Art, process and design blog of an aspiring industrial designer.

Theme: Adventurousness

So, today I have this feeling… this feeling that I’m gonna do something stupid just because I’m feeling adventurous. (But nothing THAT stupid, or that actually matters. (e.g. Cut all of my hair off and donate it to cancer.  “OMG! How could you do that! It’ll take, like, a year to grow back!”  FRESH NEWS: Hair grows back, and your odds are a big 50/50 that the short hair won’t look bad.  Those are good odds, so take a chill pill. ANOTHER EXAMPLE: Do/plan an art installation.  Money – blow it on something random that you love, that has no definite guarantee of turning out! Who needs it! Time – beh! It might be ‘evident’ in the piece that you spent months planning this!  => ADVENTURE-ing)

For normal people, I think when they need that exciting adventurous feeling they will do normal-er, more obvious adventure-things, like go explore a deserted building, or an area of town, or try a break dancing club, or go to a casino. (I had a friend who would always say, “Let’s go on an adventure!”, and I used to be like, “Yeah! Is this guy for real?! Awesome! I’m a person who loves adventures!” Turns out, I’m not.  I only like or itch for an adventure in art.  That sounds like Public Service announcement conclusion, but it is true.)  For me, all of my real risk-taking adventuring or crazy-things happens in art.  Otherwise, honestly, I think I’m kind of a more boring/safe person.  I could be wrong, but I think so. I am literally hungry for it.  I never understood what people meant when they said that about stuff other than food or love, but I AM.  I think art makes me a better person – at least, a cooler version of myself.

When you are knee-deep in a hat/head-piece made of forks and knives, you know that if someone came in partway through, they wouldn’t just think that you were cray cray.  They would think, “WTF?!”  Or, when you have some ridiculous plan about doing an art installation in the middle of the street, when someone drives by midway through the installing process, its another, “WTF?!”  Or when you are painting or staple-gunning plates to a 6″ radius tube to use as one of the turrets for St. Basil’s Cathedral of Moscow, obviously, a “WTF?!” comes.  The moments of “WTF” before “Genius!” – those are the adventures-in-process moments.  When you smile and say, “They are totally right, I am so crazy” to yourself.  A “this can go either way, let’s hope for the best and try really hard” moment.

What are you hungry for?  How do you guys act adventurous?  Is it in food, or while working the stock market?  Do people look at you like you are a crazy person, too?  Let me know in the comments.

Here is some adventurous stuff.


Okay, even though I have already talked about him a kajillion times on this blog, I cannot have the theme be Adventurousness and not talk about Stefan, with regards to adventurous graphic design.  He transcends the genre and incorporates it into the physical, kinetic, tactile, as well as the digital.  He makes pop up inflatable art installations.  He does projects that seem crazy – take a year off work to explore new ideas, even though business is FINALLY going well (Maybe my clients will just leave me?! Maybe I’ll have nothing to go back to!) – and that are not about money.  He talks about ideas and issues that stand in the way of his own personal development.  Obviously ‘WTF’ adventurous.

selfcon,APR2-2013 everybodthinkstheyareright,APR2-2013

IMAGES: here // here

Another person I wanted to talk about in Part 1, is the graphic designer and art director, Eiko Ishioka.  She is another incredibly adventurous, creative designer.  As I mentioned, she began as a graphic designer and worked for a long time in Japan doing graphic design, art direction and advertising work, and eventually established her own design firm.  Then, around the year 2000, she decided to apply her background to costume and clothing design.  Obviously she was amazing at it, and was recently nomintated for an Oscar for Best Costume Design for the film “Mirror Mirror“.  I watched that film exclusively to check out the costumes and was not disappointed in the least.


IMAGES: here // here  (via NewYorkTimes online; Great article and obit about Eiko here )

Eiko is an amazing graphic designer and costume designer who did not let her career or her background label or limit her.  She took on new and conceivably ‘unrealistic’ projects, and delved into a field in a way that might have seemed crazy to others.  And she rocked at it. Boom boom pow.


The first film I want to talk about is “The Artist“.  I really want to give my thoughts about the entire film here, but I will live it for the ‘MM (Movie Madness)’ page.  To come out with a silent film in this day and age, and have it win an Oscar for Best Picture is astounding to me.  Not to say that silent films can’t be great movies, but it is very difficult, I think, for a silent film to mass-reach a modern audience, who most likely hasn’t had very much connection with the medium possibly at all.  (AND also, there hasn’t been so much major development with silent films as a medium in the last long while. Therefore, further room for exploration.)  It really shows how well the film is made, and how much they used ‘being different’ and taking a chance to their advantage.  Not only did the film win 5 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, but it was nominated for a total of 10 Academy Awards.  And was the first silent film to win an Oscar since 1927.  I’m pretty sure that a lot of people that Michel Hazanavicius went to get money from for this film thought “WTF?!  This guy is crazy trying to make a major silent film.”  And it might stayed looking crazy until the ticket sales started to pour in and the awards committees came a-knockin.  Hazanavicius is someone who may not be traditionally adventurous in life, but is sure as all hell adventurous in art.

IMAGES: here // here

Say Anything“, which I have also mentioned on the blog in the past, also really embraces taking chances and doing something crazy (which isn’t actually crazy, but is still pretty crazy).  The film shows a really interesting social perspective; a perspective that embraces doing things because you want to do them, and not because you are supposed to (or not supposed to) do them.  For example, the main plot line of the film (spoiler) is that Lloyd, the main character, asks out Diane Court, a girl in his high school who does not hang out with his friends and whom he does not know very well.  This might seem obvious or normal to a mid-20-something year old, but I can say honestly, even as a young-20-something this is still so unusual!  In the film, Lloyd doesn’t even go against social convention, but just kind of ignores it even exists altogether.  I used to fantasize about this happening in my high school!  Not really about getting asked out by someone not in my group of friends (although that too), but just about ignoring pointless, stupid social conventions that we all follow for no reason.  Lloyd is a cool guy and Diane is a cool girl – why shouldn’t they go out?!??  Yet, at the start of the film people ask the couple how/why this came to happen over and over again! Because it is still so shocking!  Anyway, here is a great quote from the film that demonstrates my point.

Mike Cameron: I don’t know you very well, you know, but I wanted to ask you – how’d you get Diane Court to go out with you?
Lloyd Dobler: I called her up.
Mike Cameron: But how come it worked? I mean, like, what are you?
Lloyd Dobler: I’m Lloyd Dobler.
Mike Cameron: This is great. This gives me hope. Thanks.
(Quote from here)

And it does give hope.  And acts as an example of how we should all act.


IMAGE: here

When Mary Katrantzou entered the fashion scene in Spring/Summer 2009, she was a recent grad and an instant hit.  She has become so popular and such a sensation since then, with all of her lines afterward, if not recieving rave reviews (by the likes of Anna Dello Rosso), receiving generally positive ones, which is rare for any designer.  With a focus on textile and pattern design in school, a theme throughout her work is the screen printing of images of often very lush, rich items on very simple, clean, architectural dress shapes.  Not only did this technique make her commercially appealing when companies wanted to copy her work, or when she wanted to do more affordable versions of her clothing (i.e.: her collaboration with Topshop), but also applied an idea that Mies Van Der Rohe (famous modernist architect) was famous for in a fresh way.  She applied the idea of lush riches in a 2-dimensional, clean way to her simple structure, and used her expertise as a 2-D designer to direct her 3-D designs.  She tried something that could have looked cheap and tacky, and jumped into a field that she did not know or specialize in (fashion), to ridiculously great avail.  To have a textile designer jump to startdom in the fashion world is not only rare, but totally unheard of.  She was adventurous in art, and it payed off.



IMAGE: here

My mom recently told me this awesome story about the Brooklyn Bridge and its history.

In 1870 John Roebling, a civil engineer, had the idea of a way to creatively construct what we now know to be the Brooklyn Bridge.  Bridge building experts of the time could not understand or see his vision, and thought his ideas were, of course, impossible.  But after working with and explaining the concept to his son, Washington Roebling, also an engineer, his son was convinced that the bridge could be built.  Somehow the two were eventually able to find investors who believed in their project as well, and the project was commissioned.  Then, a few weeks into the construction, an on-site accident tragically killed John Roebling and severly injured Washington.  In the hospital bed, Washington found that he was able only to move one finger and, since he was the only other person who understood and believed in his father’s design, the structure could not be built without instructions from him.  He eventually developed a code with his wife, Emily Roebling, by tapping his finger and over the next 13 years tapped out the instructions to her on how the bridge should be built.  The bridge was successfully completed in 1883, and is still standing today, as symbol of New York.  Both John and Washington were adventurous in their art, civil engineering and architecture, and because of it they built one of the most iconic and used bridges, and one of the oldest suspension bridges, in American history.

Here, I could also talk about the engineers and architects who were the trailblazers and harbingers of changing styles, etc., but for today, I’m just going to say the point, and save those people for another day: be the one who does something so dumb and different that it seems crazy to people. That is how all of these people got started.  Just get used to the ‘WTF’, cause it probs means you are doing something right.

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