Love Work You Hate @hcgarnett

By Henry Garnett

One thing I’ve learnt here is that you have to discipline yourself with how you distribute detail in a design. Learning how to draw or create details for an illustration is not as hard as learning how to control where those details go, and where they don’t. It takes more time and effort to avoid drawing details than it does to draw them.

With my work I find I am far more proud of the huge simple shapes. The uncluttered areas. These places were hard earned. If they are designed well, these more simple shapes tend to command a lot of attention, and give real strength to the design.

As I start something new I’ll try to identify these areas as early as I can. These should remain clean from the energy that intense details tend to cause. Recently however I’ve been finding it hard to discipline myself in this regard. I’ve cluttered my work and lost the message. I’m not communicating. Where I used to feel clarity and conviction in my taste, I find frustration.

There is beautiful thinking behind the works of Joaquín Sorolla or Paul Belford. There is meticulous precision, story and purpose in the rendering of their designs. They developed an aesthetic inspired by their thinking. The very smallest details have a reason to be there. They didn’t retro fit pretentious concepts from a lazy position of authority after the works were finished.

There are so many contradictions in what we are taught at SCA. Navigating through them with your style in tact is a huge part of the learning curve. It’s probably the main challenge I am coming to terms with.

Sometimes we are told to love work we hate.

I think this can serve to reinstall our sense of taste in what exactly we love, what we don’t, and the reasons why. It makes you question your understanding of the work and forces you to poke holes through it. If you come out the other side with your taste in tact however, in the end it feels revitalised.

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