12/06/2004

Art

I don't know about anyone else, so this has to be about me.

Web stuff is fun, tremendously engrossing and satisfying. But it's important to note — at least for me — that all the coding and how-to's are about technology and technique. Perhaps satisfying to many, perhaps for some a whole unto its own, but to me these are methodologies for communicating something. Technology and technique are not the same as the message.

I occasionally hear from web designers who are "tired" of what they're doing. My guess is that they're usually fairly successful, but in achieving that success have become a little burned out from using their art to convey marketing messages. Nothing wrong with that; it's a valid way to make a living. But it's important to realize that if there needs to be something more for you, then there needs to be something more for you. I'd also say it helps to venture beyond the web-design-as-marketing thing. Get your own web hosting account and do it. And who knows? You might come up with something that you can bring back to your web design work. ;-)

There's a certain flexibility in all this. I don't take the attitude that one must do or be just one thing. Why place limitations on yourself?

Art is Art, regardless of the venue, and growth is growth. I like the TV program "Inside the Actors Studio". What could be better than listening to world-class actors explain how they do it, what they go through and how they work at their craft? What could be better than listening to Robert DeNiro (one of our national treasures, if you can refer to a person as such) note that:

"It's important not to indicate."

Now, even though I have no interest in acting, tell me that doesn't tell you something about how Mr. DeNiro does it while giving you something you can apply to your own field?

As an artist and music aficionado, I was surprised to hear Eric Clapton name an album "Journeyman" — a word defined by Miriam-Webster's as "an experienced reliable worker or performer especially as distinguished from one who is brilliant or colorful". While I can't argue that he appears to be able to crank out exceptional, perfect work at a whim, I'll say this: I beg to differ, Mr. Clapton. Anyone who's heard any of your music, especially the early Cream albums, knows brilliant and colorful when he/she hears it.

Today I came across a reference to Matt Mullenweg's (creator of the WordPress blog software) site containing quotes from jazz artists. How's this, apparently from Charles Mingus?

“Most of the soloists at Birdland had to wait for Parker’s next record in order to find out what to play next. What will they do now?”

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