19/07 - Unit seven
Today we started off our final project unit seven which is a self-organised project that last for seven weeks. At beginning of briefing we were divided into several groups and asked to write down different things that can become inspirations. Though I am totally agree with that a project should have a "small" starting point meanwhile I do hold concerns about comfort zones: how can we get improvements if we're always working with things that we familiar with? We were also asked to get down everything on sticky notes for sharing ideas.
20/07 - Illustrator session
23/07 - First tutorial
Today we had our first tutorial of unit seven. I was kind of swing between the idea of "Japanese idol" and "tongue-twister" as the former is something that i'm familiar with and the latter can be transform into visuals in a very interesting way. Tutor suggested me to chose the idol issue because there are more to talk about. He also said that the tongue-twister one looks too complete as a prototype of concept. I think I will explore more about idols and the background of them.
24/07 - Gathering research
Today was mainly spent on ducumentaries of idols. I looked up several documentaries that produced by different broadcasting company or offices ("jimushyoku" in japanese which is more like a brokerage firm than a traditional office). It's intereasting that they all have different focusing point. For example the NHK ones is more likely to talk through a nation angle like how japanese idols is affecting globle entertainment market while the one that produce by offices is more like a well organised film. I also looked up idol tv shows such as AKBINGO! that i was keep watching for a while then has quited. For the office-produced ones, although they declaim themselves as "documentaries" it's still a show. Everything is well organised and edited even and the idols, who clearly has already be familiar with presenting strong emotions in front of cameras. As a person I can't image the most private, intimate parts of me will be displayed to the public, but that is exactly what they do everyday. I think i will keep looking at this in tomorrow morning's library session.
25/07 - Library session
Today we went to King's cross library looking for book materials that we can use for the project. My topic is japanese idol culture and i was looking for these and the derived cultures and then I found a book that particularly attracted me which is called < The otaku encyclopedia >. The book is talking about Japanese web culture by a western author. I thought these kind of culture is only living in the minority so i was kind of suprised that i can find them here. It gave me some valuable firsthand materials such as people who went straight to the idol's concerts and got their signed polaroids. I also found somebooks of cosplay photography album that is not very useful to me but got recommended from the tutors. I found it's very important to choose materials that suits you.
26/07 - Tutorial
By this morning i had a tutorial with Ignacia which is very helpful. She has inspired me on how to link my discipline and topic that i've chose in a practical way. I wasn't really sure where to start with the project until talked to her. She suggested me to look at supermarket and taking pictures because the concept of products and idols are quite similar. I also recommended for a german philosopher Walter Benjamin for his book <the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction>. This wasn't really helpful as i thought it was talking about "how to keep the soul of art in mass-production and assembly lines era" while it's just an introduction. I will start with taking pictures of supermarket shelf and see what i want to do next.
01/08 - Contextual Practice
02/08 - Premier Pro
Today I was in premiere pro workshop with David. it's one of high-end complex product that designed by Adobe company and used for movie editing. I've learned some basic skills such as how to add different effects on videos. So far I don't have to deal with videos a lot however its definitely worth to start up working with such an amazing tool.
03/08 - First acting plan
Today i handed in the full proposal and after few editings its now even clear. I'm quite convinced about what i want to do and explore in the project and I'm going to carry out a packaging design of idol merchandise with an logo i made myself.
05/08 - Visiting Museum of brands
In the weekend I went to museum of brands whichs located at notting hill. Unfortunately photoshoot is not allowed in majority places in the gallery so I only took pictures of some parts. Basically it has many commercial packages of products from foods to commodities that from beginning of 20 centuries and some of them are even from the Victorian. The style changing of illustrations and photoshoots, especially typographies has truly amazed me. The product themselves were sold quite time-based, for instance there were loads of army an war games during two world war periods. However, since vast majority of them are commercial and produced on assembly lines so packagings shapes were quite limited, and most of them just look like what we have today. Overall I found it pretty helpful in term of the relations between commercial graphic design and social (e.g. why its designed in this way and how they've transformed) and I'm thinking of adding elements of background and content on my own packaging as well.
06/08 - Timetable
06/08 - Making workshop
Today i joint in making workshop with Holly the whole morning. We were asked to draw down things that we want to do for current project and modeling it. I painted a bikini-shaped record cover as the idea of my project is "rebranding an idol group through irony" so i want it to be a blatant one. AKB48 publishes records with all members in bikini in every summer and found that they've been well sold so it has became a trend in Japanese idols. After sketching we were asked to modelling each others draft. It's like a chance to reinspect your own sketches since we usually don't find those unclear or unprofessional thing in our own sketches.
Lucy's model based on my drawing sketch.
My own model though look like ice cream cones.
At the beginning of workshop we were asked to make a little object with milliput. I think the benefit of joining in different workshops is that you get chances to expand knowledges of different materials which is quite valuable experience for me as a graphic student as we don't usually work with them. Overall, today is well spent.
08/08 - Contextual practice
Today we've discussed meaning of materials in contextual practice session. i was a bit confused with the meaning of "materials" since it can be discussed in both a certain content and a general way. I guess that was because people bringing in materials which is not exactly the piece that they'll use to contribute their work. Material is an interesting topic as it plays diverse roles in different disciplines. For example i always look at sustainbility in both economical and ecological properties as a designer especially if the product is going to be mass producted. Meanwhile a fine art student might be using tons of honey to present an idea of "natural while perpetual" since it doesnt spoil, which is not environmentally friendly at all. Another thing that interested me was the trend of material using especially in fashion. i sometimes see two irrelevant talented people doesnt know each other at all using same rare or niche materials for similar concepts. coincedences do happen but i've see this many time and i wonder what has led them into same way.
09/08 - Tutorial
Tutorial i had today which is quite helpful.
10/08 - One day workshop
Today i have tried printing workshop. Although it wasn't my first time working with it it still has inspired me a lot. I was looking for a screen printing artist Hiroki Nishiyama because i found that i was quite into his style. However i didnt really work in that style since it doesnt strongly relate to my theme. During workshop i was told using paper to make stencils which was suprising as i used to work with acrylic and didnt know that paper would do as well. Overall it was successful and the experiments are truly interesting therefore, i'm going back to it next week and hope that i will carry out more outcomes at then.
13/08 - Research on fast food packagings
As i have collected few samples during the weekend, today i was looking for the material for my packaging. I am stucked with
14/08 - Tutorial
Today i had my progression tutorial which i would consider as a successful one. Tutor said he wants to see more annotations in sketchbook and i also need to be inspired more from branding side. I was a bit stuck with Logo design as i was confused with the information that i want to convey: what does the packaging saying? And that is always the most important thing i need to think about as a graphic student. i also had a feel of my research wasnt focusing enough so in this tutorial the tutor gave me two websites that was helpful. i'll carry out more experiments with printing workshop in this week.
15/08 - Contextual practice