MERGE YOURSELF WITH YOUR WORK
CLIENT: MADE BY HUMANS
DESIGN TEAM: MARTA YARZA, SIMONA BUNARDZHIEVA, TINA TOULI
PHOTOGRAPHY / CRAFTS / GRAPHIC DESIGN / VIDEO / ART
The brief was to execute 3 images on the topic of creativity for the "passion projects" section of the "Made by humans" website. We had nearly unlimited freedom with the only limitation to show our passion.
As designers, we’ve learned that our work isn’t just something we do 9 to 5 – but rather it’s an extension of us. We live and breathe creativity and it’s only when we fully merge ourselves with our work, that we produce strong and unique outcomes. Much like the birds who fly with their wings, our work is a part of our own beings, bringing us to unknown destinations.
Merge yourself with your tools, your ideas, your work.
For this project we were particularly inspired by how connected we feel to our work. We believe that what we create is an extension of us, almost to a point where our work has a life of it's own. We felt this could lead to interesting visuals to explore and started experimenting.
We are interested in manifesting an intangible idea into the practical world, and as designers, to communicate it in a visual way.
We are three designers, who like to get their hands dirty.
We wanted to experiment with new materials and try out things, that we believe have not been done before. We came up with the three executions (marbling, bubbles and projection) after trying (and failing) at many other tests - optical illusions, paper sculptures, painting living plants, ink drippings photography, water distortion, big scale printing and more. We weren't even sure if the computer marbling was going to work up until the day of the shoot!
We celebrated the end of the shoot by marbling our hands. Not exactly a blood oath, but it felt appropriate.
Fun fact: the ink remained on our hands for almost a week. The price your pay for loyalty.
For our photoshoot we used a photography studio in north London, which allowed us to have greater control and flexibility over capturing the images. We had the studio available only for about 6 hours and 3 concepts to shoot! Not an easy task, but luckily luck (and a lot of time watching, and pizza) helped us achieve it.
This concept is about merging yourself with your tools, and through the final image we wanted to show how the human ideas can flow onto our tools and begin an existing of their own.
We wanted to use an object, that would represent creativity, but in a very inclusive way. And we thought of the computer - it's an anonymous object, that we all use and can relate to. We bought one for cheap, painted it with white acrylic paint (so it would absorb the marbling the best) and crossed our fingers it would work.
One of our earlier marbling experiments that semi-worked. We used a mixture of methylcellulose and alum (potassium aluminium sulfate), and carefully dropped diluted acrylic paint, where we later placed our hand. We were determined to try to use acrylic paint for the marbling as it's easier to wash, but as you can see the coverage was not opaque enough. So for the shoot we used oil-based marbling inks, which were much harder to wash, but gave us very nice dense colours.
Merge yourself with your ideas, and what a better way to keep your ideas than your favourite notebook? With this image we wanted to communicate how we as creators are becoming one with our thoughts.
For the bubbles shot we had to find a way to create a lot of impressive bubbles in a short amount of time, so we came up with the great idea to use a giant balloon. We used a mixture of dish soap and water to make the bubbles more durable and elastic.
We experimented earlier with coloured water and bubble distortion, but we couldn't come up with an interesting and strong idea. Luckily, as it often happens, one of our failed experiments gave us the idea of the final shoot - ink drops, dispersing into the bubbles.
As we had only one suitable notebook, and wanted to try multiple shot compositions we had to find a way to place the bubbles onto the notebook, without ruining it. So we came up with the idea to use clear acetate sheet to hold the bubbles, which we places onto another clear sheet on top of the notebook, and this way preserved the water from ruining the pages.
Some of our earlier experiments, where we were more interested in the effects of distortion and visual deformation. We were even thinking of shooting giant bubbles in front of people (but that didn't work out).
For the third and final image we wanted to honour the digital world and designers who create work on screens. So we decided to use a low-res projection with a pixelated image on a messy physical surface.
We really wanted to use a paper sculpture, but we didn't know how to create one fast, cheap and easy. Luckily we came up with the idea to use receipt paper rolls, which we carefully arranged on three metal rails.
This image required a lot of digital retouch. In the beginning our composition wasn't working for us, and we had to turn the final image sideways. The final shot was composed from a lot of separate photos, and was painted digitally, as our idea evolved a little after the shoot. What we thought would be the simplest image to execute turned out to be the hardest one and we feel like we have learned a ton from it.