Someone forwarded me this blog post by Anthony Rotolo. I love the emphasis on seeing. Anthony says ‘If we can observe a thing and understand why we react to it in the way that we do, then we can bring insight into our work, and so cause others to see.’
Anthony writes from the perspective of design but there’s much to be said for the importance of seeing – of seeing ourselves, our colleagues, our family, our friends, our enemies – in ways that illuminate the light of awareness & promote understanding – using the same principles he uses for design.
Check it out. It’s good stuff.
Designers are ever-learning to see. We view the world with the naked eye like everybody else. But we learn to see differently. This comes as a result of our training…
In our training, we learn the principles of design and these act as so many lenses through which we observe elements around us. Once we have a principle like Proportion (for example) inside of us, we see things differently because we notice the scale of one thing relative to another. This gives us insight into what pleases our eyes. So, we observe the golden ratio in the human body, and we apply it in our own compositions until they please us.
We look for contrasts in the world because contrast makes the world interesting. And then we look to achieve contrast in our compositions until we’re well-pleased with them, too.
We see the texture of trees, or of leather, or of a baby’s skin, and then we add texture to our compositions so that, through sight, we simulate the sense of touch.
We observe the colors of the world. Warm ones. Cool ones. Colors that evoke a reaction in us. And then we communicate the emotion of color through our work.
These are a few examples of the imperative of seeing. If we can observe a thing and understand why we react to it in the way that we do, then we can bring insight into our work, and so cause others to see.