Graphic Narrative Evaluation

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For my graphic narrative I decided to focus on the theme of superpowers and individuality. My concept was to photograph a handful of individuals and ask them what their passion or best asset was, and portray it as it as a superpower.

To do this, I photographed three of my classmates in the photography studio at college, using the lights and the fan provided. Then, I took the pictures and opened them on Adobe Photoshop, to create the comic like effect which enhances the superhero theme. To create this effect I added a comic style filter and adjusted it to look like how it looks in my final piece. I then added a white border on each individual photo to again highlight the comic style theme of my graphic narrative. This border also highlights the content of the image and makes the photo pop. After this, I brainstormed the text I would use to highlight my concept and tell my story. I then wrote each line up individually and placed it roughly where I wanted it to be on my design. I created black rectangles with a white frame and copied it onto the software, which I felt represented the comic strip theme well as this is generally how text is presented in comics. Finally, I designed the shape of a superhero mask on Adobe Illustrator, and copied it onto Photoshop and adjusted the colour and the filter to overlay, before placing it onto the individuals faces.

For narrative structure, my graphic narrative doesn’t particularly follow a certain story based narrative as it is less of a story and more of a motivational design. Because of this it is hard to judge whether it is an open or a closed narrative. However, it is clear to see that my graphic narrative follows a single strand. There is only one perspective used which is a positive one and there is no other threads or leads in the story.

In terms of image construction, the texture of my graphic narrative is a comic strip style. The reason I have done this is it reflects my theme of superheroes well as the majority of superheroes originate from comics. In addition to this for image construction, the captions on my graphic narrative are bold and presented within a black box with as white frame. This is to also reflect the comic theme as in comics there is little text and instead smaller captions which are often boxed.

The cultural context that links to my graphic narrative is pop culture. This is because my graphic narrative is all about combining individuality with the pop culture theme of superheroes. Superheroes are a common part of British and American pop culture, such as Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. so my graphic narrative links to this as I portray the same theme.

For production processes I focused on feedback response. I asked some class mates to point out 5 flaws in my graphic narrative and 5 things which were positive.

For flaws, one of the mentioned factors was that the comic style texture was not strong enough. You could say that the images still look like unedited photographs so it would be more effective if I increased the levels of the filter. Another small flaw is that the third mask doesn’t look as realistic as the first and second due to the brighter choice of colour meaning the overlay filter of the mask doesn’t compliment as well. A third flaw that was pointed out was that the placement of the captions is not aligned as well as it could be due to the fact that aligning the captions in perfect symmetry can be difficult, even with the assistance of the ruler tool. Fourthly, a flaw that was mentioned was the fact that not all of the text was evenly sized and equal in proportion. Lastly, a flaw was that some of the photos needed cropping so the proportions of the photos to make the images align symmetrically are slightly off.

In terms of positive factors, one factor a classmate mentioned was that as a whole my graphic narrative followed the comic style format effectively and that my superhero theme was strongly present, due to the brightness of the superhero masks in contrast to the rest of the colour theme. In addition to this, another positive that was mentioned was that the photographs capture the personality of the individuals well, through the postures and positioning of the frames. Thirdly, the texture of the photographs which has been edited strongly enhances the comic style theme due to it’s hand/digitally drawn appearance, highlighting the superhero concept. A fourth point is that the masks (primarily the first two) were designed well and the overlay filter makes them look realistic and well placed. Lastly, a good factor about my graphic narrative is how each photo is placed out. I conducted a photoshoot and shortened down which pictures I wanted. For the first person, I ordered the images specifically so the first picture didn’t show her face, and then in the image opposite it did. I did this because a superhero convention is that they don’t always show their identity right away – they usually remain a mystery for a certain amount of time. In addition to this, I decided that the first group photo would only reveal the first superhero and not the other two as this highlights that they are still shrouded in mystery.

My Theme

My theme for my graphic narrative is superheroes. The idea behind it is showing individuality and how everyone has their own individual super power, it doesn’t have to be a supernatural advantage. It can be assets such as kindness, intellect, logic, creativity, or even just small things like being skilled at make up. The goal of the graphic narrative is to show to people that they are good enough as a normal human being, that they don’t have to be powerful in a supernatural sense to be great.

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Graphic Narrative – My Idea Explained

Idea Generation:

My idea for my graphic narrative is a photo set. This photo set will focus on the idea of superpowers, and how superpowers don’t need to be a supernatural physical advantage – they are just an accentuated asset, and anyone could a be a superhero in their own way. To demonstrate this story I will take a set of around 6-12 photographs. They will be set into pairs in a vertical alignment. The left photo will be a long shot photograph of a person posing in a superhero stance, e.g with their hands raised in fists. The second picture will be a high definition close up of the figure’s face, and over the top their will be a graphic of a superhero mask entailing that individual’s superpower. For example, if the person’s superpower is intelligence, the mask will emphasise that e.g with a question mark pattern. The background will be completely black allowing for the figure to stand out more and look more professional.  I later decided that both these photos will be edited in black and white as this is more effective and looks better in contrast to the bright colours of the masks. For the narrative element, I will write captions about the concept of the idea in between photo set pairs. I have written a general script idea on the scans I have uploaded. The design of the narrative element will be in comic caption box style, with italic black wording and a black border. The colour of the box will be the colour of the masks, to accentuate the graphic element.

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Design Orientation:

My idea will be photography and digital based. The photography will be well lit and the quality of the photos will be high definition. The art style of the mask will be graphic comic style, using tools from software to add shade and definition to the graphic of the mask, e.g the burn tool will make the mask look more 3D, or different shades of one colour to add shadow. The software I will be using is Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I will use Photoshop to edit and arrange the photographs, and Illustrator to design the masks. I will then transfer the designs on Illustrator to Photoshop.

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Media:

The media that would use my graphic narrative are likely to be places that feature art and poetry. Some places it could be seen are in magazines, internet formats such as social media (Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram), and illustration sites.

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Considerations/Pre-Production: 

The cost of this production should be free as I will use college provided resources and sites. The resources I will use are a camera, tripod, lighting, a black background, SD card, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and the college photo studio. I will need to ask for access to equipment and the studio from the college, and I will fill out a form in order to be granted this. I will represent everyone fairly and hopefully will feature both girls and boys in order to give a fair representation. The time it will take to conduct the photo shoot should hopefully not be too long, up to an hour at the maximum and I will do this when all participants and facilities are free, either in lesson or break time.

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