So I’m fairly new to blogging, I’ve been keeping it off for a while, but my Professor, Carmile Zaino has can be quite convincing and I’m glad that I’m climbing onto a new digital platform, and hopefully I can be as endearing as I am in person (or so I’m told).
Okay so enough about me, this post is about my very first assignment for the subject Process & Skills. This assignment seemed fairly simple at first, but as I went through the three weeks of revisions, I realised how much we need to push ourselves, and the main struggles for me have been to:
- To make choices
- To increase the contrast and make it raw
- To find a Photo Booth
We were asked to take grayscale photographs of ourselves at a Photo Booth in the city and use either our initials or our name with typefaces we found in any publication. The assignment required us to do everything by hand (minus a laptop). I did not manage to find a single Photo Booth in the city I live in, Bombay. So I finally decided to take my pictures against a white backdrop at home. These are few of my home-booth photos that I had taken.
When I started clicking pictures for my self-portrait, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to be represented as. I believe that none of us are just one thing, we are all fragments of different personalities, feelings, emotions, moods. Not only this, but we alter ourselves based on the opposite person. If it is a stranger, I’m polite, with my friends I can go completely nuts, with my family I can be all that I am; even my worst possible self, at work I want to look competent, when I am with myself I day dream, I tie my hair back and it doesn’t matter how I look.
So there were so many different sides that I have, I cannot be defined by only one thing. That was the core around which I designed my entire self poster.
My house was A MESS. My parents were frantic. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. This assignment took me back to school, and all the craft classes I loved to take.
I created a box format, to show that even though we are seen only as one thing (the background image), we are fragmented into so many little things. I wanted to show this sort of contrasting personalities even in my typeface and so I have mixed it up a bit. The A is made of two alphabets, the g is in lowercase, the N is very light, the L is again two different typefaces.
The feedback I received was to make the poster more raw, have a lot of contrast, make the design clean, and use punk posters to take inspiration from.
There were different things that jumped right at me while I was browsing the various punk posters. Initially I was not a fan of them, but being a designer requires us to broaden our perspectives, not stick to only one path, one opinion but test out different waters. As I researched more, I saw beauty in the little things. There were things I loved and things that I did not, but each poster had a lot to display. The montage’s, cut body parts, rawness, cut out alphabets, hints of colour, rebellion, freedom, anti-neat approach, all these character appealed to me.
To be honest, I misunderstood the feedback I received from the previous week, and was of the mindset that I had to improve my poster by creating something new. So I went on a different path, and took and decided to increase the contrast and make it raw by tearing the edges of all the pictures, and tried to recreate the montages I had seen in the punk poster’s.
I had two very distinct posters, and needed to decide which way to go. Also, I had to push myself and make the poster look raw, and use a photocopy machine to get that effect.
All the research on the poster designs of the different eras, Russian Constructivists, Avant Grande movements, artists like Lucian Bernard, helped me make my choices, and refine final design. I decided to stick to my original idea, and below is my final self-poster.
So I decide to use symbols throughout my poster to denote my core concept of having various identities and personalities. I hope the text in the image below is readable, if not here are the contrasting symbols:
- Photocopied images v/s modern printed images
- one big image v/s many small images
- neat grid v/s the alphabet ‘a’ breaking the grid
- whole pictures v/s cut out’s