There are two stages to my approach.
First method is the break down the quotes into pieces. After separating it, i would seek out the possible metaphorical subjects to represent that section.
Second method is to find tone behind the quote.
With that in mind, i did several sketches to plan out the placement of the subjects. As i sketched, more ideas flowed through my mind and the subjects changed accordingly.
During the process of Photoshop, one of my composition also went through another round of “make-over” which i would talk about the difficulties in Photoshop later.
I want to challenge myself by using all the narrative techniques that i have researched upon. I am deeply inspired by surrealism, so my goal is to show that in my works. My curiosity may bring me to branch out to explore other styles too. However i will stay rooted and keep surrealism as my common art style among four compositions.
After my consultation with Joy, i saw a pattern among my sketches. My theme will be first world issues. I hope to raise awareness that although development is good, it also let us taken granted for many things in life.
First Quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while , you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 1986
There will always be people looking down on phone walking. As a result, they fail to appreciate the things around them. I used hyperbole to depict the narrative. A slow moving snail man is so absorbed looking at his phone. Life move really fast like a meteor coming so close on him. If he look behind once, he can see the meteor coming to him and may have an exciting chapter in his life which is he live to see a meteor. I used scale and implied line for the meteor to make it look like it going to hit the man. For the background, I choose a grid-like building to represent the consistency and stable life of these type of people. Then it got destroy by the meteor flying in in a diagonal way to dramatize and create tension. I was inspired by pop art and surrealism in this piece. In order to have a comic style look, i flatten the building by reducing the shadows and contrast of it. I have also chosen an illustrated meteor to further enhance the pop art style.
Second Quote: ” What we have got here is a failure to communicate.”
I instantly thought of “ji tong yao jiang“. A chinese proverb that mean 2 people talking at different wavelength and not understanding each other at all. I simulated the situation in online dating when the chicken man and the duck lady tried to communicate with each other over internet. The thing on their head is a tool to detect brainwave. As their brainwave is on different frequency, they failed to communicate with each other. With the network result revealing their love chemistry is zero, they give up and leave. In online dating context, that would be swiping to their next partner that easy. In online dating, people always have the mindset that the next one will be better so they didn’t put in as much effort as they would have in real life conversation. The chicken body is inspired by anthropomorphism pop art done by Lisa Bengtsson. She put all the detail, characteristic on the animal face and simplify the body into a silhouette. I like how it capture my attention with its simplicity. I applied the same by using a sweater and remove the shadow. However I found it to become like a big black hole so I add dingbats to add visual interest to it. I did the same to the computer screen so it would guide our attention to the text in the center.
Third Quote: “All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you”
– The Fellowship of Ring 2001
When I see this quote, I remember the times we go to canteen to eat during break time. There are many different stores in front of us but we still can’t decide what to eat. I also feel that time is limited from the tone of the quote. To express the dilemma from having to choose, i made humans to represent food and parody the proposal scene. The delicious food are all proposing to the brain to ask it to pick them. I used repetition to show the multiple food choices. Proposing means the other person have to decide at the spot, so there is actually time-sensitivity in this manner of proposal. Facing with all choices, pressing the brain to choose, it become very frustrated. The hands squeeze the brain trying to force an answer out.
Being inspired by Rene Magritte’s The Art of Living, i placed strong emphasize on the visual weight of the brain and scales in the composition. Initially the brain was flat and 2D, so i warped it to make it look squeezed and protrude the center. This really give off the impression that the brain is overwhelmed with all these food in front of it.
For the food on the heads of the human, there are Chinese, western and Japanese food like how a typical Singapore canteen would have. I put sandwich in the front to represent the sandwich in ADM that every busy art student would go for. Even that vending machine have choices on the favour. The hamburger also appear frequently to show the brain can’t make up its mind and go back and forth.
The humans are initially placed in one straight row, making the composition look flat. They are also very tiny, so it was hard to identify what they are doing. Working upon Joy’s advise, i gave it a perspective view by making them big in the front to small at the back and arrange them leading to the brain. Our eyes is naturally drawn to the brain, the biggest subject, then to the dark small subject. The perspective view from the food humans guide the eyes to the negative space in the center. At which the implied lines from glazes of the food to the brain lead our eyes back to it again.
Fourth Quote: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
-The Usual Suspects 1995
Social media have a deep influence in how we perceive beauty as. There are many people resorting to plastic surgery to look perfect and beautiful to meet the expectation of beauty which social media had sculpted in our mind. In this composition, i thought of using illusion to express how it is able to hypnotize us that physical beauty matters a lot as well as to reflect the quote that it was able to fool the world that it didn’t exist. Barbie is used as a figure of perfect beauty that everyone wish to obtain.
In the first row of trials, i used television to represent social media. I had a dilemma in which should i make the barbie look obvious or let the illusion do its thing and let people guess what is it.
After Dawin’s group presentation, i develop a new concept for illusion. I wanted to create an illusion on the human face focusing into the eye where there is a barbie symbol with icon representing social media (wifi signal/ television) This represent the illusion that the social media bring cause the human’s eyes to only able to see physical beauty.
After consulting with Joy, she recommended me to look up on the surrealism artist Rene Magritte’s The Son of Man.
The phone containing Barbie icon was put on top of the girl face to show that she desire to become like that. The barbie sent out a wifi signal and the girl got hook by the possibility of becoming a beautiful girl like the social media portray. Hence, her antenna got connected to the wifi. Flowers represent the natural beauty of many other people that was also entice by social media tactics that they desire to go for plastic surgery. Hence, their antenna was connected too. I place the antenna in a triangle way, guiding the eyes to the phone then work around it.
Ms. Joy’s comment:
The three composition look complete. As for the last one, maybe its because lack of time, there are things to improve on. There could be a mirror reflection of the girl to the barbie showing her desire instead. The flower on the sides could be wearing closet to show they are also seeking perfect beauty.
I feel the same because i have consulted her last minute so the concept is not that fully developed yet. I think the closet also show the flowers have become vain that is why they want to go for plastic surgery.
Thank you Ms. Joy for the helpful feedback.
Resource: I had a lot of difficulties finding the suitable images. I had to simply my ideas a lot and use a much common subject so that the images can be obtain much easier. For the third quote, there are actually three completely different composition before reaching the final most simplified version.
Photoshop: It was very time-consuming because it was my first time doing it. I made a lot of mistake in there. One time, i forget what did i click that the image tab is gone. I was completely lost. Luckily my friend who is very pro in photoshop help me resolve it through watsapp easily. He didn’t even need to touch my laptop to solve the problem, talk about GODLIKE!
I quite like the project this time. I been wanting to explore photoshop so this is a great chance for me to do so. I feel so proud of myself in able to achieve this and learn a lot at the same time. I also managed to complete the personal goal i set for myself except for the caricature which i feel will look out of place from the compositions. Ohh well. I feel so inspired by this project that i want to continue doing quote interpretation in my own free time. My first project would be on my current favourite song Nandemonaiya by RADWIMPS. Their lyrics are so beautiful and dreamy~~
~Ending with me & 3 chicken~
Hehehe feel a bit narcissism but imma proud owner of my design