The Dichotomy of Design


Design is bitter sweet. It’s being paid to be creative. Sweet. It’s being creative for the sake of money. Bitter. It’s security in your finances at the expense of security in your art. It’s being able to go on a yearly vacation and paying rent in Cosmopolitan cities. It’s relinquishing creative control at the behest of the client. It’s both an ideal and, paradoxically, as real as it gets. Our culture dictates. Refuse the dictation and you will pay via poverty and ostracism. That’s the realism element. The ideal is you can still express yourself, and let’s face it; even a mild form of creativity like client-work is an improvement over the majority of occupations in the world. Designers are allowed to be inspired and likewise to inspire. That’s the ideal. My goal is to learn the tools, become a competent designer — run-of-the-mill, initially — and then, once I have the experience and stability, I plan to slowly sneak my idiosyncratic conceptions with more frequency into each project (with the blessings of the client). The fringe benefit of course is I’ll have obtained the knowledge and experience I need to work on my own little artful side-projects, should my attempts to share my creative vision with the clients be rebuffed. Likely.


Inspired by Mindfulness Meditation

Google's Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation isn’t just closing one’s eyes and relaxing, as so many think; it actually takes an uncommon level of focus and concentration. With mindfulness meditation, we give ourselves a break from the complexity and almost pathological business of modern life and of modern being, and we get to see our emotions and thoughts as they occur, or at least from a perspective closer to their root causes.

The truth is that cultivating “awareness” is a skill like any other, and the more you do it, the more readily you can summon it when you really need to (stressful situations, moments of confusion, anger or frustration). Through a meditation practice, we can see just how relentlessly “noisy” the mind can be, and just how habitually our fleeting thoughts skip from one subject to the next.
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Frans Zwartjes

screen-grab from Spectator 1970, Fran Zwartjes

Frans Zwartjes is a provocative Dutch artist primarily known for his hypnotic, experimental short films produced in the late nineteen sixties and early nineteen seventies. The majority of his films deal with concepts such as the id and desire, and they’re often grotesque, carnal and erotically charged. Frequently his films are lit using dizzying chiaroscuro lighting, creating stark images imbued with a sense of dread and foreboding. All the edits are done in-camera as he fluctuates between interrogative, initially ambiguous, close-ups and wide-angle shots (using his 5.7mm super-wide lens, which just borders on being a fisheye).

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Will Schofield 50 Watts

Dripping Junk by Graham Lambkin

50 Watts is a blog curated by Will Schofield. Specifically, it’s dedicated to book art, illustration, advertisements and design. It is heavily geared towards Surrealism and often depicts images from international children’s books. Surrealism and dream-imagery in general have been long-time favourite subject matters of mine and I think that Surrealism is a particularly fitting genre for illustration and design as it pertains to children’s’ books.
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