Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to carry on when things feel so wrong. Without my girl here there’s a big gap in my life. However for her I’d like to write a few things down so when I see her again she can read a little and perhaps know more about my work. This is not a sign that I am ok. It is merely a means to keep going for her.
Web design and gaming was always part of my life. It’s just that I never noticed – until I re-found design later on through my research into gaming. In China gaming is a particularly serious craft and with Manga and animation a huge industry I’ve followed the development, albeit from a distance.
From Snake to Pac Man, Tetris, SQ, Super Mario and Prince of Persia I played many different games. I’ve worked through various simulation games from aircraft and rally car driving – my favourite being F1 where you could choose the track and driver. I played 4D too. This fascinated me – however I focused less on winning the race and more on the potential to build the tracks. I enjoyed the design – but what really interested me was how it was possible to view the other car from a different angle; in hindsight I suppose it was a type of choreography, which I suppose is how people might look at town planning or architecture.
I remember Rivern and Myst. These I played minimally since I never quite understood the purpose and I found the lack of character development limiting. However, the graphics were unique for that time. The landscaping and visual effects – lighting and sound were of an unusually high quality. I worked through Wiki’s, Encyclopedias, talk rooms – before social media such as Facebook and Twitter. And before mobile phones were developing apps.
I developed a website early – around the age of 17. Back then that was unusual. However, it was simply a means to document my work – a further two versions later, a great deal of hard work, I rebuilt again and developed this site. Now blogs and Vlogs are trendy – but for many years there just were not the options for communicating with others in that way.
As my photography and graphic work developed – partly due to the need to archive the work and partly as my research moved towards digital media, sports analysis with an emphasis on movement and garment design –
My word of caution.
From an early age I was always interested in psychology. Age 17 I was asked to research a project for my A-Levels – I could choose the subject. I chose the effect of music on driving habits – how different styles of music might impact on how people drive and if that might impact on criminal behaviour. On a very small level I found a slight significant outcome suggesting that this was true – at least within the study we completed.
Strangely, I’ve returned to psychology – since my research focused on sports and performance development. I was interested in developing a more detailed understanding of why and how the drawings I created related to the performances and if there might be an sub-conscious or unconscious response that resulted in a type of empathy with the performer. Therefore making it easier to collaborate with them through mark making. At a time when eye-contact/gaze and audience studies were also developing it seemed a relevant development, especially with my research moving towards sport, exercise and health. The first drawing I made and that beun my research was a simple start – a sketch during which I couldn’t get the angles of the body quite right and therefore needed to adjust my own body to try to clarify how to improve the work. Since then I’ve always wondered if there might be a connection between how the performer feels when moving on a stage and how the designer feels when drawing that movement – whether it might be possible, as many a sports person might report, that the use of imagery enables an internal response – that then connects the body of the drawer to the imagined movement, to the observed movement and therefore to the performer themselves. It is fairly well established that elite athletes use music and this type of imagined re-working of a movement to enhance performance. The use of music and imagery is well reported so it seems likely that drawing – and the use of imagery during the drawing process – have the potential to affect and influence the drawing and the body of the drawer. Which is why the emphasis in my research is placed on the connection between the hand and the paper as opposed to digital drawing.
That’s not to say that digital drawing is not relevant – but given the possibility for such empathetic responses the possibility of theatre materials used within gaming is one that I am cautious about. Saying that I have many positive things to say about the use of such elements within digital design. I can not fully explain the reasoning for developing avatars with such satisfaction. Character and costume design is of course a primary interest but beyond this was the interest in the movement and how digital design could enable a more detailed explanation of how the fabric would move on the body.