Friday, May 12, 2006


A few months ago we held a workshop for our graphic design student group. We did two creativity sessions that day—one on additive design and one on subtractive design. The first session (additive) consisted of groups of 6-8 doing paintings in a sort of round-robin fashion. Each of us started with a blank piece of illustration board, to which we were given free reign to paint for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes elapsed, we would pass the board one person to the left and then proceed to paint upon their board for 5 minutes. A collaborative effort so to speak. Bored yet? If not, read on.

The second session (subtractive) was a personal piece. In this one, each person was given a copy of 2 different pages from a book (1 of each page)—a design criticism book in this case. From there we had around 15–20 minutes to paint away a majority of the words on the page to create an entirely new blurb of text. A poem if you will. Then we all went around and read our new copy. This was by far my favorite of the two sessions. I got completely into it. I easily painted away two-thirds or more of the original text. It currently hangs on the board above my desk, just waiting to be framed.

I'll warn you, it's a bit on the arty-side, so if you don't like that sort of thing you may not enjoy it—but here it is. When you read it, be sure to pause at the periods—that's how I would read it to you.

Various creatures gathered on a bicycle for art.
Promised space for hungry lust, we become enthralled by concept.
Even our fingertips confuse the information.
Knowledge. Knowledge.
Immediate possibilities intoxicating ourselves in the ecosystem, manifesting imagination around the corner.
Leap—from there, to end in the middle.
Understanding, transpiring.
Play a role in the world.
Artist, imaginable artist.
Artist without limit.
Promising books and paper their original role—apparent, elegant capabilities.
Information to hold.
Assured existence.
Born me.


Think Frustrated said...

I, being the proud owner of an English degree, recognize this second exercise from a creative writing class. We called it "found poetry." We didn't paint the words away, but I like that twist. I'd love to see the round-robin paintings. Maybe someone painted your robin like a hexagon or something, making it a hexagon-robin painting.

❉ pixie ❉ said...

The paintings didn't do much for me. Total lack of identity in the end. A few I really liked, but otherwise, ehhh...

Jen said...

I like it.

fuzzymuffin said...

I like it too. What colour did you use to paint it away? does it look nice or just read nice?

❉ pixie ❉ said...

We used white or black paint. I chose white. It looks interesting, but it's more about the what it says, not how it looks. I like it better typed out—that way, the reader knows when to pause. Personally I want it to be read the way I intended it to be read—I think it has more impact that way.