I also looked around a bit on Pinterest, and I’m sure I picked up one or two ideas along the way, although there wasn’t anything particularly specific. So.
Moving straight to exploration~
I was a bit indecisive about which of my previous assignments to use because since the Ego project, the Typographic portrait and POV, I like aspects of all of them and wanted to combine them, but the styles are so drastically different I have some difficulties…
These are some of my initial attempts:
I’m trying to mix my Typographic portrait and POV object through changing the blend mode. It was interesting, but soon became apparent that it was not the most effective way to go about my zine, since I was still quite uncertain about what my Zine will be thematically.
That was around the time of the first consult, and instead of creating so much patterns and trying to merge my different works, Prof pointed out I have enough materials to work with just from my POV project..
More experimentation… They were all pretty dark, and while I was certain I wanted to include some words in my zine, at this point I wasn’t sure how…
Plus, unless I am downright doing horror, I did not want to generate any artwork that is plain dark or negative. I realize the mostly monochromatic color scheme possibly resulted from my limiting my experimentation to the line drawings instead of the colored ones.
While the line drawings showcase more details and intricacies, I couldn’t help being drawn to the colors from the watercolor completed work as well. This was when my work took a turn into a lighter, “pastel” direction.
And below are the exact sequence in which the pages were generated..
My main purpose of doing the test prints were to explore the formatting of the pages. Firstly because I was not very good at InDesign…
In my sleep deprived mind that night, for some reason I thought formatting on Microsoft word might be a good solution to removing the borders from the printed images… (It wasn’t. which is why I did not do that for my final… @A@)
And the other reason was because I discovered I have an extra page, so I was trying to figure out how to fit it in nicely.
I did consider simply removing or adding 2 more pages to resolve the problem, but it was not an ideal solution because I felt the content of my zine was “just right” the way it was, and it would not be appropriate to delete or add more content just for the practicalities…
So the two solutions I tried was to stick the extra page in (so that it is at least not a loose leaf, or to print it together with another page and fold it like a pop out card – this inspiration came from videos I saw online recently.
It was perhaps a cool idea, but in the end I opt for simply sticking the page. This was because I did not like the effect of the folding lines on the pages…
Simply sticking the pages does make the middle pages thicker though, and it was perhaps still not the most perfect solution…
A gallery of the digital pages (In the way I arranged them for printing, not the proper reading order >_<)
I think, in the end, my zine turned out to be a good extension of my POV project…
For the cover page I chose a shimmery paper because I just couldn’t resist, I love shimmery paper XD
No but seriously the way that kind of paper tend to shimmer and shine reminds me scattered stars, the glow of the sky, and other magic like that. So I felt it worked well with my cover page.
Prof suggested I write something on the first page. Perhaps a short description or the artist/artwork? I stared at the page for half an hour and felt that my usual way of writings will be too clumsy for the elegance I was hoping for for my zine. So I dug around my embarrassing stash of writings from the past few years and picked out this line that will ideally convey the mood I want to achieve with the zine, in a more succinct manner.
Pollution and overcrowding (Overwhelming)… General unpleasant things that.. people can live with once they accept I suppose… (Despite the constant desire to escapeeee >_<)
The idea of travelling, but also we each lead our own life and are on our own path to different locations and goals in life.
The center page @w@
This some-what mirrors the “We are going places” page, but with more emphasis on how we will never completely know another person. Partly due to how hectic city life is, but also due to essentially.. how life is I guess. Most of us only meet at one point of our lives and zoom past each other really fast…
And of course, the last page mirrors the cover page. The message too. Both are about how the universe love us…
I guess, to me, it’s a calming thought that no matter how much we rush through life and it’s pleasant and unpleasant aspects, we will one day all be accepted back by the universe equally… I’m not sure if this random reference to death is creepy or morbid but.. to me, this insight is comforting and sort of beautiful (?)
(The back cover was photographed but the photo turned out badly so please just look at the digital version earlier >_<)
I am not sure what to explain about the back cover except “Where is my path of flowers back to the sweet pastel sky?” is a line from… something longer that I wrote, and it’s positioning on my Zine is up to interpretations.. The “thing that I wrote” wasn’t entirely relevant, but personally I feel like this line close the theme of my zine quite well..
I love most of how my Zine turned out in the end, but I think might have limited myself from the beginning with my perception of how a Zine “should” be.
I still can’t help but wonder if I should have tried more ways to merge my different projects for my Zine, since I did really want to include more than my POV project. (It would have been a lot of content, but it might have been worth it? I mean, perhaps I should have pushed harder in that direction at least in the exploration stage..). For example, perhaps instead of taking the separate elements of the different projects to merge into 1 image, I could try balancing the them by having different image from different projects on each page, but mirroring each other… hmmm…
Then again, that is just me speaking in hindsight as I feel very inspired by a lot of classmates and how they executed their zines, some of which were really cool OwO!!!
Of course, they way I execute my own zine was semi-intentional because not only did I want to try the “simple” look of most zines, I also knew I would be busy at the end of the semester. I actively decided to devote lots of time to my first 2 projects in 2D, but give more time and focus to my other final assignments (Such as foundation drawing…) instead. I don’t regret how it turned out, but perhaps… *^* \I’ll have to push myself even further next sem!!/ *^*
The entire semester has been immensely rewarding though, and since I did my best the best way I know how… I have my fair share of learning and exploring, and what more can I ask for? ^w^~ (Thanks Prof Ina!!)
A City from the Point of View of a Weed is a Struggle.
This is actually inspired by something I wrote a long time ago, comparing a person in a city and a weed growing out of concrete, thus the positioning of the paper cut out such that a small person is visible as part of the weed.
A City from the Point of View of Animals is Poison.
Needless to elaborate, about pollution.
A City from the Point of View of a Migrant child is the Unknown.
Here, I wanted to go for the effect of the buildings towering over the child. The gloomy atmosphere is such that I focused more on the negative aspect for a child to migrate… I considered other words like “Loneliness/Not Home” as well, but in the end settled on the more neutral “Unknown” because it will be an exaggeration and almost a lie to say that there are no positive aspects of migrating either. Such as Hope and Opportunities..
The constructions in the background mirrors how a child’s changing and growing state, especially after a drastic change in surrounding. I feel it is most suited to express the dual meaning of “Destruction”, noise, overwhelming changes, but perhaps also the new “Possibilities” thereafter…
A City from the Point of View of a Wanderluster is a Cage.
The perspective is that the “Wanderluster” has yet to become a “Traveler”. Although the towering buildings are again used to indicate being overwhelmed by the city, I think when the concept of “Cage” came up, I refer more to the duty and responsibilities someone has to endure to live in a modern and developed city..
A City from the Point of View of A Traveler is a Map.
Pretty straight forward. The art style however changed a little because I wanted the buildings themselves to resemble a map~
A City from the Point of view of the Universe is Nothing.
A bit of contrast from the first one (Weed) going from the micro to the really macro perspective. And maybe also just a tiny bit of mockery towards human accomplishments (and failures~).
But really the execution of this last one also came from something I wrote long ago, comparing the light of a city to stealing the star light off the sky…
Bonus back-lit version~ The photos doesn’t do it justice, but I think if given the time and ability I would like to have set up my final presentation with the artworks in a loop, and lights in the middle. It works especially well for the “Universe POV” but even for the rest, I always like to use lights when I do paper cuts because it shows the layering very well..
Honestly the “looped” version here is closer to my original idealized final mode of presentation, and I am very happy with how it turned out ^^
The paper cuts was the easy part, and the first things I completed. Also because I need the silhouette to know which part of the city I want for it to show through~
Then, starting on the illustrations.. It looked intimidating but… well, it was. @@
But I’d like to think it was worth it QwQ
It’s cool cause it loops!!
Additional illustration for the “universe”..
Watercolors for the background.. (I did a bit more tryout, and that is the featured image)
(would upload the color ring but its still over size limit after compression >A<?)
And finally!! the “titles” or the actual point of views!
I was particularly happy to get to this stage because for the previous few assignments I almost always forget about it until the last second >< But this time I planned for where to insert them and wrote them in pretty colors that match my work! *w*
Extra because about none of this shows up in my final work X”D
Some sort of very simple animation sequence key-frames because I did briefly consider animating my project for a bit.. Probably over ambitious as later confirmed >A<
Because I was using pen and watercolor, and also because I am always influenced by music videos due to interest and past experiences… I would say if I had the chance to do it it will be a bit of this style
The initial brainstorming for this project worked out quite well for me.
Although I was a bit apprehensive that the “city” might be an overdone concept, I was inevitably drawn to the idea due to I think it’s significance to me, personally… Having migrated when I was younger and thereafter always wanting to travel, be it to other cities or to nature to escape the sometimes overwhelming noise, light, pollution, and endless work in the cities…
So yes, the concept was the easy part. And then came the compositions…
The paper cut compositions where pretty straight forward. Theres one or two I was a little uncertain about and also a few I was concerned if it was too simple. But I did not dwell on it because I know that the “hard” part will be the background illustrations…
And so, onto the medium of said illustrations.
I did the initial research in my last post, and also some exploration on my own:
Mainly with watercolors and pen since doing traditional instead this time~
And also looked back at some past personal works for inspiration.
Mainly pen works because I prefer the vibrancy as compared to the more dull and muted colors of the watercolors I have, so that’s what I wanted to go for. However, after consulting Prof Ina she actually prefer the less “finished” look of the last drawing (of the 3 above). It was surprising, but that set me thinking I can combine the 2 mediums, and possibly add the digital aspects for Zine.
As the illustration was not the only part of my artwork, I have to make sure it fits with paper cut outs I have already done before (Mainly the contrast stands out as much as I would want it to). So I set them against different backgrounds/ mediums before I started drawing, just to be sure.
Watercolors and pen looked tedious, but doable, so.. the technicalities are settled. Onto the actually doing part (Subsequent Post)!!
All the sources of the images should be linked (if you click on the image itself)
I’m working with the idea of a silhouette, so here are some ideas on how they should/could look~:
The background of my silhouettes will be cityscapes though, so I looked into the different style and medium this could be done.
Most are in traditional medium as that is what I want to explore this time. Specifically, I was considering color pencils, but should I need to scan it in, perhaps paint will have more saturated and vibrant colors:
This is not a skyline in the anticipated sense, but it is cool one the less and could be a way to explore perspectives if I go with variations of only 1 unchanging sentence.
The oil paintings below are closest to (one of) my desired effect and I find them absolutely stunning. It’s slightly dreamy and abstract~
CG which I will try to avoid this time, but a good reference none the less:
More illustration style, which is the other direction I could go (instead of painting). Perhaps I’ll make it more colorful and fantasy-like though:
And finally, some photo reference of the city at different times of the day. I’m thinking if I’m going to draw a continued cityscape I might as well make it varied, and changing the time of the day is one way to do it.
Mostly, the reference are for the transitioning stage (I’m thinking of having 1 dawn, 2 daylight, 1 twilight and 2 nighttime cityscape):
The first 3 are from the same photographer, linked to image source only in the first photo. But he has a ton of other wonderful city images I feel could help me.
Before this, as I was quite fixated on the illuminated manuscript idea, I was pretty determined to do all my designs by hand.
But. 2 problems quickly became apparent. Firstly, it appears my ability to paint are not on the caliber of medieval monks.
Secondly, I was uncertain about what to do with the backgrounds. Illuminated manuscripts also tend to either have florid or boring gold/silver backgrounds. However, I realize my font or script for the symbols are too plain to fit into complicate backgrounds. In addition I would like any designs in the background to be relevant the themes, which is not efficient for me to figure out and draw by hand…
I decided I would still add the paint and decorations on top of them when I print them out, and for the background, I decided to add textures and patterns, both from what I already have, as well as looking for some free stocks online.
These are the ones I attempted, mostly background tryouts and a bit of WIP:
I bought a smaller, thinner brush just for this.
And then I experimented some with the placement of the sparklies. Again, minor differences from the final, but its there.
After deciding on the symbols I could use, I started to combine some of them to explore the meaning or themes I wanted to fulfill with each design.
The experiments are mostly on the left, while the final 6 designs are on the right. I tried to push the meaning of each design as far as possible without distorting it’s aesthetic value.
Along the way, I also considered the “name” and “vocation”. I had difficulties coming up with a solid vocation because I felt I am a very fluid person.. in a sense I can imagine myself doing a lot of things but it’s very difficult to settle on one or a few to explore just for this project (*cough* or even for life..).
It’s easier when I considered it in more abstract terms though, and to help me with that I looked up the list of “Philia”s.
Ailurophilia (Obsessive love of cats). Reworking of the first design. The initial design is the one on the featured image. I had to redo it because I haven’t figured out the proportions for my designs at that point in time and in the end it mismatched with the rest.
The one eye cat is just..me. As I have used the same motif several times before.
This could be Lygophlia (Love darkness) or Nytophilia (Love of the night). Symbols used:
The Goddess (3 stage of the moon, 3 stage of woman)
Salt (Representing physical body in alchemy terms)
Quintessence, I actually can’t think of a “Philia” for this. And essentially only have that one alchemy symbol although I added some twist to it.
I added a small square to the middle of the smaller circle to allude to the Chinese coin, which i remember my parents telling me it represents being well rounded(circle) on the outside, but with solid values (square) on the inside.
Also as seen on the left I wrote my name (Chinese, and English initials) in stylistically. This was an idea that occurred to me when parts of the symbol itself looks too empty, yet at the same time the symbol reminds me slightly of a summoning circle… (Just a thought, I am not a demon hehehe)
So yes, for the stylized characters I actually did reference the “signatures” of demons, which are ironically suppose to hide their real names from being known as well. I love those stuff. XD
This is the most plain, and first design to be rejected after the requirements for the assignment changed from 6 to 4 pieces.
It is basically a combination of the symbols of all the elements (Fire Water Earth and Air). In a way it’s representing harmony in nature, but it feels similar to Quintessence yet considerably duller in meaning… So this one I’m actually glad when I didn’t have to use it.
Astrophilia! I actually really liked this. It’s a combination of my ascendant/rising sign (Cancer, on the outside because that is suppose to represent the personality you show), Sun/Moon sign (the sun sign is the common horoscope, but my moon sign is the same as sun sign), the Mid-heaven sign ( Pisces, suppose to be for jobs I think..) and Venus sign (Gemini, for love). Just for the sake of it, I also added my Chinese Zodiac (rat) shape into the Cancer horoscope symbol. It also looks a bit like the yin/yang symbol..
I removed this design after attempting some coloring (Later posts) because although I truly love its composition and meaning, it might not fit as nicely with the others when it’s significance seems (to me) considerably more direct which I was not entirely comfortable with for this assignment
Final! My name is infinite and I am possibilities.
This is the only one I am completely sure about for the name and vocation because it fits so well with how I perceive myself as fluid and perhaps adaptable.
I wanted to (and in the end did) include the Ouroboros symbol as well, but for a while I thought it would not be possible because drawing it on paper will be too small. It was later done digitally.