Archive for March, 2010

Research: Salad Fingers

March 29, 2010

Everyone knows about Salad Fingers. I actually have a really hard time watching these videos, which is the reason I wanted to look into them for this project. One of my main ideas to look at in terms of divergence is phobias, because they take the common emotion of fear to a completely different level. So, when trying to think of animations to research that would provide examples of inciting irrational fear, this was the first video to pop into my head.

With Salad Fingers, it’s really a combination of all elements working together to make the viewer feel extremely uncomfortable. The sound, obviously, is really unsettling – the voice used, the strange sounds that come from other characters’ mouthes, and the sound effects (the rusty spoon one in particular gives me shivers). The color palette is extremely unappetizing, and the lines used to draw everything are jumpy and uncomfortable.

Story – Female Perfection/Ideal

March 5, 2010

I’m afraid I didn’t devote enough space in my sketchbook to this, so I’m going to write it here.

One of the main problems I had with my initial thumbnails was that, although I was trying to show progression (regression?) I didn’t think it was obvious or effective enough, which is why I decided to look for new imagery. One of its basic themes – not willful disfigurement, but objectification – remains in my final images, but in a different way.

My narrative for these is the progression into the “ideal woman,” through the steps that are necessary to take. The order I’ve chosen to put them in represents what I think the story is. It begins with innocence/virginity – while these are highly valued in terms of attractiveness, a person does not choose to have them… they simply are that way during the beginning of their life. The next step is willful objectification, which opens the door to the last two: emphasis placed on sexual appeal over mental substance, and finally, social submission.

Although this is the order that makes sense to me, I created these images with the intent that they could be viewed in a way that the viewer can relate to.. there is really no solid linear story here; I wanted a more dreamlike feel. The images themselves, I hope, can be interpreted a number of ways, depending on the individual’s personal experiences.

Final Images

March 3, 2010

Changes made from drafts:

  • The most obvious change is the inversion of the colors. I loved the color scheme of the lips/censor image, but I felt that the others didn’t quite “pop” as much, because the black base was separating the colors from the background, preventing the uncomfortable feeling that comes from looking at them side-by-side. I especially love how the new shoe image looks; I love the contrast between the cyan and yellow
  • With the lips in the second image, I took quite a lot of detail out, so that they would stand more solidly on their own, grabbing more attention. The thought of this occurred to me after having looked at the previous drafts all together in a set; the lips felt like less of a “symbol” by comparison.. they weren’t flat enough.
  • I’ve finished the collar image. By making it green instead of black, I was able to add more detail. I struggled for a while in deciding what decorations would be most indicative of servitude, and eventually decided on the spikes because of their associations with S&M.
  • Also, I altered the turquoise color to be more green, so that it wouldn’t look too much like the cyan.

Image Drafts

March 2, 2010

These were the first drafts of my final images.

This was the first one I made – inspired by Galdos Del Carpio’s image, I decided to remove the figure’s face altogether, and just have the lips and censor bar where the eyes would be. My goal here was to make the image feel really uncomfortable, which is why I chose the turquoise background and bright pink color for the lips. I wanted to create images that were very much the opposite of what you’d expect from images inspired by Cinderella, which was one of the influences behind choosing such garish, neon colors; I wanted it to be unmistakably modern.

I decided to make the butterfly next, because I thought that the “innocence” imagery would be a nice contrast to the previous one. At this point I decided to maintain a theme within the images of using only two colors, plus black as a base.

I really love the silhouette of this shoe, and how the use of yellow to create the cheetah print really fell into place. This is my “sex appeal” piece, playing to fetish imagery.

The collar isn’t finished yet, but I wanted to include it anyway. I’m really not sure about it right now… it’s not coming together as easily as the other ones.

I decided to use Illustrator to create these images for a couple reasons. First, as mentioned above, I wanted them all to be completely modern, separating them from the original text. After looking though the various illustrators, as well, I was very inspired by Tristan Galdos Del Carpio’s work, as well as Ross Kirton’s. I wanted these images to immediately be attention-grabbing, and I thought this would be effectively accomplished through the combination of bright, garish colors and bold vector graphics. The use of vector graphics, especially, I thought, would help to emphasize the idea of these images as literal symbols, reminiscent of pictograms, which would invite the viewer to interpret them.

It was a really good experience learning to use illustrator; it’s not nearly as complex as I had initially thought, and it’s definitely worth learning for the distinct images it can create.