Friday, March 09, 2012

design by committee

In life there are many things to strike a balance with. One of mine is lone working and team working. One often meets artists and writers who get very defensive and angry about the idea of a gallery / agent/ editor telling them what to do. But without external input it can be easy to stay in a comfort zone or in some begrudging bitter denial - "oh its not fair , my work isn't accepted because..." . I am always afraid of doing that & constantly check, maybe my work isn't accepted because it isn't good enough ? Which is a good thing of team working and being published etc, it is a good indicator. Of course notions of 'success' is another construct i'd like to challenge, I intensely dislike the hierarchical nature of our society, in particular when applied to something creative like the arts, which simply should be about creating... But that's another subject. The problem about team working creatively is the 'camel is an animal designed by a committee' thing.  That will also kind of kill the fire than comes from within and is allowed out on an artists own terms. I haven't had any time to do my own personal art in what feels like ages. But it is okay, community work, project work, educational work, political work its all creative in a way, it is fulfilling and important. I am also starting to feel like I /me /My art , even the stuff that is all my own from my own inner art source, it is really a sum of the interconnected whole human experience. What do I mean? just that I am here and now being influenced by everything and everyone around me, I simply reflect those things which come from the world without, some sort of zeitgeist, collective unconscious, channeling of  everything through my particular filters. My art isn't really me/ My / Mine it is all of ours, we are all connected, are we all in fact designed by committee ?

However meta-pontificating aside... what I meant to write about was the design process behind a particular logo by committee!
At a meeting a couple of years ago, lots of local artists talking about establishing a local arts trail, incorporating eating establishments too. We brain stormed an image for the front cover, I'm the one with the technical know how ( laughably! ) So we came up with a pretty sort of map idea with words to convey the message and sense of movement. Here is what I did...

So two years later with a very successful trail and growing membership the notion of a logo raised its head, the above image is not suitable , too much going on. But I wanted to keep continuity by using elements from it. I presented some doodles to the committee, working on ideas of mountains, lochs, the map, the spiral and the journey ( with a nod to our celtic cultural roots of course ) :
Upon discussion with the committee at a meeting I doodled up ( with my fingers on net book touch pad ) a collective preferred idea;
then tidied up at home and presented colour versions..

and finally. Tho that version is all rough and fuzzy looking, the finished one is smooth and lovely. Actual proper designers may be crying because I don't use vector ( sorry non tech people).
Anyway Its all good fun doing so many different things.
My Next logo is one for the Community Woodlands project I'm working with , the committee has agreed an idea, once we have a final version I'll blog it up.

Now back to work !

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