Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

ZiQi Yuan Illustration

Culture Study Through Different Period

Editorial design
Publication Design

The purpose of this project is to explore various pop culture situations in different times and nations. This project included 15 illustrations with each illustration exploring a different culture. All of the illustrations are representing pop culture in different generations spanning the years 1880 to 2020, from Primitivism to Pop art. I selected different elements that interested me and added them to my visuals. Some of these resources originated from my favorite movies or books of that time. The main focus of this project is to depict 15 figures which are from different generations and cultures with an emphasis on style and elegance. Although the project is about exploring the difference between different nations in the series, another goal was to keep continuous look or style focusing on my obsession with fashion illustration. Hopefully, my illustrations are showing my love for fashion! First piece, This piece is influenced by the art nouveau movement that happened in the 1890s. The inspiration for the figure’s cloth and hairstyle are from European portrait painting from the 1890s. Second piece, I got my inspiration from Primitivism. The concept of the background in this piece is influenced by a painting “The Siesta” by Paul Gauguin. This artwork is representing the art movement that happened in the1890s. Third piece, this piece is influenced by the belle epoque “The golden age”. It was a period of French and Western history. It is conventionally dated from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Fourth piece, I was influenced by the 1920s and my inspiration is from a 1925 novel, “The Great Gatsby”. The main character in this artwork is a flapper girl who has a bob hairstyle which is influenced by the character in “Great Gatsby” named Jordan Baker. The blonde lady in the background and mysterious man are Daisy and Gatsby. The fifth piece, my inspiration is from 1930’s fashion style. In the 1930s, the major trends for hairstyles were all about waves. The outfit of the character was influenced by one of the fashion icons in the 1930s-Jean Harlow. The sixth piece my inspiration for this piece is from the novel “Lolita”. It is a story that happened in the 1940s. The main character in this piece is the mother of Lolita who is looking into the mirror and checking her makeup. The mascara on her telephone table is a cosmetic brand from the 1940s and there is a newspaper and leaflet from the 1940s inside the drawer. The seventh piece, I got my inspiration from the 1950’s movie “Gentlemen prefer the blondes”. Marilyn Monroe’s costume in that movie inspired me on this piece. There is a man lying down on the upper left corner which gives this piece more mysterious feelings. The eighth piece, I depicting a bedroom of a Chinese girl from the 1950s. It is a very unique style back in the 1950s when everybody is in the same situation and having the same product in their home. The ninth piece, my inspiration came from the swinging sixties. The outfit of the character is influenced by Brigitte Bardot. Bardot’s style is both elegant and wild. The character is playing poker and there is a newspaper on the table that says Kennedy won the presidential election which clearly shows that the time period in this piece is the 1960s. The tenth piece, I got my inspiration from the 1970s and 70s in my mind is the age of disco and hippies, so I drew a vintage shirt for the central character. I also added a time magazine of the 70s on the chair. The character in the background is wearing a Mary Jane shoe which was also a popular element from the 70s. The eleventh piece, the theme of the illustration is 1980s. When I think about the 80s style, I think about Princess Diana who was one of the fashion icons back in the 80s. She definitely had an elegant style which I very much adored. Considering her unhappy relationship with Prince Charles, I drew a serious-looking face for Diana while Prince Charles looks chill and ignores the woman next to him. The twelfth piece, for this piece, I created a high school scene representing the 1990s. There is a film camera on the character’s locker and an old mobile-phone inside her paper bag. There is a Michael Jackson’s poster on the locker and Lolita movie poster below it while the character on the left was influenced by the movie “Pulp fiction”. She has a similar dress style as Mia who is the character in the movie “Pulp Fiction”. The character on the right is inspired by the Barbie doll of the 90s. The thirteenth piece, for this piece, I received my inspiration from a fashion trend that happened in the 2000’s from Japan. It is called “Lolita fashion”, however it is different from the movie “Lolita” that I previously introduced. Lolita fashion is a clothing style which in which people dressed up like a dolls and it first showed up in the late 90s to 2000s in Japan. For the fourteenth piece, I am doing the 2020s trending illustration. Instagram was published in 2010 and it quickly becomes one of the most popular social media. Internet celebrities became one of the popular dream jobs in decades. I cannot say wheater this is the improvement of the culture or it is the symbol that civilization is regressing. This is the last piece of the project, and it is the most relevant one with today’s fashion trends.