It started with the introduction to Artefact Cards (*kudos and thanks to Matt Ballantine*); a simple, pocket-sized-small canvas upon which I could imprint my many ideas, ‘nothings’ and doodles. As someone who invested a ‘Higher’ and ‘Further’ education in design & creative subjects, to not pursue this career in any form, a return to my first-love has been liberating.
What did I do instead of transforming the world of design you might ask? – you might not give a shit; (*for those that are interested*), I actually became a cleaner…of the local hospital mortuary…not quite the vision I had for myself I must admit.
…back to the subject…
Having a canvas-at-hand transforms the tube / train / bus journey, the 5-10 minutes between meetings, replaces the 3rd or 4th listen of that album you’ve been playing on repeat…it even takes your attention from the allure of Netflix. Drawing is like being extracted from the ‘digital world‘ and transported back to a time more simple and less restrictive.
This might sound nostalgic, Luddite or the whimsical notion of a Gen X’er, however, I would (firmly) argue that the simplicity of drawing embalm you in a calm and simple action that is really fulfilling and without boundaries (i.e. functionality restricted by tiered levels of access at a cost, user-errors and/or the incessant bombardment of adverts). It’s completely free!
For anyone that might have found my graffiti hunter alter-ego @lastnamejesus on Instagram or have noted one of my other blog posts on Blek le Rat or Barcelona’s graff scene, you might already have concluded that I’m a ‘visual person’. I am drawn to graffiti and street art because of the social and political commentary, pop culture and the sheer fact that it is free from restriction in terms of subject matter.
Artists such as minty and Sub Dude (see above) are prolific around the East London / Brick Lane area and I find the combination of humour-infused social commentary both striking and thought-provoking.
Some more inspiration from this week’s graff hunting…
Another source of recently discovered inspiration is….
I mentioned Matt Ballantine at the top of the post and he get’s a second mention here as he is the co-creator of DrawPod, alongside Natalia Talkowska; a podcast for and about drawing, doodling and being creative. Give it a listen.
The Day Job
The timing of this renewed joy for doodling has coincided with an increase in the demand on my creativity in the day job; infographics, imagery and logos are all part of a progressive, engaging and well constructed talent strategy. In the process of designing this strategy, I am starting to find that companies (and my clients) have zero assets to use other than stock images and tons of text!
Some of the material I have been presented over the last 5-months could only be likened to a 1980’s school report or a leaflet for funeral services.
Being presented with this opportunity to develop new graphical content and visual assets/logos for clients is fuel for my inspiration. My thought process was centred on trying to represent text in a more visually engaging way and providing functional information in a way that is memorable.
As the average person spends less than 8 seconds scanning a post they actually like and less than 2 seconds on one that doesn’t grab their attention – the challenge is obvious!
On my current assignment, the creative work has been produced using a number of different sources, however, all of them started with doodles and sketches that have been worked-up into a more a more formal piece of content:
: my plan is to continue to share the work I produce on a weekly basis across my social media channels…which for the newly acquainted are:
LinkedIn: Glenn Martin
: and I’m also sharing photos on a public album on Google called: Drawings, Sketches and Doodles
Why? – you might ask. Well, taken from one of Blek le Rat’s pieces of work and slightly paraphrased
“One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotes”
For me, the pursuit of original ideas is my motivation.