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Learning Agreement Module 5.4 Ian Smith

Learning Agreement Module 5.4 Ian Smith


Self Portrait


Introduction My name is Ian Smith, and I study Graphic Art and Design at Leeds Metropolitan university. I’m 20 right now, but that won’t last long. I am a Graphic Designer. Regardless of what other say, thats what I do and what I am. I remember a talk from Andy Edwards in a first year plenary, I hadn’t been on the course long and still had those first year nerves about whether I would fit in here or not. He told us how he studied fine art, but was a graphic designer because thats what he said he was. And thats true, what I think I am is what I am. Obviously if I say that I’m a 4 foot tall, old lady, that doesn’t make it a reality, but when it comes to who “I” am, the things that I get to decide about myself, I can claim to be whatever I like, so long as I believe it. I believe that I am a graphic designer, and thats all I need to add that tag to myself. I always find intruding myself a pretty hard task, I find it hard to read the boundaries between what people want to know and the things they need to know. You may be wanting a bullet list of facts about me on this page, very formal, but that wouldn’t be an introduction. This is me, this almost monologue styled conversation I’m having with my Mac. Its sunny outside, the window is open, yet I have a candle lit next to me. All I can think about is going out and riding my bike at the skatepark, but I can’t, I have a Guardsman fracture, where both sides of your jaw are fractured. This is working both ways for me, I get stressed because I really don’t feel up to going out anywhere, but because of this all my focus is being put into my work. I think I may have deviated from the point a bit I am a graphic designer, I like to take photos, I love listening and making music, I read lots of comic books, watch films, and ride bmx, basically a small kids bike. Introducing myself like this makes me sound like pretty much every other student. Hopefully my work and the rest of this document will introduce me a little better than this page could. Maybe a good introduction for myself is that I give bad introductions?


My current work is a study of self documentation, looking into how one goes about recording themselves, showing how they live, and most importantly for myself, looking at myself as if I was looking through someone else's eyes. My main focus of this project is research based, with a final set of publications to exercise my specialised area. The research I am collecting is mainly in video format, recording myself doing either daily tasks, work, or just generally nothing at all. I am also collecting any form of outside documentation of myself, receipts and travel tickets for example. I have found utilising both methods means even if one fails one day, I still have an alternative form of documentation

My main problem with this project is my work rate to produce the physical items, however this is an issue I believe I have over come as I now have enough research to work off. In the course of doing this project I have created two small un related publications, which were created as something to film myself working on, these will be handed in with the rest of my work. I have also looked at documentation as an invasion of privacy, and am going to try and experience this by live streaming 12 hours of my life over the internet for anyone to watch. For this event I have created screen printed posters and placed them in various locations to try and spread the word. All my research is being shown online at a blog I created for this project at iansdailylife.tumblr.com/


Questions Answered 1) An Example of work I have already done: Big Maroon - Big Maroon was a small zine I made in collaboration with Oli Rogers and Tom Robinson, both on this course. It was one of the first things I made for this project, but I think that it sums up my practice well, as my work was created digitally. I think my strengths are my ability to pick up new skills quickly, especially computer related. My ambition, I believe you’ll never achieve big if you don’t aim big, so I aim high, and don’t get knocked when things don’t work. My main weakness without a doubt is getting distracted. I have such a bad concentration, not just for work, but everything. For this reason I like working in a group, I feel more driven to stay focused. 2) I think for my practitioners work I would have to go with something by London based design collective I Love Dust. I think I’m so drawn to this studio because not only is their work flawless, but they work with some of the clients I would one day love to work for. Kid Robot, Fenchurch, and even Carmelo Anthony have all had work done by I Love Dust, but if I had to name my favourite, I think I would have to go with the packaging they created for the Nike x Levis collaborative shoe. As with what I said before, I think the main reason I like this particular design so much is because it mixes two of my favourite brands with good design. As I said earlier, I may never end up working for such big brands, but if you never aim high, you never achieve high, I Love Dust aims high. 3) Technical processes I will need to know will be digital design software; Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator. For the videos I am recording, I will probably use iMovie as there is not much editing except trimming lengths, this however I will have to learn. I will need to find a convenient way of recording video, as my SLR is not capable of recording the lengths I require. Photography on both Digital SLR and Analog cameras will be needed. 4) The theme and content of my work I always is suited best to more personal topics, but I think thats more because that is the subject area I like to work in. I think I could mould my work to fit a variety of subject matters if needs be. 5) I think i want to communicate a sense of personal feeling, like you know something about me from my work. As far as the impact, I kind of just want to make people smile. I know thats a pretty tacky thing to say, and my work isn’t always aimed at this, but if I had to give one impact, a simple smile would make me proud enough. 6) I want my self initiated work to be very personal, open time framed, I choose what subjects to work on and with, and basically explore my own practice, what I’m really interested in. I would like the opposite of this for my brief led work, I would like to work in a way that is very structured, like working for a client


The Briefs & Intentions

Self Initiated Project I have always had an obsession with taking photos, ever since a young age. I think when I was young it was just a fun thing to do, my Dad always took photos, and I think I just wanted to imitate him. However the older I got, the more it became about capturing something, so you could always look at it and remember it. I think a lot of my obsession has come out of my Grandmas long battle with Alzheimer's, which over the course of my childhood changed her from an active old lady, to not even remembering her own son and daughter. I personally have only seen her once in 4 years, this isn't something I'm proud of, but something I just find too hard to do. Trying to talk to someone you love and care about, and instead just seeing them upset and confused, not even remembering who you are, its probably the hardest thing I've ever been through. I decided after the last time I saw her that it would never be me in that situation, I was going to remember everything about my life, for my whole life. I think this has had the largest effect on me, at least in my photographic work. I love to look at beautifully composed photos that someone has really spent time composing, but with my photos, I like to just capture something, and after this point in my life the capturing almost became more important to me than how the image looked in the end. I wanted to be able to see things clearly, to look and remember what, where, and when it was I took the photo, this became pride of place in my work. I began to notice I was always behind the lens of the camera, I was always the one doing the capturing, a spectre taking photos of peoples lives revolving round my own. Sure, when I had a girlfriend there was lots of photos of 'us' but none of just my unposed life, how I really felt. I wanted to begin to capture my life to study. I wanted to know all about myself, learn who I was and what weird things I do when no ones looking, when I can't see myself. For my Self initiated project I want to look at how one would document oneself, through video, collected items, and the work they produce while documenting themselves. This is a very open ended brief, which will allow me the freedom to work with what I want to work with, and would let me experiment more as a practitioner, to try and find out what area I would really like to specialise in during my 3rd year.


Brief Led Project I want the complete opposite of my self initiated project for my brief led project, but something that is still suited to my work. In a way I want something that is more like working on a professional job rather than something that I can just play about with to create. Out of the three briefs on the CAGD site to choose from, I plan to work on a modified version of the D&AD Little White Lies brief. I found the four briefs quite tedious as they seemed to be more aimed at more illustrative based practices, apart from the student survey brief, which to me seemed like a fairly uninteresting brief. Although I am trying to make this brief more like professional work, I still want to look at something that interests me. The original brief read “Create an original cover illustration for Little White Lies magazine, depicting the main character of one of our five favourite films of 2011” This is by far the most interesting of the briefs to me, but unfortunately I am not an illustrator, so I have modified the original to fit more with my practice. My new brief now reads: “Create an original article for Little White Lies magazine, coving one of our five favourite films of 2011” The films are Drive, Black Swan, The Tree of Life, Super 8, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, out of which I have chosen to use Drive, as it was my favourite film of 2011, and the inspiration behind part of my personal photography work. I intend to write the article with the premise of exploring how the film has influenced other work, opposed to the magazines usual format of looking into what has influenced the film. However I will still have to touch upon this to clarify the film with the audience


The Process Explained My approach to a project usually starts off in the same way, I tend to already have ideas floating round my head, it sounds weird to type out, but I always think that I imagine a lot, I am constantly planning in my head, I have ideas for well in the future, most of which will never become reality, and plenty of ideas for projects, the problem come with settling on an idea I am happy with. This generally happens over a brief period of creating bits and bobs to experiment. Projects for me always start with a bit of harmless superstition, before work really begins, while I am still thinking, I have to have an idea storming session to Heart of the City by Jay Z, a tradition that dates back to my A levels. I realise this sounds like hokum, but to me its a pretty important part in the beginning. I like to experiment with new things mixed with old things when beginning a project, I search for the feeling of a project, I think although my ideas may change over time, I still want the end of the project to come from the same feelings as the beginning, staying true to what inspired you in the first place is the best way to create a coherent series of work, no matter how varied the final results. For this project I started off creating a collaborative zine with two fellow students, at this point none of us really had a set idea for a major project, and it was a good way to get the creative juices flowing, also a good kick start back into work after some time off. My method of work is usually focused on digital design, mainly using the adobe creative suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop top of all. I enjoy the process of designing digitally because of the rapid changes you can make to a project, with little or no consequences. If you're doing an illustration with pencil and paper, it is far harder and messier to change something you don't like, whereas digitally if you dislike part of say, a layout design, you can correct it with no consequences in a few clicks, this freedom is what I really enjoy about working digitally. However this project saw myself using some more traditional techniques for printing, with learning to screen print, something I've been wanting to do for a while, and am looking forward to using again in the future. I found the hardest part of screen printing is thinking out of the box when it comes to designs, as you are limited to using colour in blocks, this can either really help, or hinder your designs depending on how well you can think about the process. Photography comes up a lot in my work, and although I really enjoy taking photos, I do not really want to become a photographer outside of University. i find that if you want to look at graphic design and in particular layout design, you need some content to lay out, and although you can do this with just text, I find this creates quite heartless and tedious pieces of work. I know I could easily find some content online, or through one of my friends / course mates to use in a publication, but I would rather


try to exercise my own personal skills and display my own work with my own layout design, and seeing as I am not an illustrator, photography has always been my favourite way to attain imagery to use. I used both analog and digital photography in this project, as I like to use both for different purposes, and to exploit both for their various benefits. However in my final work I have not used any of my analog photography. Another area of the process I enjoy is looking at how something is printed, and learning to use digital print by myself without having to use the aid of Jonathan. I think your work will be deeper if you can learn the full procedure that goes through creating it, not just the designing aspect, but the transition from digital to physical. I created a blog to show my videos on, as a easy digital way to catalogue what I had been doing, as they we're often too long or awkward to upload to CAGD, for this I has to learn some basic HTML. The content of my work is usually quite personal, revolving round small personal details opposed to big things like political issues. I have always been interested in the individual, small thing that mean a lot to someone, and this have never been more so than in this project. The content of my self initiated project was obviously very personal, as it revolved around documenting myself, and would always be around small insignificant important things in my life. However my brief led project also turned quite personal, as my article revolved around the influence the film had on an individual, instead of its influences on the masses. I also enjoy using type in my work, however I find it very easy to get stuck in a rut with typefaces I like, and can occasionally end up over using certain styles. This is something I hope to combat in future by being more experimental with type.


The Work - Brief led Project I am going to talk through my brief led project first, as this was the most direct and to the point project out of the two. As I have stated earlier I intended to use this project as if I was working for a client, and create an article for little white lies magazine based around the movie Drive. At first I planned to just produce a review of Drive, aimed at promoting it, and generally slating the way it was advertised. This first incarnation was made with photos trying to directly re-create scenes in the film, and was highly focused on the straight facts about the film instead to the imagery. However after a while I looked back n what I had designed, and frankly was ashamed that that was what I had come up with, I just thought, was this really my best effort? Instead of going back to the same old format, I decided to see what it was about Drive I really enjoy, aside from just the story and ooh of the film, I have always been inspired since first seeing Drive, whenever I watch it I just want to make something. I have always been drawn to taking photos at night over the day, cities look so much more beautiful after dark, this is when they truly become alive, basking in their self created light. Drive appreciates the night, and you can tell while watching the film that it has put so much effort into capturing the feel of the city by night perfectly. I was inspired after seeing the film to go take photos round the less than reputable areas of Leeds at night, just to try and capture that feeling. I decide to mould the article from an appraisal of the film, to a look into its power to inspire, focusing on my own reasons for being inspired by the film, and the work I created. This also was quite fitting tying in with my other project about self documentation. I started taking photos around leeds at night, exploring different areas in the outskirts of the city centre till I found the areas I felt best about photographing. I wanted to capture areas you would not usually see at night, things that are usually overlooked, and I wanted to avoid the more residential zones. I don't want to elaborate too much on locations, as I believe the mystery of not knowing is sometimes the best part, I personally wouldn't want to visit some of the areas from Drive, because it might spoil it.

This is an example of one of the quotes I threw in, I always like articles where small sections of what has been said is quoted as a sort of go to point, these again I did in hot pink


For the article title page i chose one of the darker photos and a simple layout, but threw in the hot pink for the credits to add a little colour and in homage to the original drive titles. I think the cover page was actually my favourite of all the pages in the article, I added the pink at the last minute, and noticed how it instantly made the article stand out more, thus came my decision to run it throughout.

Another double page spread, this one however focusing more on the photographs than some of the other pages, with their titles and descriptions tagged on them. I liked using larger pictures just because when I read a magazine, I usually end up just looking at pictures anyway. For the layout of the article I stuck to the dimensions of Little White Lies, as this was meant to be assuming I was producing the article for them, I couldn't really change the whole size of the page. I originally had used the typeface Mistral for all headings and Tw Cen MT for the general text, but I decided using Mistral was copying the film a bit too much (the opening credits and film's posters all use this typeface) and I believed I had used Tw Cen MT too much recently, so I switched to a font I had never used before named InaiMathi for both headings and general text, but highlight certain parts in hot pink, as a reference / homage to the original titles from Drive. As far as placement of items, I tried to keep it coherent but slightly mixed about to keep the reader interested and not give it a mono feel.


The Work - Self Initiated Project This project was far more open and free flowing than anything I had done before, by its very nature I wanted something that would allow me to be free with what I do. The general theme for this project was documenting myself, and even thought some of the work I produced wasn't strictly based round me, it is all based round something in my life, and I believe all adds up to a testament of who I am as both a person and as a graphic designer. The first thing I made for this project was a collective screen printed zine with Thomas Robinson, and Oliver Rogers, and a screen printed poster made up of various scans comics I found at a retro comic sale. This was mainly a personal induction into screen printing, although I had done a little in my first year, I wanted to get better at it seeing as it is a process that is on offer for us to use. This was good fun, but also proved to me it is very easy to make something from nothing in not much time at all, as we booked the screen bed on Monday for the Friday, meaning the turn around for work had to be pretty speedy. I enjoyed this because I got to work as part of a group, but was aware that I wouldn't be working in a group for the rest of the project. I played around with various other things, eventually creating a small publication over a period of time named "Maple Syrup". This I think was the precursor to my self documentation, as it was basically documenting my love for maple syrup, in the light hearted means of a cookery book. This was fun to create but I find it a little boring to look back through, as it was intended to be a cheap reproducible hand out, it is mainly just text. This is the point I got fascinated with recording myself and documenting myself, I explained this in detail in my briefs page, but to bring it back around, I find the concept of losing our memories as we get older probably the most unbearable thing imaginable. to combat this I became determined to begin documenting my life, so when I get to that stage I can look back at the photos and videos I took, and still remember the people, places, and events I loved from when I was young. It seems a bit far fetched, and it could have just been things in my personal life that I was going through at the time, but for some reason this became more important than anything to me. I set up a blog named Ian's Daily Life on tumblr, the address of which was printed on various pieces of work I did, and became my location to upload videos to when I needed a place to showcase them. I became more and more intrigued by the notion of documenting oneself, I wondered why not one had really done it before, and after several un answered tweets to Louis Theroux, decide to try live streaming 12 hours of my life on a web broadcasting service. I wanted to try and let people really invade my life, really look at me, so I had no escape, so everyone would know who I was behind closed doors. This was a complete failure, as I got only a handful of viewers, all of whom were close friends who already knew it was taking


place. It was still importuned to me though and gave me a chance to create some advertising posters for it, and place them round Uni. London 2012 was I think my favourite piece from this project, as it was the sort of thing that I personally would pick up and read. It essentially was a collection of photographs from a recent trip to London I had been on, but tried to stay focused on other aspects than just touristy photographs. I tried to make it a little larger than than my other publications, and used more negative space to really highlight the photos. All images were taken by myself over the period of two very overcast days, this was originally the reason I shot in black and white, as the sky looked too grim in colour. Daily life was a small publication intended to sum up some of my favourite moments from recording myself, but in turn turned into some of the most boring moments, the moments that fascinated me the most. I looked into my lip biting habit more than anything in this, because after 4 months of studying myself, this was the most intriguing thing I could find. The original poster created to practice screen printing. It is worth noting that my brief led project was based round influence from the film Drive, and the typeface used on this poster was Mistral, mainly because of its use in the drive opening credits. The actual imagary is all scans from various comics all released before I was born. I’m not sure what made me decide to use all ones from before my birth, I think I was just amazed they were older than me.

Images of Big Maroon, the first of the publications that were made for this project. We did two runs of this, one in red and black, the other in red and blue, the red and black was my prefered one, but the red and blue had a pretty good fake 3D vibe going on. The name Big Maroon actually comes from the cities project me, Oli, and Tom all worked on in first year, so its allways nice to look back.


Pages from Maple Syrup, this was initially just for fun, but I find it to actually be a pretty good reflection of character, I hope my love for taking a relaxed view and joking path through areas of life comes over in this publiation. I now think I could, with time, re work this publication and make it of a better standard, but at the time I made it I was proud with the outcome. The use of the name Akimbo is something I am looking at working into in the future. Although simple in design, I feel Maple Syrup does what it is meant to do, the font is clear, the layout is simple and it was cheap to produce, everything I was looking for in a small handout for a bit of fun Promotional Poster I produced for Maple Syrup, it is the cover from the publication, but over printed again with another colour, to make it a bit more eye catching. I did runs of various colours, but the green and black was by far the best. The text is meant to look gloopy, like the substance of maple syrup. These are the posters I created to advertise my 12 hour live stream of my life. They are digitally designed on InDesign, and then screen printed, my original idea was to place a run of black prints round various locations, and then a few days before the event change them all for green ones, to hopefully make them more eye catching. However a lot of the green ones got snapped up and I think ended up more on friends walls in their houses than actually being used as a promotional tool.


Pages from London 2012. I tried to juxtapose a lot of images to eiher draw a contrast, or to try and make the reader have a douple take. The fact it is black and white was mearly a coincidence that it was overcast the whole time I was in london, and I hate overcast in colour.

Pages from my Daily Life publication were mainly made up of stills from various recordings I had made, and testemonials about myself from friends and family, all of which were limited to only 3 words to describe me. I also looked into my trait of lip biting in this to try to prove my findings while filming. Digital copies of the work will be available on tha CAGD site, for better clarity as printing is probably going to become tricky with 3rd year priority.


Connections and Refrences The ideas in my work I believe are mainly based round my personal life, and personal likes and dislikes. I try to avoid the cliche'd area of political issues, and prefer to focus on things that make me smile, or things that are personally important to me. I think I'm just trying to say people should be happy, I like making people happy and I hope my work achieves that, my deepest intentions would be for everyone who picks up my work puts it down with a smile on their face, people don't smile enough. The actual visual content of my work usually governs its form, for example if I am working on a photography based piece, I like to make the imagery pride of place over anything else. However content in terms of themes I don't think have much of an influence of the works form. My work is more often than not made digitally, whether that be design or photography, I have always preferred digital, I think this is mainly because I'm a pretty big nerd, and have always loved technology. More recently however though I have began to enjoy printing my work by screen printing, and am beginning to really enjoy analog photography. The main processes I use are programs in the Adobe Creative suite, mainly InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop, Digital and increasingly more often analog photography, various techniques to print, and very occasionally sketchbook work, I like to think of my mac as my digital sketchbook, my hard drive full of ideas, however you sometimes can't beat a physical sketchbook for rough ideas. I think I use these processes most of all because it is the logical thing to do, they are the things I enjoy the most, am best at, and feel most comfortable with, I would however like to start taking a few more design based risks in future. I think all my work I just want to look like something I'd like to be given, I try to look at it from an outsiders point of view and think, would I think this was pretty cool of pretty whack if someone handed it to me, I do this pretty much because I want my work to be something people like. I want to create work that is easy for an audience to understand, but never underestimates them, I don't want the viewers to think I'm trying to belittle them. It should communicate with them on a personal level. I would like my work from this project to be seen on a personal, but relaxed context. I've not made fine art, this isn't something that should be in a gallery this is a set of things you should have laying on a coffee table for people to pick up and flick through, but at the same time things that I hoopla people want to get sucked into when they flick through and end up looking at things for a while, not just a browse. My audience in my head is anyone and everyone who would like to look at it, I have this grand image that I want anyone and everyone to be able to look at my work and for it to make them smile, however in reality my work is probably aimed at fellow students, people around my age, living roughly the same life as me, people who can relate to me. My audience should make whatever they want of my work, I hope


they like it, it makes them happy, they go away with a smile on their face, but to be quite honest, I want them to look upon it as themselves and decide to make what they want of it, whether they love it or hate it. The people and ideas in my work are often represented from my point of view, seeing my work is very personal. I try to be impartial in some situations, but this is never easy in this kind of work. I just hope people realise that however I represent people or ideas in my work that these are only my views, and everyone is entitled to their own views, I would hate for someone to look at my stuff and think I'm trying to make them believe what I believe. I try to avoid themes of ethical or moral implications, at least I try to avoid direct references. I have my own views on politics and the way people should live their lives, but as I've said before, these are my views, I don't want to push the on other people through my work, I just want to make people smile.


Analysis - Kaido Ole, “Handsome Hero� So for my critical review I have chosen a still life exhibition by Estonian artist Kaido Ole. The exhibition title "Kena Kangelane" or "Handsome Hero" in English was at one of Tallinn's largest art galleries, the Kumu, between 27th January and 15th April 2012. We were lucky to catch it on our trip to Estonia this March, and although I am usually quite bored by paintings, I found this exhibition fascinating. I think although the medium is rapidly different from that of my work, the works have influenced me quite a lot recently, and after all, the guy was painting his feeling and his personal life, its just his own way of documenting himself. I think the main shock to me came that it wasn't just the artist I wasn't aware of, it was a whole area of art I wasn't aware I had any interested, previously I had no business in still life, or much fine art for that matter, this exhibition opened my eyes. I'm no art critic, I just design things, but I will try my best to talk about this event in an educated manor. I was always under the impression that still life was just paintings of fruit in a bowl, or some flowers in a vase, the stuff I wasn't too big on in school art classes, I had no idea a still life could be so vibrant, so abstract. I'm a big comic book fan, and it was almost like comic book imagery had collided with those traditional still life paintings to create something that almost jumped off the canvas at me. In particular I remember a Painting of a rainbow, on either side it fell into a box where it was desaturated from colour. I had and still have no idea what the artist was trying to say by this, and I don't want to know, because to me it was a beautiful painting, something I could really admire. Apart from some of the titles, all the writing for the exhibition was in Estonian, so I couldn't understand a word of it, but it was so nice, and such a nice relief to just look at a piece of art, and admire it purely on an aesthetic level, not being bothered by the background or meaning. This has affected my practice since as I have become less bothered with something having a reason, and more bothered with it just looking nice. I know Ole probably has some big hidden meanings in all the paintings, but to my newly simplified mind, I don't want to know what they are, I just want to admire the photos I took of his stunning art.


Other peoples work I've been really digging recently is as follows: - The Walking Dead comic book series. So I have always loved comics, but over the course of this year I've become obsesses with the series The Walking Dead, it is by far the most exciting and interesting series I've ever read. - Only NY, Young & Reckless, and Undefeated clothing brands. So I've always been very influenced by clothing companies, I really like street wear, and always really vibe of of new things coming out. These are just three of the companies that I've recently been really into, I can't think of a day i've not worn an Only NY snap back for about the last 6 months, and I believe if your happy with how your dressed, that positivity will shine through your work and you general attitude all day. - Pacewon, Action Bronson, and Shabazz Palaces. I always work with music on, its what inspires most of what I do, and the music I have been listening to is probably by far more important to my work than any form of visual art or design that I've seen in the last few months. These three artists are just some people among that I've been really getting into while working, so they need to be in my analysis. - The Future, Shame, and Take Shelter. These are three of the best films I've seen recently. I think its fair to say Hyde Park Picture House has eaten up a lot of my loan this year, but it was worth it. I've always been very influenced by film, and these are three that stand out in my mind as being some of the most influential. When I say influential I am talking about influence in my work, not in social or personal life. - I've been really into the design studio Mass Observation ever since their lecture and meet and greet. I'd love my work to one day be that crisp and clean. Also the fact I used to ride bmx with the two guys a few years back came as a massive shock, so its amazing to see where people can get to. - Inside of Leeds Met Graphic Arts and Deisgn, I've got to say I've been closely following Oli Rogers work on Tropicalia and Hyper Realism, Thomas Robinsons development of the comic 'Joose' and above all Angi and Charles' creation of The New Locals. Some really promising stuff going on this year of graphics, I was proud to be a student alongside these guys. - Just as a foot note, the most amazing thing I’ve seen this year was the Tupac hologram at Coachella Festival. It literally blew my mind.


Zeitgeist I am looking at the front page of the reasonably priced i newspaper, which is essentially a spin off of the Independent aimed at receiving a higher audience due to its cheap price of 20p. From looking at this paper I can assume it is aimed more at a younger audience than anyone else. To refine that I think it wouldn't be unfair to say its aimed at students. We all know the stereotype, students are all politically fuelled, alcoholic, sports fans, and as exaggerated as this is, it is definitely based in truth. I can say from my first hand of meeting other students that the majority do enjoy a drink, have got political views they want to share with you, and like sport. I mean, I was never too big on sport until I came to uni, and now its just like a way to bond with other students. This newspaper has clearly done their research, they know their target audience. I can prove this by just taking the 3 things which apart from the main article and newspaper details, take up the entire cover. Theres a small heading for an article about political reform in Greece, a column for the sport, in contrasting colour to the rest of the page so it grabs your eye, and running along the bottom, an advert for Grey Goose vodka. Now I'm not a big dinkier, but I know Grey Goose is pretty expensive, but the unfortunate thing is, if you advertise it looking cool, with the quote "World's best tasting Vodka" students will blow away their loan on it. Thats just the times we live in, people would rather blow their cash on being drunk than on something they really need. The proof in this is simple, why would you advertise quality vodka on a very cheap 20p newspaper? Because the population buying it has money to burn on trivial things. The headline reads "Britain's 6m unpaid carer army at crisis point" Before I move on to the article I would like to explore this headline, as I believe it contains some pretty big clues to the spirits of the time. It may just be me, but I believe the use of the wording "6m unpaid" instantly makes you consider a financial sum of ÂŁ6 million, even though there is no ÂŁ in front of the number, this is probably because a lot of the news over the recent years has been very much focused on the recession and the amount of debt as a country we are in. It would be easy to glance at this headline and believe on first sight it was a story about unpaid workers being "not paid their wages" instead of "unpaid". The next interesting point is the reference to the group of workers as an 'Army'. We all no we are a country at war, although the war is not at home, our citizens and allies are fighting over seas, another very common topic in the news. It could be said the word army has been used to catch ones attention, seeing that as harsh as it sounds, people generally seem to care about news regarding our troops more than news about care workers. The word in the headline will catch ones eye, and then lead them to read the rest of the article to clarify. This headline it is fair to say is fully derived for todays society, after all people are paid to think of


gripping headlines, someone has put thought into how this headline works. We then have the image to accompany the headline, which is a an old womanise hand holding what is clearly a younger persons hand, the actual older lady is out of focus, all that is in focus is the connection between the hands. This could be said to be an example of tugging on peoples common heartstrings, so to say. I doubt you will find anyone who has not cared for an older person, or had a loved one grow old and frail, its just life, but it is something we are all terrified of. This touching image shows the elderly lady from an almost first person point of view, with the younger hand becoming our own reaching out to her, and as she is blurred her anonymity makes her become our own elderly loved ones. So we have a headline and an image that most of the public will relate to, our attention has been grabbed as the creators of this article have used our own society, our own zeitgeist against us, to pray on our feelings. The bullet points to draft the article tell us about how much of a higher risk carers are to mental health issues and ill health, but also how their careers have been damaged by caring, and how Labour is warning up of a 'Care Crisis'. Now although there are other articles on the cover, I'm hooked by the main one, so instantly turn to the page the article can be found. I am greeted with a nice big T-Mobile advert in full colour taking up half a page. Not it might just be me, but I swear all the other photos on the page are just a little desaturated compared to the advert, but hey, thats what us students want. it goes straight back to my vodka point, we have a crisis over unpaid carers, yet we can still afford a shiny new phone. Money to burn. However I'd like to point out, this is not my social circle, for one, I've never bought i newspaper in my life, to be honest I don't think I've never bought a paper thats not been for my mum in my life. I'm not a big drinker, and I'm not too bothered about politics, sure I have my views, but thats where they stay, to myself. I don't think we can really look at one paper and think that this is the zeitgeist, I don't think even if you had a copy of every paper you could come close to the zeitgeist of the day. You just learn to feeling the papers wanted the paper reading population to have, and out of 5 people in my house, only one occasionally buys a paper. So you get the intended zeitgeist of what I can claim to be a fairly docile 20% of the population. The zeitgeist can not be found in the paper, the zeitgeist is what we make it. We are the zeitgeist. We make the feel of the time, from the clothes we wear to the music we listen to, how we act what we do, we are the feel of the times. The media can influence that, but at the end of the day, we are not just a vessel for the hypodermic syringe of the media, thats just what people say to make excuses when their kids are messed up. We make our own decisions, we control the feel of the times, and their are so may "Zeitgeist Circles". Every little group as its own one, made of individual peoples zeitgeists, and these groups cross over and link in to make up the whole feel of the time.


Bibliography: Books & Magazines: Little White Lies Magazine: Issue 37 in particular Total Film Magazine Empire Magazine XXL Magazine Ride Bmx Magazine Front Magazine Harper’s Bazaar: Greatest Hits Heston’s Home Cooking The Walking Dead Olumpiavanne The Walking Dead Volumes 1-14 The Art Buyer Making and Breaking the Grid Websites: Highsnobriety.com thisiscollosal.com Rotterntomatoes.com Wikipedia.com theguardien.co.uk/film sohh.com littlewhitelies.co.uk design-milk.com bbc.co.uk/news/science_and_environment/ japanesestreets.com ted.com helmutsmits.nl


Where I Work I work at home on my nice set up desk, I work in my housemate Oli’s room a lot, and I can also be found in the 4th floor studio most days of the week. However since the start if the project, I seem to have spent a lot of time working here, on a tiny white cube.


The Future I Intend to work real hard in my third year, but I also want to continue enjoying graphic design. I would quite like to look into branding, but most of all develop my practice to its fullest


Learning Agreement 5.4  

My 2nd year learning agreement

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