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birthday card

It was my mom’s birthday last week…
So I made her a card.

The end.

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Optical Poem Study from Elle Chyun on Vimeo.

There are no excuses for saying “I’ll be back tomorrow with more details about my Rwanda trip” and then me disappearing for a week. But, if there were excuses, I’d say that it’s because I’m juggling a few things in my life right now, mainly, this cakeface show that’s coming up and being a 12 credit carrying graduate student.

But, no excuses.

Here’s what I’ve been doing. This is not a masterpiece, but, it is a study that’s due for class on Monday inspired by this. Please enjoy the Easter egg palate.

Breakthrough! Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination, Image courtesy Alex Cornell and Princeton Architectural Press.

I read this article today and it seemed like maybe all my creativity problems would be solved if I bought this book. But then I went onto The Great Discontent and read like 5,000,000 interviews with people who make excellent work. One might call this being “sidetracked” but I’m just going to call it “research.”

Debbie Millman JUST spoke at Pratt tonight for an AIGA lecture. She was talking about failures. The kinds that you have to deal with in life, and how they got her to where she is today.¬†For my non-designy friends, she is an artist/writer/designer/educator and host of Design Matters. She is also… amazing.

At the beginning, she said when she was 8, she predicted her entire life in a drawing. I laughed. She showed it, it was her, walking down a New York City street with cabs, and two discernable items: a Lays potato chip truck and a bank. I laughed, along with a whole bunch of other people when she said “yep, this pretty much sums up my life.”

Circa 1996, HAC and I used to send each other letters in the mail. There were several letters per week. They were always elaborately decorated and the letters were full of pre-teen bull shit. I have an entire shoebox at my parent’s house devoted to letters from her. We don’t send letters in the mail quite so often now, but we do talk on gchat an awful lot and often our conversations are something like this:

HAC: I hate my job.

Me: I don’t have a job, but I loathe my decision to go to graduate school for graphic design.

The conversations usually evolve from one of us having a bad day and then we voice our concerns that we went into the wrong professions. We torment ourselves with questions like why did we do this to ourselves? etc…

The other week HAC sent me this photo via text:

envelopes from 1996

Those are hand drawn, Crayola markered in envelopes that I decorated in 1996. The accompanying message with the photo was “you are in the right profession, girl.”

Pattern? Graphic marks? Bold colors? I sure was a fuckload more adventurous in my design choices in the 90s. I wish I could tap into my pre-teen self sometimes (uh, no I don’t).. And did I predict my own future? Well, I guess I did. I’m just glad HAC sent a photo of tricked out envelopes and not these shoebox shoes I insisted on making for a good part of 1995.

I have abandoned my current hope of running a Tumblr design blog. As it turns out, I’m not all that interested about blogging about design 7 days a week.

Moving on.

I’m designing packaging for my Vis Comm class. The problems never resolve themselves. Every idea I have reverts back to my original idea, which is really not that clever or interesting, and it causes all text to have to be centered on this enormous 18x24x7 box. Basically, what I’m saying is, my ideas are poop and the mock ups look like shit.

I decided that it was time to get serious instead of fretting over it while trying to fall asleep.

Idea that has been getting my mojo going:

Minimalist effect in a maximalist market by Antrepo. A study in toning down packaging to its core. There’s a second edition here.

I complained to HAC on Tuesday that I felt uninspired and yucky. Yesterday we discussed that going to class to discuss my design conundrum was actually helpful, and I’m now on the right track. We also tried to understand if time = better finished product or just a good idea = better finished product.

Then I saw this this morning.

Question answered.

[Illustration by Christoph Niemann from his book Abstract City, via swiss miss via explore]

Also, I’ve said basically nothing of substance this week. That’s because #whatshouldwecallme has been killing all my brain cells. Also, I saw that Taco Bell has been testing Dorito flavored taco shells, so all energy has been directed towards crossing my fingers that this happens. If you know me well enough, you know that I am on the eternal hunt for the perfectly seasoned Dorito, and that in my circle of friends, I am the Dorito connoisseur. In any case, does it matter that I’ve never eaten anything from Taco Bell before? No.