[I’ll admit, when we first received our self portrait assignment for this class, I thought that it would be a lot of work but that I’d have the process in the bag. How hard could xeroxing a photo booth picture be, right? Flash forward to the weekend, and I was trekking across the arctic tundra of the East Village to my third bar, trying to find a photo booth that would print in an acceptable quality for the project. By the time I made it to the Staples copy and print center I was definitely recanting my earlier hubris.]
Our assignment was to create an 18″ x 24″ black and white self portrait poster using a only a photo booth reel of ourselves, found type, and a xerox machine. No digital help was allowed. Concurrently, we were researching various poster design movements to help with inspiration and historical context for the project.
Here were my original photo booth pictures. I ended up taking them at Otto’s Shrunken Head in the East Village. The photo booth there is from the 60s so the film is real – not digital.
I found myself very inspired by post punk and grunge. This was due in part to the technology we had to use but also based on my own relationship with grunge culture. I looked not only at the quintessential punk posters of Jamie Reed, but also Ray Gun magazine and the rock posters of Jim Phillips. The evolution from punk to post punk and grunge was partially marked by technological improvements and the resulting experimentation with new typefaces. In particular Ray Gun magazine pushed the threshold by questioning the value of legibility and using a variety of grunge typefaces to express the disillusioned counterculture of the time.
Here are my three poster drafts:
Between drafts, I was challenged to explore both white space and the shapes that were created from the fragmentation I created with my head. I also revised some of my type choices based on reflecting the grunge influence on my work.
Work in Progress
I liked working by cutting and pasting thumbnail size versions of my face.