During a recent conversation with an artist in his seventies I was told of the importance of "the poets and the painters" in the early-1960s, and "Where are the poets and the painters today?" Of course there will always be emerging poets and painters, but maybe the space once occupied by poets and painters has been taken up by designers, something brought home during another recent conversation, this one with an instructor at one of our local universities, who said that the students with the "sharpest eyes and ears" are not in Visual Art but Design.
This morning I typed the words "designer statement" into Google's search engine and the first thing up was from missprime.com. What struck me hardest were the references (militaristic) and the language (entrepreneurial). Miss Prime is a cultural soldier of fortune (see below).
"As a graphic designer, I feel that I have become a rather clever concept promoter – possessing a skill quite similar to Obi-Wan’s Jedi mind trick: the power of mental and emotional provocation.
"Graphic Design is a field that is so perfectly subtle in achieving its goal; it often seduces its unsuspecting audience and holds them captive. I strive to achieve this subtleness and produce work that calmly sways my audience to enjoy or consider the concept I’m promoting. The means for achieving this goal vary, depending on how the message or concept is being delivered. My canvas takes many forms, paper, computer screen, clothing, etc., different media – different audiences. A graphic designer must always be able to mold their work for a variety of delivery methods, from the print to Web and beyond; and to anticipate how one’s audience will respond to the both the message and the method.
"Of course, it may not sound as easy as waving my hand and muttering a few words; but I’ve found sliding my mouse around and designing work in Illustrator or Photoshop to be just as effective. I don’t usually wear a long, brown cloak either (they’ve always made me look a bit bulgy in all of the wrong places) – but suit me up in with a cup of coffee and my iMac – and I’m ready to go.
"Graphic Design is my field – my place in the world, as it were – and I simply wouldn’t be happy if I weren’t looking at what cereal is using what font type – or getting a weird, little happy jolt at the prospect of staying up all night to work on a website for a client. I’m constantly on the lookout for new ideas, new strategies and more efficient ways of accomplishing my tasks – whether they be from magazines, websites, television, or simply from a random comment a friend makes. A career with endless opportunities and the chance to do something I enjoy – what more could I ask for?"