoes could belong to both a trans male or a trans female. Converse are also shoes that are connected to younger people (the article is about children) as you wouldn’t see a businessman in a pair. I took photos (using my Fuji FinePix S9200) of other shoes (heels and Doctor Martins) but they looked off and not appropriate.
I decided to keep to the colours of the images to blue and pink, the main reasons for this is from when we are very young we are told that pink is a girl’s colour and blue is a boy’s colour. This is in the colour of the baby clothes geared to parents and the toys that we played with. The photos I took of the shoes then brought them into into photoshop to add a duotone effect, this dramatically changed the overall quality of the actual image to much lower quality. This could be seen as making the image have a rustic feel to it or it could just look poor quality but it worked in my favour.
On one page I was playing about with the idea of having a shoelace traveling around the body content trapping it, like the article talks about the children feeling like they are captured in the wrong body. I struggled in capturing a good enough quality image when trying to capture a photo of laces using a camera. To get around this I tried scanning in the laces this got I higher quality image then brought it into photoshop and added in the duotone onto it . The pink and the blue in the photo of the laces make it more of a purple in colour. I also decided to do a hand drawn version of the laces to keep in with the other images I have used on previous pages to connect them all.
To create the images of the shoe print I used ready mixed print paint (would come off the soles of my shoes) and used a pair of converse to create a print of the tread. I then scanned the best print in for colour changing on Photoshop to keep them in line with the colour palette which was blue, red, pink and gray (stereotypes connected to gender in these colours). It took a few attempts at creating an effective print as when there was too much paint it would look a massive mess of paint and with too little paint it would be so unrecognisable to what it was. I like the authenticity of this technique as it picks up details that would have been missed if the image was a a scanned in shoe bottom that was then edited later. The little details that are made with using a pair of shoes that have been worn is that the paint picks up the worn down parts giving it a more personal feel to it instead of a generic shoe print as it is obvious that someone had worn the shoes. Also the fact that the print leaves some parts out as it looks less clean cut and that’s what the article is trying to get at in some parts that gender shouldn’t have the clean cut boundaries (for example boys should be able to play with dolls ect…) and also the transition in gender and isn’t clean cut and easy.
The idea behind using the shoe tread is a number of ideas, one being that there is more underneath the surface of the skin and it isn’t seen which is sometimes like the intricate details of a sole of a shoe and is also not always seen. This is also why I have laid a reddish pink print on/underneath the blue one as it shows the top one as the top being what people see and the one underneath being the gender that the person truly is inside (I kept this idea for the call outs I used as well). The prints could also convey the idea of the journey the children have when they become teenagers then adults whether this is when they are trans when they are older or not and it’s different for than everyone else’s journey.