TrinkerMedia Wrestling Project

Wrestling as a form of expression.

TrinkerLogoWhat is TrinkerMedia

TrinkerMedia is a branch of the alias I use on the industry to present my work. I started posting and developing as Trinker in 2003.
Unlike the Trinker word in german, the origin of Trinker comes from “trincado” which means  lucky streak, which then I anglicized in order for it to be more commercial and universal.

At the moment I teach several design disciplines on a university in the south east of England, I am also currently working as a freelance for several projects here in the United Kingdom as well as Spain, Mexico and Holland.

Introduction

As human beings we have been always hiding beneath masks, they do not have to be face masks; they do not have to be made of wood, silk or even iron. However, society encourages us to wear a mask in order to be accepted into it. Using a physical mask enables us to represent something that we are not, or possibly something that we really want to be, or even something that we truly are and we are not even aware of it.

What if we decide to use these masks, not because we have to, but because we want to? What kind of person would you become? A super hero? A villain?

Well, this is what wrestlers do. They create their own costumes, their own masks and impregnate on them all their memories, their culture, their history and their deepest hopes and dreams in order to be somebody in their world. The use of masks comes from ancient traditions in diverse cultures and the design of them represent the most important part of a character because through it, is communicated the essence of the character.

This research will be focused on understanding the background and history of each mask design through an extensive graphical analysis in order to achieve a wider knowledge of how graphical components plays a fundamental role in the identity construction of a character.

As a Mexican graphic designer, my work is imbued with a mixture of cultures, colours and ideologies.  For this material compilation, the work itself is a combination of art and technology which encompasses the identity of my culture.
The idea itself is to present Mexican wrestling and the mask designs especially. There is an immense cult following for Mexican wrestling notably in Japan, the United States and, of course, Mexico.  My work introduces the audience to the hidden world behind the wrestling mask and furthermore, opens doors to the mexican wrestling world.

Most of my work is meant to interact with the audience so they are able to become involved with the characters and the sensations invoked by their designs. This interactive material, combined with the printed material function together thus creating an integral and multi-skilled project.

Objectives

  • To generate a general understanding of the use of masks in the Mexican wrestling world (historiography, social context and iconography).
  • To generate an understanding regarding the graphical aspects of the wrestling masks.
  • To create a wrestling mask typology (Purpose, character and visual composition).
  • To compare the relation Wrestler – Designer, Designer – Wrestler, within the creation of the mask and development of the character.

Context of the Research

In the last years, several books about Mexican wrestling have been published. However, all these books have always been photographic journals and nobody has attempted to analyse in depth and categorise the masks used. One of the principal tasks as a graphic designer is to deliver proper visual information in the most accurate way. In this sense, it is fundamental now to analyse the empirical information that designers and wrestlers use to develop their own designs, and search for a visual understanding of the process and result.

The research about the wrestling phenomenon has been focused almost exclusively on the social aspect of the sport, becoming necessary a study of the artistic aspect of the characters and specifically of their masks, which are the central part of the personage. Through this investigation will be revealed an unexplored facet of this sport and its relation with graphic design, fine arts, fashion, popular culture, marketing and Mexican history.

Methodology

For the development of this project four (so far) stages have been considered.

  • Gathering information of the personal and professional process of each individual to develop the character and design. This will be achieved by several interviews directly with the wrestlers, the mask designers and the people who knit them, documenting the information on video and photo.
  • The creation of a photo graphical journal.
  • The graphical, social and historical analysis of the characters.
  • Typological catalog for each one of the wrestling masks.

Current Outputs or Media

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Wrestling Data Visualizations

Data Visualization.

Through visual representations of data, we can be able to communicate any kind of information to any type of audience.  Data visualization is directly related to information graphics, information visualization, scientific visualization and statical analysis graphics.

Data Visualization is the study of the visual representation of data, meaning – information which has been abstracted in some schematic form, including attributes or variables for the units of information –
Michael Friendly (2008)

Combining Data Visualization with several Graphic Design processes, I was able to design some media focused on the Mexican Wrestling Society.

Data visualization 1Data Visualization 01 // Bets & Teams.

In Mexican Wrestling there are bets in which wrestlers gamble their masks against other masks, hair or ever careers. This data visualization poster displays these relationships between wrestlers and who has won against who.

The arrangement of the elements can be presented in several ways.  The poster can be placed facing up to be in Spanish, and upside down to be in English.  On the left side we can appreciate the main rudos (heels), and on the right side the tecnicos (faces).  Inside the main wheel, the relationships of the matches are presented with a colour line, depending on the character, along with the year the event took place.

On the external circle we can view the teams that wrestlers created as alliances depending on their wrestling style or by the type of character they represent.

Digital Print
13.2 cm x 19.2 cm


Data Visualization 02 // Fractal Bets

Data02

©Trinker//Javier Pereda

This is another poster that represents Social Networking in Mexican Wrestling.

The poster is using over 120 wrestlers on the database.  The information displayed covers the wrestlers who lost the masks, hair or beard and who did they lost it against.

The information is displayed like fractals in which the winning character behaves as a main cell from where the rest of the elements expand representing the defeated making an exponential division for each wrestler. The poster contains a grid to allow the viewer to locate faster a desired wrestler and find its coordinates.

The methodology  for this Visualization was based on centrality mapping.  This means on the number of direct connection that each node has and analyzing the nodes that contain the biggest network reach and boundary players to increase the amount of peripheral players and increase the size of the visual, since they will become then the central node.

Mind mapThe first step was to pre-visualize which nodes were the longest and had more network reach.  In a sense I knew ( as it has been part of my research ) which wrestlers had more reach, taking in considerations issues like: family member, championships and time in the industry.  So the first thing that I did was a mind map to have a clear idea of what I was going to need.

After finding out how roughly the information was going to be displayed, I needed to define the main iconography system.  So I needed to represent:

  • win/loose
  • bet
    • mask
    • hair
    • beard
  • central node (main node)

Here is the result of my icon system and representation.

A main circle is designed to contain the main elements.  The circle at the same time will contain a ring on the outside that will appeal to the character and the inner circle will be always the same colour.  The colour of the ring then will be used as the connection line for the vectors.

Since not all the characters will behave as central nodes, I placed them within a dark magenta circle.  This circle will be used mainly for all the loosing wrestlers.

After defining the circles I could just place the representation of the mask and their name in gray just underneath it.

Since I wanted to keep focus on the central nodes, I developed a template mask that is used on all the non-central (loosing) nodes.

These two icons represent the hair and the beard.

The mask, beard or hair icons can be placed on big scale on the center of the circle to represent the character.  If the icon is placed on the ring of the node, then that represents the type of wage that took place on the event.  The wage icon will be placed on the loosing node.

full example

Digital Print
200 cm x 100 cm

Data Visualization 03 // Bets Moowheel

This is an interactive interface developed with Moowheel, a JavaScript library licensed under an MIT-style license.

Using the output of the last data visualization poster, I developed another interface allowing the user to interact with the information.  The user can click the name of the wrestler, redirecting him to the a database in LuchaWiki, in which the personal biography of the wrestler will be displayed.

The main wrestlers have an icon next to the name, in order to recognize them faster.

Ideally this interface is meant to be projected on a wall as static artwork, regardless of its interactivity.

Through this visualization we can appreciate that the wheel is mainly connecting to the same side where the original node (wrestler) starts.  Usually wrestlers have popularity periods in which they are promoted to have more bet matches to promote the character.  There are a few characters or nodes that actually cross the circle and go to the opposite side of the wheel, these nodes are mainly the wrestlers who have a big wrestling tradition or big names in the industry only a few wrestlers manage to continue winning these type of matches even after their siblings also start winning these bets.

Here is an example of how the interface works.  The interface can be also displayed on a full screen in Firefox.

CubeeCraft©//TrinkerMedia©

Cubeecraft Wrestlers.

I have been developing this project of how the wrestling masks are developed; mainly I have been focusing on Mexican wrestling masks.

At the moment one of my many outputs are these CubeeCraft pieces.

Atlantis.

This has been one of my favorite wrestlers and one of the most famous and sucsessful wrestlers in Mexico.  I love mainly the design on his mask, very simplistic and balanced.

After being a career tecnico, Atlantis was changed to a rudo in 2005. It did not appear to be his idea or even the promotion’s idea, but the fans forcing a change. CMLL had been building up Atlantis, including weekly Seccion Azul features trumpeting his work with kids or focusing an award being given to Atlantis, to push him as the ultimate good guy. The build was the setup for a Dr.Wagner Jr./Atlantis mask match, the culmination of a long rivalry.
-LuchaWiki

cubecraft mistico by Trinker

Mistico

Mistico.

I picked Mistico because he is a very popular wrestler at the moment.  Personally I don’t like him as much as other wrestlers, but he has a very good high flying movements. Another element that motivated me to pick him to do a CubeeCraft was the acutal style of the mask and the trousers.  He uses a gold andwhite colour combination.

Part of a wrestling family, but portrayed as an orphan who learned the sport from mentor Fray Tormenta, Mistico debuted in CMLL in 2004. Mistico rose to the top of the promotion at a record pace, and was arguably the top star in the promotion a year later.
-LuchaWiki

tinieblasTinieblas.

This is one of the most mystical wrestlers in Mexico.  Tinieblas is an extra terrestrial who is supposed to be blind, that is why his mask has a black cover on the front; he doesn’t have any eyes.  He was also known as the Wise Giant.

From the 60s to the early 90s, there was a very popular magazine in Mexico called “Lucha Libre”, run by Valente Pérez (though it was renamed “Lucha Libre Mundial” when Benjamín Mora Jr. took over, and not coincidentially, the magazine didn’t last a lot with Mora in charge). LL also had a bodybuilding sister magazine called “Muscle Power”, whose editor also was Valente Pérez. Pérez, who was well liked and respected in the business and had a very good relationship with the Lutteroth family, had a special talent to come up with names and personalities for new luchadores, the most successful one being Mil Máscaras.
-LuchaWiki

sibeliusSibelius.

He is a wrestler from Mexico City.  The concept of this CubeeCraft is based on the original design which is mainly covered with yellows and oranges.  The tights have this S with a tribal style.  It seem to be the same S from the Brazilian band Sepultura.  In real life Sibelius is a musician, that is why he picked the name of the famous German composer.