Designer Diary: Lost Identities (Post #01)

Creativity. A word that has quite literally lost its charm in this digital age of arts. The once exclusive identity given to people known to the community as artists has now found numerous disguise. People are now designers, illustrators, painters, doodlers etc. All have almost different approach, exploring different fronts. But the true question is, is the artwork they are generating genuine and original?

Working for your own and working for some organization are two completely different ways to portray your aesthetics and creativity. I work not from my mind but heart. Self-devotion towards a project makes it unique, standing out from the rest and foremost it would be something you would love to do, that would please you not just today but in the later years when you pick up your sketchbook and look through the hard work, strain and time that you have put in it. Originality and genuineness should be the main course for any art related student or professional.

I have never worked for anyone else. Not until I joined an industry recently. It’s too glamorous, not the kind involving beautiful models in extreme spot lights, but glam in the sense that you get to work for the top notch international brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, Vera Wang and even Ikea, PotteryBarn etc.As a designer, it’s too tempting to even being remotely related to the names. Working for a big brand is like a dream job for any designer. I get goose bumps whenever I think of it like that. But on a very humble ground, working at a studio at a textile mill in Karachi is not at all fun. You lose a lot of stuff that you love. That you find peace in doing. You end up going to bed early and skip doing the side-projects that you believe as you’re true identity. As a whole life becomes really tough.

We are called creatives, but while working for someone else, a part of you gets lost within the requirements of the customer that you work for. I might be wrong here as creativity, as a designer, is not what you desire, but what the customers love to buy. We may infuse our personal style within the given framework, but it’s not that easy to satisfy both ways.

One of the factors controlling the creativity bar is the timeframe. The “ifs & buts” are the last thing senior management wants to hear from you. Time and Creativity are inversely related. At least that’s what I have gathered in the past few years. Any outstanding work of arts needs complete indulgence in that subject. Yes the “eleventh hour” work is sometimes better than any of the stuff that you have been working on, on that particular subject, but that happens rarely. Especially it doesn’t happen in the professional world. You have to manage the time or else you would end up embarrassing yourself.

In the end I miss how I used to work. Because at the place, creativity is not what your inspirations are and what your approach towards designing is, but the amount of customer-centric designs you can deliver within the given time, no matter how gross and how Shutterstocked they might be. Sorry to say but creativity has lost its meaning for them. I’m still trying to grab a cane and save myself from the abyss of these lost identities….Image

Internal Management

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It’s kind of both weird and exciting to start my own blog. Weird as blogs have existed since I’ve started using internet itself, around 14 years back. Exciting as its going to be something unusual of me to share something on the internet that is close to me and my personal self. I have been always afraid of sharing something with the world. I write diary, poetry and short stories. Not for anyone but myself. Always scared of sharing and not receiving the kind of response I always wished. Writing something is easy. Writing something worthy of being written is a question every creative artist should ask him/herself before picking up a pen or typing in front of a dimly lit screen on a cloudy weather night, by an artist stroking a brush on a canvas, or by a photographer taking snap. The answer is always hidden in the approach that moves our desires, our emotions to such extent that we start procreating it in one form or the other.

I guess it’s a human nature, not to share something personal, not until the perfect time has come. The perfect gracious time that all of us, the creative beings, wait to arrive. In which we could just express the world what’s inside us, believing that it’ll be appreciated and loved. But sometimes it’s not the acknowledgment we are searching for but a catharsis, like stepping out of a deep well, scribbling a paper on a notepad so rigorously that it starts to tear apart, or wrecking a wall until your hands bleed out! It’s kind of a burden until and unless it is been poured on to a canvas, a paper, a symphony or even a photograph. It’s an emotion that cannot be explained in words. It’s something surreal, ethereal in nature.

To begin with, I have never been anyone that can be termed as creative. It might be just a sheer coincidence that I start seeing patterns whenever I close my eyes, and words came down upon me whenever I sat to write something each night on the bed. I still remember those days. Moving to Jeddah from Dammam was not just a matter of change in place, but a whole different perspective, for me at least. Jeddah has its own charms. It made me a different person. A transition, a metamorphosis in development. A cocoon turning into a moth. It gave me wings. The first poem, the first ideas shaping onto paper as something making sense, rather than words of lunacy. Writing in the light of an IKEA lamp resting on a desk drawer beside my bed. I always let my windows open, as well as the door that leads to the gallery. The air gave me some signs and symbols. A boost may be. I have never felt this tinkling, this whispering any time before this. It was something magical. Each day a new exploration. Sometimes I just kept my diary open for like hours, nothing to write. Waiting for some divine revelations… it’s a part of the deal. You have to wait. The later the better. That’s what I learned.

Anyways, coming back to the present day. I’m starting to write again, or more precisely ‘to type’. A new medium, and yet newer approach. Why am I so interested in writing a blog? Again the inner self. It never misguides me. It’s like voice of GOD. The part of yourself that has conscience, again works on the same principle. It never lies. I have no target to achieve. I’m starting a new phase of my life, or it’s better to say starting to explore it. GOD has never failed me, and INSHA’ALLAH (GOD willing), He won’t ever. That said, I’m confident enough now to speak. To counter any critique that’ll ever be thrown upon me, regarding my work, my words, or even my personal self. The story of our lives continues to expand, with each day that passes by, there’s always something or someone to learn from. Never underestimates even the tiniest bits of inspirations. Those small details helps us to understand the perplexity of life in a better way, which eventually makes us a better human, indeed…

(2:30am Jan 14, 2014)