Project 2: Lessons In Life — Process & Final




It feels great to say that Project 2 has finally come to a close and it is time to show you my process and the final compositions I ended up with πŸ™‚

I’ve decided to name my final project as ‘Lessons In Life’ since all concepts I’ve portrayed have some kind of teaching or moral towards each.

For this post, I will be covering the following as mentioned below in that particular order.




[ Content ]


Artist Reference

– Joe Webb

Quotation 1

Final Composition; Meaning & Symbolism

– Process & Development

– The Silkscreen Process / Printed Tote bag

Quotation 2

– Final Composition; Meaning & Symbolism

– Process & Development

Quotation 3

– Final Composition; Meaning & Symbolism

– Process & Development

Quotation 4

– Final Composition; Meaning & Symbolism

Critique Day Presentation

– Images of presentation on wall with & without sticky notes




{ Artist Reference

Joe Webb (1976)


Joe Webb

Joe Webb is a UK artist who I follow on the social media platform, Instagram. I was particularly inspired by his collaging compositions that are extremely dreamlike and surrealistic in manner. The artist uses found imagery while looking at challenges when living in today’s modern society. He places his subjects in a completely different era than what they seem to come from allowing his characters to ‘travel just about anywhere.’ He works with a rule of only collaging around two to three images within one composition; working more towards simplicity and getting the message he intends for out there. This was what I was particularly influenced by and have introduced simplicity within my final compositions for this project. The artist’s works are popular on the net yet he also exhibits and sells his works internationally. Joe Webb also contributes to artwork donations and charities such as Peace One Day and The Big Issues.


To learn more, you can visit his website here !


Here are some examples of his works that I thought demonstrated the kind of compositions I was going for…



(750 x 1283)


1-4 Cropped Print

Unknown Dimensions.


A Higher Perspective

(750 x 617)





{ Quotation 1

[ Final Composition ]

“Always be the smartest guy in the room.”Β 

– Daniel Atlas, ‘Now You See Me’


[ Meaning & Symbolism ]

Theme: Space

For this composition’s interpretation, I decided to completely change my focal point from being inside as stated within the quote, ‘… in the room’ to physically being outside. The scale of the boy is the main focus as he is larger than life in comparison to the other elements within the composition. My take on being inside the room is representational of being confined to one’s ideas or values and restricting oneself from exploring more possibilities. The face of the boy is contrasted with the left being white and the right being black. Both emphasise the decisions of ‘do it (white)’ or ‘don’t (black)’ with white representing a positive outcome (gaining experiences) and black representing a negative one (missing out on life). The emphasis is placed upon the magnifying glass as well as the telescope which eventually leads to the line of stars that follow after. The boy, being in control of the two is looking inside the room from the outside from a higher perspective. By looking in from a different, wider and higher perspective, you can gain more information or knowledge. On the top portion of the composition, we can see that the boy is wearing a planet hat making him appear more like an explorer of newer things. His right eye looks up an a particular angle showing his curiosity in learning more out there, in outer space (cluster of stars and the moon). The planet hat also helps to establish a correlation with the shooting star, cluster of stars and moon happening in the background making the whole area fit as a set. Focusing on the composition below, the roof placed on top of a table represents a further emphasis on confinement and being trapped. Below is the table which has legs that are particularly curved inwards. This represents ideas as being ‘bottled up’ in a sense trapping those and their ideas within. Under the odd like structure combined by these two, are two astronauts that are restricted from moving further away from where they are since their suits and tied up to it. They cannot experience what the boy is experiencing even though they are clearly the only ones in proper astronaut gear as if ready for exploration. One of the astronauts seem to take the form of a monkey. Humans are an evolutionary species of monkeys and therefore acquire more skills. We therefore, have the ability to think more about decisions to make and can do more things than what monkeys could possibly do. They are in a sense, only restricted to their necessities such as food, sleep and play. The comparison is therefore made between the larger than life boy and the astronaut monkey. The scale also plays a significant part with demonstrating this; the larger than life boy is more significant and powerful while the astronaut monkey is insignificant in comparison.


[ Process & Development ]


Draft 1

This was the first composition I emailed Joy with. Back then, we had to incorporate the use of halftones within our compositions so for draft 1 and 2, I misheard and completely made everything within my work with that effect.


These were the problems I had faced

Details within the face are completely lost and the expression can hardly be seen

Within this composition, the stars appear to be useless and the collage could even work without them

Focus is completely lost and there is no clear direction

In the lower half of the composition, the line separating the larger than life boy and the smaller sized people does not do a great job of demonstrating a closed or confined space/room.

Floating positions of the smaller sized people make them look like they are separate parts to the whole composition

The smaller man on the left looks down at his ankles; it shows a narrow perspective or outlook rather than forced


Suggestions from Joy

Add cages or an object, trapping the people’s heads to get the message out that the people are indeed trapped in a sense.




Draft 2


This was my second attempt at my first composition. I brought this to our first group consultation and this was what we worked together to point out areas that could be improved upon.


These were the problems I had faced

Top left eye of larger than life boy seems to be looking at the audience; there could be a change in direction.

Sailor hat has no relation to the theme of space which makes the stars and planets surrounding the upper portion of the composition useless. You can easily take them out and it feels as though the composition could still work out just fine.

Details of larger than life boy’s hand could be brought out more with shadows.

The bottom right lady reading a book seems to be floating; would be better if she sat on something more structured.

Astronaut helmets are not obvious enough; there is too much white on the top portions of the helmets and there is a lack of detail to note out that they are astronaut helmets specifically.

Too much grayscale is seen on the larger than life boy’s face. Again, details are lost.


Improvements made since draft 1

Planets and stars from upper portion of composition has a greater contrast of B/W halftone; good gradient.

Helmets are established to trap the people’s heads; shows a greater connection to confinement.

Table is a greater sense of structure in comparison to a mere line since it wraps around the people in a trapping sense.


[ The Silkscreen Process / Printed Tote bag ]

It was with this composition I wanted printed onto my tote bag πŸ™‚


Glimpse into the darkroom

Photo taken when no exposing was taking place.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Silkscreen Printing!

Preparing the Screen:

  1. Screen / Apply both sides of the silkscreen with photo emulsion ink (sensitive to daylight) in a dark room. The screen should be tilted at an angle, so should the emulsion school coater tool when the photo emulsion ink is being coated on
    1. The ink should be applied in a swift and smooth manner in order for the ink printing to go through the template during the later stages
    2. Before this, the screen should be washed to remove any small dirt or dust particles and wiped as dry as possible
  2. Dry emulsion ink in a screen drying cabinet unit until it is fully dry to ensure that it doesn’t dirty the exposure unit
  3. Take silkscreen out of screen drying cabinet unit and place template on the outer side of screen. Tape it down using clear tape (light passes through it without affecting the exposure process). Place into exposure unit for 18 seconds (or more if there are intricate details).
  4. Wash unexposed emulsion ink off using a water jet spray. Dry silkscreen and start printing!


After Jet Spraying

Photo taken when no exposing was taking place.


Printing Process


Final Tote Bag Print

Details were well captured and the print actually came out quite nicely! I was pleased with the resultΒ πŸ™‚




{ Quotation 2

[ Final Composition ]

“You cannot live your life to please others. The choice must be yours.”

– White Queen, ‘Alice In Wonderland’


[ Meaning & Symbolism ]

For my second quote, the hand sticking out of the ear is representative of a blockage to the entryway of the brain. The ear is a pathway to the brain which allows the voices of others to pass through as they request for things or ask for favours that only help benefit themselves. The vines coming out of the ear typically symbolises a sense of sacredness since vineyards are usually found in mysterious or places where people do not usually go to. The vines are placed at the ear area to demonstrates that the path to a person’s mind is sacred; that it is the only place which that particular person whose ear is belongs to has full control of him or herself and their actions. If influences or thoughts are changed, it is typically because someone has mentioned something to them (got past the ear barrier). The hand sticks out of the ear here and the action of plunging a teabag into the teacup demonstrates the ignorance of people’s demands and making a clear choice about what you want. The action of the teabag plunging in is direct and intentional thereby indicating your own choice since it is by your own hand. On top of the ear, a dove’s presence is evident. Doves are representative of freedom and peace. Its head is directed towards the nest which the teacup is resting on demonstrating its need for freedom and has set sights on its own goals to get back to where it belongs. The ladder on the bottom right demonstrates an ascending direction. The ladder is also pointed into the direction of the ear. It is meant to symbolise the increasing number of requests from people overtime. On the other hand, two babies; one on either side of the composition, would typically represent innocence. This, however, is juxtaposed by the mouths which are directed towards the teacup; the babies who appear to be innocent at first are suddenly not so anymore. Instead, they appear to try and stop the action of the teabag plunging in or the individual choice the person seems to want to make on his or her own. The hand is deciding its own fate without listening to others, thereby not pleasing to their requests. The ear, hand, teacup and teabag are way larger in comparison to the toddlers on each side emphasising upon their importance in comparison.


[ Process & Development ]

With my first attempt at the second quotation, the lips as the toddlers’ heads appear to be facing up and towards the ear. The vines are also apparently longer in length.


These were the problems I had faced

The lips on top of the babies’ heads do not seem to be aware of the action of the teabag plunging already taking place.

The long vines appear to be dangling out of the composition (in a different direction from where everything else is moving). It appears distracting and moves the audience’s attention away from what is the main focus (the hand coming out of the ear, down the string, to the teabag into the cup and the babies on the sides).



{ Quotation 3

[ Final Composition ]

“Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.”

– Will Smith, ‘Hitch’


[ Meaning & Symbolism ]

With this quotation, I wanted to portray the literal idea of taking your breath away through a symbolised object. In this case, the symbolised object is a fish. This composition focuses upon the literal activity or hobby of going fishing. The atmosphere / setting takes place somewhere above and away in the clouds. Whenever I think of moments that take my breath away, I think of myself on cloud nine, feeling elated. This was where the idea first originated from. Just like fishing, moments that take your breath away depends on the situation or moment that determines the reaction; it is by chance and does not happen all the time in order for your breath to be taken away. Whenever one goes fishing, it is not for every single trip you make that you make a great catch. Evidently, the fish is stuck inside the mouth — whenever your breath is taken away, you stop to gasp and you’re lost for words. It is as though you are having a mind block in your mouth and unable to find coherent words to describe how you are feeling. In the distance, a mountain or hill is represented with a chair on top to emphasise its peak. The mountain or hill’s peak is representative of your feeling whenever you are ‘taken away’ — you feel as though you’re on top of the world; as if it is one of those peak moments of your life. The face is also representative of a hill with a similar structure and the nose being ‘the peak’. Also, when your breath is taken away, you feel as though anything can be possible based on what you have just experienced. Impossible is therefore represented through fish being on land (the tail peaking from behind the mountain in the distance). The boy fishing is lifted in midair by a hot air balloon demonstrating how high up in the air this imaginary land is at. The fishing net at the bottom traps the thoughts felt only allowing them to exit through a singular way; that is, from the mouth.

There are two triangular compositions to be noted within this work which frames the context.


[ Process & Development ]

With my first attempt at the third composition, the smaller fish with the fishing rod attached to it in the far distance is stuck into the mountain upright.


These were the problems I had faced

The composition looks more appealing to the eye with the fishing rod slanted at an angle since it creates the perception of the two triangles within the composition. Without the fishing rod slanted at an angle, the composition looks a bit off.


{ Quotation 4

[ Final Composition ]

“Come in closer because the more you think you see, the easier it will be to fool you.”

– Daniel Atlas, ‘Now You See Me’

[ Meaning & Symbolism ]

For composition 4, I wanted to portray the venus flytrap and snakes as bodily parts of the woman portrayed. The body of the woman is the mouth of the venus flytrap plant while the snakes make up her hair. The venus flytrap is perceived as a plant species that traps shut attracted insects as they ‘come closer’ towards the plant itself. It is hinting for its prey to come closer. The snakes make up a tail that appears to be coming out of the woman’s back to symbolise the devil’s tail. The snakes that surround the woman’s head is representative of her as Medusa. Legend states that Medusa is best known for seducing people and eventually freezing her victims into stone. Over here in this composition, her luring action is seen as the old man’s hand is seen to have reached out and is trapped inside the venus flytrap. The movie quotation is of great similarity to the saying ‘curiosity will get the best of you.’



{ Critique Day Presentation

Without sticky notes


With sticky notes





With that, I conclude my work for project 2: Forrest Gump! πŸ™‚


To find out more about my research on Surrealism & Dadaism, click hereΒ !

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