One of my SMART targets for 25/04/2018 was to complete all of my sellotape transfers with the words and quotes I had selected previously from my interviews by 11.30am. I had printed off a lot of quotes, both in normal Arial font and the scanned interview quotes. I wanted to do a mix of both to see how well they worked and which one would work better if I was going to take them forward. Even though I did print off a lot of quotes, I have done these transfers before and remember them being fairly easy so I thought 2 hours would be long enough to get the majority, if not all done. I ended up not completing anywhere near what I wanted to because of how time consuming it actually is and only completing around 10 of them. I am going to evaluate these samples and experiments below and explain what went wrong during the process.
What was good or successful about this body of work?
I think the end result of these sellotape transfer samples was really good and successful because it achieved what I aimed for. The back of the sellotape is still sticky so I can easily stick it down without additional glue etc and the words are quite clear, and they are easily readable which is what I wanted. Both the Arial font and handwritten scanned quotes worked well because they are both bold and easily read, the Arial font is stronger and more striking, and this is because the font is quite thick whereas the handwriting is as thin as the ink in the pen that was used. However, the handwritten quotes did work well and they can still be read and understood, and I think I may prefer these because they are more personal to me and my project because they are the actual responses and answers from my interviews with the important women in my life. All of these transfers were successful, not as successful as I had hoped, but they worked well still.
What was less successful about this work? What failings arose and which ideas were not achieved?
These tests and experiments actually had a lot of failings and I had a lot of problems I had to overcome. Originally, in order to get the exact handwriting of the person who wrote the answers, I had the idea of writing the quote out in as close to their writing as possible on a piece of paper, then doing the whole process with the sellotape over the top, cutting the sellotape to size and then rubbing the paper off the back with water. I tried this with a fineliner, and a less inky Biro Bic pen. I tried the fineliner first and discovered that this pen was really inky and watery. The ink bled when I was just writing the quote out, but I achieved the handwriting of the person who wrote the answer pretty easily. The real problem was when I tried to rub the paper off the back with water once I had put the sellotape on (which was pretty easy). As I was rubbing the paper off, the ink also came off with the paper and water, and I thought this was just because the pen was inky and quite fluid. So, I discovered that fineliners don’t work with sellotape transfers and moved onto my next attempt.
My next attempt consisted of me using a Biro Bic pen – which I deemed to be less inky and liquidy – to recreate the handwriting from the memorable quotes from my interviews. Again, the handwriting was easy to achieve with the Biro Bic pen because I had the interviews in front of my so I could easily see what the writing looked like. I actually expected this to work because I believed the first one failed just because of how much the fineliner pen smudged. However, I discovered that this Biro Bic pen also failed and the ink was rubbed away yet again with the paper and water, and this is because the ink isn’t fully soaked into the page like the printing, scanned and copied options. Both of these pens failed and that was when I came up with the idea of printing off quotes in Arial font and using the cropped images of scanned quotes in the person’s handwriting too.
Another failure was trying to get the sellotape to fully cover the quote on the paper because sometimes, I didn’t cut off enough sellotape so I had to have multiple pieces of tape over one section. This caused some of the text to break up in some of the first tests I completed because I took this on board for the next ones as I knew of this failure and tried my best not to repeat the same mistake again.
A further failure was definitely the fact that I didn’t fully meet the SMART target for this task because I underestimated the amount of time that would be needed to complete these experiments. The whole process of cutting the quote to how I liked, then layering all of the sellotape FULLY over the quote with some excess, then peeling it off the table and cutting the excess off, then rubbing the paper off the back with water was really long winded and a lot more time consuming than I had anticipated. As a result of this, I spent longer on these tests than I wanted to, with them continuing on till dinner time at 12.45pm and I also completed less tests than I wanted to. I didn’t continue with these after lunch because I had set other SMART targets that I wanted to complete too.
What have I learnt from this?
From these sellotape transfer samples, I have learnt that not everything is as easy as I remember it, just because I have done it before. I had previously completed this technique successfully with images so this process may be easier and quicker with images, and I didn’t even know if the text would work to begin with, even though it eventually did. I also did not realise how time consuming the whole process is, so I have learnt to try and make my SMART targets more realistic now as a result of not hitting this one for today. I have also learnt that pen ink, whether it Biro Bic ink, or fineliner ink, doesn’t fully dry to a page and sink into the paper, whereas, printed ink does because whatever you are printing has to have the ink soak into the paper in order for the image or whatever you are printing to be fully transferred from a piece of technology and be clear too.
What can I take forward for ongoing development?
For ongoing development, I am going to try layering some of the quotes over my fabric samples, which I have already started in the last image above, to see whether this is something I like and would develop even further. I will test out what the transfers look like on a mannequin / body form too. I will also complete all of the ones I haven’t done today, but I honestly don’t know when by now because I didn’t expect them to take as long as they did. I may also combine these quotes and transfer samples with other things I have done so far – such as my continuous line drawings and primary empowerment photoshoots.