Reflecting this final project as a whole

I did not achieve 100% of my project proposal, but I did something more while I was editing my outcome. At first, I was planing to design my own T-shirt, do a photo shoot and a letter writing campaign for people who are interested in my project. But the timing was not ideal, by the time that I finished my T-shirt design, it was already Easter holiday for most of the students in University of the Arts London, all the BA students was about to break out, so my plan of finding 4 models for my photo shoot did not work out. I did not know they start their holiday 2 weeks earlier. But luckily, I asked a student who was also at the screen printing workshop if she could help modelling for my final project.

The photo shoot went well, but Paula said that it is better for me to do more photo shoots at different location. Sadly, the original model couldn’t do it anymore, so I asked my flatmates for help. I’m glad that one of them has recently became a professional model, he told me the tips when it comes to posing, and he did a good job.

For the final editing, I tried duotone, as Chris has suggested, because it will create a graphic feeling. I did couple of the photos in popping duo colours, but I did not like it. I then tried black and white photos with coloured graphics. It was what I was looking for, hence I tried to make the illusion of the graphics coming out from the background. I followed the tutorial of perspective wrap, field blur and some other effects. I think it went quite well.

For the exhibition, Trudi suggested me to draw the patterns on a till roll and hang it from the sealing. It was a bit weird to ask the cashier to sell me a till roll, because she said she has never sell them before. I successfully purchased the till roll, and I am planning to draw the light that I see through out the day on the same pen case on the roll.


Reflective writing

The course that I am in is an international course, which means there is no home student studying with me. Growing up as a duo nationality person myself, I have experienced both Taiwanese and Japanese culture during my life. London is a multicultural city, studying here, surrounded by people from all around the world, exchanging ideas and stories have been a great way to form a richer background information, meaning and content for my artwork.

This course has provided me with a lot of opportunities to experiment with different ways of creating a piece of work. From workshops to softwares, I combined both analog and digital methods to make my outcome, it always turned out very interesting. In the next 3 years, I would like to try collaborating with other students from different BA courses, because this is something that I have not tried so far.

In my opinion, this foundation course is a useful course for a student that is not sure what to study for a deeper and more focused study. I wanted to be in a design pathway instead of a screen pathway, because design is something that I have never done before, but I’ve been interested in. Then, I realised that the name of the pathway is not that important. The things that I did through out these months are more likely to be categorised as design, but the tutor still supported me. When the time came to decide the BA courses that I wanted to apply for, I only focused on graphic design. All the pages in my portfolio were about graphic design, I tried to arrange some photography that I had done with some other BA students during these months, but I ended up not using any single one of them. The moment that I deleted all the photography parts in my portfolio, I knew that I made a big decision about my next few years.

For this final project, I talked to some of my course mates when I was stuck. It was Lou that suggested me to design on a T-shirt as the outcome. It is always great to talk to other people because they think differently. Some random idea might link to my original one, and all of a sudden, everything make connection, everything start working and everything gone fine.


Reflection of the development of my outcome

The outcome is either going to be a poster or a photo book, however the photo shoot that I did during the Easter holiday was only at one location, the variety of the back ground of the photos is not that obvious. Paula suggested me to look up the meaning of the following three words. Context, Semiotics and Subjectivity. The pattern that I drew was not just an image that I see on my pen case, but a reminder of how beautiful things or interesting things can be around you but because of the technology today, everyone tends to focus on the unreal or fake images on the internet. So many people nowadays are addicted to their phone and don’t care about their surroundings anymore. Beauty is hidden around you, it is you to find it out.

I named this project as Reflection. Reflection of the sun and the sky on the pen case, of course, but also the deeper meaning — a serious thought or a consideration. Writing letters to your feature self is like making a time capsule, forwarding the current period to the future. As a letter writer myself, I have experienced the warmth of handwritten letters, I know the difference between receiving an email and an actual letter. Email is fast, convenient and productive, but at the same time, it is cold and light-weighted. Compare to email, letter takes time to write, it takes time to send, but all the time that one has spend on these actions matters so much. Everything is in a consideration, and you look forward to hearing from the receiver. Time makes the letter valuable.

Process of Fast Forward project

It was my first time having my own screen, and the way I set the two images on the mesh was not ideal, so it was hard printing them perfectly. Luckily, Simon, the technician at the screen printing workshop helped me and he suggested me to separate the two design on different screen next time so that it will be easier for me to print it better.

Thees envelops are for another concept of fast forward. I used to have penpals, and I enjoyed writing letters. I feel sending letters to people all around the world is like sending a piece of my time to another person, which is impossible to feel it when it is an email or an iMessage. My best friend in Japan who has just graduated from her high school said that she wrote a letter to her future self on her first day of high school. She then achieved all the things she wrote in the letter during her 3 years of school life. Writing a letter to my future self is like a time capsule, and it’s even easier than preparing a time capsule.

The T-shirts have arrived, I will see if grey looks better than white.


The first ever self directed project

Fast Forward is my final project of this course, and it is a self directed project. I am very excited about this one, because I want to do something that I have never done before. Since I got the offer from my top three courses, I want to do something that related to branding and identity design as my outcome.

I drew the reflection of the sun and the sky on my plastic pen case, and every time I see, the shapes were always slightly different because the sky was moving. I thought these patterns were interesting, so I went to the screen printing workshop and printed on A3 heavy weight so that I can make envelopes from it. I also redesigned the drawing on photoshop so that I can print them on T-shirts and do photo shoots later.

Fast forward

There are so many things that happen in daily life that are being ignored. Especially when repeating the same event again and again, like sunrise and sunset. Everything seems to be usual, not special or boring so people focus on their smartphone screen. The technology nowadays makes everything possible all on the screen.  My intended audience is to all the people who escape from the reality and focus on their phone. For an art student like me, everything around me can be an inspiration. Sometimes I would be like most of the people, listen to my own playlist, scroll through my phone or do some reading when I am too early for class. The other times, I would do nothing but look outside the window. The classroom that I am usually in, has big windows,  it is easy to get a lot of sunlight. I have a plastic pen case and once I drew the reflection of the moving sun and sky that I saw on it. The pattern of the reflection is way interesting than just looking out the window. The view I saw through the plastic pen case was always changing because of the material and of course, the time. The sun is setting, the Earth is spinning — time flies. When I look up the sky, there’s no shape because the sky is way to big to fit in my vision, but on my pen case, everything is in a circle, so the sunlight and the sky can easily fit in as a complete pattern.

I would like to dig in the colour of the sky, although it seems to be an endless list. The speed as which the sun rises and sets, how the clouds move, and the Earth spins. For the research of branding and identity, I would also check typography and marketing, too. 

The graphics area is the part that I would like to explore. I am thinking about studying branding and identity next year. I want to design my own brand and for the outcome of this project, I want to make my own T-shirt. I will need to scan in my drawing first, edit it on Adobe Photoshop, and bring to screen print workshop. I need to buy some T-shirt before printing, as well. The main reason why I chose T-shirt was because fashion is an easy way to do self expression. What I wear or how I dressed up, this is a nonverbal communication. Having my own designed T-shirt not only can express myself, but also remind myself.

I will imagine if I were a client or a consumer, would I buy the item that I designed or not. A personal artwork is based on what I like or what I feel, but a professional one should also consider how consumer would think. User experience design is one example. A professional designer should also know what people need and want. 

Reading list
novum world of graphic design 03.19 International Issue publisher: Stiebner Verlag GmbH, Germany


Interview preparation

Q: What was the last exhibition you saw? What did you find interesting? How did the work relate to your current ideas/ creative practice?
A: I went to Photographers’ Gallery and I saw a collection of monochrome photography taken in Jewish area. I find it interesting because I realised all the photos I liked was either symmetrical or in high contrast. The final outcome of my collection project is also black and white, and before I export the images of my sketchbook scan, I also adjust the contrast so that the lines of my drawing will pop.

Q: Name three practitioners whose work you have discovered since being on the level 3 course. How have they influenced your creative practice? What did you fine interesting about their work?
A: First of all, Franklin Till. Who designed the Viewpoint magazine. When I went to the magazine section in the library, Viewpoint was outstanding compare to others due to the photo and the typeface that was used on the cover. It is a design magazine, I found the texts inside is easy to read, the design is overall simple and the graphic inside is calm and matches the images. My favourite thing about that magazine is that he collaborates with Pantone. Working at Pantone is my dream so I got so excited when I saw that on the magazine.
Secondly, an artist who do print making, drawing and sculpture, Brendon Monroe. My favourite work of his is called Hole, and in that print, he only uses lines, but it looks like a 3D landscape. I used the same idea while I was making the final outcome of the collection project. It’s an 2D animation, but I made it look like a 3D space.
Last but not least, Jenny Holzer. I went to Tate modern and sat in front of her artist room for 40 minutes just to do people watching and also write down her messages from a digital marquee board. That work was about how to become a better human. The thing that I liked about her work was the way she showed her artwork. Full messages on the wall repeating again and again, using neon lights, it’s powerful than just a poster or a photo.

Q: Reflect on your progress on the Level 3? How could you improve your current work and approach?
A: I tried different outcome each time for my 3 projects so far, and I think the good thing about this course is that students got chances to try and explore different practice. I need to tryout more ways to develop my approach and collaborate with others more.

Q: What are the three key things you have learnt on the Level 3 course?
A: Work fast, meet people and try everything.

Q: What does graphic design mean to you?
A: I’m a photographer who likes to draw. But I felt something was missing when I consider studying photography for another 3 years. Then I thought way not combine my interests? Photography and drawing formed me, and graphic design is the key thing to connect the two.

Q: What is the most successful piece of work in your portfolio? Why? How could it be improved?
A: The first project, the outcome of the Toolbox project is my favourite one. It was a reason why I wanted to do graphic design more than just staying un my comfort zone, doing photography. I tried letterpress and laser cut. By combining those two method made my poster very unique. The technician there even kept one of my outcome!

Q: Which is the least successful piece of work in your portfolio? Why? How could it be improved?
A: I’d say my magazine layout. Because the print was not perfect. I need to ask people who know how to do the settings when I am printing them. I asked a person in digital space but it turned out she was telling me the wrong thing so I still don’t know how to do the settings.

Q: Who do you see as the target audience for you work? Why?
A: Anyone who share the same interest with me. Because art is very subjective. 

Q: What do you hope to achieve by undertaking a BA course?
A: The knowledge of working in the industry. I also want to build connection with students and artist from all different courses.

Q: What qualities and attributes do you have that will make you a successful student at BA level?
A: I believe my wide interest would help me find unique ways to develop my work. I’m open-minded, willing to explore new things, too.I’m also devoted to my artwork. The time when creating an artwork is always so fast that it’s never enough!

Q: What was the last book you read? Tell us about it?
A: It is called Madness, written by Roald Dahl. Each story contains different madness, some are because of misunderstanding, others are because of war and anger. Not many people focus on this feeling in my opinion. This is way I thought it might be interesting to read about how madness came from.

Contextual research and analysis

For the collection assignment,  I found screen printed posters, poems and magazine covers that are either using the similar colours as mine or codes.

Object 1: Stage Set For A Riot by Danny Jauregui, (2007) is a artwork that was made by ash and graphite on paper. It makes me feel like the information in the barcodes are all  busy crossing through each other, as if they are crossing a road in a hurry, not caring about others’ privacy and personal space, bumping and crashing into each other.

Object 2: Normal, like rapid language by Normals, (2012) is a collection of works that are lying right at the intersection of design and fiction. Sometimes can be visual, other times can be published, video-based, musical, or even functional. They do pixel bending, ink on paper, and algorithmic superstitions as well. Rapid Language Application is a web-based system for learning Rapid Language basics. This first version was consist of a 150-word dictionary of the online most used words, as well as semantic operators and directions, and provides one with the possibility of building basic [Roll + Lettering] strings.

Object 3:Hole print by Brendon Monroe, (2014) is a printed artwork. Brendon Monroe is an artist who has graduated from the Art Centre in Pasadena, and he has been painting, drawing, and making sculptures that demonstrate a mythical world that is inhabited by paint-chip and trash-laden life form which scattered with human figures. He thinks that studying smaller environments can help us understand the greater world around us, Monroe sets out to create this imaginary world. Although he has self-published a wonderful run of miniature artist-books (Brendan Monroe, 2008), this is the first overall monograph of his work. There are more than 70 paintings, 15 sculptures, and  some installation shots. This work especially attracted me because of the same idea that he has. Using only lines to create a image that looks like 3D contoured landscape.

In my opinion, object 4: A World View by Mary Ellen (Bottom) Solt, (1968) and object 5: 1975 issue 10 cover design by Heinrich Fleischhacker are somehow connected. They are both printed and published, but also have a system. The poem only used “o”, “i” and “l”, the magazine cover only used Binary numeral system. Binary numeral system  is a numbering system that represents numeric values using two unique digits (0 and 1). Mostly can be seen on computing devices use binary numbering to represent electronic circuit voltage state, which considers 0 voltage input as off and 1 input as on. I remember my father talking about this when I was younger. He said “There are only 2 numbers in the world of computer, but they have endless of possibilities.”


Object 1: Stage Set For A Riot by Danny Jauregui, 2007

Image result for Danny Jauregui

Object 2: Normal, like rapid language by Normals, 2012


Object 3: Hole print by Brendon Monroe, 2014

Related image


Object 4: A World View by Mary Ellen (Bottom) Solt, 1968

Selections from Mary Ellen Solt’s Concrete Poetry: A World View


Object 5: 1975 issue 10 cover design by Heinrich Fleischhacker

1975 Issue 10


Stage Set For A Riot by Danny Jauregui, 2007
viewed: 15th February 2019

Normal, like rapid language by Normals, 2012

Normal, like rapid language

viewed: 15th February 2019

Hole print by Brendon Monroe, 2014
viewed: 15th February 2019

A World View by Mary Ellen (Bottom) Solt, 1968
viewed: 15th February 2019

1975 issue 10 cover design by Heinrich Fleischhacker

1975 Issue 10

viewed: 15th February 2019

Outcome of Collection project

This outcome is made by Adobe After Effects. I scanned my sketchbook pages and edited on Adobe Photoshop before opening the files on AE. The story is about how my journey to Switzerland and barcode are linked together.

The elements of barcode are bars, that is why at the very beginning of the video, the camera go through a group of bars. After the camera went through the bars, there is a actual barcode that would lead us into the world full of lines. There are lines that are gradually getting curved, and the others are more like a contour map. Contour map reminds me the mountain I went with my Swiss friends. It was snowing on the top of the mountain. When the camera zoomed in and got really close to the mountain, it suddenly zoomed out by going through some elements that formed the barcode. The group of bars are a reminder of this video, because it is all about my barcode collection. At the end of the animation, everything except the barcode will disappear.

It was not successful at first, I remember the one I made at Lucy’s workshop was a disaster. The background was not big enough so that some black part was showing, the elements were not enough to move around and I did not know how to move the camera smoothly, so that video was just horrible. But since Trudi suggested me to also put this outcome in my portfolio for Central Saint Martins, I spent more time remaking again and again, until I think it is good enough to call this an outcome.


Reflecting on my creative journey

The key moments in my research that led to the final outcome of this collection project, is the Adobe After Effects workshop that I did at the computer room with Lucy. Since I have done poster for toolbox project, magazine layout for postcode assignment, I thought it will be nice to try something new.

During this time, I was also making a mini and a full portfolio for Central Saint Martins using Adobe Photoshop, so when Lucy told me to make an animation using the elements from our own collection project, I chose one of my portfolio pages, but it did’t look good due to my lack of knowledge and experience of the software. Also, Trudi suggest me to include this moving image in my full portfolio, so I move around the layers as an experiment. After I was a little better at controlling the camera and the objects, I remade the whole animation a day before the interview, so that I can show my best quality work to them.