The difference between Art and Design

Art and design are everywhere, it surrounds us. Some photographers take credit for the wonderful design of the nature of things. Add some color here and there in photoshop or paint strokes on a print and you have a masterpiece. Or not. Art is a chaotic energy and design is a code to contemplate it.

Think of a picture of the planet Saturn, with black space as a canvas, a natural work of art. Designed by the mythical code of life. There to tell us how small we are in the immensity of our universe.

Art and design are everywhere. In most cases they walk hand in hand. Sometimes very simple and explicative, sometimes abstract and very complex. Both are delivering some form of message and call for an interaction between a creation and an observer. It is a personal business. It is consumed through experience, our environment, the people we meet and our own taste. It serve as a basic communication need in our society. A way to connect people, divide them or inform them. An ancestral tradition found on the walls of prehistoric caverns. Its origin, probably lost in time for ever.

In our everyday lives we are constantly bombarded with designs and artistic creations. People trying to reach to us, to communicate feelings, political views or just to sell us stuff. Ads on our phones, paper articles, goods and company logos are at the core of it. They say one image is worth a thousand words. One simple logo or picture have the ability to activate our brain to a reaction, cravings, needs and sometime just towards our bank card.

When i was younger, I used to draw dragons and mystical figures, that was my art, my style. Some things change with time. On the professional level, not everyone is interested to have a nice picture of a dragon to identify to. Now i use my talent and adapt it to the task. Creativity, research, knowledge, contemplation, passion, curiosity, practice, social encounters and discipline are essential tools of the designer as well as the artist. Talent is probably one of the main ingredient to success.  I believe that not everything can be taught, not everyone has the same set of skills to achieve certain goals. I think we should never focus on what people think of us to thrive in art. On the other hand, in a business environment, we might just need a team and a boss to help with deadlines and organization. Most of the time you need to set aside some personal preferences and allow yourself to explore unknown avenues, adapt and grow in the process. Maybe even make a bit more money.

I just want to do what i want!

Jon Contino, Illustrator. Source: Wonderland movie.

In many cases, more minds around a project is a good thing. I have witnessed talented filmmakers screw up projects because they did not accept to work in a team environment. Some can do it and some not. It does not mean we need our lives to revolve solely around people from our industry. In the article i read, Tobias V. Schneider says: we love to agree with people who agree with us. I agree with him. I think we need to look outside of that box, outside that confirmation bias that can affect some of us. Inspiration is everywhere. There is a lot of different energies to tap in outside our comfort zone.

Everyone as its strength, passions and set of skills. Albert Einstein once said: Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. Lots of people work on projects, films and commercials . Some people are good at writing, some at sketching ideas and thumbnails, others are better at managing the budget. Life is an art and we are all designers of life.

In conclusion, I believe we need to be sensitive to our environment and our needs in the present moment. Art and design are a form of communication and a source of income for some. They play a major role in our everyday life. But business is business. You can be a great artist but not necessarily a great designer. Know who you are.

We love to agree with people who agree with us…

Tobias van Schneider

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