I knew from the get-go that this semester was going to be my most work-intensive yet. I knew that because aside form my Thesis 1, I had 3 more design-heavy subjects, Publication being the heaviest. I heard it from other students who took the class before, and they all came with one warning: take on a topic that you like or else…
Basically, we were tasked to self-publish our own books (or create the first prototype of it, at the least, considering the parameters of “self-publishing”). All original content from text to photos and illustrations. My professor broke down all the collateral deadlines: text drafts first, illustration and photography next, and finally the printing (CAN WE ALL AGREE that this is always the trickiest??) And we only had 3.5 months to complete it.
After crumpling my 10th scratch paper full of (dumb) concept drafts, I sat in the corner of Venice Mall’s food court, staring at another blank paper, stumped (it’s all good, I was just waiting for my ride and I didn’t want to waste any time (although I felt the pity looks from the couple beside me ???)) I took out my phone and checked what my horoscope says about this because LORD, STARS, THE COSMOS, PLEASE….HELP ME. HAHAHAHA. I needed to present a concept draft the next day and I still have 0. Lol.
That’s when it hit me—a topic I won’t get bored with and am deeply interested in: astrology; horoscope, zodiac signs, and all that hocus-pocus. But I wanted to add more dimensions on it, since I didn’t want it to be a how-to or anything like that. I mean, my zodiac knowledge is pretty good, but I’m no expert to be writing a guide book. So I added another topic to merge it with, which was dreams. I’ve always been fascinated with dreams and how our supposedly asleep brain paints all these scenarios and stories that we get momentarily (or sometimes even more) obsessed with, the moment we wake up. I thought about how dreams are visual metaphors of our subconscious and how we try to decode it to make sense of our lives. Kind of like how the early astrologers tried to make sense of life with astrology. So yes, this was going to be a good pair.
So the concept is simple: There will be 4 chapters, representing the 4 elements; and then 3 dream narratives in each. 12 dream narratives in total, for all 12 zodiac signs. Essentially, what I wanted the reader to experience with the book is the feeling of walking in a dream, waking up from it, and then finally trying to make sense of it. Each dream narratives are tailored for a specific zodiac sign, matching their characteristics, personality stereotypes, etc. The thing with dreams is the fact that it’s all metaphorical. Dream of a dog biting you and that means a possible betrayal. Dream of flying and that means you’re feeling a whole sense of freedom. And so for each dream recounts that takes place in these weird scenarios and settings, there will be key elements to it that puts the stories into perspective, fitting it into the zodiac sign it’s assigned with. And for this book, while I wanted the stories to be essentially open for interpretation of each reader, I left a “dream bank” in the back, that’s like a dream dictionary where the readers can check into. (And a few blank pages for the reader’s own dream journaling.)
Then came the second-most tricky part (because printing is the trickiest, ok, don’t even fight me on this. If you get your prints exactly the way you want it on the first go…..damn where do you get your stuff printed Imma go THERE!), the execution. For each sign, there will be a different set. So yes, we prepped for 12 shoots in 2.5 weeks, and then had the photoshoots in 5 weekends.
Here’s a sample of the spreads. Aside from the dream narratives, there’s also fun facts about each zodiac sign.
Side note: Big shoutout to my models, Jessa and Dianne (If you remember then in a previous post I had here)! You guys nailed ittt ❤️🌈💫
For now, the book I have here with me would be the first prototype. While I’m super happy with how it turned out, I’m still working on perfecting it before I decide to sell it maybe? Idk. Let me know if you guys are interested in this book, AND if you’re interested in my process with arranging the photoshoots, looks, and post! I’d love to share my experience (and maybe some Lightroom presets? Haha) with it on a separate post (because this is getting long hahaha).⭐️