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Process of Design: Do You Have A Final Vision Before You Begin?

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Many Stuff, a graphic design and art blog, asked a group of designers the same two questions:

When you work, do you think in terms of forms or in terms of a creation process? Do you have a clear vision of your final image or does it come only from an upstream creation process?

They answers are interesting, varied and worth reading. They have been published, along with examples of each designers work, in a large (70M) PDF file called About the Process. So, t takes a while to download and some of the answers are in French.

Here is a sample answer:

All I create is just reflexion of me and my feelings. My work is to come up to the mirror and make a copy of the picture I see! Nothing more! – Stanislav Chepurnov

link via PingMag

Download the PDF file here

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What Is Beauty? An Experiment

Does context matter for beauty? Do people need to be told what is beautiful? Or, does beauty stand out no matter where it is?

The Washington Post did a simple experiment to try and answer this question. They got Joshua Bell, one of the world’s most famous violinists who can charge $1000 a minute for his services, to play in a crowded pedestrian area in Washington D.C. during rush hour. They had crowd control measures in place in case things got out of control and let him loose. He played for 43 minutes.

Any guesses as to the outcome?

The Post went to the director of the National Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, and asked his prediction.

"Let’s assume," Slatkin said, "that he is not recognized and just taken for granted as a street musician . . . Still, I don’t think that if he’s really good, he’s going to go unnoticed. He’d get a larger audience in Europe . . . but, okay, out of 1,000 people, my guess is there might be 35 or 40 who will recognize the quality for what it is. Maybe 75 to 100 will stop and spend some time listening."

So, a crowd would gather?

"Oh, yes."

And how much will he make?

"About $150."

There was a shoeshine place nearby and the lady running it usually calls the police on musicians because they drive away her business. She didn’t call the police that day even though the music was far too loud for her liking because the musician was pretty good. A postal worker stops at the top of an escalator when he hears the music. He has to go back and find the source. He gave $5 and still didn’t recognize who Bell was even though he was a fan.

In total for that day he collected $32.17. Some people gave him pennies and he was recognized once. No crowd control was needed.

I think this just goes to show the importance of context for art. Also, it shows how much other people depend on experts and crowds to tell them what is good. Most people like what other people tell them to like. They don’t have time to find beauty on their own.

I’m betting if he played there for every single day for a year, by the end of the time he would have fans and crowds. Eventually the early adopters would find him and then the rest would follow.

Kind of sad to think of beauty as a commodity that needs to be marketed instead of beauty having its own appeal.

There are great videos taken of the experiment embedded in the article.

Read the article and watch the videos here

Scientific Research That Proves Artists See The World Differently

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From Cognitive Daily an article about how we see the world. They report on a study that tracked the eye movement of two groups, artists and psychologists, as they looked at photographs. The psychologists tended to look only at the object that was the focus of the picture while the artists tended to look at the picture as a whole.

The conclusion:

So why do artists look at pictures — especially non-abstract pictures — differently from non-artists? Vogt and Magnussen argue that it comes down to training: artists have learned to identify the real details of a picture, not just the ones that are immediately most salient to the perceptual system, which is naturally disposed to focusing on objects and faces.

A good article followed by interesting discussion in the comment section.

Read Article

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