Dissertation update: Research and abstract

Draft submission’s due soon, and I haven’t published anything lately for this.

I wanted to just extend on how my research has successfully helped to broaden out what i have so far, I’m currently narrowing down some of my discussion and looking at the last minute possibilities to extend on.

It’s been rather challenging writing about a topic I’ve loved for such a long time, yet, I don’t see it as much as a task or a ‘thing I must do’, when it comes to discussing it.

I’ve discovered a few details, when looking over some articles; that how it’s crucial that Japanese culture has somehow shaped our view on these characters in Anime, or how they dress and behave. They’re almost set with these expectations, and it does indeed change in both of the genres. I must relinquish the fact that, this is probably not due to the change in audience, but I have yet to check over this again and get to the bottom of this.

It’s still very broad, and there’s a possibilities that there’s many different views and answers to this.

I can only share with you the presentation, I presented about a month ago, which does give a brief idea of how I have approached this, and started to consider the research for my study.


The soundtrack of our lives: Crit and sort of a final concept, maybe?

Focusing on my concept of trying to fully express my feelings individually for each song (Mr Blue sky, Love roller coaster and Year 3000), I found this task to be particularly difficult. I spent most of my time brooding over how I needed to show this, and how I could make this clear to others. I came to the conclusion, that if someone can easily pick up on emotions from colours used, or a simple mark made, it may provide a fascinating result if I were to apply this same or similar strategy towards each poster.

Personally, I see that this method has worked, as during our crit presentation on the project overall, there were a few that were able to grasp the sense of ‘raw emotion’ with in the posters; which goes to show, that my technique was successful, but I feel that there’s so much more that I could do for this project that may be beneficial towards it. I have in mind right now, that I may want to consider creating a animated projection of the posters instead and it’ll show the brush strokes gradually making their way on to the screen as the animation runs.


Besides the quality of the print out, I’m a little disappointed with the text. When I look at it from afar, I’m unable to see it clearly, so if I’m going to come back to this in future, I may need to consider working on it by making it bolder. Though, if i made it any bolder, it may distract the viewers attention away from the outcome.

What is a poster?

In the previous week, we had two talks that were mainly focusing on the question, ‘What is a poster?’.  The first talk was with Matthew Caley, which I found to be both benificial and interesting towards our current project: The Soundtrack of our lives. He began to give a brief run down on how he started off, which led in to the kinds of music and groups that became known, due to how odd they were at first. This fed back to our project in many ways; it allowed me to think about how much impact did my chosen songs, or even the bands that created them, what kind of appeal did they have to other people? Some people may of seen them as…–excuse me for the use of this word, but ‘lame’ or would stir other opinions. The opinions of others may have a consequence towards how popular the group was or depending on what was seen as ‘the norm’ could also have an affect.

After leaving that small lecture, he began to show us some examples on how the poster could presented, which led me to realise that I could play around with the idea of not having a poster that is flat.

When returning back to the studio on Thursday, we had a small presentation by Sara on what a poster could be. She gave us so many examples of how they could be presented, who they were created by and quite a few of them had a function to them, which allowed people to interact with.

And this is the part of the blog post, where I get to tell you all what I did to reflect in these talks. I thought I could possibly take this poster project a bit further by looking at different ways I could present my poster; I photocopied some final poster ideas and began to test, whether or not they could have a function or not, such as a poster which folds up in to a flyer, or perhaps, a poster that can be turned in to a jigsaw puzzle, seeing as the bold chunks of white on my posters seem to link together. (I’ll update with photos of these later) I’m starting to think, I could possibly try out making an animated prejection as well. However, due to time limit, I’m not sure that will be achievable, but I’m hoping to try it out over the weekend to see how that goes.

Although, getting back to the presentation, there were some interesting ways in how you can apply a function to a poster and seeing if it’s effective or not. I found the posters that were presented by a prejection or with lights to be a very fascinating concept because it’s a new thing to me.

Looking visually — 2

I’ve gotten really in to this poster project; it’s made me think that if I can create a poster for a song, I could probably take it further than just a poster. I could create an animation that reflects the song; I could also make a banner, a card, a sleeve and I could do so many other things that will still link back to the song.

Once I got this idea, I started to think about the songs I did consider looking at and it led me to one of my favourite Japanese groups: GOATBED. I spend a lot of my time listening to their music, since it’s different, it relaxes me and if truth be told, I really love the vocalists voice. Their music videos always have some odd visuals to them, it could be flashing lights or a line of different bold, bright colours.

Throughout the visuals reflect the song, and it got me thinking that I really need to consider doing something similar with the posters. I need to use lines, shapes  and colours to strongly depict my feelings for the song and it needs to communicate how the song links to my feelings. It would be a good idea, if I kept in mind that I can do quite a lot with a line.

A line can be repeated many times. Its form can be bent, curled, stretched and so can a shape. Size seems to have a big impact on what someone wants to show as well. Another thing I adored about their music videos were that they were so bold and quirky. The video would start off with one thing; smoothly transition in to another thing and then dramatically cut off on to another piece of footage.

The soundtrack of our lives- Part 2/? –Looking visually.

To help get a firmer grasp of what techniques and of ways we can express our feelings and associations, I started looking in to the suggested artists/designers given. There were a lot of them, and trying to cram all of this information about them in to my brain was a struggle.

Saul Bass, though he was the first name given on the list, I decided to go and look him up to start off. Reasearching about him brings me back memories of when I looked in to his title sequences for a project at the last University that I went to; his work has always interested me. It’s bold, figurative and can easily be recognised. Then again, not many people can link his name with the title sequences used in films, or can confidently state that a film’s opening has been inspired by his designs.

The way that he’s able to pull the audience in with his use of visuals is incredible, he’s also inspired sequences for films, such as Catch me if you can.

I would like to write about each artist in detail and what I’ve njoyed about their work, nonetheless I’ve got more notes and my input about them in my sketchbook.

However, I would like to say that I’ve very much enjoyed looking deeper in to how an artist has produced a specific piece of work, or why they’ve done it. It allows me to try and do something similar, or at least try to produce something that will show what I’ve learnt from the study.

Designer/Artist of the week: Mike McCarthy

Don’t know where to start with this very inspiring concept artist, really. I personally recall being a particularly great fan of his work, and the amount of design work he’s contributed towards Fable over the last 8 years. Mainly towards Fable 2 and 3, and also now with Fable Journey. Not to mention, he was educated at the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art in London.

Above are some examples of conceptual character art that he’s designed and created for Fable 2. There are several things that I absolutely adore about these and one of them is the quirkiness. Fable in general has always been a very bold, quirky video game series, and this is partially due to the characters involved.

The use of the very rough, groggy and mix of earthy tones for the colour pallet are another thing I would like to mention. Brown, grey and green aren’t the typical kind of colours that you would mix together normally, but as Fable is dark, odd and involves a series of RPG quests and hero duties in a world where monsters, bandits and even villagers that are very guilable exist, this is probably the only exception where these colours can be used together regularly.

As you play through out Fable 2 and 3, you always have to make sure you save your file, that’s what you’re suppose to do, if you make a change to the file data and finish a quest, right? Well, during the process upon saving; a save screen appears with these unusual posters that you also see while travelling throughout Bowerstone (A town in the games).

I found these posters to be both gross and amusing. I loved the use of expressions, and  how much detail goes in to each poster. I especially enjoy how the comedical side of the art brushes off despite that there’s an advertisement for a tool that can pick almost everything off of your body.

Below, I’ll give you all another example of some of the other art created by him:



The lines are always so crisp and sharp. I love it. Even with the humour, I find the amount of detail that are put in to the colouring, experessions on the characters faces and the work itself to be magnificent. Flawless even.

Moving on from that, I’m going to come to terms with whether or not he is considered an artist or a designer. He’s an artist. I state this because the work he’s created so far is considered as ‘Concept art’, it’s considered as that because it’s still being taken further. Not only that, but this artwork can be interpreted in so many ways. While design has to have the meaning of communicating something to them. These pieces weren’t really there for communicating anything; they were more to humour.