Visual Metaphor


Visual Metaphor involves the use of an image that represents or suggests one type of object in place for another, more obvious image, to suggest a likeness or analogy between them. Used effectively it can bring an extra level of meaning to an illustration and convey new concepts. Visual metaphors evolved within illustration possibly because of surrealism, as a means of expressing ideas and concepts rather than portraying realistic scenes.



As previously mentioned in my Collage Dialogue blog post, I had come accustomed to taking a digital approach to collage as I find it more, free, fun and new. However, look at some of the inspiration for this workshop, from the presentation, I thought I would try a bit of cutting and chopping before hitting the stylus. There were some artists that caught my attention.


Joe Rogers
Joe Rogers
Laura Carlin
martin dieck


The works for Joe Rogers, Laura Carlin and Martin Dieck appealed to me. They all have a good free hand edge to it, but have a sense of control. I like the use of textures which integrate with the text and narrative of the actual words themselves. For example the ‘GIVE ME JAZZY’ piece. The collage with the hand drawn, stuck on, cats head onto a photograph is a very clever and eye-catching idea, as it draws your attention to two different styles in one piece. Then Laura Carlin’s use of texture and graphic rendering of the coloured figures in the book, is a controlled unique way of how collage can be done, especially when the graphic design compliments the work. With this is mind, I picked my three texts and narrowed down the sentences.



untitled-1 untitled-2 untitled-3 untitled-4








Text one: ‘Dotted but sparsely with clumps of trees and human habitations’. I gathered some obvious images taken straight from the text; Trees and Humans. I jotted down some themes of symbolism. This made me visualise the idea where a world of humans cutting down trees, which essentially cuts down wildlife homes, and destroys other habitations, just to form their own. For this is come up with people for trees as heads. 

Text two: ‘Maybe they used to sell candy floss too, I’m not sure’. For this text I just needed one image. And that was the image of an old candy floss stand. In the text it suggests the person can’t remember, or is a bit hazed on that information. Therefore I symbolised a type of dream scenario. 

Third text: ‘Chugging and belching smoke’. An extract from the description of the Maiden Voyage. I like how it this description makes this luxurious boat seem really quite dirty and horrid. This made me think of combustion engines and how people don’t see this part of the boat, which is one of the most important parts. I gathered images of combustion and smoke.

To form narratives I felt I want to form the images together somehow and create almost a dream feeling. This workshop was giving me a sense of abstract and surrealism so I just went with my instinct and feeling. I had wanted to create narratives which might not be all that clear, but actual said something, to me at least.

cruiseship tree-head-people wp_20161018_14_04_11_rich_li









I was taken by surprise at how many ideas this workshop had given me, and begun photocopying, cutting and sticking some of them ideas together. Some needed some work others just fell into place.


Taking the ideas from this workshop and the three collages I had made, I wanted to make this pieces into somewhat more of a reality. With some cropping and blending skills on Photoshop I am able to really make these images work in realistic ways. I had changed them slightly, to give the image more of a purpose on the page, instead of just ideas to look at. I have changed some of the images I used as I felt I wanted a new fresh collection to work on. Below are my outcomes of digital collage and ‘dream ideas’. (further explanation in my sketchbook)

collagelayers chuggingsmoke candy-ruins


One thought on “Visual Metaphor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s