Design Epiphany Follow Up

By Marisa Lerin Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:16

I think I may have said this already, but I can't really say it enough: thanks to everyone who left such wonderful and thoughtful comments on my post last week. Just getting the post written was cathartic, but the depth of the comments really gave me an amazing sense of support. So thank you!

The post last week seems to have cured my creative malaise, forcing into words what for months I could not express, and exposing the problem not as one of exhaustion, but of not knowing myself and how that translates into design. I think giving some thought to this will make all the difference in doing sustainable, creative work.

I do clean and modern design. This realization has been growing on me lately, and it was really somewhat shocking. I tend to imagine myself as a messy, unorganized person, which for me translates to lots of grunge and distressed designs (which is what I leaned towards when I started). However, this is a good example of my not really being self-aware at all, since in reality I like things clean and in their place. BUT I don't go all the way down the continuum to minimal. I think I believed in my heart you could either be a minimalist, or you could make it messy; I did not see the middle ground. But there is always a middle ground, and a place of balance is a wonderful, but tricky, place to stand. I was telling my mom over Christmas how I define my style as "minimal plus": I don't want stark emptiness, but I want clean lines with a touch of something crazy. At the time we were talking about home decor, but now I see that this really defines basically all my design choices.

My very early work.

My very early work.

Another difficult tension I walk is between order and chaos. Having trained as a scientist in school, I tend to think of myself as logical and left-brained, and I think that this description is not far off. I work methodically through a pattern that I've set for myself. However, I still do have the right side of my brain and it increasingly wants to get in on the action. In real life I have the strong desire to both stay home with my routine and to travel and have great adventures, at the same time. In my design work this expresses itself in my methodically prepared kits shadowed by random and eclectic bursts of something. Trying to walk the balance between these two forces is what drove me down into my creative confusion, and will probably always cause at least a little trouble. But there is power in knowing, and I've got my own number now.

My recent work.

My recent work.

Going forward I've got a few changes that I hope will help keep the creativity flowing and both sides of my brain happy:

  1. I've mentioned frequently my desire to make more layouts, so I've decided to declare one day a week to be layout fun day, where I just make layouts. Woo!
  2. In deference to my random side I'll be making more random stuff, as I've been doing lately. Smaller, one-off projects that can be finished quickly and allow for more experimentation. Also, everyone's enthusiasm for mini kits has certainly given me the freedom to consider more small scale projects.
  3. Keeping in mind my now defined design philosophy (which I'm going to call "clean PLUS"), I hope that I'll be able to follow my random heart, while staying linked to what I know I love.

Side note: I have often wondered about defining what I do as art, the difference between art and craft, whether there is there a difference between art and craft, etc. After all this self-aware, self-discovery, self-expression mumbo jumbo I've been partaking of lately, I feel pretty confident in calling myself an artist. There's a whole lot more of myself in these designs than I initially thought.

Extra side note: Upon finishing this post I walked into my bedroom and was struck by the exact presentation of everything I'd been trying to put into words. I could have saved myself a lot of time by just posting this photo.

2014-03-13 10.35.37

Look at how well I can match and put things together! You know what would make this perfect? A neon yellow and orange box!

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New Bundle: Oceanside

By Marisa Lerin Mon, 03/10/2014 - 13:18

I feel like I've been talking a lot about these ocean bundles, and now here is one you can finally see! This is actually the second one I made; it's definitely brighter and less moody than the other one which will be coming soon. And here's some great inspiration from the creative team!


Oceanside Bundle
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By Tiffany

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By Sharon-Dewi

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By Nadia

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By Sharon-Dewi

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By Nadia

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By Sharon-Dewi

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