Monday, April 28, 2008

In the FINAL days of class, I FINALLY found what I was looking for

We have talked about it, fought about it and we have all struggled with it. This semester has certainly been a pain in the ass for many of us. And not just in Seeing Sideways but in classes across the board. If I tend to ramble from here on out, please stick with me.

I have struggled in this class in many ways. I am generally a very motivated and creative person, but for reasons unbeknown to me, this semester has been very different. I have stressed over and over about it and only to make my creative side further disappear. My defensiveness kicked in and I started to blame my lack of creativity on the lack of creativity in the whole class. Let's face it, the the creative vibe in this class as a whole was atrocious. Not to offend anyone but we have discussed it enough that there's no need to pull punches here. Now there could be some truth in the fact that my artistic mind took a nap due to this vibe. On the flip-side, maybe I just had a genuine creative block and that was my contribution to this anti-artisticness that went on.

When Beth told us that we didn't have to come back to class if we did not want to, I decided to do the one thing that I would have never guessed myself to do--Bail on a Beth Lykins class. I didn't do so to end the semester early, I did so out of desperation. Usually, I feed off of the song and dance around me and that enables me to churn out my best work and Beth knows this. I am very, very competitive. I can't let my work be anything but the best. I see what others are doing around me and I throw all my chips into the pot daring someone to call me. But again, on the other hand, I wasn't contributing anything worthwhile to the class either. I was desperate to make sense out of the semester and find what I needed in order to end it on a bright note.

I needed to get away from the class and get away from a lot of things. I just needed time to think and focus on the little stuff. What is the bare bones idea of this class all about? It's to help one evoke new ideas and new ways to approach these ideas. Simple as that.

And then one morning, just as I was waking up, it hit me.

What I was supposed to learn in this class wasn't how to come up with some grand new photoshop technique, or how to bring a new idea to the table for creating some great piece of art. I was supposed to learn something specific to only me: I can't always be so competitive with others in order to be creative because sometimes in life, that just isn't an option. In the real world I probably won't always be in a collaborative forum. I have to be able to re-channel that competitive mentality within myself and create at any time. I don't know if Beth had this lesson in store for me and I imagine that some of the readers checking out this blog will view my lesson as insignificant but to me it's not. In all honesty, this realization is definitely the most important thing I have learned in college so far.

To Beth: I did not bail on you or my peers but by coming to class, I just repeatedly ran into that creative turmoil and needed a break. These last two weeks things relaxed and fell into place. And that creative turmoil, which once seemed like a bad thing, ended up being just what I needed. I trust that you, above all my other teachers, will see the significance in what I have learned. I hope this semester doesn't discourage you from continuing the course. Thank you for the class and thank you for the lesson.


Monday, April 14, 2008


All week long I kept asking myself, "Self, how the hell am I going to get creative with connections?" I had no clue, that is until I was at work today turning one of the intern's desks into a fort. We have this intern, let's call him Steve, at the paper who doesn't understand that we're not out to get him. He's just the intern, he's fresh meat... we wouldn't pull pranks on him if we didn't like him. But he's the kind of guy who almost seems to think that the whole world is out to get him. "We're not out to get Steve," I said to one of the other designers, "we're just trying to get him to lighten up a little around the office and make a connection..." There it was, my project had just became the fort I was constructing around Steve's desk. Steve is starting to come around by the way. He knows it's nothing serious and that we're just trying to be buddies with him. I mean, after all, he's a writer and I'm a computer nerd, so if he thinks that I'm one of the cool guys that he's trying to guard himself against... he's sorely mistaken.

Here is one of my biggest connections with Steve. We used his last name to form a nationality around his fort. You can see the flag flying high atop the flag pole.

I even made a window that props open with a stick and as you can see, there is still enough room for computer work.

Fort De Paolo! I wish I had pictures of the inside, we decorated that too.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Identity of Joseph Habshey

Joe, it's a damn crying shame that nobody stood up and took notice of the best and most unique demonstration of identity in class. I'll explain in just a bit, but first, come with me.

In our world of New Media, we must have a finger on the pulse of society in order to be successful. What is current, what is hip, and what is now tends to fall deafly on the ears of many people I know. I mean, I'm trying to be different just as much as the next cat and I would never call myself trendy by any stretch of the imagination, however I do find it very important to know what is happening. One may not know it by looking at me but I read more gossip magazines than a Carmel house-wife, am a card-carrying member of Team Perez, and have been to New York City during Fashion Week. Am I this way simply for fun? Hell no, I'm a designer. What good would I be without knowing the new trends in pop culture? Now I am not saying that these resources are the end-all be-all definitions of artistic creativity, however they are excellent resources when it comes to fashions and trends, not to mention they are full of current designs and advertisements. Sure I am also an artist who strives for something more than the world of corporate graphic arts has to offer and I like to be an individual but everything in design feeds off of something else. We are all just riding the same creative wave that has been flowing since the first caveman put blood to stone. I am a mere acorn bobbing up and down in the ripple of artistic time. Sure I make my own unique splash but without the water around me, there's no fuel for my fire. We're all different notes jamming in the same song. The sun, the stars, and the earth, the moon, sky, and the tide... ya dig?

So how does this apply to my buddy Joe? Well whether he knew it or not, by creating a wallet out of paper in order to achieve identity, he hit the societal nail smack dab on the head. Just as the movie Cloverfield's huge success rode on the coattails of post 911 New York and the Youtube age of cell phone videos, Joe slapped all his identification and money into an insecure paper-thin billfold thus tapping into the wildly popular culture topic of identity theft. The crime of identity theft is in the media everywhere. He bounced everything off of what is very current by putting his own spin on the topic and created a really sharp and witty piece. It wasn't a ripoff, it wasn't a clone, it was something fresh, new, and very top drawer. I have had my identity thieved and let me tell you it was not a fun experience. Logging into my bank account and viewing transactions happening a thousand miles away was a real fucking treat. Thanks a lot assholes! But the cool thing was, my bank was on top of it and my scratch was refunded in no time flat. So how New Media, new aged, and on the hot button of now was Joe's idea? I would say that although he presented last to very little fanfare, his creation was, hands down, bar none, totally to the max, the best in the class.

So to you, Mr. Habshey, A++, sir.