The very first line of text (“This is the hardest article I’ve ever had to write”) went onto the front cover, as I thought it could be a good tagline for the article the cover had nothing on it yet, hence why it isn’t being shown).
The drawing style I decided on as a happy accident. In the last post, I’d drawn the first image as a rough sketch with some very loose purple lines, as I’d decided that I wanted a dark colour, but not black as depression is almost always assosciated with that colour and I wanted to avoid the idea that black = bad as is often the case in a lot of contemporary western media. I really liked the sketch though, and it was a very quick, simple and effective way to draw so I decided to stick with it. As I was fairly happy with th first page, so I left it largely unchanged except for the layout and extra trees which I added for depth.
This page spread was inspired by the this quote from the text:
“You might sit at a dinner party making small talk, hoping that you pass for normal, because you suddenly feel as if you are not in touch with the usual social paradigms.”
I wanted to get actoss this feeling of isolation, to show how depressed people can sometimes feel different or out of place but they might still try and act normal because of the fear of others noticing their depression. Originally it was going to involve more colour:
But I decided that a) the colours I picked were more than a little garish and b) after some playing around the more monotone look worked a lot better and felt more in theme with the first page layout.
This page layout was incredibly frustrating. I really liked the following quote from the text and felt that it would make for some really interesting and strong imagery:
“Imagine that you sit, shivering and blue, in a tub of freezing water. If you were not depressed, you’d get out of the tub. But now imagine that you cannot get yourself out of the tub. Your body is weighted to the bottom with invisible stones. The sides of the tub are too high—you can’t imagine that on the other side of the tub is a floor that leads to a warm towel and an exit. You can only see the walls of the tub, closing you in. You can only feel the relentless, needle-prick torment of the icy water. You can only watch, helpless, as your fingers prune and bruise with cold, a strange mix of acute pain and numbness. And you are aware of isolation so complete that it feels as if you are an astronaut whose line has come untethered in space. As if you have swallowed loneliness and are drowning in it, unable to cough it up and breathe again.”
However, I couldn’t get the images to work. The top left one was meant to be someone’s head and knees poking out of a bathtub, and the one on the right was supposed to be them sinking, trapped beneath the surface. However, the top left one just looks odd and the one on the right is too dark overall to be effective, especially when printed. Neither one of them in as striking or interesting as the other images, and nor do they go well with the rest of the imagery so far.
I did try and develop the idea some more, but it didn’t really improve:
The images were still too murky, weren’t particularly strong or effective and didn’t suit the rest of the illustrations.
I decided to come back to the idea later.
Here, I wanted to get across one of the difficulties that many depressed people go through, which is leaving the bed or finding motivation to get on with their day. The bottom left image is something which I relate to personally, as I’ve found myself sometimes just sitting on the edge of my bed, not really thinking of anything in particular, just unmotivated to do anything else even if I know I have things to do that day.
I think these images work on their own, but I wasn’t sure on how well they worked together. I think perhaps there’s a little too much imagery of beds, or that there might be too many images for the spread, but either way, the balance wasn’t quite there, both in the text and imagery.
I would show the last double-paged spread, as well as the front and back cover, but there’s literally nothing to show for this first version, not even columns of text. They are however included in the next post.
All Final Major Project related posts (in order):