Tutorial // FMP

Tutorial with Matt this morning.  I’ve reached and gone through my (possibly) final impasse and perhaps most important point.  I finally know what I’m doing/saying.

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So rather than have this great nebulous subject that people are forced to make a decision on, the whole premise would be awareness.  That is awareness of yourself, and of others, within the context of a wider subject.  The crux is about personal positioning, and how we find ourselves drawn to things or forced away from them, and what things we listen to or don’t listen to.  Why do we listen to some news and not others?  Why do we believe in certain politicians but believe the other ones to be liars?  Most importantly, this experience is different for different people and it all depends on so many different factors.  That’s why I’ve reached this point – I was trying to give people a topic or a subject and get them to choose.  Some graphic designed version of Sophie’s Choice.  But I’ve come to realise now that it’s not some binary choice made between black and white, yes or no.  There is a vast middle ground that’s not explored or questioned, which is where my project lies.

What if the goal was to create awareness?  Not of a given thing, but of themselves, and of others.  The whole idea at this point is to demonstrate our differences, how we are the same, and importantly demonstrate what things are important to different people.  This awareness of others comes back to how we position ourselves in a wider whole.  The ‘whole’ in this case is society, not a particular topic.

I can’t give people one thing to pick from, because it needs to come from themselves.  By making a choice, or way finding, they become aware of their needs/wants/desires/dislikes, in relation to different people.

I discussed with Matt the Degree Show itself.  People will be forced to make decisions on unfamiliar topics and unfamiliar things, and be encouraged to think laterally, liberally, and a bit left of centre than perhaps they would have previously.  Matt said “They should leave feeling as though their brains are a little bigger.”

So I saw this the other week which has spurred a lot of my decision.

Getting the attendee to make the graphics in your booth. "Great way to add some interactivity" -triadcreativegroup.com::

I’m not going to recreate this, of course, but something similar that explains the journeys of other people along with some visual aid, that also makes you aware of your position in relation to others.  It becomes this map of “What Made You” – but of course the finished product is the sum of what made a number of different individuals, and not just one person’s choices and feelings.

For my subject and topic area, this would be a little more divisive.  I think the ‘pins’ in my case would be a topic, and the string would be an emotion.  Perhaps if you followed someone’s journey through anger or fear, and what caused those feelings and what encouraged them to feel that way?

Basically, what would be the pins and what would be the string?

Of course by the time I come around to designing this myself I won’t be using this method, but I think the mechanism is there.  I want it to be some visual story of peoples’ journey, their way finding through the topics, and your position in relation to them.  Together, this provides a visual ‘map’ if you will of the way that people think, and the way that people found themselves thinking that way in particular.

I think one of the most important things I’ve always looked for in my practice is to encourage people to think about themselves.  Be excellent to each other is a perfect way of describing what I always want to achieve.  With the Pearson D&AD brief, or the Big Idea, or Real World back at the start of the year, I want people to think differently and for the betterment of themselves, and as a whole.  By creating an awareness of other peoples’ journeys and feelings gives the viewer the perfect opportunity to think of themselves as one of many, and to realise the importance of the journeys of others.  We are always told that we don’t exist in a bubble – nobody does.

If people leave my exhibition with perhaps a little bit more awareness of themselves, and that they are not the only person with a journey and a story, then I’ll have done what I set out to achieve.

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And the Adventure Begins Again!

Gosh.

There aren’t too many things I’m afraid of. Public speaking, trying new cuisines, etc., they’re all fine. Come at me awkward social situations, bar one: the fast approaching tide of fear associated with rejoining the cohort of first year graphic design students that I had said goodbye to in December (crikey). The weekend prior to my first Monday back is now a blur of pacing around my house and anxiously chewing at the quick surrounding my fingernails. I’d finally contacted student services to reinstate my university emails and sift through those that had gone unread since January, and packed my bag ready for Monday morning. As far as I was aware there had been no tasks set for the enormous four week Easter holiday they’d had, and my experience from having already completed a year on the course gave me some idea as to what was coming. One of the emails contained a brief detailing what the next few weeks would entail and a bit of information as to what we’d be doing.

I cycled in rather slowly, full of apprehension. Sitting down in the graphics studio was daunting and I was filled with that familiar feeling of having forgotten something. Olwen, Ian and Paul summoned us down to the area with the projector and a mass of chairs, and set to work telling us about what the next eight weeks would have in store for us.

“You’re taking us on a journey, make it a good one!”

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The aim of the brief is to demonstrate and embody what we have learnt so far this year.  The final outcome can be presented in any format, as long as it is a personal, content rich demonstration of what has been learnt.  Think of it as a visual map, or a story of your journey.  The intended audience could be anyone from the incoming first years or friends and family, but the importance is obviously to engage with your audience, developing a rich narrative around your content.  The assignment requires that we utilise the knowledge, skills and understanding that you’ve gained in the past year.

  • Research and analysis
  • Clear working method during process
  • Focussed media experimentation
  • Originality and innovative regarding content, ideas and form
  • Appreciation of narrative and sequence
  • Typographic sensitivity
  • Appreciation of layout and hierarchy
  • Production and creative use of original images
  • Presentation and craft skills

I’ve got a few ideas milling about for this, but we’ll see what those end up turning into…  Stay tuned!

Development of Winnie-the-Pooh handmade Book

So!

After thinking about what information to include, what format to choose, whether to use illustrations or not, I decided on a final way to display my story. I have chosen not to use any illustrations as I want the book to be quite small and I feel it would overwhelm the text. Following the letterpress workshop, it’s something I’d have loved to have included, but with the number of pages in my book and the size, it wouldn’t be easy to achieve in the week we have had to complete the book. I love the effect of letterpress and the general aesthetic, so it’s something I have tried to replicate (digitally, of course!).

I started by highlighting important text, important passages of text or quotes, and figuring out how many pages I would need. I had decided not to follow the tutorials we were given in the handmade book workshop with Sarah Edmonds, and create something unique. I drew out some of the more important motifs from the story, (for example the bees, the beehive, the balloon itself) and chose to use one of these as the actual book itself.

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The page size and shape would be based on this motif. After some thought, I realised that the balloon would be the best one to follow through with as it gave the most amount of room to include text on each page in a uniform position.

I printed out some text initially to gauge the size that I’d need to move forward with. After printing out some text that I’d be using, I tried to space this out accordingly so that I’d then be able to cut this out into balloon shapes and then bind these balloon pages together.

Initially the spacing I’d chosen had not been enough room, as I layered a template over the text and there was not enough space between the pieces of text to allow them to be cut out. I printed the text out again on A4 paper, this time allowing for more room between the text. After doing this and applying the template, I had left enough room for the text to be cut out.

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I cut out each of the balloons trying to ensure that they were all even, because despite using the template balloon I couldn’t get them all uniform but I guess that’s the charm of a handmade book! After arranging each page into the correct order, I had decided to bind them in way that I had been thinking of but wasn’t sure if it would work. I punched a small hole in each of the pages and had chosen to bind them using a keyring… I didn’t know how this would end up but I’m really pleased with the outcome! I also wanted a more sturdy method of holding the book together when it is not being held, and I managed to find some wooden pegs with an acorn motif on them (like the oak tree from the story itself) and used this to hold together the book. I’m really pleased with the final outcome, but I think had I had more time to complete the book I would have used letterpress to imprint the pages with the text.

 

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Storybook ideas – Handmade Books Part II

After doing further research during my City project, my ideas have somewhat coalesced into something increasingly forward moving and something I can really get my teeth into.  I have several ideas at this stage, but something I’d like to pursue is the idea of exploring the different characters in Pentyrch.  The stories told about these ‘characters’ are largely conjecture, but they’re told in such a way that it has really triggered my imagination.  I can imagine the characters in their entirety – their appearance, their clothing, their mannerisms.

During the first term of my course we explored storytelling and creating handmade books.  This is something that I think could be applied to my research, particularly when retelling the stories of those characters that I have been drawn to.

Pinterest has helped with my research, as it is constantly being updated with new handmade book ideas.  I have found several interesting ones, and I’d like to start exploring and experimenting with them as soon as I can.

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This book inside a nutshell is beautiful!  There are several tutorials online along with many blogs and information resources as to how to create such a book.  Pretty much anything I could get my hands on could be made into a book, and that’s something that excites me immensely.  Obviously it would have to have a great degree of relevance to the story inside, but the sheer number of options that I’ve been presented with has been incredibly helpful in helping me to decide which avenue to follow in terms of my own storybooks.

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This tiny leather-bound book is adorable.  This could be something to explore, as the distressed look of the leather would tie in with the old stories of the characters that I have found.  The idea of it being an old, tattered, dog-eared little book is something that appeals to me, particularly if it contained the tale of a character from a hundred years ago.

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This little pop-up book is also an option to explore, as instead of containing a written story about my character, it could be a pop-up illustration of events.

I think the idea of having a handmade storybook to go alongside the character I plan to make is something I’m really excited about.  I think it will be able to perfectly tell the story of the character I choose, and will be something that can be interacted with, played with, looked at, and something that is tangible for the viewer, something so that they will be able to get a real sense of the person that the story is about.