The opening credits for Enter the Void
For my show at Tilde, which is tonight.
I have a show this Friday at Tilde in the Sellwood neighborhood of SE Portland. Info here
I’ll be rolling out some new posters, some old favorites, as well as a new series of small art prints created specifically for the event.
The opening reception is Friday, July 2nd from 6pm-9pm
Show runs Friday, July 2nd through Saturday, July 31st.
Check out the Tilde blog and sign up to win a Spoon poster
Here are some of the new Sellwood series art prints that will be available at the show.
You run a small studio. What do you enjoy about being on your own, as opposed to the design firm environment? Do you feel you’re missing out on anything from not being in a design studio?
I miss the scene you get at a studio. Lots of hip people turning you onto bands and clubs and whatever shoes are cool at the moment. Its nice to be part of a group, to go to happy hour together, to make out with the temps, to keep up on trendy design. But at a firm you are turning out Design Product on an assembly line, you usually aren’t actually making your own design. You get direction from the Art Director who tells you the idea and then coaches the final product out of you. Or conversely if you are the Art Director you come up with an idea and tell someone else to make it. Whoever has their name on the door is working hard to bring in high dollar work in order to keep the machine running, which often means taking monied clients who don’t really want great design. Great design is risky. Many clients prefer simply good design, which is far lower risk. I tried having employees for a while, I was miserable. I became a bureaucrat, managing deals, managing people, managing payroll. I’m a designer, thats what I do. I used to think clients wanted a big firm, and in some instances they do, but in my case I’m selling Dan Stiles. They come to me for my design, not for the design of some poor kid attempting to decipher something I sketched on a napkin because I’m too busy filling out paperwork to do the work myself.
Lot’s of people emailed wanting to know how to get started or how to get their own clients, etc.
In response I would say sit and think about what you really want to do. Don’t expect that if you head off on your own anything will be different as far as compromising your work goes. Clients are still clients, no matter if they’re your bosses or your own.
There are two kinds of design. Design as a service and design as art. Design as a service is just like being a plumber or any other trade. Someone calls you fix their pipes and you fix them as best you can, then you collect the money and move on. No matter how you slice it you’re fixing pipes, not building the Sistine Chapel. The client doesn’t want the Sistine Chapel, they just want their toilet to work. That is 99% of the paying work that’s out there. Don’t expect deep creative satisfaction from design as a service, expect a good job and a paycheck. And be very thankful you’re in a nice soft chair pushing around 12 pt. Helvetica instead of out in the hot sun pushing around dirt. I’ve done that before, it sucks.
Design as art is a different beast. It’s the reason most people got into design in the first place. To make “cool” stuff. The problem is there is a rare sort of client who needs this type of work, and they come to you, you don’t go to them. You have to have a body of really great work and then they’ll show up and say “give me a piece of that”. But you’ll never create that body of work doing service design. You need your own avenue, one where you have at least 90% control over the creative, if not 100%. Keep your day job, pay your bills, and make something else at night. An awesome blog, posters for your friends band, a screen printed zine. But whatever it is, make sure people see it. Don’t make one and then put it in the closet. Get it out into the world and onto the internet. If people like it then it will take flight. Make another one, and then another one, and another one. Work on your chops, develop your style, push your limits. Once you have 20 of something good people might start to take notice. But you might have to make 100 before you have 20 good ones.
If you want to start your own service design firm start it at night as well. Expect to do a lot of selling. You’ll spend as much time talking to clients as you do designing, and you’ll still have to take their direction, just like you do when you work at a firm. When I started out on my own I had this notion that every single thing I was going to produce was going to be worthy of the design annuals. My first job was a brochure for a small non-profit. I designed the hell out it. I threw in free illustrations to make it great. Slowly but surely they chipped away at it until the final result was a complete embarrassment. All I can say is that no matter where you work, if you’re doing service design your work will most likely get compromised, that is simply the nature of the process.
If you want real satisfaction get your own thing going that is really your own thing. Start out for the love of it and make excellent work. It’s a long road but the money and clients will follow.
Wired Magazine has a whole bunch of great MRR photos on their site now. Check it out
NOTABLE POSTER ARTISTS SHOWCASE AT SEATTLE’S SHOWBOX AT THE MARKET
Poster artists from across the region will showcase their work as part of a one day, Seattle exhibition of limited edition Rock posters. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase hard-to-find works and network with renowned and up-and-coming artists.
In addition, Easy Street Records will be on-site to sell from their collection of rare, vinyl records.
WHEN: Sunday, May 23, 2010
12:30 pm – Pearl Jam Ten Club early admission
1pm – 5pm – Doors open to the public
WHERE: Showbox at the Market
1426 1st Avenue – Across the street from Pike Place Market
Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 628-3151
WHO: Artists schedule to participate include ACORN, Ames Bros., Brad Klausen, Brian Methe, Dan Stiles, Frida Clements, Geoff Peveto, GIGART, Guy Burwell, Jeff Kleinsmith, Jeff Soto, Jesse LeDoux, Justin Hampton, LMK, Mark 5, Marq Spusta, Maxx242, Munk One and Nat Damm
TICKETS: All ages event is free to the public.
At eight stories high and over 100 yards long, Bob Burnquist’s backyard ramp is the world’s largest.