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starting my Wagstaff-inspired portrait and combining it with my own subconscious doodles

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Now that I had an idea that felt strong, I needed to find out how I could make it happen. As a novice with software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe Capture, I knew that I had to learn them all quickly if I was going to have any chance of bringing my idea to life for my final exhibition. Unfortunately, during this stage of the project, I tested positive for Covid-19 and had to isolate. It was a challenging time for me as I was quite ill, but I tried to make the best of the situation. On a positive spin, it meant I had plenty of time to equip myself with Adobe Illustrator, and Google became my new best friend. It was a steep learning curve, but I was determined to make my idea a reality.

I had a clear vision in mind for my take on Wagstaff's portraits, and I was determined to incorporate my own subconscious doodles into the optical illusion portion. Initially, I attempted to draw the doodles one by one in Photoshop on an A3 canvas, but I quickly ran into the problem of pixelation when zooming in on the image. I realised that this approach wouldn't work for my exhibition, since I wanted to enlarge the portrait.

When I was first introduced to Illustrator, I was excited to learn that it could create vector layers. Despite being new software to me, I was able to grasp the basics fairly quickly. I decided to start again, this time with an A2 template. However, while drawing squiggles, I encountered multiple application malfunctions such as crashing and not saving the document. I persevered and tried to figure out why this was happening, but I couldn't come to a conclusion. When I reached a certain stage, I started to feel overwhelmed by how much time I had already spent on the project and how much space I still had left to fill.


At that moment, I had a sudden realisation - every single squiggle I had drawn on Illustrator had been saved as a unique vector shape! This happy accident turned out to be a game-changer as it allowed me to 

manipulate and duplicate each squiggle with ease. Suddenly, the daunting task at hand seemed much more achievable. Of course, before moving forward, I had to tidy up my work. It was crucial to ensure that my drawings could be enlarged, whether through silk-screen printing or projection. I wanted the OI doodles to flow together seamlessly, creating a sense of harmony throughout the portrait.

I spent some time going through each squiggle on

the page and adjusting its size, direction, or angle so that it would flow seamlessly with the other lines. Once I had a collection of "finished" squiggles, I began to copy and paste them into the empty spaces on the page. By putting each pasted section on a separate layer, I was able to fill the entire page and erase any excess lines or overlapping sections. Now, I just need to connect all of the different sections together. To do this, I added in more squiggles where needed and removed any lines that didn't fit well. I even re-drew some of the squiggles to make everything look cohesive. I was thinking about adding my face to complete the portrait, but I started to worry that the A2 size wouldn't be big enough. So, I created an A1 document and used the same method of copying and pasting to complete the squiggles. It's coming together nicely!

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