Wednesday, August 11, 2010

First, A Word from Our Weather Center


Various reports are out saying that the searing heat some places are experiencing (that would be due south and west of MA) is just the beginning of a trend that could become our new "normal" in about 40 years if steps aren't taken to reduce global warming or as it's called in some circles, "climate change". That means that the kids we're now having, literally or vicariously, could be grown and have kids of their own by the time the weather in Ogunquit, ME starts matching the current weather in Miami, FL and the weather in Miami starts feeling like a mild day in Iraq. Personally, I'm pretty tired of this little taste of one possible future for the planet. When you have people in Buffalo who can't wait for the snow, something's wrong. So maybe we all ought to stop fighting about whether climate change is happening. I'd say it is! So now that we have it, what do we do with it? I'm thinking letting trends continue as they have isn't an option. Just saying.

More later


Sending Out Introductions

Today, I started contacting companies to do specific design and illustration for web developers. Now, why am I targeting web developers? Because even though a lot of web developers are good designers, most of what they do targets the back end of a web site. This is not to say the front end aesthetics are always an afterthought, but it's something that I've been told could be improved on. My approach (assuming I'm not blown out of the water by invective) will be to create from scratch, compelling, impactful, meaningful images for websites. In essence, to be an illustrator for websites that might otherwise rely on stock images that don't really communicate in a particular context to a particular audience. There is all kinds of specialization going on these days. Lately it seems that there's an "app" (application) for everything. I'm personally not terribly interested in all the things you can do from your Blackberry or iPad. What does intrigue me and always has, is the tendency towards sameness we tend to exhibit as a culture that wrings all the flavor and color and texture out of life. And the first place you see it is in design. It all starts looking the same. Web pages look the same, sign graphics look the same. Colors, shapes, all start looking like the last thing you saw and it gets BORING. And you know, I don't necessarily blame designers. I mean, maybe some would, but I don't.
I think it's a lack of originality in our culture. A sort of herd mentality takes over and before you know it, the thing CNN did, with its logo on the bottom right corner of your screen, EVERYONE is doing. Every channel is doing it, and throwing other ads at you, while you're trying to watch a damned TV show!

Now when I said I don't necessarily blame designers, I mean this: advertisers don't always go with what's original or fresh. A lot of them have to walk a fine line between grabbing an audience and not frightening them away, so they can tend to play safe. Money and time are factors as well. So it's easy to see how sometimes creativity can get sacrificed to expediency and the result is bland, banal design that doesn't move you. It melts into the landscape that you don't notice. This of course is not to say that designers don't get lazy or even cynical. Sometimes we do. But the idea is to be aware of that and resist that impulse.
So this is what I'm up to today. Fresh original images. Homemade.
Next post, I'll show you what I mean.

More later,