Re-focusing the Portrait project

From my last post, where I was discussing the addition of faces into a ‘universe’ design, I got some feedback from a tutor this morning and I felt it was not positive, as the issues they had before still appeared to stand with my work and how this could be fixed seemed to differ from what I thought they meant yesterday. It was also mentioned that it seemed like I was just doing what I wanted to do instead of specifically aiming to answer the brief. The comment took me aback at the time, and in retrospect, my opinion is that it suggests I am not acting in a professional manner, as a designer’s role is to best meet the terms of the brief. This obviously upsets me. I feel I can justify these designs and there is real meaning to them that I think the relevant audience can appreciate.

However, in balance I have to accept we appear to have a difference in opinion on what can work, and it is never possible for everyone to like a design. So I believe we will never see eye to eye on this, especially since no other tutor has pointed this out to be an issue, one even commented favourably on the idea, and how the audience would be attracted to it. And I would not have come up with this design if I felt it could not work.

So I decided to get some feedback from another tutor, who as of yet had not seen any of my work for this project and thankfully, this unlocked my now scrambled thought process so I could re-focus this project. Their opinion was that the eye is suitable and they agreed with me that the whole face does not need to be visible to be a portrait. They also reminded me differences of opinion can occur with designs. I went back to square one with how I explained my ideas, and it was felt I was on the right track and my ideas appeared to be working. The shortlist came to be the universe idea and the DNA idea, both of which can be read about here. After this feedback, I decided the universe idea would be too difficult to achieve in the timeframe I now have and the DNA idea grew immensely on me the more I thought about it and how it can meet the brief.

So here is now what I am doing, and I am now fully focused on making this work. Today has given me the spark I need to push on and do my best to make a success of this project.

  • The composition will focus up-close on the eye as seen in my second composition proposal in my post on the ‘final idea’.
  • The iris will be white, with a series of double helix DNA strands filling it up. The DNA strands will form a colour wheel and have the benefit of having a texture more normally associated with the eye.
  • If I feel the design works well, then a reflection of a face will be placed into the pupil and faded so as to be barely visible, but enough for the audience to notice so as to provide a potentially critical link for the audience to follow if they have not already understood my idea.
  • The sketch of the eye will be pencil, perhaps leaving the iris and maybe the pupil blank, so I can edit it in Photoshop and add in the DNA/face in rich, vibrant colour.

Very kindly, one of the tutors has directed me to a couple of tutorials that will hopefully allow me to create a double helix design to represent DNA, which I will place below:

The jobs for the next two days will be to take some reference photos of my eye for this project, go over some of the tutorials I posted links to yesterday to ensure I am aware of how to draw the details I need, and to create the main sketch. From there it will be a case of experimenting to produce the Photoshop editing I need, add in a suitable caption, and then print it. Finally, I will need to document my processes for the academic side of this course to help show how I have achieved the learning outcomes.

Today has been an interesting day where I feel I have needed to re-evaluate how I go about a project. I shall discuss my plans for change in the evaluation at the end of this project.

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