Padd Solutions

Converted by Falcon Hive

As part of the pure brief I set up a little group here and the response is as you can expect for a weeks brief. A couple of comments got me thinking and have helped shape the way my design decisions have gone. For example Leigh said

Actually...Hitler was a really nice guy...Not that I'm sticking up for him or anything...just...Look into history more if you're dealing with Hitler, don't just assume...

Jack the ripper....Nutter...

After research and using common knowledge you see people such as Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler were not as evil as people see them. They are both brands of evil rather than really evil. For instance these two acted upon the power they were given. Yes they did abuse that power and for that they were and are unforgivable. However, unlike the likes of Shipman and Hindley they did not carry out the acts themselves. This is more cowardly than inhumane which I believe is at the centre of becoming pure evil.

Another quote from Luke also got me thinking.

I'd say hussein, you'll have to go with someone/something iconic for it to really work.. but would you want a hussein poster?

This statement is true. Who would indeed want a poster with the face of Saddam Hussein on. I certainly wouldn't and my target audience wouldn't either. So this statement led me down a different path until I decided upon the idea for using babies.

The pure brief is still in full swing and I have created these visuals last night and this morning. I have decided what I could use as a final but I want to refine and resolve them a little more before submission.

I wanted use digital illustration to give a clean look and make it more accessible in a modern market.

So, I have decided on using the baby idea and now I am looking at campaigns such as the infamous Barnardos campaigns, where children are pictured with what they will become later in life. This Italian poster is similar but I don't think this would ever be printed here.

A print campaign in Italy, advocating against discrimination on the
grounds of sexual orientatio
n and gender identity, has inevitably evoked mixed resposnes. A poster shows a newborn baby with an identity bracelet showing the word, “Homosexuel”, French for homosexual. The accompany text is “l’orientamento sessuale non รจ una scelta”, translated in Engli
sh as “sexual orientation is not a choice”.

These are examples of the Barnardos campaign I am referring too.

This particular example, with the baby on, was the most controversial and I can see why. This is really hard hitting and relies on the text to stop the audience getting the wrong idea. My poster will be less controversial but will have similar implications.

The first and last crit before the deadline happened earlier and I pretty pleased with the feedback. I knew my ideas could be seen as controversial but I still feel I have toned it down enough to warrant the idea as a final. I identified the baby idea as the one I wanted to pursue.

The feedback I got was that other surrounding details, such as the incubator, were distracting from the main message I wanted to portray. I was advised to do more research and find more baby images and look at the tags on the baby's arm which would have the details such as name and weight.

Other comments surrounding my previous design decisions proved my feelings right. For example the 'Shipman head on the baby's body' was going too far and pushed the message too far. There was also the feeling that no-one would want to display a poster with Hitler or Myra Hindley on.

I will continue to experiment and focus all my efforts into this one idea to push it further along. I have been guilty of striving for perfection too early and not really moving on from the first stage so I aim to do that with this brief. Although, I had doubts about the project before I have got into it and feel I can produce some nice development work as well as professional final visuals.

I had a session on this project yesterday, and after feeling as though I had something good going I was a little stuck for ideas. I have tried to combine mapping and natural lines from my hands to start with. I could only think after doing this how pointless it was. What did it mean? I am still unsure. So I have decided to really push the land art stuff and attempt to create my own pieces.

I want to keep the natural line stuff and maybe even create a finger print out of pebbles like a mini landart investigation.

Examples coming soon...
I haven't blogged in a while so I think it is time for an update. I have started a new brief which is also part of a competition this week. I have tried to work in a way thats comfortable for me on this brief but also integrate key processes that I have not used to my potential. For example my initial ideas have been few and far between so I wanted to start sketching out ideas a little more before I touched a computer.

For this brief I have to create a poster on the theme 'pure' so the first thing I had to do was write up a action plan and then target a specific area to focus on. After looking at the dictionary definitions of pure I found words like 'fresh, unadulterated and perfect'. After analysing the words in greater detail I found that 'pure' had good connotations attached to it. Out of context, it is this thing thats not anything really but it is complete, yet people's preconception is that pure is undoubtedly a good thing.

This got me thinking about the bad side of pure, like 'pure evil'. You could say words attached to pure evil were coldhearted and ruthless. So I decided I would use 'pure evil' as my concept and try to generate ideas to back this up.

I wanted something hard hitting that my target audience would have to think about rather than my idea and vision to be black and white. My first ideas have been quite controversial through me using imagery of Adolf Hitler and Myra Hindley to name two. However, I have managed to tone this down into something that challenges the preconceptions of pure and also keep it's impact.

Other ideas I've had have been quite simple and have less impact but the best of the bunch is an idea I had relating to diamonds. The term 'pure diamond' is a simple one but well known throughout the world. More importantly, this can be linked to my 'pure vs pure evil concept'. Just thinking about diamonds reminds me of the film 'Blood Diamond' which was about slavery and diamond smuggling. After researching into news stories surrounding the diamond mines in Sierra Leone, I found that this could really shape my imagery, and the fact that the diamonds themselves are pure but the people who own them are pure evil.
Examples of thumbnail sketches coming soon...
I have been researching into palm reading. I don't really have an opinion on it but I suppose there could be some truth in it. After looking at a rough guide and finding my career and life paths are quite short I felt a little down and then thought all of this palm reading malarkey could be total codswallop. Then again, my hands are quite big so maybe the lines are long and I'm over thinking it and in that case the love line is huge.

This is a nice easy example of how the palm is laid out and what lines you look at for different categories. I dare you not to try it out with your own palm. This also a decent example of using line to create a visual we can identify with, I think.

After looking at Goldsworthy, David suggested researching into Richard Long who is another sculptor/artist who works with what he can find. Where as Goldsworthy does a mixture of spontaneous simple sculptures and much more drawn out and methodical sculptures like the one with the tree in the video, Richard Long creates little sculptures along his travels. I like the fact that he does this for his own enjoyment rather than creating a piece of art that has some sort of meaning that then can be sold on. The landscape is his canvas and nature is his tools. From what I gather Long created these sculptures all over the world.

I found a quote that sums up his work quite well.

I consider my landscape sculptures inhabit the rich territory between two ideological positions, namely that of making 'monuments' or conversely, of 'leaving only footprints'.

The bit I find interesting is the fact these sculptures are based in the middle of nowhere. The upshot of that is they may last a little longer and the downside is that not many people will see them. In fact we would not know they existed unless they were documented. It seems like a breathe of fresh air when you see something like this that can't be sold on for thousands or millions. There seems to be a genuine passion in the work I have seen.

As part of my 'What is a line?' brief I have started to look at artists and designers which were appropriate to my theme of using natural and man-made lines. What I mean be this term is, natural lines are something beyond human control and man-made lines are manipulated in a certain way to generate a visual representation.

Rebecca suggested in a crit to look at Andy Goldsworthy, and I am so glad she did because on my first google search all sorts of relevant examples were brought up, and land art is very good topic to look at, as it deals with natural lines but manipulates them like man-made lines.

So onto Andy Goldsworthy. I found a little slideshow video of his work and it really made me think about the natural beauty from leaf patterns to cracks in the earth. So I will investigate those a little more.

heres the video with some of his works.

This is also another video I found of him where he is working with twigs. The sculpture art that he does initially fits the landscape very well before it falls down around the 3 minutes in. I think its quite apt that the breeze destroys it. The natural materials he is working with is actually working against him.

I have just spent a few minutes looking through his work on a digital catalogue. There are some interesting pieces and I have picked out a couple of them as examples. These are much more simple than some of his other works but I feel they have a nice, spontaneous vibe to them.

This particular piece named 'Snowball' was created with this diary entry. "Saw last bit of snow from flat window on Middleton side. Collected snow - made ball, carried into wood - heavy
long way - dripping wet. Went back to see how it was getting on - mainly to see it melt to nothing - as I was leaving a man came - I hurried across got there just in time to see him kick it in stream. - hurt. Didn't say anything - outside I forfeit the right of possession."

It seems like such an appealing way to work by just using what you can place your hands on. It's a form of experimentation that many overlook, particularly in this day and age, with your macs and personal computers, although it's something I am guilty of too...

More on other artists coming soon
1. What practical skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
I've definitely learnt that well documented and appropriate research can inform your design decisions. For example if I had not have done those questionnaires for the can project I may have not thought about creating the book I did. 

I have also learnt that research does not have to just come from books or the internet, and that it is not just a pile of stuff we have to do and then leave behind. I think getting peoples opinions and using them to base an idea around can only be a good thing. A lot of design is opinion based but it is too dangerous to assume what you want. That is how you end up with a law suit, if what you say is proven to be wrong. 

I also tried to cope with other personalities with regards to our group project. The last module I had a group who hardly knew each other so would all take a step back, and I found it easier to get my point across. In this we totally went in a different direction to what my research was based on and I tried to get on with questionnaires and research but I didn't have so much creative input on this brief. Instead I did lots of questionnaires and gathered evidence of crowded public transport. 

2. What approaches to/methods of problem solving have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
I believe that my approach to this module has been more of a simulated approach. My approach to problem solving has not changed a great deal, I just think I have developed and gained a better understanding of what process I have to go through to justify my solution to a problem.

My own critical skills have helped me develop my ideas further and I can do this regularly on the blog I have. Lately, it's also been good to have feedback from other people on there. This helps me stay on track and allows us all to have mini online ongoing crits    

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?
My strengths are definitely in the quality of work I produced. I have developed a little from the last module to create more meaningful concepts to work alongside my eye for detail. I organise myself quite well too. I think my time management is effective. I do stay up till past midnight most of the time and I still find time to get the work in. 

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these more fully?
I know my weaknesses are in my initial idea generation. I don't know why but I find it hard to create ideas fast in a short period of time. My mind goes blank and I'm left thinking about more meaningful ideas. I should learn to just jot down or sketch all the ideas I have rather than wait for the right one to come along. 

By that time I have one idea that I love and can develop it into something quite nice but I realise that I had nothing of any importance to fall back on. I suppose I am quite narrow minded and bullish in my approach and that is something I have to work on. Even if the idea is not all that I should just put it down anyway.

I don't feel as though I have done as well on this module, and I will put it down to personal experience, but then again I don't feel like I have slacked off at all. I feel like I have worked as hard as I ever have, I just seem to have over thought things sometimes.

5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?
1. Make sure I hold on to my own work
2. More idea generation
3. Link my secondary research better
4. Break my work down and set mini deadlines
5. Treat all briefs with the same amount of time (photoshop brief)

Are there any things we could have done differently that would have benefitted your progress?
I felt a little let down by the digital print room, as I tried to print for over a week and it was never open, but then there is no way round this other than to book sessions in there to print finals. 

6. How would you grade yourself on the following areas:
(5=excellent, 1=poor) 
Attendance - 5
Punctuality - 5
Motivation  - 4
Commitment - 4
Quantity of work produced - 3
Quality of work produced - 4
Contribution to the group - 3

Overall, I feel exhausted and anxious to see what comes of this module but I really can't help but think I should have done more, but I don't know if I could. 
Friday was the final crit day. I'd worked my socks off all week and was feeling tired and agitated because I felt like I had done loads but not progressed as far as I would have liked. As Amber and Jo said I had stuck to the same idea from the first crit and developed it as far as it would go, but I felt like the idea was good enough to work with, which was why I stuck with it.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with the crit, as I had worked hard. However, I know that I am still learning and I need to be steered in the right direction. I don't think it was totally clear what I was doing with all that I presented, so I will have to look at how my work is made up, and add bits in.

The last two days of last week did me no favours. I had printing and binding time planned and I had to re-assess what I was going to do as the digital print room was closed for two days. This put me majorly behind schedule. However, I did manage to get the packaging done for the CD so that's all ready to be printed up and crafted.

My action plan is helping, as I have all that I need to do mapped out for next week. Just need to get in the right frame of mind.
I thought I'd better post up some images that were required for the 'What if..?' brief. Our group looked at density and overcrowding in Leeds. Vickie developed the map and we decided this should be displayed as some sort of handy leaflet that people could pick up and walk around the town centre with. They could find areas to avoid and have a more pleasurable shopping trip as a result.

I put the leaflet in the St Johns centre as this was one of the key areas of the city. I photographed it in various areas where people congregate.
These are the layouts I'm looking towards. I felt that a simple type and image format would work and get across the message. I would then use the skills I had learnt and the skills I had from photoshop sessions and use those. For example, using one spread and doing some layering work, and maybe colourising another.
It's a really simple concept but often those are the best.
I've had a real grueler of a week. If I'm being dishonest I almost died with the amount of work I've been doing. Luckily, I have taken a good long look at the time I have left and the way I can actually make these books. I feel I have to be realistic.

The flipbook is not going to be print based anymore. I have decided it will be digital. When I first thought of going digital with it, I felt I may be taking a step back but I have managed to develop my ideas further and have come up with, what I feel, is a better solution than I had. The flipbook is something that has been done quite alot before so in this computer age I feel digital will fit much more. After thinking without constraints about can shaped USB pens and stuff I decided I would burn a video CD.

To develop my idea further I felt the CD would also need packaging to go with it. Seen as most of my designs have been shaped into cans I felt this should be too for continuity. So the CD would fit inside my can shaped packaging, and the user would open the top and 'pour' out the CD. I know it's hard to explain but hopefully the visuals will help. I'm still working on how it might open from the top (possibly a ring pull) .

Here's some images of my final designs for the front and back cover of book 1, and the net and CD for the flipbook.

On a side note I found a good little guide on how to bind a paper back book, which is essentially what my book is going to be. link
After a good crit session I have lots of ideas to work with. Everyone was really helpful and gave me some great feedback.

The quote I am looking at is "A mark indicating position, connection or boundaries". Originally, my research area did not really work that well with this quote but now I feel it works quite well. I will be looking at natural, organic marks like the lines of finger prints and the lines which form the grain of wood.

I then looked at more dictated marks, like man made marks. The kind of marks that we use to communicate with. I looked at some line artists such as Ben Nicholson, who created lines from layering shapes as well as creating conventional paintings and drawings.

The focus of my work will be on the connection between natural and man made lines, and if and how they have any relationship. I think this will be quite an exciting project which I can add to week on week.
With time running out and my background work looking thin, I may have to submit spreads for the fact book idea as I just can't seeing me having enough time to develop them into a final piece or even finish all the spreads.

I still have other briefs like what is a line to look at further and the photoshop brief to do. I feel a little stupid as I've left some stuff till the last second and spending all my time making my mock up books looking pretty. The upside to that is that I don't have to change much on my artwork book, I just have to finalise the layouts and come up with a way to bind it.

The flip book idea is working, and I have all my images in a suitable format. All I need to do on that is lay them out and print them off. Then I cut crop them ready to be bound. I talked to Roger at vernon street about the possibility of spiral binding but he said they didn't do it there, but he did say we could shape my other books to look like cans which was unexpected. Never the less, I may either to try to do it myself or think of an alternative. I've uploaded a video of the final images and I have touched up and cropped and I think they work quite effectively. You can judge for yourself though :)


Apart from that I working on a belly band with a ringpull attached which will act as opening device. It's a really simple thing but hard to explain. The idea is that you pull the ring pull and the band as a perferated edging which tears and allows you to access the book.

Now I have those ideas down, I need to start working on my fact book spreads. These were what I envisaged them to look like but my fellow students in the crit suggested that the fonts should replicate the fonts seen on the can designs. This would make them link much better, rather than doing something for arts sake.

I also did a gaudy looking 'This book belongs to..' page, it is suppose to look like an 80's but once again I designed for arts sake rather than to fit in with the can theme.