Sunday, June 21, 2009

Leave it to Hallmark

I know what color my parachute is but I have yet to see it deploy.  It would be nice to see soon, as I barrel into a career crisis.  Come on little chute... inflate already.  Pappa is a worried man.  For over ten years I have been indulging in a career choice that has been my passion but I have not been able to make it work financially.  If you saw my bank book you would think I was an artist!    Although Fathers' day does not carry too much weight on my calendar, I can't help but reflect upon what I have accomplished in the context of fatherhood on this Hallmark holiday.  
I wish everything was as good as my kids.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Confounded Compucurves

For a curve to work, it has to be right.  For a curve to be right, it has to feel natural.  For a curve to feel natural, it has to be messaged and caressed and considered.  The aesthetic impact of an incorrect curve is hard to quantify but I will say that it is one of the most important things facing us in these troubled times.  Take the human form for example.  The difference between the shape of a nice looking leg and a leg that really makes you go "Waka Waka", is subtle. You need mad verbal skills to describe exactly what it is that you like more about one leg than the other but there is a significant difference.  In design, you want to be the master of such subtleties, even if you sound like a nut trying to explain why a joke is funny in your pursuit. 

So I have this issue:  I use computers in my design process for a lot but I believe that the real sensuality of an object is easier to obtain through fine art/kung fu/ hands on manipulation. Designing on a computer takes some of the subtle control away from the artist.  The computer offers a spline and a tendency is to accept it. I tend to form a curve using a billion strokes of a pen with variations of line weight until the thing feels right and natural. Then I will trace what I want and poof!  there is a sexy, natural curve... on a piece of paper.  

Now, in the case of Peeper, I have to get that curve onto the computer and translated through a cad program, into a cnc router and onto the profile of a piece of wood without losing any of the grace I have worked so hard to achieve.  And lemme tell ya, it ain't easy.

The picture posted is of a shape that I drew at full scale, transfered onto then cut out of card board, scanned in 4 separate shots, pieced back together, and then traced in Illustrator.  Then that line drawing goes to the cad program and gets finessed (assaulted) again before it goes to the cnc driver software where my beautiful shapes get chopped up into a trillion little 90 degree steps to form the illusion of a smooth curve.  I am looking forward to seeing how different the final product is from my original drawing.  Hopefully the Waka Waka factor will elude dilution.