Pictorial Metaphor – Research and Ideas

This is the start of our image module, I’ve been really looking forward to this topic. I love creating digital images so was excited to learn some new skills.

Our first project is Pictorial Metaphor, meaning the image we create having an underlining message or idea. We were each given words, mine idea, and were told to come up with imagery to show this word. I initially had doodle some brains and cogs turning to show the thinking process. I thought cogs could be a really nice way of showing this but it was a popular theme by a few other people in my class and I want my designs to be unique. This is when I started my research to find out more about my subject and find some interesting and different things I could use for my visual metaphor.

I first looked up the definition to the word for some inspiration it stated that idea meant ‘A thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action’. Thought was a word that stood out to me. This led me on to think about how the brain comes up with ideas. I researched this on the internet but the texts were far to complex for me to read so found some very useful YouTube videos about the subject. One in particular, ‘What happens in the brain when you have a creative or original idea?’ was really interesting. ‘Creative thinking requires ticks and checks’ in the brain using two different networks that work together. Both contradicting circuits are called spontaneous and conservative. When the two work together they creative original ideas. A curious quote I also found was by Jonathan Schooler who said ‘If you look at the advancement of humanity it fundamentally depends on creative innovation’. Meaning without our capability to have creative ideas we would have little hope as a species. This I could really build apon to create some interesting sketches.

Secondly I needed to make an image bank before I started generating ideas. I took some influence from Schoolers quote. Searhcing for skulls to show our indefinate extinction without our creative thoughts. The skulls I liked were ones of a traditional tattoo style, a personal love of mine which helps the project connect with myself. Something common in this style is lots of flower designs which I thought could represent the idea sprouting from their head. I also looked at some snakes,  I could have a black and a white one to show the two contradicting sides of the brain working together.

These are some of my new ideas. As you can see I predominately used the skull to show the animalistic aspect of thinking, combined with flowers to show the final outcome of their thoughts. The ideas I wanted to take forward are above to the right. I switched the snakes for a simple brain which I think will convey the meaning much easier. I would use two opposing colours for the brain to show the two contradicting sides with the flower sprouting from the middle. The smaller sketch beside the skull is something I also think shows the idea well but in a much more subtle way. Its simplistic and I think it could look really contemporary when made digitally. Tomorrow we work with colour so I shall play more with the concept and mediums then.


Sources used:

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