‘Bigger Pictures’ was the title of the brief for option block two and I decided to choose illustration/graphic design for experience and to learn something new. The purpose of the brief was to produce a large-scale design for public display that promotes an issue/event/cultural work. For my project I went with a billboard display on political stances.
I began the week with a lot of research and looked at artists such as Simon Prades and how he looked at double exposed illustrations and I thought how I could use this imagery for different political leaders and display their policies/ideas. I continued researching paradoxical imagery to look a political contrasts/contradictory views. As I did this artist Chiamaka Ojechi created paradoxical pictures by looking at celebrities and this tied into what I may have approached.
Above is work combining these ideas and is how my initial development started. By using a graphics tablet for the first time I was able to create a simplistic image of two political leaders that have very different views: Obama and Trump. I then used basic typography on Microsoft word to add quotes on each face and the contrasting views of building walls and moving away from freedom when Obama tried to break the walls down and legalised gay marriage.
My chosen font was many based on Barbara Kruger and Paula Scher. These were particularly appealing to the eye due to their boldness and placement within images.
My project began to come together more after the 30th of January due to the fact their was a Donald Trump protest in the middle of Dundee’s city centre. This gave me a good insight and first hand knowledge on what was happening on the political agenda. Signs were made by many people including illustrations with phrases like ‘Solidarity’ or to ‘Build bridges not walls’.
My research continued and I began looking at ‘The American Billboard 100 years’ by James Fraser. Here I found campaign posters for Wendell Willkie and war billboards. I then began to look at promises made by leaders such as Trump, Obama, Clinton, May etc to have a clearer understanding.
‘Billboard: Art on the road’ by Joseph Thompson influenced my development and final work immensely with work such as ‘Man and woman with bridge’ in Minnepolis 1985 by John Baldessari. This piece had a fox on a bridge between their straight faces and how their communication must be more ominous than the first appearance. In the same book I found Barbara Kruger ‘Fear and Hate’ in Portland Oregan, 1992. The piece was highly political and was during the defeat of the anti-gay ballot around that time period.
I moved my attention to Martin Luther King Jr who was an obvious step in the right way to get rid of America’s prejudice and racism. His movement created a stir that to this day Americans look up to him and appreciate what he achieved in the country. It can appear that Donald Trump is ruining this and is indeed taking the country backwards to a much more sour place.
My final outcome for this project combined elements of type from the two artists mentioned earlier and imagery influenced by Barbara Kruger and John Baldessari. The wall resembles how Trump wants to build a wall between Mexico and the american flag is behind MLK to portray how America has in fact never been great but at one point the country was moving forward and he was a reason why. I had a few difficulties with drawing these images as I had not used Adobe illustrator previously and had only just bought a graphics tablet however it did mean I had to learn quite a bit in such a short time. In hind sight I shouldn’t have used red font but on-screen it had looked fine.
So here we have my billboard and contrasting views. I drew Trumps hand to reflect on his close mindedness and had MLK’s hand open as he was open-minded and wanted to be there for the people not just himself.