APD - Week 10 - Play and Stillness
Play and Stillness
When I was younger, I liked to go to abandoned parts of buildings, like rooftops and closed down sections, and just exist. I think I felt the most at peace during these moments, knowing that no one was coming. I could never feel like that outdoors, especially in the city. That led me to the idea of abandoned places that would usually be bustling with movement and full of people, such as railways crossings and streets.
I was inspired by this minimalistic style of photography where the subject is small and the landscape is large and the emphasis is more on an empty sky. I see these types of photographs used as wallpapers and even wall decorations. Of course, it’s because they’re beautiful, but it’s also because they bring about a sense of peace and calm.
I also tried to emulate the whimsical lifeless art style by Bang Qiao Yan that incorporates dull colours and has an almost watercolour aesthetic to them.
I started drawing with lines but quickly discarded them in favour of a lineless flat art style for a more airy, minimal feel which I thought would illustrate the theme of stillness well. I didn’t want to add too much detail lest it loose the negative space but I wanted to add small animations that would make it stand out but not distract from the stillness, such as the traffic lights and water ripples. I wanted the girl to be a main part of the piece so I had her move a bit move obviously than the other elements, but I still had her fade in from one position to the next, so that it wouldn’t be a harsh movement.
I tried adding a water colour texture to it but the effect it produced seemed too noisy and distracting form the ’still’ and peaceful feel that I got rid of it. I also considered adding splashing sound effects but I wanted the viewer to be able to get lost inn the moment and imagine the sounds in their heads.
RESPONSE / REFLECTION
I wanted to make something resembling a moving photograph and I did create something close to that. Maybe it would’ve been better if I had used an actual photographed and animated over it? But then again, I think too much work and detail put in might ruin the still, 'empty' feeling of working with limitations.
In Tim Welsh's article on contemplative gaming, he talks about the contemplative power of beautiful, stylized images within games, with clear art direction, working with a limited color palette, which is what I wanted to invoke.
Cox, S., 2020. Minimalism In Photography: The Good And Bad. [online] Photography Life. Available at: <https://photographylife.com/minimalism-in-photography-the-good-and-bad>
Timothyjwelsh.com. 2012. Notes Toward The Concept Of Contemplative Gaming – Timothy J. Welsh. [online] Available at: <https://www.timothyjwelsh.com/2012/03/notes-toward-the-concept-of-contemplative-gaming/>
pixiv. 2020. 邦乔彦 - Pixiv. [online] Available at: <https://www.pixiv.net/en/users/10746425>