I have been a fan of the work of musician David Sylvian for a long time. From his early days as part of Japan to his current solo collaborations.
I recently came across a review of one of his recent projects. The review goes into detail about how people’s reactions and expectations of his work where mixed. The actual review itself isn’t important, what it did was reinforce for me, something Sylvian himself has stated: that all the music he has created was out there, available to people to choose from. So if your idea of his work is Voice of the Beehive then you can own it and listen to it all you want. It does not mean he owes you Voice of the Beehive2.
Thinking about creative work and expectations. Saying you are a ‘fan’ implies that you really like what someone has produced, and you feel a connection to the whole body of their creative work. But do you have to love all the work produced? I don’t think so, if the work is broad and experimental than how could you? It is an unreasonable goal.
For an artist the work leads to the work, and the criteria may be joy or release or satisfaction, or learning from failure, it all comes from the work process and the results. In the end the work may take you away from what you have already done and this is a good thing. But it may cost you the support of those who see your future work as your previous work. Even those who are able to travel with you may not be the best source of internal guidance, they are still rooted in what you have already done.
When I apply this to myself, it has made me realize that right now I am outside my own work process. Which is why I feel lost. I’m looking outward for direction like a fan instead of as the creator moving through a series of challenges and discoveries to get somewhere.
So thank-you to the Ghost of David Sylvian, for having this internal dialog with me.
If you can deal with his language, this is a great talk about design.
The Great Discontent recorded this a few years ago but it still rings true.
The Director Peter Jackson is on record saying that eventually movies and video games will blend together so there will just be levels of narrative and levels of participation. Game engines themselves are getting so good that they in turn are encroaching on the kinds of visual effects that could only be done by a Wetta Workshop or Industrial Light and Magic. The big difference is that a game engine does it in real time, instantly. There is no renderfarm making a frame an hour. Here is a demo from Unreal Engine 4. But there are demos out there for the other main engines like Unity or even the upcoming Source 2 engine from Valve. The engines are free to download and develop with.
Before he merged his site and became part of Illustration Age illustrator Thomas James produced a series of podcasts interviewing a staggering array of talented designers, illustrators and art directors. Here are a few of my heroes.
- Seymour Chwast of Pushpin Studios fame.
- Dave McKean I have always loved his work.
- Marshal Arisman part 1
- Marshal Arisman part 2
The whole list is here.