I loved taking black and white photography in college. Aside from getting a little light headed from the chemicals; it was so cool being in the dark room for hours, developing film and trying to get the photos with just the right amount of contrast. The world appeared simplistic, where blacks and whites come together and make a great photo. You can believe I’m making a racial metaphor here, but what I’m really talking about is the simplicity of visual perception. I know life is always going to be complicated, but if we truly break it all down; all we need to do is make simple step-by-step decisions to design a better world around us.
The basic principal of every day lives comes not only from looking at the world around us, but seeing the world around us. I realize we make plans, hold to tight schedules, and stay busy throughout the day. However, this is how we become robotic and remove our humanity. If we’re always doing, doing, doing; then what time is left to enjoy design. For example, when was the last time you just got in your car and drove around town, pondering an idea. Or maybe a better idea, since gas prices are the way they are, just walking through the park or downtown where you can people watch. My point is, when you take time out to do nothing, you’ll discover that inspiration for your designs, designing yourself, and designing your world are not far away.
Here’s another example. When was the last time you really saw your kids. You may look at them everyday, but when was the last time you just sat down and watched them play in the yard? If you have “things” that need to get done, you know what will happen? Your kids won’t be playing in the yard for much longer. You will look at a playground and see that it’s empty because your kids aren’t playing there anymore.
The picture is black and white. If we design our minds to take time out of our day and enjoy life, our inspiration to live life will become greater. How often do you shut the TV off and go outside to just enjoy the world? When was the last time you did something spontaneous, or have you ever done something spontaneous? I keep seeing kids and adults wired completely into their iPhones or smart phones, oblivious to seeing anything else. It concerns me because I’m watching the simplicity erode from our society. Once, we didn’t like seeing our communities trashed. Now I look out in the streets and it’s blowing around while people sit idly by, totally engaged in their technology.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a green piece protest. This isn’t an attack on technology either. I love the Internet. But if you’ve noticed, I don’t blog all the time. I try to find inspiration to help inspire others in designing. However, I have my own life to live and so do you. As much as I love writing, and speaking my mind here; I’d drop it in a heartbeat if it means going and doing something I love to do like, talking with people or designing my next piece of artwork. So the contrast to me is clear. Balance the black and white, and design a better world for yourself.Just remember, the dark is only the shadow of what’s really there. And what’s really there is you, a human that needs to live and not just exist.