Digital Environment -Reflective statement


As we were to develop a Zine, I began with Initial research into the history and predominant reasons for zine production and the styles applied to them. The most common reason to produce a Zine was to distribute information concerning a sub or underground culture and promote an event, project or ideology.     Having now understood their original premise I began researching and considering different areas which even in the modern technological climate, may be considered as either a sub culture or underground group within our society .Through research into first animal then human cruelty I progressed to Amnesty international where I first became aware of the Free Tibet Campaign.

Having been personally outraged by the events I discovered I resolved that this was a subject I could be passionate about and hoped that in using it as my  subject matter, I hoped to convey my sentiment to a wider audience and  to elicit a reaction to the events.  It was possible to use both library and the internet to source my initial information about the subject. Having done so I wanted to confirm the facts by contacting directly the governments involved. With the facts compiled from the various Emails and subsequent sites visited, I choose six main subjects. Each main fact I hoped at this point to produce as separate articles within the zine.

I began processing the ideas that I would create a basic printable zine and then develop it through the matrix to see different ways I could enhance the project. My selection at this point was animation; instillation and 2d which could be processed as theatre, posters and film. The remaining elements to consider were humour, political and culture.

Having set these targets from the creative matrix I began researching and developing possible outcomes. Then set myself target goals and running parallel projects and where possible developing outcomes within other areas of my study. I was able to test my poster ideas whilst attempting print work within my creative strategies. I was also able to begin working with Photoshop. A programme I am not familiar with. The minor projects also allowed me to assess the necessary time frame required to either learn to work with unfamiliar programmes and or to alter my practice. This reflection on my working practice I believe helped me to produce both a realistic timetable and help me later in deciding the best programmes to apply to some of the tasks I would set myself.

In researching the events in Tibet and its artists such as Sonam Yeshi and Norbu Tsering I soon realised the strong cultural links between both countries and believe that by drawing on culturally relevant imagery, style and practice I could cause my outcomes to be more relevant to my audience and attract people from both cultures. In this I looked at art, theatre, costume, jewellery, religion, politics to utilise similarities and differences. In this I was able to produce several two dimensional images. When reflecting on these I selected three which I felt would add to the impact and visual interpretation of the zine. I elected to scan the images into Photoshop, and then used Indesign to place them. Initially I produced each of the internal pages so that it could be used when separated as a poster to promote each subject I was covering.  After viewing the work of Sonam Yeshi I attempted the enamelling processing which though fascinating and with a visually appealing outcome I ruled as being inappropriate for the zine project.  Later after a group critic and a discussion with one of my tutors it became apparent that too many differing fonts and placements of the text were weakening the effect of the piece. At this point the text was standardised and repositioning of the images lead to a stronger outcome, this issue also highlighted my need to reassess my text for both spelling and grammatical errors.

Because the successful management of production time and manipulating when to work on each of the pieces I was able to book working slots within both the 3D department and with the technicians and tutors available. This meant that as well as producing the zine as a paper outcome I could process it through Ethos into a wooden model linking the project again into both cultures. I chose to do this as original books within both countries were previously produced as wooden slats bound together. I choose leather for the bind but after reflection choose to use red ribbon to comment on Chinas binding of Tibet. The process produced an outcome which is both visually and culturally relevant to the subject and one which allowed me to develop my skill with both Indesign and Ethos. I would defiantly repeat this process as I feel it was extremely successful way to produce and develop a professional outcome.

The last main task I set myself was to develop an animation for the project. Having begun this it soon became apparent that generating the source cells and filming the animation through either Windows Stopmotion or Adobe Animate was not an issue. Editing itself can be relatively quick with some experience of the programmes. The only issue due to the nature of how it was originally drawn was that colouring would require more time than was available. To this end I attempted several ways of overcoming the issue but in assessment ruled it out as an outcome for this project but have kept it to develop it at a later date when I can apply the relevant time to the issues I have encountered. In reflection I can also better assess the impact in viewing artist such as Norbu Tsering had an impact on how I chose to manipulate some of my images to allow them to have a greater impact. The final realisation at the end of the project is that we may start as passionate about a subject such as this one but the outcome through manipulation may not fully show our passion. In being aware of this I can now address this in future projects. Within this project I feel in producing so many pieces I have buried the original passion in present facts.  I feel however this presents the zine as a less subjective piece and allows the audience to choose their own reaction to the information. This project has raised my awareness of the need to research my intended audience to a greater level so as to reach them as appropriately as possible.





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