Are You Lookin At Me? Design Outside the Lines

While I will be the first to admit when it comes to art, I really hate over used phrases like pushing the boundaries and outside the box, or pushing the envelope, I think this picture really illustrates what to me is good design that is beyond the box, or what is expected.

Good design does not imply being something people cannot relate to, but good design does look at not reaching for what is most expected but rather what makes the design stand out. Not for shock value, but what the design needs.

That is a hard concept to articulate.

Here is another picture I have taken that I am going to have in my studio. Why I love this picture: It is whimsical, and is not your typical “my, what a beautiful bird” pose one might see. It therefore has more personality. I caught the bird in a moment, you might say. Yes, it is a beautiful bird, and the picture shows that well, but it is not sterile. There is lots of personality showing here.

Sure, the bird isn’t moving, but you can tell it is thinking about it. Just the position of the legs, with the diagonal lines, gives a feeling of movement. Contained energy.

White Bird at Brookfield Zoo

I wasn’t all that close, as I have a really excellent zoom on my camera, so I don’t know if the bird was looking at me or something else. Whatever it was, I captured it and like it for the “differentness” of it. I love animals, and photographing them is fun when you can get a little of their personality in the photograph.

This is what I try to bring to my knitting designs as well. Every element is chosen because it suits the design, and every element tells a part of the story. If the design and the story behind the design need something that is as attention grabbing as a 300 member choir belting the Halleluja Chorus, then that is what it gets. If it needs something akin to a Japanese flute in the background of a water garden, that is what it gets. Thinking outside the box creatively demands looking at what you are trying to communicate and expressing that in ways that are both unexpected and fit the artwork in question.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace


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