Awkward Design Projects and the Struggle to Be an Art Director, as Told by a Clam

Bloop! Bloop! Bloop! That’s my way of saying hello since I’m underwater! Yeah, I know all you landlubbers just say “hello,” but come on! Are you guys too busy and stressed out to not have a little joy in your greetings? Fine, go ahead about your “life” paying credit card bills and buying cars and meeting breeding partners with discernible sex characteristics. I’ll just sit here at the bottom of the ocean and not tell you all my problems.

What? You wanna hear? Oh joy!

See…I may just be a bivalve mollusk, but I have issues like any other clam or man. Sometimes at my work even. One could say the hands of fate have put me in the role of a designer. I’m pretty good at it as far as clams go (even though I can’t really click the mouse and the computer keeps short-circuiting), but I’m not exactly passionate about it. Playing with the organization of space brings me great joy, but when under clock it also brings pressure. It doesn’t help that on the Water World Web I can see all kinds of great design and feel horrible about my own skills. But you know what, for everything that a person can do that I can’t, I think I can at least counter with a unique ability of my own.

Sometimes I get projects that I just don’t know how to solve. The mandatories dictate that the design goes a certain way, often leading to something awkward and unsatisfying. On these I struggle and struggle, only to swim in circles or even wronger directions. Maybe I could make this design fit all nice for this one spec, but then it all falls apart when it gets translated to weird sizes and crammed with all sorts of logos. Logos are grains of sand in my shell. Maybe one can turn into beautiful pearl, but even then it’s irritating. Imagine when I get a couple grains in there? It’s an itch that can’t be scratched.

Just because I’m an invertebrate doesn’t mean I’m spineless. But some things are hard to have an opinion on. Seagulls? Hate ’em. Water? Love it. Long headlines in a difficult to kern typeface with a harsh color scheme and unmanageable logo that has work in a hundred sizes and black & white? Well hate’s not the right word, even though it’s certainly not love. It’s tough to have an opinion on things like this. It is what it is. If I had hands, it would be out of them. The project flows forward like the cold currents of the ocean. I am a clam, so I goes with the flows.

You still there? Sorry I rambled on for so long; I don’t get to talk very much down here. For all my bitching, I really have it pretty swell. I got like a bajillion gallons of ocean all around me, some cool looking fish swimming around, and I can release my sperm into the water whenever I damn feel like it. Not too shabby.

Take it from me, under the sea is the place to be.

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November 7th, 2007. Categories / Portland

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