// Lecture Exercise E: The Elements of Art and Design//

Task: You will be given a list of words. Choose two words and use basic elements (dots, lines, shpes…) to create 2 abstract or semi-abstract images, conveying the meanings of the words.

Worked with Glenn on this week’s exercise, and we chose the words ‘passage’ and ‘order’.

"Passage" was created using squares, ovals and lines. The use of lines creates a 3D effect of the passageway, with the lines becoming wider apart as the passage draws nearer to the viewer. It gives a sense of depth and perception.

"Order" was created with only dots. It is a sense of orderliness, with 9 dots arranged neatly in a square, resulting in a form of order.

// Lecture Exercise C: Pictogram//

In this exercise, we were to sketch an object in its iconic and indexical form. Glenn and I decided on the iPod as the iconic form, which is by its resemblance to the actual object. We then drew it in indexical form, which is categorized by convention. Music is the key element of the iPod, hence we chose a musical note to represent it.

// Lecture Exercise D//

Task: Making Photo Compositions - Use your mobile phone, choose a subject and compose it into various shot sizes and camera angles. State the purpose of using these techniques and how it affects how your audience perceives your subject.

The subject: STITCH!

Long Shot (LS): Full body of the main character interacting with its environment. 
This introduces the audience to the setting.

High camera angle: The subject looks really small. (but it is small!)

Low angle shot: The subject looks more powerful, even though it is a really small figurine! With the file cabinet towering behind, this could make the audience somewhat vulnerable.

Eye Level: It might not be a familiar angle, but it gives a more neutral shot.
Mid shot: Waist up!  Basically this gave me a portraiture kind of feeling.

// Lecture Exercise B//

Task: Apply Constructive Criticism Model in evaluating a design or artwork.

This week we were to put the Constructive Criticism Model to practice in evaluating a design or artwork. I chose the following piece of design from the Behance Network, Horoscope by Vadim Gannenko.

Description - A verbal account of what is there

In this design, the main subject wears a piece of headgear in the form of a fish and is  drinking from a fish bowl containing a “fish” with a human face. This fishbowl is set on a table full of other things, including hooks, cakes made out of worms, sardine cans filled with water and straws. The background is of a blue floral print.

Analysis - A discussion of how things are presented with an emphasis on relationships

Basically the main subject is placed in a central position in the image, reflecting its importance in the design. At the other end of the straw that the central character is drinking from is another fish. This would allow one to relate to the horoscope of Pisces, which is often seen as two fish. The things placed on the table before the main character seem to be things that are consumed by fish, possibly conceptualized as a fish’s meal. The consistent use of blue throughout the design would lead one to think of the sea, or ocean.

Interpretation - A sense of the meaning, implication or effect of the piece

I find this design to give a literal sense of the word ‘fish’ - basically being under the sea and what it “eats”. Of course, one would marvel at the clever use of colours and intricate details of the piece. I find the use of old sardine cans to be quite ingenious. The design is also very whimsical.

Judgement - Evaluating the successes and shortcomings of the piece

Judging the entire design, I would give it a thumbs up for such a unique concept, use of colour and composition of the image. It succeeded in catching my attention out of the many other designs I saw on the website. One would have to give careful thought to see the link between the the main subject and the items placed in front of it. However, I find several shortcomings. The Pisces symbol may not be very obvious or significant to the audience, if one does not have knowledge of the horoscope. In addition, the image does not convey characteristics or traits of the Pisces. Perhaps the designer could have considered the use of a Pisces’ personality to portray the image of a Pisces. It could give the audience more knowledge about Pisces. In addition, I did not find the use of a floral background to be of relevance to the entire design. It could have been an attempt to not overdo the design, to be full of sea related images. If that is the case, it is probably acceptable.

// Assignment 1: Me, Myself and I//

Lecture 2 Exercise: Stage 1 - Brainstorming

This week we learned about the various phases in the design process - conceptual (analytical and creative) and production (executive, presentation and reflection). I never looked at it this way before! I came to the realization that in most of my previous designs before this module, I had actually gone through most of these steps!

We started off the first assignment of this module in Lecture 2: Me, Myself and I. In this assignment, we are to create one design based on the letters of our name, initials or nickname. In this case, I chose my nickname, ‘MEL’. With the manipulation of letters, use of symbols, shapes and colours, we are to use these letters to interpret ourselves.

This lecture exercise required us to describe ourselves, and generate thumbnails from there. This concept generation is part of the creative process. The first words that came to my mind: photography and dance. I worked with these two words, and generated the imagery of a camera (1) and a person dancing (2). Later on I worked with my other likes, sneakers (3), my fascination with interesting accessories (like shades) (4), fast food (5) and mixtapes/playlists (6).

Idea generation was not quite as easy as I thought. I enjoy doodling and typography, but in this case I took quite a while to conceptualize and generate some sketches.

In my next post, I will be selecting and refining 4 of these thumbnails and present to you my preliminary sketches!

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