Conveying emotions through images can be challenging because the viewer may not understand the feeling that it is trying to be shared. The key to getting emotion is through a story; images need to have a story that belongs to it, whether the viewer creates that story or if the object within the image is creating the viewer’s story. This is easier to accomplish through film because we see the entire story unfold. Another way to express an emotion through an image is through color theory. Colors have a large impact on emotion and feeling.
There are two perspectives in design; the designer and the audience member. The designer controls what emotion they want to display in their medium, but only the audience member can decide what they feel when they see it. Emotions are a direct result of a creation, however designers cannot control how an audience member feels. They can only try their hardest to portray an emotion in their work. This is why I chose two images that portray an emotion, however when I look at it, I feel a different emotion to the one that is portrayed.
This is a still of an interview that Chadwick Boseman did in 2018. Based on Plutchik’s wheel of emotions it can be deciphered that Boseman looks happy and seems to be laughing, conveying the emotion of joy to the audience. However, looking at this picture I do not feel joy or happiness. I feel sadness, grief, and admiration. I think about all of the amazing things Boseman has done with his career in acting, and his life in general. I feel these things because even though Boseman looks happy, he recently died due to cancer and he was an inspiration to thousands of people world wide. I chose this image because it triggered emotions from Plutchik’s emotional wheel. It also makes me wonder about his life and why he decided to keep his cancer a secret, and what he would have accomplished if he hadn’t passed away.
This is a still from the film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which is a biographical crime film about Ted Bundy. This image portrays a family moment of them laughing, and Ted Bundy teaching his daughter how to ride a bike with his girlfriend, Elizabeth Kendall. The emotion from Plutchik’s wheel they are conveying is joy, happiness, and esctasy. However, when I look at this image I don’t feel that. I feel angry, disgust, and loathing towards Ted Bundy, or Zac Efron in this image, because of all the horrible things he did to women. I feel disapproval towards Elizabeth Kendall, or Lily Collins in this image, because she is dating a serial killer, even though she didn’t know that he was in that moment. These are all emotions from Plutchik’s wheel of emotions.
These two images above are an example of how emotions conveyed in images aren’t always the same emotion the audience member will evoke. Other individuals may look at these images and feel different emotions than I did, and that is inherently normal. We all bring our own ideology, and experiences when we look at art, and that is why many individuals don’t see the same thing when looking at the same piece of art.
Cao, Jerry. “Web Design Color Theory: How to Create the Right Emotions with Color in Web Design.” The Next Web, 11 June 2018, thenextweb.com/dd/2015/04/07/how-to-create-the-right-emotions-with-color-in-web-design/.
Norman, Donald A. DESIGNERS AND USERS: TWO PERSPECTIVES ON EMOTION. projectsfinal.interactionivrea.org/2004-2005/SYMPOSIUM 2005/communication material/DESIGNERS AND USERS_Norman.pdf.
“Putting Some Emotion into Your Design – Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions.” The Interaction Design Foundation, http://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/putting-some-emotion-into-your-design-plutchik-s-wheel-of-emotions.