MY LINE IS EMO / Process

Dear OSS,
for Foundation 2D Week 1 my class will be working on “My Line is Emo”.

The project is about
creating 6 strips where each represents a different emotion in the primary emotion categories that consists of love, joy, surprise, anger, sadness, and fear. Emotions will be presented through the technique of mark making.

I want to
have a constant theme that ties all the emotions into one story. The story I chose is related to my personal experience and the movie Lost in Translation (2003) directed by Sofia Coppola.

Growing up I had to be constantly on the move. Every 2 to 3 years I would move to a new area and sometimes even new countries due to the characteristics of my father’s occupation. Whenever this happened I had to go through the phase of being “lost in translation”.

To me Lost in Translation (2003) accurately captures the alienation and slight discomfort it causes you when you are dropped into the middle of no where.

Thus, for project 1 I would like to walk the viewer through the emotional phases of moving and adapting to a new environment based on my experience of coming to Singapore for the first time.

Experimentation #1: string
I used strings to attain continuous curved lines. To me it seemed fit to present the emotions of fear or anger. Whenever I get nervous or frustrated I would get a wriggling sensation in my stomach. I felt like strings could represent this feeling. While experimenting I found that the amount of ink applied to the lithograph significantly changes the amount of texture that will be imprinted on the paper. So for the picture shown above, I lifted up a certain amount of ink in the area where I will place the string with scrap paper. Not only did this create a interesting block of grey in a black background, the curves of the string became more visible. I think curves would have been even more visible if I was able to get yarn instead of sewing thread.

Experimentation #2: tissue, choice of pressure tool, lines
I wanted to capture the texture of my mark making tool as well so I chose tissue that has a bumpy surface. I wanted to show the emotion of surprise. One of the things that surprised me was that the canteens in the school do not provide tissues. As a messy eater who only been to food courts where tissues are provided this was surprising and hard to get used to.  I created marks that cartoons use to show their characters shivering around the tissues to exaggerate the surprise. In addition to the shiver marks I drew straight diagonal lines to give a sense of movement to my piece. I wanted to emulate that feeling of being alone in the city not sure where to go to while everyone around me are rushing on with their lives. 

For my second try I tried folding the tissues. To me being surprised is a sudden reaction that leaves an impression on me.So I wanted to use straight lines in contrast to the curves used for fear and anger through string.   At first I was unable to capture the bumpy surface of the tissue as shown in the photo. So for the second try I lightly rolled my roller soaked in ink over the tissues so it would create a mark on the paper.


Experimentation #3: plastic bag
In addition to the trying to capture the texture of tissues I wanted to capture the rough texture of a crumpled plastic bag. I chose plastic over tissues or paper because it would be easier to press down and thus the crumpled marks will imprint better. I found it was easier to apply bit of ink on both sides. One side will imprint the ink on paper and the other will allow the plastic bag to stick to lithograph. Compared to the tissues, the plastic bag creates a more grungy impression on the paper as it has sharp angles.

Looking back
through the combination of experimenting, talking to other classmates, and critique from our professor I realized I was overly focused on my theme of “Lost in Translation”. Yes, sticking to the theme is important but as I have the freedom to choose whatever mark making tool I want and can make a tool as well if I want, I should be more considerate of what tools I can be using. The tools could also be related to what emotion I am trying to show. For instance my plane tickets or the forms I had to fill out could be incorporated to give a further personal touch.

In addition, my original plan was to decrease the value of the black and white strips as is moves on from fear to falling in love with Singapore. However, I found it difficult to execute this change in value. Due to the different sizes and textures of the mark making tools as well as the difficulty in controlling the right amount of ink applied I was unable to do so.

Lastly, as I was putting this post together I realized I should have taken more pictures. It would have helped me remember how I got certain marks and would have supplemented this post with visuals.