Project 01: The Sky of The Beholder

9/6/17 - Coleman Conley This piece was the spearhead to the center of my thematic choice for the rest of this project- Opposites. In this example, the opposition of the Technology of Humankind, and that of our Natural surroundings. This marks the beginning as well of the integration of my own ideas and work for my story that I am writing and planning on turning into a webcomic. Ideas pivotal from that are the inspiration and assistance to ideas for this project. And while the pieces used here are exclusively for the use of IB, I find myself more inspired to make pieces for this when incorporating my own ideas for pieces contributing, and the thematic presence they have within my story as well. The idea of opposites in this presentation is to show that despite being completely different, we can see just how essential they are to each other, being intertwined fully. The concept for the creation behind this now is presenting how mankind may believe their dominance over nature is certain- but just as they go around destroying and taking what they believe is theirs, the natural order that they pretend to coexist with serves a strong reminder- despite being different, mankind is apart of nature, and if they destroy it, they just as easily destroy themselves. Represented there for those topics include the clouded sky, the hazy future that humans strive towards- not quite sure what’s ahead, but they continue their flight, blissfully unaware of the dire consequences that are right behind them. The plane itself is merely an outline of blue, as humans attempt to appear one with the sky, one with nature. Of course, their presence among the clouds could not be more obvious. The piece itself is 12 (width) by 9 (height) inches in size. There exist many small details I designed specifically to both trigger emotions on the subject, and bring up smaller parts of the topic through symbolism- the outline being one, another being that of the framing of the plane in the painting- only being that of a 4th of the image, but still directing the attention to that smaller space as the dark clouds and plane completely contrast the rest of the peaceful cloudy sky. This is to portray that the environment itself is not creating innate danger itself against humanity, but the thought that because of our own actions, we unintentionally turn the environment right back against ourselves. The cartoon aesthetic for the plane applies itself to the otherworldliness of this concept, and how absurd humans ruining such a beautiful thing is. As for programs and the medium used, I employed Photoshop to digitally paint this piece. With that in mind it sets a new part of the theme- with this medium, I portray something that is heavily been done physically, and often with nature- painting art. But with this, I am also able to capture how this artform has changed. Now, instead of oil based painting or anything, I use digital information on a screen, powered by electricity that is generated through larger means of destroying the environment. The work shown in progress is in .GIF format, as to both show both each step of the creative process, and show even more symbolism in the man-made like grid and naturalization of clouds through starting basic blobs of unnatural color. As for the presentation alongside the animated GIF, I use blistering winds and rainstorm sound effects, that drown out the sound of an old plane engine in flight, as to signify both the coming darkened storm and how nature itself is way bigger than we see it to be. This piece is significant to myself, as I have been growing more and more concerned with the way humanity treats the environment in pursuit of technological progress. This is a highly used theme and topic within the story I am currently writing, with a very eco-friendly stance, yet a slightly pessimistic view on the world considering how roughly the human race has treated its home planet, as well as a google cardboard VR helmet featuring an image of fire as the image of the future for people to see in the presentation. In Reflection, after much critique I know see several things that both worked in my favor and against- The Virtual Reality portion with the Google Cardboard in essence worked perfectly to convey a message to some, and confusion to others. And while confusion may seem a bad thing, as some had trouble understanding it even with a little explanation, the idea of the piece was to intrigue and force the audience to think about humanity’s role within the environment. Many questions were asked- why is there an image of fire, and this gif on in the screen helmet? I emphasized the word “future,” and joyfully tried to cover the fact the future (as seen within the helmet symbolically) is not in fact in good standing with us if we continue our methods. Finally, I found that the idea (I hadn’t even considered until someone had mentioned to turn the lights off for the presentation. This in general created a focus on the screen, supporting the vision of “the future” to the fullest extent, capturing the attention of the room and creating a silence to draw attention to this very important subject.

Project 02: Petrichor, The Pyschopomp of Dreams

10/9/17 - Coleman Conley This project marks the introduction of the inclusion of both my ideas, and their connections even moreso the story I am writing to be adapted into a graphic novel (called Hypnogogia) some time in the given future. As such, the themes from that are closely related and similar to this project because of how I tend to write many things, with sense of perspective, futurism, and intrigue. I wish to tackle head on how the viewer may think; and try to convince them to ask more questions about the piece rather than immediately understand it. This is the nature of a good story, to keep the person reading up for reading it, up to the very last page of the comic strip and even further, analyzing for details and reading into the symbolism and characters. Overall, surrounding things such as that, I begin my journey to portray this inside of the IB format- translating my ideas over into something that is a piece I am able to explain. My overall theme of opposites remains intact, however, a new theme is added alongside it as guided from the curriculum; Beginnings. Of course, the project itself involves literal and metaphorical sense of beginnings. For example, the entirety of the aforementioned start of moving my thoughts into IB format, the beginning of the actually telling of the story publicly, and most surrounding of this piece, the start and attempt at a new format for this idea. I am primarily used to using digital drawings and painting means to create my artwork, but now with this project, I am able to try something completely new- 3D costume making of a character from the story. This is the start of a brand new idea, pushing my limits and creativity to try and bring a part of my imagination to real world terms. As for the character themselves within the universe of Hypnogogia, and the story surrounding it; She is named Petrichor. She is a manipulative and psychotic machine that at a point in the world’s alternate history in the world of Hiraeth, a planet similar to earth but with a long and differing history, resulting in an advanced future that we here in real life missed due to varying events that changed the history of Hiraeth. Now, in the story, humans have grown to coexist with machines (now called Robobots, as they are intellectually a level above most machines that aren’t capable of thought or choice) and have only recently connected them to the global society of the planet, politically, economically, and more recently, socially. One such Robobot was the Queen of all Robobots, who gained tremendous popularity in both human and machine crowds through messages of constructive and supportive to all thinking creatures. She wanted the world to be whole, to work together for a brighter future. And when she was elected as global president, she worked valiantly to keep up the promising and healthy relations of everyone in Hiraeth. That was, until the vanished from public view one day, and the world was thrown into chaos. This is where Petrichor comes into play, as she takes the confused and entirely connected world by force; putting every thinking person connected to the GRID into a permanent state of dreaming and lies. This is where her title of the Psychopomp of Dreams comes in mind, as she acts in the dream as a friendly guide and lovely leader for those to follow (as psychopomps often did in greek interpretations of those who would lead them to the afterlife), when the reality was entirely the opposite. She is, in image of reality, a terrifying and ominous machine with spider like fangs , multiple arms, and glowing teal blue eyes. The idea of beginnings here stems from the title of the story and Petri’s role itself in it; Hypnagogia is the state at which a person starts to or begins to fall into the sleep state, the in between of the dream world and the reality. Hypnogogia, on the other hand, is the same idea, but with emphasis on the hypnotic ritual that leads into it. Petrichor strives to put all into that state, and begins to do so with her influence and blue hypnotic takeover with those means. The opposites that appear now in the story through that juxtaposition are the major differences between dreaming and reality, as Petrichor’s form is completely different to the reality than what is given to the standard person in her control. Artists that inspired my work and story most definitely include the works of Yoji Shinkawa, a video game artist for my favorite series, Metal Gear Solid. His ideas and the way he puts them onto paper with means of ink and pencil often make really interesting and pleasing characters, that compliment the games they conceptualize for on many levels. It is his designs that serve for the majority of how I observe and approach making art and characters, such as posing, mechanics design, Another artist that is essential to the influence of my understanding and creative process is Ching Yeh, a digital artist that follows and makes beautiful works for the same aesthetic that I adore; Cyberpunk. With combinations of near future-looking scientifically fictitious inspired designs, color schemes (and their respective gradients) and overall storytelling through details, this artist and many more that follow this intriguing and incredible aesthetic serve exactly how I myself find inspiration when both writing my story and making art for it. After conceptual sketches for the headpiece, and gaining measurements of the wearer, I began to bring the idea to life. The piece itself is constructed from a base of wire mesh, wound and wrapped into a molded shape around itself. The shape is held strong together by its own wire, and tape. After that, I began work covering the segmented wires with cardstock thickened paper and masking tape, cutting and folding pieces to look more like the idea I had within my mind. After that, and reinforcing it with more tape and hot glue, I painted it over with three coats of varying paints; beginning with a solid black layer, a silver layer doused over top of it, and detailing paint with darker grey. Finally, it is laminated in the corners, and final details (including lights and the face screen as fabric, cords and cables hanging from the piece), it was ready for presentation. As for that element, the way the piece will be presented is another idea that I have yet to dabble in- remaining in character for the remainder of the show. In this sense, We’re able to see the beginning of Petrichor’s reign in more of an interesting note; alternative history. As a tour guide, I remain in character and explain the artifact that is the head of Petri. In this sense, I can create a more interactive experience for the audience, as they can interact with someone within that world.

Yoji Shinkawa, artist for the Metal Gear Solid Videogame series.

Ching Yeh, an online digital artist that defines most designwork with gradients incorperated into detailed ink like drawings.

These are two artists that follow the same asthetic theme I do, and that inspire me when doing much of my art, story, and ideas.

The process in creation, from concept to work in process reality;

And the final piece, on mannequinn, wearable. I will continue working on the piece as part of a future project.

In reflection, based on the review of my peers, it seemed that the overwhelming majority enjoyed the presentation- they reacted surprised, and became interested in the world I had presented them with. The major challenge to overcome was this portion; translating my thoughts into an understandable explanation without it being overcomplicated. Thus, confusion was relevant in many responses and questions regarding the piece and the story surrounding it. It was enjoyable to present, I was nervous how people would be able to handle such information, but as I got more into character it was more interesting to have questions asked like a real life tour. Feedback ranged mostly to complementing the creativity aspect of the project, how complete it was, and questions about my inspiration. It could very much be said that the project alone as the helmet and concepts do not portray much in the way of “beginnings” without further explanation or reading my journal entree. It did however, work to convey the true meaning of Petrichor- for her intimidation, her presence, her power, and mysterious ways. It was with the interactive performance, we can create intrigue and more questions than answer them for what the world is, who is in it, and how this artifact came to be what they see today.