Sunday, 18 December 2011

Little White Lies

For the competition brief I decided to do a magazine cover for Little White Lies magazine, choosing the film The Tree of Life:

The Tree of Life is a 2011 American drama with experimental elements written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Chastain. Malick's film chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man's childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the universe and the inception of life on Earth. After decades in development and missed 2009 and 2010 release dates, the film premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d'Or. The film received polarizing reactions in response to Malick's use of technical and artistic imagery, directorial style, and fragmented non-linear narrative.

A mysterious, wavering light that resembles a flame flickers in the darkness. Mrs. O'Brien (Jessica Chastain) recalls a lesson taught to her that people must choose to either follow the path of grace or the path of nature. In the mid 1960s, she receives a telegram informing her of her son's death at age 19. Mr. O'Brien (Brad Pitt) is notified by telephone. The family is thrown into turmoil. In the present day, Jack O'Brien (Sean Penn) is adrift in his modern life as an architect. When he sees a tree being planted in front of a building, he begins to reminisce about his life as young teenager during the 1950s.

The universe is formed. As the galaxies expand and planets are formed, voices ask various existential questions. On the newly formed Earth, volcanoes erupt and microbes begin to form. An Elasmosaurus, a large wound in its side, gazes out to sea. In a forest, a young Parasaurolophus is wary of predators. Later on a riverbank, the Parasaurolophus lies wounded. An Ornithomimus[3] emerges and examines the wounded dinosaur. The Ornithomimus places its foot on the Parasaurolophus' neck, preparing for the kill, but then reconsiders after watching it struggle. The predator wanders off. An asteroid impacts the earth.

In a sprawling neighborhood in Waco, Texas, live the O'Briens. The young couple are enthralled by baby Jack and, later, his two brothers. When Jack (Hunter McCracken) reaches adolescence, he is faced with the conflict of accepting the way of grace or nature, as embodied by each of his parents. Mrs. O'Brien (grace) is gentle, nurturing, and authoritative, presenting the world to her children as a place of wonder. Mr. O'Brien (nature) is strict, authoritarian, and easily loses his temper as he struggles to reconcile his love for his sons with wanting to prepare them for a world he sees as corrupt and exploitative. He laments his decision to become an engineer rather than pursue his passion of becoming a musician, and now pursues dreams of wealth by filing patents for various inventions.

One summer, Mr. O'Brien takes a trip around the world in an effort to commercialize his inventions. While he is away, the boys enjoy unfettered access to their mother, and Jack experiences the first twinges of rebelliousness. Goaded by other boys his age, Jack commits acts of vandalism and animal abuse. He later trespasses into a neighbor's house and steals her underwear. Jack is confused by his experiments with violence and experiences guilt, throwing the stolen underwear into a river to rid himself of it. Mr. O'Brien returns home, having failed to sell any of his inventions. Shortly thereafter his plant closes and he is given the option of staying with the company and relocating to work a stable yet unfulfilling job, or be terminated. Mr. O'Brien agrees to the transfer and he and his family pack up to move. Mr. O'Brien laments the course his life has taken, questioning whether he has been a good enough person. He reconciles with Jack, asking forgiveness for his harsh treatment of him.

Far in the future, the planet Earth is destroyed, first burnt to cinders by the sun when it has turned into a red giant and then left alone as a desolate, lifeless frozen place still orbiting around the sun, which by that time has turned into a feeble white dwarf.

In the present, adult Jack leaves work. Riding the elevator down he experiences a vision of walking on rocky terrain. He tentatively walks through a wooden door frame which is erected on the rocks. On a sandbar, Jack is reunited with his family and all the people who populate his memory. His father is happy to see him. His mother is overjoyed when Jack's memory resurrects his dead brother. She thanks Jack, kissing his arm twice. Jack's vision ends and he leaves his building smiling.

The mysterious, wavering light continues to flicker in the darkness.

Still a work in progress, tried to give it abit of a 50's feels with the shapes/type and colour.

Thursday, 8 December 2011


So, today there was a talk by a guy called Stuart Price, he is part of a design group called Thoughtful which are apparently based as Stockport College, he was talking about what agencies expect at interveiws, how to build a strong portfolio and just giving basic tips on how to contact people and hopefully find a job in the future that is right for you.

Convergent thinking- 1 straight answer.
Divergent thinking- Multiple answers.
Dancing apparently helps the way we think, certain dances have a positive impact on the way we think- Dr Peter Lovatt.
15mins of structured dance makes you better at convergent thinking, and 15mins of improvised dance can make you better at divergent thinking.

Things that are going to keep you in the interviewers mind is keeping in touch with them, even if you didn't get a job or placement, showing new work when completed, shows that you have developed and are becoming a mature designer.

The prefered method of first contact with industries/agencies is email, no just show up unannounced! and if you get no reply via email, email again in 4/5 days.
It's also good to know what the agency that you are goin g to contact does, it appeals to their vanity if you know what they do/things they've done.

You should make it as easy as possible to look at your work or get to your website, via email. Don't pile up peoples emails with massive files of your work. Just 5-7 Small JPEGS. But don't send an empty empty email, this is a potential for you to show your work. You don't have to worry about sending them your best pieces either, as these could be saved for the interview, but it could be a good idea to show your best pieces as you might get more of a chance of a reply.

Showing sketches in your portfolio can be a good idea, some people like to see how you got to your final ideas, but this could also show weakness's, if your not great at certain things, so it could be a good idea to re-sketch some pages from your sketch books to show the stronger sides.

Always be openminded and prepared to learn, don't close that gate once you've graduated, you can learn new things for the rest of your life.

With portfolios, the biggest mistakes which are often seen are spelling mistakes so make sure you and a friend proof read it before showing an agency, same with emails! Have around 10 projects in your porfolio, enough to keep the viewer entertained but not too much so they get bored. Don't show something you are not happy with or feel is as good as other work, start with a stronge piece and end with a stronger one.

Be interested more than interesting, everything you do describes who you are, your work, the way you talk about your work, the way you sit when presenting your portfolio. Also when presenting your portfolio, make sure the veiwer can see your portfolio, don't present to yourself! make it so the interveiwer doesn't have to move. Also make sure there is a brief description of each piece, keep it short and sweet.

Making connections and taking advantages of things is a good way to get yourself out there, don't think what has this got to do with design? think, what could design have to do with this? look at a variety of different things to influence you. Go to venues, galleries, soak up all creative things around you, be inspired!
Admire and respect the work you are given.

You are allowed to make mistakes! They wont effect you forever!
An interveiw should last around 30mins max, don't be offended if its only 10 minutes, you can always ask the interveiwer how much time you have so you don't run over and ramble or talk too quickly!

Always look for places to work where you've got a broader possibility to learn new things.

In portfolios, most agencies are looking for good ideas, greater ideas, simplicity, wit, good typorgraphy, good execution, personalitly, imagination.
Great ideas and having a good personality are equally important.

Overall, don't give up! It's possible to find something if you don't give up. Keep working hard and getting better. Have self belief as design is a tough industry!

Work out what you want to do, who you want to work with/for? what studios? Research, contact!

Was a great talk, with alot of good points and examples of good and bad portfolios and ways of handling things.