Senior Thesis 2: Week 10– The State of the World and Plan for Self-Promotion

Professional Business Card Front and Back


Doom Shroom

There’s no easy way to say this, but things around the world are not looking good right now in the slightest. In fact, recent world events could almost me characterized as biblical in severity and proportion, if not downright apocalyptic:

  1. Although the spread of the coronavirus pandemic (SARS-CoV-2, or Covid-19) has gradually begun to slow down in China (where the outbreak began) and in South Korea, it has continued unabated and undeterred in almost all the world’s nations across the world, chiefly the US, the European Union (esp. Italy), and Iran. The outbreak shows no signs of slowing down, at least not for the foreseeable months ahead of us (late March to May, possible June), even with protective measures such as curfews, quarantines, and social distancing being advised and put in place by local, state, and federal governments worldwide. New Jersey, the state I live in, has reported hundreds of cases in Bergen County and other counties, and Hudson County, being so close in proximity to “ground zero” to both New York State and Bergen County, is obviously at greater risk of infection than ever before. I am not exaggerating when I say that I am anxious about what the future may hold for the world in the midst of this pandemic, and furious at the incompetence and ignorance demonstrated by the pathetic joke that is the US government under the Trump Administration. Even if the Covid-19 pandemic eventually fades away and becomes a non-issue in North America and Europe, Africa and South America look poised to undergo total catastrophe as cases explode in both continents, due to the lack of available medical care and supplies in several of the Third World nations found within, combined with poverty, starvation, corruption, tyranny, and other societal and moral ills that will prevent progress from being made towards containing this virus. I haven’t even mentioned the collapsing global economy and the sad fact we’ve just entered another global Recession thanks to Covid-19 fears and the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia– even if the virus disappears from our lives, the economic fallout will deeply hurt employment and job security for millions of people, and possibly lead to societal unrest and chaos. Only time will tell how things will turn out.
  2. Amidst all the coronavirus-related news, recent reports from East Africa, Asia, and the Middle East have revealed the emergence of city-sized locust swarms that have begun to devour crops for miles, causing famine and social unrest for tens of millions of people who rely on said crops for food security. The locusts, like the coronavirus, have shown no signs of stopping their rampage of terror, ignoring national borders and the futile efforts of Humankind.
  3. The US and Iran have been exchanging blows and destroying each other’s military bases even in the midst of pandemics affecting either country, demonstrating, more than anything, the total insanity that has afflicted world governments, as of late. Both nations look like they are about to enter a war, thanks to escalations in the region following the death of General Suleimani earlier this year, and the attack of the US Embassy of Iran by its Revolutionary Guard, among other skirmishes. If this does not sound like the prologue to World War III, I don’t know what is– even a regional Middle Eastern War could inadvertently drag other countries in to participate thanks to our society’s complex network of international alliances in our globalized, interconnected world. India and Pakistan also look all too ready to attack one another over the disputed Kashmir territory, with negotiations over hostilities among both nations failing, and both countries resorting to increasingly desperate measures to avoid war at any cost.
  4. Climate change has caused ice in Greenland and Antarctica to melt several times faster than expected, according to terrifying reports from scientists, meaning humanity is accelerating towards ecological collapse rather than merely moving towards it at a consistent rate.
  5. Finally, let’s not forget the calamitous bushfires that ravaged Australia in the beginning of 2020, and the inept and callous response of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who clearly sent the message to the world that he cared more about his family vacation trip to Hawaii, and celebrating New Year’s Eve with loved ones, than the fate of the nation he was entrusted to lead. What a great way to start the year– with worsening droughts and fires amplified by the detrimental effects of climate change and rising global temperatures. Just perfect!!!

As I’ve said– things around the world are not looking good, and I’ve been, to put it mildly, thinking a lot about the end of the world, and indulging in apocalyptic thinking as of late, as have some people I know. I’ve tried to be optimistic at times about what will be the end result of all this madness going on around the world, but I have a feeling that the worst is yet to come for all of humanity, if 2020 is any indicator, and if climate change predictions are anything to go buy.

Despite my pessimism, I have been thinking much about some ideas I have regarding my next project for Senior Thesis 2– an object to self-promote myself with, and I’ve contemplated either creating a series of prints or zines, or pixelated gifs to promote my work and art. At this point in time, I don’t really have any concrete idea of what I want the content of my promotion to be, but I do have some topics I feel would be appropriate to highlight as topics of interest I could focus on as a way to attract a potential audience, such as “environmentalism”, “aliens”, “superheroes”, and “dystopia”, given my passion for the environment, science fiction, interesting heroic figures, and politics. I have this idea of a graphic narrative of these giant creatures (which are gods of different aspects of Nature) awakening after being fed up with humanity’s destructive activities towards the environment, and seeking revenge as a result in the near future. I also have another idea regarding the rise of environmentalist superheroes– many of them angry at humanity for destroying the Earth for profit (with some taking their anger to such extreme lengths that they resort to terrorism or other heinous acts to achieve their goals, giving actual peaceful protesters and environmentalists a bad name). Maybe these creatures or heroes will find their way in the zines or prints I plan on promoting myself with. As of right now, though my idea is still in the concept stage.

Not too long ago, I managed to create a rudimentary business card, partially as a self-initiated experiment, but also partially as a semi-assignment for my Professional Practices class, being taught by Ben Katchor. I’ve been toying around in my head with the notion of an “alien artist”, and I featured the concept as an avatar of mine on my new Behance account (see my previous post), which I plan to update and personalize over the course of the coming weeks. I showed the business card to Ben Katchor and some of my classmates through Zoom, and they liked it, but suggested a few improvements to make it stand out from the crowd (see the card above). Although my business card does fall under the category of self-promotion, I worry that it is too embroiled in the world of “graphic design” to qualify as an illustration (even though it has illustration elements and I used Illustrator to create the card– both front and back).

I will update this blog with a new post soon (perhaps next week).

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