Tag Archives: self-portrait

Assignment 1 Design Process

To start this assignment, I brainstormed a list of all the tangible aspects of myself that I could think of, including things I do and like. Then I moved towards the intangible things – how I felt my brain worked and how I react towards things. I knew I didn’t want my design to be full of symbols representing my favorite activities, so I tried to focus on the more vague things I could represent about myself.

My initial thought involved a lot of trying to symbolize feelings and emotions through the tangible things on my list, such as music and my guitar and my dog and my favorite movies. However, I quickly abandoned that thought as it involved too many icons.

I then though to represent myself through a cityscape. I like the organization of a city, and as I wanted to depict how I thought my brain worked, a city seemed like an interesting way to show that. Being from Boston, I chose the Boston skyline. I recreated the Hancock building and the Prudential as landmarks to make it distinguishable but added my own buildings randomly from there.

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This is a very rough sketch of my idea brainstorming.

I hoped to represent two sides of myself: the top half would be a lighter, warmer color like pink and yellow, hopefully evoking a calm and serene feeling, while the bottom half would have cooler blue colors, representing a slightly colder and more turbulent side to myself. Throughout the image, I wanted to interweave subtly aspects of myself. Here is the in progress image that I submitted initially. It shows the layout of the city and the two opposing sides of it.

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In this image, the pixelated look of the buildings’ reflections were meant to symbolize both a more agitated feeling to the bottom half of the image as well as an implied reference to 8-bit graphics, connecting to the fact that I am a course 6 student and work with computers.

Some of the critiques I received stated that I needed to add in more about myself as well as the interesting statement that there was missing emotion, that it was almost there. This was interesting to me as I have often been told that I seem to lack emotion or that my face is rather inexpressive, and I thought that this portrayal of myself is something that has actually affected my life rather strongly. As a result, I decided to keep it just on the edge of emotion for the final version.

In the final version, I added in some more layers. I worked with using negative space and different shapes in the clouds to add complexity, to represent the varying levels of thoughts in my head. I added in lines on the bottom half that are reminiscent of a music staff and also changed one of the building’s reflections to mimic a film reel. The red streak across the top half is meant to almost reflect the musical line on the bottom and symbolize a “wild streak”.

Overall, the design is meant to represent how I see myself. Though the view seems simple, the overlaying streaks of color are meant to show depth and variance.

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