Last week was a big one for me.
I submitted my first assignment. The task was to develop a series of four promotional postcards for the town/city in which we live. We had to “photograph places or things that you find interesting”, while the postcards “are aimed to appeal to a youth/young 18-24 demographic, so please create postcards that you believe would appeal to this audience”.
Quandary #1: I’m not 18-24 – how do I know what appeals to that audience?
Solution: I asked my students. They all said “the beach”.
Quandary #2: The beach in Burnie is almost always deserted and taking a photo of an empty beach possibly wouldn’t make an appealing image for an 18-24 year old.
Solution: Go to the beach when surf lifesavers are training.
Quandary #3: Surf lifesaving championships had been held in another part of the state the weekend before, and only a small handful of people came to train on the only day I could make it to the beach.
Solution: Take a photo anyway!
Below is what I came up with. The water doesn’t look very inviting (that’s possibly my projection: I think it’s always too cold to swim in Tasmanian waters), and that could be a mark against me, but I’m willing to take that chance.
We had to include text of some sort and I wanted to keep it simple on the front and leave the explaining to the back of the postcard.
As mentioned, we not only had to design the front of the promotional postcard, we also had to design the back. Betty, our tutor, had indicated that the cards were not to be ‘touristy’ and so I decided against having a place for a stamp and a message. I wanted to use the back to contextualise the front. Here’s what I came up with:
Continuing with the beach and ‘come and play’ theme I also photographed the marine creatures that feature on the beach foreshore. These creatures have added extra life to the newly renovated beachfront.
While we were to take a thematic approach and ensure the four postcards were a ‘series’ I decided to have two themes. The second them is ‘make it in Burnie’. Burnie has taken on an identity as the ‘City of Makers’, and I wanted to capture this in my postcards.
Burnie is famous for making paper (although if you know Burnie you’ll be amazed at the absence of a pulp and paper mill), but it also makes other things. There’s a big Caterpillar factory (or a number of them) in the city, but also smaller companies making big machines for export to the rest of the world. Haulmax is one of those companies and while it isn’t technically in Burnie, it’s close enough to be captured within the instruction to take photographs of “your environment and/or its surroundings”. I figured that East Wynyard is a surrounding of Burnie!
I couldn’t discount the importance of paper to Burnie’s history and identity, so on the day before the assignment was due (I’d been in Sydney for the week before, which is why I had to leave it to the last minute!) I visited the Makers’ Workshop to see if I could find some paper.
It’s all handmade now, of course, and the papier mâché sculptures that Pam Thorne makes are amazing, but I couldn’t capture any of them in a way I liked, and, wanting to keep the images simple, I simply did this:
I thought I’d get into trouble for moving different piles of paper from their allocated shelves, but if anyone saw me they didn’t take any notice. I put them all back in their right places!
Here’s the back:
So, my first assignment submitted – on the day before it was due no less!
Feeling pretty happy with myself I re-read the task description.
It said “students must upload regular updates of their design/s. These regular updates are very important – they demonstrate the on-going development of your work prior to final submission. Be advised that if you simply upload work the day before it’s due (without posting any earlier entries or consulting with your lecturer) this will affect your final mark.
Oh well. Even if I don’t get a good mark, I still learnt a lot.