Creative Colours

Being able to analyse other artists work can help us gain an insight into how other people could potentially view ourselves. On our Friday lectures with Dr Anna Powell, we learnt about the three levels of analysis according to Erwin Panofsky’s level of strata: Primary (or Natural), which is what you see at a first glance, Conventional, which is looking a little more philosophically, and finally Intrinsic, which is where it is put into context, and perhaps analysing what this potentially says about the creator (i.e. the artist or animator). The final level is the one makes most people cringe, more so the artist, and artist Dawn Mellor, made it clear that it can be offensive.

We were shown three videos prior our lecture on the three layers of strata. Please see my analysis below of each video according to these three levels. Please be warned that the “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” videos may not be suitable for all.

Without the actual translations, this is the analysis for this video: PonPonPon by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu contains references to war but in a childlike, Willy Wonka style. This perhaps creates an element of playfulness and innocence to an otherwise adult issue. By doing this the concept of war  could be deemed appealing. If not to be seen appealing, this may just be a way of eradicating the fears and anxieties that coincide with consequences of such an event.

The mirrored, faceless figure could represent a “fat cat” and if it is intact the singer who is mimicking it, could this mean that the political leader is like a puppet master? With Japan being the world leaders in technological development in gaming, this puppet master like effect is also quite like a dance game such as in the “Just Dance” series and has potential to show that political leaders think that the concepts of war and running a country is merely a game ad as a consequence will aide in the leader’s desire to “play God”. So is this a propaganda piece?

If it was in fact the singer who was the leader in the dance, then this could give the impression that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu wants to be a leader through any means possible. After being nominated for the “World’s Best Female Artist” and many other world titles, this could suggest that she is frustrated at her lack of “wins” in these competitions. Nominations may not be good enough for her and this video may be seen as  threat to her competitors that she will “take them out” just to get on top in her career. One questionable factor, however, is that was it the singer, or an outside artist that imagined such a music video? If it was someone else, would this analysis still be correct about said singer, due to the fact she would have had to approve the nature of the music video’s aesthetics?

Aside from questioning why green is not a creative colour, to which there are many theories including green representing the Frontal Lobe in the brain which is the part of the brain that is in charge of logical thinking and that green is not a primary colour and therefore cannot make any other colour, this video make an audience question whether or not creativity is a route of being constructive or destructive.

At a first glance this video could be seen as a progressively more grotesque version of Seseme Street. Though Seseme Street’s theme asks “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Seseme Street?” I can assure you that after watching both this video, and the video below, I will not be wanting to go to whatever street this asylum is on.

If we want to question the potential audience for such a video, we should consider the fact that these videos begin like most children’s programmes. Perhaps the artist enjoys the “Santa Effect”, i.e. what happens when a child finds out “the truth”. Just from the concept alone of taking enjoyment out of watching a child psychologically suffer, shows a disturbed mind. Either the artists have sociopathic tendencies or retaliating from childhood trauma could be the underpinning element to these pieces.

If this series is in fact for a more age appropriate  audience, i.e. adults, then this video could take on a whole new meaning. Could this series try to explain what we do to children’s innocence when they go through life and the education system? With art and design not being at the forefront of any curriculum, and is barely given the light of day in schools, the ability to be creative is taken away as children are forced into a stereotyped mould that we deem “perfect” in our developing societies. Would the artist therefore just be crying out in desperation for us to leave children child-like?

With all of this being said for all of the videos above ad further research into “childhood spoilers”, it is safe to say that sometimes we can over analyse. Perhaps art should be left to the imagination, and if it needs explaining, then it should be, but by the artist. A psychological assessment of said artist can be done from what they have perceived their on work to be. Sometimes an artist will describe the sky as blue because it symbolises the emotion of sadness, but for the rest of us: the sky is blue because it’s blue.

More Than Mere Words

This video was released not to long ago. I think it came as perfect timing.

For my “Conversations” project I am delving down the route of the conversations through music. This music video released by Ed Sheeran for his song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ is perhaps a prime example of how a conversation can be more than just sentences between groups of people.

I suggest watching the video both with and without the sound. I also suggest only listening to the song.

Paralinguistics pay a crucial part in any conversation in person. Visually, even with out the sound you can tell that there is a conversation going on between the dancers. Although this may seem like no communication is going on between an audience and the couple, there is. In one sense this is a narrative conversation. The couple are expressing their narrative to us, through more than just words, and we in turn are responding by acknowledging the fact that they are madly in love with each other, i.e. we enjoy the song or perhaps an emotion is triggered by watching such an expressive piece. With all of this being said, the conclusion could be that a conversation can be much more abstract than initially thought of.

Although marketing would suggest that these lyrics are nothing more than a ploy to manipulate all women to thinking this song is about them, we can consider this song as a conversation. Sometimes music can express things what we truly want to say, a lot easier and more intimately than any other form of communication. With the way language has changed, we must realise that the way we express ourselves in modern day society is boring in comparison to that of the past. Love letters from war times expressed such sorrow at the parting between loved ones in such elaborate words and ways, but now we limit our words and our emotions in the hope that our loved ones will understand what we truly feel. The concept of romance now seems outdated in various means of communications, be it a conversation in person or via electronic media. For this reason, perhaps it is music and other expressive arts that keep romance still alive, even if it is just a marketing thing.

For this reason, after mind mapping, I propose the following for my project. I would like to reignite the concept of romance in a conversation through the medium of music, since music is one of the most accessible expressive art. I will look to collaborate to write a piece of music using my own skills as a musician, and attempt to make art from the piece, be it through sound waves or an animation.

Lessons From TomSka

The wonderful TomSka is certainly a man to keep an eye out for on Youtube. Though he may specialise in comedy, he does say a lot of things that make sense. The video above, for example, can be applied to any aspirations, not on Video Making. The points he makes are designed to aid creatives to work to the best of their ability. TomSka is a motivational speaker in this video. Giving his advise, as a successful Youtuber, he explains ‘how to Youtube’, stating but obvious and the not so obvious. It is key to get advise from people already in the industry.

Point One: Watch and Learn

Although plagiarism is bad, as I argued in my final essay last academic year, there is no such thing as an original idea in the world. Everything has just been re-imagined from an initial idea, or many ideas. TomSka advises to watch and learn from other people’s success and failures. Questioning why something worked, or didn’t, can help in your own professional development. Many businesses that are a part of a oligopoly, all learn from each other. Main supermarket chains for example. When one, I think it was Tesco, stated that they were ‘x’ amount cheaper than it’s competitors, all other supermarket chains started to catch on with this strategy for marketing, stating that they’d pay back the difference and so on. To get ahead you need to know your competitors and how to exploit their gains and failures to your advantages.

Point Two: Who Are You?

In days of late at university, lecturers have been pushing for us to be able to sell ourselves, and to brand ourselves. Curriculum Vitaes are the business versions of first impressions. If you were to create a company, the name would need to be catchy, memorable. When selling yourself, you need to be different.

Part Three: Secondary Channel

Testing ideas or voicing stuff that isn’t necessarily related to what you do on a specific blog, may better be suited in another medium. For us, creating two blogs side by side is an idea, but now with the help of categorising, we could just separate it like that. In referring back to our first impressions to industry, perhaps our flaws and personal interests would help an employer understand who they are employing. After all, nobody wants to hire a narcissist who is a bit too perfect. On an alternative note, we need to be able to take criticism. We will inevitably make mistakes in out practise but if we didn’t we would never be able to grow and flourish.

Part Four: Getting Started

As we probably all know by now, the equipment list that was given to us at the start of our first year was practically useless. We didn’t really use everything. I believe that we should get what we need when we need it. As a student, on a tight budget, it is safe to say that we never want to waste money. Macs too are very expensive, and even though they are industry standard, we can’t all afford them, even with a student discount. For this reason, I am thankful the studios are open until stupid o’clock and that I can run a Mac OS off of my beautiful Windows system.

Part Five: Originality

Be different. Be You. Enough said.

Part Six: First Impressions

When someone sees our blogs or portfolios, they have an insight into how our minds judge our creativity. I know that at the beginning of last year we were all told to use a set theme for WordPress, so everyone’s looked like everyone else’s. This year, thank goodness, we can adjust that and have something a little more professional, that doesn’t resemble a twelve year old’s blog diary about her love of emo and scene guys.

Part Seven: Herding

Many people have links to other media on their original posts. I own a facebook page, which I advertise my blog on. If you scroll through my blog, you will also notice I am on Instagram. I think it is important to have several different media to work with, especially if you want to describe yourself as a person and as an artist, keeping your lives separate.

Part Eight: Money

Although, as a graphic design student, I may not make Youtube videos, it is safe to say that money will always be the pinnacle of survival. TomSka warns us to always read before we sign up to things. The worlds biggest lie is probably, “I have read and Agree to the Terms and Conditions”, but when it comes to contracts, we need to be careful.

Part Nine: Getting Noticed

TomSka points out the necessity to be nice to people and to work as a team. Although leadership skills and being able to work independently can often help in a work place, it is also key that you are able to collaborate with other people. No one person can do everything. If you need help, ask for it.

Part Ten: Survival

Never lose yourself in the industry. Do not become a sheep. Do not let fame and fortune go to your head. In the words of the late and great Mufassa from Lion King: “Remember Who You Are.”


Whilst waiting for Youtube to upload the Audi video, I checked out a few more of the tutorials available to me now.

The tutorials I looked at and worked through were on how to import documents from the other Adobe programmes, including Illustrator and Photoshop. I think it is very important as a designer to be able to use the Adobe software, since it is industry standard.

I was upset when I found out that we would be combining our course with the animation course. Looking into these tutorials in particular, it became clear that actually it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Using After Effects, although associated with animation, can benefit us, not only if we choose to specialise in motion graphics. When presenting work to a client, for example, we can now import it to a video format to give it a more dynamic feel. Videos are more easier accessed, thanks to the likes of Youtube, than ever before.

This medium can help us boost our opportunities. The times are changing, we must keep up with them since it’s survival of the fittest.