Oh design you cruel mistress. How you make fools of us all.
You spend 5 hours creating a masterpiece for it to be ripped apart within 10 seconds. Your work is not rendered superfluous because after all, art is a process, a long and winding road into the garden of creative Eden. Yet it often feels that way. In the leisure of my home, when I finish a piece of work the only person who has an opinion on it is myself. Whatever the conclusion may be, the work is put aside. It is rare that I spend hours on conceptions and even more rare that I ever go back and re-do a piece.
Interning at Family Business Place has forced me to have to work in a completely different style, plotting and planning my illustrations from basic sketches to fully realised impressive visuals. My work is consistently improving. This is obviously the better way to work. In spite of that, I find myself grinding against it, the cogs of my cognition scraping against one another like rusted gates. I know my mind imposes more limits on me than any other influence in my life. It always has.
Recently I realised that every time I finish a piece of work I dislike it. Up until the last stroke I feel content in my abilities and then the crashing realisation of completion arrives, rolling snow around my ears and I’m left empty. Distaste seeping into my tongue like salt.
It is not unusual for artists to hate their work; Monet destroyed at least 15 of his most famous works. The mind of a creative is one of violent passion, desperately confined within the creases of your bones. For me, I feel like an incoherent, unbridled, imposter who’s work is as cohesive as a series of crumpled socks in a draw. I want my work to mean something, to be personal, to reflect the real. But what even is the real, in this world where everything is a simulacrum of something gone before? How can I be original? I can fulfil a brief, after hours of toil. Yes. But that toil is needed just as much in my personal work as it is in graphic design, and currently feels an impossible task.
Living with a mental health condition, a burning desire to improve, a faltering perception of reality and my identity, it is no wonder that I become distraught at the lack of consistency in my work. It is easy to say to someone that they need to let go. Putting this into practice however, is not so simple. I can only hope that my thoughts will take rest and if they don’t, that I can carve originality both out of the benign and the madness of my mind.