Something borrowed something new
I like to completely demystify the process of my art. Most of the new media artists I know are happy to tell you the deep specifics of how they created the things that they did. For us it is part of the process to share and innovate, as well as cultivate a complete acceptance of the concept of remixing. Today’s artforms are hybrids of past media styles and principles mashed into the software of the modern era: instant creation. These artistic tools are available to a wider range of people than ever before in history. So much of what I do has become media collection and collage.
As a designer for hire, my methodologies as an artist differ slightly from the realm of pure art. My style is to splice, paste, mashup and recontextualize all manner of different influences and then to remix them into a composition which i feel reflects the clients business or project. Some projects are more artitsic than others clearly, but for the most part, very little of the work have done in the past 10 years has been pure art for the source of my own deep imagination.
Part of me laments the loss of the time i used to spend drawing in my sketchbook. Truly something to return to. So much of my work has been hunting through the nooks and crannies of the digital world and finding images to vectorize, or pillaging the free stores of the net to find raw material. In my searches I always learn about design in all of its many forms. You see a lot when you surf for imagery.
To me, the most key aspect of the design that i have done thoughout my career, has been the integration of text with imagery. As such, often I have felt myself as less of the artist and more of the navigator or bridge between the written word and the visual. I become the organizer of ideas in coherent wholes, and over the years my reputation for being able to cram ridiculous amounts of text into small places has often limited my own ability to spend time crafting images that i think stand the test of time as art.
It’s a real tradeoff, and it speaks to the state of the world’s ability to focus on design in an advertsing context. It makes no fiscal sense to create incredibly expensive design unless you have millions to spend and billions to make. This is why you see the most incredible design as art selling things like cars, coca-cola and cellular phones. Great design costs money, and what people do not often relaize when they hire a designer, is that if they want the art as well as the baseline information being conveyed, they have to invest in the artist. This means either paying the designer more, or paying an artist outright.
I like to take imagery from the net and mash it up. I liken it to the scratch sampling of hiphop dj’s and producers. The time required to do unreally detailed vector compositions is so staggering that only the incredibly driven (dare we say obsessed) designers manage to make it out of the day without at least 10 hours spent building the details. The art is complicated (unless of course you happen to be andrew jones who can craft a piece of art unlike anything that has existed before it, in a matter of an hour or two).
I like to take 1 hour on my posters. My rates are cheap for what i call the 2 hour special. If i spend any more than that long on a poster, then it falls into the realm of crafted art. Although i would love to stick by this rule, the tempation of a blank canvas is always to go as heavily into creation as possible. The artist wants to use the space for visionary content. I very rarely, if ever spend less than that much time doing a poster, but spending more can be a crazy time drain.
I am skillfully capable of creating way more raw material than i can spend the time to create. This means that instead of doing the details i am creating a whole. If i spent all my time making flourishes i couldn’t make the poster that uses them. I would love to be able to meet this issue by having a companny which also creates 100% of its own assets. I am capable of creating them. I wonder if there’s a project out there willing to fund them?