Have you ever had a heartbreak? How does it feel? Painful? Why is it that when we went through an emotional turmoil, it felt as if we can physically feel the pain coming from the heart.
In A Day After a Heartbreak, I want to convey the idea of despondency. I related the emotion really closely to a hangover. I get hangovers frequently after a night of drinking and the effects are devastating. I woke up feeling absolutely worthless, lethargic and useless. The feeling was intense and uncomfortable. I cannot breathe, I cannot eat. Neither can I drink water. The irony: I will do it all over again the next week. Why are we so attached to something that hurts us? Is it because we value that few hours of pure pleasure more than the immense amount of pain?
I decide to use the song ‘Til’ it Happens to You’ by Lady Gaga because I felt that this song is the most suitable music to accompany the images. I realised that sometimes it very hard to sympathise with people when they tell you about their troubles in their relationship. “Just move on.”, “Don’t think so much about it!”, “You’re just overthinking,” I sometimes feel that such words are sweeping remarks. They wouldn’t know the feeling of such pain until it happens to them. Probably then will they know the pain.
What do the images signify?
In the 3 series of transformation, the rose represents love in tangible form. In a relationship, am I consuming love; indulging in the passionate abyss of love or am I being consumed by love itself? It happens in us as well. Being in a poisonous relationship and knowing that your partner will only bring you down yet you still choose to stay. Why?
Moving on, the smoke represents love in intangible form. Smoke hurts and it kills you from within. Slowly. People are aware of its effects yet they still ‘consume’ it. Why? Is the minutes of pleasure and satisfaction enough to compensate for the long term damage? Is it worth it to indulge in spiritual, physically and psychologically satisfaction yet sacrificing the sanctity of the pure human body?
Lastly, love in tangible and intangible. Water is often seen as a cleansing ritual, to rid the body of dirt and impurity. Yet, in the video I explore and put the water in another light. I want to convey the idea that water is instead a burden, a liability. Something that left you in a mess. In the end, the only one who gets hurt is the one who turns on the tap. (Decides to commit to the relationship).
I am a big fan of romance and heartbreaks. There are boundless of imagination to exploring the idea of heartbreaks.
These are some of the quotes I personally love because they are full of emotions and deep understandings behind those words.
In the 500 Days of Summer, Summer explained to Tom the reason why she didn’t choose him in the end.
Summer: Well, you know, I guess it’s ’cause I was sitting in a deli and reading Dorian Gray and a guy comes up to me and asks me about it and… now he’s my husband.
Summer: So, what if I’d gone to the movies? What if I had gone somewhere else for lunch? What if I’d gotten there 10 minutes later? It was – it was meant to be. And… I just kept thinking… Tom was right.
Summer: I did. It just wasn’t me that you were right about.
In American Horror Story: Hotel Episode 3, Elizabeth portrayed by Lady Gaga explained to Donnovan the very thing that made one person is actually heartbreaks.
“You will learn, it isn’t our precious virus that makes you. It isn’t who you kill or who you screw. It’s the heartbreaks. Bigger, the better. I know better than any of us.”
In ‘Love & Other Adventures’ by Lang Leav, I was particularly intrigued by this poem titled ‘The Keeper’.
You were like a dream, I wish I hadn’t slept through
Within it I fell deeper, than your heart would care to let you
I thought you were a keeper, I wish I could have kept you
In the poisonous rose that appeared in the first part of the video, it was inspired by the song, “Poison” by Rita Ora specifically the lyrics:
I pick my poison and it’s you
Nothing can kill me like you do
You’re going straight to my head
And I’m heading straight for the edge
When it comes to love, there is no common sense. We choose to embrace it even if we know it’s detrimental to our health. I guess this is addiction. The addiction to love. The addiction to pain.
This project is rather personal and intimate for me because I did this project alone to form the idea of love and heartbreaks from my own perspective. I like the idea of using symbolism to express my emotions and feelings. I enjoy using various objects to convey my idea. Furthermore, the close-up shots frequent in the video enable me to better understand myself and the project.
Color is a form of non verbal communication. It is not a static energy and its meaning can change from one day to the next with any individual – it all depends on what energy they are expressing at that point in time.
Green is the color of balance and harmony. From a color psychology perspective, it is the great balancer of the heart and the emotions, creating equilibrium between the head and the heart.
Gray is the color of compromise – being neither black nor white, it is the transition between two non-colors. It is unemotional and detached and can be indecisive.
Blue is the color of trust and peace. It can suggest loyalty and integrity as well as conservatism and frigidity.
Black is the color of the hidden, the secretive and the unknown, creating an air of mystery. It keeps things bottled up inside, hidden from the world.
The color brown is a friendly yet serious, down-to-earth color that relates to security, protection, comfort and material wealth.
Gold is the color of success, achievement and triumph. Associated with abundance and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance, the color psychology of gold implies affluence, material wealth and extravagance.
Red is a warm and positive color associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. It exudes a strong and powerful masculine energy. Red is energizing. It excites the emotions and motivates us to take action. It signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities, promoting ambition and determination. It is also strong-willed and can give confidence to those who are shy or lacking in will power.
The color psychology of pink is unconditional love and nurturing. Pink can also be immature, silly and girlish.
Silver has a feminine energy; it is related to the moon and the ebb and flow of the tides – it is fluid, emotional, sensitive and mysterious.
Purple is the color of the imagination. It can be creative and individual or immature and impractical.
White is color at its most complete and pure, the color of perfection. The color meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion.
Orange is the color of social communication and optimism. From a negative color meaning it is also a sign of pessimism and superficiality.
Yellow is the color of the mind and the intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful. However it can also suggest impatience, criticism and cowardice.
Here goal is to manipulate, alter and deconstruct the give graphic imagery to transcend its original meaning through the creation of the indicated narratives.
Hey Diddle Diddle
The little dog laughed to see such sport
I looked up for pictures of dogs and tried to experiment with the Perspective and Skew tool of Photoshop to add interest to the image. I played around with the angles to give the animal more dimensions.
Playing around with laughing smile, I positioned the smile to the dogs’ faces.
I asked myself whose smile is iconic and memorable and I immediately remembered Marilyn Monroe. Hence, I tried to play around the iconic laughter with images of dogs.
However, I felt that the final design that I produced is too literal and lacked interest to captivate the viewers. Hence, I decided to ditch the line and move on to experiment with other lines.
Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall
Research & Experiment
When I think of walls, I thought of The Great Wall of China, hence I tried to play around the image of the wall with Humpty Dumpty.
I experiment the designs of the wall by rotating the directions and angles of the wall. Using what I learnt from class, I made use of the directional lines of the wall to bring my viewers’ attention to my subject (Humpty Dumpty).
Experimenting with Skew and Perspective.
Once again, I felt that my design is a little too literal for understanding. It seems too easy and achievable. Hence, I decided to abandon this line and went on to explore more lines.
Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall
When I thought of Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, I immediately thought of the act of cracking an egg and the raw egg falls out of the shell as gravity acts on it. I tried to create a symmetrical design of the egg being broken as it landed and many pieces of broken egg shells rises upwards from the impact.
Setting the Threshold of the shell gave me a small degree of shade change of the eggshell. This is probably because the overall colour of shell is constant (White), hence it is not really interesting.
I screen shot one side of the scattered egg shells and flipped it to create a symmetrical effect.
I tried the idea of the raw egg falling out of its shell from the top. I also tried the idea of the egg hitting the ground and the raw egg raising up. In addition, I played around with brush tools of shattered glass to accentuate the severity of the impact.
In addition, on top of shattered glass I also experimented with falling sparks brushes. I positioned the egg in the center and expands it from there.
Final Chosen Design
My final design for ‘Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall’ is a combine of the different elements of designs that I explored. It is a mix of the shattered glass, falling sparks and splattered paint as the fallen egg received maximum impact of hitting the ground. The rising raw egg represents the soul of Humpty Dumpty as he was broken into two. The black circle of the raw egg represents the yolk of the egg. With the use of different brushes being splattered across the whole design, I am able to convey the phrase of ‘Had a Great Fall’ as the shattered pieces congregate from the start and scatter thinly as it rises upwards.
Couldn’t Put Him Back Together Again
My tutor mentioned that our designs is best not to be too literal. Hence I tried to avoid the idea of people trying to piece back the shattered pieces of egg shells together or anything related to recovery. I asked myself again, what will I feel if I know I’m physically broken permanently? I guess my heart will shatter together with my body. I know that the people around me and I will be devastated and there will be a lot of tears. Hence, I made sure to incorporated tears in my design.
I always have the same sentiments every time I broke something. Once, I discovered that there’s a crack on my iPad and I told myself that my heart had cracked together with my iPad’s screen.
I came across this symmetrical smoke design online and felt intrigued by it. It was the choice of colours, movement and tones of the smoke that attracted me. Hence, I decided to try to incorporate smoke into my design.
I wanted to use this as my final design. However, after getting some feedback from my friends, I decided to modify the design a little bit more. This is because they noticed that the design above has no context and could easily fit into any lines.
The round shape of the design above is meant to be the egg although it’s not too obvious.
This was actually my final draft. A symmetrical design of two crying comic woman shedding tears (smoke) into the broken egg. However, my tutor mentioned that even though there is beauty in symmetry, it is always fun to play around with the on third rule and asymmetry. Hence, at the very last minute, I change my design and place the broken egg in the middle.
Final Chosen Design
In my final design, the broken egg is placed on the one third of the image. The addition of a shadow below the egg suggests that it is floating. It is broken into two and in it reveals the heart of the egg being shattered together with the body. If you noticed, the heart shattered into numerous pieces than the body. I was trying to covey the feeling of the heart being in more pain than the body experienced. I used scattered glass as holes within the broken pieces to accentuate the severity of broken-ness. In addition, I also use it as the fragments of the heart falling into the shell. I placed the crying women on the top left of the image as she looks down at the broken pieces. The position of the lady is also to direct the viewers’ attention to the egg. Tears of sadness represented by the smoke flows down into the eggshell as sadness bath within the shattered fragments of the broken egg.
And The Fork Ran Away with the Spoon
When I encountered this line I asked myself,
What always come with fork? Spoon. What always come with spoon? Fork.
They are pretty much inseparable and they always come in a pair when we dine. Hence, I know it will be interesting if I were to use a couple to represent the fork and spoon.
In addition, another keyword is ‘Ran Away’. What could make a couple run away? Did they do something wrong? What are they running away from? Are they running away because they did something unacceptable?
I used Bonnie & Clyde as my subject because they are often used in popular culture as their wrongdoings became a fantasy for many couples. The act of being bad and doing it together with your loved one. I used the original image of Bonnie & Clyde.
These are some of the media references I got for inspirations.
Rihanna and The Lonely Island collaborated together to retell Bonnie & Clyde in a comical music video.
Beyonce & her husband, Jay-Z based their ‘On The Run’ concert on Bonnie & Clyde. The theme was dark and they glorified criminalism.
I wanted to show the idea of the Bonnie running away from Clyde as he cheats on his wife; leaving the wife crying. I placed the couple around the crying woman making sure I left a small gap to represent that the woman will never have any contact with the couple.
I played with sizes and expands the couple as they move from right to left. However, I left that the focus is more on the crying woman rather than Bonnie & Clyde and it does not represent the idea of ‘running away’. Hence, I decided to change the design.
Final Chosen Design
In my final design, I played with different sizes of the couple as they expands with they move from right to left. This is to capture and direct my viewers’ attention to my subject on the left which is the biggest Bonnie & Clyde. I placed multiple couples leading along the pathway to symbolise that they came a long way from running away together. The birds at the background the freedom that they got from escaping. The sky lightens from right to left to represent that the birds and them are going towards a brighter future. Lastly, the heart-shaped tree represent the passion of their love.
She Had So Many Children; She Didn’t Know What to Do
I got my inspiration from Portis Wasp, A designer of MTV USA. He received a post on MTV about his designs. His designs are mostly juxtaposing Greek-like models to Disney theme scenes. I felt that mixing humans with cartoons gives a sense of surrealism. Hence, I tried to incorporate that in my designs.
I thought of the Whistler’s Mother when I thought of Old Woman. Hence I tried to play around using two paintings of different drawing styles.
I am a big fan of Margaret Keane. She is an artist that loves to draw children and animals with big eyes. She even got a movie made about her life story. I decided to use the pictures of children that she drew and juxtaposed it with her.
I left the middle blank to represent the phrase ‘She Didn’t Know What to Do’. However, I felt that it is too literally. Hence I decided to set this design aside.
Final Chosen Design
In my final design, I try not to let my designs to be too literal. Hence, I linked children to toys. I used the toys seen in Toy Story as they are relatable and created a symmetrical pattern. I played with sizes and tones of black and white. The biggest design on the edge before it shrinks as it moves to the center. In the middle is a blank brain to represent the phrase ‘She Didn’t Know What to Do’.
It is interesting to use different mediums and images as symbolism. It is also engaging to use graphic design to reinterpret poems in a fun way. It is important to note that there is beauty in both symmetry and asymmetry. One has to use it intelligently to manipulate and capture the viewers’ attention.