This is a continuous development of the wire portraits. The assignment is to make an accordion book of 9-12 pages based on our interviews with partners. My partner is Vicki. She told me a story of her growing up as a quiet person to a more outgoing and confident individual. The incidence was that there was one person came to her life and enlightened her mind. I created a few symbols to represent this idea of the person growing up.
Before I start making drafts of symbols and frames, I did some brainstorming. I listed few words to describe the character in the storyline. They are constrained/enclosed/caged/repressed/enlightened/confident/bold/outgoing/determined. As a result, the story I am telling is slightly different from the original one. The circle represents the character herself; the square grid is a symbol of cage. At first, the circle locks itself in the cage. It is repressed and not willing to communicate with the outside; then there is a “key” coming in and unlock the cage; the cage starts to fall apart, and the circle slowly walks out of it; as it moves farther away from its cage it grows larger and bolder. In the end, it is free and mature as a individual, ready for new challenges. For the cover, I designed a simple symbol that depicts the moment of the circle outgrowing the cage, which I think is the climax of the story. I choose circle because the circle and the cage can build strong contrast; moreover I think a circle is the best representation of a person because one’s personality has no boundaries just like a circle does no joints. In addition to that, it weighs less than other geometric shapes, which fits perfectly in this story where the circle floats around freely at the last few frames.
The scale of the piece is 5 by 5 inches for the inside and 6 by 6 inches for the cover. For the printing, I used the design lab; for the cover, I used later lab (vector engraving and raster engraving). Both are on Bristol paper.
I found that this assignment had helped me lot I terms of simplifying and integrating information. More importantly, this is my first time creating story only using graphic symbols without narratives which can express feelings that words cannot do although there are only few geometric shapes. The size, stroke weight, composition and comparison between shapes all play essential roles in evoke different feelings. What I learned from this assignment is really helpful for my future study in communication design.
Furthermore, it was an excellent opportunity to get to know not only my partner but also myself. As I was creating the story, I feel like I can somehow relate to her as I used to be very timid and keep everything to myself. When I was doing sketches, I always thought of myself. As a result, the story I made might be different from the one my partner told me, but there is me in the story. Therefore, it is a story of both of us. In fact, it can be anybody’s story. Every person has a self made cage to walk out of. It could insecurities and things that cannot be moved on.