Saturday, February 09, 2008

creative process and influence

In a design forum that I occasionally visit, a topic was posted inviting people to weigh in on their creative process and what has influenced their work/approach. Here is my reply...


They teach students in art/design school about the process and how important it is to start with keywords and sketch before moving to the computer. And I agree that those things need to be taught and emphasized throughout an art and design program. However, when you leave school, you realize that things aren't always black and white; there isn't always time for 100% attention to the rigidity of the design process, sometimes being random and having spontenaity is a good thing, etc.

What I've come to realize is that ultimately, it comes down to three things with me...have a reason for everything you do, know the rules before you break them, and always keep the principles of design in mind. Everything else is worked out on a project by project basis. Perhaps my experience in several different visual arts disciplines has forced me to embrace a less rigid process, more open to instinct and spontenaity. If that means skipping thumbnails and jumping right in, or taking a keyword(s) and looking through some half-completed drawings in my journal for a key part to an illustration project, so be it. Bottom line, a free and dynamic process is what works for me.


More along the lines of inspiration but that's still a tough one, there are so many. To name a few...

James Jean (travel sketchbooks)
The Design Bureau of Amerika
Danny Gregory
Honest (the design studio)
SFG Blank Book Project
life (in general)

My goal is to be unique. There is nothing truly "new" in this world, everything is essentially influenced by something before it. But being unique is more rewarding than being new (in my opinion) because to take two pre-existing elements, add your own vision, and combine them to create something entirely different is very difficult but it can create powerful work...I'll take that anyday. A lot of times, if I pass something that catches my attention while reading through a magazine or while walking through an old town, I don't go back and take another look. I let that little piece of curiousity and vague recollection simmer and develop into something that's my own.

I guess this whole post comes down to individuality and it's value to first and foremost ourselves as artists/designers. If we don't know ourselves as artists/designers/etc then how can we successfully create work for clients, or in general?

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