My project has taken the greatest turn this week- I have gone from working purely digitally to delving into very hands on processes in search for a unique and new visual language. The crit made me realise that my outcomes are still very much influenced by suprematism, and this is largely due to my own style and preference of working i.e using minimal forms, geometric shapes etc. Even with a more contemporary colour scheme and the application of textures, the resemblance to Malevich is apparent. Working digitally also does not help with my proposal at the moment because these tools and effects already exist, it is a language that other designers have created and adopted themselves, rather than something I create on my own. I feel like I'm stuck on autopilot- sticking to my own safe and predictable way/style of working.
While I have begun to generate content from my surroundings i.e colours inspiration, using seen words, I am still relying on existing presets rather than coming up with my own techniques. Joao pointed out how it is the processes you don't have control over and the mistakes encountered that will allow you to create a new language that has no connection to past styles. For example, misusing ink jet printing, or manipulating code to create glitches, looking at objects in a different way when photographing them (zooming in and thus abstracting key elements of light, shadow, texture) etc. He also suggested I impose some of my own restrictions to ensure I don't fall back into my own style of working, for instance only working in black and white for one day, or challenging myself to work in large scale. I gathered a wide assortment of materials from shaving cream and pva glue, to chalk and inks to begin experimenting with the printing process. The beauty of working this way is the infinite combinations of materials and techniques- printing over and over on the same sheet or shifting it to create whatever effect I wanted. While there was so much control in terms of laying the paper down, creating the patterns on the shaving cream, there is also so much uncertainty over how each print would turn up, and this made the whole process so exciting for me.
I looked at the contemporary glass collection at the V&A for some texture/ colour inspiration. I initially visited for the early 20th century collection, but I found that it was more for contextual reference and didn't really aid with my current experimentations. Looking at sources outside of the graphic design field has made me question why designers want to borrow from existing forms and colour schemes in the first place.
I feel that I have to start to wrap up the first stage of my experimentation- simply playing around with the materials and processes without any real reference. Some of the processes used have become more refined, I have learnt to manipulate it to achieve certain looks or textures. I am going to experiment with combining these processes, and incorporating photography/ ink jet printing which will be more digital/ technical than what I am currently doing.
I received slightly mixed responses from my tutor and peers on how to take my project further during fridays crit. My group felt that the intentions were not clear with my experimentations and that there's a lack of designer/ contextual research. They suggested I revisit the research and outcomes I had done in response to the past design eras such as the film tile sequences and analyse reasons for those design choices i.e colour influences, reasons for those forms (psychedelia influenced by 1960s psychedelic drugs such as LSD). While I agree with this, I feel like the work I have done so far is purely just to see what produces the most visually interesting outcomes and more importantly, try out processes that have not been really tested out by graphic designers before, rather than requiring any context/ substance i.e references to psychology, the current political climate etc. This will have to come later.
Joao agrees that the experimentation is still key at this stage of the project, and would probably be carried out right to the end of the project as there is always going to be more techniques discovered, more to refine etc. He gave me some ideas on how to take it further, such as scanning the prints and trying to turn them into three dimensional typography, playing around with the more fluid properties and turning them into animations.
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