How would you say just one thing in an image?

by John McAllister

Moreover, how can you convey a wide-ranging concept such as ‘just one thing’ that is both immediately understood and eye-catching?  For me, it’s starting with the creation of a list of descriptive words – writing down what pops into my head. Getting ideas out onto paper without restriction, not concerning myself with whether it is right or wrong. Just five minutes later I had well over a hundred words in front of me… a great starting point.  To simplify the list, I put them into vague groups such as emotion, movement, colour, senses and so on.  Now that I had this organised in front of me, I was starting to add more words as ideas feed on ideas.

Just One Thing – Spark
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Click!!! My brain made a connection

I quickly came to the conclusion that I wanted to depict movement and instantly ‘speed’ sprung to mind. Speed is fairly easy to simulate with a blur streaking across the image but it seemed too obvious and certainly would limit my creativity… Click!!! My brain made a connection.  If using a single word to express just one thing was limiting, then I should not restrict myself. to single words – the one thing I portray and the one thing the viewer sees can and will be different.  Now we are getting somewhere I smiled to myself, then continued to consider the many ways we relate to and share the wonders of language.

Red is not just a colour, it’s the blush of embarrassment, the mist of anger or the ripeness of fruit. The bringing together of hands can be translated as applause, prayer, respect or dominance. Seeing new relationships form between my loosely grouped words, I could begin to visualize and combine… my concept was coming together, solidifying.  Now to put these ideas into action…now to say just one thing in an image.

Hands are expressive, add impact to words and often communicate in a common language… A perfect subject!

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