Sunday, April 20, 2008

Class Poster Project

For this project we needed to make a poster for a stage production and the medium was up to us. I chose to create my final piece using Photoshop. Our teacher told us not to worry about text, such as the title, or other poster graphics.
The two plays I chose were The Nutcracker ballet and a new play that is still being created titled The Mercy. The Mercy is a play that I helped to create, in that I have been providing feedback, direction, ideas, and designs. The Mercy is a play about Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the attack on Pearl Harbor (he said "TORA TORA TORA!") and a man named Jacob Deshazer who was in the Dolittle Raids (the USA's first strike against Japan after Pearl Harbor). Jacob's plane was shot down and he was placed in a Japanese prison camp till the end of the war. Fuchida, although a war hero, became a reject of society following the war. Both of these men went through great suffering and both experienced great mercy in different forms. They became a means to help the healing after WWII between Japan and America. Aside from the historical story, the play is ultimately about God's mercy and forgiveness of us and how He empowers us to forgive and show mercy to others.
The first thing we were instructed to do was create a collection of thumbnails.The class and the teacher then chose two (2) of the thumbnails to explore and refine (the thumbnails circled in red).The Nutcracker thumbnail shows the figure of Clara (the main character) standing in the middle. The figure of the Nutcracker is in the center of Clara's figure. The eye and eye patch is of Judge/Godfather Drosselmeier, who is a mysterious character that sort of haunts Clara.In the last thumbnail I included more detail of the characters; however, I chose to go back to the original thumbnail idea and make it more graphic using silhouettes.
The Mercy thumbnail comes from an element in the play. The following text is an excerpt from the script and it takes place just after Matsuo Fuchida leads the attack on Pearl Harbor, which is done as an abstract dream: "samurai surround Fuchida and he extends his hands, in fists. Two samurai clap them within a white, rectangular wooden stock, though whether it is shackles or honor is ambiguous. Fuchida's head drops, and he opens his hands. They are in red gloves, and his splayed fingers make the Rising Sun over the white background (Japanese war flag)." I based my design of this poster from this part in the play, although I thought it would look better with fresh red paint on the hands.
I explored some color variations for the Mercy and the Nutcracker posters. I chose to go with the Mercy poster as my final, but I hope to someday develop the Nutcracker poster.
This is how the final Mercy poster turned out. I think if I had to do it again I would make the red paint thinner, without so many ripples and drips. It kinda looks like ketchup!
After completing the original design, Katie and I discussed how we could include some Japanese characters into a new design. I was able to find the translation of the word "mercy" into Japanese characters and painted a rough version of how it could look.
I think it almost resembles a crucifix. I personally like this design better but I feel it needs more work.
If I can make the "actual" poster someday, I would rather take a photograph of someone's hands being covered in red paint instead of creating an illustration. I would then adjust that photograph accordingly in Photoshop to resemble this design.


Danielle said...

Wow! You are so talented, cuz! :-) I love the excerpt fromt he Mercy play and hope to hear more about it as it developes. You're doing great!

Kenfield said...

Tanks cuz!!


Danielle said...

I heard the news yesterday - congratulations! So happy for all THREE of you! Hope everyone is healthy and heading home soon.