After much debating on whether my totem was 'fitting' for its intended purpose, the tutorial on Thursday (02/02) made the decision for me that it wasn't quite. The initial design I posted previously has been worked on and the separate elements have been collaged into the same design, see the newer version above. Reflecting on my first FMP post already, I can see now that the colour is not right for starters and the type needs integrating for seconds. My lessons from last semester although essential are proving difficult ones to learn...
It has been decided that I should research totems more thoroughly to reference the shape better and to show better integration of the individual elements. Currently, the elements are just stacked on top of each other and do not signify the totem idea. Additionally, type needs to be introduced soon so that it is fully integrated and incorporated into the final design rather than an afterthought or clumsy additional layer pasted on top. I have some preliminary ideas for this but they are yet to materialise on paper. I think that by stitching the type it will be one step in the right direction of integrating the type with the image as this already incorporates some stitch.
Symmetry has raised its head again in my work so far. The strongest elements are fully symmetrical and work well next to lesser asymmetrical ones. However, more surreal combinations could work well and reflect the darker side of Grimm’s. For example, we don’t need to see all of the spinning wheel, maybe just the wheel itself or the needle and this could be put alongside the eye of the frog (frogs eyes are its most essential asset for it to represent a frog).
Making my characters out of magazine cuttings is thoroughly enjoyable though extremely time consuming. Of course there’s the distraction of re-reading ‘that’ article you’d forgotten about whilst trawling for a particular colour or texture but the trawling for the colour or texture is also time consuming in itself. Basically, I could be trawling through five magazines before I find the perfect colour and even then it can be too small an area for what I need it for. A suggestion was to scan in the colour or texture and start to create a digital archive where I can store them and print them off as and when I deem necessary. Although this is a sensible suggestion, my gripe is that the quality of the printed page will not be the same as the original glossy magazine cutting. I like the magazine cuttings because they are more flexible to work with; they are thinner and more aesthetically pleasing. Because they are thinner they are easier to manipulate and tease into the desired shape for my collaging method. However, an idea I’ve warmed to is the notion of using origami papers which imitate magazine paper. I’ve never used origami paper before and was initially wary of the idea, but having been to purchase a pack today and seeing the quality of it for myself, it has reinforced that this way of working has to be more effective and efficient. As I now have a pack of paper ready to go in seven inch squares, I will be able to knock my little characters out in no time!
Finally, the last suggestion was to introduce a sense of place to the totem so that my audience can understand why these elements have been grouped together. If for example there were branches protruding from the elements to suggest a tree in the background or intertwined in the design, the audience would understand that the wood unites these characters together. I didn’t want to be overly literal with my design of Grimm’s fairy-tales, as most illustrators focus on the castle and woods; however I think that a subtle hint with branches curling round the design will be effective.
All in al then, the idea is praised but needs much more work… better get to it