Design Cravings

I suddenly have an insatiable urge to design something. Not redesign my website, but just make something for the sake of making it, à là Timmay. Something clean and modern with straight lines and interestingly stark graphics and a unique color palette.

I don’t remember how I found them, but there’s this group of friends who all went to school in New Jersey, I think. They all have blogs: Steve’s is Blind Spot, Garrett’s is Maniacal Rage, Shawn’s is Morrison Film, and Ellie’s is Something Normal. I found Ellie’s first, as I recall, by surfing from somewhere or searching for something… I don’t recall where or what, exactly. I might have been looking for mp3’s. Anyway, I liked Ellie’s design, so I bookmarked the page. Eventually I surfed to her friends’ sites and found that they were as design-conscious as she, and relatively well-spoken/written, too. If you’d like to do some random blog-surfing, as I sometimes do, start at one of their sites and just go. The results will be rewarding, IMO.

Anyway, it’s not meant as a slam to any of my friends, but these guys all have great design skills, and I’d be willing to bet that they inspire each other. I wonder if they were inspired by a certain class or professor at the school they attended. Only fly in that ointment is that Ellie graduated Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in Biology, not design.

On the other hand, I think they all use Movable Type, so that could have something to do with it, too.

I feel like some elusive Zen puzzle piece is missing from my life, and I think it’s the constant challenge of school. Yeah, college sucked, and yeah, I’m glad I’ve got my degree (and my $40,000+ worth of consolidated debt) and I’m out. But even just submitting my pictures to the Wood County Fair gave me a little of that old preparing-for-graphic-design-critique feeling. (And yes, that feeling is entirely different from preparing-for-photography-critique feeling. There’s less "craft" involved there — you print out your picture and pin it to the wall. In graphic design class, if you suck at mounting and matting your piece, your grade suffers.)

I know for a while there, I was taking a notepad to work and doing design sketches during my lunch. I’ve been trying to walk during my lunch instead, but maybe I could switch off or something. It’s rough trying to improve multiple areas of my life at the same time. Wash more dishes, clean house better, be more active, work my brain more… the list goes on. Aaron says I should start doing crossword puzzles or something if I feel like my brain isn’t working hard enough. I don’t know. I miss conversations with Amy and design pow-wows with Tim.

Part of me says, "What I wouldn’t give to be back in undergrad…" Another part of me bitch-slaps that first part. See, I think I’d love to have that whole experience again, except that half of the whole experience is your friend base. I wouldn’t want to make another friend base, and certainly not at this point in my life. That, plus the fact that you will never have a schedule of classes with non-moronic teachers, no busy-work, relevant subject matter, etc., etc. I guess what I mean to say, then, is that I can really appreciate the experience I had: living in the dorm, not having to work more than 10 or 15 hours a week, having great friends (and a swell roomie), sharing classes with people I jived with, having intellectual conversations (or so they seemed at the time), walking to Grounds with Amy, walking across campus at night with a cool breeze, sitting in the computer lab websurfing or working on design homework or staffing the lab, walking up to Donna’s room or Tim’s room or across campus to Beth’s room, late-night group projects… no, on second thought, I don’t miss those at all. 🙂