I found the workshop really helpful when it came to thinking about different formats, with reguard to combining different paper stocks, different materials and binding methods. I think the most effective were the ones that combined multiple paper stocks, clours and weights. This helped the pace of the book and kept me flicking through to see what else there would be. Ive started to think about the format of my dissertation and I think the different paperstocks would be a really good thing to include.
Another thing I found really effective was the use of extra or added material like the envolope stitched onto the front of one of the books ad the compilation of found objects, this book contained filler pages to make sure the book didnt bend and allowed room for theextra texture of the found object. I thought that this could be something that might be useful as I’d never seen this been done before.
The more abstracted pages in some of the books were really interesting, I could see something like that fitting well with my topic. I also think its important to do something quite striking and play around with covering and uncovering text, thiss will make the document more visually striking and more interesting to read. I also think this will be a good way to include quotes and highlight important information.
A few of the books had matte pages of images, I really like this I think it gives the page more tactility and this effect on dark shades/ black and white images gives them some sort of grit or realness/harshness.
After the tutorial I began to work on making the design more cohesive and work better together, I did this by carrying over some of the planets to the back cover, I did this with some of the secondary characters and left Augusts family on the front. I also changed the title style so that it had more visual similarity to the bubbles on the back cover. I think it works better overall as a cover. Making the planets smaller has really helped with the composition of the cover, it allows more negative space between the planets like they would have space to move around each other and orbit the sun. Making the back ground slightly darker has allowed the colours of the planets to pop off of the cover a bit more which emphasises the textures of each individual character and planet.
Using the columns for the first time made it so much easier to write up the essay in comparison to last year’s writing tasks I completed. My ideas and the theory were much more organised than last year and I found the whole process much more enjoyable than last year. The whole process was considerably less stressful and terrifying. I also found that taking my laptop to every study group helped a lot as it meant I could write everything that the tutor said which was tiring but actually cemented the knowledge in my mind as opposed to taking notes on paper last year when I couldn’t keep up with the speed of the tutor talking so my notes were sporadic and didn’t make any sense at all.
Some difficulties I encountered whilst doing the second and third columns were using met search and identifying the correct quotes. In terms if met search I found it hard to phrase the search words in a way that would bring up results that I wanted. I have difficulties phrasing things in a more sophisticated and academic way due to my dyslexia. To combat this, I sought help from my housemates who were also in the study group so I would tell them what I wanted and needed to find and they would help me word it in a way that brought up much more relevant sources than I was finding on my own. I now know I could have done this with the library staff but because of issues surrounding anxiety I found it hard to build up the courage to do so. The other main difficulty I was having was deciding whether or not the quotes I had eventually found actually supported the idea I was explaining. This I think got better as I went along in the essay and gained a bit more momentum and confidence within the essay. Finding the confidence to do this was difficult again due to my dyslexia I struggle to feel confident in pieces of writing but with the help of the columns I felt much more comfortable in producing a piece of writing as appose to last year.
Whilst exploring the images and concepts present in my chosen images as well as the concepts we discussed in the study groups I found that the idea of attractive monsters really interested me. The juxtaposition of the opposing ideas creates conflict within the audience but also the monster. But I found it especially interesting how the female monsters I studied used their sexual identity as a tool to further their monstrosity. I found it gave the monsters power that is different from the stereotypical weak, passive and pathetic horror film female victim.
This project has lead me into thinking about the topic of my dissertation, I am currently thinking about exploring physical appearance and monstrous acts but focusing more on real life not just in films and literature. I have always had an interest in psychology and pour behaviour as humans, I was considering looking into real life monsters; criminals, murders etc. And how their appearance has effected the way people react to them. For example, if a murderer is conventionally attractive would people be more empathetic towards them where as they may show more hatred towards someone who has an appearance that differs from what society views as ‘normal’– tattoos, shaved hair etc. I think I could then look into the way these monsters are represented in film and tv in dramatizations of true stories and look at the way they are characterised and if there are certain things that are emphasised more than others in these dramatizations of the acts. An example of this would be the retelling of the Shannon Mathews abduction called “The Moorside”.
Constellation has affected my studio practice I have found I look more closely at how things can evoke feelings without overtly expressing them, meaning people must look into the work I create and consider it more. For example, when we see marble we think of its cold smooth but hard surface. Using the columns has urged me to realise how important it is to consider parts of my work. Looking at the different meanings things can convey, this could mean extra research into the meaning and context of the work but I think it will make my work much more successful.
I now feel more considerate in my design decisions in terms of composition and remembering fundamental blocks of graphic design such as hierarchy, colour, tone etc. Working on and in until work is as good as I can produce but remembering how valuable taking breaks is to progress is another thing I have gained from constellation. I see it as something I like to do now with both academic and creative work, taking the time to make sure everything is in place and not only looks good but functions to the best of its ability.
After finishing the essay I feel quite proud and satisfied with the result as I struggled a lot last year and was beginning to dread writing an even larger piece of academic type writing. I think I have really engaged with the material we have covered in the study groups as well as the research I have found for myself. Moving forward into planning the dissertation and the dissertation proposal I think I need to make sure I have the right systems in place to keep my ideas organised as this is what has made the process of this year formative assessment much easier and more enjoyable to complete.
Making a quick set of 3 double page spreads for a ZINE helped us to explore the different layout possibilities as the Zine format allows you to be more playful with layout and imagery as opposed to a more structured layout skeleton used in magazines and the very structured designs of our printed ephemera work.
Our group worked really well together and I think we produced a good piece of work at the end of the short time. Each page fits and matches the other and i think there is a clear style within the 3 spreads.
We tried it on two shades of orange and whilst the brighter one packs more of a punch i think the white space that features heavily in our design works better with the paler orange.
The Fluxus artistic philosophy has been defined as a synthesis of four key factors that define the majority of Fluxus work:
-Fluxus is an attitude. It is not a movement or a style. -Fluxus is intermedia. Fluxus creators like to see what happens when different media intersect. They use found and everyday objects, sounds, images, and texts to create new combinations of objects, sounds, images, and texts. -Fluxus works are simple. The art is small, the texts are short, and the performances are brief. -Fluxus is fun. Humor has always been an important element in Fluxus.
It was interesting to visit the design museum as I’d never been before, the different objects and their stories of why they were created really emphasised the importance of users when it comes to design, this I think will make me consider the importance of the audience and involving this more in the design process.
Talk from Martyn Woodward on how constellation links with subject.
Design in the 21st century is not only about making things look pretty. As designers we have social responsibility, what we design can change lives. Constellation allows us to explore other channels in a way not purely focussed on design. The topics we explore, suggested Martyn, are there for us to widen our understanding of what art and design is in a wider context and we should use this wider context to enhance our practice. Although not all of the topics we explore may be relevant and useful at the moment but could be in the future BUT it is also ok if it feels like it’s pointless – that’s why we study two topics. The point is to explore the world we live in to allow us to design for the world. The way I engage with constellation will affect the type of designer I become during and after university; speculative designers, critical designers, socially aware designers and market led designers.