Investigate, through the use of speculative scenarios, how your working life as an illustrator could develop in the future. You’ll do this by researching objects that relate to your professional illustration practice. One or more of the objects will be represented in a stand-alone presentation showing your ideas on how the(se) object(s) could function within your professional illustration practice in 2038.
At first, I felt a bit limited by this assignment because I work as much as with twenty objects related to the illustration practice. Later, I understood that I could interpret this as broad as possible. So, I thought about the stuff you need to buy your art supplies, like, a shopping basket or cart in the store. Through the objects like this, I went on to researching consumerism and how it might develop in the next twenty years. I always like to have a bit of a cynical and anarchist tone in my work, so I made a statement against people feeding their urge to buy more and more stuff they don’t need. I was inspired by infomercials, like Tommy Teleshopping and Telsell, and thought it would be fun to make one myself.
One of the assignment's requirements was that we had to work in the Interaction Station. This means that we had to use digital technology in our work. I have always been very interested in AI and when I started to do some research into this I discovered that there have been several art pieces made involving the use of machine learning. I noticed that there was a big number of websites where people could generate logos without any other human assistance quickly and for free. I found this very interesting and I started questioning the future of designers if generating tools like this become more popular. The idea for my infomercial was born - I wanted to make a product that would replace the profession of a designer and (of course) give it a very sarcastic and humoristic twist.
In the Interaction Station, I researched how machine intelligence worked. I have fed the computer 185 already existing logos that I had collected, the system had to train with this logos for a few hours and after that, I could make new logos by the use of machine learning. The logos the artificial intelligence made up were super weird and abstract but it is funny that you still can recognise the elements of different logos in them. I picked some of the AI creations and edited them a bit in Photoshop that they would look more like a real logo.
To film my infomercial, I used the green backdrop in the Image & Sound Station and I asked two friends from the Performance Bar Rotterdam to star in my movie. Both filming and directing was a fun thing to do and a great opportunity for me to combine illustration and performance art in one project. I am happy with the result because it very much shows who I am: questioning serious subjects but translating them into the images with a lot of humour. I like that in this project I did things that were completely new for me, like working in the Interaction Station and Image & Sound Station and used illustration in an unusual way.
Would like to know more about Maria and her WdKA Life? Read her interview on this site.