“…these hack crowdsourcing campaigns that certain agencies are selling to [companies]. There are lots of folks doing very cool things with user-generated content, but to ask professionals to compete against each other for potential ‘exposure’ is completely different. It’s demeaning…”

—Dan Casaro, as quoted by David Griner, “Meet the Hero Designer Who Publicly Shamed Showtime for Asking Him to Work for Free,” Adweek, August 19, 2014

Showtime holding a spec design contest to promote a Mayweather fight!? Please. What nerve! They’re raking it in hand over fist by overcharging fight fans for over-hyped, disappointing pay-per-view events. I’d love to see a contest where they’re obliged to use the most voted-upon entry, and only terrible art is submitted. Cheers to Dan Casaro, speaking up for designers everywhere.

(Via CLF)

Telling mega-media corporations: NO SPEC!

The Eve Of...

While projects in The Eve Of… are about uncertainty, the process is providing many opportunities to expand my limited tolerance of uncertainty.

Researchers have identified ‘intolerance of uncertainty’ as an important cause of anxiety and anxiety disorders.

If you want to reduce rumination, anxious feelings, and avoidance…

Learn to tolerate not knowing the reasons for someone else’s behavior.

Learn to recognize when you’re avoiding doing something … because you can’t be completely certain of a positive outcome…

Learn to recognize when you’re taking too much responsibility for protecting others from possible negative outcomes….”

Alice Boyes, Ph.D., “Seven Tips for Reducing Anxiety, Rumination and Avoidance,” Psychology Today (March 1, 2013)* [Not the most academic source, but at the right time, this list was useful for me.]

The Eve Of… Residency Lesson #1: Tolerating Uncertainty

The Eve Of...

“Aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics—these matters of value, Wittgenstein agreed, lay in the realm of the unutterable. But it was natural an inevitable that men should speak of them, and much could be learned from the way in which people went about their foredoomed task of trying to say the unsayable. Moreover, it would not be clear where the boundary of sanctioned speech lay until an attempt had been made to cross it and that attempt had failed. Such efforts Wittgenstein regarded with benevolence. He treated them as reconnaissance expeditions, perilous to be sure, but well worth the effort expended on them.”

—H Stuart. Hughes, The Sea Change, as quoted by Laurence Weschler in Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees (1982).

“Better a live donkey than a dead lion.”

–Ernest Shackleton, South Pole explorer

Rewards, Even in Failure


Good advice on the art school crit, and great advice for navigating around negatrons:

“…stay away from drama queens, bastards, and bullies, even the ones who are powerful and who seem to hold the potential for your future professional advancement. …Assholes only ever help themselves.”

Bean Gilsdorf, “Help Desk: Group Crit,” Daily Serving, July 21, 2014

Bean Gilsdorf on Meanies


“‘It’s very common for small business owners and artists to avoid expressly writing the terms of their agreement down, because they don’t want to think about their partnerships ending on bad terms,’ [intellectual property attorney Emily Danchuk of the Copyright Collaborative] says. This leads them to tiptoe around the terms of the agreement that they find onerous, ugly, tedious, or otherwise painful.

But ironing out these details is incredibly important, as the case of Hoefler & Frere-Jones amply proves. Danchuk says such agreements help put parties on the same page, making it less likely that an agreement will be breached in the future.”

John Brownlee, “4 Lessons Designers Could Learn From The Hoefler & Frere-Jones Split,” Fast Company Design, February 10, 2014

Get It In Writing


“By greatly upsizing found objects into bronze, steel, porcelain or wood — thereby establishing, by means of scale, a readily identifiable distinction between the work of art and the thing it’s mimicking — Koons is returning thought to sense experience, but a form of sense experience that is both highly materialistic and deeply conservative, relying on orthodox, costly mediums to affirm the elevation of his lowborn subject matter into art. His lack of adventurousness and invention in this regard is in sharp contrast to the silkscreening (then considered solely a commercial process) adopted by Warhol for his paintings, or the soft vinyl sculptures of everyday objects concocted by Claes Oldenburg (who can be seen, in many respects, as the anti-Koons, outclassing him on every count of wit, irony, and imagination). Koons’s bravura handling of granite and bronze, the materials of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, reflects the reactionary attitude toward materials that cost Marcia Tucker, the founder of the New Museum, her job at the Whitney in 1977 after she exhibited Richard Tuttle’s sculptures made out of wire and rags.”

Thomas Michelli, “Have a Nice Day: Jeff Koons and the End of Art,”, June 28, 2014

Thomas Michelli on Jeff Koons and the End of Art