It is claimed that the average women between 16 – 25 years old will spend more then Five hours a week taking photos of themselves (Bates, 2016). Not only females, but in all genders have been known to take place within this phenomenon of the Selfie. It wasn’t until 2013 that the term Selfie was added to the English dictionary (BBC, 2013), so what exactly is the Selfie?

The English dictionary states that the selifie is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically taken with a smartphone or webcam, and is shared via social media”(Dictionary of oxford Dictionaries, 2017). Many critics view the Selfie as narcissism, stating that the photo taker is no longer taking in the moment in which they stand, but instead witnessing the moment through an iPhone lens (Gopnik, 2015). But is this really true or can the Selfie become empowering for woman? Or is there a massive risk in showing your face? .

According to John Berger (cited by Kulkarni, 2016) the idea of taking ones photograph relates to the way of seeing, stating that the Selfie is related to the concept of the male gaze, a term generated from Laura Mulvey. However what he does imply is that the new ideas of the female Selfie, the taker gazes upon her own body, claiming “ it is her look, her image, and ultimately, it is her gaze that the Selfie embodies”(Kulkarni, 2016). She is the image and the photographer. In a way the Selfie allows the taker to control how they want to be seen, compared to someone taking the photo from a camera, which they have no control over, thus unlocking the potential of her own power.


(photo source:Molly Coulthard tweeted her #uglygirlsclub selfie)

 Women are more likely to find Selfies empowering, when they post pictures of themselves that do not adhere to any socially acceptable idea of a normal selfie photo. Which in return sees the image gaining and receiving support. For example, The Royal Holloway University Feminist Society decided to encourage young women to upload unflattering Selfies of them-selves online, using the hashtag Ugly Girl Club. With the aim to encourage the public to not judge women and people on there looks. These campaigns based on the selfie is not only getting women evolved but also men, creating a sense of equal-ness.


The president of the Society Natasha Barrett, stated “The aim of the campaign is to empower people to not just think of their worth in physical terms. The selfies were tongue-in-cheek to start with – but they carry a serious message, too, the selfie is a powerful message. People are getting to control their own image and present it to the world.”(Cited by Biddlecombe, 2014). Through this example it’s clear to understand that Selfies have the power to create awareness and create change. This was also demonstrated through the success of the no make up selfie campaign, which ended up raising over 8 million for cancer research in the UK (Biddlecombe, 2014).


(Photo source: Doron Matalon/Instagaram)

Though this does not imply that every selfie we take can have a powerful affect upon someone. Selfies can become quite problematic such as the Israeli beauty queen Selfie. The Israeli beauty queen caused such chaos with Lebanon, calling for her to lose her Miss Universe title, all because she was seen consorting with their country enemy. The photo seen above , referenced Miss Israel, Doron Matlon and Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige who are seen posing for a picture together at a pageant in Miami 2015. These two countries are technically at war with each other ( euters, 2015). The Lebanese community where outraged demanding for Greige to lose her title for talking to the enemy of the state, in need to defend herself she stated that Matalon had pestered her and finally ended up photo-bombing her photo     (Euters, 2015). From this example its clear that the idea of the selfie could have good intentions but there are certain circumstances that come with it. The law can influence the way in which you decide to show your face, which can lead to a bigger situation then you thought, a bigger risk to you and maybe your lifestyle.


Though the selfie can be positive, it is clear that the effects of the selfie can’t change the reality of the world. Yes it can empower you; it might bring you knowledge that you didn’t know before, through the use of campaigns and awareness. But in harsh reality a photo can cause more damage then good depending on the situation. I guess it is up to you to decide if there is a risk to it? I would love to hear your thoughts? Do you think a selfie worth the risk? Let me know below?

As always all the best!

Chelsea x








week 9 – Research on Pokemon characters

After the advice given from Gregor of using fantasy characters , such as super heroes. I decided to follow through with the idea of using Pokemon characters for my project, as advocators for pill testing within music festivals. Using the concept of 3 + 1  in my previous design experiments , i created a concept 4 called fantasy illustration. It was designed to visually communicate a way of harm prevention using the popular characters of Pokémon Go characters, using the game to relate to the target audience. . Pokémon Go, if you don’t know is a game found in the app store, the original game has been around for ages and recently has been brought back to our lives, it has made a huge craze within our society, even knocking down the internet on the day of its release. It seemed so appropriate to use these characters for my target audience, as it will for certain catch people’s attention and draw their interest towards the notion of pill testing in music festivals in Australia.

Inspiration(Mood board)  



week 4 – who and what is my design project

Market/ target audience: The project is aimed at the target market of individuals who attend music festivals, aiming at the age bracket of 17-27


Research: The project topic is based around the affects of drugs on the youth particularly the drug usage found at popular music festivals such as Splendor in the grass located in Byron Bay NSW. According to The Cabin (2016) tragic drug related death is a growing problem for young Australians, recording that six deaths took place last year during the music festival season (The Cabin, 2016). This is due to the rise of synthetic drugs and Ecstasy usage within the youth culture. Researchers are stating that this may be due to the individual not knowing what ingredients are in the drug. In 2015, (The Cabin, 2016) the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Drug Strategy Survey highlighted that “27 percent of Australians aged 20-29 years old had used illicit drugs in the preceding 12 months, with eight percent having used ecstasy during that period” (The Cabin, 2016), meaning that Australians had the world’s highest rate of ecstasy consumption even though Australian have the most expensive prices (Ting, 2015).


With the rise of drug related tragedies, the government has tried to peruse ways in which they can limit drug harm at music festivals. This has seen advocates such as doctors and drug reform groups pushing for a trail of drug testing at music festivals as a way to control harm prevention (Metherell, 2016).


As a response the NSW government released the Stoner Sloth campaign. This ad features a stoned sloth aimed at discouraging teenagers from consuming cannabis, using the tag line “ your worse on weed”(Veness, 2015). The campaign was designed to be appealing and sharable among the youth, who may be frequent users of the drug (Veness, 2015). The campaign went viral, with more then 4 million hits on YouTube and Facebook (Arlington, 2016). I chose this case study as my main research; to analyses what went wrong and to make a decision as a designer if I could improve upon their strategy within a music festival environment, as a way to examine if the idea of parody works within the target market. This case study highlighted that there is a fine line between just the right amount of parody versus too much, a problem I need to be careful within this project. To do so, I researched the most popular fantasy characters to make sure I would be communicating to the right age group.


Another government campaign, took the approach of using scare tactics of illustrations and photographs to scare drug users in participating in drug use. Medical reporter Kate Benson (2008) stated teenagers who viewed these advertisements where “four times more likely to approve of using the drug regularly rather then scaring them into avoiding it” (Benson, 2008). The United Kingdom took a different approach to their drug related problems, they created a campaign called “Talk to Frank” encouraging their youth to reach out and contact someone when you are at risk (Frank, 2016). However in the USA, their campaign “Above the influence” took the tactic of showing what the youth can do without taking drugs. Their aim was to understand what teenagers who don’t take drugs do in their spare time and advertise those activities, instead of highlighting the use of drugs as there main focus (Above The Influence, 2016).



The artist, Luke Choice and Neil Stevens two graphic designers both use illustration and Typography as a way to visually communicate to their audience through their advertisements and individual projects. Their bright colours and Quirkiness within their designs prove that visual illustration and typography can grab an audience attention, a strategy that can effectively communicate an indented message. Through “Information design” a design book written by Kathryn Coates and Andy Ellison (2014) prove to be a usual resources in regards to visualizing and communicating information through design artworks, providing hints and tips on the design process (Coates & Ellison, 2014,p.6). According to International Institute for Information Design (2014,p.10) they describe visual communication as the “planning and shaping of the contents of a message and the environments in which it is presented, with the intention to satisfy the information needs of the intended recipients” (cited by Coates & Ellison, 2014,p.10). Highlighting the importance of knowing who and what you are designing for, with the aim to making a clear and direct message (Coates & Ellison, 2014,p.18). ‘Reading Pictures’ (2003) a book by David Crow highlights the importance of a graphic designer to understand semiotics as an essential skill in designing. Highlighting the importance of designers finding “the right tone of voice or the right associations for a message”(Crow, 2003,p.56), playing with the concept of hidden set of meanings or messages signifying reality in a picture. Thus controlling how the viewer interprets the message and the tone of the language (Crow, 2003,p.56). Proving to be an important factor in my design project, to create designs that clearly communicate the indented message through carefully selecting the right languages and images to use.



(Initial design Visuals Design rough / mood boards slash competitive set goes here )


Proposed Final Outcome:

  • 3x A2 posters campaigns displayed on the wall hanging 1.5 below the ceiling using bull dog clips
  • A3 Info- graphic poster also showcased on the wall mounted on foam core board using command hooks.
  • Leaflets showcased and left on a table or portfolio
  • Social media /advertising showcased in a portfolio showing mockups of live streaming, found on a table
  • A3 Mockups of the poster at the location of splendor in the Grass, mounted on foam core using command hooks


Resources needed to complete project:

  • Adobe design suite (illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop)
  • Printing studio
  • Design research



focus group results

Out of the 5 participants 4 had previously taken a gap year, while 1 participant choose not to participate in a gap year. These participants where carefully selected for this research paper, to gain a deeper insight on the topic and research question to create a balance and ethical view points. All participants will remain confidential and will be referred to as participate- A and Participate- B for their privacy throughout this report.

Common themes within the focus group discussion:

  1. Financial growth: 4 out 5 agreed that a gap year was beneficial due to the reason of finical growth. They where able to save enough money in order for them to safely feel ready to study and live without the stress university life can bring. 2 participants agreed that financial reason was their main influence in taking the ‘gap year’; both participants live on campus and needed the money in order to study their chosen degree. They were more relax when it came to studying, as they knew they could afford life outside of university. Resulting in participants being more focused during study while enjoying university life. However participate- C disagreed and said that their gap year didn’t help them to achieve finical gain, this was due to the participate using their saved money by travelling, therefore creating more stress when studying.
  2. A gap year gave the participants an understanding of their future career: All participants agreed that by taking a gap year they where able to gain a deeper understanding of what they wanted to do with their lives and future careers, a ‘gap year’ was a way not to rush into things. Participates mentioned when finishing high school they felt rushed and expected to know what to study for their future career. This gave the participants lots of stress and anxiety. Participate- B stated he felt a huge pressure to choose a course straight away, he even mention he took a “lucky guess”. When asked ‘why’ he replied by commenting the course chosen was the only thing he really knew about at that time “it seemed alright” (participate B).
  3. Choosing university courses was easier: Taking a ‘gap year’ allowed the participants to decide that university was for them. They were able to research courses, try new jobs, and gain experience and insights on what they wanted to do as a career. Participate D stated that he wished he took part in a gap year stating “it would have been beneficial for me, giving me time to actually explore what I wanted to do instead of just picking / falling into the degree I am now in”(participate D).
  4. Recommending gap years to future students: 4 out of 5 recommended on taking a gap year, as it allowed participates time to fully understand who they were by not being rushed into the process of studying straight after school. “I was able to work and gain insight into my career, learnt about myself and just had fun, so by that yes future students should take a gap” (participate E). However participate A stated, they wouldn’t recommend future students to take a gap year. Participate-A stated, “As a gap taker I was able to gain insight about the world around me when travelling”. Though the participant felt as though they didn’t gain any purpose or make any difference within their own life. Participant A felt as though they wasted their time. “When I got back I felt more pressure, to complete my degree, to achieve certain marks to feel that my choice was worth it”.

Survey results


  • Out of 12 respondents 80.33% believed they have benefitted from a gap year towards university life and studies. With 66.67 % responding that ‘gap years’ has helped with their experience within university. While only 16 % disagreed believing that ‘gap years’ wasn’t helpful towards university studies. With 33.33% stating that ‘gap years’ didn’t have any impact on their enjoyment towards universities.
  • The respondents that participated believed by taking a gap year, they were able to make a clear decisions about their course selection and improve their attitude towards their studies, 60 % agreed. While 80 % of all participates believed that by taking a gap year they gained a new perspective on life.


  • 67 % who took the survey agreed that they would recommend future university students to take a gap year based on their own experiences. In which they believed the act of a ‘gap year’ helped respondents to gain personal growth. However 36.36 % acknowledged that ‘gap years’ did not fill their need to travel while commencing their studies. Though 63.64% believed it did.
  •  The survey results illustrated that by taking a gap year, participants were more encouraged to start studying at university, 90 .91%.
  • However what is interesting is within the results found there was an even split between the participants, when ask if by completing a ‘gap year’ they able to choose a university course easier


  • 33% of the respondents believed by being able to go travelling, gain experience in the workforce, or participate in community services and internships, made participants understand what they wanted to do with their life careers.


  • 24 % of the respondent replied by taking a gap year they were able to achieve their need to travel, 38.24% found a part time job, 42.65% found a full time job. However when ask to specify what else they achieved the respondents included:
  1. TAFE
  2. Worked in a summer camp
  3. Took care of physical and mental health issue
  4. Pursed personal interest, “until I actually wanted to study” (anonymous participate)
  5. Military services


  • Out of 80 responses 89.39% took a gap year that lasted a year, followed by only 7.58 % who took 2 years. 96.97 % stated that their gap year was beneficial.
  • The 3.03 % didn’t think their gap year was beneficial commented by saying:
  1. “I felt like I had no purpose, I had no goals and nothing to aim for” (anonymous participate)
  2. “Got me out of my habits of studying, found it hard to get back into it, the financial gain wasn’t worth it” (anonymous participate)


96.97 % that agreed gap years where beneficial commented on:


  1. “Got a job in the industry I wanted to work in that is part time and so fits in with the study I do now” (anonymous participate)
  2. “It allowed me to take my time to think over my course choice and to have a break from study to allow myself to be more dedicated when I returned” (anonymous participate)
  3. “Got to travel the world and learn a lot about myself and my independence. I would never have thought how beneficial a gap year was before going. Would highly recommend to any year 12 student before going straight to university. Clear the mind and have a break! Have a gap”(anonymous participate)
  4. “It gave me more financial stability for university and prepared me mentally”(anonymous participate)


Update on research project

The mythologies undertaken throughout this research paper, was conducted through the use of two online Surveys, consisting of 10 questions, each in order to make efficient use to collet data that is (Punch, 2003,p.62):

  1. Easily acceptable and cost friendly
  2. Time saving
  3. Giving the project a clear direction and path

Survey one had 68 respondents, survey two had 12 respondents all together 80 participants participated in this research survey, majority of whom where 25 years and under. To gain a deeper understanding a second mythology was used, focus groups consisting of 5 active participants. Focus groups allowed participants to generate their own questions and concepts; enabling the question to be widely explored by collecting dada based on opened ended questions (Purdam, 2016). Through analyzing qualitative and quantitative data through these methods, generated results to the proposed research question. Examining “why” individual students believe that a ‘gap year’ is positive or negative. These findings were analyzed through the service of Survey Monkey and recurring pattern and themes found throughout focus groups discussion (Purdam, 2016).



Globalisation – The American way …. OR is it ?

Globalisation  – The American way …. OR is it ?

Imagine how life was 20 years ago, where there wasn’t a thing called cellphones, laptops, email and there was no Internet. Because of this communication and trade proved to be a challenge, not only between countries but also between people located in the same region. People were forced to send letters and connect by calling each other by home phones; you got your news from your television , local newspapers and radios. But this all changed because of “Globalisation”, so what exactly is globalisation? Globalisation is a term that is hard to define, but according to O’Shaughnessy and Stadler (2008) regards the term as an “international community infused by technological development and economic, political and military interests” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2008,p.458). Crane, kawashima and kawaka (2002, p.1) suggest that it is important to realize that “cultural globalisation is no longer conceptualized in terms of the emergence of a homogenize global instead it is a now more complex and diverse phenomenon consisting of global cultures, originating from many different nations and regions”. Globalisation is commonly thought of as a “global village” (appadurai, 1996) But with anything there is always going to be a positive and negative affect, it was Tom Gitlin (2001) that argued that a “global village” speaks American (cited in O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2008,p.465).

Cultural imperialism describes, “how one culture spreads its values and ideas culturally” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2008,p.465) through media instead of using direct economic trading with a country that has economic means to produce a majority of the world cultural media. The fear is that this will lose dependency from traditional cultures and be influenced from our western values as suggested by Thompson (cited in cited in O’Shaughnessy & Stadler 2008). “We are not living in a global village, but in customized cottage globally produced and locally disturbed” (castells, 2010)(cited in cited in O’Shaughnessy & Stadler 2008).

Looking at examples it is easy to see why Thompson and Castells believe this. The world is so familiar with American brands, we look around and we see people wearing Nikes in all sought of colours and styles. We know that if we are Hungary and want food fast we look for a McDonalds. We are influenced from TV shows and movies that are vastly American, music, literature, Internet content, western advertising and so on. We begin to see these corporate brands everywhere and influencing and promoting our culture and lifestyle to the point where they become blended or shifted into other cultures. Shaughnessy and Stadler (2008,p.465 ) argue that globalization and communication is not led by America presence but suggest that globalisation results in “adaptation, appropriation, hybridisation and mutual incorporation of different cultural texts and traditions”


An example is the well-known American television show The Simpsons. Showing a typical American family, it’s a hugely successful show that has been translated in multiple languages and shown around the world. The show alters their episodes to what is shown to various cultures and countries in order to make it more appealing and appropriate for those outside the USA. Jarstad (2005, p.2) states, “it does not aim to infiltrate foreign audience ideologies in hopes to spreading “good American values” but rather aims to liberate audiences to analyze the flows of power and culture around them”

Globalisation has both its pros and its cons and it is easy to see why people believe that the western world is highly influenced by America culture. Though shown by O’Shaughnessy & Stadler (2008) and jarstad (2005) we accept that the power of globalisation exists and plays a huge part in our culture, but as we continue to analyse cultural imperialism by both these text and more. It arises that the USA are criticized for dominating the global economy but we tend to forget that there are several big players beside the USA, for example china ,we shouldn’t just be blaming The USA.

What do you think? Are we dominated by America or do u agree with O’Shaughnessy & Stadler (2008).


– Crane, D, &Kawashima, N, & Kawasaki, K 2002, Global culture: media ,arts ,policy and globalization , Psychology Press ,   London & USA.

– O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J (2008) ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471

– Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47.

– Jarstad, S 2005, A case study on “the Simpsons as a mediated global culture product , Weebly, viewed 12th August 2015, <http://sarahjorstad.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/6/9/12698882/globalization_final_essay_final.pdf&gt;

– Khorana, S 2015, ‘Globalisation, Media Flows and Saturation Coverage’, PowerPoint slides, International Media and Communication, BCM111, university of Wollongong, viewed 12th August 2015