Day #40 of Art Challenge … Finalizing the SFCC program is today’s art challenge post … I’m super pleased with the art that emerged for this project … Working with what I have in the logo, and expanding that gently throughout the pages … Just like designing for anything, that kind of expanding … Am super grateful to have this project in my life, and bigger than that, remembering my curvy path towards graphic design, I am so grateful for that path of how I came into design … Somehow I knew then in NYC what I wanted to follow, that I was drawn to this kind of work and I knew I wanted to contribute to the world in this way. I intuitively knew how to ignore the nay sayers, even before I read anything about following your intuition … Also I’m grateful for Abby Wambach telling her story as a soccer player and the piece that she got benched at a time in her career when she didn’t want to get benched. The most important kernel of her story is how did she react … I believe it was a test for her to get out of her Ego and into her Heart more … What emerged after the whole Benching time is so much more valuable to us now … Between her book Wolfpack - which I want to read - and Brene Brown actually having a show on Netflix, I just couldn’t be more grateful to be living and creating during THIS time on earth …. xoox
Day #39. If Yang Liu gets to design opposing icons of a cucumber then I get to do some easy ones. :). About using the blue / green background colors with black and white images, the occasional yellow highlight, I have to think of it as designing into a brand, the brand that exists in her book. I’m curious if my own style will emerge with this project. Below is the working process, and above are two possible finals. I have more in me and love how fun this is. Speaking of the concept of FLOW, and designing “easy” concepts, or concepts that are “too easy”, it occurred to me this morning that life doesn’t have to be so hard. Actually. That that the things that come from joy and love they are so easy and effortless. And maybe I feel like - deep down - things have to be hard, really hard in my life, otherwise I haven’t proven myself. I think I’m liking this permission to let things be easier. So here, have some shapes for FLOW … xoox
Day #38 … Set 3 of 3 Sketches for icons, with a video … One of the things that comes over me as I look at this last set of sketches is how close I feel with my family of origin … For however differently we live our lives now, we have always sought for meaning and meaningfulness. Questions of ethics, a good philosophical quest, certainly good writing and good sermon writing were important … I sometimes miss the cohesiveness that our family experienced until I (and my twin) left home, that cozy perfect and imperfect Hunsicker household. I try to recreate it with G and make a wide of a circle friendship as my parents always had, but I’m much to much of an introvert (funnily, Dad is too ....) G may correct me in my thinking - be careful what you say/think, that’s what you’ll get - but I have always believed that people in general are attracted to a Pastor and Pastor’s Wife … I got the sense that people look to a Pastor couple for answers, that somehow the “perfect exterior glow” of who we were as a family - which is different from who we we really were - would rub off onto them. But then it could also have been because my parents are amazing humans. I never completely understood the easy adoration we got, I never felt I deserved it because people didn’t really know who I was. Maybe that is what skewed my own journey towards self acceptance, at some point I had to work for it, not just get it because I was the oldest daughter of RH and HS. But anyway, the Hunsicker we core was such a lovely family-womb. Not perfect or all peaceful, and yes there are huge stretch marks from the various kinds of birthing, but a place of emotional refuge from the world, and a place of complete trust, which I still think is the single most important thing in any relationship (thank you Mom for that conversation.) So I look at these art concepts now and I think of them, my lovely serious family. In fact maybe I’ll recruit some of them for user feedback.
I realize too, that half the fun for these icons will be the writing. I look at my sketch about Michelle and Melania and I think I may use the word “Judgmental” because that’s absolutely something I learned in my family. That could be an entire book by itself. “Book of Judgments, Opposite Icons”: “German Christmas Tree / American Christmas Tree”. “Furniture, Light wood / dark wood”. “(Beautiful) German erzgebirge ornaments / tacky American color ornaments”. It’s a German spoon so it’s better. And then there is politics. Although there my parents went deep into their faith and never created division. Sure they voted, and sure Dad probably should have run for Senate as a socialist liberal, but they never preached or spoke of a separation in humanity. And I think what I learned from them most of all was that even if there was judgment, we were intuitively taught that judgment and divide doesn’t hold up against love. And what love is, the action thing, is hard choices. Like the time my mother after decades lived with horrible neighbors - part of a drug ring even - and she decides to help the lead guy plant tulips. (“Mom, you did WHAT with Harry?”) So I think my inspiration comes from my parents and siblings. We are separated in so many ways right now, but deep down, there are so many amazing values. That ability to find universal truths, not the things that keep us apart. That’s what I want to try to do with this art.
Day #37, Set 2 of 3 my personal book of opposites, icons … I was going to post the funniest thing EVER and somehow I went right back to posting something serious. Which amuses me because being too serious is something I’ve been accused of and so this is consistently authentic to who I am. So here, the political concepts of icons. The hardest concepts to even think, talk about, let alone illustrate.
Day #36 Art challenge … (Set 1 of 3) … A few years ago my sister-in-law and twin brother gave me for Christmas a book of design by Yang Liu, who lives and designs for her own design firm in Berlin, Germany. The artwork is so beautiful, as is the messaging. I felt deeply inspired at the time and decided to create my own set of sketches, a book of opposites, a set out to design a set of icons. My original intention for this Art Challenge was to design into my Blog posts, but now that I veered off the plan with the Program design, why not add these icons to my Art Challenge?
I realize tonight that I was originally going to try to create something like Yang Liu design book published by Taschen, and I do love that style, more Material world, but maybe my designs will take another shape? I don’t know and I trust the process. Perhaps one of my own blocks has been how deeply some of these personal these sketches are. Where as Yang takes on really lovely happy concepts like “Noise”, my personal Book of Opposites is sometimes political and/or also having to do with emotional personal topics. As for politics, I’m aware at my contribution a wall of not being able to talk about “differences”, and just sit with my like minded people politically. Maybe art can help illustrate perspective, other perspective… Maybe it can help me see other perspective.
For the emotional concepts, it feels much riskier to me - even now, months after the sketching - than something neutral like “Flow”. So, that means I have to lean in and start it. It’s a way for me to own my story, and also work through emotions. See if I can make it make sense, look good, and even beautiful.
Day #35 … My little intention was to load working files for the program that I normally would not show anyone, and then I found that I already did. So today I get to just make something for the pure joy of it. And very intentionally showing the anchor points, a moment of design when you are actively grabbing onto art and making it into something, how even that tiny moment is beautiful. Sending love out into the world, this one moment of mine, through the exhaustion …. xo
Day #34, Program design III of III. This gives the team an idea of what one expansion idea looks like. Also to use the art of the existing font-logo as dramatically and artistically as possible. See what a little bit of a curve can do? Isn’t that a great metaphor. As I design into this program, I also fulfill my Art Challenge promise, which is to live creatively, to make something every day. And poignantly determinedly to show the process. It’s an interesting twist because this is something that will actually be used by other people, so I notice that I am still not posting my “working-file.ai”, because those files just don’t look good. I still gravitate towards perfection, iIsn’t that my job as a designer? I have to remind myself the point of this art challenge which is not perfection, but creating something … And I realize too on a bigger level that I believe I’ve always been searching for the perfect company to work for, an organization who will reflect (line up) absolutely Who I Am. I have even been told that I need to start my own company, that’s the only way to get what I’m looking for, like Oprah did. And as I listen to Seth Godin’s book The Icarus Deception, I could easily agree with him about corporate america trying to kill our souls. O, it’s so tempting to blame blame blame. If corporate america didn't exist then we’d all be fine. People make up corporate america … So … : Although I love almost every sentence of his book, I know in my soul that things are not in life as black and white as he suggests - that there is corporate america and then there are the/us real people, or other B/W non-answers: that there is a non profit that perfectly fits who I am, that if I create my own company I will live this perfectly aligned life like Oprah does (that’s a whole topic, just by itself), that somehow San Francisco is more perfect than the rest of the country or the world, because it’s heart values are more who I am.
What I know is that I live in San Francisco and in spite of all the progressiveness that is here, there is plenty of life happening on a non heart expanded level. For all the culture of permissiveness that exists here there is also lots of fear, and it isn’t because we all work for corporate america. And I know this morning in my deepest heart space that it doesn’t matter where work or live, that who I want to be, how I want to show up is with my flaws in tact. With my own open flawed authenticity as encouragement for everyone to be open authentic expressive. I know in my heart that we are all more alike than we are different. Also I don’t want to contribute to this concept that there are “kinds” of people, open and non open …
This Seth statement is true, however, that we humans all have a serious streak of Artist in us, and that art can only come out by us being authentic to ourselves, no matter where we exist, what we do. For me today I am ridiculously inspired by the awareness that walls are fake … But things like connection and dinner parties and love, that’s real. And love can only happen when you make a stupid - playful? - design and can laugh about it. For example. And so, I think I leave myself no choice but to post my working_art.ai files as art posts here tomorrow. :)
Day #33, Program design II out of III … A slightly less conservative, more risky design, there always has to be a range of ideas. As for risk, this is, after all, San Francisco … Presenting more unconventional art I believe is both the job of the artist and of this beautiful Bay Area … To push ideas forward in general is in keeping with who the Bay Area is … Part of the design process now is to work with the reaction(s) and look for both compromised and options and solutions …
Day #32 … Program design I of III … Including art elements from most of the logo designs into and throughout the program … Using the image already selected for the cover, and liking the combination of classic art with modern design elements … Unifying fonts within the program … In general trying to come up with a light and airy and elegant design … There is no full bleed to design into, so how to make that white edge look good … And the inside pages are all black and white, so this is intentionally designing into those limitations and not calling them limitations, but instead, design opportunities … :)
Day #31, In the process of designing a program, I needed some kind of art piece to work with, which meant going back to visit the logo, to see how I can use what existed. Keeping their chosen fonts, and expanding the musical staff lines, into circular-group-chorus-oriented visual elements. Working with moving the staff lines out of the original center and above and below the words City Chorus, if that feels like a more open expansion or continuation. Using the curl of the y font as an art piece that if multiplied symbolizes choral-unity, musical flow. Using color to represent the diversity that is SF. Showing a range of ideas: the minimal change of the logo with a new ‘y’ glyph, conservative yet still elegant designs, to modern possibilities, to playful and very abstract. All produce a subjective reaction, my particular favorite was G’s “I don’t get it” on the squiggly lines. It’s okay, it was fun to make. Now it’s their decision what kind of a change to make, what resonates with them as an organization to be their visual metaphor …
Day #30 with a video showing the process … More exploring, trying out another y and h glyph to see if I can work with wider circle spaces … Today will be the last day I search out art elements just from the existing logo … I couldn’t help myself to check out updated versions of the logo …. :) Playing ….
Day #29 is me filling my art challenge requirement of an hour a day, since the real focus today was hiking in Tilden Park with G, gratitude, gratitude, gratitude! Meanwhile, these are more potential shapes, lines and small art pieces coming out of the logo towards the program design …
Day #28 art challenge … In search of negative space and/or art elements from the existing logo to use in the design of the program …
Day #27 …. An important step for me when designing into a piece is to create vector art of the logo if none already exists. Vector art is what I need to enter the design process and it’s such a good thing for a client to own, in terms of versatility. This logo is all type, no art, and it’s also not be be altered, so what I’m doing is recreating it from scratch, getting the font to be skewed like the original, converting the Zapfino font into Outlines so that I have an ‘image’ to work with, other than the 4 staff lines …. Good to get this “far” and fulfilling my 1 hour a day for the art challenge. :)
I say Day #26 with some designer-amusement because often we are percolating inwardly as designers over and about a design without being near a computer. So I’m counting the last two days as that … And then there is just the time issue. Meanwhile, here is my Day #26 of designing into my Chorus program. The challenge is without actually recreating their logo but to use their logo to extract art elements from the logo and extend into the program design … I wonder if I will be able to carve art out of the negative space … Artistically speaking ….
Days #23 - #33. For the next ten days I’ll be re-directing my Art Challenge to work on a concert program for the chorus that I sing in. G was more cautious, that I should absolutely continue to design into my blog post ideas, but I feel drawn to work on this program, and since I can’t do everything, my way of creating space to contribute in this way, I’ll use my art-challenge time for the program. More realistic time management.
The challenge is to start from the music staff lines of their logo and see if I can expand this art element into something bigger … I’m not promising that I’m going to post the entire process - (do designers need some privacy?) - but this is my commitment for the next ten days. Here, are some quick flurries to start the project off ….
Day #22 art challenge. What I’m coming up today with is trying to create ugly art, art that I don’t like, and transforming it into something I do like. The problem started when G walked in and claimed he thought the black art was not ugly and so he didn’t know what I was talking about. Today I realized that the exercise is completely for me, I can’t involve him like I would a client … Also that it is really uncomfortable for me to show art that I don’t think is beautiful. I really like to show the beautiful art that you will like. It’s the lower dynamic of what it means to be a designer, and the higher part is to push boundaries a little for new art, less conventional art, something new …
What I am amused about now, suddenly, is that the art is just refusing to be ugly. As I keep going and I wish I could do this all day, I like everything that is happening. This is so fun. Maybe I fear the ugly art, when there really isn’t any … All the lines are beautiful, when it’s connected to some personal truth. My immediate background : G continues to make high pitched voice overs for our little seedling plants not wanting to be moved from the warm interior sun room to the cold exterior of our garden, I can hear him make voice overs for all the lines which I am calling ugly too, their protest … It’s just all sweet. Grateful.
Day 21, I do Love how small art in motion can tell an emotional journey! Here is continuing the dark unwanted art and using it for something good, the stills into video form. Amusingly it may be ugly black art to me but it’s not to G. But it’s my story, and this is my ugly black bubble art and this is me morphing it into my meaningful heart spaces. I’ll add something else here … It’s been something that has come into my awareness, even sometimes as a disappointment, speaking of heart spaces. I know when I am in my centered ‘Heart’ space but I know when others are too … When I read, watch or experience something and it just rings True, and deeply so. It’s a sliver of a difference to know or feel the difference between anything that is coming out of someone’s heart space … By heart, I don’t just mean girly-red-heart, I mean wise, pensive, creative, true, smart, problem-solving, building … And I’m not sure how to be more patient with other people about this. Probably has something to do with being patient with myself. :)
Day #20. Continuing to design into the theme of holding negative or murky spaces and creating something beautiful. Taking the ugly thing and making it beautiful by owning it. I still hate these black bubble lines that happened this week, artistically. The ugly art matches my dark mood, which matches my reading material. As I continue to read The Big Magic, I’m realizing how annoyed I am because she is giving advice … I feel like writing something entitled “Arguing with Elizabeth Gilbert”. She is now for the 2nd time in the book, recommending how to go about your life, what path would be better, safer. O Liz, you are incorrect, and I’m going to win this argument. Someday you’ll see. There just isn’t anyway to squelch one’s creativity. And there are no mistakes. And this safety net you believe you created in your life, I kind of have a bone to pick there too … I’m glad it felt like a safety net, but there is no such thing … I just so strongly believe that when things appear to fall apart in our lives, or when safety nets go away, it’s truly because we are Phoenix-ing ourselves. Something more divine wants to come out. The deconstruction is the thing that creates a much deeper love and relationship with ourselves … And THAT love and inner peace is what creates new openings, raw creativity. It’s probably the difference between the success of Eat Pray Love vs. your other books. I want to emphasize how important it is for each of us to have our own journey … And not to look outward, or to Elizabeth and celebrities for answers … I know she will be the first to say she doesn’t have the answers, I loved that speech. Here’s Day 20 art, then, my contribution towards morphing the black murk into something playful … Whole hearted living …
Day #19 of my art challenge video! Suddenly I realize that this art also connects to my brand of turning something ugly into something beautiful … not just the path, or life, or story, or thought, but the art. So this is the perfect artwork to transform, because the day that I posted these lines I had some despair that it wasn’t more beautiful. I even compared it to previous posts that I loved. And then I realized this is my process of owning who I am, including the failures / according to my perfect plan. And so I have to post it. It’s true to my life. I make a decision every day now to shape something beautiful, and I can design my way through it too.
I am grateful today for so many things. The weather couldn't’ be more perfect. I’ve been streaming conversations with others who think big, differently and expanded - Mary Morrissey, Neale Donald Walsch, Lisa Nichols. I especially love hearing about their life paths. G has been walking around saying in perfect voice over form to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s motivational speech, “work your ass off”, which is the phrase Arnold uses in every paragraph. Here are the nuggets of truth I love: Yes, work your ass off. Yes, that we have a greater version of ourselves. Yes, that we can decide about who we are, that every act is an act of self-definition. Yes, that we can decide if we are going to perform on a grade “C” average in our lives, and that C-average is “comfort zone”. And by performing, I mean this greatest version of ourselves, and by great, I mean expanded. … The most important nugget for me is to once and for all, integrate spirituality with my profession. I’m no longer willing to live two lives, my private life and my professional life. There has to be a transparency, and also this word ‘alignment’. No more hiding who I am. I remember listening to a designer at Facebook talk at an event here in SF about her personal life, and was amazed with how open she was about details. And how interesting it was to see the audience hungry for every word that came out of her mouth. Her big word was authenticity. So I’m slowly carving out this space for myself. This designer described this satisfying experience of working at a place where she could be both a designer AND authentic to who she is, and more than than she was actively encouraged and supported to get her authentic and real self out there. I realized so clearly, that’s what I want to be, that’s what I want to have, that’s what I want to feel! I can feel it already. :) So my art for today is about transforming an ugly boring pencil sketch that came out of my night-dreaming, and fit it into my brand which is that surprising new wonderful things happen, even beauty, things you can’t always predict. AND I wanted to just work with the technique of animating vector art into a video. Love love love love.