BACKGROUND + THEORY
People see and hear what they want to see and hear
I came up with a composition that made me think of the word “Tangled.” I felt drawn to this word and how it relates to my/our reality (initiated by the events of 2020, but also by the events prior). I think a lot about what it means to be alive, human, to have a consciousness separate from others, and why there seems to be so many disagreements, conflicts, disorder, etc. happening all around us. I am very enamored with what makes up the complexity our “Reality,” and tried to simplify that complexity by summarizing “Reality” and “Free Will” with the following definitions:
Reality – One or several events that is observed by one or more perspectives and defined by logic and emotion. The possible number of perspectives is infinite.
Free Will - I believe that Free Will is not our actions, but how we are able to define our reality within our own mind prior to those actions.
If there are 8 Billion people on this planet with the ability to have one, or multiple perspectives on a single event, then that event could be defined in a substantial amount of feelings, logic, and descriptions. With this kind of landscape, it can make communication, and even existence, exceedingly difficult and complex – Tangled.
I also believe that at the root of every problem that plagues any system, any “ism,” or any organizational structure defined by humans, is the individual people themselves who are governing or creating them. So, from here I dove into the notion that within each person (at least 51% of the total population) there is a conflict of Negative Energy/Thought VS. Positive Energy/Thought that they can control to a certain degree (I am not claiming to be the discoverer of this idea, just stating that I believe it to be true).
This internal conflict is where (I believe) you can begin to attack all the issues that plague humanity: division vs unification vs negative unification (hate groups, conspiracy groups, etc). The drive for said conflict is (I believe) human beings and The Pursuit of Power, while also humans needing to be accepted or feel security within a group. Power comes in all shapes and sizes: sex, social status, possessions, appearance, government, religion, etc., but really it comes down to the ability to Control. We must learn to control ourselves first while not trying to control others. Also, we must not let others control us as well. The ability to control yourself within and beyond your own limitations, and without negative or manipulative influences from others, is real power. With this internal awareness, harnessed in a selfless positive light, a person can stand strong as an individual first, and then a group member second. This (I believe) will help an individual see the total landscape of the group with a clearer compass of logic and morality. I feel there are large groups of individual people (of all kinds) on this planet who do not understand that they can possess this internal awareness, and as a result, they are being directed to view the world in a light that is not really their own. These ideas may be known to all of you, or none of you, I do not know. You may also disagree with these statements, but in either case, this was my approach for this project.
This project started back in May of 2020 as, I guess, a need for self-therapy for everything that has been unfolding in 2020 (and prior). I have been feeling so much hurt and disappointment from what I have been seeing from the world. This project is my way of trying to respond with something positive and constructive. I sometimes feel an overwhelming feeling of helplessness towards this incredible social machine that is consuming us all, and I want to fight it. I want to believe in the good of people. I believe the solution starts with each individual person internally. I want us to be united in a positive movement, not divided, and I do not care if it seems like a pipe dream to anyone else. How do you begin to solve this problem? With communication.
This Graphic Series originally started out as 3 designs but kept growing as I was being challenged by the philosophy of it all. What does it mean to be “Tangled,” can you be “Tangled” in something positive and can that reality even exist? I want to believe that it can. I want to believe that no matter how dire the situation (e.g. environment), we can collectively come up with some kind solution, but first we must resolve the negatives that have created such divide. I believe we can, but I also believe it is an overly complex issue and it is not as simple as just “spreading the word.” We need innovative ways to challenge people to think for themselves as individuals first, instead of thinking what is best for their associated social/political/religious group. This should be done without manipulation, agendas, means of control, promises of fortune, promises of an afterlife, or fear. We should simply want people to be recognized, be educated, prosper to the best of their ability, feel safe, feel happy, and even feel loved.
Through the practice of Graphic Design, I have created 15 layouts with the hopes of helping people become more aware of themselves and our Reality. This series has a Beginning, Middle, and End: 1) Accepting that you are in control of how you perceive your/our reality 2) How you orchestrate your thoughts can change your/our reality 3) The results can have a positive impact on you and the people around you. I didn’t want the images in the layouts to be specific to Political Parties, Religion, Brands, Corporations, etc. so that the viewer doesn’t’ instinctively reject (as told to do so by their associated group) the concept being presented. I believe negative concepts exist in all facets of our lives and it is up to us to be more conscious of their constraints. I want the viewer to explore and exercise thinking on their own accord. The first half of layouts explore the ideas of negativity, and the latter explores the counterbalance. I will be posting one layout every day for 15 days.
This write up is probably more grandioso than the actual execution of the design as the ideas are complex and the goals are extremely lofty, so I hope you are not left with disappointment from the results. You may also think I am completely out of my mind and over the top, and that is ok as well. You see and hear what you want to see and hear. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and with any design work, feel free to respond with your own thoughts and constructive criticisms. An open discussion is more than welcomed. Thank you for your time.