Ben SaysIt took me a long time to graduate (6 years) and I didn’t feel like there was much build up to the end. One day it was just over. There was a little party and dinner with my family and that was that. At the time I was frantically raising money and preparing to go to Alabama for a month for Project M so there wasn’t really any time off.
It wasn’t until after Project M and after a month long job search that I was settled in Austin working for The Decoder Ring that it really started to sink in that I was in a new phase of my life. In school I was so focused on learning and becoming the best designer that I could that nothing else really mattered. Being done with that I started to find old hobbies I enjoyed and actually slept again. Life outside of school has been much much less stressful for me so far. I realized that there wasn’t something I was working towards anymore and that I could do anything I wanted. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what that is but it’s a pretty fun process.
Frank SaysI felt exhausted, confused, liberated and directionless. It was awesome/horrible. I gave myself so much anxiety because I felt like there was so much to be done, but I had no idea what to do. There were a lot of decisions to be made, and I felt like I had to make them myself. And I was paralyzed. It was such a wide open world, but none of the choices felt like
When I graduated, I decided to live off of savings for a summer, start freelancing and take the 3 months to decide what I wanted to do with my life. Years later, I’m still freelancing, and starting to realize that maybe this, along with all the other things I’ve accidently stumbled into, are what I’m meant to do with my life.
Dear Ben & Frank
Should you always think about the ’audience’ when creating art?
Question Submitted by Ross Phillips
Ben SaysIf you’re talking about art in the general sense to mean the deliverable of a project then yes. If you’re talking about fine art then I don’t feel qualified to give a response since I don’t consider myself an artist in that sense (at the moment).
I believe a graphic designers job inherently involves making things for people, and if you stop thinking about how you can best serve those people then you’re not doing your job.
Frank SaysArt? I’m not sure. Design and illustration? Absolutely, yes. In fact, I think more so than the client. (Although clients are very important as well.) Typically, what’s best for the audience is what’s best for the client as well.
Ultimately, I believe the highest allegiance of a visual communicator belongs to their client’s (or their own) audience. When communicating messages to our audience, we ask for their attention, consideration and trust. We should be so kind as to reciprocate that gift with something of great value, truth and dependency.
Dear Ben & Frank
What do you think is the one thing that gets in the way of a design?
Question Submitted by Josh
Ben SaysBeing lazy and trying to sacrifice research and process to get the job done quicker.
Frank SaysYou know, more often than not, when I’m working, I find myself getting in the way of things.
Ben SaysI keep all of them.
Seriously though I do use a sketchbook a lot. I recently accidentally left it in a friends car and was without it for a couple days and felt completely lost.
Frank SaysSurprisingly, no! Most of my sketching for assignments occurs on loose paper I bind in a 3 ring binder. I don’t find myself drawing aimlessly too much. (Which now that I think about it, seems like a total shame.) I do carry around a small moleskin though, in which I write notes to myself, jot down quick ideas, and every once in a while draw pictures of horses galloping through fields of sunflowers. I also always draw on the tables at restaurants that use paper as table cloths.
Dear Ben & Frank
How fast are sloths?
Question Submitted by Anonymous
Ben SaysBased on my extensive research I estimate sloths are capable of an average speed of about 5000 miles per year.
Frank SaysThe wonderful thing about sloths is that they are exactly as fast as a sloth needs to be, and no faster.