For the last three years, I have been entirely focused on up-skilling my digital skills, after all, it is how I earn my living so it is of the utmost importance that I do so, particularly at the rate that technology and design trends change. Unfortunately, due to this circumstance, it means my art, painting and drawing have taken a back seat but that is something I have decided to rectify and my canvas, paints and A2 sketchpad have finally arrived today!
Why create paintings and drawings if you are a digital designer?
To be a complete designer these days you can’t simply specify your skillset in one particular area, we must be masters of more than one discipline. Coding, yes, is very important as is mastering the ins and outs of photoshop and illustrator but like my architect tutor used to say, all design should start with paper and pencil rather than straight into AutoCad ,which I used to laugh at but now I see her point!
Art helps you keep in touch with your human approach to design
Drawing with pencil and paper helps you to remain in touch with your soul and creativity unlike sticking with code and digital drawing and illustration. There is something much more human about painting and drawing than drawing on a computer screen. Connecting the pencil led to the paper and stretching a ‘real’ mark across the page has something increasingly satisfying about it as we become more and more reliant on digital devices to enhance our feeling of ‘being a part’ of society at large.
Art and drawing in this essence help us to remember our soul intent to be here is not just about digitising our existence and recording ‘our best bits’ through Facebook or sharing our very important thoughts through Twitter but connecting with our real human soul that is beginning to get lost in the stratosphere of what is becoming more like the matrix and more like ‘let’s compare our life with the Jones’ than helping one another succeed in a happy life.
Design is about satisfying our human users and making their lives better
Designing anything, whether a chair, a piece of clothing, a website, a toothpick or a handkerchief is all about enhancing the lives of others thus why UI and UX are becoming so important in web design. A website that looks great but does not really improve the lives of the viewer or help them find information that they require easily and in an entertaining way is simply a dysfunctional design. Having a user-centric approach to design is vital to achieving our goals of converting leads into sales but for a genuine willingness to want to make other lives better.
Okay, so UX is important to design but how does this relate to art and painting?
When I paint I begin to look at the world in a different way, I analyse what it is I am trying to communicate to others through visuals, which is usually something relating to our human emotions and life experience and I try to see things from others point of view so I can communicate the message I want more successfully.
Art helps us to see all sides of the coin rather than seeing things in black and white, right or wrong and encapsulates our wanting to remain as we were when children which is uninfluenced by anyone or anything even as far as the technology we use to create online experiences and digital graphics. I mention this because something else I remember my architect teacher telling me with a tone of disgust in her voice was
‘why use sketchup to create 3d experiences? It’s not unique and its too generic! Anyone could have created it!!’
and again, although I laughed it off at the time…she was right!
Computers have their benefits and they have sped up what we can do in a day by a vast amount which can be useful but they have also dehumanised the sense of creativity that we are born with as children and true creativity starts from the pencil not from the screen.
What’s my plan for the art scene?
My plan over the next 12 months is to firstly paint the 1m x 1m canvas of a tree in a new stage of its life, a tree I painted a few years ago ( concept about soultree here) only this time with leaves and full of vegetation and life. Subsequently, I plan to create over 300 A2 drawings that I hope to exhibit in a gallery in London either by the end of the year or the following year at some point that relates to our human emotions.
I will have to create a strong plan of action as it is an ambitious amount of art to create as well as hold down a full-time job and continue to advance my technical ability but it is something that I feel will benefit me as a designer and in turn the people I work for. I will begin to add drawings and such like to Instagram to give you a peek into the progress of the work.
What are your thoughts on art and what are your new year’s resolutions? Please comment in the box below.