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Art VS Design - Game on!

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

jemimalovesbigted asked the question – is there a difference between “artist” and “designer”. My comment follows:

There is definitely a difference. But the funny thing is, when it comes to my art I try and blur the lines!
I wish I could upload some of my paintings but I can’t ever photograph them properly. Basically they’re paisleys and I’ve drawn them as if they were flowers. So my work kind of asks questions about craft/ design/ art and the divisions between them all.

jemimalovesbigted jemimalovesbigted 386 posts

So Natalie, do you think that you put on your artist hat with only some of the things you create? I mean the stuff you make for work doesn’t count. Or does it?

I find it hard to say what I am. I seem to have the designers eye in most things I do. I photograph with that sense and I even seem to paint with that sense as well. My oldest passion is film which seems to also colour alot of my work.

So am I an artist?? I am not too sure. I know that I really love making things that look good. I get a big kick out of seeing a space ie. a room that is put together really well, about as much as I get at looking at a Van Gough. I also seem to take a lot of art at face value (I appreciate how it looks) and not read too much into it, because I find art is sooooo subjective. That is how I appreciate it. (this applies to anything but film which I always pick to pieces and analyse the crap out of) So perhaps I slip into the designer box rather more nicely than artist. ????

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

It’s a really hard question to answer. I’d say that my art asks questions and my design answers them :P

The difference is, I guess, purely philosophical… maybe?

One of my favourite designers/ artists is Alphonse Mucha. People know him as an artist but he was really a designer!

jemimalovesbigted jemimalovesbigted 386 posts

Alphonse is wicked…. I am sure I have seen his stuff before, but not known who he was.

One of my favourite artists is Joshua Davis he is a tripped out wicked digital/programming guru. When you have a look at this site check out his ‘machines’ most of them are interactive so make sure you do some clicking and dragging.

Now I am not sure if he is an artist or just a super geek, but I love his stuff. Enjoy…

oh yeah you need sound!

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

lol I am so confused after seeing his site!

jemimalovesbigted jemimalovesbigted 386 posts

yeah its a bit like that, but I still love his work!

purelydecorative purelydecorative 16 posts

One of the ways I classify my work into “design” or “art” is through my emotional connection to the piece. So if I’ve created something that looks good but is basically just fulfilling a brief and I have no real connection to it, then I see that as “design” but if I create something that makes me float a bit and get that zinging feeling of satisfaction, and I can really see myself reflected in it, then I fell like that is “art”. Mostly I only get that feeling when I’m doing my own thing and not working to a brief but occasionally I’ll get it from a job.
I do like Natalie’s comment about art asking questions, and design answering them, but I still believe good art should make you feel something- of course, everyone has their own subjective view on art and that’s fine because otherwise we’d all be exactly the same. I do hate art snobbery though- and it’s certainly alive and well.

Slightly off the topic, but here’s a great article about making “great” art from the Wall Street Journal.

jemimalovesbigted jemimalovesbigted 386 posts

good article pd. very true too. I have the same problem when I get a new client. the pressure is on to produce something fabulous and I go dry. to combat it I have to just start mucking around with any idea that comes into my head and eventually the good stuff starts to flow.

anyone else have issues with creative blocks??

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

I hate when a client won’t tell you what they want, it makes things incredibly difficult, not to mention drawn out! That’s the only creative block I get – when I don’t have anything to work from!

jemimalovesbigted jemimalovesbigted 386 posts

that is the worst. my job at the moment is like that. and I guess I was reflecting on this job when I was talking about the creative block. clients pretty much assume that you can read their mind. maybe I should bullshit and quote them extra for mind reading abilities and promote a 10% discount if they actually tell me what they want ;-P

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

lol
Do you give difficult clients the “A rate”?

jemimalovesbigted jemimalovesbigted 386 posts

A rate? would that be asshole rate? anal rate? a real big dick rate

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

lol all of the above!

jemimalovesbigted jemimalovesbigted 386 posts

that’s a bloody brilliant idea, why hadn’t I thought of that. each time they ask me a stupid question they get a new quote for $50 no bugger it $100 dollars more. I will be rich.. RICH I TELLS YA!

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

teee heee!

purelydecorative purelydecorative 16 posts

See, the problem is they don’t KNOW what they want until they see it, but they do want to feel like they are the ones that can claim credit for the design (ESPECIALLY in the fashion industry)…such a dilemma for them, the poor poppets.
How to employ a designer but pretend it’s all your idea at the same time?
I think visual reference is the only way to communicate with non-design people. If they have an image to look and discuss, it’s easier than trying to use words to describe something visual in their heads.
But the Asshole rate sounds like a fabulous idea to me.

D. D.AMO D. D.AMO 116 posts

JLB & PD & NB I have TRULY enjoyed reading this forum. As a long time ARTIST/DESIGNER/ CONSULTANT….interesting, my, the “ARTIST” HAD to be put first! Yes! I loved pd’s comment re the ZING! that is ESP * ! As a devout naturalist I have to admit to DIVINE DESIGN being inherent in everything. It brought to mind Octavio Paz’s IN PRAISE OF HANDS, where craftmanship vs. art was the topic of the Atlantic Monthly’s article. I look forward to researching Mucha and Davis,( as that is my family name!) Possibly the question might be as to whether art comes before the design, or vice versa? !! ? My! That has even astounded me! But then I am listening to Campell’s Mozart Effect. Tempo di menuetto from Violin Concerto #5 in A Major 9:16 MOZART IV Focus & Activate the Mind – Classical. WHERE does auditory come into VISUAL design and art? Don Campbell says we listen with our ears! Osho told me to go DEEP – to the very roots of the pain or experience- IT AS IT IS . (without blame or self pity) and that IS ART ACTIVITY! and why I am also an ART THERAPIST!?! Thanking you for the joy of this experience!

Duncan Waldron Duncan Waldron 59 posts

I’m sure an intellectual answer is that a designer generally creates or contributes to a final, functional, article while applying artistic or aesthetic principles, while an artist creates the end result itself, which is likely to be non-functional. However, in this context the boundary is somewhat blurred.

It could also be said that (broadly) a designer’s approach is likely to be more objective, as the result has to satisfy an end user – in visual appeal, ergonomic form, safety, etc, while art should be created in response to a purely subjective motive. This is in line with purelydecorative’s comments.

Shelley Heath Shelley Heath 2371 posts

I would say all designers are artists but not all artists are designers. My theory is that as a designer you use both the logic and creative parts of the brain but as an artist the creative part reigns and rules go out the window.

jemimalovesbigted jemimalovesbigted 386 posts

haha, very interesting point Shelley and I think I would probably have to agree!

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

@Shelley

Just to be controversial, I think as an artist there are rules, mostly regarding technique. I think it’s dangerous to mystify “the artist” as someone with a “god given gift” because it is quite exclusionary. On the other hand, mystifying “the artist” does help art by turning art into a commodity with monetary benefit for “the artist”.