Below are my artist references and some of the compositions/experimentations that I did for this project.
Journey of a Paper Boat
This project allowed us to experiment with different traditional media to express ourselves. I decided to settle on a ‘Journey of a Paper Boat’ concept where the paper boat represents myself. Although the paper boat looks weak, it is strong enough to last long on the water.
I used watercolour as my main medium to create a soft and dreamy look of the journey while adding on black and white pen line works to emphasise more on the outline and small details.
1) Ambitious + Calmness = Independent (ME)
- Ambitious : It is a composition of the paper boat on a map with a flag marked on an area, to indicate its destination.
- Calmness : The calm water and stationary ship by the dock created a quiet overall surrounding.
- Independent : I placed several sailing boats of the same colours in the middle ground while the paper boat is away and alone from those clusters in the foreground.
- Exploration : The paper boat is placed on the right side of the image and a lighthouse to balance it out on the left side. This time, the water is slightly wavy to portray the paper boat traveling/moving.
- Intimidation : The paper boat is a small object surrounded by dark and vast space of trees. By comparing the scale of the boat to its environment and adding bats, I created an overall menacing vibe.
- Confidence : This composition is more of a close up to show how the paper boat just passes by two crocodiles trailing behind. This is to show how it has the confidence to overcome those fears.
- Determination : I placed the paper boat going through a bad weather on the left side of the piece and several objects on the right side to balance everything out. The waves are harsher now, with white pen lines added to create the ‘storm’ look. With a black pen, I created clouds and heavy rain so the overall piece looks busy and chaotic.
- Survival : By painting the extra objects orange, I managed to make the paper boat stands out in its red colour. Also, I placed some of the objects into the ‘waterfall hole’ to create depth as if they are falling into it. I pushed the paper boat slightly off the edge to show the danger it is going through.
- Growth : No longer a paper boat, it has upgraded into a sailing boat to show the evolution/growth after going through the storm and waterfall.
- Perception : To show depth of feel, I composed the piece to look as if it is viewed from a high place. The foreground is painted red and the middle ground purple so the hills can gradually blend into the purple background.
- Strategy : This composition is like a bird’s eyeview or satellite view of the ‘Perception’ piece where the boat is navigating through the hills.
- Victory : I believe the Sun represents success and victory. By placing it on the right side and the boat on the left side, I managed to balance them out. The arrival of the boat also looks as if it has finally reached its destination.
Artist Reference #1 – Arthur Fellig
For this project, I was mainly inspired by a forensic photographer called Arthur Fellig, also known as “Weegee”. Since he was active during the 1930s, his photographs were in black and white and had a seedy/grainy texture.
However, what set him apart from the other photographers was that he had an eerie ability to arrive at the scene before the police. He would capture the moments where officers were digesting evidence and onlookers were trying to peek through. I felt that his audience were not only fixated on the tragic but the very human qualities too, like raising questions ‘What is the police chief thinking?’ or ‘What is the eye witness feeling?’.
We became part of the drama. I noticed how he kept focused on people or objects rather than the events itself. His photographs raised questions in our heads as he only left us with ‘clues’ to what had happened earlier.
Artist Reference #2 – Kyle Thompson
Another photographer that I was inspired by was Kyle Thompson. He has a signature style of creating surreal conceptual photography. I liked how he carefully selected out his props to effectively produce the overall ‘mood’.
I noticed how there was good contrast between the background and props, further creating emphasis. One of his ways was using wide space. For example in the right image below, he showed how the legs are buried in a vast and open area. The empty space also directed out eyes straight to the legs.
Another thing that I took note of was how he created a sense of dominance and depth which resulted in focal points that attracted the audience’s eyes. He applied the one-third rule and even cropped the body out to show gestures or emotions.
The concept of Emptiness. Kyle’s images usually featured one person alone in an open space, environment or surrounding. As quoted by him, “a beauty in their simplicity”.
Artist Reference #3 – Julien Pacaud
For this artist, I was only inspired by how he created his compositions especially the use of perspective that leads audience to the focal point.
Julien has a signature style of producing fictional spaces with “retro” visuals. He also implemented geometric shapes to create playful scenes and environment. I liked the quirky use of background and foreground to form balance and unity.
The sense of dominance in his images were from the size, depth, colour and texture. He effectively applied empty spaces to control the overwhelming visuals.
The lyrics to a nursery rhyme can be quite whimsical and nonsensical. The main objective of this project is to move beyond cliche solutions to narrate a chosen nursery rhyme using images. I wanted to move away from creating literal images.
Hence, I chose to do a concept of ‘Crime’ investigation where I let my audience to decide what is happening or will happen next. My aim was to raise questions in the audience’s mind as he views these pieces.
1. “The cow jumped over the moon” I created an outer space environment by placing a galaxy background with a small Earth on the top left side of the image. To balance it out, I placed an astronaut and a cow corpse on the bottom right. These two elements are at a bigger scale to give a sense of depth.
2. “Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep”
Instead of placing a girl that represents ‘Little Bo Peep’, I only used her props for this image to add on to the mystery. With the ‘Butcher Shop’ door on the right side, I also placed a pair of shoes in a lighter shade in front of it to create contrast. To balance everything out, a cane is rested against the wall and a streetlamp is hung above it on the left side.
3. “And the dish ran away with the spoon”
I created an eerie forest environment with ‘Wanted’ and ‘Missing posters stuck on the trees. These posters are in a lighter shade as compared to the trees to create contrast. They also acted as the focal point.. I applied the one-third rule where the tree in the foreground is slightly shifted to the right the whole image will not be too jarring.
4. “Humpty Dumpty had a great fall”
With the Crime concept in mind, I created a white outline of the egg (Humpty Dumpty) as if an accident had occurred. To compliment that, I also added a number 1 card next to it as the first ‘clue’. I let the background remain as bricks to show the exact place this accident took place. Lastly, I balanced out with a soldier investigating the scene on the right side of the image.