research and sour cream.

February 1, 2009 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Even though researching for something usually means that one is beginning a project that they may or may definitely not want to start on, I am continually thankful that researching and finding inspiration is one of the best parts of any project. Usually I think of starting something in the way that a Monday morning feels, or the way that water is floating on top of “expired” sour cream when you first open it; it is up in the air whether the Monday will turn out well or terrible, whether the sour cream just needed to be stirred or it is actually sour. Since I think it would be hard to use these two metaphors to parallel each step of a project, I will move away from that and say that although a project is sometimes up in the air, the research is usually fun and inspiring to me no matter what. It is hard for me to believe that a person would go into a project and not first dig into some recent or vintage magazines, childrens books, adverts, or packaging. Even talking to people or simply observing people is mind-blowing in making a project more effective. It’s easiest for me to be sitting right next to a pile of magazines that I have specifically picked out for some reason to look through, and having a full pad of small post-its in order to mark anything and everything that I initially think could be helpful. After I do this, my mind is so packed full and swirling with ideas that it can be helpful to have a large sheet of good marker paper (Bienfangs graphics marker paper is the best, I have discovered after much marker paper use. It is also probably the most expensive, or one of them, but totally worth it. Take it from a broke-ass student), and a double-ended sharpie nearby to write everything down. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is an extent to the information that humans are able to quickly store; it’s easier for me to know that I’m not storing anything right away, that I will get things onto something more permanent than my brain and then go back through the magazines a few more times and take away post-its that were ignorantly placed. I love showing people that are involved in the same projects as me this research, because it is always helpful to know what other people think about ideas that you feel blessed to have been given.

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Entry filed under: 09_481_sp_ProfPrac.

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