i'm a designer part 1

Saturday, September 18, 2010

hope is - collage

I never know what I'm going to do
I love not knowing
I like not knowing, 'cause I actually like to be afraid
that I'm not going to figure out what to do
or I'm not going to know what to do
and it allows me to follow any path I want

Squeak Carnwath - Painting is no ordinary object

Yikes ! any path ? Hey Squeak ! You're a crazy woman and your paintings are awesome !

This collage stuff I've been doing although I really love it ... it also totally freaks me out.

I've been working on several collage/quotation pieces similar to the Hope Is collage above and I swear I've been holding my breath most of the time I'm working on them. Tense & worried feeling. Knowing full well at any given moment, after the long deliberation with a giant capital D, the next piece I decide to glue down could be that kiss of death piece, the oh no ! why did I do that ? I've ruined everything. To be honest I'm not sure that I'm enjoying this recent more artistic process to my creative endeavours. Artistic as compared to designing. Designing for someone else compared to creating ... ultimately for yourself (??). Woah ! les pressure.

Way back when, in art college, I plodded happily along through both the fine arts and the design programs and ultimately made the decision to be a designer (at that time a graphic designer) for practical reasons (employment) and for a kind of spiritual/philosophical reason - I just couldn't imagine the daily pressure of staring at a blank page or newly gessoed canvas and deciding what to do, paint, draw, create and on top of that how to do it. Why on earth would someone put themselves through that ? How do they do it ? Cruise control I suspect.

The kind of designer I've been all these year, it's been easy to know when to consider my work good, a success - it's when my customer is happy & content. After 25+ years of trying to make customers happy, and succeeding much of the time, you begin to not care so much (or not know) whether or not you're happy. They're happy, your bills are being paid (at times handsomely) - why rock a boat. You can use your favourite fonts, and/or colours, your own go-to look or style that you try to sneak in each design project - applying your own tiny personal stamp on things ... but ultimately you are always trying to please someone else.

I like that. I'm good at that.

Pleasing myself on the other hand - WOW, who knew it could be so difficult ?

The sun's just up, the other side of the harbour's been painted with gorgeous orange light, Missy D's snoozin' in her bed under the TTD* and I'm about to have a kick ass day ! Regardless of all this creative angst. Remember ... I'm not asking myself any of those questions ... I'm just gonna keep on keepin' on. For now anyway.

*TTD - teak topped desk
Squeak Carnwath youtube video found at fabulous mixed media artist Cori Dantini's blog


  1. That is my very favorite quote! Behind my desk chair on a table are a whole book of Dickinson's work. Love her! And your work is always amazing to me.

  2. thanks so much Brenda ...

    the cowboy and I disagree on Dickinson, he's not a fan (at all) ... perhaps it's a female thing. I always think of the movie Sophie's Choice when I think of Emily Dickinson's achingly beautiful prose. (ya know how I love the aching ;-)

  3. I was happy to see/hear an artist (Squeak Carnath)talk about going into a painting without a plan as that's pretty much what i do and always thought i was wrong....should have a plan and think most artists do. Well maybe sometimes i have an inkling of a plan...but mostly just follow my muse and colours of the day...or not, whatever lol.

    Nice work Susan; i do love your collages and i don't think you could ruin one even if you tried! It's just in you to make it right, even if you glue down a piece that you're worried about, don't sweat it cuz the next piece you glue down will make the first one look right.

  4. Interesting this plan vs. not having one. When I've looked at artist friends sketchbook notations and planning stages for a piece of work (prerequisites as part of their course) I've thought to myself that I would probably cheat and work backwards,do the sketchbook/theory after my completed piece, being a no-plan type of person.
    Mercifully, my music teacher also gave me free-rein as a child, while others struggled with theory lessons.
    We are all different and I love to find out how you and others come to their completed piece. Your work is wonderful.
    I found the video clip very interesting Susan, thanks.

  5. What are you gonna do with that collage? Cause it's freakin' AWESOME.

  6. Angel Face, that little collage is FANTASTIC!!! Such AMAZING work you do!!!! Love it, love it, love it!!!

  7. Love the green, its such a refreshing colour.


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