Who are those ghosts haunting the digital space?
24-year-old Johnathan Hayden, graduate of The Art Institute of Dallas and current student at The Savannah College of Art and Design, explores the internal view of social networking within his designs, and the damaging effect this can have on human society. Explore Johnathan Hayden’s website or contact him via twitter at @johnny_doodleme.
So Johnathan, you have entered three different animation projects for #YourView15. What is the background behind these works you submitted?
The first project I submitted is from early March and it is an Alexander McQueen illustration that was curated by a company called Drawadot in Canada. I chose McQueen’s Spring 2001 Collection VOSS that was inspired by an insane asylum, utilising animation and interaction design. This creates an immersive and engaging experience within fashion. In this illustration, I made the dress come to life and morph into birds (a McQueen motif) to juxtapose the feeling of internal torture and freedom.
What design process did you go through in creating this project?
I always start the illustration as a pencil rendering that I then colour and animate electronically. The curator, and world-renowned fashion illustrator, Meghan Hess judged the competition, and I was chosen as the open call favourite.
Tell us about the second project you submitted and the process behind it?
The second project is an animation that I completed in April. I was competing in another open call for Valentino, but used my class project to delegate time to the project. It took a week of conceptualising, researching visual references, and gathering research for approaches to designing the motion of the video. Another four days was spent creating a meticulous storyboard of the fifteen-second video, including frame shots, camera cuts, and creating, essentially, what the aesthetic of the video will look like. I determine which assets of the short are 2D or 3D and how a digital file needs to be constructed to achieve the result I’m looking for in the final outcome.
And then your third project?
The third and final project is the development of my capsule collection. Technology is a constant inspiration, as it was for this collection. I called it “Digital Affectation”, inspired by social networking and its effect on our physical interactions. It explores pixelated digital landscapes that ask questions about transparency, privacy, fantasy, and reality. It’s easy to forget we only see what others want us to see online. It can never be a complete and accurate representation of who we really are at our core.
What affect does this have on people using social media sites?
It can dehumanise us! With this added layer of anonymity, social morals are often blurred and, in some cases, ignored. How much of our identity is altered when we engage online? Do we say things we wouldn’t normally? Do we only show the world what is deemed “good”, and play a part in dehumanising ourselves? Why is it that some people feel the need to remain anonymous online or completely fabricate an identity? Who are those ghosts haunting the digital space? What is their story? Who were they before? Who are they now? Who are you online?
Tell us about the images you have supplied
These photographs show the development of the collection and the accompanying rough cut of the promo video shows the inspiration. It took me four weeks to create this unfinished video. The video actually augments the clothing. I am about to start my thesis, and I am using augmented reality as a facet to enhance the concept. With my background in interaction design and skills in motion design, I have created an amalgamation that creates an engaging fashion experience.
So what inspires you creatively?
I tend to read quite a bit for inspiration. My favourite author is Aldous Huxley, and much of what I read and watch is in the same genre: satire, science fiction, technology, and the human condition. I am inspired by people. Real experiences and stories. I read periodicals and watch the news for inspiration. I see myself as a satellite constantly taking information in about the world. I research writers, artists, directors and photographers that are exploring the same concepts and asking the same questions. I’m currently looking at Cildo Meireles, Barbara Kruger, and Santiago Sierra.
What is your favourite film of all time?
I couldn’t choose one single favourite film, but ‘American Beauty’, ‘A Single Man’, ‘Charade’, and ‘All about Eve’ are on the list. I enjoy a witty, insightful comedy like ‘All about Eve’, but really love the visceral and humanising stories of ‘American Beauty’ and ‘A Single Man’. All of these films have incredible acting and cinematography. I used to teach music, so soundtracks impact my film tastes. One of my favourite television series is ‘Psycho Pass’, a Japanese animated series that is an incredible exploration of free will and technology.
What is your favourite music track or album right now?
I’m enjoying two artists at the moment. The band Years & Years (their EP is called Y & Y) has a realistic yet trendy exploration of human relationships. I also love Chet Faker’s studio album Built on Glass. His music has experimental beats, rhythms, time signatures, and keys that are more ambient than most songs.
What is your favourite on-line Video?
I am curious about and watch a lot of videos about social disorder and the news. I like to constantly be in touch with what is going on in the world. I feel it is imperative for me to be a pertinent participant in the survival of mankind. Videos I have seen recently include topics on cultural appropriation in America, a response to Michelle Obama’s College Speech and John Oliver’s video on standardised test taking in America.
What is your favourite website for inspiration?
I use many curatorial websites like Drawadot, Designspiration, Instagram and Pinterest for visual inspiration. One of my favourite Instagrams to follow is JPPM – Neverending Moodboard, creating moodboards to inspire creatively. It is a refreshing Instagram concept that amalgamates inspiring images into a single profile, rather than sifting through the app for hours and hours for provoking images.
What is hot or new in the world and/or where you live?
My friend, Ian Nott, won an entrepreneurial contest funding his company with $100,000USD and gained three angel investors. His company, Aetho, allows consumers to create Hollywood style experiences. They produce affordable equipment, including drones for filming, which is a very new, forward and unexplored territory in technology and political legislation.
What does Fashion mean to you?
Fashion is an opportunity. It is an opportunity for reinvention and inherently indicative of the human condition because we live our lives in what we wear.
What would be your ideal Fashion Project?
My ideal fashion project is my thesis. I am currently working on the development of a 10-look collection that utilises augmented reality. This enhances the inspiration and delivery of my exhibition. I would love to collaborate with motion designers, programmers, and 3D product developers and engineers to achieve not only the presentation, but forge some of the elements of the collection’s textiles and accessories.
How do you imagine your future?
I have an entrepreneurial mind and I am a natural leader. I have a strong sense of business and creativity. When I leave graduate school, I will put all my energy into my own business. My dream job would be textile designing for Dries van Noten. I have worked as a textile designer and as a beading and embroidery designer in the industry, so performing in that role for my favourite designer would be a dream come true!
What would be your ideal internship?
My dream internship, or job, would be at a company outside of the US, such as Valentino, Dries van Noten, David Koma, or Haider Ackermann, working on any of the design team or developing textiles, beading and embroidery. I also enjoy working for people who are interesting and have a hand in aspects outside of fashion design. True designers have too much to offer for their roles to be disseminated into performing only one specific task. As well as design clothing, I animate, program, teach music, choreograph, and execute event production. I would want to develop these abilities in an internship.
Lidewij Edelkoort, the world-renowned trend forecaster, said in her fashion manifesto that our current fashion system is obsolete. In regards to education, how can we shift the focus from cultivating fashion students who all want to be the designer into specialised roles that focus on individual strengths such as patternmaking, technical design, and textile/fibre design?
What do you think of Johnathan’s question and projects? Tell us in the comment section below.
Johnathan Hayden is a finalist for Modeconnect’s #YourView15 fashion competition sponsored by Bloomsbury Publishing. The support of our sponsor extends to all our readers: until the end of July 2015 they can benefit from 20% off ALL Bloomsbury’s fashion and design books! Just use the code YOURVIEW2015 at the checkout on www.bloomsbury.com.
Voting open 11th – 19th July 2015.