For project 2, we had to find movie quotes and represent them in a visual form. For my quotes, I picked two animations and two real-life movies:
Beauty and the Beast
Synopsis: An arrogant young prince and his castle’s servants fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress, who turns him into the hideous Beast until he learns to love and be loved in return. The spirited, headstrong village girl Belle enters the Beast’s castle after he imprisons her father Maurice. With the help of his enchanted servants, Belle begins to draw the cold-hearted Beast out of his isolation and bringing out his beauty that was hidden within.
Full quote: Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away but she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.
I chose to shorten the quote to “Beauty is found within” as I feel that it sums up the main gist of the entire movie. The enchantress had forced the prince to learn that true beauty comes from within; it’s about being kind to others and not only thinking about yourself.
I felt that the two main areas to focus on in this quote is “beauty” and “within”.
Hence, I started my research by searching for symbolisms of beauty:
- flowers – mainly roses, lotus, orchids
- butterfly (also symbolises delicacy and a wish to not be trapped anymore, to break free)
I then decided to use roses as a symbolism for beauty in my first development since the rose is also an iconic part in the movie. It represented the time that the beast has left to find someone who loves him: when the last petal of the rose falls before his 21st birthday, he will remain a beast forever.
I wanted to use a rose as the pupil of an eye to show that beauty is beyond what you can see. However, Mimi said that the idea of it being “within” is not really shown. Therefore, I tried another way of showing “within” using a silhouette of a lion, which I felt represents Beast. Here are the rest of my development for this quote:
I added more butterflies coming out from the lion to symbolise Beast wanting to break free from his curse.
Context: Edna Mode is a costume designer for The Incredibles, she expresses her dislike for Mr Incredible’s costume when he approaches her to fix the tear in it. When Mr incredible points out that she was the one who made the costume fifteen years ago, she says the quote. She then says that he needs a new suit and proceeds to design a new one for him.
Edna: This is a hobo suit, darling. You can’t be seen in this. I won’t allow it. Fifteen years ago, maybe, but now? Feh!
Bob: Wait, what do you mean? You designed it.
Edna: I never look back, darling! It distracts from the now.
To symbolise “looking back”, I wanted to use an image of an eye, with a clock(to symbolise the past) behind it. I wanted to show that Edna has seen beyond the past and is looking to the future.
Obviously, I couldn’t use an image of Edna herself.. So I replaced it with another lady in a sassy pose, which I think suited Edna.
However, this covered the clock. So I simplified it down to an eye.
After that, I wanted to add a tear, to signify the tear in Mr Incredible’s costume. I also feel that it brings across the meaning of “distracts from the now” as the tear is on the old costume and Mr Incredible’s continuous focus on it distracts Edna from creating a new costume. I also did not like the style of the clock as it blended too much into the background.
The Shawshank Redemption
Context: Andy Dufresne is wrongly accused of murdering his wife and her lover out of jealousy and anger. He is sentenced to 2 life sentences in Shawshank prison. After 20 years, he finds out the real murderer and tries to get an appeal for the case. However, the corrupt prison warren wants him to stay and continue doing his dirty work, saying that the appeal would not work. The warren then puts him in a solidarity cell for 2 months as punishment for not listening to him. After Andy comes out of solidarity, he decides that he could not stay any longer and decides that it was time to escape after a talk with his pal, Red. He crawls out of a tunnel in his cell which he has been picking out for 20 years. While talking to Red, he said that it comes down to one choice: get busy living, or get busy dying. He refers to the decision to escape out of prison and decides to live; to escape prison.
You’re right. It’s down there, and I’m in here. I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
From the quote, I focused on the words: “living”, “dying” and “busy”.
To symbolise living, or life:
- nature – tree (tree of life), butterflies, birds, flowers
- lotus flowers (survive even in muddy waters)
- circle of life
To symbolise dying, or death:
- grim reaper
For my first design, I guess I got too excited and simply put everything that symbolised life and death into the image. I also found an image of a pile of money which I used to symbolise Andy, who was a banker. Mimi said that it was too messy and there was no focus point. She also suggested that I take inspiration from the yin yang symbol.
I realised that the pile of money resembled an arm, reaching out. I was very excited when I realised that I had accidentally made the pile of money reach out towards life. Which was what Andy decided to do: live by escaping prison.
Synopsis: Struggling author Eddie Morra suffers from persistent writer’s block, but his life changes abruptly when an old friend introduces him to NZT, a revolutionary new pharmaceutical which will allow him to fully utilise his brain’s abilities. With this enhanced mental acuity, Eddie soon realises the possibilities of what he can accomplish are unbounded.
Why is it that the moment your life exceeds your wildest dreams, a knife appears at your back?
The quote is said at the beginning of the movie, as an opening line and introduction to the story. Because of the pill, Eddie Morra wants to keep moving forward and striving for greater things that he once couldn’t do without the pill. But yet, because of the pill, troubles come looking for him as well.
To symbolise dreams:
- birds (freedom to dream)
- wings (fly higher to achieve your dreams)
- flowers, vines
For my first design, I used clouds to symbolise dreams. I also used a dagger stabbing into a pill to show that along with the pill, troubles come along as well. However, it felt too plain and did not convey the idea well.
I then added wings to show how Eddie wants to strive even higher every time he takes the pill. I also used a scythe instead of a knife in this design. However, I felt that the wings were too messy.
I decided to take a more static approach to the design and changed the style of the wings. I also added flowers at the back as I often relate flowers to good dreams. I took away the pill even though it was crucial in the movie as I felt that someone who did not watch the movie would not understand the inclusion of a pill, as it is not mentioned in the quote.
For my final design, I used the flowers and wrapped it around the dagger to convey the idea that by striving too high and beyond your limits, it is bound to bring troubles and problems. I wanted to show the connection between Eddie’s wildest dreams and being unable to avoid getting into trouble because of it.
In a lot of his collage works, Ben Giles likes to use flowers. He also makes use of bright and vibrant images to contrast black and white images. Although this would not be applicable for my project which is purely black and white.
He also takes an ordinary image, adds an element to it, and changes the message of it completely, by playing with scale. His style is quirky and has a hint of humour in it, although his style is mostly not applicable, it was very enjoyable to look at his work and get some inspiration.
Another two artists that have a similar style are Eugenia Loli and Sammy Slabbinck.
I really like Henn Kim’s work and I know that a lot of people have also listed her as an inspiration. I like how her illustrations are very minimalist and yet conveys a very strong message with a bold aesthetic style.
Next up, my final outcomes for the project!