Friday, September 14, 2012


I've been looking through my old photobucket album. Which you can find here. The art done prior to college can be found starting on page two.
I found this animation I did YEARS ago to be particularly amusing. Photobucket
It's good to see where you've come from. Not just to see the progression, but to remember the passion that started you down the road to begin with.
I remember being particularly proud of these next two.
Surprisingly, after all these years, I'm still rather fond of them.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Of Design and History

I've been thinking about history. Imagine, if you will, the Wild Wild West. What comes to mind first? Is it leather chaps and spurs? Sidearms and saloons? The reason we think of these things first is because society has programmed us this way. Now switch perspectives, and think of the era as if you lived then. The reason it was dubbed the Wild West is because it was just that; untamed. Wilderness. That was their reality.

We romanticize the past because it's more entertaining to do so. This theme is repeated through every major era in history; the roaring twenties, groovy sixties, and of course the iconic eighties. These romantic notions are easy for me to agree with, but only in regards to the period of American history circa 1960. My conception of the period since then, is tainted with a hint of disdain.

To explain where I'm coming from, let's remember I am a designer. I live and breathe design. I see the world through design tinted lenses. Like-minded people, designer or otherwise, will agree it's simply something that can't be shut off. When I think of the twenties, I think of posh lifestyle, elaborate parties, and great disappointment. But I also think of the America that period was born on the back of.

Before the age of industrialism everything was handmade. And with the exception of otherwise mass produced menial items, most everything manufactured was of a high quality. I like to think craftsmen represented a level of excellence that by and large has been lost in the past few decades (perhaps I harbor a few of my own romantic ideas).

Now contrast that with the cult movements of the sixties. The free-love and peace societies threw off the shackles of civilized mannerisms, three piece suits, and full-time jobs. It was a bastardizing of society in my opinion, and the start of a dark age for design.

From aforementioned design perspective, several things started downhill fast in the sixties. Fashion went out the window. Automobiles were able to hold on for another two decades, before it too succumbed to dilution. And the decline of design continued on well through the eighties and mid-nineties with the appalling overuse of denim jackets and big hair. I consider what was done to the Ford Mustang in the early nineties and late eighties to be criminal.

But that was the trend of the day; mass-produced waffle makers and easy bake ovens were the things to have. Thankfully, by the end of the twentieth century America slowed it's downward spiral late in the 1990's. This was brought about, in my humble opinion, in part due to the efforts of Steve Jobs, and Jonathon Ive, along with several other influential European designers. They have successfully, and in a short amount of time, re-educated the American populace about good design.

I believe the dark ages of design have ended, at least for now. Craftsmen are on the rise and corporations are learning to be more deliberate and responsible with their products. I'm sure to them the education of the consumer was quite disturbing.

And yet, even as I see my beloved craft shining in the spotlight, the rest of the world is unfortunately going insane! Hopefully sooner, rather than later, I'll be able to write about the downfall of this Instagram and Guido nonsense. Through the ingestion of amusing, but moronic, internet memes are we yet again bastardizing our society?

That's my rant for the month.
Until next time,


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ahh and so life goes on.

I wrote this in my last post, and I will admit it was a hasty and false statement to make: "Bottom line. Keep your friends close, and don't ask God for something you can't handle. He might just do it."
What a bunch of nonsense. I don't believe that last part and I certainly don't regret coming out to Colorado. Now enough about that, moving on.

Life as a Design Student
By Buck Beymer

Being a design student is one of the hardest things I have ever tackled in my short twenty-one years. It’s a peculiar place to be, in mind and body. On one side of the coin, a student is almost in the place no eye sees; disregarded by most employers, and looked down upon by crappy instructors. We give a great amount of time and money to an institution, and yet we are not the customers. We are never right, and are in no way treated like a normal patron. It’s an investment nobody can guarantee, perhaps not even the person making the investment.

I’ve come to make an assumption that only by pure power of will and perseverance will I succeed. But what happens when I run out of gas? Motivation seems to drive a lot of what we do, and when that’s gone, it’s time to pick up the pieces or go home.
We’re taught by life, by school, by shallow friends, that to get where we want in life, we have to shoulder the weight solely by ourselves. Logic and wisdom tells me it’s not meant to be that way.

Our psychological foundations fight the very idea of being alone. Moving out to Denver at the age of 20, knowing nobody, was perceived by many people a brave thing to do. I expected it to be hard, but the reality was a slam to my face.

To be clear, I in no way support the idea of entitlement, free handouts, and believe that hard work and going through the fire make a person stronger. Everyone needs a respite some days though.

There is, of course, no other option for me but to pick up the pieces and soldier on. I do however have to identify the areas that have triggered this massive burnout, and seek to separate them from my daily life. In the case of academics, this can be a challenge. It’s not an easy task to go to an instructor and tell him that his assignments are leaching the joy out of my soul and stifling my creativity like an office cubicle in an accounting office.

The things we are trained to do are often elementally repetitive, boring, dry, extremely technical, and overall life-sucking. And yet those are the things I can’t avoid. My goal right now is to find an outlet, something to re-motivate me, and keep the wheels turning and homework burning until I can depart from this perpetual state of economic transience. That was a mouthful.

Being a student is a profession I think we need to rediscover the joy in. When I read the stories of brilliant designers who have gone before us, the picture painted is often one of joyous discovery. Hard work certainly went on in the background, but what the reader sees, is a person finding their life’s calling and succeeding at it. It’s that hard work and occasional misery we never see, that perhaps is what really shaped the artist. If only we had a perfect world, I think, but that would perhaps be a world devoid of art.

This is perhaps a preamble to an article I want to write for a design magazine, tell me your thoughts!
(I apologize for the lack of art updates, I'll try to get something up before the apocalypse)