Interview with cigarette-Zine Making

Is there an object to live with you for a long time ? It can be everything, you favourite CD, a film, even a pen from your father. In my life, there is an object to live with me since I was born. It was my terrible memory from my childhood, but it became an object that would be brung with me all the time until now.

Description:

On October 25, Alexandra and Dominic took us to a special collection in the library. There are many booklets with the delicate cover on the table, they called Zine. The purpose of this project is to personify an object with me long time and interview with him, this object needed to related with my daily life and the interview could include the reflection on my dream, life and future.

In this project, we are required to design a zine with a maximum of 12 pages and size for A5, we also asked to use at least two workshops we have done before. Although it’s quite large amount of work, I still enjoy to work for it.

Analysis:

I firstly read all of the collections from the library, I surprised realised the most of examples were made by hands and the sample layout could directly prove the points of the artist. The first idea come to my mind is that I wanted to combine the digital and hand making together into my work.

 Traditional Book Binding

Explain the meaning of zine

When I considered about which object that I should chose, I was discussing with Mada in the outside of the LCC. I saw there are many cigarette ends on the bin, a fearful inspiration came to my mind. I just realised Cigarette is an object lived with me for a long time. 

When I was a child, I really hate the smell of cigarette. My father always smoke in the car and home, my mum and me always complained with his bad habit. He always said the cigarette was food for his mind, I disagree his opinion in that time and I advise him to give up smoking a lot. The interesting thing was when he quit smoking, I started to smoke by a variety of reasons. I discovered that change is interesting, it also mention the effects of family and the psychology for human being.

I thought cigarette will be a great object to the interview in the zine, it is a good witness to see my changes in the life. I want to make my zine become a way to tell a story about

Experiment process:

•Cover making

I draw a burning cigarette in the cover, and make multiple different layers to make the smoke be different colours. I used the photoshop CC2017 to organised the different pages and make some drawing to digital, it is efficient way to print out.

•Analysis

The cover is the most important part of a book, it need to make reader interested in the zine. When I finished the first draft, I struggle with colour of cover for a long time. I knew the cigarette is an object that people always relate to death and unhealthy, but I still pick the pink to be the background colour. I was not tempted to propagandize the reader to accept the cigarette, I just want to treat the cigarette like an old friend, with the usual mind to face him.

  • content 

In this project, even though I tried to use different materials and medium to tell my story, I still want to make it looks as sample as possible. It would help the reader to catch the key words from the page in the first time.

In the introduction, the cigarette was a my bad friend personified. The trick hide behind of the words, the black background was not made by photoshop. I spend my independent study time to photography workshop for studying how to take a which black picture like that in the darkroom. I metaphor the lighter is the last bullet, when the cigarette is burring, the bullet would zip past my body to became a wisp of smoke.

Before the interview, I use four pages to explain the relationship between the cigarette and me. These pages all mixed from different materials, hand drawing, digital, and the real cigarette.

(I met my best friend in the first time)

In the page 7, I list six situations that I would meet with my“best friends”. I made these situation to become the stage of the interview in the next, each page I had drew a storyboard for that situation and I put the content of the conversation in the rest of the white page.

  • Analysis

    During the process, I liked to try different telling methods to illustrate the relationship between the cigarette and me. As a smoker, I would like to explain the reason I had contacted with the cigarette in some entertaining approaches. The four scenes related with the six situations why do I might want to smoke, it might help the reader could understand my feelings to the cigarette. The interview presents cigarette with a personified my best friend, it could also make me to rethink why do I need it in my life. 

    A vanity of colour have their own power for design, I chose the pink, black, red and white are colour fundamental key of the zine. I would like to use different colour to express the feeling with different situation I met my ‘best friend’.  

    • Reflection

    “Every coin has two sides,” I know he’s not a good “friend”. As a smoker, the cigarette is an object with me for a long time. But I don’t want to take a critical look at smoking through my zine. When I went to London, I discovered all of the cigarette packs were designed “disgusting” which are big different with China cigarette market.    

    I agree with that the government remaining ways to shows that cigarette is harmful for people’s health, this “disgusting” design also help the youth to leave the cigarette away. 

  • In China, there are a large amount of cigarettes are used be gifts to adults. If the tobacco companies also change the packets, it will decreases the demand of the cigarette demand in the market. I think it will help people to quiet smoking and realised the disadvantage of the cigarette, it will became free propaganda to remind smokers and others.
  •  

    In Chinese cinema and tv industry, we are not allowed to shoot any scenes with the cigarette. It avoids young people to learn smoking from their idols, I also believed the smoking is not the only way to resized the pressure and make fun. I would not show this zine to young people, I hope that would help smokers to think about when will they leave this “friend”.

    Reference:

    mages: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/517773288383553293

    Crawford Moodie, Allison Ford, Anne Marie Mackintosh, Gerard Hastings; Young People’s Perceptions of Cigarette Packaging and Plain Packaging: An Online Survey, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Volume 14, Issue 1, 1 January 2012, Pages 98–105, https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntr136

Learn to respect others–Conversation project

•What is the most important factor in any relationship ?

Love? Space? Communication? or something else. Everyone would have their own answers for that question.However, I believed that the respect is the basic thing for any relationship in our daily life.

Description

On October 11th, Alexandra and Dominic showed us the first project brief which aim to visualise conversations. We were divided by different group with 3-4classmates, we needed to record the conversation in immediate environment with LCC.

Preparation

It’s my first time to work with Gorky and Oscar for this project, We have a very short discuss in the class. Gorky had the divergence of the way we visualised the conversation with me. He wanted to make a physical poster which includes the dialogues, I preferred to make a short film which change the words to images. I wanted to describe the scene that conversation happened, and make it dramatic. We decided to make both media and to make our project multicultural, then we went to in front of the building to record the conversations from people.

Recording Process

• 1st Record

It’s a big windy day, the most of recordings are noisy and unclear. There is an idea came to my mind, I realised that I use that contrast to make some interesting things. I still started to record outside of the building, and I walk into the door as normal, when the security system rang. Then I went to the library, the noisy was decreasing gradually till the only thing I can be heard is typing.

  • 1st Analysis

  • When I heard the recordings, I am surprised with the contrast between the noisy and silent. The sound has huge different in that short distance, the ringing sound of the security system like a boundary to separate two different environment. I thought that recording could metaphor for the two different life style, some people has competitive streak, but some people like to have a calm life.
  • 2nd Record
  • I bring my recordings back to class, Gorky also shows to me his recording. It’s a conversation which talked by two women, there was a girl who complained to her friends about her boyfriend treat her disrespect. She had enough of his behaviour, she wanted to stop their relationship.
  •  

(Gorkey’s note for the conversation)

  • 2nd Analysis

  • We did record the whole conversation but some parts were not clear. The part that we were hundred percent sure is the following.
  • I was shocked to hear Gorkem’s recording, I can’t believe that disrespect thing would be happened around me. Even though I don’t know that girl, as a stranger I want to tell her to leave the guy who treat her like animal. We all have different lifestyle with others, I can not give a judgement to a stranger, but we need to respect everyone around us.
  • After we heard all the recordings we got, we decide to mix these two recordings and put“Respect” for our topic.

Visualise the Conversation

•Researches 

Before I decide to chose a medium way to visualise the conversation, I watched all examples from brief. I realised the most of them used to the key words and marks to visualise conversations.

•Reflection for the examples

For a native speaker, it’s a little bit hard to me the information from these videos.

I asked myself, can I use images to tell a short story by the conversation. I played the recording over and over, I discovered to pick the clear part and the rang of security system to mix together. In my story, the conversation became the psychological activity of the character and background music when they break up. This story talked about there is a couple, the man always treated his girlfriend like a dog, even brings dangers weapon with him. His girlfriend had enough on his disrespect in one day, then she decided to leave him away. In the end of the story, the man only had a real dog to accompany with him in the jail.

I did not want to make this story so complicated and over heavy, because I only have five days work on it. It was hard to find actors, areas, and the staff to film in that time, I want to face a challenge for myself, I decided to tell this story by animation.

•Animation and Edited practical process

It’s my first time to make an animation, I am not a people could draw very well. I should thank for the development of technology, there are two software called motion and Final Cut Pro. I could use some of character template from that, but it still had huge amount of works need to do for the light design, character move, sound design and the scene design.

•This project focused on the conversation, I mixed our recording in first step.

I break down the two whole recordings to different clips, and I mixed them in 30 seconds through the outline of the story. I also add some background sounds and to use noise reduction to make that sound like reality. 

  • 2nd steps–Making characters

The character is so sample in the software, so I bring it to Motion and add the new haircut, a variety of clothes and some Props. I wanted to create some objects which could have deeper meaning for this animation, like guns, dogs, and the background all is telling stories.

  • Finally— Editing and title

  • The last step is the hardest one, I needed to put all of the factors together in a time line and make the charter to be live. I wanted to make the scenes be real, I also add different digital lights to it.
  • Analysis 
  • During the editing, I met many problems need to be solved. Which like recording can not match perfect with the images, the light design doesn’t not make sense and the character moving is so strange. I checked every single frame over and over, and try to make it look better.

–  Outcome

(Final animation)

(Final Poster)

-What I learned and what I need to work in the future

• I feel proud to myself and my teammates for the outcome of conversation brief, I also saw a lot of great works from other group. I realised there are many ways to visualise things, and more important is to have critical thinking in my mind.

• The reason I did not choose to use camera shooting videos, because I wanted to try different things and left out of my comfort zone. Although I met many issues, I fixed it and to analysis the process, I will have a better animation in the future. During this process, I realised that a constant story is not important film, it works in any kind of medium ways to tell stories to audience. I will also study to draw the characters by myself, instead of the characters in the software.

•  In the meantime, the project reminds me to respect everyone in anytime. I believed that will make me be welcome from everyone in my life.

 

What is drawing ?

Drawing is a visual language to tell story to the audience, every one know how to draw since we are born in this world. The reason of that is the people could see different paintings around us in every time, people had ability to learn new things from the mind. For example, the famous blogger John Berger said “to draw is to look, examine the structure of appearances- a drawing of a tree show not a tree, but a tree being looked at.”  Berger cited in Muslen and Southern (2011) . The author thought the painting itself is another language for human, we could through the a variety of drawings to communicate with others. It does not need to have excellent drawing skill, but people could understand the sample marks from others. This method also exist in my uni days, English is not the native language for the most of us. When I can not understand some hard vocabulary, my classmates used draw sample marks to efficiently explain to me. Through my own experiment, I realised the meaning of drawing is not only limited with the fantastic visual effect, it more based on the point of views how we seen this world and connected with our life. 

Litho+ Finishing Workshop

After two days of bookbinding workshop, I made another note book in Litho+ Finishing Workshop, but I have totally different feeling in two workshops.

Litho and Finishing

Litho is not a completely English word, it should be lithography.  We study at LCC, so it is obviously a technology about graphic and printing skills. Finishing is much more easy to understand, it’s the last step for the any printing process. I would like to compare and contrast the digital and lithography, Finishing and bookbinding.

Litho & Digital

 During the workshop, the tutor  showed us six different printing machines with different informations. In my mind, these machines are hard define  traditional or high-tech products. They are not like screen printing which need to all had making, but they still can’t all run by computer. Printing plates are made using a traditional photographic process, or a more modern CTP (Computer-to-Plate) system, and these plates are then used to apply each of the four colours to a rubber roller, which then applied the image to the paper.

Contrast with the digital printer, it will cost more money to print few pages. But if you need to print more than fifty pages per time, it will be cheaper than the digital machine. As speed, I can not believe that the lithography machine will be faster than digital machine after set up. Following the researches,

“Our digital machine will then  print 4800 SRA3 sheets per hour. Litho presses have a setup period when the printing plates are made. Once the printing process actually starts though, litho machines are quicker than digital, with speeds of 18,000 SRA3/SRA2 per hour not being uncommon.”

In conclusion, they are two totally different printing process. They have their own advantages and disadvantages. We need to consider about our amount of project and the purpose to chose right machine.

Finishing and bookbinding

Two days ago, I just participated the bookbinding induction which taught us different traditional ways to binding books. Finishing has some similar goal with bookbinding, but it use the high tech machine to cut paper exactly and the whole process also is efficient.

The biggest difference between finishing and bookbinding is that finishing could handle the project as many as you want, the most of process would be worked by machine. People do not need to use needle to bind every single paper, it will save a lot of time on it.

In the future, if I need to print the large amount of projects, I would like to come back this workshop and to learn how to use these big machine with the nice tutors.

References:

The date of digital print: https://www.auraprint.uk/blog/whats-the-difference-between-litho-digital-print/

The photo of digital printer: https://www.information-age.com/rise-digital-printing-paperless-world-123465021/

 

 

Making Own Books–Bookbinding Workshop

Did you have the sad experience that you bought a new book, but it hard to turn page after page or it will break after few days. It means that the proses of book binding are not perfect for this situation.

Bookbinding Induction

On October 10th, I made my first notebook in bookbinding workshop. In there, I learned three different methods which are ‘Three-hole pamphlet stitch’, ‘Dos-à-dos binding’ and ‘Japanese stab binding’. I am so proud to make these three notebooks by my hands making.

(My works and the introduction)

Firstly, the tutor of bookbinding answered the question I had in the beginning of blog,  some book factory lay the original paper in parallel the to instead opposite direction to save the cost of paper. However, binding paper parallel could reduce the flexibility of the book and unable to open the book smoothly.

As a traditional bookbinding, we need to use tools to connect the paper and cover. We used pricker, needle, thread, wax and a bone folder. These simple tools will help us to make our books, we can do it in the home too.

Tutor asked us to follow her steps to do every single notebook, they have some similar step so that I always made a new one  faster than last time. 

Among these three different kinds of method, my favourite is “Japanese stab binding“ it’s also the hardest one. It looks very traditional and is similar with the Chinese bookbinding. As a boy, threading the needle is so hard to me, and I need to do this more than five times for the Japanese stab binding.

Reflection

I actually quite enjoy the process of bookbinding, I appreciate the tutor carefully taught me how to make it. Even I am not good at hand making, I still would like to spend some time on it. When we get used to fast development of society, it’s better to take a rest and try some traditional things with yourselves. In the future, I may combine the screen printing and bookbinding together, I can print my own script with beautiful cover and binding.

Researches

In the ancient China, before the paper was invented by 蔡倫(Cai Lun),Chinese use the bamboo to write for the books.

Bamboo or wooden strips were the standard writing material during the Han dynasty and excavated examples have been found in abundance. Narrow strips of wood or bamboo typically carry a single column of brush-written text each, with space for several tens of complex ancient Chinese characters. For longer texts, many slips may be bound together in sequence with thread. Each strip of wood or bamboo is said to be as long as a chopstick and as wide as a pair.

Every time when I did these traditional works in LCC, I am so proud to study there to try different interesting things which I never used before. I would come back the bookbinding workshop for more projects.

References:

Bamboo book binding: https://www.asu-bookarts.com/research-projects/bamboo-and-wooden-slip-chinese-bamboo-book

The photo of Bamboo book: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bluefootedbooby/370458424/

 

 

 

 

 

Letterpress Workshop

Do you have favourite font in your laptop ? After the development of technology and art, there are more and more fonts we can use into our work. Letterpress is the traditional way to print words or images on a variety materials, such as newspaper, poster, cover page.

——Introduction

It’s my first time to explore the method of letter press, I need to appreciate our tutor Klara and Andrew who are very nice to teach us carefully.

In the letterpress workshop of LCC, we have a variety of cases of font which made by mental and rubber. I was so surprised that a set of font even is smaller than the a pice of pushpin !

——Out come

I design a sample image with my team number by rubber blokes, it’s looks like an old tobacco pipe. We use the mental furnitures to stable the image in the middle of meshing. It will make sure the image would be printed on the central of pages. During the whole process, we can clearly feel and smell the interest of hand making. 

——Reflection

Even the rapid development of science and technology bring the efficient ways to work easily, we still should remind the most traditional way to create things by hand work. When we face the screen, we can not feel the history and emotions from the words. Every works people made by hands, we still can feel the texture and get the light  ink smell when we touch them.

 

Screen printing vs. Digital printing– First workshop

Many people asked me what is my first impression for LCC, honestly,  it’s  a huge printing house in my mind. The reason I say that answer is we have a variety of workshops for printing, some of them are even bigger than real printing company.

  • Screen Printing

On October 3, I was excited to have induction of screen printing which is my first workshop in LCC. Screen printing is a traditional way to print images on different materials by a mesh, I never did that kind of thing before. The tutor of the screen printing carefully introduce the every steps we need to do.  

This flow diagram clearly shows the basic process we had done in this time. We use the screen which made by silk mesh and wood frame, there is an image on the substrate. We need to use squeegee to move across screen with one colour ink by one time, and the image will print on the paper which stable on the machine by the tapes.  

During the process, I was so surprised to see the different colour put into  together and to create a new colour from that. The most interesting thing is hard to imagine what colour will be made.

  • Screen printing vs. Digital printing

After this induction, I was actually little bit confused and thinking with the meaning of that printing technology. Because of I was think about what is the difference between digital printing and screen printing. Following the development of technology, most of people usually to use digital printer which is more convince and cheap than the traditional ways.

-Research and reflections

Through some researches, I realised that Screen printing is very versatile, and the technique can be used to print on many different types of material such as textiles, plastic and latex. The surface you’re printing on does not need to be printed under pressure, so it’s commonly used for products such as balloons, clothing and wallpaper. It provide more opportunities for artiest to create new things by hand making. Without complex process, digital printer would spent minimum time to have more copies from images. 

It’s hard to define which kinds of printing ways is better, but I enjoy the process to create unique work by myself. I booked the workshop in the end of October for part B, I would like to know how can we make the screen by ourselves. I could print my logo on my note books, photos, T-shirt…

By the way, I am so proud to know Screen printing first appeared in a recognizable form in China during the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD). 

 

 

[Notes]

             

 [First work]

References:

The compare and contrast with digital printer : https://www.wdmonline.co.uk/digital-versus-screen-printing/#wpcf7-f1944-o1

History of screen printing :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_printing

The world needs explorers to collect.

—Introduction of “How to be an explorer of the world”

Life Is A Scavenger Hunt wrote by Keri Smith in her book “How to be an explorer of the world”.I am exciting to get know this books from my tutor, it taught me a variety of ways to see this world and how can we collect things from places around us. As a reference book, it has beautiful layout and interesting examples to describe and give information to the readers. One of the reason I read this book because I am preparing a collection project, I wished I could learn something from this book.

—View things from different sides

First of all, the author gives a point of view that says“artist are good collectors”(page 17). Which is also the topic of this book, it taught us to have a connection with their daily life by the different ways of seen. In this book, she used the colour palette to describe how we should combine and trying to make some new things. As a film maker, I think that I already had basic skill to see this world differently, but the separate parts which Smith listed really changed my mind. She lists a lot of approaches  as many as you can be imagined, for example texture of object, diachronically and synchronically, metaphysical, ritualistically, micro and macro, directionally… These interesting views of the collection altered my senses of the physical experiences. It makes me to started to think about more areas which I can try to put in my works.

Documentary project, “The Gulf of the Oblivion” 2005-2007.
A documentary project about the poor population that live in the islands of the Gulf of Guayaquil. An intimate picture of an elder and two youths. Ecuador.

– Touch with something new

Smith cited a reference from John Cage says” If something is boring, after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight, then sixteen, then thirty two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.“(Page 49) In my opinion, this understanding of tries can be used in different areas, such as romantic feeling, creativities, films and any kinds of works. As we try more things, we will find out what we loved soon. I never know what will be happened with chemical reaction in new materials. When something piques my interest, I would unleash my rabid curiosity and dig up as much into as I can. 

“Curiosity”

There is a word appears to the different unit by many times, it’s the curiosity.  It makes me to trying find some connection between collection and curiosity, I realised that when  I want to collect something from the world, I usually tried to uncover something which is mysteries for me. For example, when I read a story which talks about some area I do not know, if it still takes great interests to me, I want to get more information from there. I find a book which called “Why? what us curious?”, which wrote by Mario Livio(July 11, 2017). In this book, it says that “these kind of feelings came from their perceptual curiosity, which help them to find answers by their primitive senses.” It shows the unknown information attracts them to find the answers, which is quit common but the definition of the curiosity is hard to define.

-Can I collect for emotions of curious?

Why? what do make us to feel curious?  I have a lot of interest with that question, I want to make some researches by that topic through collection in next days. The meaning this book is not taught me how to collect things, the more meaningful thing is that I would like to think and discover new things from this book. If Life Is A Scavenger Hunt, I will be that winner.

 

Notes

Red parts are translation/highlight)

 Bibliography:

  • How to be an explorer of the world by Keri Smith  Publisher: Penguin (26 May 2011)
  • “Why? what us curious?”, by Mario Livio. Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (July 11, 2017)
  • Documentary project, ‘The Gulf of the Oblivion’ 2005-2007. A documentary project about the poor population that live in the islands of the Gulf of Guayaquil. An intimate picture of an elder and two youths. Ecuador.. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.