Things have progressed pretty quickly with this project and pretty well, if I do say so myself.
Since my last update I’ve completed my research, produced thumbnails of my initial ideas, had a group tutorial, did a bit more research, had another tutorial, and briefed my illustrator (more on that in a bit).
While researching, I found that the majority of information on Barbie spoke about her negative impacts on body-image, potential cases of eating disorders, and the numerous and highly varied forms of torture tween-age girls inflict upon dolls that were once their best friends. I realized that Barbie isn’t exactly the perfect role-model mattel would have us believe. Girls from about the age of 9 begin to mutilate their dolls, almost as if to reject who they once were as they begin to move into another phase of their lives (secondary school, puberty, etc.) this results in Barbie’s primary target audience being girls as young as 4 and 6! I thought, ‘If there’s so much controversy abut Barbies possible influence on body-image, self confidence, etc. why do parents allow their innocent young children play with her? Is Barbie a roll-model, or a monster?’ This thinking allowed me to produce a series of thumbnails (images to come) depicting Barbie in a bad light. In some, she literally morphs from herself to a mythical beast/monster, e.g. giant squid. and in other’s she’s the abusive character in different situations, spouting her stereotypical catch-phrases such as ‘let’s go shopping’, and ‘math class is tough!’
After feed-back, some thinking, and an individual tutorial, I chose to bring forward my ‘Barbie as a monster’ Idea. I looked at classic horror b-movie posters, and thought of how to put Barbie in these situations, showing her as the flesh-eating zombie, or towering beast.
I could visualize my ideas to an extent, but I realized that I would need to bring in someone with illustrative expertise in order for my reboots to have the right visual impact. I called upon the help of Ed Fairburn, a brilliant illustrator currently in the 2nd year of his UWIC course.
Currently, I have been able to brief him on what I require and have arranged to meet again on Monday to see how things are coming along.