Title: Direct Rules!
Year: 2011. 12" x 18". Pencil, pen, markers, photoshop.
Direct rules is inspired by Hazel Dooney's seminal essay "DIY Independence". In the essay, Hazel made a profound and succinct case for the redefinition of the rules of engagement between artists and the traditional gallery system through the use of platforms (online and offline) that offer alternative ways for artists to create independent of the gallery system and also build and facilitate direct connections between the artist and their audience as a way for them to share their work, life, process and also make a profit to keep the directness going.
Hazel Dooney with Direct Rules! Photo courtesy Hazel Dooney.
"It sank into the depths of our core. There is a grief, but we went on to rebuild our lives and our country. The same will happen now in Japan". anon
The poster is Inspired by the quote above by a survivor of the Hiroshima 1945 bomb drop and the March 11 earthquake. It was created for Illustration Rally's Ganbore Nippon Appeal initiated by Illustrator Natsuki Otani who is also the founder of the rally.
In designing the poster, my desire was to visually represent a relationship between the present need for rebuilding and reconstruction in North Eastern Japan with the culture of gaming which is quite big in Japan- specifically, the engaging, active participatory part of the gaming culture.
In realizing my desire, I referenced the game of Tetris ( a game that is heavily centered around themes of rebuilding and reconstruction) and created a modified form of the popular game that was appropriate for the idea I had. The poster not only serves as a statement of intent but also as a firm resolve for active and loving participation in the rebuilding of the areas affected by the tsunami and Earthquake of 11 March 2011.
The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos' Green Summary Exhibition opened on the 20th of December, 2010 and I am one of the participating artists. The image above is my entry for the exhibition. The description for the image can be read below:
I am deeply interested in challenging the notion of Graphic Design as a discipline that exists solely for the purpose of passing commercial messages. With this notion challenging spirit in mind, I have created a poster that aptly represents the theme of Independence using digital production techniques. A poster that passes a social message that resonates with everyday life the way commercial messages do.
The poster represents independence from the personal discovery and exploration point of view. In my opinion, true independence is something that cannot be given or legislated. Independence is an internal state that is borne out of personal discovery and exploration.
IN this light, independence is what happens when we questions things(ideologies, systems etc) and take the time to research and read. Independence comes out of having a curious and inquisitive mind and the capacity to read. When curiosity meets with knowledge and understanding, independence happens irrespective of external circumstances or conditions.
For this piece, I have decided to use familiar everyday symbols that are representative of a state of curiosity and inquisitiveness and knowledge .
Knowledge is represented by a book and curiosity and the willingness to question things is represented by you guessed right - a question mark. I have composed the various icons in an equation type manner that aptly shows the process of attaining independence:
? + knowledge = independence.
Its a simple and direct approach for a complex internal state that unfortunately eludes some of us.
I had the privilege of designing the brochure for Nigeria's first Annual Creative Careers Fair (15-16 July 2010) . The image above is the cover sketch and design for the brochure. The illustration on the cover references the high level of interconnectivity and collaboration that exists between the various sectors of the Creative industries. Enterprise Creative logo and The Annual Creative Careers Fair was not designed and chosen by me.
I got the idea for this poster from a Pastor Bimbo Odukoya tape I listened to over three years back. In the message, she laid an effective distinction between lust and love. The truth is if love and lust were to be commodified, they would function as glue, the only difference being in their gluely strength. The bond that love offers is long lasting and beneficial while that of lust is ephemeral and destructive.
SUPERIOR LOW QUALITY GLUE. I used superior to describe lust because on the surface, lust does a good job of imitating love and gets the shine. Most people are in lust but claim to be in love hence the use of superior. Low quality refers to the ephemeral nature of lust. This piece also serves as an allusion to the culture of superficiality and misinformation inherent in advertising.
For the design aesthetic, I referenced Old label designs and made use of old-style serif tyopgraphy, bits of geometry, art nouveau inspired swirls, vector lines and a faux coffee-colored textured background in other to create a dated pre 21st century aesthetic that would appropriately represent the timeless nature of sin (Lust) in simple, classic terms.
I was inspired by the work of Barbara Kruger, Shepard Fairey and Tristan Eaton's 'Products of Our Environment' exhibition and how they have successfully used elements common to advertising and graphic design to pass messages that are not commercial thereby, redefining the way these elements are perceived and used.