Hannah Simmons

Words, Images, and Meaning

Class of: 2024

Major: Strategic Design and Management BBA

Medium: Digital photo composition

Faculty: Emily Waters

Prompt: Using Photoshop, create multiple meanings by using different words on the same photo, same words but different photos, selecting fonts, and colorizing the composition.

This assignment gave the space to explore the significance and impact of some notable women in my community. In this project, used words to not only declare meaning but also to question meaning. The first set is an appreciation for what rap culture, black culture, and black women have brought to various scenes of America’s culture. By placing Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, and Lil Kim in this project, I made a statement that women like them were the blueprint for the trends and rising icons of today. This set was an ode to the black women and artists of the 90s and early 2000s who inspired me, my community, and many communities adjacent. The second set I created is meant to question the ideas of beauty, vanity, and talent, and how they coincide. Naomi Campbell was the best symbol for this, as she is known for her beauty and celebrated for her talent but has also faced criticism during her lasting career for her perceived vain character. My intention was to point out that in some ways, beauty and talent do not exist without vanity. I also wanted to question the connotation of vanity: is it only a bad thing? Naomi Campbell shows me, an aspiring model, that when you carefully combine beauty, vanity, and talent, you can become an unmovable force in your world.