Finding the artist within

Greetings RWS members,

At the most recent RWS national speaker workshop, as Yoav Liberman reviewed his work, I was struck over and over by the same question: “How did you come up with that design choice?” These were his artistic choices, not mechanical ones. The mechanical choices were obvious, or clear, or at least logical to me. But the artistic ones!

Where did those come from? They didn’t all resonate with me, but some really did – and for a while I pestered Yoav with questions about them. He did his best to answer, and despite his English as a second language, he was articulate and got through to me on at least one theme. That theme was what he called a “reveal” between the contrasting elements of his designs, between the new and the old, between the natural and the manufactured. I get it now, but I think this was hard to communicate because it was elementary to Yoav while it was totally new to me. His background is heavily into the arts, where mine is weak. Weaker than I realized.

But there is hope for me. Once again, RWS has afforded me the opportunity to expand my horizons by showing me where they were limited. During a break I discussed the struggle between form and function and my disdain for fashion. Denise Dee pointed out to me the key distinction between art and fashion- she said “Fashion is to impress, it is about what you want other people to think. Art is internal, it is about expressing yourself.”

I think this experience was a significant step for me in furthering my craft and my passions. I can’t say that my technical skills were already complete and I am now ready to unleash my inner artist. I need to continue building my skills, but not neglect my artist.

I know he is in there. And I have some ideas for how to encourage him.

Al Kupchella