It took a while and it was stressful and incomprehensibly confusing at times but, the concluding chapter of the Ambiguity Project has finally been written. And I figure, as it was all your hard work that made it, it’s only really fair that I offer you the chance to a little gander.
All those broad and insightful answers you sent, emailed, told and wrote to me have been gradually forming this project for a while now. The character portraits they formed have taken on a number of attributes and aspirations and finally, in your deciding of the concluding question, you’ve shaped their journeys towards aspiration progression and digression.
As a result, the pieces have evolved from character portraits into the format of maps.
The pieces as a whole communicate the desires, aspirations, fears, limits and goals of each character, based on the desires, aspirations, fears, limits and goals of every person that took part.
The representations of map elements are extensions of your resulting answers, transforming the images into something of an artistically representative psychological landscape in which forests, desserts, mountains and rivers must be bridged and navigated as the theoretical characters endevour to achieve.
As the maps can be folded in any number of ways, new compositions and sequences are formed out of the ambiguous collage imagery, introducing the possibility of narrative-based interpretation and multiple routes through the artwork.
Based on your final answers and your choice to answer with positivity or negativity, I adapted the likely-hood of the journey’s success using the environmental features.
At times, rivers will be bridged or shattered, allowing navigation around the barriers so that the illustrations of goals can be accessed. At others, the folding will introduce increased forests and confusing, representing the journey becoming harder.
Basically, these are four artworks that beg to be played with and explored. Fold ’em up however you wish to reveal multiple artworks and new possibilities for stories.
Then, obviously, cause I can’t let things lie, I wanted to make a slip case to contain them.
The project dictated that it needed to have a binding jacket, so, as my results had extended out of the original book format intended, I used it as an excuse to design and display the cover.
I knew the artworks were complex and involving, so did not want to drown this in the cover design. Instead I opted for a simple, systematic looking result, inspired by the design of 1970’s psychological textbooks. I wanted the notions of progression towards goals to be represented by the idea of making your way from A to B, and knew that the suggestion of maps had to be present, hence the light inclusion of the forest elements, which doubles up nicely as directional arrows.
There’s a very real possibility that I did forgot to spell check.
If you find anything, do me a favour and just keep it to yourself okay?
Anyway, another project down.
Thank you so much to everyone that helped, I really hope that you appreciate the results.
We are now 3/4 of the way through the journey that is the Ambiguity Project. Thanks so much for getting involved, it’s been great to have so many people interested in helping out and I really hope you’ve been enjoying the results.
Another question asked, another layer formed, the collages and (as a result) the characters are really taking shape now, so here’s what we have so far:
I asked you, WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PRIORITY?
So, for our final concluding layer, I would like to put it to you people to answer ONE of the following two questions:
Okay so the project is underway and the collages are beginning to evolve. For those a wee bit lost, a full description is here.
So far, here’s how we’re looking:
Most of the answers worked pretty well together as a lot of them were about time and the passing of it. What was fun, was making these similar answers fit with the positive, negative character types as defined previously.
A thousand thank you’s to all of you getting into the spirit and lending your answers.
So, the next question that will form the next stage:
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PRIORITY?
I look forward to getting your answers, either on here, twitter or direct to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I asked a control group of people (mainly third year university students at the University of Bath Spa…go figure…) three simple yet remarkably ambiguous questions for them to answer as they wished.
1. WHAT DO YOU GET UP FOR IN THE MORNING?
2. WHAT ARE YOUR LIMITATIONS?
3. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL
I received a lot, a lot of varied answers. These results have now formed the first stage of a set of four collaged images to represent a set of character sheets.
So Far our cast consists of W,X,Y and Z: An extrovert positive character, and introvert positive character, and introvert negative character and an extrovert negative character; each one captured in an abstract collage.
They look like this:
Every day or so I’ll be asking a new, ambiguous question. Each answer I receive will be randomly attributed to each character and represented on their collage, forming further details and fleshing out the set until they become formed characters in the form of abstract collages.
The idea is, my control over the growth of these characters and development of the images is diminished and YOUR (yes, that’s right, YOU) will directly influence the artwork. Each stage will be posted right here so you can keep an eye on your handywork.
So, the Next question is:
WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?
Submit answers either in the comments box, or email me at email@example.com.
You can also tell me via twitter, all answers are welcome.
They like to do things. Things like moving. They’re especially good at intentional moving, unconsciously.
This was Lucy, once.
Then I got my hands on her.
And This is Proprioception.
(A project from last Christmas.)
Inspired by the ingenuity of the pseudo-educational comedy, Look Around You, Proprioception was a mock 70’s educational manual in which I took a real life bit of, really damn interesting, biology and explained it using entirely non scientific methods. Because I am an illustrator, so cutting things up makes more sense to me than the deeply fascinating intricacies of real life biology.
The pseudo diagrams were designed to portray the importance of this fascinatingly vital sixth sense, so inherent in our bodies most people have never even considered a life without it (and in fact there are only 6 known cases of people having a complete lack. This is a really cool video about one man’s battle.)
The “text book” had fold out elements to reveal new tasks that got people thinking about the impact of Proprioception in their own life.
I wanted to draw people’s attention to it’s vitality to our functioning everyday and used tasks and design choices to create a style reminiscent of an 70’s school textbook/instruction manual with a playful, modern twist.
Proprioception allows us to understand our own body’s position in relation to itself without consciously considering where each limb is. It’s why when you close your eyes, you know where both your hands are. It’s super neat and super vital and I wanted people to understand that fact using simple collage techniques and fun imagery to demonstrate the incomprehensible struggle that would be living without it.
Plus it gave me an excuse to cut up my friends faces for a few months.
Seriously, I was picking Carls head out of my carpet for weeks.
Having just had my THIRD phone interview with the (really very lovely) people at the Dorking Advertiser re the book signing last Saturday, I can safely say it’s becoming a mild annoyance having to answer the question “what was your inspiration for the story?” to people who haven’t read it. And that’s not to say that I think they SHOULD have had a read, I respect that, as the journalists, they can asses how much or little they need to know before beginning an interview; it’s just that when I’m asked I have this horrible habbit of answering and that seems to confuse them a bit.
Like most of my work, Tick came from my brain as a result of my surroundings at that time. So in all honesty the starting point for it was my position emotionally at time of writing/drawing. My menial job, working for a woman on the fast track for hell, had the power at times to quite literally break you and it was these down trodden days that sparked the initial plans for a robot with no purpose that grew into the short story.
Yeah, I suppose for a “kid’s book” it’s relatively heavy stuff, but then, I struggle defining Tick as easily as for little ones or big ones. The creation of it began purely as a cartharsis for me, and if other people find enjoyment in it (and if the success of the book signing was anything to go by, I think they do) then that is a massive massive bonus that brings me an unimaginable amount of joy.
Nevermind Dorking Ad, we got there in the end. I know it wasn’t the short and sweet “I like kids so I wrote them a story” that maybe you were hoping for, but I’m sure you’ll make it work.
Anyway, enough of Tick for now! There’s more work to be done. The next story is unterwegs (well…it exists in note, bullet point and scribble form only) and there’s commissions and summer projects to be done!
So naturally, I decided to spend a day drawing things that have nothing to do with anything and then fiddling with them for 10 minutes in photoshop.
I’ll leave you to be the judge of if it was time well spent or not…