Saturday, June 24, 2006

So I basically used the advice Abby gave me and put that in my new sketches. I would have a picture of someone's face/ear on one side, and have the information of the certain spread and pictures of settings on the otherside. I switched the sides and the arrangement of text and pictures on the info pages like Abby said I should to keep things more interesting. After struggling with the In Design program I got the pictures and some text in the booklet. At this point I was still using cheap and inaffective techniqes in the program simply because I didn't know the program well enough. Abby again came to the rescue and showed me how to create a spread with master pages. This I knew how to work with. I put in more pictures and enough pages to house my info and pictures. I used one different color on each infor page. I blocked out the text to make it an easier read. Skia became my typeface, because it reads easy and it has a flare to it that reminds me of Japanese kanji.
Abby helped me with my design for my project. I had an idea of making a fold out, but then I realized how much of a hassle it would be to fold it out and fold it back together. It would be too much work and unpleasant. So I figured a booklet would work better. THis way it would more easily fit into a jewel case or CD jacket as well. So each spread will have a picture of a person and an information page. I wasn't sure how that layout would look, but I didn't think it would be that hard. At this time the poster ideas were being brought up. I didn't have anything at first, so I went on the idea of an informative poster that took you through the story of being in Japan rather than just shouting out a message.....but that's how posters get your attention. Attention span these days is not much. And unless it speaks loud when people see it, no one will take the time to read it. After realizing this I went for a more in your face idea combining anime/manga style with the experience of Americans in Japan through the TUJ Graphic Design course. Abby gave me a direction with my booklet on giving space for multiple pictures and text on the spreads. I had to now come up with a structure to present this info and the pictures.
It's been a while. I got really caught up in my project. I am happy that Abby cut down my project from my origional idea. I had a lot to do with just the little bit of content to create. That coupled with not much experience with this kind of course had me working a lot more than I thought I would have to. There ended up being a lot more to tweek, change, omit than I thought. I did a lot of field work and information gathering. Sorting through it was a most interesting experience. The only difference in the music of young Japanese people and young Americans is the AMOUNT of J-pop listened to. I surprisingly enough know several people who are Amerian and not Japanese that listen to J-rock and J-pop back in the states. The Beatles are big here. They are big around the world as is Micheal Jackson, but I didn't think that they would still bare its mark on the young adults of Japan. I have sorted out the songs, artists, and genres for my information.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Hmmm.....My expectations of Japan....

Well during my last visit I didn't like Tokyo. It was too crowded, too cramped, and seemingly there was nothing to do. Well....Tokyo I've learned is a much bigger place. Being in one area of Tokyo is like being in one city. I expected Tokyo to be kind of hmdrum and not exciting......well I was wrong....really really wrong. Though my heart still lies with Kyoto, Tokyo is a nice place. There is so much to do and so much to see, though much of it is repeated, that has its own positive side to it. At anytime you can pretty much get anything you want within a 10-15 walk. The architecture here is far out. everytime I go out to a different place or even common places in Tokyo, I discover some interesting designed building. The one thing that I expeced that was true, was that in Tokyo, no one really pays attention to you. Not in the city area anyway. In Kyoto everybody even strangers were almost always kind and pleasant, but the city people usually don't even look at you....but they are still kind. The pleasant part you have to look for by starting up convorsation. So I learned some interesting dynamics of Tokyo after coming here. It's so busy and so diverse here and yet, orderly and homogenous.

As for the program here at Temple, I believed we were going to have more focus on the types of styles and intricacies o Japanese design.....though we do study this a little, it is more of a multimedia class in my opinion, which is funny because I am a multimeda student. Gaphic Design is not my strong suit, so I plan on learning a lot from this class. I already have seeing the work of my fellow students.....nothing short of amazing. I just hope my work can either blend in or stand out because it looks cool. Lots of new things to learn that I didn't even think we'd be using. But that makes it great. The more the marrier.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Did a few sketches...and have an idea for the cover. I bought a map, but might wanna use it to make my own. I am still not sure how to design the inside. I think I will design them based on the most upcoming type of genre for each group. I am thinking of using popular artists heads coming out of an ear that I will reuse. It will be grey and white. A very soft background with bold type. Got a few more surveys and pictures today after class. Gonna start putting together my information, but I'll need a Japanese person to help me translate some of the illegible writing or kanji I don't understand.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

For my project I have decided to do a CD package. The theme is, "Music of the Japanese Ear." In its final stage I will have a CD with music selections from my survey. The CD cover will be a fold out. On one side I will have information from my survey displayed along with pictures of people I see listening to music and people I interviewed. For the beginning of the CD and end I plan to create intor and outro tracks using samples of the content. I made a survey in Japanese I used to collect info. I went out in Minatoku towards Tokyo Tower and asked people listening to music, or not to fill out my survey. I looked for people listening to music, but then I found myself in convorsations with people about other things and thought...why the heck not. They still listen to music. I have to make better final designs still for my CD cover. I will come up with some sketches today. I will also start piecing together music and info. After I analyze everything I have to work with I will have a better idea of what to do.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

For my project, I want to ask people (Japanese) about their experience and feelings on Black Music. Minatoku is a bad area for this project. I need a younger and more hip crowd. Shibuya or somewhere like it where there are more up to date people might help, or areas where African American music has a big influence. I will do some scouting and asking around for information. I met an interesting guy tonight that was really into hip hop music. I got his take on hip hop music and a better sense of his music tastes after talking with him over coffee, (or mango smoothie in my case).

As for my project ideas, I want to make a survey and maybe hang something like a poster with space to write, or a seperate packet with questions to answer about Black music. I also want to interview random Japanese people and get their take on Black Music. I had an idea to make a music stand with many various samples of Black music to give the subject more of an idea of what to respond to. I may have to man that type of thing. After collecting all my information, I want to explain the feedback, and compare it to how Japanese music has influenced American music and visa versa. The way I will do this is for now probably through film.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Kyoto is Amazing

It is as beautiful as before, if not more. The city was similar to Tokyo, but still had more space due to far less people in my opinion. THe country side is gorgeous. Mountainous and calm. The Temples we got to visit were....magnificant. Steve took us all around some of Kyoto's most beutiful places. The first temple we went to had many wooden sculptures of Buddha. THere the guide took joy in explaining the difference between the angry sculptures and the peaceful ones, when they were made, why they were made, and the story behind them. He explained what some of the hand sings meant. In one particular sculpture that was quite large I saw a Swastika being held by the large spiritual multi-armed Buddha. I asked The guide what that meant. I didn't tink Buddha was secretly a Nazi or anything, I just wanted to know its meaning and why it was backwards. I learned from him that the flipped symbol was its own character with its own meaning. The one I am used to seeing in Asian culture means good fortune. The one the Buddha had in one of his many mands means "Speaking with Power"....interesting. Probably one of the major reasons Hitler chose this symbol for his Tyrannical nation.

This allowed me to see the symbol in even more of a different light. It is funny how things are used and twisted or adjusted to fit a different cause or people. I later checked the swastika's meaning on Wikipedia and found that many cultures use this symblo in fact even outside of Asia, and not for death and destruction, but for symbols of protection, politics, and even noblility. This has enabled me to look beyond the symbols themself, and search for the meaning and history behind everything, rather than my own experience with somthing.

"To understand a man, you must know his memories. The same is true for a nation." - Anthony Quale

...Or anything else in my opinion.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I have learned that in Japan, one should not only do as the Japanese, but one should also think as the Japanese. It makes the transition from your way of life to their way of life so much easier. It shortens the length of time it takes to understand the ins and outs of the culture. Merely doing may get you seriously confused and frustrated. In the west, there is a strong stigma to come as you are. Less emphasis to hide your true self. In fact celebrating your natural self is often emphasized. It's mindset is more geared towards 'everyone is beautiful in their individual way'. In Japan it is more 'everyone is beautiful in their rightful place'. In the readings I learned that the Japanese cultural views on life are the exact opposite of many Western ways of thought. It is not so much a good and bad reflection as much as it is a red and green. Both important colors, both expressed and utilized in completely different ways. Both are used for longevity in nature in very different ways. In the West, what is natural is how something comes in it's original state. The Japanese view of nature is entirely different where as nature is created. If it is not, it does not really exist. Nature being made by man is unheard of in the West. It is not nearly as narcissistic as that might seem from a Western viewpoint. This is not to be misinterpreted, because man are seen as the bridge between the Heavans and 'nature' in Japan. In a way, man and Nature are one when it is made so, as opposed to the Western view of man and nature being one from birth.