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Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Comparison

I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes I tend to get stuck in these little negative feedback loops wherein everything everyone else does is awesome and everything I do is awful. It usually happens innocently enough; I’m browsing Vimeo or Dribbble looking for inspiration, or I see some sort of featured piece in an email, and I am overcome by this revelation of awesomeness that...

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Self-Doubt

There are a lot of designers that I look up to, and every time I see their most recent work I often feel a tinge of jealousy. The pieces they create are so amazing, and not only do I wish I could design like that, but I also wish that I had the self-confidence that I presume they do. It’s easy to contrast that with the struggles I often feel trying to be creative, or the lack of confidence I feel...

Design Trends for 2017

As an opening caveat I will note that I have no Magic 8-Ball into the future of design trends, although if I did it would probably always say “Don’t Count on It.” Nor am I by any means a trendsetter, as my inimitable fashion sense would no doubt make clear to any one. To be fair, through, I don’t wear socks with sandals. I mean, my sandals are way too tight for that…...

How To Be An Art Thief

If one is involved in any sort of artistic or design related endeavor, it won’t be long before one is met with this perennial justification for lifting someone else’s work: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Ostensibly dripping forth from the lips of Picasso, the essence of the idea is that sometimes great art or great design (depending on which one is engaged in) will at times involve...

Design is Not Art (And That’s a Good Thing)

When I first started in design I was a very insecure designer. I didn’t yet have much experience and was still very rough around the edges as far as my technique and skills were concerned. It was difficult to feel confident about anything that I was doing. But even deeper I always seemed to struggle with trying to justify my then nascent profession. When people would ask what I did for a living...

How Art Keeps You In Purgatory

Beauty has a way of transfixing our attention, and in some cases even transfiguring it. Art in its myriad forms can promise transcendence, as it beckons the viewer to the Beauty behind all beauty. In this sense it can be a rung on the ladder to the divine; sometimes a stark and shocking vision of glory that shakes off the encrustation of the mundane, and sometimes a subtle and persistent reminder...

Head in the Cloud

Every artist or specialist has certain tools they swear by. Photographers often have a certain brand of camera, and usually even a particular model that hits the sweet spot of their art. Craftsman know that quality tools make a difference, and treat their implements with as much care and affection. A musician would be loathe to be separated from that one guitar that has a certain intangible...

The Blasphemy of the Cliché

I am always indignant with poor artists when I see our Lord himself painted with an ugly form, and I am afraid that I may find myself in the same position if I dare to set out such a beautiful theme in rude and contemptible language.[1. St. Anselm, Cur Deus Homo] With these words St. Anselm prefaces his work Cur Deus Homo– Why God Became Man. In what follows he will attempt to expound the...

Always Beautiful

I recently wrote an article for CreationSwap.com entitled Always Beautiful. This particular post is the latest in a sort of running series I have going there dealing with the philosophical and theological underpinnings of art and beauty. In Always Beautiful I briefly look at the concept of the beautiful as explored in a passage from Dionysius the Areopagite and as it relates to the beautiful in...

2 Year Anniversary

Today Megan and celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary, and I have to say that it has been the best two years of my life. Even though it’s been full of lots of challenges and struggles that we could never have seen coming, I wouldn’t change it for anything and would have made the same decision in a heartbeat. I made up this art piece based on a song I wrote for Megan a few weeks...

Art and a Deal with the Devil

I happened across an interesting insight yesterday while sitting in a waiting room. I have never read Faust, and so I opened it up on my phone to start reading. I have a fairly vague notion of the overall plot of the book, and so when I started reading I was unsure if I was reading some kind of preface, the wrong book, or something else entirely. I discovered that Faust begins with a prelude in...

The Art of Purgatory

To course across more kindly waters now, my talent’s little vessel lifts her sails, leaving behind herself a sea so cruel; and what I sing will be that second kingdom, in which the human soul is cleansed of sin, becoming worthy of ascent to Heaven.[1. Dante, Purgatorio, Canto 1.1-3] Dante’s Divine Comedy is perhaps best known for its first part- Inferno– in which Dante is led by the...

Design: Lemons

As promised, I finished up a new art piece earlier today. I am taking part in a collaborative group effort to create posters based on quotes, and so I decided to take the famous quote/cliche “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and put my own spin on it. Unfortunately, a polar bear had to die in the process, and sometime in the early 20th century this poor lady had to dress up...

Design: Handmade Hanging Picture Frame

Every so often I manage to have a night free to spend time with Megan, and one of the things we like to do together is to have what we call “art night.” We will set up a card table in the living room, scatter magazines, scraps of paper, tape, glue, paints, canvases, books, cardboard and whatever else we can find on the floor, put on a movie, and simply allow our creativity to take us...

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