Pushing the Limits
November 6, 2013
At what point does a design go from good taste to risky? Today, I would like to address all of you designers out there. Regardless of what I am designing, creating something beautiful is always my aim, but it’s equally important to me to take risks and present something new, fresh, and even a little bit edgy.
I am someone who gets most of my ideas when I am either running or rowing, and when they come to me they always feel like such a revelation–until I actually execute them. I have always said that I would love to write a book about my mistakes and include photos of my (many) designs that have gone bad ; perhaps that is why I am always so eager to share them with all of you here. It’s essential to me that each and every one of you know that we all go through a learning process and experience that “oh no!” stomach-drop, regardless of how long we have been in the business or how many accolades we have received. As an artist, I firmly believe that the best way to become stale and stall both your growth and career is to avoid taking risks. This is one of the reasons I envy fashion designers so much: they are required to come up with a brand new collection every three months. Some collections are acclaimed and others are not, but I love the idea that they push themselves and they are always taking that creative risk and putting themselves out there.
Today, I want to share one of my own risks with you. I was recently asked to do a jungle theme for an event. I chose to do moss topiary monkeys on some tables and took what I felt was a whimsical risk on other tables by creating colorful cobra snake sculptures. Some guests were amused while others were clear they found the latter sculptures to be in poor taste.
I personally thought they were funny, and still do. Your thoughts?
(Photo courtesy of John Labbe)