I began the week by beginning to sketch people wherever I went, noting down the time, the place and distinctive things that may give clues about their personality. However it became apparent quickly that when I have time to sketch it was on things like public transport, meaning all of the people were acting quite similarly. Sitting, minding their own business, which doesn’t really tell me much about them at all. I realized that if I was going to record a true representation of someone’s character I needed to catch them in a definitive moment.
The famous photographer Henri Cartier Bresson published a book called ‘The decisive moment’ claiming that if a photograph is taken at the correct fraction of a second, a true representation of the event is captured. If taken even a second later, the moment is gone forever. I think this is best demonstarted through this image, ‘Bresson behind the gare st. lazare’ -1933.
My thoughts at this stage are that I should try to apply this theory and Cartier Bresson’s ‘Snap Shooting’ approach to record people’s characters. Something else important that i’ve realized is that it is vital to have the subjects face in my recordings. My sketches of people who’s faces are in the drawing, are much more effective than those where it’s not, simply because someone’s expression can show alot about their character, when the back of their head doesn’t!
During this week I have also done a fair amount of research into ‘types of people’. One site said that there are 6 types of people:
- The Hostile Co-worker of Boss – They Feel like they have been wronged.
- The Chronic Complainer – Faultfinding, blaming others (anyone but themselves)
- The Super Agreeable – Smiley, agree to something and then back down. These people seek approval.
- The know-it-all expert – They may act superior, impatient with different opinions.
- The Pessimist – Angry, bitter doubt, disappointment
- The Staller – Puts off decisions for fear of someone will be unhappy.
Although this is interesting, I don’t think it covers all types of people and is more aimed at people in a working environment.
I then came across a book called ‘A Complete Encyclopedia of Different Types of People’ by Gabe Foreman. It is a book made up of poems about types of people, e.g people who were unplanned babies and therefore addressed as ‘Accidents’. A link to more information about the book is here: http://www.chbooks.com/catalogue/complete-encyclopedia-different-types-people. I don’t own this book and am not sure where I would go to borrow it. It is quite interesting, but it’s made up of poems, I was looking for facts. This might be something worth coming back to though!
I then started to look into personality types, http://www.personalitypage.com/high-level.html however the amount of information on this page was a bit too overwhelming.
I then looked into Character types within stories:
- CONFIDANTE -Someone who the main character confides in, thus revealing alot about the main character.
- DYNAMIC CHARACTER – This is a character who changes during the story.
- FLAT CHARACTER – This is a character who reveals about 1 or 2 character traits which don’t change.
- FOIL CHARACTER – A character who is used to enhance another character by contrast.
- ROUND CHARACTER – A character who has contradictory traits.
- STATIC CHARACTER – A character who stays the same.
- STOCK CHARACTER – A Stereotypical character.
- MAJOR CHARACTER
- MINOR CHARACTER
Looking at types of characters was again quite interesting, but didn’t really give me much to work with with regards to this project, other than to try to find this characters in real life.
Going back to capturing decisive moments that define people, the most interesting images would most probably be when people are pulling interesting poses, making expressive drawings that capture a split second of their personality through that movement. So I started thinking about emotions to capture and brainstorming ideas around the 8 major emotions: Fear, Anger, Sadness, Joy, Disgust, Trust, Anticipation and Surprise.
I came across a website called emotioneric.com, where you request an emotion, and Eric will act it out and post it. It is quite an amusing idea.