Monday, September 10, 2007

Not bad, just unfinished

This is from earlier in the spring, at Descanso. I was never happy with how this little postcard-sized painted sketch had ended up at the end of that morning. I was putzing around this weekend and decided to try and deepen some of the colors, then added some ink linework. I'm happier with it now. I mean, happier with it enough to share.
I have a hard time throwing out some of the bad; hoping that at some point I can rework it, make it better. Does that make me a hopeless optimist, or a hopeless packrat?

Okay, don’t answer that.

The creative process takes practice to work with, and so hard to explain.

A designer friend of mine went on an interview and sent me her thoughts on it. She said, I think, knowing that it’s something that I would cover in my classes, that one thing she wishes that we’d learned in (design) school is how to better manage conversations with other disciplines, especially those that think more linearly, like engineers, business people. We’re accustomed to communicating our ideas in drawings and words, but forget how very different our language can be. Ideas like “emotion”, “brainstorm”, “concepts”, “experience” – they’re so basic ideas to me that I can’t imagine that someone else can’t grasp what I’m trying to convey. I forget, sometimes, the blank, not-getting-it-at-all stares. “Emotion”? I took a good long pause and am taking this to heart; this term, my students and I will be practicing not only conveying who we are, but trying to build bridges as designers, helping others understand our process, our value.

It underscores for me how much I treasure being able to connect with other creative, visual people. I’ll bet if I say that I’m going to get, say, new carpeting (Karen goes, “Oooo! Finally! Remodeling!”), and say to you that I’m thinking of a medium grey, that if continue and say it’s going to be about a … 70% cool grey, that a lot of you would be nodding, “Ooooh. Yes I see”. I like being able to communicate that kind of subtle preciseness. We try so hard to make our work really meaningful and really spot-on, and sometimes it connects with people, for reasons they can’t quite understand or explain. That’s so gratifying to see. Sometimes people can’t see what the heck you’re trying to do, and no matter how you try to explain it, neither you nor your work makes a connection. Argh.

Everybody wants to be heard; whatever the language. I’d forgotten what a special language it is that the artistic speak and feel. When my guy talks about the golden sunlight of the morning, and how it’s so soft and clear, bringing out the texture of the mountains, my knees go weak and I melt.

Oh, and we’re not actually getting new carpet, btw.