Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Form and Function

Coming up in school as a graphic designer, and in the workplace, I kept hearing that whole "form and function" discussion. Meaning, when making something that has a specific purpose, particularly in a creative capacity, you must keep a good balance of emphasis on both form and function in what she/he is making. For instance, if a furniture designer is designing a chair, she/he may want to make this chair the most interesting and original chair that's been made. But it still has to be sat in. If you can't sit in this chair, or if it's crazy uncomfortable, then what's the use? It then becomes Art.

In working in a commercial art world, illustration, this "form and function" discussion is still in my mind. I'm in the process of writing picture books now, as well as illustrating. And being an artist, the visuals always come to me first. When I get an idea for a picture book, it's not the story idea that first flashes in my head. I get a central image flash in my mind and then try and pull a story out of this first image. It doesn't always work.

Recently, an image came to me of a solely black and white world and a stuffy old guy who sees these colorful splotchy spots everywhere. It seemed compelling enough. When I tried to pull a story out of it, it kind of unraveled. The story was stiff. It choked. Roadblock. Form has taken over function, so to speak. Anyways, I still think it could work. I hope my brain can untangle what I'm supposed to do with this sometime soon. In the meantime, it's just "art".

(click to zoom)


Julie H said...

I may be biased, but I adore the illustrations for SPOTS. I know you will find a story in it!

Jeff Newman said...

Hmmm...ever consider going wordless with this? It seems like it could be a good fit. Once you figure out the story, that is.

Either way, I know I'll be seeing SPOTS in the future.

Anonymous said...

Love the city street scene!

Matthew Cordell said...

Thanks, y'all. I'll keep crackin at it and see what goes.

T-Boz (ask Julie) said...

Wow. Keep at it. I think this a great idea. And the illustrations are amazing.