Monday, March 20, 2006

Project Runway, interior design, and your "post graduate" education

As a creative person, being inspired by things that I come across on a daily basis is one way in which I educate myself. I've found inspiration in the metal fire escapes on the side of buildings, the way shadows fall on buildings in the middle of a city, and in great storefront signage. My point is, my post-education education came from opening my eyes and my mind, not just from opening a book.

It may sound odd at first but books on loft design really fascinate me and encourage me to think outside the box as a designer. My favorite kind of interior design is minimalistic yet powerful through small accents of color and texture, I own an interior design book on that exact topic. Another source of inspiration are reality design shows such as "Project Runway". To see the level of creativity that designers come up with when using a different medium(s) than what I'm accustomed to using is amazing. When I think of the differences between graphic design and fashion design, they are numerous but at the very basic levels they are the same...continuity, color, form, assymmetry, texture etc are all dealt with by designers of business cards, interior spaces, and clothing. For me to not learn from their passion, frustration, and dedication would be denying myself an insight into how other designers deal with certain challenges and frustrations.

Yes, there will always be some sort of "grand standing" involved with TV but the underlying reality is that an existing thought process and problem solving ability is revealed as materials become scarce, time runs out, or outside expectations become almost unbearable...all of which could be related to graphic design or photography.

Education is often thought of in the formal sense and sometimes when the doors close behind the student, their line-of-site on education diminishes. Formal education is but a first step, the reality is education can't be quantified by an amount of time or a piece of paper. It is a process and a neverending process at that. Alternative means of education exist all around you, you just need to open yourself up to the intricacies of your surroundings whether they be books or store signage. Be inspired! Don't fall into a mundane creative existence! Keep learning and keep challenging yourself because your education will end only when you let it.

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