Aim for Wow!

There are three responses to a piece of design — yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”
   ~ Milton Glaser

Temperance River, Tofte, Minnesota, United States
Wistful Dreams

Shooting for that Wow! I remember my first few photography and art classes I learned that achieving that Wow that Milton Glaser is referring to comes rarely but the more photographs you take, drawings you make, paintings you paint, or dances you dance the more opportunities and the more “Wows” you achieve. In photography and using film I consider the Good Vs Bad ratio to be 1:36. Hopefully, one “good one” to every thirty-six shots. When taking snapshots, we get off easy. After reading Milton Glaser’s quote posted on 100+ Inspiring Quotes, I googled to see what the good to bad ratios are today in this digital age. Seems… it is about the same as film. Most post state the individual trashes about eighty percent of all shots.

Personally, I find it hard to throw any away… Not that I think they are all good but my tastes change as I am exposed to more art, read more books, partake in more conversations. Times change so does our tastes. I think the only exception to this rule regarding good Vs bad is when it comes to drawing. Here for some reason I associate it to time. Now if you are doing gesture drawing or blind contour then the ratio might be associated with quantity. But when time spent with a piece of paper with pen or pencil in hand… a so-so drawing can become magnificent when days or even hours are spent with it. I think, in my mind it has to do with the human endeavor that is associated with it.

I am sure many will disagreed but that is the way I see it today.

An Astonishing Place

Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies. And be it gash or gold it will not come Again in this identical guise.
    ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

Britton Peak, Tofte, Minnesota, United States
Overlooking the Northshore

Artists and designers reflect culture. They often put a light upon and comment on it and use it in their work whether intentional or not. Sadly, as an artist and designer gets older it is harder to stay engaged, to stay interested. It is often more fun to think back and reminisce about past friends, events, and celebrations. It does get tougher but stay engaged and be astonished because it is essential to your work. Milton Glaser said,”You can lose your capacity for astonishment. And that is a great loss, because the world is a very astonishing place.”

I’m working hard to stay astonished.

Inspirational Artist and Designer

The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire, and persistence.”
   ~ Milton Glaser

Morning hours on Lake Harriet
Morning Hours... A Day's New Color

One of the most profound and inspirational artist I enjoy listening to and reading is Milton Glaser. At eighty-some, he is still creating, teaching, and being inspired by life and his surroundings. Here is a noted illustrator, graphic designer, and artist that keeps blurring the lines between that of artist and designer. His work is smart and direct. His words are that of a mentor and of a grandfather. His life and mark will influence graphic design for a longtime to come.

A video I love showing my students when they first step into my classroom was produced by Hillman Curtis, Milton Glaser: Art is Work. Here Milton Glaser highlights the role of the artist. The role of the artist is to provide a gift to the culture, so we have something in common with one another.” Words that I feel underscore what a gift the artist and designer has, no matter what their status in the marketplace.