Design Drama

documenting the delicate dance of design

Indulge me as I play “What if?” February 18, 2009

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity and careers and all sorts of stuff that falls into and around those two categories.

I don’t know if I can properly put down my words on the epiphany I had regarding all of this, but I’m going to try.

For what’s been rattling around in my brain I’ll use, for example, Bill Gates and Leonardo Da Vinci – both masters in their fields of work and study – Gates with revolutionizing computers and Da Vinci revolutionizing art. Both found their niche in life rather early, which allowed them to excel in their respective fields.

By the same token, I know far too many people who slog through daily life at a job they absolutely abhor. These people are basically “making the doughnuts,” for lack of a better word.

But what if we have all these potential Bill Gates’ and Leonardo Da Vinci’s out there, but our greatest potential minds are not working in the field in which they would really shine and change the world? We’re in the midst of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. And we have supposed great economists working on the problem But, humour me here – what if the truly greatest financial mind is a plumber working in a factory BUT he doesn’t KNOW he’s a great financial mind because he’s never put forth the effort or ever had the opportunity (financially, etc) to exercise that part of his brain?

I realize the world is imperfect and we need plumbers and all those people that do various jobs to make our world run smoothly. I guess I’m being a little PollyAnna-ish here, but I’ve thought about this a lot lately and had to put it down and out into the world.


Archiving your work – the Old Skool Way January 12, 2009

Most of my friends know that I can be a bit of a pack-rat. It’s a trait I got from my family – so I got it honest. But as of late, I’ve been purging around here – cleaning out closets, going through boxes and just simplifying in general around here. I filled 3 laundry baskets of with clothes, separated computer cords to take to the Goodwill – hopefully someone can use those, and about 87 cosmetic bags from the freebies from Clinique. I even found a Syquest drive from 1997 – the discs are only good for use as coasters at this point – Remember when 280 MB was a huge amount of storage?

Anyway, in a box in the back of my closet, I found a box with stuff from college. Inside, I found slides and photo negatives of stuff I’d done in Drawing I & II and Design I & II. Somehow, back then I had a wise professor that had the foresight to have us take our artwork to have it photographed for posterity. I gasped when I found this stuff. Immediately I began scanning the photos to put them in my archives of work.

I don’t know how stuff is done now – that is, if having work photographed is still the norm as I’ve been out of school for a little over ten years. But, to all design students out there, take your stuff and have photos taken. Or do it yourself. Don’t just rely on a hard drive or a disc to store your stuff. Have hard copies – slides or negatives – of your stuff. You never know when a hard drive will die on you – or fires or natural disasters – I have a friend who lost all her photos in Katrina, for example.

I am so thankful someone told me “Take it & have it photographed” – who knew?


Must Read – Designing Thru The Recession January 11, 2009

If you’re a designer, especially freelance, go read this now


FGF – Old Habits Die Hard December 12, 2008

Forgive me — I’m just marinating in a bit of melancholy from ghosts of boys past – but this soundtrack is amazing.

I love Mick Jaggar too… (and Mr Dave Stewart)


FGF – Halloween Edition October 31, 2008

Filed under: FREE,HA!,history,I'm jazzed,inspiration,time waster — Beth D @ 2:38 pm
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FGF – “In The Air Tonight” October 24, 2008

When I was in 3rd grade, the groundbreaking television series Miami Vice premiered.
I’m reliving the series as of late, with the arrival of the DVDs in the mail this week.

I watched it religiously with my parents every Friday night.

Now, mind you, in other areas, they were rather strict. But for some reason I got to stay up to watch Miami Vice and even Johnny Carson at a very young age. I still don’t get it, but I’m thankful. Further proof that being exposed to violence & drug use at a young age has very little bearing on a person’s outcome.

The premiere of Miami Vice was during the earliest years of MTV – cable TV had just come onto the scene — Having 13 or less channels was hell. We didn’t have remote controls either at that time in our household – I remember sitting 18 inches from the television set (in order to flip channels) and all the while hearing how I was ruining my vision sitting so close – that’s a myth as well, as I still have perfect vision. I consider sitting that close as preparation for sitting in front of a laptop screen most of my adult life.

Back to Miami Vice — the show was originally pitched as “MTV Cops” — And I was sitting, at 8 years old, watching this amazing television show – a show that influenced art, architecture, fashion and music. Who can forget the pastels, neon, loafers with no socks of Sonny Crockett, Armani & Versace suits, fast cars, and dialogue. It influenced my life – through the music married with amazing images that popped off the screen. I think all of that visual stimulation led me toward the direction of an art career.

This series was the first time that music truly was married with a television series. It was the venue where artists came to premiere their music. Way before MTV’s “Real World” or “The Hills” showcased an artist in a television show – this was 1982-83 – there was Miami Vice. As this was 25 years ago, I’m feeling slightly old here. I hate to think what Don Johnson & Phillip Michael Thomas are feeling.

Looking back, I had zero business watching this television show at the age I was – 2nd grade — but when I asked “what is a vice cop?”– my parents just said “oh, someone who arrests people who sell drugs” — to which I responded “what are drugs?” — they answered “the stuff that make you sick” — I guess in my 8 year old naive mind, that was enough for me. As my Mother is a nurse, I acquired a realistic understanding of sickness and the things that cured it at a very early time in my life. I guess I didn’t question much at that age… I still wonder about that.

One of the most vivid pop culture memories of my childhood is of sitting in front of the television, watching these luxurious sports cars shooting down the streets of Miami. The sleek iconography of automotive design married with the soundtrack showcasing the emotion of the moment is why I chose Phil Collin’s “In The Air Tonight” for my FGF music. The following is a clip from season 1.