Dissertation : Content Analysis

Today I began my content analysis for my chapter two in my dissertation. I researched into what a content analysis was and what I needed to do for it using Gillian Rose’s Visual Methodologies book. It was very helpful in aiding me to understand that I needed to make a series of coding categories which were the things which I would be counting in the magazines I had collected. I had managed to collect 20 copies of Glamour magazine ranging from 2012 to 2015. Ashley said that this number was fine as I wouldn’t have time to do more than this. I collected the magazines through personal collection, friends donations but also had to purchase some through eBay to ensure I had enough to make a valid content analysis.

I was most interested to see how many plus size women, black or non-Caucasian women were shown in these magazines as from my reading it suggested that magazines gave a specific ideal which was mostly white, slim women. I decided on 22 coding categories which include “Advertisement featuring a woman with a slim figure”, “Advertisement featuring a celebrity”, “Advertisement stating a product leads to ‘Youth’/’Youthfulness’/’Youthful'” and more. I decided to separate the main two sections of the magazines which I was focussing on, advertisements and actual magazine content. A theme I am exploring in this dissertation is that the content in the magazines are changing to create a more positive body image for women yet advertisements in the magazines are behind and still promote a certain ideal. This is an idea which will either be proved right or wrong using this content analysis.

I found that the content analysis was more difficult and time consuming than I first thought so I will continue working on it and will then write up my chapter two.


Bubble Wrap and Digital Stitch

Today was the first workshop day after the interim presentation so I was a bit confused as to what to do! I decided that I would stick with things I was planning on doing before the presentation and do some digital stitch of suitcases as so far I had focussed mainly on houses. I created a simple outline which I thought I would use for applique. I decided that I would experiment with different fabrics and fabric paint instead. I stitched out an outline of the suitcases onto faux leather but I didn’t like the light outline colour on the dark fabric.

I then thought about what was said at my presentation about experimenting with media which was related to homes/moving home and did some bubble wrap prints. I wasn’t really sure what to expect or whether I’d like them but thought it would be good to do some mark making. I decided to separate my colour palette and so printed one in the feminine pastel colours in my palette and another one with the darker more masculine colours. The experiments worked really well and I think they would look great for applique or background designs!

IMG_5995IMG_5997The fabric paint has bled out of the outline design due to the weave of the cotton but I quite like this, I feel it adds to the vintage feel.


Interim Presentation

Today was the interim presentation with International Greetings. I felt quite disheartened by it and didn’t feel that it had gone very well. I was very nervous and didn’t feel that I presented very well. I had to present to Helen and Leanne from International Greetings along with Rachel, Jasmine and Steph. I presented third which I think made me more nervous as I like to go first to get it out of the way! After I presented Leanne stated that she didn’t like the concept of being inspired by rust; rust signifies decomposition and she said that she didn’t think it made sense to use it within my New Home theme. I had heard this from a few different people but thought that it could be overlooked because just because a house is new to someone, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a brand new home. I wanted my cards to be a bit different and quirky and thought this added to it. However, I understand what she means and will be taking this on board. One thing she really liked was the idea of using media which is related to a home or moving home, so tea and coffee dyed fabric, newspaper collages and printing with bubble wrap and cardboard. These are techniques which I will experiment with. Leanne mentioned that she preferred my free-hand machine stitched drawings rather than my digital stitch drawings as she said they showed my personal hand writing better. I will take this on board but I am really enjoying working with digital stitch and feel it is very successful. I will continue to experiment with both techniques and may even combine the two to see if this works well. She also mentioned that I needed to bring in more of my more feminine colours from my palette as everything was quite dark and masculine.

The presentation gave me a lot to think about and consider but I was left very deflated and felt quite lost after it. I need to take some time to experiment more and maybe have another tutorial. I was a little confused that none of the tutors had mentioned that rust did not make sense in my New Home theme so this is something i’d like to discuss with someone.


Ready for the Interim Presentation with International Greetings

Tomorrow is the interim presentation with International Greetings where we will be discussing with them our current ideas and showing them our experiments and drawings. I am slightly nervous but I feel passionate about what I am doing and I’m excited to show them what I’m up to. I am designing for the Option Two, a line extension of 8 greeting cards. My overall theme is vintage with a focus on houses, suitcases and skeleton keys. I am designing my cards for the New Home occasion. After much research I found that this vintage theme has been and still is very popular but I will be taking it on in my own personal way and style using my own handwriting in my drawings.

Below is a picture of my studio space ready for the presentation. My board is a whole lot of creative chaos! I did believe that it was a little too much so after some advice from Sally I moved a few things around and I’m happy with it now. I didn’t want to hide anything as it is my workspace and this is how I get inspired, I like everything to be on show that I’m currently working with! I’ve hung up my fabric experiments and photos on small pegs on pieces of twine as I felt it worked with my vintage theme whilst also appearing homely – I thought of it as a little clothes washing line! I am a little worried that I haven’t got a clear idea of what my final cards will look like, but I still have time and we are still in the experimental stages of the project so hopefully this will be ok and I can gain some inspiration from what they say during the presentation.

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Digital Print Results!

Today I came in for a dissertation tutorial, afterwards I went to find Steve to steam and wash my digital prints! I had decided to digitally print out my bonda web samples which I had combined and edited through Photoshop and also my sample using photography of rust which I had also edited on Photoshop. This was to ensure that the fabric would be easier to work with. I would not of been able to use the original bonda web samples for applique as the fabric cannot be ironed. The combination of hand techniques edited through digital programming increases my skill base.

Here are my digital print samples..

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As you can see the colours are much brighter in the digital prints once the samples have been steamed and washed. I will be overlocking them so they are presented nicely for my presentation with International Greetings on the 29th October. Steve was very impressed with them and mentioned that I could carry on working into them. I could use flock or puff and foil to create our certain areas of texture. This is something I may experiment with but the fabrics are only going to be used as backgrounds or applique sections for my more illustrative drawings of houses, suitcases and keys.


Constellation : Dissertation Tutorial Three

Today I had a tutorial with Ashley about my dissertation progress. I didn’t feel the need for a tutorial but went to show my face anyway. I feel positive about my progression, I am getting on with the dissertation and feel that it’s going well at the moment. I do not feel panicked about the draft hand in in a couple of weeks on the 10th November. So far I have written my Introduction, Lit Review and Chapter One. I still need to rework a few parts in my introduction and add the journals I have read to my literature review but this will not take long. I discussed with Ashley that I had hoped to have a complete draft completed by the hand in but felt that it would not be worth rushing the dissertation just to hand it in. I would rather quality over quantity. Ashley agreed, gave me a few hints of what to do before the hand in but seemed happy with how I was getting on. Before the draft hand in I will be writing up some of my chapter two with my content analysis, add imagery into the dissertation and make a few tweaks to my introduction and literature review.


More Rust!

Today I experimented more with creating rusty-looking textures which would then be transferred onto fabric via digital print. This time I took photographs of actual rust – more findings from my granddad’s sheds! I took a few different photographs and then combined some on Photoshop. I layered them together, changing the opacity, scale and size of the different layers and also changed the layering effects of some layers. All which combined to create a workable surface design which as I said will be printed using digital stitch (hopefully tomorrow!) Here’s the finalised design which will be printed..Layered rust photography