Design as Activism – Final Updates

Today I was updating my Design as Activism project using suggestions from the last critique we had. In the feedback our peers said that ‘KidzBKidz’ didn’t represent what we were trying to convey in our work. To better adapt what our groups work was about we changed the name to ‘Heroes4Kids’. It doesn’t fully encapsulate what our project is based upon but figuring out a name which suggests both gender and heroic people was challenging for us. We then had to create a new logo that everyone in the group could use. We stil loved the original font so kept this as the logo. Its blocky and comes across as kids building blocks which we felt was most appropriate.

Taking these things in to consideration I needed to update my activity pack. I first changed over the names and logo so everything matched. I then looked back on what I wanted to change about the design. The first thing was getting rid of the sprinkles, they were too heavy for the design and took away the focus. I replaced them with little stars which match the poster, they also represent the new-found name of heroes and looking up to someone. I think they look much better although some interfere with the text sometimes so this would need to be changed next time.

Now that I’ve improved my outcome I’m so much happier with them. I think I could have made more to go into the box and perhaps I could have had some feedback from kids and parents to see if my work was appropriate. It was hard-working in this group we could have defiantly spoken to each other more going through the project and then our work might have come out more similar. Overall, our work fits our target audience and I think it could really motivate kids and parents to get involved. The use of fun colours and characters makes it much more family friendly.

The Aesthetic Manifesto – City Symphony Updates

The outcomes I made for our Instagram page were 2 gifs of Eira each where she is glitching in different ways. As a set they match the aesthetic of the Instagram page really well. I’m really happy with how they look, they leave the audience wondering what she’s hiding. Although I want to make them more subtle and the glitches smaller so they look like something may have actually glitched on the screen.

Today we were filming the video, we wanted to use our actual phones because as a group we aren’t great at animation. We then handed the footage to Ben who wanted to edit the pieces together. His first attempt was really good but the pacing was a bit off. We discussed what needed to be changed for instance we loved that he had put the video in a phone to show the context but it was then hard to see the work we’d done. It needed to be easy to see what was happening. We also wanted to speed up the pace to not bore the audience they might lose interest if the video was to long and slow. Ben made the improvements and below is our outcome.

I think we have worked well as a group but defiantly could have been more involved with each other. Our video shows off the earyness of our town which was the basis for our storytelling. It also coincides with the internet personas we had created for each  character making them look like a collection. Things I might chance in the future would be making the video a smoother pace so its easier for the audience to watch. As well thinking about how we could make the plot easier to follow. Someone said they found it a little tricky to follow so this could defiantly be improved with some cleaner editing and better quality pictures.

The Aesthetic Manifesto – City Symphony Critique

Today we had our mid-week critique, we received some really good criticism and we are super excited on how its turning out. Above are my pieces so far. We had decided on having the video in a Instagram format from a persons perspective. So for this we each created images that we’d put together in a fake Instagram to scroll through. It would be like looking into the life of someone who lives there. In the critique our tutors loved the idea and thought it linked into our previous theme of online personas. They suggested that we include little creepy things in the pictures to suggest the hidden secrets to Iceburg that would leave the audience curious. As I am making the pictures of Eira and she is computer generated, I wanted to put glitches into her pictures to show that there is something not right about her. I may even make a very small video as they have short 5 seconds videos in Instagram. It would break it up from all the pictures. Our tutors also suggested a better way to film this, by making a real Instagram and filming someone on their phone it would take out a lot of the animation that we weren’t sure on how to do. By doing this I think it will come out a lot better and we’d be able to achieve so much more in this short space on time.

My plans now are to create one still image of Eira have a slight glitch or something very subtle but curious. Also making one 5 second video of Eira moving and having a glitch, this I’m more nervous for as I’m not the best at animating but I look forward to see how it will turn out.

The Aesthetic Manifesto – City Symphony

Yesterday we were given the last part of The Aesthetic Manifesto brief. Initially I was very worried about it as I’ve never been educated in animation and my previous animation project before I didn’t like. My skills on these softwares are minimal so I’m quite apprehensive.

Our final outcome needs to be a view of Iceburg that envisions a citizens experience. I first wanted to do some research because I don’t have much experience in this field. In the briefing presentation we were shown, two artists stood out to me they were Stan Brackhage and a collective called Archigram. They both seemed simplistic in visuals but the in-depth meanings behind is what I find interesting. Having a simple design with a deep background is something I can replicate in a short film which helps me feel a little less anxious about this brief.

Images from The Dead and Mothlight by Stan Brackhage

I first looked at Stan Brackhage’s work. It’s very eery which is probably why I like it so much. He uses simple image and short moving parts of what seems to be random places to show these beautiful scenes. Brackhages’s films were non-native and challenged the perception of the audience. They left me feeling inspired and curious into the meanings behind. I’d love to use the way in which he shows minimal scenes but them having so much impact. It means our group would have to come up with couple scenes to really show what Iceberg is like for a citizen.

Archigram. Instant

Other work I adored was by the collective Archigram which existed from 1961 to 1974. Archigram were controversial for their time, they explored themes such as glamour and psychedelic in a ‘semi-mythic 1960s.’ Ultimately influencing the ‘Pop Art movement, where color, dynamism, fashion, and disposability were presented in graphics.’ These themes along with the very aesthetically pleasing qualities of their work is what our group needs to show in our city. Iceberg focuses on the outward appearance much like the themes I looked at. I want to take that blatant attempt to look over inviting and friendly, hopefully to give Iceberg a subtle creepy aspect and more context to the crystals haze.

Sources Used:

The Aesthetic Manifesto – Eira’s Outcome

Eira Final Outcome

Above is my outcome for Eira. I made some improvement from my mock-up, for example including eyes to make her look more ‘human’ like. In her world she is just a computer generated girl who’s trying to be seen as human. I made her Instagram profile which is her front to everyone. It’s very aesthetically pleasing and the colours coordinate to match Iceburg’s landscape. Ultimately she was made as an advertisement piece on why others should come to Iceburg. She quite a beautiful character which is intended to attract similar aged students to this already thriving place. Next to her profile I added her reason for living in side her head to show she is nothing without it. She is just a shell of a person.

I think in this task our group worked quite well together we came up with an intricate story behind our characters that fed in to one another. I enjoy our story and it led to some really interesting outcomes. I do like my final piece, I think it represents the character I’ve made in an aesthetic way. Next time to improve it I’d like to play more with the concept of her being controlled and look into more sophisticated ways of showing this. Id also want to make more. In this segment I feel I could have pushed myself to make more so next time I’d love to explore how she actually interacts with others online.

The Aesthetic Manifesto – Eira Critique

Today we had our critique. This brief has been really challenging for my group and I, we are finding this task in particular a struggle. The brief is quite confusing and we werent sure on what to presents as our final pieces. But after today we have more of a sense on what is going on…we think. Ultimately our critique was about weaving each character into one another. We needed to find a way to link each person, because Eira is on Instagram we decided to firstly be linked thought there. So for this we will present each our characters in a Instagram profile format. This will hopefully allow our characters to interact with one another easily.

I remembered an Instagram personality I follow called Lil Miquela. She been the subject of many conspiracy theories but to summarise she is thought to be a digital girl created by someone else. She’s used to promote things and advertise products. This would be a great idea for my character, also it can link into my peers work. Gia’s character will be the one who created mine. So improvements I need to make with Eira is to take away the black smears and replace them with eyes. This will make her look more trustworthy to her viewers. I’m also going to need to make her profile and a small news feed as she only exists on the internet. I have quite a bit to do tonight.

Lil Miquela's Instagram

The Aesthetic Manifesto – Eira Updates

Work By (Instagram)

I have done some research since my last update on Eira. I found these beautiful illustrations by a German Instagram Artist called She depicts her characters with inner turmoil and fantasy ideas. They are really stunning storytelling pieces which isn’t hard for the viewer to depict. I am interested in the way she shows the inner struggles externally for example the way she removed the girls face to reveal something else beneath. It’s a clever way of giving visual narrative which is important for this project as we have to create an illustration only. The piece we make needs to tell the story of the person behind it.

Eira's Profile

Eira is a student and part-time lifestyle blogger. She shows millions of fan her exciting, beautiful life in Iceburg. Although Eira isn’t a human anymore she’s trapped inside her body. The gem creates a haze for the residents of Iceburg and Eira has been picked to advertise her life. She is ultimately a robot to advert Iceburg, she is only the shell of the person she once was. One who only cares about how many people see her Instagrams or watch her videos.

I really like what I’ve done so far but feel I need to make it more clear what she is about. I used the black smears over her eyes to show that she has no soul or no real feelings anymore. Also the way she looks is a direct comparison to the landscape of Iceburg so aesthetically she fits in. I took influence from by cutting her head in half to show the reasoning behind herself. Her brain has been replaced with the crystal which controls how she portrays herself and Iceburg to the outside world. Overall I like my piece visually but I don’t feel it holds enough story telling which is the key aspect for this brief. I think later I will make a profile to give more information away and find other ways to make her look more robot like.

The Aesthetic Manifesto – Eira

Sketchbook Page

Today we were given the next part of our brief which is to create the people who live in our town. We are going to need to consider who are their relatives, what they believe, how they act and phobias. We will need to create a human profile for this person. In our group discussion we decided on university students to base off. This generation cares a lot about their appearance and how they are thought of in their communities which is the moral for our town. We also will show the transition from them out-of-town to in town.

I’ve come up with my human who is a fashionable, distant and un aware teenager. She’s a blogger her outward appearance is everything to her. Her name is Eira, a Welsh name inspired by a Norse goddess meaning snow. Hopefully she will look trendy and forward-looking but actually has no sense of individuality or personality. She will be a living marketing campaign for the town in order to gain more tourist.

The Aesthetic Manifesto – Iceburg Outcomes

Tutor Critique

Our tutors found that we had improved on our ideas and designs. They said at the end of the presentation the audience should either laugh or be horrified. For us they laughed so it seems we must have completed the brief correctly. Improvements they gave us about the design were that it should reflect this sinister background we’ve given the town. I think it is a good point at the moment they don’t completely link up. Another aspect they mentioned was not being able to identify the crest. As a group I think we need to work on this together as it’s an important piece that features on almost ever thing we made.

My Critique

Overall I enjoy my outcome, I tried to improve them with the critiques we were given previously. To the flag I changed the style of the crystal by changing the shape and adding more sides for the light to catch. I think this made is much more obvious as to what it was which brings the whole groups theme together. I actually prefer my previous design I feel it was more sophisticated but to get my message across I had to do what was right for the brief. If I were to re-do this I would look at getting a middle ground between the obvious and the subtle to make the crystal even more simplified. This may help it suit our overall theme even more.

The welcome sign only had a small change I added the now slogan: ‘the destination for happiness’. This links into our underlining theme that everyone in the town is drugged into happiness. I still think the sign is reflective in the place and does look as if it was an expensive resort. To match this I made a sign for our district map which can be found anywhere around the town. It’s a way of helping tourist find their way and to suggest popular attractions. The two signs match very nicely but I feel I could have been much more playful with the deigns. Next time I will defiantly take my tutors advice to add some more sinisterness to the designs. I find it hard working in a group and with other people’s ideas but in this task I feel like I’ve improved on my team work skills.


The Aesthetic Manifesto – Iceburg Critique

Today we had a critique with our tutors, it went ok… We were given quite a bit to improve on. First it was suggested that we needed to add more character to our town. Aesthetically the tutors liked what we were producing but it needed more of a back story. As our chosen subject was aesthetics we decided to have a haze over the town that made everyone happy. Being happy is more aesthetically pleasing rather than someone who may be sad. This could also bring lots of tourists to our town which is the focus in the designs, everything is meant to show off the beautiful surroundings and bring in others. Another critique we were given was that the crystal looked more of an iceberg. Now because of the importance of the crystal I really needed to make it more apparent.

Improvements I’m going to make are updating my flags crystal. Creating a slogan for our touristic town is needed to sell the conspiracy we are telling. Much like Disney use ‘The happiest place on earth’. Lastly I want something else to show how important tourists are to Iceburg by creating signs for the district map. This could help navigate and suggest popular attractions.