Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Melanie Gasparoni Illustration

+ ҈ ҈ ҈ ҈ ꧁ ༒ ҈ ҉ Immersion in Sound ҉ ҈ ༒ ꧂ ҈ ҈ ҈ ҈ +

Digital Product Design
Product Design
Publication Design
Social Media
Type Design

Hand-picking three different albums with wordless music, I extracted the narrative from each one to construct illustrative works around. The primary investigation was giving each set of music individualized attention to result in illustration decisions that reflect best on each. With a process of direct illustration responses to the music, digital collage, and custom typography, the wordless narratives are brought to a visual life. The secondary investigation was teaching myself how to translate my illustrations into Augmented Reality – a platform that is on the rise via social medias such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. By allowing myself to explore this platform, I hope to enhance viewer experience through interactivity and direct engagement with my illustrations. Customized Augmented Reality is additionally an element that could be implemented in music videos, photoshoots, advertisements or other extents of promotional material.

The first segment of the series is the theremin-based album of soothing music for plants and people who love plants, “Plantasia” by Mort Garson. I illustrated the front and back cover of the record sleeve as well as a record liner that guides the listener through an inventory of every plant intended to be in “Plantasia”. With the assets from the cover and liner, I translated the project into an interactive Augmented Reality experience. I focused on the idea of overgrowth, opening a digital window for the viewer to burst with plant life as the music entails.

Doon Kanda’s “Labyrinth” is the second segment of the project. His music emits an environmental impression of eerie circus waltzes, with literal song titles that convey artifacts of a curiosity cabinet. My illustrations are based around the structure of a historical curiosity cabinet, displaying objects inspired by the song titles in glass jars and on shelves. The AR experience is double sided. It allows the viewer to become Pieridae and then turn the camera around to discover the floating curiosities around them.

“Aaqquuaattiicc” is the third component of this project. It’s an entirely hypothetical album that I imagined, taking heavy inspiration from the artist Balam Acab. The music is imagined to be deep sea noises, visceral water and liquid, waves crashing, bubbles popping, mysterious dark ambient noise. I illustrated seascape environments as well as taking fragments from them to curate on the album cover – as if on the surface of an archaeologist’s lab table. The AR experience turns the viewer into a deep sea aquatica elf, immersed in the environment created by the illustrations.