Tuesday, November 2, 2010

a tribute to the great legs

a) I've added a new page onto this thing for testimonials, aka people who love my work and bask daily in its wisdom...aaaaand here's two quotes in it so far. Literary stardom is JUST over the horizon, I swear.

b) I linked "Harrison Ford Is Naked" in my Published Works column because, uh, it is a published work. Thanks to ULA for running it! I'm glad it has a home.

That said, here's a lightly edited cross-posting from the Comm. Design wiki about Dr. Steve Matanle's lecture about intention v. chance.

...I've had Steve Matanle as a professor for a couple of classes, and while his lecturing style can take some getting used to, he's a brilliant man with a lot of knowledge to pass on. Fun fact: he drinks maybe a billion cups of coffee a day. His caffeine intake is truly heroic.

That aside, I liked what he had to say about the differences between craftsmanship and artistry, and his support of chance and coincidence in the creative process. I've heard him touch on those topics before, but not in this much detail. His definition of artistry as an exercise of skill that isn't rigidly goal-oriented makes a lot of sense, and is one of the more concise divisions between art and craft that I've ever heard. It also generated quotes like "mastery is a dead end," which is still funny to me days later.

The photography and eyes-closed drawing exercises were fun, and liberating, and a form of experimentation that I think more designers need. One thing I've noticed about the design community (not specifically at UB, but in general) is how finicky they are about method: you have to use the Adobe suite, you have to have a Mac, etc. There are a lot of rules. Not suggestions, flat-out rules. Which makes a certain amount of sense - marketing or corporate design has to be consistent and sharp - but it's also stifling and inhibits their drive to try new stuff just to see what it does. Of course, I'm not a designer and I work largely on impulse, so what do I know, but it's fun to experiment. And really, what's the point of an artistic career if you're not having at least some fun with it?

Just my two cents, anyway.