May 29, 2009


This year at Surtex, we thought it would be so nice to reach out to the many students we met and to embrace their bubbling creative spirits. We kept a log of email addresses and recently sent out our first note with the hopes of encouraging an on-going dialogue. If I could help even one aspiring designer discover possibilities beyond what they may know, then I have given something back to the community of artists who helped me along the way, too. This is what I sent:

Thank you so much for stopping by my booth at Surtex this year and for sharing your love of art and design. We're more alike than you may think as I still consider myself a student (and probably always will!). Each creative day is filled with so many aspects of what I learned in art school...without the part of having to wake up early to make an
8 o'clock class!

The critical eye I learned to use during lengthy critiques at RISD has been an essential part of identifying areas in which I need to push myself to grow as a designer. Even when I think I'm "finished" with a particular piece, I step back from it to consider the fundamental elements of color and composition. In your studio classes, you're probably challenged to undergo this same kind of evaluation of your own work. Keep doing it! It's an exercise that will never go away,
but will continue to make you better at what you do.

Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” I kept this quote over my drawing table while at RISD. Maybe you find some connection to that too ... especially when you take risks beyond your comfort zone in order to challenge what you know and to discover something new.
Next to Matisse's quote, I hung this very photo of Picasso...for both humor and inspiration:

(Picasso and the Loaves © Robert Doisneau, 1952)
I so admire how Picasso maintained a child like way of making sure his
artistic discipline was balanced with a healthy dose of silly fun that
is sprinkled throughout his work.
Look carefully, you'll see it.

Maybe you'll find something useful in these.

Surtex is a venue with a vast community of people who care and who connect. So please, let’s stay connected. I wish you much positive energy, courage, discipline, determination, and connectedness in your artistic and professional pursuits.

Keep making beautiful things! Our world needs you.

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