My humor project is on satirical imagery, specifically what I like to call the “anti-motivational poster”. Motivational posters are on classroom walls and brighten your morning as you scroll through your family whats app group chats except it doesn’t brighten your day because they suck. I find them stupid and I wanted to make fun of them but with a twist! I’ve found a way to involve race because that always makes for a better joke, but we’ll get to that later. I chose the quote “be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry” the classic “girl boss” quote we all know and love so dearly except for me personally because I have never been able to relate. My lovely parents have always wanted me to be the said CEO in this scenario and as such I thought it would be super ironic for me to choose this quote for a poster that is very much tied to my essence.
~Punchline + Explanation~
How is it tied to your essence you may ask well you see I decided to use it as an opportunity to slam white men and colonization. I tend to joke about these things constantly and it’s a part of who I am. As a woman of color I have navigated the world differently than most people, differently meaning it’s more difficult for me, and joking about it helps me cope. So I decided to change the quote, make it “anti-motivational” and add “be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry but also consider…marrying some rich white British loser and spending all of his money as reparations for colonization.” This is satire because 1. Most currently alive white British men are not responsible for years past colonization of my motherland 2. spending their money will not revert said past colonization 3. I will not actually be doing what I am encouraging on the poster, specifically marrying a white man, because my parents would legitimately kill me for doing so.
I couldn’t just slap some text onto a colored background like most motivational posters. I had to go above and beyond with my design. So I took some inspiration from a new design trend that uses lots of gradients, bright colors, blurred shapes and bold serif fonts. These designs give off very happy, calm “let’s radiate some positive energy” vibes and would likely not be used with a race/colonization joke so that is exactly why I decided to emulate them in my poster.
My humorist influences were Trevor Noah and Hasan Minhaj, my two favorite comedians. My favorite jokes of theirs discuss their personal trials and hardest parts of their lives growing up and in the present and those almost always have to do with their race. I always find myself laughing harder at those jokes because while they discuss topics that are a bit more taboo at its core it’s just joking about who they are and what they’ve experienced navigating the world as black and brown men. Linked below is my Humorist study detailing these observations.
So here is my poster! The entire process included searching up quotes on Pinterest, finding the one I could make anti-motivational and that fit me best, then coming up with a color scheme and figuring out which fonts to use that emulated the design trend I was going for, eventually making the little cutesy illustrations that contrast so greatly with the quote itself, and lastly put all the elements together. I’m very happy with the final product and I think it is very me, which I was really going for with this. My goal was to make something funny, satirical with a little black humor but also personal and I think I managed to accomplish that.