User research has been an important procedure in the whole project development. So far, I have done 3 sessions with 3 different users, I have since found a series of facts and figures associated with depression. Those facts and figures will inform the content of the narratives in my animation. In general, my idea is to ‘unpack’ seemly simple and cliched facts about depression, transform them into effective visual representations that will emotionally engage the audience, hence help them understand the real truth behind those facts. The major concern I’m having at the moment is how to find my niche market, in other words, where are my targeted audience? Since the subject matter of the project has a complicated and sensitive nature, I have chosen to illustrate the core messages in a subtle and indirect manner rather than making it straight forward, thus it is somehow difficult to exactly predict the audience at the beginning. My goal is to make this project appealing to everyone including those who suffer from depression. This is a mutual platform for difficult and sensitive social messages to be discussed about openly in a non-direct yet still effective visual form. This method of visual transformation using drawing replacing texts can also be applied to areas outside of mental illness to which there are social stigmas attached. Set aside the social significance, drawing in this case is the most powerful and appropriate communication language among many other visual languages, I want to play my role as a drawer and visual communicator as efficiently as possible in this project.
A deeper level of user research will be taking place this week in order to gain a better understanding of the subject matter. I’m also vaguely deciding on the technique of the animation now, instead of hand draw each single frame, I will probably draw the stills and animate them on after effects, this way I can spend time and enjoy the process of drawing and mark making instead of worrying about the movement. Apart from the animation, a website designed specifically for this project is also underway and I will be working on it with a web designer soon.
Do check back regularly, I will keep you updated!
P.S. Any suggestions on the title of the project? Thanks!