Noscope is not only a Journal. It is my graphical outlet, and lifeline in an otherwise corporate country.
Noscope came into being the 1st of May, 2001. I made it my legacy to create 5 graphical pieces, every month.
This May, 2004, it was my 3 year anniversary. I have created no less than 5x12x3 = 180 images. Granted, many of them are terrible, but I have learned so much during the course of these 180 images, and 3 years.
To celebrate this, to myself, I have picked out the best and the worst of 3 years of my graphic life. Some are good, some are not so good, and some say more about the period of my life, than of their own content. Self-indulgent as it may be, it is as much an afterthought of years of hard work, as it is an exhibition of my personal development in life, and in graphic design…
Hits & Misses
This recent picture, was taken on a cold but sunny day around the lakes in Copenhagen. I was looking for simple happy thoughts at the time, and the image communicates just that.
This picture has a special significance to me. While it mostly looks like loose doodles, it’s actually an image I’ve had in the back of my head since a summer a couple of years ago. With this image, I feel like for once I faithfully managed to accurately portray what I had in my mind from the beginning. This happens so rarely for me, and as such, this represents my favourite image of these last 3 years.
Unfortunately this image suffers quite a lot from the jpeg artifacts my camera created. Even so, I love the – albeit cheesy – colors that managed to seap into it. I’m particularly happy with the pinks, and the blurs, which were complete accidents.
These last few years have brought me plenty of fodder for political commentary. As one of my efforts, I wanted to try out my skills at propaganda posters. Most of my efforts were pretty much in vain, but this one came out well.
This image is a collage of photography from Sweden and from Copenhagen, specifically in front of Vesterport trainstation. 1701 is the postal number of Vesterbro, the part of Copenhagen I had moved to at the time. This one was interesting, because I had grown so tired of “just doing manipulated photography”, that I wanted to make something rough, something different. While this came out different in a sort of conformist way, it’s funny to revisit; I had moved to Copenhagen some year prior to this image, and had not yet settled in completely. Thinking back, I remember having a great time at the time of having done this image – so I think this represented the turning point for my moving to Copenhagen.
- “Vännaryd” #4
This image holds a special significance, because not only did the composition come out well, but it’s one of the few images I’ve created, that managed to convey some emotion. The girl on the picture is my sister. Particularly the expression on her face helps out in this picture. The tone of color, and the depth of field blur also made some difference.
On a funny sidenote, I had to desaturate the roof of the house in the dead-center of the image. It was completely orange, and didn’t fit with my photoshop masochism.
- “In Your Name” #2
In retrospect, this was definately a miss. But it was an interesting miss.
The image shows Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, a person it is easy to have an opinion on. I wanted to make him look icky, thus the gloss painted on his chin. The colors are — well, funny, but does nothing to serve the image — possibly to make it icky. There isn’t much composition, or depth, and the text that says “conformity” is there more because of my at-that-time love for the font than to convey a message. The texture in the upper right corner came out well though.
- “Mould” #5
This image is a collage of googled images, past work, distorted newspaper headlines and noise.
It pains me to show this image, but I promised i’d also show my misses.
The theme for the month was “breaking the mould” (US: mold). And well, I did manage to break the mould with this image.
Unfortunately, earlier iterations of specifically this image looked better than the final version, which is never a good sign.
- “Wrong” #4
Heavily inspired by Adbusters and Greenpeace, this was my political message for the state of pollution today. While I’m no longer so sure about the wide format, I think it came out as a great collage of elements.
- “Dreamscapes” #4
The Wind Machine. It was based on some sketches I had lying around. At the time, I was learning 3D, and wanted to do some volume fog and texture work.
The 3D model came out fine, so did some of the textures. But I failed miserably in creating the volume fog… so I painted it in Photoshop.
- “4800 Nykøbing” #3
With this image (and 4 others), I participated in the May 1st Reboot 2002. I didn’t win, and didn’t expect to. Even so, I am overly satisfied with the result. While the image has a certain techno-fetichistic style to it, I think it works well. And with the incredible music Kate composed for this issue specifically, it worked really well.
I love windmills not only for their beautiful rounded shape and crisp white color, but also for that which they symbolize. As a tribute to wind power, I modelled a 3D windmill, and shot it from different angles. The result was one of the most clean and simple pieces yet. While the image may not be interesting, the simplicity was a quality in itself.
I don’t particularly like or dislike this image, but I think it is interesting, because of the technique used to create the image. It was drawn in Illustrator, following the rules of perspective, and then pretty much breaking them as well. Thus, the image looks 3 dimensional, but in a wrong way.
When I created Noscope January 2002, I expected to make something quick and fast due to time constraints. The resulting vectorized image was just that, quick and plain. However, due to the ultra-wide format, and the hauntingly great music Kate composed, it really lifts the image.
I’m not particularly happy with this image, but it definately shows the “common design style” at that time. It’s full with lighting effects, pointless 3d, flashing arrows, and a semitransparent grid overlay. Sheesh. I must admit to having followed the fish at times.
- “Deep-sea” #5
This image consists of 3D “bubbles” randomly placed and subtly lighted. A mouse-tracked Flash mask hides most of it.
I picked this image because it’s one of the most interactive pieces I have made over the past 3 years. Also, now that I think of it, this is one of the only true black/white images I’ve ever done as part of noscope. That’s quite a surprise now that I think about it.
- “Clean Energy” #5
I don’t particularly believe in the existance of Cold Fusion, but I do believe that we should develop, utilize and apply clean energy technologies much more than we do today. Communicating this was the purpose of Noscope July 2001, and I think this image came out well.
This is the image that literally started it all. Noscope grew out of this, not only the name, but also concept of pointlessness. The image itself clearly shows that I knew much less about Photoshop back then, than I know today, but it floats.
These are the highlights of my past 3 years.
At times it is scary to sum it all up, and weigh your life like this. At other times, it is quite necessary to be able to reflect, move on, and grow personally.
When I think back on these 3 years, there have been many tired nights in front of the wacom and the screen. But there have also been many joys associated with these monthly installments, and I’ve learned so much from it.
I hope to continue noscope for many months to come. I still have much, much to learn.