Partners In Design


Thoughts & Chantry.

As I sit in my office today, the work days ending, I reflect on this past week. This week seemed to be a little out of step for me. Where I would usually have a solid sense of either accomplishment or failiure, I am filled with utter confusion. Am I being complacent creatively or am I on my road to finding my voice? Am I happy where I am in every sense of the word or am I just going through the motions? These thoughts have no answer in my head. In fact, It's a huge tug of war of ideas that are fighting to gain the attention they deserve respectively. But neither is winning.

These feelings were further enhanced when I tuned in to Debbie Millman's Podcast on Tuesday, her guest, Art Chantry. As terrible as it is, I had heard of him but never had seen a single piece of his work to my knowledge. So for me, this really furthered my knowledge on another succesfull designer and had me doing research like a mad man. In doing so, One can easily understand why Chantry is a fantastic designer, his work nearly changed the design and usage of punk/rock aesthetics in mainstream graphic design. What I found interesting about this interview, was finding out that Chantry has lasted as long as he has without giving in to learning digital design. This man has consistently stuck to his guns (Up until now. He's just enrolled into a university to learn to use computers.) for so long and lasted. So i asked myself. How? How does the world continue to move, yet this one man stayed relevant and known in the design world. Below I've posted some of Chantry's work. Do you feel his work transcended enough to stay in demand enough for him to continue to be such a superstar? Although the answer is technically yes, as this is what he's done, do your opinions match that?

Oddly enough, for someone as seemingly chipper and upbeat, Chantry also managed to get me in a bit of a funk with all of his talk related to the computer age of design. His statements (Which have been heard a gazillion times I'm sure for you guys), were very fixed on the fact that now, anyone can be a graphic designer. Nowadays, one simply has to take a few hours to aquaint themselves witha computer and "Poof!" they're a C-Level Graphic Designer. He also stated that he is sadened by commercial art currently and this is further fueled by simply walking in a supermarket and seeing how standardized the design market is becoming. There is a bare minimum in risk. Lastly, what i found interesting, was that when asked who he thought was a good designer in the field currently he replied (paraphrasing commences): "I don't really keep up with all of the designers out there. There are designers now that i admire, but more-so there are designers of the past that I REALLY admire." Now yet another rhetorical/not-so rhetorical question: Can you really progress as a designer/artist if you don't see or understand the progress being made in the design/art world?

Now can you see where my thought process lies? As I find myself in times of comfortability in my life, I tend to assume this overly critical, internal confusion state of mind. I don't see it as a negative thing, but more of a space in time before I make a larger risk in my design/art/life that allows me to understand the further meaning of why i do the things I do. Almost a time where I can really feel confident in taking the leap forward.

How do you guys feel about all of this? Discuss like crazy folk!


Alexandra said...

I like the examples of Chantry's work you put up. Maybe it's just me, but it's hardly revolutionary. Looks like he borrowed elements from pop art and comics. Not that he didn't assemble them in a creative way, I just don't feel inspired by him.

I do agree, however, that many people nowadays jump onto a computer and claim all sorts of things, that they are artists, GDers, and/or animators. But on the other hand, the computer has allowed some very creatively and highly imaginative people who can't exactly *draw* the ability to do amazing work.

So the computer is a double-edged sword in that sense. Technology should be approached as a tool for us artists to express ourselves in a different way.

I believe to be successful in our respective industries, you should be aware of the people already in it and their accomplishments. People like Debbie Millman, Carin Goldberg, John Lasseter, and Brad Bird really set the standard, and as the next generation, we should be both knowledgeable of their work as well as be ready to take on their mantle and take the industry forward.

I hope what I said makes sense. ::disappears in a puff of smoke::

Laz said...

Thanks, awesome response!

Jarold Guzman said...

do you think 2 would have been fine, al?