Though design was always a part of my life in some way, shape, or form, it wasn’t my first passion or job aspiration. That honour goes to being a cashier….yes, a cashier. And not just any cashier, but a grocery store or big box store cashier where my job included scanning UPC codes, collecting payment, and then (and this is key) closing the cash register drawer with my hip. I was about 6 or 7 years old.
It was only much, much later that I discovered my tendencies toward creativity could be put to use in the real world, rather than just in my personal space or one-of-a-kind accessories.
“For me, design is like choosing what I’m going to wear for the day – only much more complicated and not really the same at all.”
– Robynne Raye
…did I mention I often can’t figure out what to wear?
Luckily, I’m not so often stumped with design…at least not for long. Ideas abound (which in and of itself can become a little complicated), requiring only the right touch of imagination and perseverance to piece them all together.
My approach to graphic and user interaction design has always been pretty consistent: Keep it clean (unless you’re going for grungy). Keep it simple (even when it’s complicated). Never be afraid to use a little (or a lot of) colour, pattern or texture. In addition to these basic tenets, I never miss an opportunity to have a little fun and show a little personality when the occasion calls for it.
In 2004 I visited the “Global Village: The 60s” exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It included a full range of artistic and decorative items from Andy Warhols’ Brillo Boxes, to a Paco Rabanne rhodoid dress, to pieces of pop culture memorabilia including Janis Joplin’s Porsche, and a recreation of the bathroom set from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
It was a pretty cool exhibit.
Among the more artistically-oriented items on display was a chair surrounded by what appeared to be hundreds of pieces of colourful and patterned fabric haphazardly strewn about. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but remarked to my friend:
“Do you think those are authentic vintage rags, or modern rags?”
And as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I was on to something. I liked the sound of it…so I went home, registered the domain, and got to work.