I am still not sure how beneficial the two projects have been for my practice as in terms of pieces of work for my portfolio. Both projects focused more on the making stuff and exploring different techniques of working. But this does not mean I did not take anything from them. I became a lot more aware of how I work and was more relaxed in making something that was not perfect. I think that I have improved my process by not spending so much time upon making the in between stages from idea to final outcome.
I think one of the things that I found most helpful to me was the focus on to research both of the two projects had (in fact this was the main focus of the project content). This is something I have became lax about in subject and have wanted to improve upon so I have more informed work in future. I have already seen this within the constellation module when writing the dissertation proposal I found that I actually enjoyed the research process. Another way that field has inspired my dissertation proposal was the trip to Berlin in the second term as being in a city with so much history in recent (in the greater scheme of the massive amount of years humans have been on earth) this made me want to see what role my subject had played in parts of this politically fueled discontent and revolution.
In both projects, I have improved my photography skills massively (touristy in Berlin and learning how to use a much more advanced camera than I was used to in Pembrokeshire). I have become much more aware of how a camera catches the light and how this can add or ruin the image, leading me to not have to take as many photos before I get the good shot. Obviously, I still have to take many images to get the image I want but I am much more aware of what I am shooting and how I am shooting it than I have been in the past. Getting more experience of this will only befit my practice. I am excited to experiment more with photography over the summer break and become more knowledgeable in digital photography and maybe even explore other techniques of capturing photographic imagery.
Overall, even if I did not manage to create much traditionally graphic design work, the field module has been a positive and enjoyable experience this year. I hope to return to Berlin in the near future and taking much more of the city and the museums, galleries and culture that the city has to offer. I also plan on learning how to speak some basic German as well. I have learnt that I should just go somewhere to draw and take photos even if I do nothing with them because I do enjoy the process.
I’m not sure if there’s much I can add on to the post I did in December on what I actually think of the actual content (found here). It did improve my conference in my drawing ability and that I can draw in a number of different styles. One thing I do think this project helped with is the development of my own sense of style with my work in a subject (this can be seen within projects like the Penguin Book Cover for In Cold Blood) and I did manage to start to work with white space within the illustrations (just not the last one I did as I overworked that). This is something I have started to get better at in the second year in general as I am becoming more aware that the space around an element can be more beneficial to a design as it brings in the attention to what is important when communicating the message and does not overwhelm the viewer.
I did create the postcards at a later date as to when I initially finished the project I was sick to death of images of the sea and landscape (but mainly the sea). But then I ordered a batch of prints (in February/March) and then I had more ideas of what I could do with the images then them just being nice pictures I put online or in a photo album. I wanted there to be some sort of use for them and that’s how I came up with postcards. I always like to buy a postcard (or a few) when I visit somewhere (I have several from the Berlin trip in the second project for the field module) these span from amusing, just photos, to artwork. I wanted to create something current as the subject of the images could quite easily become stuffy and dull. I tried to do this with type and colour.
If I was to do this project again I would start off with more of a direction of what the final outcome would be rather than just doing. Do not get me wrong, as I discussed in the first overview blog post, I did enjoy creating, developing my drawing and photography skills. I needed a reason to be doing it. I always have needed a reason to learn how to use certain things for example in college I had no clue how to use photoshop but then in a self-directed project, I deiced I wanted to learn so I made it so my outcome would need to be compleated using Photoshop. This working towards a final thing has always been my motivation and especially one that is useful or serves a purpose.
This project has really opened my eye to the beliefs of other cultures and my own catholic upbringing and they have beliefs that objects have their own powers or meanings. I also found this on the trip to Berlin that we still think along the same lines today. Like in Berlin the remembrance of the wall are so prominent though out the area of the city in which we were staying in these are to act as a reminder of the past and to try and learn from it (the same can be said with the holocaust museum and memorial).
I found that Berlin was so inspiring as a city as their art and good graphic design is everywhere on the street not just in galleries. This made it seem like creativity was very accessible as you really couldn’t get away from it. This is from advertising posters to street art (graffiti). I’ve never left somewhere so desperate to vist again and know that the experience would be so different. The city made me want to learn more about it’s past, more than my history GCSE has to lead me to more of the post-war.
I enjoyed creating and using materials in this project rather than jumping for photoshop after sketching ideas out. I think I could link a lot of the work into this project into my work (not so much the branding but the other aspects such as editorial work.) I found that the magic soap workshop got me to work on one thing and get it finish within a few hours and not be so perfect with it so I could use this way of working to create mock-ups of future projects.
Also getting hands on with materials have brought me back to wanting to make illustrations again which I think I will be redoing my book cover for the penguin book cover competition.
The layering of the cardboard masks made me think how I could bring this in digitally on photoshop but I think that this could possibly ruin the effect of the masks as they have their own character and personality. I think that I could take the colours from this into my work as they aren’t the sort of colours I’ve used before as I normally use more muted colours or pure process colours.
I think that actually modelling the Dan Masks in clay helped me imagine things in three dimensions as this is something I have always struggled with (due to mild dispaxia). This gave me the ability to see shadows for future illustrations I plan to do of the masks.
I want to take aspects of this project into my subject work like not being afraid to make a physical object and photograph it and to create more detailed mock-up of ideas quickly in colour instead of it always being black and white all the time.
Magic Soaps (from South America) are believed to possess certain powers if used in as instructed on the packaging. These powers range from a number of different things from luck in love to wealth to getting your husband to do more around the house. The packaging itself tends to have a quirky illustration with the name of the soap and sometimes a brief description. I personally love the range of different styles and the humour that is put into the designs.
I then took a shot of creating my own designs for magic soap. My first step in designing the packaging was to sketch out ideas for a few ideas and then ended up settling on the idea of a soap to bring people together on a common political cause, it was named ‘Solidarity Soap’ I included a hand drawn raised fist and layered in different colours making this into the vocal point of the design. The outcome of the soap box was one I was happy with in the printed box even though I would have wanted the black to be more black than it is (this was a problem with the printer and the paper that I had used).
I then completed a design for another magic soap box design, that was inspired by Les Miserables. I was thinking of what the characters would have wanted from a magic soap. These where things like one for Eponine for the man she loved to realise her feelings and one for Javert to finally capture ‘prisoner 24641’. I then decided to design for the character Enjolras (who leads the attempt of revolution). The soap was intended for luck on the barricades.
I used the lyric from one of his speech songs. This became the focal point of the design with the flag of the revolution in the background than which leads down to the barricades that encircle the bottom of the box. I did this design roughly using coloured pencils and I would like to bring this into photoshop or do something with watercolours. I really enjoyed creating this packaging and just creating the pieces quickly and not over thinking every little aspect which I intend to do. I could possibly take this quick way of working to make make mock-ups in a short amount of time.
I found that The East Side Gallery one of the highlights of the trip. The fact that the gallery is placed on a part of modern history and has taken the meaning behind the wall in the first place (which was the containment of people into the Russian communist area of the city and borderline of east and west) being flipped into a memorial of freedom across the globe. The 1316 m of wall is covered in graffiti and street art by artists they cover the subjects of human rights and freedom. This a subject that I am certainly interested in seeing how it has been covered in the past in graphic design and how it could be tackled differently especially in the current political climate, with Trump, North Korea, ect…
Well first of that my first impression was that it really was just a lot of concert blocks as this was what I had seen at first.
I was aware that each block represented an equal amount of the 3 million Jews who had lost their lives due to the mass genocide under the Nazi’s in the backend of the first half of the 20th century. Even though this was all I could see it was still a vast area of these concrete blocks and you could see how big this was just like when you just look at the holocaust as just numbers and not at the people and personal experiences. Then going in deeper into the memorial through the spaces through the slabs the ground below is uneven and then the slabs were towering above me and the feeling is heavy and cold (even though it was Berlin in January it got colder). The shape of the ground also made the sound seem almost underwater like and quite and I came in my own bubble.
Then from the memorial, I went into the information centre/museum that then put a very human face onto the memorial with a focus on, families that had fallen, diary entries and letters that the victims had written to their families and other loved ones. What had most moved me and made me cry was the room that was dark and had projections of the names of the victims and a voiceover in German then in English of the names, if they surived, place of birth, camps they where in and age of death. I was move to tears. Then leaving back through the memorial gave it more of a meaning than before.
This is one of the places I felt quite sick after going to and I didn’t enjoy. But I am glad I went that it was imporant and everyone should vist and learn from. Esspically Mr D Trump (Aka, literally Hitler).
Passport masks are miniature versions of West African masks that were carried around. The Dan masks tend to be symmetrical, with a line down the centre and a pointed chin.
I had a go at creating my own small passport like masks out of air dried clay and then painted them using a base of emulsion and colour layer of acrylic.
This is the first attempt at creating a clay mask and I think that the outcome is of a creepy ghost like character. This is made by the shape of the character’s head is quite a misshapen but still in a shape of a human head. The missing eye gives the character a creepier. I would like to develop this character into an illustration of some sort or another. The colour is a bit of a dirty colour which could possibly only add to the character as he looks like he is moulding like he could actually dead.
This mask is inspired by David Bowie’s iconic album cover for ‘Aladdin Sane’. The lightening bolt that is over one eye. I tried to make it look like the mask is in pain or screaming in a way which is in contrast with the actual cover as Bowie looks more peaceful. I used bright colours on this one to give it more of a graphic feel to it. As with the other mask, I could imagine bringing this into an illustration of some sort.
The idea of the passport masks could be an interesting concept for some sort editorial design on identity. Also, this could be a unique way of promoting a brand of some sort may be made of cardboard, I am not a hundred percent sure how it would work or if it would at all. I also defiantly want to create illustrations from the characters and possibly take these into an animation.