Making a little something out of nothing is our speciality.
There was once a very wise artist by the name of Reggie Baylor who begged the question, “What If the arts were funded like sports?” And by was, I mean he is alive and well and asked that question last January. You can see his work here—buy something if you can. Anyway, his question is really something to think about.
As designers, we walk the line of art and not art. As in, we are not always artists and we are not exactly in the antithesis of artists. We are, in some ways, the sensible artists. The most down to earth of the bunch. Painters: beautifully nutz. Composers: stunningly crazy. Dancers: exquisitely irrational. Which is what makes them such an interesting bunch. But We? We are somewhere between fantastical storytellers and broken-down realists. That is not to say we are not artists in our own way, just half so.
As such, we know the evil dragon that we must slay day in and day out, budgets. Unlike our gymnastically excelled friends out there in the world, our labor is often times considered the bottom of the barrel when it comes time to open the purse strings. Even more so, we have parameters that keep us chained up from all sides. Things like page counts, word counts, funding, they all keep us from doing our work the way we would like to. We are artists who work in a box. It is because of that, we are second to Jesus with his five loaves and two fishes, at making a little into a lot.
A great example of making something simple stand strong is “Sports” By Samuel Jacques. A self-published alternate comic series about athletics. It has nearly nothing in it but it is still a striking jamboree of lines and dots. Single color printing jackets the page in such a way that it would hook anyone passing by no matter how quickly they were speed hiking.
I would be the first at the polling box if there was a nationwide referendum on more veneration for the arts. For now, examples like this demonstrate how resilient our kindred spirits can be until that day comes.