SKILLS & MAKING
This week’s lecture proposes two essential questions to reflect and investigate:
What would you like to be doing that you are not doing in your work?
How important are side projects and are you working on them?
We hear from each of our studio professionals with regard to both of the aforementioned questions and it is quite clear they are all (Simon Manchimp, Sam Winston, Regular Practice, Sarah Boris, and Intro) doing what they want to be doing and are not lacking or longing for work they currently do not have. This may well be as they all loud side work as a necessary component to supporting and enhancing their daily practice.
Key takeaways from their common responses include:
Side projects encourage you to “think differently.” - Simon Manchimp
Give yourself space as a means to find solutions, new ideas, avenues, and creative projects. - Sam Winston
Authorship serves an important role within side projects not as often afforded in day-to-day work. You get to define who you are and what you want to present. - Regular Practice
Side projects can define how you and others see you as a designer. No compromises. -Sarah Boris
Side projects feed the day-to-day. Get to learn new crafts, be inspired, and are wholly owned. -Intro
OBLIQUE STRATEGIES: Brian Eno develops card-based system for promoting creativity and pushing through creative thought.
The card is trusted even if its appropriateness is unclear.
”KEEP GOING” School of Life piece teaches thoughtful, empathetic, and practical approaches to creating:
Gap between what you wanted to make and what you’ve made
Forgive yourself for the horror of the first draft
Talents will come up to speed with your tastes
Work hard. Little by little you will improve
“THE IMPORTANCE OF VULNERABILITY” - School of Life explains the value and practicality of being vulnerable
offers connection and respect
exchange of sympathy and consolation
creates a safe place via the gift of risk given to someone else
I am deeply inspired by artist, designer, protagonist, and braveheart, James Victore. In exploring, investigating, and evaluating my skills during this week’s assignments, I came to a greater familiarity with Victore. I purchased and read his book, Who Died and Made You Boss, a reflection of his work as described by the author but also in service to other designers (and non-designers) to find their voice, to fail, to be brave, to not give a shit as to what others think of your work, and to press on.
His self directed works are some of the most inspiring to me. No one hired him to speak up, speak out, and find a place in this world for his message. He just did it because he felt it was important and needed to be done. One in particular that stands out to me is his work to counter former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani’s MTA campaign to diminish the giving of money to panhandlers and the homeless.
Victore was bold enough to appropriate the MTA logo for his poster, and therefore it found its way hanging directly alongside the actual MTA-backed campaign. Brilliant.
Rock, M. (2017) 2x4 Multiple Signatures on Designers, Authors, Readers and Users. New York: Rizzoli.
Brian Eno, Oblique Strategies (2018) Via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oblique_Strategies
Victore, James. (2010) Victore, or, Who Died and Made You Boss?Abrams.