This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

July 20, 2014

Understanding the language of art and design

All of my life I've been confronted by angry people who want me to explain art and design to them. These people think that it's all something that is understood only by a very few. But that's not it, it's just a different language.

I know many languages. I can draw, design, read music, I even know a little HTML and can speak English. And if you've ever tried to translate from one language to another you know how quickly it becomes ridiculous. If someone were to try explain a beautiful dance to you by translating it into words, it would sound like *step, twirl, step, turn*. Pretty ridiculous, wouldn't you agree? And yet the people who have been the most angry about the subject of art and design have always wanted me to translate it into words. But, unfortunately, to understand, you have to learn the language. And many people refuse, just go off into a corner, and remain angry.

The first step to understanding art and design is to believe that it truly exists. It's not some big scam run by an Eastern Syndicate, or some con pulled off by the Marketing people. Art, which includes music and dance, truly exists and has a beauty that is best appreciated in the original. Translation means nothing.

Begin by setting aside whatever language you know. I had a painting teacher who once told the class that *if you could describe it, you wouldn't need to paint it*. He was an awesome artist, and as would be expected, he was poor with words. He would often stand in front of a painting and just say *ahhhh!* Of course, we kids made fun of this. Ahhhhh!

As an art teacher, I have tried to *get fingers into the clay*, so to speak. I can try to use some words, but really, all I want to say is *ahhhhh*.

By the way the car at the right is exactly the same car, mechanically, as the car above. The only difference is design. Don't bother trying to put words to it, just look.

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