Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Beginning Assignment: Critique

This week, I designed a cover and a feature story as part of a "competition" for this week's issue of Vox, The Voice of Columbia.

My cover was chosen and will be published this Thursday, but it has come a long way from the draft that I initially entered (pictured below):The cover story is about the ways that unsigned artists market their own music, especially the recent increase of indie music being used on television shows. Since I know nothing about music or the music industry, I had no idea how to illustrate this story. I thought about how local bands cover Columbia with posters promoting upcoming shows and decided to use that as inspiration. In looking for photographs on stock.xchng, I saw some other images that provoked more ideas. I found a great photograph of a stack of CDs and considered the headline: Stacked Against the Competition. I never found an appropriate picture of a telephone pole or bulletin board covered with band posters. While I worked on the "Stacked" option, I couldn't shake the archaic idea of sending out demo tapes. So, I found an image of an old cassette tape and decided on the headline: Out with the Old.

While working on this assignment I learned two important things:
1. Searching for art can be the best way to drudge up an idea
2. You MUST use any and all keywords to find images on web sites like stock.xchng

The story of my feature design doesn't have as happy of an ending. I also drew a blank on how to illustrate this story about two men with very different roles, and viewpoints, on the current economy. I am not at all happy with what I finally came up, and although I would like to blame it on the limited number of pictures that is just simply not going to cut it as I get closer and closer to the real world. I guess I had a real problem coming up with ideas that I thought weren't cliché or obvious. I ended up using the two close-up shots of men in the story to satisfy the headline, and I tried to make the font look like that on a dollar bill. In the end, there just wasn't anything interesting or eye catching about it. Hopefully with a little more time I will be able to create something that I am proud of. Below is a picture of the first page of the spread (don't worry, you aren't missing anything on the second).

Coming up next: Tomorrow I start working on a love-themed photo essay, which will be the secondary feature in the Feb. 12 issue of Vox, as well as the shutter graffiti/photographic field notes assignment.

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