The development of emotion language in the graphics context




Thanks to Viktor Melamed's column in KAK magazine many years ago I learned that the task of illustration is to provide an additional point of view on the text - a visual commentary that will exemplify the variability of thinking on the topic, push the viewer towards awareness of the material and deeper analysis.


This is undoubtedly an important quality that an illustration should be proud of and use.

But recently (again, not without the influence of the BHSAD), I understand that there are tools that can more claim to be superior in terms of the strength of the viewer's impression and direct contact with him.


The full potential of illustration can be revealed thanks to non-verbal signs - this is the exclusive prerogative of the picture and its advantage over speech.


By these non-verbal modes of communication, I mean, of course, color, composition, character of line / silhouette, and what interests me most now are graphic rhymes, synesthesia and ways of organizing space. Unlike language, these parameters carry not only a narrative function, but also an emotional one. In this case, it is not even necessary to transfer emotion to symbols, metaphors - even the color itself will instantly convey the necessary sensation. The only task is to learn this language and convey what was conceived with its help.


After all, the artist would rather choose a palette that he likes, and a line that he succeeds well, will try more to select an idea, a metaphor, than consciously select graphic nuances to convey a message.


Design is still doing this even more because it is free of narrative and can concentrate on working with abstraction (thanks to Bauhaus).


Recently I was overtaken by another period of stagnation with a hatred of drawing. The funny thing is that during such periods it is so boring that in the end you want to draw, although without straining. And in addition to the entertaining combination of random objects in sketching, which I wrote about earlier, I came up with another way of training for myself to work on style and convey emotion.


In part, I was prompted by the method of Evgenia Barinova, in which she invites her students to draw an object every week in different techniques. I understand more and more clearly that I hardly subordinate graphic techniques to myself for the benefit of the message - I just work as best I can. To improve the situation, here, as in psychotherapy, it is worth slowing down - tracking each micro-change and choosing your own path for each of them.


I will turn to the description of the method of graphic expressiveness:


1. You can take any reference photo, with or without a plot.


2. Understand (the most important step in training mindfulness to subdue intuitive expressiveness): How does it feel? For example: comfort, softness, tart, bitterness, freshness.


3. What kind of emotion does this evoke? For example: sadness, joy, anger, sympathy, pity, neglect.


4. Choose what to enhance: sensation, emotion, or both. In my opinion, sensation requires more fine tuning of visual parameters and their ratios, taking into account the statistics of perception (it would be very good to understand neuromarketing here). In general, you can rely on Itten's conclusions about color and composition (including texture). Here's a rough example: light yellow is associated with soreness, equal proportions of red and green equal in lightness cause discomfort. But in the context of working on the same discomfort, it is worth deciding on the quality of the form and others, because they interact with color and this is the only way to create a melody!


5. Decide which methods will best convey what you want: a strong color spot or accent in the composition, rough lines or illegible shapes. Of course, there are many options here, and I will write later in more detail this whole scheme and classification of expressive means, which I previously created on the basis of the illustration training course for my convenience.


6. For a more successful solution, I look at several artists who, for example, have been working all their lives with the transmission of one sensation. Because most of them prefer to gain a foothold in one style, and this is a sure source of support in such a search. In this way, patterns and a range of appropriate techniques can be explored for expressing that particular emotion.


7. Transfer the selected graphics to your style or the way you see it. It is worth doing this if it is important to consolidate your current style, especially if it has not been tamed enough yet.


8. Check in the process with the selected criteria to understand whether the problem has been solved.


This method is good because it does not take attention and energy to create an idea and allows you to fully concentrate on the submission of powerful methods of influencing the psyche. It sounds like NLP, but the illustration is already tyrannical enough both to the text and to the viewer from the very beginning. Just because of the instant imposition of an impression.


Soon I will try to show what I came up with step by step in pictures.