It is interesting how we choose to define ourselves. We are either choosing to fill in the blanks or we are choose to leave things out, undefined. I know what makes me comfortable and I know what that comfort looks like. I feel that comfort in the clothing I wear, the music I listen to, the art I make (and so on and so forth) or in a more basic sense, I feel that comfort in the things I consume, produce, and share. It’s a real shame that the most unremarkable and mundane things can take me down a dark and sorrowful path, for no good reason other than the fact that I am perceiving myself being perceived. All the while I do realize that and do try to continually reduce, refine and ultimately dissolve my ego more and more, everyday until it is no more. Of course, to be rid of one’s ego is not an easily reachable goal, but this mental exercise is for myself a way to just try and not care about how I am thought of by other human beings superficially. The unfortunate but arguably universal notions of pride and shame guide us to do the things we do, to take part in the things we take part in, and to also not do the things we don’t want to do.
With that being laid out on the table, I would like to state that this is a reaction to my discomfort with the idea of making business cards for myself. Never would I have thought to make an actual business card as my comfort in promoting myself comes from letting the work I produce act in place of such a thing. I had to ditch Instagram 2 months ago because I was becoming upset with seeing my friends and collaborators as advertisers. This is not their fault, as an artist or business owner it is an incredibly useful tool, but that is not how I want to view my friends on a day to day basis. Perhaps it’s the name, which I know has been challenged by many people who have searched the terms “business card alternative”, that made me feel a slight bit of anxiety when approaching this assignment. Regardless of the fact that whenever I have been paid for my services to act creatively in any way, I have been doing business as an artist. It would be silly to say that I am not, never have been or never will be a person of business, because it’s not true. My whole adult life has been spent looking for jobs, looking for shows to play, organizing shows, buying things, selling things, selling myself, selling my work, selling – buying – selling – buying. I unfortunately can not think of a better way to phrase this other than to beat a dead horse, but what business comes down to, for me, is not selling out. So, what does not selling out look like? For me it means making tough decisions, not taking the path of least resistance, and letting your actions really represent who you feel you are. Not selling out is not about drawing a line in the sand. THAT NEVER WORKS. To make an obtuse example, If they asked me to play the Superbowl and all the proceeds went to charity, i’d do it. You can never say never, because who I am now is not who I thought I would be 10 years ago. These things can change in the blink of an eye, forward and backward, evolving and revolving. So now that I am tasked with designing a business card, something I didn’t see myself ever having or wanting to do, taking all this ego, anxiety, and discomfort into account, how do I go about this? For starters, I would like to refer to what I have made as a collaboration card, because that is a name with more truth and accuracy as to how this card will play a part in my life.
If Joel Bauer has anything to say about it, he will tell you that an impressive business card is worth your life. I will probably never feel that a single document will be able to effectively represent everything I am and hope to be, but I can make something that gives a glimpse as to what inspires me, what speaks to me, and ultimately shares something a little bit personal about myself. I chose to approach this project with zero irony – the easy way out for me on this project would be to make people laugh, which I know is a good tactic and would ensure something memorable, but in the end I would just be deflecting my discomfort of having to represent myself with something like this. All I have to do to break through this assignment is put myself into it.
Let’s look at my inspirations:
Doug Poole’s (friend and creative collaborators) album artwork.
Nirvana’s In Utero
The album cover of a tape I released with my band.
Another porcelain angel figurine of mine
My hot pink Thrash Master guitar pedal.
Freedom Triangle is a WW1 memorial that I fell in love with back in 2012 when I was visiting friends in New York. Freedom Triangle is one block from my house. The winged goddess Nike holds out an olive branch.
And Let’s look at the process:
I started with a basic idea of using the Onyx (Nirvana rip off) font that I set my name to for our assignment during week 4. I then added the angel imagery (Another blatant Nirvana rip off) and framed it. I liked the way the angel was almost stepping off of the page.
In the beginning I was looking for symmetry between the layout, colors, and imagery. But the whole design seemed a little too… prominent perhaps…
So I played around different colors for the wings, at some point they were green, pink, and then finally red. I then inverted them looking for the exact opposite as I knew I have been drawn to red recently, although it is not a color I feel any strong connection to. I got this sky blue which seemed perfectly POP to me. I then drew the basic dimensions of the actual triangle that is Freedom Triangle and placed it behind the larger wings. I like the idea of the almost exploded view of the 3 elements. But in the end, I thought the text looked cheesy and the elements too exposed.
I shrunk down the angel and placed it in the triangle. I like angels, I use them a lot. I think this looks cool and tells a little story about what inspires me. Also, this monument is very special to me and Freedom Triangle Studios felt like a nice and intimate name for my personal creative space.
I thought maybe the angel could be something of a beacon to where I can be found…
Triangle studios sounded better to me. I also thought about something gimmicky like Tri-Angel Studios. In the end, I hated that idea.
I wanted the back to be dynamic and have a Pop Art Rock feel. I like how the elements interacted with each other and perhaps even tell a story when you look at them and how they are placed. I liked how the yellow triangle added some geography to the card.
And the final products:
I am happy with how my collaboration card came out. I tried to put myself into it. I look at it and I like what it looks like – it looks like an extension of myself. I pushed myself to make something that could act like a crystal ball that sees into me and not something that tries to projected anything that I am not. I think I achieved that.