Portfolio Jason Williams 2013
I am a London based graphic designer, I design with my hands, dance with my feet and
sometimes do the other way round. I like to think outside the triangle and count in 8â€™s.
Each project is categorized into different specialist areas, which are represented by their individual triangular pattern.
02 Advertising 04
05 Packaging Application Design
The triangular patterns are displayed at the bottom of each page to show which area the project falls under.
..For the Love of coffee
YCN Brief – “Develop a creative campaign for Douwe Egberts in the UK to appeal to younger consumers.” Cassa Café captures the imagination and willingness to try new things of the younger target market encouraging coffee lovers to drink at home.
Studiogram application concept for the social media hit Instagram. Studiogram is a new way to create and share your voice music and memories. Record, share with friends, add effects, comment and like recordings all in the palm of your hand.
D&AD Brief – (joint project) “Make Batiste a must have product for every beauty toolkit, appealing to new customers and engaging with existing ones.’
The new range is inspired by four of natureâ€™s serene landscapes, desert sand stone, ocean waves, exotic jungle and glacial ice cave. A mobile app is a way of connecting with the potential and existing customers, involving the target audience with Serenity by taking pictures and sharing them on social networks.
Vaughn Oliver - Art Director & Graphic Designer
Tired of the same old names I would like to be introduced to the new Young Turks
D&AD Brief - (group project) Make Your Mark - Lateral Symphony is a design exhibition which opens a window into designerâ€™s inner creative creature, investigating lateral thinking in visual communication.
Incredible Hulk – Ribbed and strong
Iron Man – Longer lasting power blast
Spiderman – Spider sensitive – Sensitive tingle
Superman – Cold ice tingle
Durex Heroes are super hero condoms each with its own unique attributes to help stimulate both partners during sex. The Durex Heroes range consists of 4 different heroes which are Superman, Spiderman, Ironman and incredible hulk.
Limited edition music packaging for Ne-Yo album â€“ Year of The Gentleman
Fig. 1 B2K – RnB Boy Band example to show dance inspiration
1 Brain, 1 Clone Plus Me
Fig. 4 Boy Blue – Pied Piper 2010
Much like my passion for dance, when I hear a good song I automatically start moving to it, my drive for design works in the same way. When inspiration finds me, I have to act on it, be it a quick sketch, a full on design attempt or even a quick written reminder on my phone to come back to. I believe that every designer is unique based on their social background, personal upbringing and the visual information which surrounds them, the fuel for my creativity stems from the visuals I feed my brain which allows me to create designs unique to my social surroundings. The design industry displays many similar qualities to the dance industry in its competitiveness for work especially in fields such as branding and advertising. Career choices within the design industry are vast as design is an essential factor to many products and services worldwide. ‘Graphic designers work with letters, colour, patterns, illustration, photography, information and physical materials to create everything from annual reports to corporate logos’. (Raine, 2010, www.designcouncil.org.uk.) Careers within design fall into two categories, freelancers and agencies/companies. Freelancers are self-employed designers that are hired to work for different agencies or companies with no long term attachments. (Soanes et al, 2008, p. 566) Freelancing allows the designer to work on projects of their choice in the comfort of their own leisure, agree their own deadline dates with clients, claim expenses on the company and earn a higher profit margin then working for an agency as the company will take its cut. (Cass, 2010, www.justcreative.com ).
If I had a clone which path would I choose? BA Hons Graphic & Digital Design Jason Williams 2013
Chapter 1 Outside The Window
List of Illustrations
Figure 1. Dissertation cover – Jason and Clone- Authors own design (2012) Figure 2. B2K – RnB Boy Band example to show dance inspiration http://www.entertainmentwallpaper.com/download/40026912/ (Accessed date 7/12/2012) Figure 3.Vortex Dance Group 2008 battling at jump off dance battles http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=73862115110&set=a.73861020110.141319.793 235110&type=3&theater (Accessed date 7/12/2012) Figure 4. BellaKinetika 2012, Examples of speaking a different language without saying a single word Garcia, Laura (2012) www.lauragrb.com Figure 5. Boy Blue – Pied Piper 2010 http://www.bde2010.co.uk/exhibitor/uk-arts-international (Accessed date 7/12/2012) Figure 6. Backing dancers for Cheryl Cole on The Voice UK http://www.capitalfm.com/artists/cheryl-cole/photos/the-voice-uk/perfomrs/ (Accessed date 7/12/2012) Figure 7.Vauxhall Corsa Modified – Shows examples of design when I was 14 http://forums.corsa-b.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=15743&start=15 (Accessed date 7/12/2012) Figure 8. Wallpaper design (Authors own design 2007)
the air is filled with
I would like to thank all the members of Abyss Dance Crew and Bird Gang Dance Company that contributed towards my research through interviews or and group discussions I would like to thank BellaKinetika and the team for the dancing and skating experience both in Bristol and London. I would also like to thank my proof reader Rachael Hepburn for all her patience and hard work. I would especially like to thank the staff at Greenwich University Mark Ingham, Sara Andersdotter and Liz McQuiston for the invaluable advice and help given to me over the course of the dissertation.
the addictive aroma Contents
List of Illustrations
Chapter 1 – Outside The Window
Chapter 2 – The Disc
Chapter 3 – The Two Dances
Conclusion – The Chosen Path
List of Illustrations
Figure 9. Collage design (Authors own design 2008) Figure 10. Team TBC – YDP 2012 Our Final Design (Team TBC and Authors own design 2012) Figure 11. Team TBC – YDP 2012 Our Final Design (Team TBC and Authors own design 2012) Figure 12. Team TBC – YDP 2012 Our Final Design (Team TBC and Authors own design 2012) Figure 13. Five positions of ballet http://www.artofballet.com/class2.html (Accessed date 7/12/2012) Figure 14. French court ballets of the 16th and 17th centuries http://www.artsalive.ca/en/dan/meet/bios/artistDetail.asp?artistID=26 (Accessed date 7/12/2012) Figure 15. Examples of dance formation design http://bethel-fission-x.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/dance-formationand-song.html (Accessed date 7/12/2012) Figure 16. Golden Section http://kbtype2processblog.wordpress.com/category/layouts/ (Accessed date 7/12/2012) Figure 17. Examples of choreographing (Authors own photograph 2011)
Destiny placed me in Silverspoon Wembley 2005, the first performance that opened my mind’s eye to a whole new way of life. A secret life governed by rhythm and tempo, full of emotion and hard work, building friendships out of acquaintances, telling stories through the body, a secret life I began to journey on within this mute art. Influenced by a culture of dance and music, I became fascinated by the likes of Michael Jackson and Usher Raymond, with a heavy influence from boy band R&B groups such as B2k (see fig.1), gliding across the floor with ease with a slick persona quickly became an aspiration of mine much like many other teens of that era. King of the ‘bedroom dancers’ I practiced and practiced studying music videos of R&B artists for the latest dance moves, but it wasn’t until a few years later, during my first year of college where my love for dancing found itself a home. Curiosity landed me outside the window of a dance studio which inside pictured a bustling flock of motion. As the flow of choreographic movement to hard hitting hip hop music captivated me, I realised at that moment that this was my destiny, after wanting to dance for a crew for so long but never finding the opportunity, only to stumble across one full of amazing talent and personality right on my own doorstep. This is where I was first introduced to the dance group Vortex. Before being accepted into Vortex dance group (JK1D, 2009, www.youtube.com) I was asked, why do I dance? At the time I wanted to dance for the fun of dancing in a group and being a part of something. As the years went by those group members became brothers and sisters to me, and dancing evolved to hold emotional meaning, but at the same time gave me a certain celebrity status within the community as our name was being pushed out there,Vortex became known amongst the dance scene. As I grew older I left Vortex and joined a new dance venture in the form of a company called Bird Gang,
As discussed by Mary Wigan, dance is a living language, and just like a language has accents or variations of the dialect, so does dance. Each dance group is unique to their style as everyone’s interpretation on how to move is different. For example, if three brothers create a dance group that dance group will be unique to the dance scene as they are made up from unique choreography styles from the 3 individual brothers. If one brother decides to leave and make his own group, then the new group whilst similar to the group he left becomes unique in its own style as he no longer has the choreographic input from his two brothers. This is the system of evolution in which London dance culture progresses.
Many dancers from the older dance scene back in the late 90’s/early noughties stem from one of the few big dance companies such as Boy Blue or Avant Garde. These dance companies and groups made a name for themselves on the dance scene, some still existent some not. The members of those dance groups and companies ventured onto new dance groups or they created their own. These changes usually occur under two circumstances: 1. They felt in need of a change in style to help self-progression. 2. For selfexpression by taking on the main choreographer roll by starting their own group with their own ideas and style.
Stereotypes can easily be formed in these conditions as having the right image can be more important than your ability when it comes to securing a dancing job. Once successfully trained in commercial dance styles, paid work can earn you large amounts of money in short periods of time. This is one of the biggest advantages to a dance career, being able to do what you love for a living while earning handsomely from it. But on the other side of the coin, a career in dancing does not come with a monthly pay check; and payment from a job is never guaranteed to arrive within immediate completion of the job.
(Birdgangltd, 2011, www.Youtube.com) if
Introduction Time slows down as I take a deep breath; the candles dance around in the dim light of our new kitchen, the air is filled with the addictive aroma of drying paint mixed with the sweet scent of chocolate cake. Body leant forward, face full of flames, chest puffed with air; just before I exhale I make a wish: “I wish I had a clone”. The words repeat themselves over and over in my mind, believing that it may come true a little bit more with every repetition. Time speeds back up as the grey smoke rises from the waxy candles, my mind drifts off; a new world projects itself from behind my eyes into the clouds and bright sunlight. I’m standing next to my twin, both of us ready to walk out the house, one off to rehearsals the other off to work. The dancer is rehearsing for a big dance tour across Europe, not the biggest show I have ever done but the feelings of excitement and nervousness are still as exhilarating. The designer is preparing a portfolio to present for a big new rebrand between two company merges. Not the biggest client I have worked for but the work load is just as stressful. Stepping back from the day dream the thought crosses my mind; if I really had a clone, which one would I want to be, the career clone or the hobby clone. I can’t follow two passions consistently at once; there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to follow my career choice as a graphic designer and my passion for dance. If I had a clone we would be able to share experiences and memories so I
I ask myself why I dance now, my answer has changed. ‘If a dancer dances, if he choreographs, he does so because to him this mute art is more eloquent than any other.’ (Cunningham, 1991, P. 13) Dance is my platform of self- expression; it allows me to speak a different language without saying a single word. (see Fig. 3) As described by Merce Cunnigham, there is none quite like it; it allows me to display the thoughts and feelings through an emotional attachment to music based on new ideas and concepts, while giving me an audience to voice them to. It presents opportunities to meet new people and venture on new projects without the awkwardness of not knowing one another. It also provides the chance to become someone else, to take on a new character, to forget about being me and my own personal struggles and instead display the feelings and characteristics of this new alter ego. ‘The dance is as a living language which speaks of man – an artistic message soaring above the ground of reality in order to speak, on a higher level, in images and allegories of man’s innermost emotions and need for communication.’ (Wigman, 1996, P.10) Street dance culture within London has its similarities amongst different groups, companies and societies but also has its differences. It is those differences that reflect the diverse nature of London as dance styles amongst fellow dancers will grow differently depending on the style of their group or choreographer.
‘To show that no matter where we were or who we are, what competition or medal we’ve won, what countries we’ve visited or how long you’ve been dancing for, at THAT moment in time we all thought that what we were learning or performing was authentic Street Dance. Literally our blood, sweat and tears were invested into this career/hobby and this was not done in vein. Whatever reason you began dancing or what motivated you to continue, within that class or rehearsal, performance or battle you believed in the dance and used it as your vessel.’ (Cox, 2012, www.facebook.com) This extract was taken from an online discussion about the evolution of dance; Jazmine began the post stating her dance evolution which started off similar to most dancers including myself such as family, music videos etc. Dance as a career is made up of two sections, commercial and non-commercial. Commercial dancers usually live off doing dance gigs, going to auditions, doing performances for artists as backing dancers for TV, film, live performance, shows, events etc. Non-commercial dancers may do some of the same but it is not the main focus of their financial income, so they are more focused on teaching dance, workshops, classes, paid dance shows etc. Many commercial dancers develop a different dance style to non-commercial as client based dancing always has its certain style requirements from the clients. Commercial dancers tend to be trained in a variety of different dance styles including ballet, jazz and contemporary, but may lack the street element of hip hop street dance. Choosing the path of a commercial dancer has its advantages, but in order to reach that point where dancing commercially becomes financially lucrative, many factors block the road ahead. Commercial dancing focuses heavily on the look and style of the dancer. The requirements of many agencies and jobs entail the dancer to be skilled in a number of dance styles including contemporary and also the image of the dancer must meet the requirements from the specific job.
Non-commercial dancers can also earn a stable income but the amount of income will be considerably lower compared to a commercial dancer. As the base of income is coming from teaching and jobs, in the dance industry, unless a dancer reaches a status of fame it is unlikely that you will make more money from teaching then you would from commercial gigs. For non commercial dancers there is a strong focus on teaching for two reasons: 1. As a source of income, teaching different classes on a weekly basis can provide a steady income. 2. Teaching also provides a canvas to display work which builds up to a choreography show reel, which can be used for securing commercial jobs. ‘Being able to multitask, being proactive, don’t be embarrassed to take on other jobs, you need to work on certain jobs to get to where you really want to go, I’ve done jobs that I’ve hated, I’ve done retail, I’ve done door to door salesman, but if you think you have somewhere to go and you know where you’re going it’s worth it.’ (Bird Gang Interview: Ivan Blackstock, 2012,Video). According to Ivan in the interview unless you have jobs booked in one after another on a regular basis, life within the dance industry has its rewards but can also be a struggle. This conveys that dancers need to rely on working other jobs in order to maintain financial stability. Ivan discussed a heavy burden which is carried around by many dancers within the industry.
Fig. 6 Vauxhall Corsa Modified – Shows examples of design when I was 14
Working as a freelancer also has its disadvantages, as the designer has the hassle of doing their own taxes, a lot of time is spent focusing on branding and marketing themselves as well as filling in paperwork and chasing emails ‘Consequently, this means you will be doing less of what you love (designing).’ (Cass, 2010, www.justcreative.com ). The biggest disadvantage of freelancing is the loneliness as working alone denies the opportunity for social communication. (Smyth, 2012, Lecture Notes) Design (Cass, 2010, www.justcreative.com ) teams consist of different roles which I have been a part of during After university. These roles consist of project managers, the phase of designing designers, visualizers, copywriters, account executives etc. cars I started to experiment in different A similar setup can be found in any medium to large design agency creative outputs using Photoshop, I was curious to as efficiency is elevated through delegation of work. Agencies allow the see what else the program could do, so I began experiment designer to with all the different filters and effects the program offered using focus more on designing work rather than them in different combinations to create collages, logos, wallpapers etc. chasing up the admin as emails and paperwork By the time I reached college I knew my way around the software pretty well will be handled by someone else within the team. Working for an agency allows the and was developing a portfolio of sorts, of all my experimentation work and also designer to design work for larger brands than a freelancer would as an agency will have a higher designs I had done for other people. But I had always considered designing a hobby clientele then freelancers. Working for an agency also has increased job security compared just as dance was as I didn’t believe I had the ability to pursue design as a career. to a freelancer as work will always be found for the designer. (Cass, 2010, www.justcreative.com). ‘The fact that you know you’re going to get paid and when. There are also other fringe benefits of working ‘I don’t know why I am creative. I think it’s in my genes. When I have a free moment not at an agency such as health insurance, parties, work outings, etc.’ (Cass, 2010, www.justcreative.com ). at work, I will paint, or sculpt, or even write. It is an itch I have to scratch. I love creating The social advantages of having friends or work colleagues to talk to, is also a huge advantage over freelancing. Disadvantages to working within a design agency include the lack of choice of projects the designer will work on; the things however painful the process is.’(Lurzer, 2011) As described by Rosie Arnold in her profit margin per job compared to a freelancer is less due to the agency taking commission. (Cass, 2010, intriguing interview, design has become part of her nature just like its apart of mine. I design www.justcreative.com ) because it allows me to create things that didn’t exist before; it’s an outlet of expression of the Experience of life within the design industry presented itself during the start of summer 2012. raw thoughts that spark around in my brain. I participated in The Sorrell Young Design Programme, which is an intense three week project combining higher education students with further education students, on a live brief about how I design because I am inspired to do so by my social surroundings, design can improve the quality of their lives. (Maragiannis, 2010, www.uog-ydp.co.uk). I will see something and combine it to a different idea or We were set a brief by the further education students to redesign their art studio to solve concept and have no choice but to act on problems set by the clients as an experience of life within the design industry. During the the idea to see the outcome. three week project, as a design team we had to meet with clients, create a number of Design gives me a great sense of different design concepts and present the ideas and initial designs to the clients, take achievement; I always hope to on board client feedback and redesign, work effectively and efficiently as a team succeed in creating better playing on individual designers strengths and weaknesses, attend meetings work then the previous. with industry professionals and finally design a solution that meets the needs of the client. (Maragiannis, 2010, www.uog-ydp.co.uk). This pushes me into doing the best work possible.
Fig. 3 BellaKinetika 2012, Examples of speaking a different language without saying a single word
Influences in design can manifest from many shapes or forms and can lead to a number of pathways, as a young boy I spent a lot of time at my friend’s house which is where I was first introduced to the design software Adobe Photoshop. Racing down the hill last one back to the drive way is a looser, frantic dashing down the concrete waterfall, surfing over tarmac speed bumps, wind howling across fresh faced skin, the rattle of bike chains grinding hard at work ringing within the ear. Curvy black lines of rubber imprinted onto the face of the concrete pavement as we skidded to a halt, the low repetition of breathless panting fills the air as we park our bikes outside the garage behind the car and step into the house. Husain is youngest out of 3 brothers and was heavily influenced by their passion for cars, I spent a lot of time watching and learning from them as we would sit in his brothers bedroom at the pc using Photoshop tools to modify cars into sports cars by adding alloy wheels, exhaust pipes, tinted windows etc. to standard cars (see Fig. 7). It was amazing to be able to design a real car into a modified car just like the designs from popular video games at the time. Sat in a clustered living room full of books stacked like loaves of bread, posted notes and cd disc cases decorated the floor and walls, the quiet hum of a pc fan filled the room as I soaked in this strange yet acceptable environment. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my first copy of Photoshop, reminiscing and reciting over in my mind all the tricks I have learnt from my friend and his brothers. Itching to leave I sat there for a minute until my brothers friend Soha’s dad emerged from the kitchen bringing with him the strong pungent smell of coffee. He told me to look on top of the stacked books for a blank cd case, I did so immediately, and time couldn’t go by any faster. He burnt onto the disc a copy of Photoshop 7 trial as I sat their impatiently patient; he took a pen from his shirt pocket and quietly named the cd and placed it into a see through case and handed it to me. With a smile on my face I accepted the warm cd case, expressing my gratitude and made my way to the door.
Also the clients do not know what they need, clients are not designers, which is why they need us. I learnt that it is our job to sell an idea or concept to the client even though it may not entirely be what the client is after, because as designers we know that it is what they require. The experience gained from taking part in a live brief reflects the same experiences of working within the industry today. ’I love shooting in strange places I cannot imagine ever visiting if not for the work’ ‘Downsides ...the pressure, the long days and weekends working when you let your friends and family down and, now, the amount of meetings.’ (Lurzer, 2011).
Fig. 9 Collage design (Authors own design 2008)
According to Rosie Arnold in her interview with Lurzers Archive her experiences within the industry reflect similarities to that of the young design programme.
Fig. 16 Golden Section Fig. 13 Five positions of ballet
This is different to kinetic topography in which type is physically moved using animation techniques within designed motion graphics. By using layout structures and combining the differences of big and small, thin and bold, a sense of direction can be created within the grid almost much like a dance. ’They prefer to see the page as a canvas upon which the designer paints using the elements in a fluid rather than formalized relationship’. (Baines and Haslam, 2005, p. 145) According to Phil and Andrew magazine designers, especially within recent times, have begun to question the need of a grid for typography on a page. They go on to refer to the process of designing as using fluid elements to create movement and emotion within the page to attract the reader’s attention. Motion graphics and animation both display elements of dance within their design as they can be used to move objects or typography, within patterns or grids, or without a structure. A common example of this is the movement of ink floating in water. (Brainflakes, 2010, www. vimeo.com) Design can be used to animate the motion of ink to form elegant movement or styled design concepts. This design technique is evident in the music video Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, (DowntownRec, 2007, www.youtube.com) in which ink drops are splattered onto a page, but then create the face of Gnarls Barkley while continuously changing like a kaleidoscope, this movement and structure simulates the Rorschach ink blot test.
Chapter 3 – The Two Dances
The combination of dance and design and how the two relate within each other, surfaces many important factors that are to be considered both within dance and design, such as the use of structure and hierarchy, formations, grids, movement and animation, medium and message, composition and also aesthetic composition. Dance in its form is designed by challenging the principles of movement (Winearls, 1958, p. 17); the ways in which these principles are challenged and combined determines the style of the dance composition. The principles of movement are, tension and relaxation, weight and strength, three basic rhythms and flow and guidance. (Winearls, 1958, p. 17) The human body is designed to move within its own structural limitations, dance and many other art forms are designed around pushing those limitations to create strength, beauty, elegance, technique etc. This statement can be confirmed by a quote from the book dance composition. ‘The sheer beauty of physical movement is aesthetically appreciated in many fields – athletics sport, gymnastics, swimming’. (Smith – Autard, 2010, p. 7). The fundamental techniques of modern dance styles such as ballet, jazz, locking, breaking are all determined on the aesthetic design of the principles of movement. Modern ballet has ‘five positions standardised by the Classical Ballet’. (Winearls, 1958, p. 28) (see Fig. 13) These five positions set the rules within the dance composition or style to keep the dancer dancing a style of ballet and not breaking off into a different style. Every dance style has designed techniques, rhythms or steps which relate to the music of that style which must be followed in order for the dance piece to be called that particular style.
The design of modern dance dates back to the ‘French court ballets of the 16th and 17th centuries’. (Au, 1995, p. 11) (see Fig. 14) These dances would be held in a large chamber full of spectators viewing the dance from the balcony stalls above. The ballet was designed to create ‘floor patterns traced by the dancers as they moved about’ (Au, 1995, p. 11) which would create geometric formations within the grid of the floor plan.
During 1641 (Au, 1995, p. 18), Richelieu had a proscenium (Soanes et al, 2008, p. 1152) stage built for him we he used for the Ballet de la Prosperite des armes de la France. (Au, 1995, p. 18) The design of this stage places a stage in front of an audience which revolutionised the design of ballet as ‘it served as a distancing device between the performers and the audience’ (Au, 1995, p. 18). This transformed the art of ballet to becoming a social spectating event rather than a social participation event during the 16th and 17th centuries. If design can change the ways of seeing the arts of performances from the 16th century to the present, how will design evolve the way we view dance in the future. After the transformation in social roles when ballet became more of a spectating event, presentation styles in choreography adapted to suit an audience, the use of geometric formations and symmetry became ‘important choreographic devices’ (Au, 1995, p. 19) within the ballet of the late 16th century. Usually placing the most important role (the king) in the central position, these formations are identical to those found in the modern dance era as street dance within the 21st century is heavily structured on the use of formations and hierarchy, these designs tools are evolved from those of the ballet courts of France.
Fig. 5 Backing dancers for Cheryl Cole on The Voice UK
I consider the relationship between dance and design to be two dances, the dance in design and the design of dance, they both share functionality of grids, formations, hierarchy and structure while both displaying movement through style, technique and form. As both a dancer and designer the way in which I do create, dance and design share similar qualities within the progression and development of the piece. When I choreograph a new piece, after deciding on the right song, the first stage consists of freestyling to the music, to create a vibe or emotion from the song playing. This vibe or emotion forms the base of the choreography which determines the tempo of the moment, be it fast or slow to the chosen song regardless to the tempo of the song as choreography can be made fast to a slow song as long as there is a movement emphasis on the accent beats of the music playing. The same applies to the first stage of designing; I will sit down with a pen and paper and write or draw any of my initial thoughts or ideas. First stage for most people would be research and inspiration, but I like to compare the level of my own ability to think and create, with that of which inspires me. When choreographing second stage consists of seek out inspiration, most commonly through video sources such as Vimeo or Youtube. I am inspired by choreographers such as Andrew Baterina (Baterina, 2011, www.youtube.com) for his choreography style which consists of clean shapes, intricate footwork and his vision for structure within formations and transitions. (The movement between formations within a dance piece (also known as a dance set) is referred to as transitions; these transitions can be designed using aesthetic compositions to look more pleasing to the eye using principles of movement taking in factors such as height and speed.)
‘There are a lot of dancers that do commercial work; we don’t really do commercial work. We do the odd jobs here and there, which pay quite well for us as a group, but I can’t rely on that money at all. I know a lot of people that do go out and focus on what needs to be done, but for me with my lifestyle I can’t do that anymore, I’m way too old for that. Before, dance was just a hobby, it was a platform to socialise and have fun, build your confidences and meet new people, as this is what a lot of people take up dance for. But the hobby went on further, we progressed and did well, did TV shows, a lot of travelling over the UK, built a name for ourselves and it has stuck with me. I don’t want to give up dance but at the same time; I have to survive, so for me it’s about finding a balance between the two.’ (Abyss Interview: Ricardo Small, 2012,Video) Both Ricardo and Daryl used to choreograph my old dance group Vortex before the group split up. They now both choreograph their new group Abyss and have made successful attempts to making it big in the industry with popular TV contests such as Sky 1’s Got To Dance. Their views on careers and hobbies are shared with mine as they love what they do but still need to be financially stable. Daryl is currently working a 9-5 job, while also pursuing a career within music production, and also Ricardo is training to be an electrician. Both career choices are a step away from the dance industry in order to provide a stable financial lifestyle. Much like myself I was unable to stay financially stable while dancing full time. Relying on dance to pay my monthly expenses became a liability. While dancing I had to work two retail jobs to keep stable, the drawbacks of having to work while dancing are that due to commitments of working, finding time to attend commercial jobs or shows when they arise is difficult. The commitments made to working jobs, decreases the amount of time spent doing what makes us happy, which is dancing. As discussed in an interview in Layer Magazine, ‘I’ve always felt I make my living from my hobby, so I’m lucky in that respect. As Marshall McLuhan said, if you’re totally involved The world is made of up many who are able to manage in something, it is no longer work, it’s both their careers and hobbies and do it successfully, but in my “play or leisure.”’. case the factors of time management and money inflow vs. money
Conclusion – The Chosen Path
outflow didn’t allow me to follow both consecutively. Career choices follow on from personal interests or passions but when your passion doesn’t fall under an educational pathway, the risks of success fall upon the level of talent and connections to the industry. My biggest concern with following a career in dance is financial stability. Money management plays a big role in the financial success of a career within the dance industry. This is proven within my interview with Bird Gang Dance Company in which I posed the question how do dancers manage their financial situation. ‘Keep a lot of plates spinning at the same time, although you have done a job and may have a few grand in the bank, companies will prolong no paying you as long as they can, because often they will get a payment through in bulk very quickly, they have your money and can transfer it on the same day to the company or agency you work for, but the company want to acquire interest off of your money so they will keep the money in their account for as long as they can.’ (Bird Gang Interview: Ukweli Roach, 2012,Video) As discussed by Ukweli in the interview, while commercial dance can pay handsomely receiving payment quickly can be a struggle, so in order to stay financially stable a dancer must be proactive and have more than one plate spinning at a time. These circumstances are common amongst many dancers within the industry. My interview with Abyss dance crew shows this. ‘To be a full time dancer is hard work to be fair, I have to survive, I have a 9-5, so I do dance and try to fit it around work. We have done TV appearances, we are still getting paid at the end of the day, we get paid shows here and there, but it’s very hard in the UK as certain groups have hit a level (implying a level of fame in order to be paid on a regular basis)’. (Abyss Interview: Daryl Small, 2012,Video)
(Neuman, 2007, www. layersmagazine.com) As David Carson interestingly quoted Marshal McLuhan’s statement, maybe the answer lies in making my hobby my career. Another concern of mine, also mentioned by Ricardo Small in the interview with Abyss dance crew, is the factor of age in relation to dance. In a report of research done for the Arts Council of England, it states, ‘The physically demanding nature of dance means that the career as a performer is relatively short and many dancers will only work as performers for a limited period before embarking on a second career which may or may not be dance related’. (Jackson et al, 1994, p. xvi) Although a lot of information from this research is out dated as the book was published in 1994, the statement still holds truth. Within a physically demanding field such as dance, the condition of the body is vital. Dancers must maintain a fit, flexible physique while also maintaining high muscle strength and stamina. As our bodies get older, and the effects of a daily physical lifestyle start to take toll on the body, our ability to perform with the same youthful technique will decrease.
beauty of physical movement
Fig. 10 Team TBC – YDP 2012 Our Final Design
Fig. 12 Team TBC – YDP 2012 Our Final Design Fig. 14 French court ballets of the 16th and 17th centuries
Fig. 2 Vortex Dance Group 2008 battling at jump off dance battles
Second stage while designing equally consists of research and inspiration, but unlike dance I do not pin point my research and information to a particular designer, my search field spans across a wide range depending on the subject of the design idea. Third stage of choreographing consists of building or creating the piece in layers. Each move is developed slowly, repeating and adjusting the shape or flow of movement as I go on until happy with the aesthetic composition of the piece. This is the lengthiest process of choreographing but is done repeatedly for every new move added to the piece until completion. The same process applies to designing; each object is added to the composition and adjusted until I am pleased with its aesthetics. This process is repeated for every new object building up a collage of layers resulting in the development of the piece. The fourth stage changes between dance and design. Within design the fourth stage is the completion of the piece, where I would show the piece of work to those I require feedback from, asking their opinion on the design. While on the other hand the fourth stage of choreographing doesn’t follow the same ritual. Until I have taught the routine to a class (based on the fact the routine was made away from spectators) that piece of choreography is a personal connection to that piece of music, created solely by me full of my thoughts and feelings at that present time. To ask someone else’s input on a piece of choreography not being used for group purposes but solely just for teaching, is an alien concept to me. The fifth and final stage both for dance and design is the evaluation process. As a dancer this is the stage where I would teach the routine to a class, while making adjustments to the choreography to suit either the level of the class or for aesthetic purposes. And as a designer this is the stage where I would have taken any feedback into consideration and make changes to the final design. I consider the way I choreograph and the way I dance to be two dances, the dance in design and the design of dance.
‘The golden section ‘when a shape (or number) can be divided and the relationship between the smaller and the larger is the same as between the larger and the whole’ (Baines and Haslam, 2005, p. 143) (see Fig. 16) used within design is most commonly associated with the words grid and structure. It is used to determine the proportions of a shape dividing the shape into a grid for information to be displayed. Grids within design are used to organize objects within a spatial surrounding of another object or the limitation of the boundaries in which that object is contained. This relates to use of formations within dance as design layouts can follow patterns of symmetry much like the symmetric formations of a dance piece.
Dance within design is displayed through many aspects such as movement and structure. For example, typography and the use of type on a blank page can be used to display the concepts of movement, based on the typeface used and the layout composition of the type on the page.
Fig. 8 Collage design (Authors own design 2008)
Fig. 7 Wallpaper design (Authors own design 2007)
Fig. 11 Team TBC – YDP 2012 Our Final Design
The experience, knowledge and insight gained over the course of three weeks on the programme was invaluable, as we met industry professionals that gave us an insight into the industry both as agencies and freelancers, the process from beginning to completion of a project, meeting clients to present the final product and the amount of work required to be done within a short space of time. During the programme there were also negative experiences to be learnt, for example; while working within a large team of designers, the vision of the brief can easily become distorted without clear guidance from a project manager. The idiom ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ (Ammer, 2012, www.dictionary.refrence.com) comes to mind, lack of vision leads to arguments amongst friends and colleagues, which inflicts tension on the design team inhibiting the flow of creativity.
Chapter 2 – The Disc
wind howling across fresh faced skin
Fig.15 Examples of dance formation design
repetition of breathless panting
Why do I have to separate my passions between a hobby and a career?
Fig. 17 Examples of choreographing
During my time spent as a creative designer, I have spent most of my time learning rather than doing. University has been a learning curve full of opportunities which have allowed me to display my creative thinking, but I have been focused on learning and creating what is considered good design rather than challenging what is good design with crazy creative concepts. ‘Young people are looking for a formula for putting on the universe-participation mystique. They do not look for detached patterns-for ways of relating themselves to the world, a la nineteenth century.’ (McLuhan, 1967, p.88).
Bibliography Websites Ammer, Christine. (2012) Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth [Online] Houghton Mifflin Company. Available at http://dictionary.reference.com/ browse/too_many_cooks_spoil_the_broth (Accessed 5/12/2012) Brainflakes. (2010) Ink Study 1. [Online] Vimeo. Available at http://vimeo.com/12808830 (Accessed 10/9/2012) Cass, Jacob. (2010) Design Agency Vs Freelance Life [Online] New York. Just Creative. Available at http://justcreative.com/2010/06/24/design-agency-vs-freelance-life/ (Accessed 12/11/2012) Cox, Jazmine. (2012) My Dance Evolution [Online] London, Facebook. Available at http://www. facebook.com/tashan.muir/posts/10152201207645010 (Accessed 29/10/2012) Maragiannis. Anastasios. (2010) UOG-YDP. [Online] London. University Of Greenwich. Available at www. uog-ydp.co.uk/index-2.html (Accessed 10/9/2012) Neuman, Chad. (2007) An Interview With David Carson. [Online] Layers Magazine. Available at http:// layersmagazine.com/an-interview-with-david-carson.html (Accessed 3/12/12) Raine, Tess. (2010) A career in graphic design [Online] London. Design Council. Available at http://www. designcouncil.org.uk/about-design/types-of-design/graphic-design/a-career-in- graphic-design/ (Accessed 5/12/2012) Uk Unsigned. Uk Unsigned [Online] Available at http://www.ukunsigned.net/index. php?page=profile&art=000246 (Accessed 12/9/2012)
Books Au, Susan. (1995) Ballet & Modern Dance. London. Thames and Hudson Baines, Phil and Haslam, Andrew. (2005) Type and Typography. London. Laurence King Publishing Ltd Cunningham, Merce (1991) The Dancer And The Dance. London, Marion Boyars Jackson, C, Honey, S, Hillage, J, Stock, J (1994) Careers And Training In Dance And Drama. Brighton, Institute of manpower studies Kidd, Jennifer M, (2006) Understanding Career Counselling. London, Sage Publications
Much like the views expressed by Marshal McLuhan I have focused on establishing my place within my academic environment rather than trying to be individual and unique. Much like the similarities that dance and design share, there are also its differences, within dance, unique styles are an asset but the ability to look unified in style and technique is a gift, whereas design is the other side of the coin. Unique design styles are a gift in an industry saturated with similar trends. My ability to dance and design is what makes me unique. Although I consider both dance and design a hobby, if I follow the advice of Marshal McLuhan and totally involve myself within a field it will no longer be work. As there are too many roadblocks preventing me from pursuing a career within dance, plus the factor of time, as a career choice, I will have to follow the path of design. In my scenario this may be the easy route to take, but as design is also my hobby it is a win-win situation. However a lot of dancers don’t have a hobby that can become their career, like Ricardo from Abyss who is planning to become an electrician, the advice of Marshal McLuhan would apply more so, as his career choice was based on financial stability rather than emotional attachment. Time will tell, as I am curious to find out how the other dancers of my generation such as member of Abyss and Bird Gang, succeed in their life journeys.
McLuhan, Marshall (1967) The Medium Is The Massage. New York Random House Smith – Autard, Jacqueline (2010) Dance Composition. London. A & C Black Publishers Ltd Soanes, Catherine., Stevenson, Angus., Hawker, Sara., (2008) Concise Oxford English Dictionary New York, Oxford University Press inc, USA Wigman, Mary (1966) The language of dance. London, Macdonalds & Evans ltd Winearls, Jane (1958) Modern Dance: The Jooss-Leeder Method. London. A & C Black Ltd
Lecture/Seminar Smyth, C. (2012). We Are Draft. Lecture. 8/3/2012
Magazine Lurzer. (May 2011) ‘Interview Rosie Arnold’. Lurzer’s Int’l Achieve Advertising Worldwide Vol 5 p.11
Online Video Baterina, Andrew. (2011) ANDREW BATERINA - J COLE (music by @JCOLENC @ kanyewest) “LIVE FREE”. [Online] Youtube. Available at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=kr_4FjPv_Gk (Accessed 5/12/2012) BirdGangltd. (2011) BirdGang DC at Collabo 2011. [Online] YouTube. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu_lFOF_XLM (Accessed on 5/12/12) DowntownRec. (2007) Gnarls Barkley – Crazy. [Online] Youtube. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd2B6SjMh_w (Accessed 5/12/2012) JK1D. (2009) Vortex Showreel. [Online] YouTube. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9hKVpydcQ (Authors own video) Video Abyss Interview.
Title sequence for ITV show â€“ The Cube
Egg In Boots Comic â€“ Developed from group project cut out animation. Characters Dereck the dragon and inky the blob combine with my character Egg in boots to create a new adventure.
Graphic Design Portfolio www.jasonashleywilliams.co.uk