Like any designer, initial ideas always involve some kind of plotting or jotting down random ideas which flow in the mind. That is what I did. First of all, a concept was required in order for ideas to progress from that, also for this initial idea to have a sort of starting point. My concept has always centralised around my ‘identity’; who I am and what aspects makes me who the person I am today.
For this project, my intention is to create not one, but two similar maps with a difference in the focal point; both will be based on identity but the second will incorporate more of a personal feel. By displaying a map of how I view myself as a designer in the University of Greenwich.
The very first thing I did was draw a mind map in my sketchbook, the lines flowing across the page leads to a separate branch and to a section which I consider are different elements that form me, my identity. Such examples include the basics such as: my hobbies, inspirations, personality etc. I plan to somewhat incorporate these aspects into my map. I redrew my mind map on Photoshop.
The concept of my map derives from my personal experiences as a person, not any normal individual but someone who has a twin sister. Throughout my life I have had countless encounters where people, including both family and friends who have mistaken me for Angel [or vice versa]. This has never bothered me, I admit that truthfully, I find it quite amusing when people get us mixed up, as I am a playful person and like to switch places to see if they realise a little while on.
Though unsurprisingly, there were some incidents in the past within my memories which would stay vivid. I remember back in primary school when we were children; during those times Angel & I looked very similar, consequently we were called ‘twin’, in order to make it easier for people. My teacher was a very scary woman. She was both harsh and a short tempered person; to be honest, she frightened the life out of my sister and I.
This incident occured whilst we were in reception and learning the basics of ‘how to tell the time’. I vaguely remember she insisted on picking on my classmates to stand up and read off the clock while she turned the handles. She happened to select one of us [maybe because I am a twin, I forgot who she asked to stand up]. As I previously stated, my teacher frightened us so when she made Angel/me stand up in front of the class, unsurprisingly she/I got the answers wrong, due to being nervous I suspect.
My teacher then demanded both of us to stand in front of the class; not for a gold star or anything pleasant like that… She proceeded to draw a huge ‘tick’ across Angel’s cheek and then a big ‘X’ across my cheek.
She then stated: ‘Now I can tell which one’s which, you’re the tick and you’re the cross’.
I was just a child back then, but the feeling of my heart sinking to the ground still remains in my memory today. I found her very unreasonable, to the extent of drawing on our faces with a biro did not lessen my hatred for her.
Looking back at that memory as I grew older, I learnt that although I love being a twin, from a glance at her expression I would instantly familarise with what she is thinking to just being there for her as a sister- I wanted my own identity. The reason is because despite being similar, appearance wise, we are two different individuals with our own dreams and ambitions.
Therefore, I feel that this concept of identity is most prominent amongst all my other ideas. I aim to create a map to express me/us as individuals or just simply displaying how I view myself as a designer.
I was interested in revolving my ideas around shadows; because another memory which helped progress my mapping was one time when my sister and I were walking home from college. The sun was setting in the sky which consequently produced shadows, the outline of our shadows were sharp yet they both looked identical. We merged our shadows until it looked siamese. This contributed to the development of my idea.
The focus on shadows then became a map with its focal point on silhouettes. The reason why I am using silhouettes in my map is predominantly because a silhouette is a more conspicuous version of a shadow, with more definition on the outline of one’s features/body. Another reason is because silhouettes shows no real identity of a person, no matter how close you look at it, it is just a shape which represents you, though without much meaning at all. This portrays the idea that I am someone with an identity yet it remains a mystery.
★★★IDEA FOR MAP 1-CONCEPT 1…
For the first illustration of my map, I created a simple silhouette of a head and filled it with the work, sights I have done and seen over the past few weeks. These images make up my experience in the University of Greenwich, depicting the start of my journey as a new student.
★★★IDEA FOR MAP 1- DEVELOPMENT 2
I wanted to ensure that my map possessed a more ‘personal’ feel so instead of creating a random shape of a silhouette, I substituted it with one of myself which I created from an image of me. Therefore the result was an image which resembled me, emitting the beginning of an outline of my ‘identity’. The silhouette formed from the image did not display the outline of my hair, subsequently I created an exaggeration of this in photoshop.
★★★IDEA FOR MAP 1- DEVELOPMENT 3
This stage of development shows that I have merged my map into the concept of a ‘jigsaw puzzle’ [also creating patterns and swirls to represent my hair, as the flow of time.] The reason behind this theme is that I intend to have approximately 365 separate puzzle pieces, each individual piece symbolises a day gone by during my studies here. Therefore, I imagine my practice as becoming a designer as a jigsaw puzzle forming; where I learn new things which influence my approach to design, perspectives, and is also a representation of how I aspire to progress during this year of Graphic studies.
When the day comes to the end of the year, the puzzle would be complete with each piece intact; displaying the silhouette of me…formation of my identity and experience of a designer.
★★★IDEA FOR MAP 1- DEVELOPMENT 4
Stage four shows how I decided to add a little colour to the ends of the hair, the reason why the silhouette is white is because it symbolises that I am a new student, just beginning her real journey of design; hence the blank space. The swirls of the hair as stated, represents the flow of time, so the colours at the end of the hair is where I have fully achieved my goals and reached my final destination. Another concept of the flowing hair is that it is reminiscent of a plant growing slowly but surely, at the end is where it finally blossoms. That is how I want others to perceive my map.
★★★FINISHED FINAL MAP 1
This is the finalised version of my map for the ‘Map and the Territory’. I have deliberately coloured the individual pieces of the jigsaw puzzle different colours which of course, follows the original concept of my map as stated, with particular attention to development 4. Instead of just colouring the ends of the hair, I have decided to fill in the whole silhouette in rainbow colours.
I noticed that in the previous stages, the puzzle pieces were uneven so I fixed this.
I imagine that my experience here, each section representing one of the 365 days will be a fusion of colours just like my map, amplifying the person I am.