Art Blog

Setting up (F59)

On Thrusday, we got to set up our own space to exhibit our FMP works. Although our tutors had already set the position of our own space, we had to prepare the installation of our posters. It was not some large preparation, it was just simply insert the pin inside the temporary walls, and waited the posters to arrive for hanging up. Before that, I could not think of how to decorate the surroundings to stick to the theme. It is nice that the classmate next to mine is also doing related topic in order to have something we can do together to make the area better. However, these things needed to wait for posters arrival as I could not think how the effect is presenting. At lwast, we need to wait until next Monday to know.

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Evaluation of FMP (F58)

The time flowed rapidly despite the duration of the Final Major Project was 12 weeks. From nothing to the final work, there were a lot of struggles. As this project was almost self-directed, I got to plan and make up my mind for decisions no matter they were major or minor by myself. LGBT related-project was something that I wanted to do for a long time, therefore, it was not hard to determine the theme. But the problem was how to present the theme, I thought other things such as posters and campaigns. At last, I ended up with making comic, which was quite a good idea that I could mix the interest of doing some moving image by making gif.

Firstly, time management surprisingly helped me because I had not planned about things in a long-term timetable before, I would never thought making a timetable could make my working process faster. I did 68 pages in total for my comic, the time was not much though there was 12 weeks. Since half of the time we needed to research and develop our ideas, it was just a month for me to do. Having a timetable helped me to track my process and prevented from slow progress that led to lack of time. For instance, I planned to finish the idea development and started to decide the storyline before Easter, though I did not finish them before the trip, it was because I set the time earlier. I pushed myself to make up my mind after the holiday so that I could start and work on my final piece at the beginning of May.

Secondly, I learnt to try more on different primary research, such as having interviews. That was the first time I did interview and this time I was also the one who interviewed people. Especially, the topic was quite controversial and sensitive in the first place. In my opinion, the reaction for LGBT community in my place was gentle, but I was not sure since there might be some people did not like homosexual people at all. And it turnt out nothing too special. However, I wanted to be more specific on the questions I asked as I knew all my interviewees. I wanted to know more about the situation of the environment for LGBT people during high school in Macau in order to get more depth on my idea development. My questions could be better with more specific answers, unlike questions like what your school character was inside your classroom since some of the sensitive information would be missed. Instead, maybe I should have asked directly about what your insecurity was inside your classroom.

Thirdly, various kinds of materials were used. I did not try something really complex and difficult such as screen-printing or other traditional printing method, time was rushed at that moment. I was drawing my comic and I was always afraid that I could not finish them on time. Mostly, the works were in digital for my final piece, as I wanted to do animated gif. on it. When I was illustrating the comic strips, I kind of regreted I did not use traditional drawing as facing on computer for a long period of time everyday was not fun. I understand why digital artists were tired as they always need to see on the computer. Nevertheless, I wanted to work back on traditional materials after I have finished my comic story part. Therefore, in order to balance out between digital and traditional when I started to design and use acrylic paint and pastel to do my cover and some of the inner pages. Furthermore, I used orange as they got some connection and it was organic.

The result of the final piece was quite harmonised between traditional and digital pieces.  As I used a particular brush on Photoshop in order to create a chalky style, it was kind of intimating some charcoal texture. Therefore, the cover piece was used soft pastels, which they gave a texture on the paper and a chalky texture. It worked well with the comic strips, which having the graphic style to make the story flowed better. For the storyline, I altered the ending and almost entirely changed the turning point of the story. One of the reasons was I would excessed a lot of pages, maybe over 80 pages if I sticked to my original idea, and I did not have enough time and energy to do it. Another reason was that the story was too related to the event I had heard before, which was kind of too extreme and it was not suitable to deliver the messages to the readers. Also, I did not want the main characters of the real event felt uncomfortable with the similar storylines published. For other pages for the comic, such as the quotes from interviews. I really like my idea of putting inside before each chapter, they give the atmosphere when I was reading. Thus, the resonance between audience and the story will be stronger.

Moreover, doing animated gif was tired and met many technical struggles. I understand that animator are very hardworking and they need a lot time to finish a ten second movement. On one of the pages I needed to do the movement of holding hands, it was not fun, I used almost one and a half hours to finish and the result was still not good. The most frustrating thing was that I deleted that photoshop movement which I did not know why. Although I export it out as gif, I could not make any change or I had to do them again. Getting backup file for important change is essential, that what I have learnt.

Overall, this 12 weeks was exhausting in different kind of ways, but learnt and understood many things from preparation to making the final piece. I understand more on my LGBT community and doing comic and making stories. I would do more tradition printing technique next year as I think it would be challenging but I could work in different conditions to obtain more skills.

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Final stage/ Bibliography (F57)

Got my comic printed, but I did not take it as it is too far away and I was kind of busy with my Bibliography. Therefore, I will take it tomorrow morning, I hope it will turn out great. I am excited about it.

These two days I did all the gifs, but that was frustrating. The reason was that now of my animated gif original data was lost along to making process, although I convert it gif out from Photoshop, I could not edit them again as I wanted to make it two pages in one image file. Leads to the result that I have to remind on just one page for one image.

Anyway, I will get it fix before the submission day. Today, I mainly did bibliography of my secondary research after I went to the printing shop. Honestly, I do not like to do the bibliography but I did it anyway. And I have to move on to the Evaluation of my FMP.

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WHOLE Layout (F56)

I did change everything for the cover, I thought of many things about the cover on Saturday. It was because that orange mosaic did not match the whole style of the comic entirely, which made it looks weird and not consistent.

Therefore, I redrew the cover with various materials on Saturday. The previous idea of the portrait of Miguel (the main character) was applied again since it made more sense.

I was pretty proud of the whole effect I did, as I did not try pastel very often. Although it was not perfect, I scan it into the computer edit them anyway.

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Today, I did not work much, I did my whole cover design by expanded it into 2 pages so that I did not need to try of the back cover and kept the same style of the front cover. As I did not think an appropriate back cover design yesterday. I later layout the whole layout of the comic book into Adobe InDesign and tried to export as PDF, I was not sure about the bleed and other things. My tutor told me to consider the exhibition for the gif, whether it will be a PDF of gif (if possible) or just use Preview on the Mac as it is the only way to show gif. file in movements in Mac default.

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Cover art (F55)

Finally, the deadline is coming close, just one week left that we will have to submit all the things. However, many things have not done, I am not stressed since the most important part is done. Therefore, I did some more sketchbook work about my idea development and start to do my cover.

I bought a bottle of glue, not knowing how to open it and ended up cutting too much of the bottle and it could not be closed. I applied them on a coloured paper with the draft of font I did. The whole idea was from the street sign in Macau, that the upper part was Chinese and the lower part was Portuguese. I used knief to cut tiny tiny bits of orange skin. And I applied on the paper as I testure with my draft. The process was not too fun as I spent the whole afternoon to do it. Yet, the result is quite not bad, I scanned on the computer and edit it tomorrow.

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More experiment with ORANGE/ Final. work with corrections (F54)

As I have finished my comic pages, I want to get some check before I go to the printing shop to print and bind as a comic books. Indeed, I need to design my cover pages and other minor pages (page before each chapter).

My tutor check the grammar of the dialogue and found that I have many minor mistakes on each page. Some of the mistakes should not even there in my level. Therefore, I am thinking about my C&CS essay, there must be some grammatical mistakes that I did not notice though I did check before I handed in.

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I left the mistakes and corrected them after class because I wanted to design my comic cover first. I first had some idea focused on the portrait of the characters, but it could make a clear sense as I want to shoe the places in Macau, the atmosphere on it. Therefore, I changed my idea and surfed the things about Macau, the place, the people. At some point, I looked on the ground in Macau, the pavement. The mosaic from Portugal built when we were colonised. So, I developed it and made the mosaic with orange.

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Experiment with ORANGE/ DRAFTS (F53)

Before taking the comic pages to print, I needed to be checked by my tutors first in order to prevent major mistakes and waste of money.

Also, I have to do my cover design and the pages between chapters. I started my idea way back during my comic making process. I just wanted to do in a blank page with a quote from my interviewee when I was interviewing with others. I tried to print a blank orange-coloured page out and I did not find it interesting. Therefore, I started on thinking going back to traditional technique, I created a page of A4 paper with orange acrylic (mixing deep yellow and a bit of red). I used a roller to roll over the whole page and the texture was great and I wanted to develop on it.

Also, I collected some orange skin from yesterday dinner and wanted to put them into something. As they got an interesting texture with a matching relationship with my comic’s theme. I will scan on the computer and try on more effects to see if it is suitable for my content.