As this chapter of my creative process comes to a close, I think I am slightly closer to answering my research question. I’ve begun to confirm my initial beliefs that the blogosphere has democratizated fashion, helped break down the boundaries of black style and challenged the common representations of the black subject in fashion related imagery. As I suggested in my first post, blogging my creative process has allowed me to subjectively engage with the subject matter I am researching. In addition, I’ve been more and more interested in trying to explain what black style means in the present day. My street style photographs and the interviews I’m conducting with each person have helped me begin to reveal, both visually and with words, what is black style. I found that reading the literature of Stuart Hall has really helped develop the theoretical background I’m working with.
During this stage of my creative process, my street style photographs took precedence and consequently the format of the creative component of my MRP has shifted. I now envision that there will be two parts: a web “piece” and a photo book. Presently, I’m finding it difficult to explain exactly what the web piece will be. As I explained in a previous post, it will probably be a some formation of an online fashion magazine. Once I’ve collected all the material that will be included, I’ll be able to make some more decisions about the format. I have realized though that I probably will not be able to include the photos of every person I’ve photographed for the photo book if I aiming to get at least 30 ideal participants.
I really would like to do a photo book for this project but I’m still trying to form an adequate reason as to why. I have some ideas but I need to further develop them. The photo book will be an extension of the web piece with perhaps a stronger emphasis on my street style photographs. The strongest idea I have so far is that the web piece will likely be something that I will continue with after graduation whereas the photo book will be representative of this particular volume/issue/chapter.
Originally, I had proposed to conduct case studies on six blogs but I have now decided to select three blogs. I proposed to conduct interviews with each of the bloggers and ask that bloggers contribute images from their blog. It has proven to be difficult to get bloggers to be included in this project. If I’m unable to get at least three exemplary bloggers to be included, I think I will have conduct these case studies without interviews or the inclusion images. Frankly, I’m quite worried about this because having the bloggers directly involved is crucial.
As I move forward, my next steps are the following:
1. To solidify how bloggers will be included. Hopefully they will be included in the way that I originally planned.
2. Travel to Montreal to take street style photographs.
3. Form a clear explanation as to why I’ve decided to do a photo book.
4. Make decisions as to how this project will be presented online.
5. Make the creative component and write the paper.
on black style by the numbers:
I have taken at least 1354 photographs in total so far
I have photographed 25 people in the Greater Toronto Area
I have roughly one hour and 15 minutes of audio-recorded interviews
I have preliminary drafts of the layout for the web magazine/photo book which I made using Indesign and I’ve experimented with web formats for the web piece
Random note #1: “On Black Style” (or ONBLACKSTYLE or on black style) seems to be a more fitting title for the creative component instead of “Fitting In: Black Style in Blogosphere.”
*note: This post is the conclusion for the course I am currently enrolled in.