I present to you a short Q&A with London based graphic designer Cecile Genevier, a great mind who always manages to think outside the box. Here we delve into her least favourite project and the qualms of the creative soul…
Tell me about your least favourite project.
Oh my goodness, ok, so my least favourite was the first one we did, i don’t know what it was called, the poster project, where we had to create posters based on music, like a song that invoked a particular memory. So I picked three songs, well we had to pick three songs generally. One was a Bon Iver song, one was by The Strokes, “What Ever Happened”, and the other was a song by the Wombats, I can’t remember which one. But I just found it really annoying because a lot of the ideas I was getting I don’t think were good enough, or didn’t represent the memory strong enough, so that’s why I decided to go with moving image, and create a gif. One of the gifs was someone running to The Strokes song, and the other was in a car, with trees going by, and I felt that eventually evoked the memory that I wanted it too, and the weakest one I would say was the one of my bedroom, I took a picture, quite bright light, it was all white really.
I liked that one.
Really? I’m surprised that was my least favourite, but yeah anyway, I guess that’s my own criticism.
What was the significance of the songs?
Significance? I think they were at times in my life, when I guess they just really evoked a specific emotion, especially The Strokes one, that was very, not powerful but, you know, i’m running, it’s quite an exertion I guess of a lot of energy.
There’s a nice kind of anger to that song with the lyrics
Yeah, well exactly, and I guess I’m quite angry when i’m running, I guess, I dunno,
But it evokes a kind of energy through that
Yeah, yeah it definitely does, that’s true. The Bon Iver one is very peaceful, and it reminds me of very specific times in the car, which i find a very peaceful place for myself, just kind of watching things go by, you know, having no care in the world really, and that one I would say meant the most to me out of the three. The Wombats one was a very specific memory, and that’s why it was the corner of my bedroom, it was only one time really, and a kind snap shot in my brain really, like a mental picture, and it’s just quite airy fairy really, I don’t know how to describe it, but, I was just loving listening to that song I guess, and snap shotted that memory of the corner of my bedroom.
Why did you choose moving imagery for your posters, rather than a traditional poster medium?
I didn’t find I was getting the right feeling by having a still image, and they have very specific meanings to me those songs, and both of those gifs, or both those songs rather, I was moving and that was the whole point of the memory was that, was the movement, and the way that I felt in that movement, so I wanted to have the posters moving so you really felt that memory the way I felt it, or felt the song rather, the way I felt it.
And how did you go about making the gifs?
Well, one of them, the one in the car, I was filming in my car, took the footage and decided to make that into a gif, and the other…
The other, my friend was filming actually as he was skating, and my other friend was just running next to him, it was just really, really easily done actually, surprisingly.
And with the process of making them into gifs?
That was annoyingly difficult because I had to find an app that was gonna create the film into a gif that was fast enough, because I had so many clips, so I finally managed to get down to a few enough amount of clips that i was actually happy with to make it into a gif, but it was really annoying because…
What app did you use to make them?
I don’t even remember, it was something on my Mac i think that was called like gif app or something, i don’t know, make a gif, I typed it in like “gif making app” and it came up, yeah I mean at the beginning it was really slow, it would go by once, and one image would go by, but i managed, i kept working at it to make it faster, really, I dunno, I don’t know how to describe it, it was… yeah.
What do you think worked well?
What do I think worked well? I think the gifs worked well, because that was different, I mean only two or three other people made a moving image for their poster, I think that really made it stand out, so yeah i think that’s what worked well about it, and also made it different.
What did you not like about it?
I didn’t like the fact that, although the songs meant a lot to me, I just felt like i didn’t do a good job in capturing that feeling. In a way I kind of said thats how it was captured, said that’s how I felt in the moment, but I feel no one else really felt that, and I think that was the point of the project, to make the person feel the emotion, and I don’t think that was what came through.
And finally, what was the feedback like?
Fairly positive, one criticism was that they weren’t the right size, to be an A2 poster, one of the criteria was that they had to be a specific size, the gifs and the printed image weren’t the right size, they didn’t quite match. So that was quite negative, but then the fact that they were moving was good, that was positive. That’s all I remember from it really.
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Photos and moving head gif of Cecile by F. Kidd
White bedroom photo, girl running and trees passing gifs by Cecile Genevier