Thesis Blog Post 01

In just a few months I’ll be graduating from Maine College of Art with a BFA in Graphic Design. For now, I'll be spending the next few months building my thesis and experimenting with ways in which to describe how I view design through the lens of an artist. I will be using my skills as a designer and a photographer to explore questions revolving around how personal spaces inform on who we are, and the art we make. This will work in tandem with my main thesis project: creating a catalogue of the 2017 BFA Thesis Exhibition. These will begin to be combined, explored, and tested through an ongoing blog I will be using as a part of my creative process. The idea is to explore how the spaces students at Maine College of Art use for art-making inform on them, the work they do, and teach us (the viewers) about them. I will be going around to the student’s various studios to talk to them about their spaces, the materials they use, and taking photographs of their spaces to include in the catalogue in hopes that viewers of the catalogue will interpret their spaces in their own way.

In Frank Chimero's talk The Shape of Design, he talks about how design is influenced and improved by external sources—but what about the influences of objects and spaces we keep closest to us? I have always been fascinated by learning about people through the objects they keep near them; whether it be objects they keep in their home, office, or artist studios. I will be posting weekly photographs of my personal spaces, talking about the meaning and use of the space, and some of the objects within the space. This will also be a way to show how some of my spaces change over time, such as the state of my desk and how it differs from the beginning of the semester to the final days before the thesis show goes up.

The desks in the graphic design studios are quite large—larger than any of the other majors’ desks I believe. This gives us a lot of room to work, but also a to of room to make a mess. This first photograph shows my main perspective when I'm sitting at my desk. I tend to use the right side of my L-shaped desk for meeting with students and professors, as it tends to be the only clear space I have. The objects on my desk are the following (l-r): electric kettle, earmuffs, lamp, laptop case, rolled up 2’x4’ black & white inkjet print, insulated water bottle, glass pyramid sea-scape, jade plant, Raptor Buddy Christ, 13” MacBook Pro, travel mug, mug, empty coffee grounds container, french press, Apple wireless mouse, a photograph of my cats, glasses, iPhone 6, various books and magazines about design, photography, art history, prints from last semester’s review, glasses case, Handlettering & Wordmarks final (skateboard), drawing pad, backpack, and a four-color pen. I need to clean up my desk a bit to better prepare it for the rest of the work I will be doing this semester.

This week I won't go into the meaning of every individual item, but rather hope that any readers would begin to think more about what the objects we surround ourselves say about us, or in the case of this blog post, what these items and this location says about me and the work I do here.