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in the details: art + design

When I first sat down to write this, my topic was entirely different. Well, not entirely. The topic is still largely the same but my stance on it, my tip for the reader, did a total 180. I was going to argue that art and design are two different things, my caveat being that they overlap with regularity. This segment of our eblast was going to be cautionary, advising designers to be designers first and artists second. I’ll spare you the details but, in pitching the topic, I sparked a lengthy internal debate. We easily spent over an hour going back and forth on what could be qualified as design or art. It was exhausting.Anyway. Long story short, I was wrong.

I eagerly googled the meanings of both terms and, by definition, I was wrong. Art is defined as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Design is defined as “purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object.” The bottom line is that art has an overarching definition; it encompasses design. There is not a single human being on the face of the planet that is devoid of creative skill and imagination. And without either of those two things, purpose, planning, or intention cannot exist. You can’t design anything without expressing creativity and being imaginative.

What defines art is so extremely subjective that it almost becomes objective. Everything is art. You could argue that tasks the furthest from what is commonly thought to be art are actually the most artistic.

Ok before I continue down this rabbit hole any further, I’ll answer the question you must be asking yourself. Where is the damn design tip in any of this nonsense? Here’s the thing. I was so hung up on art and design in the first place because I’m always hesitant to refer to myself as an artist. I just don’t like saying it, it feels weird leaving my lips. I was putting far too much stock in the assumed meaning of a term and it became a handicap. So my advice to everyone, and I mean everyone, is to find the art in what you do. Create it if you don’t think it’s there. We are all artists inherently so let’s get out there and make the mundane into a masterpiece.

-Casey Schumacher

  • helium creative
    helium creative