Greetings my good good friend and partner in matters of business,
I am happy to tell you that (unlike photography today) I am down with design today! (I think). Why? Well, cause I go to D&AD talks sometimes. No really I do! No, no, they are actually not that boring. They take place in this big auditorium and I feel a bit like a uni student, which is a good feeling as I loved being a uni student. Those were 8 years of good times.
Anyway, John Warwicker... He's always intrigued me cause I've always thought of him as this really successful musician as well as a founder of a really successful graphic design studio. I mean, how does he do these two things so well?
Well, I found out that he does not in fact do these two things well. Underworld has been around for like 34 years, since 1979, I had no idea. He was
a member of Underworld, but only as a keyboard player in 1986. Underworld's best known (and possibly only known) hit was the famous Born Slippy released in 1995. It was not even released as an album, just the b-side of some random EP. It probably would have never been discovered had it not been used on the Trainspotting soundtrack. All this to say that Warwicker was long gone from Underworld before this hit, and had nothing to do with it, and he was actually never a really successful musician.
However, it is reassuring to know that he did do well with design, co-founding Tomato in 1991 in London along with Steve Baker, Dirk Van Dooren, Karl Hyde, Richard Smith, Simon Taylor and Graham Wood. I've always liked the collaborative nature of Tomato, its members come and go and they all seem to have a ton of projects happening outside the collective. Here is the Tomato site:www.tomato.co.uk
What did I take away from his talk? Well, he was actually quite hot. And he had these cool plaid trousers on. I kept thinking that they would look better tapered in and shortened though.
What else? The talk began with this slide for us all to read:
From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. As seventy-three I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grew. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may will have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.
Katsushika Hokusai, postscript to 100 views of Mount Fuji, 1839
This really resonates with me. As everyone who knows me knows, I am slow. I like to look around, think about things, and be in the present, be in the moment. I don't like to be rushing for what's ahead, for the finish. Getting there is at least as much fun as arriving. As annoying as it is to many people, including myself, perhaps it is good in some respects, as Hokusai's postscript points out.
I'm pretty lucky that I actually like what I do. It is something I see myself doing my whole life and fortunately I am not rushing towards retirement. Which is a good thing actually, cause it's not like my retirement savings are massive.
K, I'm done now. Looking forward to our meet tomorrow!