I Want to Ride My Bicycle is a project celebrating the role that bicycling has played in my life. I have ridden literally thousands of miles throughout my lifetime, and while I may have previously taken its benefits for granted I am now attributing my cycling experiences as a core contributor to my personality and to my happiness. The movement of muscles, fresh air, energized focus and solace– I am happily addicted to riding my bicycle.
Intended to be read as a chronological timeline, the sequence demonstrates personal maturation; the ranging illustration techniques suggest self discovery.
Cycling allows me to escape external pressures and become fully absorbed in an activity for intrinsic motives. I want my life to resemble this kind of experience. About to exit my college experience, I continue my journey of concocting and engaging in happiness, resisting negative influences, opposing mediocrity, and following whatever I dream. I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride it where I like.
For the first part of my project, I have created six posters each featuring a bike I have owned. These posters individually illustrate my life at that time, depicting the bike as a uniquely valued character.
The other portions of my project– the animation and illustrated map– depict my more recent bicycle rides (throughout the past four years) in the Fort Myers area. These recent rides have helped me gain greater insight into my identity. Despite the deep discoveries, the lightheartedness of my work here is intentional. Just like a bicycle ride, my work escapes the seriousness of facades in exchange for a breath of bliss. This kind of simplicity is exemplified in the animation portion of my project. I chose to segment different mechanics of the bike in order to articulate the rhythmic clarity that I achieve through bicycling.
Not surprisingly, I was most inspired for my project during a bike ride, so that is where my creative process begins. I utilized Adobe software– primarily Illustrator and Photoshop– to create all of my illustrations. Certain subjects in the posters were hand drawn, scanned and digitally altered. The map poster features hand-lettering produced in this way. These phrases on the map are directly from a journal record of thoughts I have while riding, along with kindred ideas I’ve encountered. The six bicycle images required a pedal down memory lane.
I referred to photographs of each actual bike that I owned. All the elements in these bicycle illustrations are quite deliberate and carry personal meaning. The digital animation elements were designed in Illustrator and composed in Adobe After Effects. I had no prior experience working in After Effects until this project. However, I was adamant about my project including dynamic imagery parallel to that of a bike ride. It is notable that during the creation of this entire project I frequently entered a psychological state of flow quite similar to what I achieve while bicycling.