Friday, January 25, 2008

A Chronicle of Style 1

Over the last several years I have sought to focus on gathering together a large pile of diverse projects in various media that I have worked on over the last decade or so, primarily to get a grip on how to move forward. Soon, for the benefit especially of students, I will try to write an account of this process. How do you observe, describe, and assess the visual and editorial properties of a large volume of work? How do you get to the precipitate of said work, so as to identify what your visual concerns really are, as opposed to what you think they are?

It takes a while, for sure, but here's an important tip: look at the things you make in a hurry for people you love. Your home-made birthday cards are a classic example. You learn more about who you really are as a visual composer by looking at things you didn't think were important (professionally speaking) when you made them.

As a case in point, at the top of this post is a tee shirt design I banged out for my younger son's high school football team last summer. I didn't have much time, I wanted to make something credible and fun for Andrew's sake, and I didn't consider it an important project in the standard sense of that term--that is, I didn't care who saw it. In the process referenced above, this is one of those images that I evaluated for methodological and stylistic clues. Useful evidence.

More soon along these lines.

Image: D.B. Dowd, Clayton (Missouri) Greyhounds tee shirt design, 2007.

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