Liam St.Laurent

alienation (9 October 2017)

Using alien imagery to explore the theme of isolation, I’ll be creating designs for a brand, “alienation”, that are linked by limited color and geometric elements.

I will be working to design and create a brand, called alienation, focusing on extraterrestrial and outer-space themed work. I will be developing a series of images following this theme for use on products such as posters, T-shirts, stickers, stationary, etc. I will be using limited color palettes and geometric forms to establish a cohesive body of work. The imagery, as well as brand name, revolves around the exploration of personal feelings of isolation, or "alienation", in different aspects of my life. I plan to explore this through alien and space imagery because the subject matter is intriguing to me, and I also feel like the theme will be able to reach a broader audience, as many people have similar feelings at times in their own lives, and what better way to represent that common feeling than with designs literally "from another world"? I hope that this work will appeal to an audience of people who feel similarly isolated or alienated in their own lives, and that by uniting this imagery under a brand, that I can create a sort of “nation” for them to bond over, similar to the subcultures linked by brands such as Sketchy Tank, or the unifying LGBT positive message of brands such as Flavnt. My initial goal for this semester is to create a broad and diverse range of sketches upon which I can choose the best designs from later in the year to develop into final products. I plan to also explore color palettes and recurring elements I want to include in the designs at this time. I am also in the process of exploring if I want to have more symbolic or allegorical-type imagery, or more purely design-based work.

Currently I am in the process of experimentation and creation. I am creating various pieces as different ideas come to me and feedback from the seminar group steers my work in a variety of directions. Some of my current work has an element of metamorphosis and change to it, as I attempt to loosen up a bit in my designs and explore images that are not entirely clear on the first viewing. However, I also plan to bring more concrete imagery back into my work soon, and take some of them to a screen-printing phase in order to get a better physical representation of what I might like to explore next, since this is the type of design work that most inspires me to keep creating more and more work. More “graphic” and representational imagery will help me reach a broader audience, as it is more enticing for the average person to view, and thus is more likely to help me reach my goals as the semester continues and I develop these ideas further.

thesis proposal 15 May 2017

In Graphic Design Seminar, I would like to create a brand, with a focus on surface design, to create images linked together by use of limited color palettes and geometric shapes. I would like to use this brand as a way to explore both personal art focusing on gender identity and the transgender community, as well as my relationship to art, and the levity that I find and share in making predominantly humorous and lighthearted work. I want my brand to be emplowering, giving me the opportunity to be vulnerable in a way I've previously shied away from, but also to support others and offer them a sense of community and representation. I will be incorporating text in my work, exploring how words can add dimensions to a design, and when it's best to let the image speak for itself. I intend to heavily utilize screen-printing in my process, as the interactive element of printing the images by hand opens my work up to natural variation from print to print, as well as broad experimentation with each design — giving me the opportunity to discover how the process can affect the final piece.

Exploring surface design in such a concentrated way in Seminar will help me grow as an artist as I'm presented with new challenges surrounding limited use of color, and recurring design elements such as shapes or line. It will force me to think in new and creative ways, and will require me to be open and adaptable to changing my plans as the year goes on and my ideas develop and become more refined.

I draw much of my inspiration from modern designers and entrepreneurs, such as the poster designs of Olly Moss, and socially active clothing companies like Flavnt, Point 5cc, and OxDx. These designers inspire me to want to connect with my audience, be it via shared experiences or just be making them laugh with a bit of odd humor. It also influenced my choice of media, as I work primarily on various types of paper, and print my designs with screen or occasionally linoleum blocks. With all of my time at Montserrat, I've learned a lot about my creative process and how to play to my strengths when planning projects, and thus feel prepared to work in Seminar developing my brand and all the work that entails. All of my classes have provided me with the skills to create and execute my designs, and Seminar will give me the chance to further explore and fine-tune the relationship between my design work and the screen-printing process that I enjoy so much.

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