“It’s trial and error, really. That’s better for me. Because, I know this is going to sound too modest or something, but I don’t know how to do anything. I don’t know how to play guitar, I don’t know how to do anything at all. I look at all things as tools. If you look at things as tools rather than something that you must learn, than you go about it in the right way. You go about it with soul and force and flow. If they are something more than tools to you, than you become burdened down by the history of what it is people expect. And frankly, I just don’t care about that stuff.”—Willis Earl Beal
“If you reject work, you are not doing it properly. If you think work is exclusive of magic, you are not being creative enough. If you think work is exclusive of pleasure, you are old-fashioned. “Balance” only matters if you perceive the creative world in a binary of black and white…The impulse to work should be as unapologetic and immediate as the impulse to eat or to fuck.”—032C’s ‘What We Believe: Work. Love. Politics.’
Do you have a dream client / project ? If so, what would it be?
I care more about who I work with, than who I’m working for, if that makes sense.
If my friends and I are on a project, it doesn’t matter to me what the client is. We’ll either have fun together or we’ll drunkenly complain about it together. Either way, I’ll be happy.
I’ve done work for cultural institutions and I’ve done work for corporate institutions. One isn’t inherently more enjoyable than the other to me. I’ve had fun in both and I’ve had shitty experiences with both. When I’m working on something, I’m more mindful of my present feelings and mood—which doesn’t really take cues from the bigger picture. It’s more dependent on my immediate surroundings and the exchanges i have.
So I guess my dream situation is a Judd Apatow lifestyle where when he decides he wants to make more money and be creative, he gathers his buddies together and makes it happen and everyone’s laughing the whole time.
I honestly think that’s healthier than projecting your hopes and dreams onto another business and allowing yourself to have your career driven by them.
Another thing I guess, is that I’m constantly making shit on my own with or without a client. I know the subjects, themes and interests I want to engage in. If a client happens to want that as well, then cool. If not, then pay my rent so I don’t have to worry about my rent and I can spend my nights and weekends freely making what I want to make. Either way, it’s going to happen—client or not so it’s not something I think about on a day to day basis.
You’re asking a guy who didn’t think of any individual strip or story line longer than it takes to read this sentence. I drew in a manic, sweat-flinging state of deadline panic EVERY week. Not most weeks. EVERY week. For ten years. I drew what occurred to me as I stared at the same blank strips I’d been watching for six days, and only because the plane that would deliver them to my syndicate editor was due to take off at 5:30 AM, about seven hours from that moment.
…This is not how a comic strip should be drawn. This is not how ANY deadline should be handled by any reasonable, conscientious, grown-up professional. But as I wasn’t, they weren’t. The flip side of that confessional coin is that Bloom County would not have been what it was—whatever it was—if I’d been that thing I just described. It was art and writing born of chaos. It was the poison the madness needed.
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.”—Jim Jarmusch
“I’m being given a little bit of credit now as being a viable collage artist, which some people think is ridiculous. Like this guy who said, “Wait a minute: You had an art show where you just cut out pictures and then glued them back together?” And I said, “Yeah, that’s pretty much what it is.” There’s more to it than that. It’s about having the eye for detail, moving things from one environment and reassembling them into new environments….Everyone can do it, but not everyone can do it well.”—Robert Pollard
We are all quick to judge something, we do it by nature. Judging something on a surface level is not using informed ‘critical thinking,’ it is just being a critic. I like to think if we can use critical thinking with facts, we can come up with constructive criticism. But before we jump to that we need to think about a lot of things when it comes to a rebrand. Here are a couple…
Did you read and understand the Statement of Work? Did you sit in the meetings where the company unveiled their new direction and objectives? Did you hear their long term goals? Did you talk with them about it and question some of their motives? Did you strategize hundreds of ideas where they company could go? Did you present these ideas? How did the presentation go? Did you work a month or a year on building the project? Did you do many rounds of reviews? Were you able to relate with the client and did they understand visual language? Did they really want something unique? Was there mutual respect? Was there a change in direction? Was the company able to pull off the branding visually after you handed off the work? Did the design and language around the mark communicate and express their vision? When you were finished, did the work express where they wanted to go?…
“I feel like it’s all part of this new culture that’s been bubbling for the last, like, 15 to 20 years: Wanting to create a future that breaks down the barriers of the past,” Adler said. “I mean, it’s not about wearing suits and it’s certainly not about some overly structured Casual Friday. It’s about work and life, the lines being blurred between those two things. It’s about hanging out at the office because you want to, or going for a bike ride because you actually like the people you work with.”—Charles Adler
“He doesn’t go out. They don’t, like, go to their friends’ houses. They used to. All of my dad’s friends just come to him. So, if the restaurant’s not there, it’s not like he’s lost his job or his business, it’s like he’s lost his life.”—Charlie Shopsin (via fairtradegothic)
“Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT”—Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse via outerstace
“Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool…And stop worrying about big, deep things such as “to decide on a purpose and way of life, a consistant [sic] approach to even some impossible end or even an imagined end” You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!”—Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse via outerstace
“We endeavor to maintain our office as an open, collaborative environment with exceptionally smart, talented people. Their ideas and conversations fuel the work and are part of a critical working dialogue. I cannot imagine working without that. And regardless of its direct correlation to criticism or philosophy or theory, I would argue that the work is an intelligent result of those conversations.
The conversations are generally based on continuing fascination with the essential issues within each project. We find enough in the realities and unrealities and materials of the projects, and life situations in general, to fuel the work.”—Mack Scogin
“Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.”—Kevin Ashton via Keith Weaver
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”—Ray Kroc
“Half of your job in this studio is doing your work, the other half of your job is communicating that it’s been done. Because if you do it, and I don’t hear about it, how do I know what’s going on? I’m not trying to control everything, but in an intimate work environment, where we’re really trying to develop something complex, a nod, saying, ‘I got it,’ helps moves things along.”—Tom Sachs
“One of the ways of understanding the word bricolage, historically, is to ‘putter about.’ There’s something about puttering about, and half working on something and getting lost in the subconscious. I’m very disciplined, but when I allow my mind to wander in those places, I sometimes solve problems that I was stuck on. I think it’s very important to think calmly. Every idea equals a certain number of man-hours. You’ve got to really take your time before you choose red duct tape instead of silver.”—Tom Sachs
My favorite thing to talk about is work…I feel so lucky I get to make stuff all the time. The reward for work is more work.
I work seven days a week. My girlfriend is completely freaked out and horrified by this. She wants to do nothing some days. I understand how that’s important for some people, but for me I just want to putter around, and in a way get lost in the studio.
“I’m a full-time believer in writing habits, pedestrian as it all may sound. You may be able to do without them if you have genius but most of us only have talent and this is simply something that has to be assisted all the time by physical or mental habits or it dries up and blows away. I see it happen all the time. Of course you have to make your habits in this conform to what you can do. I write only about two hours every day because that’s all the energy I have, but I don’t let anything interfere with those two hours, at the same time and the same place. This doesn’t mean I produce much out of the two hours. Sometimes I work for months and have to throw everything away, but I don’t think any of that was time wasted. Something goes on that makes it easier when it does come well. And the fact is if you don’t sit there every day, the day it would come well, you won’t be sitting there.”—Flannery O’Connor, in a letter to Cecil Dawkins on Sept. 22, 1957 via Brooke
“Don’t kiss anyone’s ass. Don’t do it. For the rest of your life, everyone will always tell you, ‘Pick your battles. Kiss a little bit of ass. Then you get to stop kissing ass later.’ It’s a lie. They all just want their ass kissed. They think that if they tell you that they’re gonna get to kiss less ass too. It’s all garbage. It’s all bullshit. You have to just do everything yourself.”—Dan Harmon’s Dad’s advice to young people (via eltigrechico)
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”— Hugh Laurie (via lackapathy)
“I tried hard to antagonize people with an unwavering commitment to my work. It felt punk rock to be the hardest working — a reversal of the cliche slacker student. I enjoyed provoking by being on time, having a well-thought-through solution to the brief that broke with the statuesque, and working when others were at parties.”—Daniel Eatock on what he was like as a college student
“I never liked the term “graphic” [design]; it suggests the surface, while I always prefer what is underneath the surface. I try to avoid subjective decision making, decoration, and unnecessary graphics. I like ideas and concepts that inform or dictate the aesthetic. I prefer the idea to stand out rather than the aesthetics, the content to stand out rather than its display.”—Daniel Eatock
“Professional “design” just floats on the surface, is trend driven and premeditated to the point that it’s mostly dead and decorative. You can see its goals a mile away and it holds no mystery or depth. Anything built from necessity by the earnest effort of a user is going to have character, include ingenious solutions, and have common sense.”—Roman + Williams
“Keep your ego out of the solution, keep preconceived ideas to yourself, listen and focus on the goal of the project; whether it’s a film set, a home, a hotel, a restaurant, it has nothing to do with you! You are a tool for it to exist. You have to serve the goal.”—Roman + Williams
“Study the mundane: delis, freeway off-ramps, unprofessionally designed spaces, makeshift spaces, spontaneously created spaces that had no planning. Study these and replicate them, and you learn a tremendous amount about people and you learn how phony and surface “design” actually is. Unconscious creation is special and it is our natural built world: “designed” spaces are usually only good for representing one thing in film: dishonest and lost characters.”—Roman + Williams
“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”—Anthony Bourdain
“If you look at the careers of great entrepreneurs and you look at the moment they took their plunge, the plunge is rarely a great financial or material risk, it’s a social risk. At the moment they started their new businesses, everyone around them said ‘you’re an idiot’.”—Malcolm Gladwell (via raindog)
“You sell your expertise, you have a limited repertoire. You sell your ignorance, it’s an unlimited repertoire. [Eames] was selling his ignorance and his desire to learn about a subject, and the journey of him not knowing to knowing was his work.”—Richard Saul Wurman, discussing Charles Eames in Eames: The Architect and the Painter (via pieratt)
“Go to the fucking yard sale, buy a fucking guitar, start a band with your fucking friends, get in the garage and fucking SUCK, and work on it until you fucking make great music and become the biggest band in the world. And when you become the biggest band in the world, you’ll be like, “Goddamn, wasn’t the garage fun?””—Dave Grohl (cf. “Little Room”) (via drinkyourjuice)