The Mask of Designer, an Artist’s Story
For many people graphic design seems like a creative field where you can actually make a living.
I’m realizing that’s what I thought. I knew deep down that I wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t think that was a way to make a living. Graphic Design promises otherwise.
Graphic design seemed like Arts cooler, sexier and richer sister, so I asked her to marry me.
The truth is I always wanted Art. I wanted self-expression, I need self-expression.
So I guess I am coming out as an artist.
That doesn’t mean I’m not an illustrator or designer, it just means first and foremost I’m an artist.
With that said as a preface, I plan to explain some of my work a little more from now on, starting with the above image.
This is one of my pieces for my daily drawing project, NOD.
I drew a new character each weekday for a year. On this surface it was masked as an illustration or character design project, but underneath it was a cathartic fine art project. All of these characters were parts of me or people I know. They were my experiences and problems.
For instance, the above character is my biological mother. I remember the feeling of creating this character. It hurt. My mother sort of ditched my dad and my brother and I when I was only a year or so old. I saw her from time to time but not very much. I realized I didn’t even know her as I grew up, that’s why she features this mask.
This got me to thinking of archetypes of women and men, and lead to further characters studies and observations as the project continued.
NOD was a way of working through my analysis of those around me, and an expression of my own life.
Now, although I want to embrace being an artist, I’ll never strip away the co-title of designer.
I’ve realized the best way to be anything is to design your way.
Approaching becoming an artist as a designer has helped me complete projects and solve my own career problems. It has also helped me give context for people to understand and interact with my work.
So that’s it, I’m an artist…and still a designer too.