Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Research Workshop

I'm just going to point out now that I still have no ideas for this brief. None. Nothing. But today's workshop was a step in the right direction. Having the brief broken down into its 3 components - visual language, the book and the content - really made things a bit clearer. Focus on one and the others will fall into place around it. I think up till now I was having trouble getting my head round it because I was trying to cover every aspect very early on; trying to come up with content, which medium I wanted to work with and how I was going to fit it into a book, craaaaazzyyy.

Sooooo, I just need to figure out which of the 3 will be my main focus - cue Nick and his oh-so-helpful tutorials.

I know fine well, 100%, I'm definitely not going to start with the concept of the book. I have ultimately saturated my desire to bookbind, ohhhhh this BOOK brief is so conveniently timed. If anything is certain it is that I will have minimal trouble when it comes to creating my final book(s) - unless I have some over elaborate ideas which to be fair is a high possibility.

Content? Nothing is jumping out at me. Collections is such and incredibly vague term that I am constantly flitting between ideas with extreme differences that are way too random to pin down.

So that leaves me with visual language... What exactly is my visual language? Well today I had some sort of small scale epiphany (don't get too excited). Previously I would have approached that with something along the lines of 'well I want to try and do more illustration so I'll use that as my starting point and take the brief from there'. But isn't that exactly what I said about the competition briefs at the end of Comm Tech, and I've actually ended up going in the complete opposite direction and will probably end up producing a complex piece of anti-design. So it's pointless me trying to restrict myself to a medium because evidently I do not stick to it.

That's sort of when I realised. A person's visual language is not necessarily about the materials they use; it is about the angle of approach, the message they try to portray and the way they see things. My final project last year was practical on the surface (bookbinding) but the real focus of the project were the conceptual issues of concealment. My D&AD response this year - critical, questioning, conceptual. Perhaps my visual language is my criticism - god knows I have enough of it. Maybe I should go into this brief with the aim of criticising 'collections'; pull the definition apart. What is missing from collections? What is wrong with them? Are they even necessary at all?

I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty overwhelmed at the concept of trying to critique a system of order that has been in place for hundreds of years. I don't want to drag this out for the whole project just to come to the conclusion that I can't actually derive content from this perspective so I plan to do as much as I can in a couple of weeks, re-evaluate and if I still don't have a solid idea then I'll move on. Sounds good in theory.

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