Unit 7 Reflective Journal

"0" Calories


Week 1


This week we have been drafting the proposal for the new self-project. This project is a final 7-week-long project that we will have to think of the theme individually. Rather than getting a project breif, this time we were actually asked to make one ourselves. 

On Wednesday we have had a support session to help us understand our own project more deeply by drawing a spider diagram. The diagram has been divided into 7 sections that has covered up everything we have to be clear about the project. After, we have had another discussion within the small group to help each other, exchange more suggestions and talk through the project. For me this session was a bit difficult at the beginning because I didn't fully understand the diagram, but later I have found it very useful that has helped guide me writing a clear proposal.

On Thursday I have had a one-to-one tutorial with my tutor. I have been told to look at a few more artists and maybe do some research about social advertisement as my theme is to inform people of something with a negative impact as well.


Proposal Section 3


My project will be based on questioning how brands market low calorie products and low calorie aspirations – how people expect blindly from the diet products.

The idea for this project came from my personal experience of being on diet by drinking lots of diet drinks. As I have been keened on drinking them I have realised that they did not work out the way as I expected. I then started to question these products, did some research and realised that zero calories is just a lie – it is an unethical marketing strategy that has been made up by the manufacturers. Therefore, through this project I intend to inform the facts and alert people who have relied on diet products.

I think there is a whole iconography associated with term zero that is imprinted in the mind of society and used by advertisers. Therefore I think my work will explore this and work at re imagining the associated meanings associated with zero and changing peoples inherent perception of that icon.


Week 2


Due to some personal reasons I couldn't finish the proposal by the end of last week, so this week I have been continued writing the proposal and doing research at the same time.


Week 3


After I have catched up with my retrieval assessment, this week I have been focusing on my sketchbook and doing some initial response to the idea of "0" calories.




Today I have done the experiments to directly communicate the idea to stop people from drinking coke zero.




Today was my first time trying letterpress ebossing with the letter block. The process was very simple and straightforward. My idea to explore with letterpress embossing is to experiment with the emptiness and nothingless by using no ink.


Process of Letterpress Embossing

1)Wet the papaer to make it easier to print

2)Place the letter blocks in between of two tissues

4)Place the blanket and the chipboard on top

5)Place the whole set into the machine

6)Run through the press


Week 4






Interim Reflection and Evaluation


Throughout the half way of Unit 7, I have been constantly developing my ideas from the starting point – questioning how brands market low calorie products and low calorie aspirations, exploring with the icon 0. I have experimented with both two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms, doing letterpress embossing and using the plastic workshop were vey new to me. So far, what I have found this project very interesting is that we all got so much freedom to really plan it wisely. I considered myself not really a good planner, but with the help from tutors by using the timetable I have improved my time managing skill.


Week 5


This week I have been experimenting ideas of nowadays womens' 0 aspirations. As I was doing the research, I have looked into womens' self-esteem problem as they blindly believed in coke zero would make them skinnier. In this case, I have been experimenting with the relationship between females and mirrors.

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Week 6

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Reflection Workshop

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Decision on Final Piece


I have chose to use reflective perspex with 3mm thickness in order to bended as a distorting mirror.


Week 7


This week is the last week of the project. After shooting in the studio, I also did another shooting with a different background.


Final Evaluation


Doing the self-initiated project and writing the proposal has been very challenging to me, as I have never experienced before. On the other hand, I also really appreciated this opportunity to work creatively and independently. Comparing with usual, writing my own brief has gave me more freedom and has got me more interested in what I intended to do. At the beginning, I was a bit struggled with writing the proposal because I did not fully absorb the theme that I decided for myself. After I attended the workshop for proposal and learnt how to follow the diagram and fill in each context as a guide. I then have realized how important it is to know ‘why am I doing this’ and ‘what am I aiming for’ in order to get fully engaged with the project.

My decision on the theme was based on my personal experience of being a coke zero user, which has made the whole project much more familiar to me. When I was writing the proposal, I have set this project to be ‘based on questioning how brands market low calorie products and low calorie aspirations, also exploring with re-imagining the associated meanings with the term zero which is imprinted in the mind of society and used by advertisers.’

My final outcome is a distorting mirror cut out in a number 0 shape which has communicate the idea that people should stop distorting their body image and relying on coke zero. The mirror was made of reflective perspex with 3mm thickness in order to be bended as a distorting mirror.

Different from other projects that we have done before, this time we were asked to present the project by making a publication in InDesign. However, as a graphic student, InDesign was not something that is totally new to me. Instead, planning out the pages, considering what to put in to sum up the whole project were the real difficulties.

Due to some personal reasons, I had a really slow start at the beginning. Thus later as I moving onto the project, I have been trying to follow the initial timetable as much as possible. To ensure that we were all making progress every week, my group tutor has also set up task for us to experiment with more possibilities, which I have found it very helpful.

Throughout the project, I have been keen on updating the reflective journal to help record and analyze. My attitude to reflective journal has also changed from not bothering to really using it as a useful tool.

To sum up the whole project, I think the main difficulty for me was not thinking conceptually enough because of the lack of deep research. However, the outcome was not as bad as what I thought, which has successfully passed the message that I intended to say. Besides I am glad that I have also challenged myself to really break through the thinking from two-dimensional to three-dimensional, not only experimenting with the computer software.

Last but not the least, I think I have to say that I really enjoyed this project but if I could start over the project again, I will be doing more primary research rather than just relying on the internet, and maybe doing more sketches as the research.



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