Archives For November 2016

The Semi Finals

November 18, 2016 — Leave a comment

Can you smell that? It’s the smell of toner, overheating laptops, fixative, acrylic, and lots and lots of coffee. Walk into the studios this time of the semester and you’ll be in awe of how much stuff is around. Just stuff- almost anything you can imagine: models that are taller than you, bamboo sticks, concrete furniture, charcoal drawings so dark and precise you’d swear they were sharpie, plotter sheets like oversized streamers running along floors, copious shreds of sawdust from the wood shop, empty mountain dew bottles scattered on desks. It’s a beautiful site. When I first saw a scene like this, I was a junior in high school taking a tour of the Annex studios. My mother was a little disturbed by the chaos, I was inspired! Very rarely do people get to see the inner workings of the minds of designers, but enter the studios right about now and you’ll get an exciting show. You can feel the energy, it’s contagious, attractive, and exhausting at the same time. My mother couldn’t understand the appeal of seeing hundreds of students running a muck in what looks like a huge warehouse. She said, “Really? This is what interests you?” To which I replied, “Isn’t it beautiful.” Because my mom sees hundreds of students in a sleepless panic attack. I see hundreds of ideas just pouring out of creative minds in any and every way possible. Through paint, through graphite, through basswood, through plaster, through Photoshop, through Rhino, through the rigor and frustration and hyperproductivity that is required to express these hundreds of ideas! All of these students are full of amazing thoughts they need to release to the world or else they’ll just implode into creative abyss of antimatter. And there’s so many ways to do it!

Personally- I’ve tried every media and tool available (except the new 3d printers and robotic arm, I’ll get to those later). You name it and I’ve tried it – even the use of some toxic methods; don’t worry, I wore gloves. When you get to see all these ideas and media clashing together to create beautiful physical objects, it’s one thing. It’s a whole new level of satisfaction when you’re the one doing it. So we have an open house this weekend- TWO actually. And since we are in the three weeks leading up to finals, there’s A LOT of work to see from all the students.

As usual I’ll show off some of my own semi-finals work. I love the work flow of really intricate renderings. For this particular project my process is as follows.. Rhino>Maya>Rhino>Maya>Photoshop. This is the ideal workflow in one direction, In reality, there are a lot of backwards arrows as well, but hey, that’s part of the fun isn’t it.

Chelsea Gazaille Chelsea Gazaille Chelsea Gazaille

As an artist / designer, every time you produce something, you give a little piece of yourself away; you expose an idea that until that moment, only existed in your head for you to see. Every time you produce, you sacrifice something that was created in your conscious being and existed solely in you, something no one else had access to. Production is necessary in order to convey and share these pieces of ourselves with the world. As artists, we can’t be selfish. We must produce. We must share our ideas and give away pieces of ourselves. But, how many pieces can one give away until there is nothing left to give? Until there are no more ideas to share? Does this limit even exist? Ask nearly any of the MArch students right now and they’ll say “I’ve reached that limit.” It’s only the first week of November, and we’ve reached that limit. People around the world are biting their finger nails over the Trump v Hilary polls, and the 80 of us are staring at computer screens waiting for inspiration to hit so that we may produce. Losing inspiration is a tragic event, it means you have no more pieces to give. An uninspired, unproductive designer is cranky, grouchy, unsure of herself, and sometimes can even get to the point of not wanting to be inspired.

Creativity – a trait all designers must carry- is intrinsic inspiration. We must inspire ourselves. Our professors won’t do it for us. Our computers won’t do it for us. Our critiques won’t do it for us. We spend so much time talking with professors and advisers and looking at our computers that we’ve come to rely on these external resources as THE resources of inspiration. But that’s wrong. We are constantly thinking, therefore, we are constantly “idea-ing”. We must inspire ourselves with our own ideas in order to have new ideas. That’s what makes us artists in the first place right? No. Everybody thinks. It is the production of our ideas that makes us artists, designers, and architects. Architecture is the physical production of an idea. So for anyone at anytime who claims to have “reached their limit” or is “out of ideas” I recommend sitting down with yourself over a strong cup of coffee and have a long conversation with … you; pick yourself apart. Because you know yourself better than anyone, right? So inspire yourself and produce something worthwhile.

Just remember, “The limit does not exist.”