Colorful Lights

Consulting

My intelectual service at your disposal. Years working in the luxury domains, either in french products or interior design, has given me the capacity to determine how to achieve elegant results. Here is what you get.

Overpaint

When I receive an image, I can make a diagnosis of it by drawing over it. Correcting the pose, the emotion or the negative space (void space around it). I can also signal the invisible lines that are conformed by the aligment of elements in the composition. 

Body expression and understanding of facial muscles are key for an stronger emotional reaction (mirror neuron response)  from your audience. 

This stage is about "what's inmediatly happening on my artwork/campaign?". 

Golden Section Check

Beauty its not an accident, it is a geometrical treasure. The guy who designs a Ferrari knows it but doesn't share it that much. since this key expertise produce money.  The golden ratio is a series of aproximative numbers that give hint to the BEST manner to split two areas in uneven parts. Race, sex, age, or country of origin shape our tastes. they determine how we go about beauty.  Since pleasure is angular to any sales move, the more you know about how you are using the golden rule, the better you will be positioned about your own communication objectives. Maybe you don't want beauty but cutness, or boldness, or sheer coolness. Maybe you need to hierarchalising your characters or products so their rank correctly with the importance or price you want to give them. All of this can be handled through proportions and there is a big WHY an image work or it doesn't for your audience (inspiration has nothing to do with it).  This stage is about " What kind of form I really need for this? 

mind perception check

On the web you will find several pages about five, six or even seven "laws" of Gestalt Psychology that apply to design areas such as logos and UI. What's wrong about it is that authors try to stay close to the source; a book written in Austria by Max Wertheimer in 1938. And while the good Max was right in many things, humanity perceptual discoveries didn't end there. Neuroscience has made enormous advancement in deciphering our perception. It doesn't matter what kind of image you want to do, a brain is your final destination. It will be more than wise to be aquainted of how it decodes informations. Specialy if you want to take full advantage of your image real state. Here my personal list of "principles" check.  

Figure - ground  / Closure / Similarity / Continuity / Symmetry /Reification/ Pragnaz - Good Form / Past Experience / Mutiestability / Common Fate / Contrast priority / Hierarchy /Law of Birkhoff / Self contrast modification /Content proximity

This stage is about What is happening that is really hard to see with my art/campaing?

super estimuli check

-You are a man who goes to the grocery store - Nothing comes out of the ordinary.

You find normal people with normal products. Then you pass in front of an ad, there is a gorgeous woman inviting you to Ibiza. This has capture your attention the 2 seconds you need to realize they are selling cheap planes tickets to Spain. How did it happen?

Did you notice the long legs of the model? her tiny waist? long sinous hair? wide bright eyes? big lips? red cheeks? pelvic tilt? hairless skin? camera-eye contact?  all of them together? Did you even notice that girl was Hungarian and not Spanish?
 

The thing is, we have become habituated to old superstimuli. That's why your shop vendor with his straight teeth doesn't look more amazing to you than a stoplight. Teeth were only well preserved by the rich in the Far West, today they are the norm. That beautiful tomato canned soup you are holding could had won a oil painting contest 80 years ago. Today is just one more thing. 

We strive to achieve superstimuli in every sense. Everything that sales HAS TO BE a supertimuli or be forgotten among the crowd. My main goals during the day is to increase the stimuli further and further away in the demanded timeframe. To take off furiously away from normality into that elusive thing we want to think perfection is.

 

Superstimuli has to do with genetics, security, power and reproduction. It also has to do with VARIATION in order to keep working. Since everybody is looking out to do it, this stage is more about how to check that your superstimuli is well aligned with the narrative you are tackling. Today supertimuli can actually have "defects" which are much needed to distinguish themselves from past superstimuli (you do not see the perfect blonds of the fifties anymore). But one must be careful , this defects have to be chosen or deal-with in order to work. 

So this stage is How near(or far) am I from the superstimuli I need to this have the impact

I wish it to have?

Dream Logic Check

Christopher Noal and David Lynch have made extensive use of this. Dreams have certain order of values to keep us dreaming. Otherwise we would wake up from boredom or fear. Nightmares are unsuccessful sleeping experiences. The mind tried to tame a daylight fear by creating proxies and the sleeper's mind could not take it. The brain, to stop any possible damage, activates the conscious mind to utterly end it.  

Boredom on the other hand is our own failing to entertain us into deeper sleep. We suddenly are too aware what's happening is faulty, undetailed or uncompromising.. Real lack of passions can also get you up at night. Repetitive ilusions make us rest. until we realize they are repetitive. 

Between boredom and fear, there is very large field of explotation opportunities that we can use in our work. This take sense in the use of "proxies". Which is the main device of dreams. The elements we chose in a film/campaign/product certainly have a relation to our basic understanding of life. In order to get a deeper attachment to the content we propose, dream logic must be put in accord. Elements in a campaing shall be aware that they, wanted or not, will become proxies for the audience. So taking the bull by the horns will mean to voluntary assign meaning to every element in the message or at least control if the wrong message is underming your main objectives. 

Subliminal Check

Fovea attention point is really small. So everything that goes out of your proposed center of attention is assumed as part of reality. Or at least the reality of your picture. Our sight only gets 2cm square of information at the time, the rest is a reconstruction of our brain.   

There is a controversy about using it maliciously, so to embeed pornography on it to make it more appealing. Now, if that were the case, it would be all too simple and crude. In the other hand, if it would be too secretly hidden, it would become imperceptible to the viewer so what would be the point of it? It would be to much of a hassle for undetermined and half-proven effects.  

But that doesn't mean your image is not proposing something subliminaly.

Every image actually does. Not only because of the image but because of the human who sees it. We inevitably give meaning to what we see. Conscious and unconscious meaning.  Afterall, there is a big part of speech which is subliminal already. We do not stop to contemplate each word we hear. Yet the sum of them create the impression we have of the speaker. Do you remember how Trump talks right?

Sometimes the intention of sincerity make us no to try to control this aspect of the image but I think it is a "must" of every succesfull imagery. The sublimial check is actually a "backgroud" check.. It is to make the most use of every element on your design so it adds up to your objective rather than distract us from it. Like a valuable eco of your main theme or even maybe a much necessary counterpoint that create contrast. Best thing can happen; you get full control of what you are saying because despite every part its never "read" at completion, the whole just "feels" right. 

Final note: Not every client needs all this steps in this order. While it would be usefull to use them like this, clients need to get out of their troubles in the least amount of time. Normally I get to solve certain problem which they can't find out. It is possible that the problem goes out of the scope of the aforementioned fields but 9 out of 10 times,  what is happening is that elements are getting mixed and therefore it becomes confusing to take a better course of action. We humans become easily biased on what we do. An external profetional eye is always helpful to make the necessary change that could make a communication effort take all its true value. 

Brush Strokes