To read more about the research i did prior to this project, click here https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/jfoo018/forrest-gump-research/
When I first heard about this project, I was honestly so worried, just because I had no idea how to use Photoshop haha. I only used it once for my o level visual art task but that was years ago and I remember struggling with it back then too, so it was kind of like a nightmare. Nonetheless, I was thankful that i had the help of my classmates in using the software, and Joy to guide me in the direction for my work.
Then again, it was a challenge for me to find movie quotes, because I wanted to get English movie quotes so that it would make more sense and be easier, but i came to realize that I rarely watch English movies other than Disney movies. However, I thought it was okay to just go with the Disney theme since it was more familiar to me.
While i was checking online for the movie quotes, I came to a realization about how some Disney movie quotes can be deep and thought-provoking as well. This gave me a thought about how i make use of the quotes to do a self reflection about myself, about my life. Since we have to do the works as an interpretation of the quote from our viewpoint, I thought that the personal touch I was adding would be even more appropriate in this case.
I started out by writing down all the movie quotes I like, then eliminating them one by one, leaving four that I liked best. I eventually ended up with these four quotes:
1. “Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s memories.” Genie, The return of Jafar
2. “Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.” Rapunzel, Tangled
3. “Just keep swimming.” Dory, Finding Nemo
4. “Beauty is found within.” -Narrator, Beauty and the Beast
Initially I started out by working on the ideas I had visually for these four quotes and I was the most interested in the fourth quote because I really liked the deeper understanding behind the quote. However, I found it to be really difficult because I understood the quote simply as how it is and the visual that I had in my mind to accompany the quote was restricted to my perception of it. This was the problem for all of my quotes, I had difficulty thinking out of the box for them because I was so caught up with the actual definition from the movie itself. However, eventually I was able to learn to convey the quotes in a different context and I will explain my thought process clearer below individually for each of the quotes.
1. “Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s memories”
For the first quote, it was the quote that I had the least idea for so I started by generating words I would associate with the quote itself. I came up with words such as ‘carousel’, ‘camera’ and ‘brain’ to relate to the ‘special moments’ and ‘memories’ part. I eventually found an image online showing a repetition of boxes and I thought it would be interesting to make use of the repetition to convey this idea of bringing forward the moments to memories. On top of that, I decided I wanted to have a common theme for all my compositions and I decided to add in the element of self-reflection in all the works. As mentioned, I wanted to give my works a personal touch and also to serve as a reminder for myself so I decided to add in the imagery of a Jasmine flower to represent myself in different ways in the composition, in obvious and subtle ways.
However after the consultation, I felt like I needed to add more elements into the composition and to touch up on the incorporation of the hands into the brains.
Eventually, I looked up artist references and found this work from the surrealist artist Rob Gonsalves, where he makes use of different elements to create this optical illusion in his painting. I decided to incorporate that concept into my works, having the imagery of people crouching together to give the imagery of a real brain. However, I realize that it was really hard to portray it visually because of the details, it may just turn out looking like a mess. Hence, I changed the idea and instead of humans crouching as the brains, I added humans running and climbing to get to the brain to ‘form’ the brain, although the imagery of people crouching is no longer there. I also edited the boxes so that the image would not have random cuts at the edges since I decided this would also be the first design to be produced, and the design that would be going onto my tote bag.
The final design comprises of people running and climbing up the blocks to reach the brains, signifying how you meet different people everyday and they are the ones who will create your moments for that day and that moment eventually fades off in your brain to become a memory that remains as represented by the hand holding the polaroid, since memories can be recorded as photographs and kept forever. The first block also has a hand holding a Jasmine flower to show the representation of myself and the image is done with a fading effect to show how we may forget the moments that occur but it converts to memories in the end.
2. “Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.”
For this second quote, I had a lot of issues trying to come up with a composition. Initially when I thought of the quote, I imagined this composition of hands pulling open a cave to reveal a creepy forest setting to signify how I should learn to venture outside despite the obstacles I may face. However, when i try to picture this and really work out the composition on Photoshop, I realize that the result looked weird and was not like how I Imagined it to be at all. This was what I came up with after a few attempts.
The composition for this was meant to look like the hands prying open the Jasmine flower, revealing a cave which signifies that I should learn to explore beyond my capabilities. However, since it was meant to be in black and white, the flipping open of the flower petals did not show and the composition just looks funny as a whole. Although I got comments to stay with the concept but try and twig it so that it looks better, I decided to scrap the idea and think of a new concept because although this composition seemed to work when I try to picture it in my brain, but when I try to recreate it on Photoshop, the results just do not match. Hence, I decided to work with a different approach.
I changed the whole idea to replacing the main focus as a heart with running legs. The heart can be seen tied to a rope that has been cut off, signifying that I should learn to break away and explore new things, cutting off whats pulling me back, overcoming the struggle within myself. The composition was done with a background of a winding road to guide the eyes to follow from the heart to the medals. The cut rope with scissors on the road also helps to give an imaginary line to point to the destination. I wanted to express the ‘rewards’ in the quote as a literal thing, and since the composition had a sports concept going on, I thought it would be appropriate to include the reward in a way like medals. I swapped the medal face with the Singapore one dollar coin and also replaced the flower from the coin with the Jasmine flower in a subtle way but still obvious enough to notice a difference.
3. “Just keep swimming”
This was such a simple quote yet kind of hard to generate ideas especially since it came from such an iconic movie and character. This quote along with the imagery from the movie stuck on with me for quite awhile before I decided I had to think of another way to represent this quote. Initially, I wanted to include jellyfish as stepping stones to bring out the idea of moving forward but I was unable to come up with a concrete concept. However, after the consultation, I got the inspiration to incorporate the concept of parachutes into this work.
I eventually came up with this design of the game character Mario hopping on parachutes in the sky. I changed the entire setting from sea to land as represented by the grass to show a contrast and it was also a good representation of how the quote applies to the sea creatures in the movie, and to me as a human on land. The wires are added to show the struggles and obstacles as Mario progresses on the parachutes. Following the Rob Gonsalves reference, I made the clouds in this design to look like they could almost merge with the appearance of the parachutes in the sky. Upon a closer look, you will realize that the parachutes are made from Jasmine flowers, warp in a way to look like parachutes. The items hanging from the parachutes are what I need to keep me going in life, bed to represent sleep, burger to represent food, and coffee to represent the caffeine I need to keep me awake and going. Mario was selected as I felt like he is a character who keeps on going in the game, he is constantly moving forward, which is what I wanted to bring out from the quote. As the principle of design, the dark contrast of Mario is also balanced out in the composition with the pipe to represent a final destination that I will eventually head to.
4. “Beauty is found within”
As mentioned previously, I had a tough time coming up with this composition, it was actually the last composition I did out of the four. Initially I had the concept of a girl with a blurred out face or a row of people without their heads, and with flowers in their body to bring out the idea of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. However, it was too literal and after the consult I felt like i should explore a different approach for this quote. After brainstorming, I had the thought of beauty in terms of food and also representing the negative side of social media as well. However, Joy mentioned that it would be too confusing since there was now two ideas in one work, so I eventually decided on food since it was meant to have a self-reflection effect and I love food (who doesn’t?) Ultimately, I decided on the concept of finding beauty within food, upon tasting the food similarly like how you only get to really know someone after knowing them for a period long enough.
In the end, I settled for this composition. This composition includes the main focus of a little girl licking this toy figure like item, composed of all my favorite food. I wanted to express the excitement of finding out how someone is really like after getting to know them well. The food bits on the bottom shows how careless she is since she is still young. For this image, the subtle imagery of the Jasmine flower is represented at the back as fireworks. The fireworks are made out of Jasmine flower petals to include a personal touch in this work.
Although I am so glad that project 2 has ended but I must say it was a really fun project as it forces me to think out of the context of the actual quote and it was really fun experimenting with Photoshop as well.
It was also fun printing my design on the tote bag although I must say it was really stressful trying to do the silkscreen printing because you never know how each try will turn out! I think it really depends a lot on luck, when I did it I felt so nervous as if I was going for an interview! Although my art friend tote bag did not work out well, but I am glad it worked for my Muji bag! Learning how to think out of the box and to play around with the composition until you figure out that it really works is definitely a challenge but I wouldn’t mind doing this again..I guess haha.