Looking at the media and talking to friends from different cities, the darker side of youth is becoming more and more apparent each day. I guess this project was just something I made derived from my concern of the youth in general, my friends and strangers. In these 2 images I have only covered a minuscule area of the things that are wrong.
In this description I’m not going to speak too technical about this project; in terms of my ideas behind the project, it probably all stems from extremely blurry thoughts and half processed ideas in my head, when it comes to projects like these that have some sort of important contextual meaning, the ideas behind them are never fully processed like I said earlier. I went on photoshop out of pure boredom with initial intentions to make something cool for my portfolio, if I didn’t squeeze out anything good and worth finishing, I’d just take nap. 30 minutes later I was sketching guns and knives on paper and ultimately putting it on photoshop, before I knew it I have been translating these blurry half processed things in my head into photoshop, subconsciously I was expressing my concern for violence in the youth. The colours I chose kind of reminded me of a glamorous casino, the semi glowing text, vibrant pinks and blues, somewhat contradictory to the subject I was portraying, I mean, I could’ve used black and grey. I’m a seventeen year old Black female that is constantly surrounded by all the things I am scared of. Violence, drug abuse and bad mental health are things the youth seems to be consumed by, its very easy to feel small by situations that are large, I do want to change a lot of things in my generation so I guess making this project was putting some sort of awareness out there, I don’t know, because awareness is only raised if people listen, right?
In these 2 pieces I have used Photoshop CC paired with a wacom intuos on an iMac.
Now, I get into the technicalities: I started the gun piece with colour, simple gradient background, I tend to spend hours on end trying to get colours to work in my eyes. Gradient background has arrived now, lets start building some sort of design, I got the vector images of the guns and spent way too much time doing a composition, when I finally had something I was happy with I start to play around, emphasis on the word ‘play’
Used a thin stroke effect on the vector gun, added outer glow and messed around with colour. I used Arial Black for all the text.
The knife piece was quite simplistic, I wanted the main focus to be on the message delivered by the text. I typed out ‘the youth are dying in so many different ways’ and made it to come into the shape of a circle, which I repeated several times. Got a knife vector and put it in the middle of the text alongside the bottom of the image. Here I am again playing with the composition, I decided dot more text around the image to add something, that something I do not know.
I got a lot of questions of why I used knives and guns, some people asked dismissing the message and being totally upset by the fact there is a literal knife and gun and then some people asked because they did understand the message but was just genuinely intrigued. This project kind of taught me not to be so thorough when planning projects, I mean it is essential to plan but sometimes when you overdo it, you lose spontaneity. Is this project close to what I initially envisioned? No, because I didn’t really envision anything, I just had intentions of simply allowing myself to create.
As I have probably emphasised a million times, this project is about the bad things happening within the youth.
Help a loved one, help yourself or help a stranger.
Childline: 0800 1111, childline.org.uk
Samaritans: 116 123 (UK)