@buckhouse for stories.twitter.com

Four iterations

James Buckhouse
Apr 2, 2013 · 2 min read

Jasper Johns offered this recipe for creative work:

Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.
Do something else to it.

For a recent story on the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I started with a map. I changed the color and digitally re-painted the water, but the image lacked poignancy. I tried to add text, but the quote belonged in the body copy, not in the image.

Not sure where to go next, I thought about Johns and his famous quote on process. I turned the image into an object; I printed it out, folded the paper to create the wave and then painted the crest with actual paint on top of my printed digital image. The impasto gouache animated the power of the wave, but didn’t hide the fact that this was an image: nobody was fooled into thinking this was a photograph of a real wave. Emotional immediacy mattered more to me than the hocus-pocus of illusion.

The final step was to photograph the paper at an angle to emphasize the sculptural, wall-like quality of the wave and to offer (by means of the camera angle) empathy for the people hit hardest by the disaster.


See the final result here.
See an example of four iterations for text.
Read more #designstory.

Want to comment? Reply on Twitter.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store