So despite working on this project for over eight hours all together including down to the last minute (as in, my video is trying to render right now, seven minutes to class), I won’t be able to get it turned in on time.
I did a process video recording myself doing a full drawing on the computer. The recording ended up being about four hours long, which made for a really big file. I imported it into iMovie with the intent to speed it up considerably.
However, I had no idea iMovie needs to “convert” video in order to allow you to change its speed. It crashed three times while trying to do this. The fourth time took over an hour and a half long. Then I could finally speed it up – only to discover it could only speed up 2000%, which shortened it, but only to 12 minutes. Still way too long for class.
So I had to render and export it, which took a ton of time. My only option is to export it, reimport it as a new project, and then speed it up some more and render and export it again. That’s not something I was prepared for (neither was the almost two hour long conversion process) and not something I can do in… one minute.
Gotta head to class.
original image credit to mad-adam @ tumblr
As usual, for the reasons described in my last post, I went through hundreds of ideas for this project, rejecting each new idea thinking it wouldn’t have enough of a “deeper meaning”. I considered using photographs of my dog, and how he’s changed since I adopted him from the DDFL last April. I considered doing a sort of narrative where I would photograph an empty room, and then members of my family coming and going, but was told this would not have meaning. As the week went on, I continued to come up with ideas and throw each successive idea out in a sort of desperation. Self-esteem is hard for me, for a number of reasons, and one of my biggest struggles as an artist and a writer is that I have never liked most of my own ideas, and criticize myself so harshly it becomes something more like severe self-loathing that causes stress and just makes for an awful time. In this class, I’m constantly self-doubting each of my ideas in fear that they will not have enough “meaning” (a word I am not even certain I completely understand the entire concept behind) that the project gets put on hold until the last minute while I scramble to come up with an idea I can only hope will be good enough.
For this project, I finally came up with showcasing beautiful pictures of Disneyland, the “Happiest Place on Earth”, juxtaposed with screencaps of people on Foursquare leaving rude, nasty, or unhappy tips about the Disneyland locations in the photos. I went to Disneyland in July and noticed these tips as I was looking through Foursquare waiting in line, and the sheer number of them made for some amusing reading material. My aim here is to show that even when presented with this beautiful and entertaining place, some people will still find something to complain about, and to showcase how cell phones and these apps that let us share our opinions on places to strangers can spread this negativity in ways that couldn’t have happened before.
I’ve always been a little confused on the idea of doing a self-critique – I don’t have anything to critique myself on, because if there was anything I felt I could do better with, I would have done it, instead of turning my assignment in feeling as if I could make improvements.
Still, this assignment was singularly difficult for me, and I’m not entirely sure I understood the guidelines or the assignment itself. I strove to capture images in a new way (by taking screenshots of the Foursquare app on my phone and editing them in to the larger compositions), and used resizing, cropping, and brightness/contrast adjustments on the images themselves to get what I wanted.
The idea was hard to come up with, and I’m lucky to have stumbled on the idea from looking at the pictures I’d taken of my trip to Disneyland earlier this year. I’m not sure what I would have done otherwise. As an illustrator and concept artist, I am used to producing art that is nice to look at, that may have symbolism or a deeper narrative meaning but never art that seeks to expose some sort of cultural fact or has some kind of societal “meaning” in it, and I don’t believe that those sorts of things are necessary or even desirable in art. Creating a series of seven images would normally be a simple task, conceptually, but creating a series of images that have to have some sort of “MEANING” is beyond my level of understanding. I philosophize to the extreme about what this means – “does this have enough meaning? It has meaning to me, but will it to a wider audience? Do I need it to have meaning for a wider audience?”, continually in a spiral until I’m overwhelmed with stress and self-doubt about all of my ideas and shut down. I feel continually as if I am being made to create art that I can hope will have meaning enough to the class and instructor, but there is literally no way that I can know whether it will or not because I do not know these peoples’ individual lives and what is significant to them. That has been, in this project and the previous projects, my biggest hurdle. I feel very creatively stunted in this regard.
In the end, as I wait anxiously for critique, having no idea whether or not my piece will resemble my classmates’ in the slightest or whether it will have enough “meaning” to be deemed good enough, this is my biggest obstacle. Although, I think I could have played a little more with the placement of the boxes – it was difficult to know where they could go where enough of the image would still be visible.
My hellish week died down just a little bit to give me time to whip this up a couple days ago. I’ve been experimenting with using textures in drawings and I thought I’d draw this guy as fodder for that experimentation.
Mituna is an alien, dresses kinda funny, wears a weird helmet, and likes honey. And he has the bonus of being fun to draw, so there’s that, too.
(Homestuck is a webcomic created by Andrew Hussie that’s been running for three years. Considering it just raised $1.8 Million on Kickstarter for a videogame to be developed, it’s kind of a big deal.)
This project is really stumping me, so I thought I’d try to think it out in text. Here’s some random ideas and random thoughts from me about it all.
phase 1: one image with five different treatments
I had the idea of a man facing a woman, holding her hand, with a word bubble coming out of his mouth. He could be asking or saying five different things. He would look happy while she would look surprised or shocked. But I’m not sure if using a word bubble or a comic format is taking the easy way out? On the other hand, I’m having a very very difficult time thinking of any other way I could feasibly do this assignment. I need to get through this creative bump in the road somehow.
phase 2: five different images with one word/phrase
I read somewhere that the word “run” has over 125 meanings in the English language so I played around with thinking of a series using that word. But I could only really come up with two, one being an image of an Olympic runner in a race/sprint with the word “run” on it, and the other a person running away from something dangerous or threatening, the word “run” now taking on a more urgent meaning. But I realized that beyond that I would have to use “run” in a phrase, like for example my next idea was an image of a computer program or a programmer where “run” doesn’t mean much on its own and is always seen in the phrase “run it”. Thus I’d be changing the phrase which wouldn’t work.
My next idea is to use the word “isolation” but again I’m only coming up with two or three different images. One would be a nice vacation-like setting like a resort or a cruise ship. Another could be a sort of post-apocalyptic image where the word “isolation” is again taking on a more sinister or negative connotation. My only other thought is to use it on a picture of someone sitting alone in a crowd of other people. But that’s still only three images out of five. I’ll think on this some more.
Here is the original photo.
Nicolas Cage is kind of a Thing.
1. Does layering so many pictures on top of each other provide a more interesting image where the elements can be compared and seen together in a single glance easier than they could separately side-by-side, or does it provide too much information for the viewer in one image so details are lost? Is this maybe the intention?
2. Does Idris Khan always have a statement to make or does he just find certain subjects intriguing? Does art always need to have a “statement” or are we all striving for a certain level of pretention that’s unnecessary for us to achieve?
Slenderman (or “the Operator”) is a phenomenon created online in 2006 as the subject of a scary story and series of photo manipulations made to look real. He is a very tall man in a business suit without a face. Usually, his limbs are elongated, and he can occasionally have claws for fingers and/or tendrils coming from his back.
There are many different interpretations of Slenderman – he’s practically the internet’s first collaborative horror story – but a popular idea is that he is a “tulpa”, or a thought-form – a being that will be created or become “real” from the power he gains through people thinking about him. Whether they’re creating a story about him or making an image or video, any thoughts or efforts about Slenderman fuel his existence.
For that reason, I thought it would be ironic to create an archive image of a series of images of Slenderman. What better way to give the guy power?
While the other archive (“alone in the woods”) is probably better visually, this one is better conceptually (in my opinion).
Fullsize view is here.