Weekly Assignments

Kawaii or Die


For my first Design Assignment of #ds106 week 6, I chose Contradiction Creation. Summary: Create some sort of graphic. Design the overall graphic to convey some sort of feeling or theme, but then have text saying something completely contradictory to the theme or feeling. Sort of like one of those old anti-motivational posters, but with more design than a black box with a white frame.

Behind the Work

This is my first design assignment, so I googled, “free image software like photoshop.” I’ve been using Superimpose on my phone, but I want more editing options and an easier way to accomplish the task (not that using my fingers on my tiny phone is not fun). I settled on Krita: a free professional, open-source painting program & GIMP: a free open-source, cross-platform image editor. I chose Krita because it allows me to draw and type, whereas GIMP allows me to splice together images.

When brainstorming ideas for this assignment, something my boyfriend’s professor said a lot kept replaying in my head, “Life is suffering.” Anytime I heard him say it I would be really surprised, but I get it. I thought it would be perfect to put the saying over a collage of kawaii images. What’s more contradictory than suffering and happy cuteness?

During the Work

Contradiction Creation

I began by choosing a background for my collage: a collection of yellow color cubes. Yellow isn’t my favorite color, blue is, but it’s a color that always makes me happy… okay I guess it’s my second favorite color. I then chose a bunch of random “kawaii” images off of google and saved them to my computer. I started off using GIMP to splice together all of the photos and mask them how I wanted. After moving them around and creating a collage I liked, I exported the image as one layer. I then tried to use Krita to add the text, “Life is Suffering.” Due to the color saturation of the background any color text I chose was really hard to read. So I decided to try making the area behind the text black and white for an easily readable image; I did this by saving a new copy of the original collage in black and white. Going back to GIMP, I selected the rectangular area I wanted to keep, then inverted the selection to mask the area I wanted gone. After exporting as a new .png, I was able to successfully read the text over the black and white area.

As per the Education exception in copyright law I did not name each of the sources from where the images were downloaded from.

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