Been awhile since I wrote much about anything, so I’m going to lump a bunch of stuff into one big post.
Blobjects and Beyond
The “Blobjects and Beyond” show at San Jose Art Museum of Art is worth checking out if you’re in town. It has a bit too much Karim Rashid for my tastes, but the consumer electronics and furniture displays are nice. Too bad you CAN’T TOUCH ANYTHING except a couple of demo items.
However, I disagree with the premise that “blobjects” are some new and innovated design element. 20’s and 30’s streamlining certainly predate/predict the Corbin Sparrow and Marc Newson’s beautful aluminum couch. It wasn’t simply about form — then-moderm metal casting and shaping techniques favored swoopy, curved shaves with only critical work edges machined flat. I argue companies like South Bend were making “blobjects” back in the 30’s. Check out the protective cases and structual components of the South Bend 10 Heavy or the
South Bend Light 10.
The one studio class I’m taking is still going really well. I’ve got a good instructor who really wants to help us develop a broad range of techniques and who provides really good feedback about our work. There are a lot of people in the class who draw better than I do, but they can only draw in one or two styles and are having to unlearn/relearn a fair number of skills. Because I can’t draw to begin with, I think that I’m having an easier go of it in some ways.
We turned in our mid-term portfolios last week and while putting mine together I could see a marked improvement in my ability to draw. I actually am a bit ashamed I haven’t been trying harder given the improvement I’ve shown with only moderate efforts.
Applying to a Big Name School
The BNS called the other day to say that they’d inform me of my status between 15 Mar 05 and 15 Apr 05. I’m not really that anxious or panicky, I either get in or I don’t. I did the best I could on my portfolio (which I’ll put online soon) and my application and now I get to wait.
If I get in and want to go to school full time I’ll need around $200K to cover tuition and living expenses for four years. Let’s say I do it entirely on student loans, that means I’ll be 41 or 42, $200K in debt, and looking at jobs that pay $60K-$80K a year. If I’m lucky, I’ll have my loans paid off around the time whatever’s left of SSI kicks in. My other option is to delay enrollment for a year and try and get a job at the university. After six months I’ll be eligible for two free classes a semester, but that means I could be 44 or even 46 before I graduate, but I’d also be debt free.
I’ve been paying more attention to job listings lately for various parts of the ID world. Even if I don’t get into school, there are plenty of design-related opportunities out there that I might be able to use as a entry point into becoming a full-time industrial designer. I have some basic model-making and metal fabrication skills, enjoy solving hard software and hardware integration problems, and have a strong work ethic and track record and the references to back it all up.
I’ve also discovered that my natural ability to flip between macro/big-picture thinking and micro/detail oriented thinking is something that needs refinement and that I can show in my design and art work. In the past 20 years I’ve worked with plenty of software engineers who could only see the big picture or the little one and ended up being difficult to work with as a result. How many times have you been in a meeting with someone who refused to agree on a design unless it could be proven to resolve any case anyone could dream up or who refused to discuss anything else until all the low-level data structures had been codified in a schema that was then written in stone? I’m neither of those people, and I often find myself negotiating between the two and translating’s one language to another. It’s a skill I’ve developed for the software world, now I need to learn how to apply it to art and design.