Since I wouldn’t be able to fully get into detail about this project in the reflective journal (500 words is not enough), I thought of posting my first ever uni FCP project. We weren’t necessary marked on the outcome of it, and it was more of an introduction to the basics, the course and team work. Overall, I did enjoy the tasks and quite proud of the work we’ve produced. Currently, I’m in the middle of another project and I will also be writing a blog post about in the next couple of weeks. Yes, we get a new task every week to do.
For this colour project, we were randomly put into groups of three or four. With a group of four, we had to make a choice from the following:
- Neutrals (Nudes, greys, monochrome)
- Brights (Primary, jewels, neons)
- Complex (Berry, Military, intellectual)
- Pastels (Macaroon, retro, dirty)
I personally wasn’t too fond of ‘Brights’ and ‘Pastels’ category so I suggested ‘Neutrals’ and ‘Complex’ and as a group, we decided to go with NEUTRALS and MONOCHROME as the sub-category/version of theme. The first task involved creating a pin board individually and had to title it, annotate it and pin inspirations relating to our theme.
We had a seminar where we spent brainstorming ideas and inspirations from our boards. One thing we learnt from this session is we need to go through the FCP creative process first before jumping into ideas and conclusions otherwise we might miss a great and innovative idea.
Our five words to describe our colour story:
MINIMAL | IDENTITY | CLEAN | MARBLE | ANDROGYNY
We sourced and collected various materials, craft equipment and mix media by looking through our own flats, bringing cutlery, milk, ink and bought items (candles, napkins, hangers) from Tiger. During a seminar, we experimented how each of the materials connect, behave and contrast with each other and took photos for evidence. We tried multiple ways on how to actually present our colour story. As you can see below, we tried hanging, flat lays, wearing it, displaying it etc. to work out the best way to communicate our ideas.
What I learnt after experimenting with different media, scale and dimension, was that it’s important to think of the message/narrative (minimal, identity) instead of just locating random items that belong inside the colour theme. Yes, we liked the flat lay, but it doesn’t really tell the viewer what our story was about or what we are trying to communicate.
In the end, we committed to the androgyny monochrome idea.
With the colour black being recognised as more of a masculine colour while white a feminine one, we decided to reinforce the idea of combining the two genders or ‘blurring’ them into our monochrome colour story. The marble pattern is not just a popular trend right now, but it’s also perfect to communicate our narrative to the audience. The lines can be blurred between genders and what better way to show that than the marble (or in our case, milk and ink) pattern?
At first we tried the idea of having one of our group members standing in a plain background holding a frame (black and white acrylic paint together) in front of her face, to hide her identity. But we realised that androgyny and our story is about celebrating the genders, not obscuring it. So we had to show a part of the face in our final piece. Another one of our ideas was to take a picture of each member and then ripping each ‘body’ to show different marble patterns underneath, hinting at our different identities or personalities.
We were also keen on the milk and ink ‘marble’ effect idea but after one of our lecturers mentioned this idea of a black man holding a pair of white heels and a pale woman holding a pair of black doc martens, we thought of why not incorporate a tampon and a condom?
After we knew what we were going forward with, I created a very rough mockup below just so everyone was clear on what our plan is and we all have the same vision when it comes to the photo shoot and post-production. I thought to keep the background plain white and black but still contain the marble as a border perhaps to really show the blending of the two opposing genders.
We borrowed a DSLR camera from Waverley building and ended up taking 150+ photos of our models with their props. I’ve included here both the original pictures we ended up using. The group decided we should try taking in front of a brick wall just to add some ‘structure’ and ‘texture’ but in the post-production it didn’t work and we resorted back to our original idea (mock up). With the marble border and the brick wall it would be too crowded and too much. We had them wear grey tops to show the neutrality.
Some close ups of the ink and milk. We were really pleased with how it turned out.
We were big on contrast – colours, genders, textures from the marble border and the plain backgrounds to the props we used. The day before the presentation, me and two other group members (one was missing) worked on post-production. After deciding the final pictures of the models and the marble, we demonstrated the tools that we’ve learnt in the past Photoshop lectures and seminars. We had to refine the backgrounds, take away the brick wall and place them in plain but strong backgrounds. Also replaced the colour of the condom, the grey shirts, and inversed the girl photo with some help from a member of another group (thanks, Betty).
Our final project work is below:
With the colour palette (black, white and grey), the title and the short narrative:
Along with the seminar group, we had to present it in front of our lecturers and peers in A3. We discussed our communication aims and how our ideas progressed from beginning to end (creative process). It wasn’t as bad as I thought and below are some feedback:
the font – our lecturer admitted that at this point the fonts/type doesn’t matter much but it would have been better if it was closely related to the theme and if we chose something more exciting. After our photoshop work, we honestly didn’t really think about the font but now it’s something that I’ll keep in mind in future projects.
the pose of the models – our lecturer mentioned that he liked the title ‘Confident Androgyny’ and it’s perfect for the story but the pose of the models really don’t reflect that. They mentioned that the pose is not confident (have to agree) and they’re holding it like they’re uncomfortable or just want to get it over with. Note: make sure even the models/poses fit with the concept and the story
If we had the chance to do it again I’d spend more time on the post-production and photoshop. There were a few things that we had to rush due to lack of time and the outcome could have been more professional and realistic. Furthermore, I’d learn more about Photoshop techniques to really improve the final piece. I did enjoy group work even though it was stressful at times when one or more members weren’t present in seminars or post-production work but other than that, I enjoyed bouncing ideas off of each other and we get to meet other people studying the same course.
New-age black & white. Feminism minus the conventional felinity. Confident androgyny and an unapologetic stride. Strong fetters, bold shapes and structures, clean cut colours and wide open spaces. This is the new age of androgyny and gender roles are being fused together like never before. This current trend even stretches to patterns such as marble being stand-out favourites for gender neutrality.
By Janalou Cruz, Faaria Khan, Chloe Wilson and Sophia Stronach