Professional Context Presentation 2: Feedback

Below shows feedback written in the form of notes on a page of my script. Overall, I felt the presentation was very positive with good feedback, whilst being within the time limit, so felt that timing myself and really stripping back my script again the day before delivery really helped ensure that the presentation was good as it could be within the 5 minutes allocated. I also didn’t feel as nervous this time, so felt overall it went smoother and felt more confident about the topics of discussion.

Feedback

  1. Much better on time keeping
  2. ‘Taste’ Book
  3. Theory of Power
  4. Male Perceptions as a comparison? Influence on men opposed to women?

The above comments were made by both Sharon and Gary in regards to my presentation. I have already noted better time keeping. I have considered ‘Power’ in my research on various occasions showcasing how cultural icons and celebrities within social media and magazines obtain power over the users in relation to affecting ones self-perception and body image issues. I do not feel that I have enough time in the remainder of this semester and module to look into this further and more in-depth in relation to my research question however feel that this is something I would like to look further into. This can be said also for also how Male Perceptions have been affected by the media. I have directed my studies and research to that of Female perceptions, however it was noted that it would be interesting to compare theories and findings comparatively in a male context.

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Personal Branding

As part of the Professional Context module, I wanted to work on my personal branding as this has not been updated since March 2015, and feel I have developed, changed and transformed into a more sophisticated designer. However, with my re-brand, I wanted to ensure that my brand is still recognisable keeping a feminine an fun aesthetic, colour scheme and tone throughout, whilst using a combination of print and illustration.

Below shows my personal branding from 2015.

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Above Image Source

In updating my branding, it was important for me to ensure that a “fun, retro, feminine and 90s tone” is portrayed being reminiscent of my brand, completed works and existing branding.

Below shows my new personal branding keeping in line with the points made above in regards to aesthetic and tone. Each has been created digitally, compiling hand created collage and digital illustration to give depth, tactileness and unique compositions.

Working heavily in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, it is important to me that this is reflected in my branding through a sophisticated aesthetic also.

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Below shows mockups of both my updated business cards and CV design, which has been designed as a booklet encompassing all aspects of my creative career, expertise, experience and contact/portfolio details.

The CV booklet has been designed at A5 in order to be able to post out to existing and potential clients.

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I feel the visual outcome is true to my identity and niche as a designer, whilst being recognisable in relation to my previous promotional materials. Going forwards, I would like to experiment further with more branded, useable products, such as a Portfolio Look Book, Notebooks and Tote Bags for example, in order to promote my brand in a contextualised manner relevant to the Fashion and Beauty Industries.

I also produced physical mockups of both the CV and business card. Photography can be seen of these below, along with a mockup of my revised website, featuring a similar yet less structured grid system and a lighter pink logo, falling in line aesthetically with the print based collateral.

Going forwards, I want to get these mass produced to take with me on research trips in semester 2, whilst also being invaluable throughout the MA for self-promotion at exhibitions and networking events for example.

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website-mockup

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Feedback has been received on Instagram in relation to my new personal branding, this is shown below:

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Source: Last Accessed 7/12/16

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Source: Last Accessed 7/12/16

Going forwards I would also like to experiment with coptic stitch binding incorporating the yellow shown in the print, adding a pop of colour. I would also like to produce variations with white, black and pink cottons. This will fall in line with any other promotional items, i.e. notebooks, as discussed previously above and will be worked on in semester 2.

Submission boards have been developed for this project, and features an in-depth analysis/evaluation of the personal branding project. This can be found on the most recent blog post, and in my portfolio submission.

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Creative Practitioner: Toni Hollowood

This is working towards objective 1, 3 and 4.

Whilst researching contacts at CSM in regards to finding International Students in the UK studying on Fashion Degrees whom may be interested in taking part in my research methodologies – interview, questionnaire or focus group – I came across the work of Toni Hollowood as being promoted on the CSM homepage.

The work titled, “Beauty HACKS” instantly caught my attention with the subtitle, “exploring how digital culture is shaping, contouring and morphing our bodies” jumped out to be extremely resonant with my own exploratory work and research question, whilst also being very relevant in regards to a digital context of social media, which has shaped much of my research to date with both the industry and consumer culture being more digitally-led by ‘nature’. I will not be in London unfortunately prior to the 2nd Jan 2017, as my trip to London is booked for the 7th-8th. However, due to being so resonant with my current practice, and as Toni is also an MA student, I decided to reach out and get in touch, explaining my current position at LCA and my research topic at hand. Post-submission for Semester 1 I plan on speaking with Toni regarding both of our works, the Industry and a potentially be able to discuss a future collaboration. In addition to this, I feel that the work Toni has done is very much in regards of UI and UX which is what I have been exploring through recent technological advances in the industries noted, and feel that this could be a beneficial contact to have, whilst also being inspiring.

Furthermore, I particularly like the aesthetic of Toni’s work reminding me of my own work again. Toni’s work has a very feminine, bold and 90s aesthetic which I feel is resonant in my work also, using collage, typography, photography and illustration to create visual outcomes. I feel however throughout this semester, I have only worked very digitally and in a vector/CAD regard, and would like to next semester work with different mediums more feeling inspired by this work and reflecting on my own practice, strengths and skill sets which I would like to re-visit and develop further blurring the boundaries of ‘Graphic Design’ and ‘Art’.

The above is working towards objectives 1, 3 and 4:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

3.To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of Social Media and Magazines on self-perceptions and body image.

 

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Above Source

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Above Source (last accessed 25/11/16)

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Above Source (last accessed 25/11/16)

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Research: Revised Consent Form and Information Sheet/Ethics Policy

Below shows the final content form and information sheets which I have been working on recently in regards to upcoming interviews in semester 2. This has been worked on independently alongside the college ethics policy, with reviews from both my personal supervisor and the course leader to ensure that meet the policies requirements.

As I am not working with children my forms have not had to go under a committee review, however should the type of research being carried out change, or should my target audience change, this may need to be reviewed going forwards.

Following the college ethics policy has ensured that:

  • Research carries out no harm to individuals, institutions or organisations for example.
  • Respect in maintained for the participant.
  • Academic and research integrity – being honest in findings and acknowledging work of others.
  • Any risks to the participant are highlighted as well as highlighting positives.
  • Consent must be taken for any research carried out with individuals/organisations, etc.
  • Taking part must be a voluntary decision by the participant being asked.
  • Participants should be given the option to if they would like to remain confidential, or if a pseudonym or their real name should be used.
  • Data protection and confidentiality of personal data and research must be withheld at all times, and must be explained as to how this will happen.
  • Safety for both participant and researcher in regards to setting a mutual meeting place for in-person interviews.
  • Explanation of any technical terms.
  • Participant should be able to review questions prior to face-to-face interview to omit any questions which may be unanswerable or uncomfortable, or to change accordingly.
  • Who is undertaking the research, why, in what aim and what the research will be used for.
  • What will be required of the participant and how much of their time will be needed.
  • Who to contact regarding questions or complaints.
  • The ability to withdraw if so desired and how to do so.
  • De-briefing should be considered post-research, and collated, summarised findings should be sent for approval.
  • Academic research should be designed, reviewed and undertaken according to College Governance, Professional Codes of Practice and the Law.
  • Research should not harm the reputation or interests of Leeds College of Art. The college should also be aware of benefits or risks associated with research.
  • Any photographs taken should be taken only alongside consent of the participant.

This ensures that fair practice is carried out throughout this process, whilst ensuring that good principles regarding ethics are carried out throughout research.

I feel by working with the policy and the key points noted above in specific relation to my practice, I will be able to carry out research with academic integrity whilst ensuring that participants are at ease whilst informing them of  the research project, pros and cons in order to make an informed decision as to whether they would like to take part, whilst furthermore ensuring that all research fits inline with the college ethics policy for postgraduate research.

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London Field-Research Itinerary: 7th – 8th January 2017

Below shows my initial itinerary for my London Field-Research visit in Jan 2017. I am currently in process of confirming interviews with ASOS and my model contact in London, whom for confidentiality reasons cannot name. I have also talked with a freelance client of mine, Milk and Honey, in regards to meeting my contact for a short interview as Milk and Honey are an online collective of female bloggers, targeting issues such as diversity, natural beauty and body image and would like to discuss their proactive approach to such issues opposed to endorsing them.

Furthermore, I also plan on undertaking a ‘comp shop’ prior to visiting Tokyo, Japan later in January, as I would like to see if visuals such as advertising campaigns are the same in comparative countries looking at what models and language are used for example, whilst also seeing what cosmetic products are available in the UK for skin lightening for example, whilst also noting the packaging of well known International cosmetics brands/campaigns to compare whilst overseas. I am planning on carrying out such activities in the same stores/brands also in Tokyo to see if the representation of women is different or the same as in the UK, hopefully helping to answer questions regarding why many Japanese want to ‘look more Western’, a topic heavily discussed and researched prior to this post.

By planning my time in London accordingly, I will be able to ensure that all meetings and comp shops are undertaken well and competently in the short amount of time allocated due to forward planning, whilst being able to alleviate any issues in advance in regards to travel times/meeting times. I am yet to confirm time/location for two meetings, however the itinerary will be updated going forward as necessary, and will be reviewed again at the start of January to finalise times, dates and locations with my contacts.

London Itinerary

Dates Sat 7th Jan – Sun 8th Jan 

Saturday | AM

 

[7:25am to 7:33am] Burley Park – Leeds Train Station

[7:42am to 9:51am] Leeds – London Kings Cross

[Travel to Accommodation to Drop off Luggage]

[Travel from Accomodation to Lunch/Interview location (location tbc) via Underground]

12.30pm – 2.30pm Milk and Honey Lunch/Interview with Contact

[Travel to ASOS Meeting at HQ in Camden Town via Underground]

3.30pm – 5.00pm (Time TBC) ASOS Interview with Contacts

[Travel to Oxford Street/Regent Street for Late Afternoon/Evening Comp Shop – Stores which can be looked at and visited comparatively in Tokyo, Japan – 16th to 23rd January 2017]

6pm – 9pm High Street Store/Cosmetics Comp Shop

  • Uniqlo
  • Topshop
  • Forever 21
  • H&M
  • Zara
  • Selfridges for Cosmetics: Kiehl’s, M.A.C, Giorgio Armani, Shiseido

[Travel to Accommodation via Underground]

Saturday | AM

[Travel to Model Interview Location via Underground – time and location TBC]

[Time TBC] Model Interview with Contact

[Travel to New/Old Bond Street for Afternoon Comp Shop – Stores which can be looked at and visited comparatively in Tokyo, Japan – 16th to 23rd January 2017]

2pm – 5pm New/Old Bond Street/Conduit Street/David Street Comp Shop

  • Burberry
  • Chanel
  • Prada
  • TOD’s
  • Bottega Veneta
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Gucci
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Vera Wang

[Travel to Accommodation via Underground]

[Travel to London Kings Cross via Underground)

[7:35pm to 9:54pm] London Kings Cross – Leeds

[10:30pm to 10:39pm] Leeds – Burley Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

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VIDEO: “The Pressure to Be Perfect / Plastic Surgery SFX Tutorial” by Karolina Maria

This is working towards objective 1.


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I was sent this video in the past week twice by an old colleague, and another MA student Scarlett Carson in relation to my research question and current practice. Being on Facebook, I had not seen the video in it’s original context, however had noted that the video on Facebook alone had received more than 10M views, 49k likes/comments and over 79l shares. This told me alone how inspiring this video must be to of been shared and viewed so many times of to of received such an empowering reception.
The video shows a girl scrolling through her Instagram feed, viewing pictures of the likes of Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, the focus of much of my research and practice throughout this semester, questioning her own appearance in regards to comparing herself to those icons noted on the screen. Following this makeup is applied, to change her appearance, and the same routine follows. This appearing to still not be enough, the procedure of cosmetic surgery is mocked through cosmetics in order to look like Kylie Jenner, finishing off with a wig and lip fillers. 
This video essentially embodies a huge segment of what I have been researching and have tried to showcase in the past semester through my practical work. My initial response to this video was, “wow, my research question in a minute” really resonating with me and highlighting to may key, relevant issues. The reason Kylie Jenner was chosen as a research point was a natural progression from the reception of my Instagram Post project, after realising how an icon has created an icon to represent herself when she cannot be represented herself, whilst gaining so much power and influence over the public, and societies norms, ideals and expectations that we forget who we are in an aim to be someone else due to distorted self-perceptions from the pressures of the media. This video summaries such in a short amount of time, and upon further research in order to embed this video on to this post, as it is not possible via Facebook, it was apparent that the video was created by a makeup artist/YouTuber whom has over 20k followers and often posts ‘beauty blogger-esk’ tutorials and reviews, posing the question as to why she created this video. Does she feel the pressure as a makeup artist as discussed in previous research when talking to other well known makeup artists turned Instagram icons, whom stated that the artistry dies and becomes a beauty competition due to ‘competition’. Does she feel the need as a makeup artist, blogger and Instagram user that she needs to change herself in order to fit in with those who are ‘most successful’, ‘most on-trend’ and ‘most popular’? This raises identity issues as noted by Bem (1972) where one may change groups to fit in, having an in-group and out-group perspective. Is makeup not enough? Do we need plastic surgery now to be beautiful and conform with ideals? Has working in this role affected her self-perception or is she still aware and in fact informing others, or has she been through this herself?
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Moving forward, I would really like to contact Karolina in regards to her video to see if she would be available for a short interview regarding how she feels the industry, social media and competitive nature of such work has affected her self-perception, and how she feels her occupation may affect others.

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Vogue Japan/UK Contacts

This is working towards objective 1, 2, 3 and 5.

I am currently in the process of confirming my research information sheet and consent form for participant use with my supervisor, and once finalised I will begin emailing contacts in regards to interview surrounding my research question both in the UK and in Japan. I have already contact a well-known model (confirmed), ASOS (pending) and various freelance clients (Milk and Honey, Runway96, Luxe to Kill, Doko) in regards to interview.

In advance of my research trip to Japan, I wanted to source a contact at HQ in Japan. I could not find a direct contact for Vogue Japan itself, however found contact addresses for Conde Nast’s International Offices both in the UK and in Japan. I will call the London office to both source contacts for my Japan trip, whilst also hopefully being able to source a contact or speak to someone in the Vogue office in London in regards to speaking with them in relation to the UK edition. I feel by contacting both and hopefully gaining an insight from both, I can compare, contrast and analyse their point of view from a working, professional background to that of the audience, and researcher, whilst also analysing in comparison to their ‘media kits’ which demonstrate their demographic details for example in regards to their target audiences. In addition this will ultimately strengthen my research for a cross-cultural study of the issue of self-perception and body image within the beauty and fashion industries.

In addition to this, I have also been using LinkedIn to connect with relevant employees of Vogue as an alternate route of entry. By using this method as a form of research also, I am able to see what experience contacts have to see how suitable they are for interview in regards to helping to answer my research question and support my research and practical work moving forward.

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Makayla Starr: 5 Year Old Instagram Beauty Blogger

This is working towards objective 1.

I have previously discussed children being objectified for the media in relation to beauty pageants as noted which analysing a video from an interview on This Morning with Sami Bushell, whom fake tan’s her 3-year-old daughter. I wrote that, “this [was] resonant with Lacan and Freud’s understanding of the ‘Mirror Stage’, whereby between 6 to 18 months old, a child becomes self-aware of their reflection in a mirror, and becomes concious of such reflection, even though at this stage of their lives have very little mental or physical abilities which are possessed by adults. This shows that whilst even though a child can not control how they look, they become aware, and become aware of what they see is normal, relating back to the Beauty Pageant and Saami Bushell’s daughter as noted above” (this post can be found here) and feel that this can also be applied in this context also. I came across the below child-beauty blogger whilst scrolling through Instagram (a source of research, feedback and self-promotion of work in regards to this MA) and came across a video re-posted by make-up artist turned cosmetics designer, ‘HudaBeauty’. The video can be seen below – a 5-year-old girl (Instagram: ‘Makayla.Starr’) flawlessly applying makeup, being charismatic and acting like any 20-something-year-old would do in the same ‘position’. The video was evidently reposted after watching all the way through due to one of Huda’s eyeshadow palettes being featured – an interesting form of objectifying advertising in my opinion, exposing a vulnerable child for ‘likes’ and ‘cute’ comments whilst inevitably boosting sales, and exposure of Makayla herself disregarding how this may affect how people perceive her and judge her at a young age, whilst also giving others the impression that this is ‘okay’ and ‘normal’.

Similarly to Bushell, Makayla’s Instagram page is ran by her mum, which raises a range of questions and issues which I feel should be discussed in relation to my working research question and current practice.

I personally find it quite troubling at a mother is allowing her daughter  of 5-years-old to take part in such adult activities, let alone publicly show this to the world. When I found this profile, Makayla had 191k followers as shown on the screenshot. A few days later when I have come to writing this post, her account has now reached 229k followers and a collaboration with “Glitter Injections” (the first photo on the Instagram screenshot) showing how quickly she is gaining a following, however along with a following comes scrutiny or praise which are reflected in the comments and ‘feedback’.

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Above Images – Screenshots of Video Tutorial

The above video is how I came to find Makayala – a video tutorial originally posted by Huda Beauty. This video shows Makaylya doing her makeup like a true professional, contouring and using a range of products as 20-something-year-olds-would. Also being professionally filmed, it is evident that this along with her other posts have been planned with her mum. I also found it quite disturbing that the caption is written like a true makeup artist or blogger, perfectly compiled and grammatically correct – more than that of a 5-year-old alone could achieve. To counteract the fact her mum has put together the captions for Makayalas’ posts are girly and cute emoticons to bring back down the tone and appeal to a younger, female audience.

I really, heavily disagree with this video in the sense that from a young age, 18-months as Freud and Lacan note in the ‘Mirror Theory’ stage, become aware of their reflection and subsequent ego, allowing for Makayla to recognise herself dressed up as such and perceive this as normal as she grows up. I also feel also though she is being heavily objectified as a marketing commodity promoting brands, and with other brands and makeup artists for example such as Huda Beauty, re-posting this video for likes, follows and to drive sales. Furthermore, as Fredreckson and Roberts (2008) point out in their Self-Objectification theory that “valuing one’s own body from a third-person-perspective” is more important than their own thoughts about themselves, recognising their value visually and physically opposed to emotionally and intelectually. I feel that this theory can be embedded into a child at a young age if placed in objectifying scenarios such as this, paginating or cheerleading for example.

I feel that by posting videos as above, and photographs as shown below, it is apparent that perhaps she is unaware of how such exposure and objectification can and may affect her mentally in the future, and may also affect her self-perception due to “[interpreting] our own actions the way we interpret others’ actions, and our actions are often socially influenced and not produced out of our own free will, as we might expect[1]”, Bem (1972). I feel that this quote from Bem summarises that our self-perceptions are created by how we put ourselves out there, therefore curating a desired image. I believe that this is what will happen with Makayla, her perception will be curated by that of the image she puts out there but also with how this is perceived by others intern shaping her own perceptions. At a young age, I feel this cycle is dangerous and could lead to issues with her identity and mental health, for example as she grows older, whilst also opening up avenues for public shaming and bullying for example for those whom do not agree with what she is doing due to having such a public platform which appears, evidently to be growing at an extremely quick rate. In addition to this, I wonder how this image may affect others her age at school for example, or whilst having ‘playtime’ if this is her ‘image’ all the time. Does this make other children feel as though this is normal seeing not only their elders, people on tv, parents, peers and now friends with made-up faces and dyed hair. Will this make them feel less confident and insecure about themselves ensuing changes are made?

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In regards to the image shown and discussed above, I briefly noted how bullying and public shaming could come into play using social media as a platform to share her ‘looks’, however I have also noted many negative comments from those whom don’t agree which such actions. The below comments have been taken as screenshots from the above photo. I was surprised to see how many people asked about her age, disagreed with the actions of hair dying and cosmetics at 5-year-old and publicly shamed her mum for “showing [your] kid how to not love themselves for who they are… at a young age” (‘breezy hall’) and also criticised dental hygiene suggesting that the focus has been placed in the wrong place when bringing up a child. I particularly found this comment quite moving, “she’s so young to be learning about which insecurities to cover up” (‘alexis.emerald’) in regards to the truth to behind why women ultimately wear make-up; to improve their appearance and hide blemishes. No child of 5-year-old needs to improve their appearance or cover up their innocent, natural beauty which is the main consensus from the comments shown below.

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Above shows another screenshot from Makayla’s Instagram page, however this time appears to be a much more sexually-objectifying photo gaining a wide-range of comments and feedback, both positive and negative. I find this image much more alarming in comparison to the above in the sense that this has been shared on social media on a public profile being on 5-years-old. Opposed to objectifying her ‘beauty’ and make-up skills, this image sexually-objectifies her body in a way which causes alarm for many of the ‘commenters’.

The range of comments below show that of an inappropriate sexual nature, whilst many also comment on this raising the point that simply anyone in the world, anywhere can access this photograph at any given time. I feel this one comment from ‘melzy005’ summarises this concisely, “don’t u realise there’s pedophiles on the net! I would keep your daughters page private! Seriously mother look what that person said about posting the childs bedroom! There’s one right there! Also wtf she’s only 5!”.

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Upon further research I came across an article on Allure, which showed videos and photos of Makayla in January 2016, noting that “Lou Flores, a celebrity makeup artist who has close to 1 million Instagram followers, has been posting videos of her insanely adorable four-year-old niece Makayla showing off her hairstyles and makeup products” explaining how Makayla has reached such fame so quickly, whilst also explaining why she appears to be so good at makeup. This reveals to me that Makayla has most likely grown up from a young age as previously discussed, being aware of her ‘image’ and ego, whilst growing up watching a professional apply makeup to learn from has most likely had a huge influence on her, whilst most likely also being an encouragement. This evidences Freud and Lacan’s Mirror Stage Theory noting that from an early age Makayla has been exposed to such visuals, norms and ideals affecting her self-perception from a very young age, therefore now at the age of 5, most likely feels as though this is the norm and is considered socially and culturally accepted.

Below shows images of Makayla on Lou Flores Instagram page prior to having her own set up by her mum.

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In addition to the Instagram star Makayla Starr discussed above in regards to objectification, I came across whilst researching the topic the above image – a spread taken from Vogue France. “Quel maquillage a quel age” translating to “what makeup at what age?” boasts the headline overlaying an image a young girl holding a Tom Ford lipstick and glaring at her gaze intently in the mirror, being extremely aware of herself, her actions and objectification.

Fredericton and Roberts (1998) wrote that “objectification occurs whenever a woman’s body, body parts, or sexual functions are separated out from her person, reduced to the status of mere instruments, or regarded as if they were capable of representing her. In other words women are treated as bodies – and in particular, as bodies that exist for the use and pleasure of others” and feel even though the subject matter is a ‘woman’ the child in question on said photograph is being objectified in the same manner as that of a fully-grown woman. Even though the headline questions almost whether makeup at a young age is a good idea or not, the associative images are quite provocative and representative of a “woman’s body [or] body parts”. I feel it is such explicit imagery which could be taken as as more teen or adult which can damage expectations of beauty at such young ages not only for the child, but their parents also.

Sources:
Jackson, R. (2016). This 4-Year-Old Instagram Star Is Probably Better at Hair and Makeup Than You Are. Available: http://www.allure.com/story/lou-flores-instagram-videos. Last accessed 20th November 2016.
Starr, M. (2016). Makayla.Starr. Available: https://www.instagram.com/makayla.starr/?hl=en. Last accessed 20th November 2016.
Noll, S & Fredrickson, B (1998). Objectification Theory. Psychology of Women, 22: Printed in the United States of America. P. 626.
[1] Bem, D. J. (1972). Self-perception theory. Advances in experimental social psychology6, 1-62.
Dove. (2013).
Image. Available: http://objectificationofchildren.yolasite.com/resources/objectification%202.jpg. Last accessed 20th November 2016.
Fredrickson, B & Roberts, T (1998). Objectification Theory. Psychology of Women, 22: Printed in the United States of America. P.173.

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Sourcing ‘Glitter’ Perspex Acrylic

This is working towards objective 4.C.

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After creating the above badges using an ivory 3mm acrylic, and a 3mm sparkle acrylic, I posted the photos on social media and they received a really positive reaction. I also posted photos of the red/cream and red/sparkle combos, and again the pink sparkle remained the favourite in colour. I feel personally that this is due to being quite girly, fun and appropriate with the context in association with a young, female target audience. Furthermore, pin badges have recently in the past few months become quite a big trend, and therefore feel this is another reason why on Instagram did well. I appreciate this feedback as it allows me to make judgments going forward. I had 3 messages via Instagram asking if a badge could be purchased. Making prototypes at first, and not ‘by trade’ being a product-maker, had not considered making such products for sale, however thought going forward perhaps may be worth while considering as a hobby or even as a part of this project – by building a range of products for the “what’s my name again?!” project, at some point I could set up an online campaign site with an associate promotional merchandise store page selling such products, or could enquire about craft fairs such as at Belgrave, LCA fairs, The Corn Exchange, Makers Markets and Easy fairs which I could potentially hold a stall at. I feel that by attending one of the events perhaps in the future and trailing this out, this could also be a very good form of feedback and first hand research engaging with the public and seeing their reactions/noting their discourse surrounding the concept at hand. This would also share the message which I am striving for and the ultimate reason as to why this project was started. By showcasing products such as this on social media and on online stores/campaign sites/website etc, I would be reaching a local, national and international audience, opposed to a local audience as noted above.

In response to the above, I wanted to research into how much coloured sparkle acrylics are to create different colour combinations and to introduce totally new designs also if I was to go forward and develop this element of the project further.

I had obtained the pink acrylic when I was studying for my BA(Hons) Graphic Design degree and never actually used it. I thought to make the most of it would trial it not expecting such good feedback. I was aware that it did cost around 4 times as much as standard 3mm acrylic but did not realise how hard it was to source, especially in smaller, affordable sizes.

‘Sheet Plastics’ online store as shown below stock a range of coloured sparkle acrylic but only in large sizes at 1850 x 1250 inch and costs £291.67 excluding VAT. This is too expensive to buy for further experiments and would only be viable if mass producing products to sell.

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From here, I tried the official Perspex company whom design and produce a vast range of acrylics. Via there website found that they have a Leeds distribution office. I called and enquired in regards to the specific pink glitter acrylic needed at A3 size at the largest, and was told that they don’t have any stock currently however again only supply in large sizes and mainly to trade, i.e. for kitchen splash backs. However, upon a long discussion about the pink acrylic, the lady spoken to was kind enough to offer to send me samples of a similar Pink Pearlescent acrylic which she recommended as an alternative, therefore I can produce a sample to photograph and submit without a huge cost implication.

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From this I found The Plastic Shop, again whom have a local distribution centre in Leeds to see if they sourced the acrylic needed at the right size. The same as above was noted, being that there isn’t any in stock but alternate samples could be arranged. Due to it not being most popular, it is assumed that it is not produced and distributed as widely as more standard, primary colours.

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Following this I happened to stumble on to Hindley’s which is a UK supplier of acrylics and design materials, i.e. wood, etc, and happened to find the exact product I am looking for at a more reasonable cost and size, 60cm x 40 cm at £28.01 with VAT. Even though it took almost a day of phone calls and endless websites, I am happy to of found a supplier which can deliver efficiently in the UK, and which has the right product in stock at a reasonable price.

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3D Workshop/Metal Workshop/Wood Workshop: Badge Experiments

This is working towards objective 4.C.

I had previously noted on previous blog posts that I wanted to create badges as part of my “what’s my name again?!” project, and had previously experimented with Fimo and card stocks, and had enquired with Leon in the Metal Workshop at college about different ways to do so.

This week I spent 3 days using various workshops – 3D, Metal and Wood – in order to create a range of prototype badges which could be taken forward in the future/further development of this project.

I experimented with a range of processes and materials, i,e, wood, pewter, copper, brass, acrylic.

Pewter Badge Prototype:

To create the pewter badge prototype, a mould had to be made from silicone in order to set the molten pewter. To do so, a laser cutting was used with ply wood in order to gain solid accurate shapes to create a mould from. Getting the same accurate was important in order to be consistent with the project aesthetic, branding and other using of the ‘lips’ icon, and having issues previously with using Fimo thought laser-cutting similar to die-cutting will ensure for a perfect shape to be re-created.

This was my first time using the Metal Workshop at the college and my first time using metal in any way so the entire process was a learning curb and a challenge which I really enjoyed.

  1. Set up .ai file on laser cutting software ensuring cut-through options and material set-up have been correctly selected.

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2. Laser cut shapes are created. Looking back I would of used MDF due to the wood grain showing on the silicone, however this is something I have learnt through trial and error.

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3. The laser cut shapes were set in silicone being supported by a clay-bed. This process was created for both laser cut pieces in order to create two moulds.

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4. Below shows the silicone moulds with the wooden pieces. This is when I realised I should of used MDF opposed to Ply Wood, however for prototyping I did not mind the slightly textured grain and also did not have the time available to recreate another mould.

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4. Pewter has a low melting point, so sets quite quickly, allowing for inserting the pin back to be quite tricky. It was also quite hard to ensure that the pin back didn’t tilt or sink too deeply into the pewter to ensure that the cover can be applied.

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5. The bottom layer worked very well, however due to being a slightly awkward shape and the surface level not being flat the pewter on the second mould over-ran meaning that this would need to be cut off using a coping saw, and sanded down, opposed to being the shape as desired straight away. This defeats the point of the mould however understand that through trial and error in this experimental stage of the process, this can happen as a learning curb whilst also allowing for me to learn how to rectify something should it go wrong.

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6. Below shows the cut out and sanded down shapes. The front and backs and have also been sanded down in order for the two parts to sit flat when soldered together.

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7. Soldering the two pieces of pewter together was a quick processes using a heat torch and a flattened silver wire to solder between the two objects. It was important throughout and particularly at this stage to wear PPE.

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8. Below shows the soldered and finished pewter badge. Looking back I should of used the smaller laser cut lips to use as moulds opposed to a larger shape, as the final product is quite heavy and would really need two pin backs to hold weight on a garment and feel if this process was to be repeated then I would trial this as the next experimental process. However, overall I am happy with the object produced but do not feel it is as clean as I had envisioned nor being as aesthetically pleasing. I feel that this perhaps would be a cost effective way of producing badges should they be smaller and a larger mould is produced perhaps with a series of badges inset opposed to simply one, to also make this process more time effective as overall took around a day and a half with waiting for the silicone to set and cool.

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Copper and Brass Badge Prototype:

The next process and materials to try were hand-cutting and finishing copper and brass. I really liked the colour contrast and felt this lifts the aesthetic, gives a clearer sense of what is is and is more resonant of the icon used throughout my project and in respect of the source of inspiration, Kylie Jenner.

This was a new process to me so I feel as though I really learnt a lot in the metal workshop and was able to apply this is prototypes I am happy with and could further develop.

  1. Sheets of 0.5mm copper and brass were supplied to draw my designs on using a thin marker pen. These shapes would then be carefully cut out using a coping saw and wax to protect the blade, ensure it doesn’t snap and to also ensure it cuts through the material smoothly. PPE is worn here to protect hands and workbenches are used to ensure the materials are steady and that you have concentrated light and focus. I found the drips quite tricky to cut out snapping a blade, however through trial and error eventually got the hang of the best angle to cut at, 90 degrees and managed to finish without snapping any elements or being too far off my original markings.

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2. The slides were sanded down slightly on a band sander and using very fine sandpaper, before using hand files to ensure the curves on the inner drips are smooth. Fine sandpaper and water is also used across the front and back of both pieces until clean and shiny – this ensures the solder works to the best of its ability as the Flux only takes to clean surfaces. I learnt throughout this process that good preparation ensures for a better result.

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3. Once happy, flattened silver wire again was used and cut into fine pieces and mixed with Flux – a crystal salt which acts as a binding agent when soldering. These pieces are then places on to the copper where the brass will be soldered.

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4. Using a soldering gun and wearing PPE, the pieces are heated until soldered together – this can be seen when soldering as the brass drops slightly when heated. Once soldered together, the material is cooled in water.

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5. Once cooled, the material is dropped into the acid bath until clean of any residue caused from soldering.

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6. Once clean, the material is again sanded down with fine sand paper and water, and then polished using the machine below which spins the material in a bath of hot water. Once finished the material comes out clean and simply needs buffing or polishing.

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7. Once polished, the pin back can be glued on using a strong adhesive called, Evo-Stick.

Final product images can be found below.

Overall I am really happy with the final outcome to say that this was my first ever experience in the metal workshop and feel particularly through this process learnt so many new things from the qualities and properties of metal to how to execute a product beyond my usual capabilities. I do not feel though however that producing these for many promo packs would be viable due to cost and time of producing each one by hand, however as a new process and experimental piece feel it was worth pursuing and feel very proud of the iconic and distinct outcome.

I do not feel as though it is perfect and feel the shape could of been cut slightly more accurately and perhaps been sanded more prior to polishing however feel for a first attempt as though it was a success and can learn from these errors going forward if I was to work in this way again.

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Acrylic Laser Cut Badge Prototypes:

 The final process used to make prototype pin badges was laser cutting using 3mm perspex acrylic. After using the laser cutter to cut out plywood shapes for my silicone mould experiments, I knew that this process would be time and cost effective if set up correctly. Therefore, as shown below in order to not waste materials, I would essentially ‘mass produce’ the shapes in order to produce different coloured prototypes. I also decided at this stage to add in the idea of producing key rings and necklaces which could be used as alternates in the promo packs, by cutting additional shapes with a 2mm hole for findings. I thought this would be a time effective way of producing a range of promotional goods from the same materials, at the same time.

  1. The ai. document is set up on the laser cutting software ensuring the cut-through and material set-up is correct.

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2. This process was repeated several times with various coloured 3mm perspex acrylics. The cut out shapes can be seen below.

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4. Once all cut out Evo-Stick was used to stick the badges together after being informed at Tensol 12, an adhesive is made of very strong chemicals ‘known to cause cancers’ and not really recommended for use by students in an open environment (a needle is used to apply this to ensure it doesn’t get on your hands). Eco-Stick was also used to attach the pin backs to the reverse of the badges also.

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Eco-Stick can be seen below – 2 equal parts are mixed together prior to using for a fast-setting adhesive which can be used on most materials.

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5. Below shows the finished products prior to attaching findings for keyrings/necklaces. Finished badges can also be seen below in poly bags.

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6. Below shows 3 badges which were discarded due to using too much glue on one allowing for seeping adhesive to be seen on the red lip, the silver mirror acrylic is 6mm not 3mm so makes the badge bulky whilst also the backing slightly melted whilst being laser cut due to the heat distorting the mirror effect in places, whilst Tensol 12 can be seen dried over the glitter acrylic badge which went wrong prior to swapping to Evo-Stick.

I had already ordered a 3mm gold mirror acrylic prior to experimenting with these badges as it did not deliver on time, however would like to attempt this again and speak with Johnathon the wood work technician about the settings to see if anything can be done to successfully use the acrylic without damaging it hindering the final outcome.

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Above shows examples of a range of final outcomes. I found these really easy, quick, enjoyable and cost effective to produce with a small amount of materials being needed. By planning before hand, I had all of the materials ready and simply needed to book a laser cut slot. I feel going forward out of the 5 or 6 processes experimented with in regards to the promo badges, I feel visually this has been the most effective. I have since posted images on feedback and received positive feedback, particularly in regards to the pink sparkle badges. I also really like h0w laser cutting allows for each product produced or shape that is cut to be exactly the same allowing for accuracy and little waste. Pink sparkle acrylic was used to tie in with the prototypes created using card, and vinyl tote bag experiments whilst also adding a bold and feminine visual dynamic to the project.

I plan on creating card backs for the pin badge as seen with the card prototype badges to improve the aesthetic of the poly bags, making them more presentable for photographing and recording for this project, portfolio, development and submission boards really allowing for the product to be seen in a commercial context. Furthermore, I would also like to photograph these products being worn/in-use.

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