Category Archives: Project 2 Forrest Gump – Research

[2D] Forrest Gump: Quote 4 – Process and Final

“Remember, inside every girl, there’s a boy.” – She’s the Man (2006)

Brief overview
The romantic comedy centers on teenager Viola Hastings who enters her brother’s school in his place, pretending to be a boy, in order to play with the boys’ soccer team after her team gets cut.

The quote is said by Paul, her friend, when giving her a makeover to look more like a boy. He says this to encourage her in being more confident and sure of herself – that she can embody these more masculine qualities.




Indeed, I interpreted this to mean that a girl can be both masculine and feminine, and need not be constrained by what society expects of her (in the movie, it’s Viola’s mom placing these expectations on her).

At first, I did very literal compositions where a boy is physically inhabiting the space inside a girl’s body. I chose the boy to be a soccer player as Viola is pretending to be a male soccer player in the movie.

In the first composition below, a male soccer player is coming out of a girl’s torso, as if he is breaking free. This is similar to how Viola is truly a soccer player but is constrained by her gender in the movie, but manages to overcome her physical differences and emerge victorious.


I was inspired by this work by Eugenia Loli, where she uses the mouth as a framing device. I thought it was very appropriate to the “inside” bit of my quote.







I tried to emulate this, using the ball as a framing device in the first composition, but realized I didn’t need two soccer balls as the soccer player is already kicking one.







Hence, I used the back of a dress to frame the void from which he emerges in the second composition here.







This is a really terrible draft mash up I did of Lionel Messi and a female head. I felt that it didn’t express the “inside” bit of the quote, so I scrapped the idea.





I had the idea to use symbols of masculinity and femininity at the same time I started using symbols for the other quotes as well. I wanted the viewer to not immediately associate the final image with a girl simply because there was a girl inside, but to have to think a little more.


Hence, I came up with a mindmap to brainstorm some possible symbols of masculinity and femininity.







A few compositions I did with shoes and football nets, playing with voids and spaces in the shoes themselves.





A composition I did again, with nets, because it lined up better with a handbag.






Mixing a tuxedo top and a dress together: Viola is both masculine and feminine in the movie.




I realized that I could probably do this forever – mixing feminine and masculine items together to show duality. I needed to focus; I needed a solid plan; I went back to the quote, where Paul says that “that came out wrong.” Hence, I decided to inject more personality into my design by arranging the above elements in a phallic shape, as a cheeky reference to the sexual undertones of the quote.


I was inspired by this work by Ciara Phelan where she uses different elements to form a body – it was pivotal in my making of the final composition.







Final composition + Reflection

In hindsight, I could’ve also used other feminine symbols such as a perfume bottle that Hui En suggested – I think I missed that out because I was using symbols from the movie itself – Viola’s mother would force her to wear dresses and heels and there was a catfight scene with handbags. I also got feedback that the elements look pretty random and don’t look very cohesive, which I can definitely understand. 

[2D] Forrest Gump: Quote 3 – Process & Final

“The CIA would love it if you could take him out.” – The Interview (2014)

I approached this quote with wordplay in mind. The actual scene in the movie picks up on this too, a brief explanation of which is below:

Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show “Skylark Tonight”. When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission.

The quote starts from 1:27 onwards – the scene is absolutely hilarious.

Initial compositions

I have this mental image of the CIA as being scary men in suits, so my first composition were three men in suits standing imposingly behind a dinner table, dinner being a literal expression of taking someone out.



I was inspired by this work by Natsko Seki in terms of layout.






However, while clear, I found the concept of the first composition I made incredibly boring.








I hence tried to use the CIA symbol instead of men in suits, making a few compositions where I manipulated elements of the CIA symbol.




I used the circular outline as a compositional element here, and. However, when I showed this composition to a hall mate, she didn’t recognize the symbol, probably because we aren’t American citizens. Truth be told, I didn’t know how the CIA logo looked like before googling it, too.



With the identification of this problem, I worked with the full logo with the “Central Intelligence Agency” words. I noticed that dinner plates have the same circular form as the logo, so I played with that in the following compositions.

However, I couldn’t bring myself to like the words – I found the font off-putting and I felt like the aesthetic of the logo and the illustration/photo I was using didn’t go together. This spurred me to take a different approach.

I merged symbols of a nice dining experience (a table chandelier and flowers you present on a date) with guns, to express the duality of the quote. It is a reference back to the movie where the scriptwriters have fun with wordplay – Dave and Aaron are both confused by what the CIA agent says when she mentions that she wants them to take Kim Jong Un out, and then understand that she wants them to assassinate him.



I thought, why not combine both the compositions above? Why not add in wine glasses, too?






Trying different halftone screens: Dots (left) / Crosses (right)







Final composition: Found the space between the wine glass and handle of gun awkward, so I added a wine bottle to link up the elements.






Ms Mimi commented that it wasn’t clear what the form coming out of the hand was – I definitely agree, and in hindsight, I could’ve made it more clear that it was a gun.


[2D] Forrest Gump: Quote 2 – Process & Final

“Sometimes the monster is the man.” Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Brief overview
The movie is based on contemporary adaptations of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein. Told from Igor, a former circus freak’s perspective, it shows his  friendship with the young medical student, Victor Frankenstein. Through Igor’s eyes, the audience witnesses the emergence of Frankenstein as the man from the legend we know today.

Victor is expelled from college for his ungodly creations, but is approached by his wealthy, arrogant classmate, Finnegan, who wants him to create an artificial humanoid creature. Finnegan provides Igor and Victor with the necessary funds to build it in his family’s estate in Scotland. When Igor refuses to go, Finnegan kidnaps and binds him, revealing his plans to kill Victor once he finishes his creation, and weaponize it.

The quote is from the first lines of the movie. Igor starts the movie by voicing over with:

“You know this story. The crack if lightning. A mad genius. An unholy creation. The world, of course, remembers the monster, not the man. But sometimes, when you look closely, there’s more to a tale. Sometimes the monster is the man.”

I felt that this quote could be interpreted in two ways:

  1. Victor Frankenstein is actually the monster, not his monstrous creation, as he had bent the laws of religion and science to make the dead, alive.
  2. Men can be monstrous in their betrayal, too. To me, the real monster in the movie was Finnegan, for pretending to be invested in Victor’s creations purely for the sake of friendship and science, while he had ultimate motives and planned to kill him.

I decided to focus on the second interpretation as in the movie, Victor had some redemptive qualities, such as rescuing Igor from the circus, and straightening out his back such that Igor was no longer a hunchback. As mentioned above, the real monster in the movie was Finnegan.


The film is set in Victorian England, where the men wore bowler hats, walked with walking sticks, and the like. With Victor’s biomechanical humanoid creatures resembling steampunk, I also thought of imbuing a steampunk aesthetic.

Initial compositions

At first, I tried compositions in which duality were explored.


In the first composition, a monstrous being’s shadow is a man, with the shadow showing the true self. I felt that this was a very cliche and seen too many times.







In the second composition, I made a three-headed monster of my own, with a traditional Frankenstein, and a bionic monster like the ones Victor was making in the movie. It didn’t look like a monster as much as the central figure having two different alter egos, which wasn’t really the case.







In the third composition, I overlaid a figure head with the same traditional Frankenstein such that the eyes were overlapping – I was trying to incorporate the Gestalt law of invariance. However, again, I felt that this composition could be slightly confusing as again, it seemed to have to do with alter egos rather than the innate nature of man.






I then thought about why we would even need an actual man to represent man – it is, after all, a very in-your-face way to show a man. Hence, I started working with symbols of man: a bowler hat and a suit sleeve.

I was inspired by Dan Hillier’s merging of animal and human characteristics.




The monster need not be a traditional monster; the monstrous effect could possibly be achieved through entrails to evoke revulsion in viewer. While I liked the idea of not having a literal monster, it seems too much like random juxtaposition.






I tried different styles of bowler hats but didn’t like the aesthetic of it. Instead of entrails, I used robot monster-like parts to make the bowler hat into a monstrous creation itself. However, this attempt looked more sci-fi than monstrous – while the movie is science fiction, I realized I have a tendency to get carried away in representing the movie rather than the quote, and felt that I needed to bring back the focus to showing a monster.


Final drafts

I realized I could relate it back to the movie through a deeper meaning, hence I revisited the second interpretation of the quote: that the real monster was Finnegan for his betrayal of Victor. I felt uncomfortable with the earlier compositions where it was implied that Victor was the monster, even though it is easy for us to think of Victor that way. However, I think that those who have seen the movie would agree with me that Finnegan was the monster in this situation.

I was inspired by this work by Santiago Carruso where the head is replaced by a hand – I then tried replacing part of the hand with monstrous elements.







I aimed to convey the idea of betrayal with one of the hands in a handshake having some sort of monstrous element, to imply that one of the parties involved was the monster.

I was inspired by these two works by Redmek Hoestra and Mr Bingo respectively.




I was also inspired by how Diego Max uses sci-fi elements in his compositions.

I also liked how Randy Mora made such weirdly beautiful compositions, with sci-fi elements, again.

From left: 1) Thumb morphed into a monster 2)  Wrist morphed with monstrous animatronic form 3) Final composition: Wrist morped with a more aesthetically cohesive animatronic piece



[2D] Forrest Gump: Quote 1 – Process & Final

“Kid, I got ears. My ears got ears.” – The Jungle Book (2016)

Brief overview
After a threat from the tiger forces him to flee the jungle, Mowgli, a young boy, embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of a panther, Bagheera, and a free spirited bear, Baloo.

After being spied on, Mowgli is kidnapped by monkeys who present him to their leader, a giant ape named King Louie.

Monkeys spying on Mowgli (King Louie’s “ears”)

Above: Mowgli in King Louie’s chamber surrounded by his minions, intimidating Mowgli

Assuming that all humans can make fire, King Louie refuses to release Mowgli unless he makes some for the monkeys. When Mowgli insists that he does not know how to make fire, King Louie asserts that he does not buy into what Mowgli is saying by intimidating him with the quote “Kid, I got ears. My ears got ears.”.

The ears King Louie is referring to aren’t actual ears, but rather, his minion monkeys who spied on Mowgli and kidnapped him.


I knew I wanted to have a central ape figure, as I felt that that would make it most applicable to the movie.

I was inspired by Strangelove’s package designs with the central composition, as well as the idea of hanging off and flowing down from which I tried to emulate in my first composition. I reference  the central composition of the first work later.




Initially, I tried having a smaller minion monkey hang from the ear of a giant ape, but it I felt that it did not express the plurality of ears in the quote. This was a pivotal composition, though, as it made me realize how important repetition was for this quote.







I went on to try and vary the facial expressions of the central ape (King Louie), but the left composition seemed too aggressive. I liked the right ape’s facial expression more because it’s quietly threatening, much like how King Louie was in the actual scene.




While I liked these composition-wise, only by working with only ears did I realize the absence of the smaller monkeys. I felt that the smaller monkeys really embodied the spirit of the quote, because King Louie was essentially the king of all these small ears.

Moreover,  I felt like working with just ears would be a very literal interpretation of the quote. Hence, I reverted back to using monkeys – not just one type, but the two types of monkey minions (the bigger Bandar-log monkeys and the smaller long tailed macaques) we see in the movie.

As I did not emphasize so much on the ears in the following compositions, and added a crown to alert the audience to the fact that the central ape was King Louie (literally, the king). I experimented with different types of crowns, and cropping in terms of composition.

During consultation with Ms Mimi, she pointed out that these compositions did not actually reflect the quote, and there needs to be more emphasis on actual ears in order to relate it back to the quote. Furthermore, I realized another reason why we don’t need the crown is because the size makes it obvious that he’s dominant.

Final drafts

Therefore, I came up with the final drafts that did away with the unnecessary crown, as well as reflected the quote better. I incorporated both normal ears and the implied ears (minion monkeys) in the composition, as I felt that the minion monkeys were important to give a deeper layer of meaning to the composition – they are the real ears, after all. The normal ears add a touch of humor.

Mimi commented that the ears should have ears, and then I could still have the monkeys coming out of it. That way, the ears would still have ears, while I could also express the minion idea. I really liked the central composition because its reminiscent of religious imagery, and the quote itself sounds sort of godly, with the whole “My ears got ears”, bit.