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Arming ourselves with the design and communication skills necessary to bring about positive change. Advertising. Graphic Design. Industrial Design. Environmental Design. Automotive Design.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

bled dry

You will have to excuse me if this post is less than coherent. I'm am sort of at the end of several ropes; patience, creativity, sleep. Saturday, I decided to scrap much of the work I've compiled the entire semester for a completely new concept.

Originally, I had taken the approach of gathering various elements which would help me to visually express my design philosophy. Those elements consisting of literally thousands of images of fake blood, numerous hand written pages of the below copy, and a compilation of differing type treatments. Basically, I had buried myself in way too many pieces for my idea to come across in the manner I would have liked. More importantly, the idea was no longer fresh, and I had lost all interest in working.

Then, as if divine design intervention had touched my mouse-clicking finger, a new idea emerged. Epiphany as the direct result of previous ideas, rather. I realized that I was down to two days until final execution was due, and had finally pared the mass of random ingredients down to a manageable singular concept. And I loved working. Nearly twenty-four hours of computer screen-eye strain later, I had a piece that really conveyed my meaning.

I have enclosed several images from the final piece and the copy that I wrote long before the aforementioned release unfurled. This is a philosophy of my design approach:

A tide flows within me. An overwhelming and confusing, yet usually benign compulsion that courses through my veins; controlling my actions, movements, thoughts. But it isn't a memory or a talent or anything tangible. It isn't something that can be readily recalled. It must be brought to the surface. Through coercion or force. Usually, it is little more than a pin prick or paper cut. Occasionally I'm stabbed or pierced. Slices cut deepest and leave lasting scars.

It begins as a single drop. An idea, a spark, a problem. Sometimes it takes a moment for the first to come, but it always does; the crimson spot in stark contrast to the virgin canvas. The second follows shortly after, multiplying the small dot. As they hit the canvas, the spatters create tangents. Drops gain momentum. Pools form from previous drops. New drops explore white space.

The pools near black. Desiccation darkens the edges to mahogany. They dry quickly, but are kept moist by next drop. As they come faster, it is harder to contain the flow. Drips become streams as pools spread and darken. The canvas absorbs it, but not quickly enough to keep it from running. Crimson rivulets form from the dark pools and trickle downward. Drops have grown to splashes, drenching the canvas. The original drop, now soaked, blackens in the moisture.

I try and contain the barrage, but the momentum is too powerful. I constrict it with pressure—restraints and limitations—but it flows on. I bandage it in the known, the familiar, but the red seeps though and continues to saturate the canvas. Spatters fly now, as veins gasp for oxygen. The sprays cover the canvas more quickly than the drops. I apply tourniquets of procrastination, of disclaimers, but the pressure breaks free. Sanguine bullets riddle the page.

The canvas now doused, I begin to purge, documenting the catharsis. Slightly faint but focused, I attempt to apply order to the chaos, while allowing a little of the chaos to remain. I resolve to begin anew with the act still fresh on my hands. I resolve to always be beginning. To always bleed.

In the end, it just sort of came together. I am exhausted like never before, but it feels really refreshing at the same time. This was a part of me--my design, my creation process--that needed to be released, and could only come when I had all of the necessary pieces. It's an action I would love to be able to recreate. In your design, what methods do you utilize to get to the point of visual catharsis? Tell me tomorrow. My bed is calling.