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The similarities between an artist and a designer are quite easy to see, in fact those unaware of the distinctive differences might even assume that they are the same occupation. However for those that understand the functions of both creative endeavors, they know that is far from the case. An artist is a creative who creates to satisfy their own aesthetic pleasure, unconcerned with the wants and needs of others. A designer is a creative who creates in hopes of satisfying the wants and needs of others with their art, casting aside their own individual creative desires.
With that understanding in mind, it is clear that both creative paths differ by one being a creative for the people and the other for oneself. As designers, there is always some level of artistic input that must be imputed into a design for it to be affective. The problem many designers have is trying to incorporate the desires of their inner artist into their work as a designer. There can’t be too much artistic perspective used because then it will lean away from the intended audience, however too little and the design will likely look very generic and uninspired. That is why we are going to go over how a designer can find that inner balance between artist and designer.
In the design world it is the popular choice to renounce ones own true favorite artistic style and to design according to whatever style is currently trendy. An current example of this would be the universal fascination over minimalism. This is a great artistic style, with a really engaging philosophy behind it. However it is still not a perfect mesh for everyone.
So with that in mind, let’s go over a couple of questions that can lead anyone to the art style that best represents them.
Art is nothing more than an outward manifestation of the current mental state, and personal qualities, of the artist creating the work.. This makes artwork personal, and the need for a personal connection from a viewer of the work and the artist must be able to be formed from the art. Understanding this about art puts better perspective onto how and why some artwork appeals more so to some than it would to others.
So before anyone can go around looking at artwork to find what suits their creative palettes, there must be an understanding of oneself. That way when passing by and viewing artwork, the true connection with the work and yourself can be established.
As already mentioned, art is very personal and allows for the inner workings of an artist to come out onto their canvas. It is important to be able to sense a connection with the artist through looking at their work alone, however it is more so important when aiming for inner balance between artist and designer to be able to see oneself in the work.
This isn’t so much literally seeing yourself of course. It’s about looking at something and being able to see the inner workings of your mind, person, past, future, and/or soul in the work you are looking at.
As designers, it is our predetermined thought that our craft has no real room for personal creative interpretation, surrendering our individual tastes for that of the masses at large. It is quite easy to see how this thought process came to be when considering how community driven we are. From creation to final product, our main goal is to create something that is liked by a vast amount of people. If that happens to lead to something that we like, then that is just a little extra bonus in the project.
Now with that ideology thriving in anything designers create, it is quite hard to see ways in which any true personal artistic preference can be placed. Here are a few tips on how to awaken your inner artist in your designs.
Everyone takes that walk, or surfs the internet, trip, etc., to find inspiration for what they are working on. However, often the case is that instead of looking for that one thing in particular that stands out, the object of attention is the environment at large. That is of course fine for any other instance, but specifying your hunt for inspiration will lead to better results. This result should then lead you to an ample amount of creative thoughts that will easily lend themselves to your design project.
There is no such thing as a proven theory for success in the art world, so there shouldn’t be any perceived one anywhere near your mind when trying to bring out the artist in yourself. With so many proven success methods, guides, tutorials, and things of that nature, it’s hard for anyone to actually want to be adventurous. We design for financial gain after all, so this really isn’t such a bad thing. It’s just from the artistic standpoint, the only thing you’re doing by blindly adhering to these is suffocating your artistic expression. Understand the ones that make sense for what YOU are trying to do, and just leave the rest alone.
It is quite tempting to want to post what you’re working on to a social network full of creatives eager to see what everyone is doing, but it is not necessarily the best move. The vision for what you are to create can’t be translated to anyone perfectly, no matter how hard anyone tries. So of course there is no way that anyone elses input can actually lead to a better way of bringing out your inner artistic vision. Just leave this aspect for down the line when the project is close to completion, and needs that designer touch.
We all are afraid of creating something that is not well received, or easily understood by anyone else. This is so because art is not mean to be understood, only to express the thoughts of the artist. Don’t worry about the fear of rejection and just create, you could end up with something that the rest of us will be personally interpreting for years.
The work of an artist and designer is nothing alike, only the means they go about in creating their work. A designer can learn many things from art and artist like personal expression, relieving oneself of the fear of rejection, and the drive to fulfill one’s creative vision among other things. Just make sure as a designer you don’t let your inner artist consume your work too much, your job description still says that you create for the community at large.
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Jamal is a young freelance web designer, web developer, writer, and blogger based in Atlanta, Ga. His work can be found at his online identity Five Alarm Interactive(FAI). He is a college student and philosophical poet by day, and passionate professional by night. You can keep up with him on Twitter @5alarmint.
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