Friday, February 13, 2009

Finding art you like

The other day in class we looked at some different artwork online, which was sort of cool.

We looked at some stuff by Sol LeWitt, which demonstrates what I'll call "art by instruction." Basically the artist leaves instructions for others to follow while making the murals. In general I thought it was a cool idea, but just not quite open-ended enough. I loved the idea of each person bringing a different interpretation to the art before it was even made (in addition to after it's been completed), but most of the murals were very geometric. There just wasn't as much room for creativity as there could have been.

This made me think of this website some friends of mine stumbled upon a few years ago, The basic concept is that people send in sometimes ridiculous requests for custom songs- for example, an upbeat catchy tune about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. It's Web 2.0 meets music- user generated art! I love that site, because people suggest really interesting and creative things that one person alone would never think of on his or her own in one lifetime. Yet all of the songs have a similar style, since they're produced by the same person. It's sort of the inverse of the Sol LeWitt art.

And the cool thing is, it's not something you would normally think of as "art." By the way, I know I'm using the word "art" in a super general sense. But I'm an engineer, okay? In general, creative pursuits all seem wishy-washy to me at first glance.

So I started to think of forms of art that I might like, or even be good at without realizing how much creativity they might entail.

I once started making a scrapbook in high school- I didn't get very far, I only completed a few pages before I stopped having free time to work on it. But the few pages that exist are seriously kickass. Creative headings, construction paper backings, stickers, string, buttons, the whole deal.

And I also like to think I've developed something of a sense of fashion over the past few years. Mostly this just involves buying tshirts with nerdy jokes on them, and plastic jewelry at Claires. (Yeah, I accessorize right along with the 10 year olds.) But I definitely have a distinct style, and love scouring the jewelry racks at various stores looking for the next perfect piece that will complete my collection of wacky earrings. I'm not sure exactly what the relationship is between creativity and style, but I'm sure cultivating my fashion sense (as...different from popular fashion as it may be) certainly can't hurt my creativity levels.

And besides, I totally stopped writing this blog entry in the middle for 15 minutes because writing it inspired me to try to make a bracelet out of duct tape. I totally figured out how to make the clasp out of paper clips within 10 minutes.

I guess the intersection of engineering and design isn't that hard to find after all.

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