Designing a design process is hard work




Thus having nailed inspiration, I begin the perspiration phase and start sketching in a human back in pen. I’m looking at various architectural pieces that would hang round the neck and sit in the hollow of the back, perhaps even across the shoulders… but I hate my drawing and add materials to try and make it more interesting:


The pipecleaners (yes, that’s right… pipecleaners) represent rods that would be bent, soldered together and joined up with thin bits of chain. I guess I could also bend perspex rod or any other plastic that might keep it’s shape.

The layers of material don’t help the drawing and I resent the distance between what I have in my head and what I can produce on paper.

In my head, I’m designing pieces like:


But I doubt neither McQueen or Treacy produced these in one sketch or even one evening and there will certainly have been some sort of process that produced such work. Yet stilI I find myself furious with what my hands can articulate. 

Next, I try “sketching” a human back in other materials… (it’s more a collage I guess)


And realise too late that the drawing is far too busy to sketch over a piece of jewellery. I have to learn to let go of a sketch and move on the next one.

So given nothing above has worked, I decide to play with materials instead…


And fail to abandon disappointment.

I revisit some photographs I took earlier in the day to see if the structure of certain flowers proves sufficient inspiration to provoke sense on paper…


I figured if I could shortlist forms/structures that I found interesting, I could work on prototypes and design as as I make.

Which brings us to here….


Even tweaking the colour of the photograph fails to make it look like anything other than a poor interpretation of congealed blood.

And by now, you’re also getting frustrated with me. Where the hell is the conclusion in all of this!

I’m trying to consider what I’ve learned…. 

1) I tried some things, they didn’t work. I’ll try other things.

2) I’m going to find myself a decent black pen and concentrate on sketching with that; as opposed to using media which communicates an emotional quality like art, rather than a rational one like design

3) In publishing the journey within a bigger journey, I endeavour to remind myself that the point of blogging isn’t to write my autobiography or create an award-winning novel. It’s to document moments in time, including stuff I haven’t figured out yet and stuff that looks a bit rubbish.

4) In the words of Baz Luhrmann “the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself”. Must stop comparing my drawings with famous artists, designs with established designers and blog posts with leading bloggers. That’s the road to nowhere.

5) The hardest part in all of this is showing you something that isn’t finished, especially given how many gloriously polished projects, essays, products and posts there are on the Web. Who needs pride anyway?

6) Any idea worth investment needs a little romance, so although as first dates go… this is pretty awkward, I’m prepared to come back for more.

7) Don’t start anything after 9pm at night