FMP: Overall Reflection & Evaluation of FMP mid-way (Week 9)

I think at the stage I am in right now, I am efficient in producing outcomes and finding secondary and primary sources. But, I think that the efficiency for uploading and annotating blogs can be faster. I often annotate blogs at the last stage after finishing making the outcomes because this allows me to have a clearer overview of the whole experiment, pointing out areas that went wrong and areas that went well. I will only set the blog’s view selection to “public” when it is tidy and ready. I will set them to private if it is under the process of editing. However, I have noticed that it is a bad idea to do so, I should set them all to the public as this allows Chloe to view my process and stage in my FMP. Therefore, she can give me detailed guidance according to my progress and support me to produce better outcomes.

I think I should focus on documenting and annotating my blogs right now. As it is better to have the whole process of what happens fresh in mind, then forgetting about them after a period of time.

Primary & Secondary Research

I think right now, both of my primary and secondary research quantities are finally balanced. 

In the earlier stage of FMP, I had a lot of secondary research and very few primary. 

Even though I will try to include a reflection section and my opinions at the end of each blog towards the articles and the research I look up, it is still not enough as I still lacked primary images, drawings and collages. 

Thus, during my quarantine I spent time on coming up with outcome ideas, illustrating them, buying props that will be used and planning out rundowns of experiments when I come out. Luckily, I was able to produce adorable illustrations as a part of primary research and inspirations for my later outcomes.

When I got out of quarantine, I immediately went around Macau and a trip to Guangzhou gathering as much primary research as possible. I took a lot of videos and images first hand, which I was able to include in most of my outcomes now. The primary research is personal as they are all taken from my perspective, only those images that have me in it are taken from another perspective (my friend was holding the phone while I was guiding her throughout).

I am planning to write them out in the Primary Research blog after I finish reflecting and evaluating my current progress.

I think both of them are strong because I took the same amount of effort, focus and time on completing them, so I am fully aware of what every clip, article, reflection, photo angle, and information is about them. However, if I had to choose, I will choose my primary research because they are more useful when it comes to my project’s experiments. I was able to combine a lot of my primary research together to test out possible final outcomes. 

Even though secondary research was as important as primary, it educates me about artists, artworks, and fashion shows. It was also a source that gave me inspiration and ideas.

To conclude, I would need both of them to be as strong as each other if I am aiming for a high quality FMP.

I have added a small explanation of why each article or passage is included in my project. 

For my secondary research blogs, “Sanrio & Hello Kitty” and “Walt Disney & KAWS”, these two blogs are purposely written very informationally because I want to inform my readers about the background stories of each company’s aims. Sanrio’s aims are “friendship” and “true happiness”, Hello Kitty is “friendship”, Walt Disney’s aim is “All our dreams can come true”, and KAWS aims are “communicating and reaching people”. 

Informational blogs are relevant to my project because they explain the reason behind my choice of brands. The brands I chose are created by adults who like toys and still maintained their love towards toys even as an adult. This relates to the concept of my project: re-lighting the inner child in an adult, and to not to hide it because it is not something that we should be ashamed of. A famous proverb “all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”, shows that working without playing makes the person very bland and uninteresting. Thus, we should be proud of what we like and present it to the world.

My Experiments

I am currently carrying out experiments and have been solving problems alongside it. 

For experiment 1, making filters for the toy theme which links to Louis Vuitton, I was improving my filters throughout the process and taught myself how to function with new software. 

For experiment 2, putting together an animated character into real-life locations, I am still in the process of producing and documenting them in my blog. The experiment went smoother compared to experiment 1 because errors from experiment 2 can be fixed easily by just a few brush strokes and clicks on Procreate. While, experiment 1 requires computing edits which are more complicated so it takes up more time and patience. 

For experiment 3, photoshoot of model and Pinky (the toy), I just finished the photoshoot and edited the images. Fortunately most of the images turned out as what I intended them to be which is great. However, I am still figuring out what to do with these images because the images are great. I don’t want to ruin them, which is why I do not know if I should turn them into cover pages of a magazine? Turn them into postcards? Or edit them into posters for promotion? 

After having a conversation with Chloe about my bursting ideas for the images, I have made my decision finally. It is to make a small catalogue consisting of the images of animated Pinky in a real location, real Pinky, and Pinky as a human, which is the model. The concept of the photoshoot was to promote the outfit,  specifically for the jacket, by a superstar (also known as Pinky, but with a real person). I was not able to get a hold of a piece of clothing from the 20201 men’s spring/summer Louis Vuitton fashion show which was directed by Virgil Abloh, but I was lucky enough to find a jacket from Off-White by Virgil Abloh at my home, I pinned up many toys on a side of the jacket and used it in the photoshoot. The photoshoot was quite stressful and messy in the beginning (I will mention the whole process in my experiment 3 blog) because of my poor planning skills, but I was able to quickly get back on track and save time for the experiment.

For experiment 4, the fashion film, I am going to edit the film as soon as I finish updating all the other experiments I did lately. I have got most of the clips ready to go, only the introduction part is missing, that part will need to be taken at a hotel which I will go to as soon as I have the time. However, right now, I am thinking of changing the plot into images puzzled together to form a film, rather than my initial plot, Pinky (the toy) waking up in Louis Vuitton’s store at night and finally stepping out to the outside world to explore around.

– This will be discussed later on –

I don’t think I have experimented enough. I will experiment more after I upload the blogs. I want to create collages physically, not just digitally. I want to try out using polaroids to take images physically, not just digitally. I want to test out more experiments if I have the time. I think it benefits my project a lot, because it allows me to discover things virtually and in reality. I don’t want myself to only be limited digitally.

To-do list

I have a “to-do” list for my FMP because when I am off-track, like I am now, I can easily get back on track without panicking. Before starting FMP, I published many blank blog posts and changed the view to “private”, because I was able to have a clear idea of how many things I need to do, how many blogs it requires and what to focus on each blog. I will also leave a blank blog in between each blog just in case I have to add another blog or adjustments in between it in the future, this lowers down the possibility of deleting posts and posting them again just because of some small adjustments. 

I am currently still in the process of documenting and uploading blogs as I have just collected more primary research to use for my experiments and  finished producing and editing outcomes for a few experiments. After uploading my blogs, I will know what improvements I need to work on and what experiment is missing.

Context

My current intention is to show that adults and toys can correlate, not only sexual-wise. My experiments are turning out to be what I intended to show. It is fun but there is also adult information, take my illustrations of Pinky wearing Louis Vuitton clothing, it is promoting clothing targeted for adults, but the model is an animated adorable character. The illustrations were able to maintain the professional aura of Louis Vuitton and stunningness of the outfits. I think everything has been going well and I have been doing what I planned in my proposal, the only thing that I still haven’t mentioned much was the investigation of the good and bad sides of toys. For my experiment 3 blog, I will talk more about ethical problems that I might face on ageism and appropriation on my toys photoshoot linking with Louis Vuitton, is it appropriate enough for children and what possible comments would there be if the promotion used the sets of images.

My Target Audience

My target audience is people of all ages. Even though the main concept is focusing on re-lighting the inner child of adults, I also want to remind people across all ages that we do not need approval from other people in order to love what we love and be who we want to be. An article that I have read from PsychCentral it saids 

“According to an article by Tom Ferry, CEO of YourCoach, the need for approval has been conditioned within us since birth. ‘Approval from others gives us a higher sense of self-esteem. We’re convinced that their recognition matters to our self-worth and how deeply we value ourselves.’” [1]

The interesting point is that there is no one actually forcing us or pointing us at gunpoint to choose, but most people, like me, will naturally choose how other people perceive them, over how they perceive themselves. I am currently trying my best to not care about how other people think of me and live out my true happiness, but this process takes time.

“An individual is never an isolated being, reactions being controlled by law, psychological law.” [2]

Thus, it is only natural for us to act this way. We go where the majority goes. For example, if the majority of the population thinks that a piece of clothing is ugly, automatically that clothing in everyone’s mind would be labeled as ugly. Even though half of the people in the majority do not know what is going on, the majority’s reaction will slowly and unconsciously brainwash them. 

“Gregariousness is the sublimation of a prior group instinct.” [2]

Who does not enjoy the company of other people. I enjoy it a lot. It does not have to be an intimate company, but just like a city, we would want to be accompanied by other people or else the city would be very quiet and horrifying. Well, maybe some people like being alone in the countryside… But, as for now, I am focusing on the majority feeling good with the company of others. And just because of this fact, we do not wish to be the outsider of the group. We do not want to be alone.

Thus, whatever the society, the majority, thinks or sets rules that are “legally illegal”, (rules that are not against the law, but it feels terribly wrong when it is crossed) most people will obey it. One “legally illegal” rule is adults liking toys. The most famous example is the public reaction towards the Otaku culture in Japan. 

(Otaku Subculture History, 2021)

An Otaku is someone who has an obsessive interest in a particular thing, it can be whatever, but in this case I am focusing on anime culture. There will be uncles who will dress in a Sailor suit, or Kawaii outfits out in public, people dressing up as characters from anime, and many of them will collect thousands of their favourite characters merchandise such as; life-size pillows, posters, and figures. There is no limit to what toys there are, the only limit is the imagination. There are even people who will get married with a virtual character, the life-size pillow.

For me, I have always thought that Otakus are very brave as they express what they like to the public proudly without being afraid of what people think of them, it is also a great way for them to release stress from life. However, there is a fine line between expressing what they like and crossing the line of committing crimes and bad deeds because of their obsession. In that case, Otaku is not acceptable.

Otaku is perceived negatively in Japan due to the bad impression it carries. In Japan, people are quiet about their interests, especially if there’s a perception that they’ll be frowned upon. 

“home and work life are kept very separate, so those who are Otaku end up living something of a double life” [3]

Having in mind that, 

"Japan is a rather unhappy place to work if you are a corporate employee. Long hours, no free time, often little freedom. ...Death from overwork.” [4]

Thus, to cure these issues, most people develop obsessions on anime to release their stress from work and get through the hard times in life. This brings back to my project concept, re-lighting the inner child and the famous proverb “all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”. This idea of toys with adults should not be frowned upon and ashamed of, it is what keeps up going and makes us happy again. The Japanese have proved this fact right, entertainment is important, even if it was a little bit.

Bibliography:

[1] Psych Central. 2021. Why Do We Care What Others Think?. [online] Available at: <https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-do-we-care-what-others-think#2> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

[2] 2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.jstor.org/stable/2764545?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

[3] Anime News Network. 2021. Answerman – Why Is It Socially Unacceptable To Be An Otaku In Japan?. [online] Available at: <https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2017-06-09/.117222> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

[4] Roser, C., 2021. The Dark Side of the Japanese Working Society | AllAboutLean.com. [online] AllAboutLean.com. Available at: <https://www.allaboutlean.com/dark-side-of-japan/> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

CNN. 2021. Otaku: Is it a dirty word? | CNN. [online] Available at: <https://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/12/living/otaku-is-it-a-dirty-word/index.html> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

David Charles Fox. 2021. Otaku Subculture History. [online] Available at: <https://davidcharlesfox.com/otaku-subculture-history/> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.quora.com/Is-it-bad-to-be-an-Otaku> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

Deep reads from The Japan Times. 2021. Defining the Heisei Era: Examining the rise of otaku culture. [online] Available at: <https://features.japantimes.co.jp/heisei-moments-part-7-obsession/> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

Medium. 2021. Otaku Subculture and Unhealthy Sexual Obsessions. [online] Available at: <https://medium.com/@richardkyu/effect-of-otaku-subculture-and-the-obsessive-da6c2bba6a2e> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

The Crowded Planet. 2021. Anime Tokyo – An Otaku Tour of Akibahara. [online] Available at: <https://www.thecrowdedplanet.com/anime-tokyo-tour-akihabara/> [Accessed 7 May 2021].

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