To get my creative juices flowing, I completed some free play activities where I really experimented with light and shadow, cutting out letters, and even using a copier to manipulate the text.
At this point, I started conceptualizing ideas. I ranged from using the idea of instruments they played, to their hometown, to the style they associated. Morton played swing jazz, Williams played smooth jazz, and Parker played bebop jazz. It was challenging but more interesting to incorporate text and form together rather than just simply placing text on a photo and calling it done.
As I was narrowing down my concept, I knew I wanted to do something with each pioneer's style or what instrument they associated with. First, I tried word collages and breaking words up to create something. Then, after finding inspiration and advice from my professor, I decided going with the concept of only using type, which really put myself up to the challenge. I wanted to put emphasis on something that was unique about each pioneer, and that was their middle or nickname. I stylized each of their middle names with a way that I thought represented each type of Jazz they played.