IB 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.

IB 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.

IB Project 03- Video: The World You Didn’t Know

Click this to play the project through YouTube!

11/9/17 - Coleman Conley This video creation project acts as the driving expositional spear that comes handy when now explaining the backdrop location to my story, Hypnogogia. Now, information that needs to be driven home that is more difficult to place in most other mediums (I.E, drawings, presentations in characters) is now in this set that makes explanation both more interactive, thematic, and useful for story building. A pretend documentary that takes itself both seriously and not seriously is the perfect way to portray both my overall theme, ideas, and story all in one. It allows me to be more apart of it as well, with voice acting done entirely by myself, editing, work, and sources all evaluated and cut into the final piece. To begin the project, I spent a total of 4 hours finding (on the internet archive website, full of free creative commons footage of history) video and imagery materials, with an additional 3 added including the creation of drawings of Petrichor and other characters that appear in the video. Then, it was up to creating the base layout of the video in Adobe Premiere Pro, before doing voice over as the narration and character at the beginning. Recording took around 3 hours to record and compile into a single audio track, then, manipulation to add older radio SFX and echo to the VO using audacity, and a high-pass filter. Once this was accomplished it was time to use my assets and bend them into a watchable AVI format for viewing. Editing took numerous hours, likely over 10 in total to get it to look the way I wanted- thematic preserves, glitches, visuals, audio cues, and all. The themes and story presented in the video are closely parallel to the realities we face -and are about to face- to this very day. For instance, governmental tyranny, even though to the majority perspective, it may not appear to be. It may sound as a conspiracy would, and it was often for a while, but now, we slowly face the loss of sections of history globally on earth, censored, non acknowledged (as seen in the Armenian Genocide, for instance), or altered so that the powers at hand may continue working without public outcry, and so that they may continue horrid acts without intervention. It is of loss of security, a higher power that integrates itself into standard life- social media, the internet, being online; all essential for widespread information and now emotional attachment. This may sound of altruistic fantasy similar to my world of Hiraeth, as all events described all occur there- however, they are as real as the presidency last year (incidentally also seeming of ludicrous fantasy). Hypnogogia serves and will serve when the story is complete not as an instruction booklet- but as an intriguing view into what we may become, a warning and message- vast interconnectivity is incredible, amazing, and the future of mankind- however, when it is to fall into the wrong hands, it can be used to manipulate the world as a whole, as Petrichor did with the planet Hiraeth in this alternate world of my creation. Petrichor took control of what brought everyone together, as people grew careless of global connectivity- they allowed themselves to be brainwashed and placed into the sleep state. Constant sleeping, dreaming, and view of a false reality that Petrichor creates serve to keep the public calm, unthinking, and following orders. They live and breath still, but they are essentially sleepwalking in this world that she has forced upon them. It is up to those in between the world of the sleeping and those of the awakened to do something about all of this- The Hypnogogic Resistance. They use images and things censored brought into this false reality to reclaim and “wake up” individuals, hoping to stop Petrichor’s reign before it’s too late, and the world turns against them. Inspirations for this project include many of my favorites when writing this story and making its characters and drawings; Fiona Staples, an illustrator for the Saga comic series, Yoji Shinkawa from the Metal Gear series’ concept work, working alongside the brilliant Hideo Kojima, the writer of the Metal Gear series who holds a stance with creativity, technology, and global censorship that I do when writing my work. I often find myself looking to them and their incredible drawings and stories when thinking of creative ways to tell stories, portray information, and design characters. As for the story summed up in smaller context around and in the video; 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.

The following below are gifs that were created for the video to add the glitch and hacking asthetic- these were generated with Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Glitch Wizard App.

Petrichor (pictured above), as an upclose image, for example, then becoming redacted in the video.

Switchboss and Mercyboss (pictured above), leaders of the Hypnogogic resistance (their logo, "Wake up," pictured as well) in the story the Petrichor is trying to deny the existance of. All characters and ideas are of my own creation, drawing, and production.

The Video's Script; “The days of peace and quiet have returned once again, but now under horrid new and oppressive circumstances. It seems however, nobody is quite sure that it has happened any differently.” It wasn’t always this bad. The year was 1984, the eve of June 7th, the global leader of the planet Hiraeth, TRQ, had just been elected and serving term for around a year- One of the most successful and impactful leaders of our time. She made the world work as one- everyone was willing to come together to advance themselves; humans, robobots, evo’s, monits, bearded people, non bearded people, every gender, religion, race, every thinking being around the world. But it was that fateful eve- President TRQ- she vanished. Chaos ensued. Hatred ran wild, blame was placed everywhere. Left in her place was Petrichor, who used the world’s GRID internet connectivity systems to force everyone connected into a state of permanent slumber. Everyone was left to dream. Forever. Living a lie and believing the world was perfect, that she was perfect. Sure, there was no conflict. But that’s because the people who lived walked the earth without their own ideas implanted in their heads. Any who disagreed with Madame Petrichor was executed, removed, or Hypnotized like the rest. The public was distracted with wars that never happened, made up entirely by her. She rewrote history, and she’s doing it all over again, every second, every minute, every day. We can fight this. We are not the permanently awake, the always dreaming like she wants us to be. We are both dreaming, and in reality. We can sleep. We can dream. We can wake. We can think. Together, we are…. The Hypnogogic Resistance. It's time. To wake up - - - (come with me plays, nuclear bombs) There is no resistance. Everything is fine. Everyone is fine. There was no war, no conflict. Goodnight. - - - - - [Cut off, Petrichor’s synonymous introduction begins, censorship takes over]

The progress made as the video is constructed within Adobe Premiere Pro.

In reflection, it can be said that the majority that reviewed seemed interested and impressed with the overall look of the final video and audio. Through major interpretation, it can be said that the majority of the story was able to be conveyed. Though in both given review and realization, I see now that sections of the video are quite fast, and could very much use slowing down simply so that the reader can process the detail of both my art, words, and meaning. Other examination from others pointed out that the full portraits of such characters could have used a pan zoom transition in order to display the full characters, such as that of Petrichor, TRQ, and more. In offhand references to these characters as well, such as “TRQ” instead of the full “The Robobot Queen” caused some confusion, but to good effect- the point of the ambiguity was to draw mystery into the meaning of the story, to build the world and create an atmosphere as if to say prior knowledge that the viewer will have to investigate as the story is unveiled to them over the length of these IB projects. Finally, in last criticism, it was found that the song near the end (Fiona Apple’s Pure imagination) was seen to be a mostly overused song in current media. While I agree that I have heard it in multiple uses in this creepier more frightening future sense, the song was chosen specifically of its symbolic meaning in the story and with the character that is Petrichor- taking the world by force simply to end the horrors of fighting and disagreement. Forcing all to live in a fantasy world of her own creation, to keep the peace, censor the past, and make sure it stays that way, pairing nicely with the nuclear footage in the background.

IB Project 04- The Narrative

1/23/18 - Coleman Conley This project describes more into the universe of my story, but now with less explaining than the previous video. After reconsidering for a while on how I wanted to accomplish this idea and portray it as opposed to previous methods, I wanted to take the opportunity and grant myself more practice with drawing in general. Thus, an almost catalogue like idea was formulated, and then I realized it could fit nicely within the context of my story - pages within a magical book, known as the Narrative. The concept of the book has many small details around its origin. In summary, it exists from falling from space, landing and changing the world on planet Hiraeth nearly two hundred thousand years prior to the start of the story. It has existed for centuries, and has the capability to present magic in the sense of manipulating the butterflies that atomically makeup everything in the universe. The other benefit of the Narrative is its powers to predict the future. This is where my overall themes come into play - this idea that history is typically written by a very subjectively created source. It may come as shared history through our education, however, the accounts we are provided are almost entirely based around historical recordings of the time. This information is impossible to be without bias in some form or another, seeing as that is how any event has to be described and its relations to impacting human society or that of the earth. That is where the power from the book of predicting the future comes from. It follows an exactly similar process of basing an event that it may predict on that of an opinion of likelihood. This forms a basis of predictions, which are in most cases correct - but some bias may lead to a false prediction. This in turn shows that of knowledge differences throughout history itself. When an event is recorded in history, many take it as fact that cannot be proven incorrectly. The same happens with the Narrative, which achieves a cult following in the story, seen as a huge source of power and information. Of course, the information is often false and the power is limited to those who follow those who wield it. The process for creating this project will be split into two projects, the other of which will be accomplished under another timeframe. This first part that I am working on as of now entirely consists of the book itself and the pages. Using a leatherbound journal that I purchased and assembled from 2nd & Charles. This would serve as the base for the Narrative. The decoration and actual modification will come as an entirely different project - this would include the binding around the journal itself, sewing it together, the butterfly half on the front, and adding more pages. For now, the main pages are what I sought to accomplish and present in the unfinished leather book. Each page is created with a rough concept list of ideas I want to present, with various important events, characters, objects, and even the book itself inside, describing with warnings and methods of using it. These would be assembled in photoshop, designed with a base of parchment drawn on top. With various downloaded brushes and drawn shapes, such as Alchemical, runes, and etc. to give the presence of magical and otherworldly information that is beyond human comprehension. The cryptivity and bizarre nature that make up the book are all apart of the humor and storytelling that I wish to portray and present to a wide audience, old and new. The other resource collected and used was that of an old book from within the school location itself, an ancient germanic book printed in pre-1905, of lost title and unknown author. This book was specifically chosen as to describe more into the idea of the narrative, with pages that were foreign to most. But, to someone else, the significance in the pages meant something- just as history and other books are established in the world with subjectivism. The other main theme and principle elaborated upon relies on established religious and fanatic belief pushed beyond its radical limit. When the Narrative landed and was later discovered by people, it was worshipped without question of a doubt, seeing as some of it’s predictions became truth, and falsehoods were ignored. Those able to wield its power used the blood of others to fuel it, the pages only writing themselves magically and supplying in turn the predictions and magical abilities of butterfly magic through the ink taken from the blood of living organisms. This is symbolic deeply of how the worship of a single belief and refusal of acknowledging any of its shortcomings and etc. can lead to dangerous worship and obsession. This blind lack of logic often leads others to follow and take it as pure truth. Inspirations primarily include H.P Lovecraft, and similar artists that design books similar to these, which of course are derived from his ideas of a Necronomicon, a similar magical evil book that frequents his stories of interdimensional horror. Other inspirations include the works of Jen Zee, a concept and overall artist at SuperGiant Games, who creates illustrious and beautiful works, digitally painted and vastly creative and intriguing in league of their world designs. The story of Pyre, one of the studio’s recent games, set forth a riveting story that created a basis for this piece of my story revolving around the Narrative. The story and writing behind the book itself found many inspirations, but the humor around the ideas is primarily from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the galaxy, with a kind of meta describing methods, with ridiculous descriptions and many characters.

These are several pages from Lovecraft's work, as well as studios using the very same ideas to develop concept art, both of which inspired the idea of the Narrative's pages.

Topics I will discuss during presentation: Books as a form of collecting history and information - how they aren’t always entirely truthful -this is why I made it a physical project, as it may appear a real book, but in reality is entirely fictional. -As well as this, discuss the specifics regarding: History is written and recorded entirely on the experiences of humans in society. This means they can be incorrect, biased, or different in point of view and experience that drives the opinion. That's where the concept of this book comes from in delivering the reverse information - the opinion of the future, and how life will turn out. Using magical butterflies and opinions based on the blood absorbed to write each page. The reason it contains multiple german pages is because history is written and not always entirely understood by other views of it. In reflection, I found many critiques described the book as highly interesting - but on noticing, I feel I could have printed more of the pages separate from the book as to allow those unable to see it (because others are viewing one at a time) based on the limited time frame I have to present and show my ideas. Other things I was given as advice made me rethink of just how much information was contained within the single piece- people wanted to know more about the story itself, more contextual information as to where the story begins and where it is going. Given more time I think this is a brilliant idea I hadn’t entirely considered - the book is supposed to tell of the future, but past predictions should still remain inside of it, each with their biases and opinions intact upon their creation, lasting through history and taken upfront as fully factual as it is a “primary” source. Finally, I was told that the combination of past, present and future could be played with a lot more with use of decorating the book and the pages - giving an older feel and look to the pages, while still preserving the message they predict (in this mindset that old, outdated history is often wrong after we realize incorrect facts). As well as this, playing up the book itself to look older in comparison to the book I borrowed pages from - magical bindings, scratched old leather, gold and teal clasps and leather pieces, and with butterflies decorating the outside.