I approach design with the same idea in mind no matter the subject. I always want to design something that helps someone, even if that someone is me, realize something, learn and grow. I believe that design culture can have a great impact on society. Design is often used to make life easier or to make something better and improved. It is also used as a form of artistic expression and I like to describe it as ‘fine arts 2.0’. Design can take the creativity of fine art, with sketches and drawings, but takes it a step further by using technology to enhance it. I hope to do the same in my future profession. I hope to create artistic expressions of important topics in a way that allows viewers to learn and realize new things about the subject matter. I really enjoy editorial and book design and also love the way that information design teaches us how to display information in a new way. I believe combining the two can create something informative and also expressive. In my work, themes connected to people and their well being come up quite a bit. This project focuses on body image and how that is translated to us. My workshop project focuses on the things we say surrounding mental health and how to change them to something more positive. To me, its important to make things that are appealing to the eye and also successful in creating a conversation about a topic. The design process is extremely important in making these projects successful, from the beginning research, both primary and secondary, having a reason and a calling to create something is what gives projects meaning. It’s also important to go through many ideas before landing on the one that is most effective and I believe working with others and having communication about a project is the best way to understand if what’s being creative is effective. The projects I’ve enjoyed making the most are the ones that solve a problem, whether is a problem of awareness of a topic or successfulness of a visual strategy, solving a problem with a design and an idea are what push me to work harder and feel more passionate about whatever I’m doing more than anything else.
The problem is that we are programmed and told to see our bodies as things we need to fix and that we need to work hard in order to look a certain way, however we need to start seeing our bodies as beautiful shells and see how amazing our bodies are from top to bottom.
The subject of my project is body image. My book ‘Perception’ is about highlighting the shapes and contours of people’s bodies in order to realize how beauty truly is skin deep. Through the photography and text in the book, the reader gets a sense of how body image is studied in both men and women and how both sexes experience it. The photography speaks to seeing the curves of someone’s body in a different light and appreciating each body parts curves as they are. The reader is able to look at the photos in a new way and judge them based on the elegance of its shape as opposed to how small or large someone else tells us it should look. It also becomes sort of a guessing game since the photos are so close up and the parts are unrecognizable. The text comes from a few different sources and explains studies that have been done to how men and women feel about their bodies. This nature of text, being professional and scholarly, and the photography, being artistic and playful, brings a nice balance to the book.
The problem that ‘Perception’ addresses is the whole subject of body image and ideal body messages. We are faced with countless sources daily telling us how to look, what to eat, what to wear etc. We look at ourselves and pick out things we don’t like; things that are too big, too small, too curvy, not curvy enough. This book addresses the problem of ‘change’ and always wanting to change something about our bodies. Instead, we should learn to change our perception of our bodies. We should focus on being healthy and happy and seeing our bodies are our shells that have elegant contours and curves that we should love out of the context of how they look compared to others. Perception means to see or become aware of something uses our senses. Instead of judging what we see, we just need to see. See what is there and realize how beautiful it is.
This problem is worth solving because as more and more young men and women are exposed to body image messages, the worse the problem gets. This problem effects everyone, no matter your sex, race or age. Everyone is judgemental of themselves and we need to change our perspective on how we view our bodies. Our bodies are our temples and this book highlights all beautiful things our bodies have to offer.
I started this project by taking photos of people and zooming in our the contours and shapes and seeing how interesting they look as a set. I started to take photos of different people and saw how they reacted to me wanting to photograph them. The main reaction I got was nervousness or anxiousness. This led to me find copy that explains this feeling and how common it is amongst men and women.
The main challenges came when I was ready to print the book. I envisioned a large book from the very beginning and worked very hard in order to make sure my photos would look like I wanted them to when printed large. The books final size is 12x15 and it is perfect bound.
I addressed the printing challenges by planning from the beginning that my book would be large and keeping it in mind as I produced the content for the book.
My solution addresses the original problem by giving the reader a new perspective of their bodies and what they actually look like. It also shows people how the media has changed us to think about our bodies in a negative way and to realize that we should love ourselves.