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What Color is Stress?

I’m about two weeks into the Emotiblob project and it’s really opening a lot of windows in my mind. Relating emotions to color is harder than anticipated. A lot of this has to do with hues and tones. What color is stress? What color is pain? Can the same color be indicative of both?

Ideally I had imagined Emotiblobs as a more private journal, like my previous art journals. I had envisioned looking at the Emotiblobs later and being able to easily identify what things I was feeling on each specific day. This expectation seems to be thwarted with the realization of how many colors and emotions overlap. Red is associated with pain but also love. A cadet greyish blue is associated with tiredness, but a similar shade of blue with calm. Is a tiny additional dash of grey to indicate tiredness vs calm something I’ll be able to identify later? So far the answer is no. Does it matter? I’m not sure. Maybe what makes the Emotiblobs special and interesting is how many different ways they can be interpreted by each individual.

There’s still the struggle of wanting each blob to be aesthetically pleasing vs wanting them to be emotionally accurate. I recently had a great day where a close friend brought me belated flowers (all I wanted was flowers for my birthday but wanted them without asking, I was surprised and happy this friend nailed it), however at the same brunch I found out another dear friend had been very sick in the hospital and I was unaware. A yellow/orange blob of happiness quickly accumulated a black line around it (the first time I’ve ever used pure black in a blob). I was hesitant to add the line, but it was so significant, a prime example of aesthetic vs true emotion.

I honestly hate the aesthetics of most of the blobs so far, but I think it’s important for the project to evolve organically and not be forced, so I am sticking to it. I am also trying to learn how to use photoshop more quickly so I can put the blobs on a pure white background. A friend did this for me and the blob stands out more and looks much more beautiful. Hopefully, I can figure this out eventually and re-post the blobs on white backgrounds so you can really see the vibrant colors used.



First off, what a bummer that I made one post then the blog dropped off. This seems to be typical on the web so it isn’t completely surprising, but it is disappointing. What I can say about this is: Do not launch a blog before you’re ready to just because someone is interviewing you for an article. I should have been more prepared with blog drafts or at the very least outlines (I did have my sources lined up but not much else). I had thought that if I launched it would force me to get the drafts finished in a timely manner but was completely wrong. Definitely a lesson learned!

All that said, the productivity posts will come with time, but for now I’d like to touch on another project I’ve been working on: Emotiblobs!

I had a vision the other night of a painting where hands were holding this big blob of colors. The colors would be indicative of all of the different emotions I was feeling in response to some personal challenges I was facing. I sat down and painted a small version and ended up really liking the aesthetics of the blob by itself. I then thought about an app I used for almost two years called Expereal. Expereal is an app that allows you to rate your feelings on a scale from 1-10, when you put a rating in you choose it from a visually stunning color wheel (hard to explain). When I first discovered the app at a QS Philly Meetup, I questioned the color choices. For example, a rating of 10 is red, but a rating of 2 is purple. Purple happens to be my favorite color, so I associate it with positive emotions rather than negative. The purpose of the app wasn’t really to associate color with emotion, but it got me thinking along those lines. The combination of the existing blob and thinking about Expereal made me want to start a project combining color and emotion, and Emotiblobs were born.

I am defining Emotiblobs as an experimental visual daily journal of feelings expressed over time in color.

So far the first two Emotiblobs look very different (see below). This is because the first blob was made at the end of a day, where I combined all of the emotions at one time, whereas the second blob was started upon waking and  continued throughout my day until completion. I like them both a lot for differing reasons. I feel like the process of the second blob is more authentic and maybe a more accurate way of tracking emotion, but I will play with different methods as the process continues to figure out what works best. I am excited to document both the project and it’s evolution over time.


Emotiblob #1! 



Emotiblob #2