Research, Gathering of Content & Visual Design
InDesign, Illustrator & Photoshop
A big thank you to all of the participants; this project wouldn't be a reality without all of you!
Research: 10 weeks
Design: 12 weeks
Having experienced fatherlessness myself, I understand how difficult it can be sharing your experiences when you don't know anyone who will understand what you've gone through. I wanted to give an opportunity to those who are affected by this to share their stories... even if it was done anonymously.
Fatherless: A Collection of Anonymous Stories is a book composed of 17 anonymous submissions from adult fatherless individuals who share their experiences with fatherlessness and how it has affected them psychologically.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 1 in 4 are affected by this social problem and it is continuously rising. Although fatherlessness is more common than people would anticipate, it is not necessarily a topic that everyone feels comfortable openly discussing with others.
This project started with a question: what are the psychological effects of fatherlessness? Conducting primary and secondary research was crucial for this process, to both see what I could conclude with my own research as well as seeing what was already out there on said topic.
The research did answer the question to some extent, but I found that the information I had learned from the studies wasn't to the level that I had expected it to be. I noticed that studies focusing on fatherlessness were very broad in terms of the psychological effects as well as defining the term 'fatherlessness'. Due to the broadness of the results, the research I conducted sparked more questions that I felt needed answering.
After coming to this conclusion, I believed that taking a more personal approach would help me find the answers that I was looking for. I believed that I could achieve this by asking fatherless individuals to share some details about their experiences. When publishing the Call for Submissions, I asked participants to answer and elaborate on the following questions: "what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? and "how has being fatherless affected you psychologically?"
Since participants only submitted written content, I advised them in the Call for Submissions that I would be reading each of their stories and coming up with a list of themes/keywords that would help me find accompanying imagery. Finding the right imagery included multiple rounds of searching through databases, which resulted in many trials and many errors. A grainy filter was added to the images to put further emphasis on the anonymity, and the inclusion of the handwritten quotes was necessary to help the audience understand why each image was selected.
CHALLENGES & TAKEAWAYS
This was my first time working on a project with such a long timeframe, so there were many hiccups and moments where I was questioning myself — and the entire project, actually. I knew that working on a project that has such personal ties to me would be difficult at times, but I put even more pressure on myself as I wanted to make sure that it would turn out as great as it could be. I didn’t want to let the participants down, and I wanted to ensure that I did their stories justice.
6 x 8 inches, 88 pages +
17 transparent films
View the entirety of
**couldn't display the different sizes pages, so this is not entirely accurate of the final version.