For this project we were given the opportunity to work as an illustrator or a graphic designer to visualize a chosen song’s lyrics. We were aloud to chose which ever song we wanted and we had to visualize that song through illustrations or through branding for promotional material. We were given four weeks to complete the project and in that time we went through several workshops as well but all of the work went towards unit 10 “characteristics and contexts in art and design”
During this project I learned more about a few arts forms such as mono-prints and photo montages as these were the art forms that I used for the final piece. I also learned more about photography during a light room workshop where I learned how to use some of the basic light room tools and how to use them effectively.
During the project I also looked at several artists such as Jesse Treace and Hannah Hoch. These two artists are photo montage artists who we looked at during the photo montage workshop. These two artists used photo montage in very different ways and I preferred Jesse Treace’s work more because his work seemed to look more real then Hannah Hoch’s montages which were mostly different faces and people made up of more different people. It was these two artists who helped inspire me to create a photo montage for my final piece.
When researching my song which was “a real hero” I found out that it was about a pilot who saved 155 lives by performing a near impossible emergency. This was quite an interesting discovery but it seemed a bit difficult to illustrate so I decided to create an final piece that didn’t directly illustrate this story.
For secondary research I collected collections of images and analysed some of them for inspiration for my own test pieces and the final design. I also looked at a few other songs such as “learn to fly” and “in the clear” which are both by the Foo Fighters which proved to be more confusing as “a real hero”. For the song “in the clear” I went into more detail and broke down some of the lines to try and find key words and then visualize those broken down lines.
Over the four weeks I was involved in several workshops which were: a Photo montage, a graphics design, a Adobe Light Room and a Print making workshop which were all interesting and they will all come in handy later on in the course but the Adobe Light Room workshop was the only workshop out of the four workshops that wasn’t useful for this project. In the Adobe Light Room workshop we learned how to use the software which was used to edit pictures and to optimize them. Even though I didn’t use Light Room in my project I really enjoyed working with the software. But for this project it didn’t come in handy because I based my work around print making and photo montages and so this software and skill wasn’t needed.
The rest of the workshops did come in handy and the most useful one was probably the print making workshop as I used prints mostly running up to the final piece. For the final piece i combined several images together to create a final photo montage so the photo montage workshop was really helpful for me as it made me understand how to use completely different images together, effectively, through composition, to create decent pieces of work. The graphics design workshop focused on creating pieces of work using; (Adobe) Photoshop, Illustrator and In design. In the workshop wer were taught how to use the columns tool in In-design to create posters, magazines, leaflets etc. But even though it wasn’t that helpful in this project, it was helpful in general as I want to continue with graphic design in future projects and in university so this session was important.
Initially I came up with the idea to use prints to illustrate the film “drive”, which the song “A real Hero” highlights in and is one of the main soundtracks of the film. Once i made the prints, I scanned them and place them into Photoshop where I edited them and added colored elements. I Liked the outcome of the prints but it was hard to add color to the prints and still keep the print textured look to it. In the end though I couldn’t use them for my final piece because they were basically traces of movie scenes so they aren’t illustrations.
I did gather some feed back from those prints and the main consensus was that the prints needed to be more textured and that they needed to have some color added to them. I was also told that i either need to crop down the prints so that there was something happening all over the page or to expand on the images so that the page was full.
After creating all the prints from the movie traces, I had to change my idea and so I decided to create a mix of images and prints and combining them into a photomontage using Photoshop.
For the samples and the final piece I used inks within printmaking to make most of my pieces. To create the prints I simply used black ink and a sheet of paper which i then went over with a pencil where I wanted the lines to show. I did a lot of test pieces to find out how much ink would be needed. At first I used far too much ink which meant lots of excess ink stuck to the page making it almost impossible to see the design, so it was important for me to do lots of test pieces to get it right. For the final piece I used two elements of print and two images which I edited within photoshop to make a montage. one of the prints was essentially a group of hands in the air and the second was a silhouette of a man which I added a texture by using a sheet of material in the printing process. The main problem I had was with creating the silhouetted man because when I placed the inked fabric into the roller, The fabric would fold in some places and so the outcome would have a very obvious derform. It took several attempts before the print worked and was clear and crisp enough to use in the final piece.
For the final piece I took the concept of the song which was that this man had saved many lives in a horrific situation and against all odds.
So i took a crowd of people, which represent the people that the man saved, and traced out the outline to show there hands to make it look like the crowd of people are thanking or cheering the man.
“155 people on board
All safe and all rescued
From the slowly sinking ship”
The man is obviously representing “a real hero” aspect but the police and the eerie sky are representing the dystopia that the man has saved the 155 lives from.
What I like about the final piece is how the sky and the wall of riot police work well together. They both look like they both originated from the same image which in my opinion makes it look better. I actually like all of the different element of the montage. For the silhouetted man I like the texture that I used for him, for the hands I like how the text looks against the white but partially textured background. What I don’t like about it is how sharp the edges of the man look against the rest of the photo montage. I already combated this slightly by using the blur tool which changed it for the better significantly but i still think it looks to bold against the rest of the image.
Overall I’m happy with the outcome of my final piece and I enjoyed the project. This is because it let me use elements such as print making, and then incorporating them into graphic design which was interesting and its opened up new options for future projects. But it could have been marginally better if i hadn’t made the mistake of spending a majority of the time creating something that didn’t fit the criteria of the project.