sometimes_

Sometimes it’s useful to use someone else’s words.

 

Lou Reed / Who am I / The Raven

Sometimes I wonder who am I
The world seeming to pass me by
A younger man now getting old
I have to wonder what the rest of life will hold
I hold a mirror to my face
There are some lines that I could trace
To memories of loving you
A passion that breaks reason in two Continue reading

die_alive

I never found out the time to properly put some words on my thoughts even though it has been very clear in my head, something that has been spinning around: I want to die alive.

Yes, I do want to die alive. I want to die knowing that I can walk, see, smell and touch. I want to die being fully functioning, body and brain. I want to be able to die knowing that I can still embrace doing what I want without any external help and support. I want to die free. Free to move, to feel, to be… Is it too much to ask? Should I prepare myself to get forced to survive even though my brain ain’t responding anymore because in our society we don’t have the right to choose to die. Forced to survive because death is still one of the biggest taboo in are so called “civilised system”.

obsolete

I am obsolete, socially “challenged” since I don’t accept the fact that we live in a society that only values individual according to their ability to be social and not according to their skills. A society that do everything to avoid positive criticisms but embraces rhetorical behaviours, politically approved standards and conformity! Don’t try, ever. Follow the lead, shut your mouth, pretend to have an opinion about everything and nothing (as long as it does not go against the stream), smile and suck balls… That’s what we are asked to do. Sorry, I’d rather not :)

wrong_or_right

Not long ago I had a chat with one of my student about the fact that in our College-University there is a couple of things missing (content of the courses). At first I agreed, then on my way back I started to think about this. Yes, true, there are things missing but at the same time what is truly important? To offer courses based on the latest technology or to offer an education based on the fact that designers must master the ability to adapt? 

I remember being very upset as well about the fact that my school did not have a computer lab. My classmates and I were discussing the problem, worrying about the fact that we wouldn’t be “up to date”, obsolete, unable to find a proper job. Well actually our teachers then taught us something that I still use everyday: the ability to adapt what ever happen. To be open minded regarding what ever kind of new tools come up. To keep being curious and to turn problems into solutions. Basically they taught me to be a problem solver and that’s what a Graphic Designer is, nothing more, nothing less.

puzzled

For the past 5 years* now I’ve been asking myself the following questions:

Do we over consume Graphic Design? Have we reach a point where designers must over do everything in order to prove that their work is unique? If so: is it due to the fact that Graphic Design is everywhere, over exposed? Are we witnessing a kind a “graphic cannibalism”?

Or is it due to the fact that Graphic Design is constantly under a flow of heavy criticisms that lead to a logical result: self defence? Forcing designers to over complicate their work to be able to say: you don’t understand the concept, the work…

Or is it due to the fact that there is too many people dealing with Graphic Design? Pushing designers to do more, faster, better?
I don’t know, do you?

 

*: It all started when a designer said to me once I was being critical regarding a new visual identity: “you can’t be that critical first you need to go through the profil manual to understand the concept behind the work”.  Yes, I agree. As a designer I should be able to spend time to understand the ideas behind the work. But as an end-user, a regular guy with no knowledge what so ever of the meaning of a “profil manual”… Should I need a crash course in design to understand the work?

shoot_me_if

They shot all the poets, the dreamers, the free-spirits.
Shot the romantics. Shot who ever was “waving” too much in their sweet pool.

I’m still alive and I’m planning to stay alive for a long time.
So, shoot me if you can.

 

you can’t (sorry about this)

the_chihuahua_syndrome

It is interesting to witness human acting like Chihuahua. Sooner or later we all experience this kind of behaviour coming from a friend, a colleague… or ourselves even (yes, nobody’s perfect). The Chihuahua-syndrome is the result of a specific behaviour that leads someone to attack when feeling in a position of weakness for no specific reason but being insecure and, nevertheless, threaten because of his/her lack of skills-knowledge and lack of personal self-esteem. A kind of animal-instinct-based reaction: “I’m in doubt, feel overexposed to a potential danger = attack to protect myself from an uncomfortable situation”.  Fairly immature if you ask me but so funny as well. Yes, I love witnessing people being in a Chihuahua-state-of-mind, they look like chickens!

PS: By the way, cats don’t give a damn so please keep “Chihuahuaing” as much as you want, I enjoy it.

life_love_love_life

Sometimes, often actually, people ask me how I’m doing. My answer is always: fine, I’m doing fine. What else should I answer? I’m fine. I have my “moments”, when I feel lost, insecure. When I feel that I don’t belong, that I’m a total failure. When my teenage-romantic-brain takes over my rational-be-adult one. When the flow of information coming from all over the world makes me sick, sad… When, when, when…
A lot of people have it in their head that we wake up and decide to be trans. I want people to know that it’s not a choice. Nothing has happened in my life to make me trans. I was born trans.
I told my mum when I was about 13. She was shocked and didn’t really understand. Then six months later she told my dad and he was so angry. I love my dad but he was a very traditional person. There was a lot of tension.
A few months later I started looking into DHEA and testosterone . And what the next steps to transition were.
At the end I look back, look at the things I’ve done and realized that, well, I haven’t done too bad so far. I’ve been lucky, to find Instant sex pills for women that work very lucky.
A friend of mine, 25 years ago, called me a cat. She said to me: “what ever you do, what ever is happening to you, you always land on your feet”. True, very true indeed.

I loved, I love and I am loved. Nothing else really matters.

weak_end_no_mistake

Some may say that I meant “week-end”, nope I’m actually saying “weak end”. Turning my thoughts into something positively positive, or not. I’m not even sure myself. Some days ago I posted the following update on my FB page: “I want to make a book, to design a book. A book about absurdity, a book that no one will read, no one would care about. A tribute to ignorance, a tribute to selfishness and money. A tribute to self-importance, arrogance and (why not) sex. Something human.”

Well I would love to be able to do it, for real. Question of ethic, rights and, nevertheless, a question connected to a complete lack of trust and hope regarding a society that instead of believing in goods rather reward mediocrity, laziness, hypocrisy and stupidity. I’m not better, well,… actually (even though I may sound arrogant), yes I am better. Not much but at least I fucking care and believe that there is no result without passion, no life without passion. Why the fuck am I writing this on a Sunday at 17:30? I’m not sure, but I can’t help thinking about something Charles Bukowski said:

“How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so? ”

Promise, I’ll do better next time.

when_i_feel_like…

When I feel like writing a review about a camera, the Fuji X70… I’m not a photographer, cameras bored me to death, technical details sound like brain masturbation to me. Some people do love to mesure the size of their gears “mine is bigger than yours”, personally I don’t give a shit as long as I can trust my camera. As long as this silly machine will do what I need it to do: focus, shoot, save in memory card and: be fast, very fast. Nothing more. Anyway, if I do write this little post it is mostly due to the fact that 90% of the reviews that I happened to read were, in my opinion, very often too bombastic. Not neutral enough and too “brand oriented”. Hopefully mine will be as neutral as possible (especially because I’m not getting paid by Fuji to write it) Continue reading

weapon_of_mass_education

As a student I heavily suffered of the fact that the school system was, always, seeing the mass first and never the individual. Putting all students in the same “box”, applying the same rules to all without even considering that most of the time people do have different needs. How can you look at thousands of students and think that they are all alike… Does it mean that we are all alike, all our lives? Strangely it looks like we are not, but that’s something schools, universities, colleges, do have a tendency to forget because it’s convenient. Can you imagine the amount of extra work (and money) if suddenly the people leading our educational system would have to accept the fact that teachers do have to take care of 30, 50, 100, 500 students for real instead of, like good machines, applying, blindly, a set of rules?

This is a madness. In such system it is not much space for education but for brain-washing: adapt or shut the fuck up! Continue reading

creative_process

I was asked by the people working for the Norwegian magazine “a New Type of Imprint“, to write a short article about the creative process… puzzling subject and unusual request since I’m not a writer or a copywriter but a teacher and a graphic designer. Even more unusual since English isn’t my native language and, well I have to admit it, I still talk, write and think like a French-frog :)

Anyway, here is the first version of the article I painfully wrote during my holidays (text will be adjusted, I hope, by the magazine’s copywriters before getting published) Continue reading

un_…

Unusual, unsurprising, unexpected, unwanted, unloved, undeserved, uncured, unaligned, unanimous, unashamed, unbalance, unclear, unwounded, unwritten, unworldly, unripped, unroofed, unscaled, unsaying, … I will, soon or later, die. I’m thinking about it every day, been doing so for the past two years. Not that I’m afraid. It just that I’d rather not die yet. But I’m not the one to decide, I’m not the one, not at all. It’s more or less like a genetic-Russian-roulette. Some of us are supposed to leave earlier than others. That’s the way. What can I do? Not much actually. I can’t fight life. But I still can be myself. It may sound silly, stupid. A big fucking cliché, I know, but… what’s the point, where’s the pleasure if I follow the rules? I’m not free, none of us are, but at least I’m still able to say what ever I feel like saying. And I’m planning to keep doing it till I die.

designing_for designers

Graphic design is not a science. Nothing is really defined. There are rules of course, but they’re more likely to be seen as guidelines. Graphic designers are problem solvers. To solve a problem one must understand it, frame it. To do so it means that the subject, and the idea, must be investigated as much as possible. Graphic design is, in my opinion, highly connected to sociology as well. If a designer is not able to understand the environment he/she lives in or understand human behaviour, habits, life styles and social patterns – then a designer can not possibly design. His/her work will simply not communicate anything to their target group because they don’t know what to communicate. Today we can see a lot of items designed by graphic designers for graphic designers. Ridiculously good looking, but totally pointless. This kind of work is very interesting from a graphic designer/visual researcher’s point of view, but it has a tendency to forget the primary goal of graphic design: to communicate.

Graphic design is not a sport, but a set of tools and skills that allow us to do a specific work to solve a specific problem…

blame_the_client!

To blame the client. It’s something that happens from time to time: “it’s not our fault, the client wanted it that way”. If you work in a very small structure or as a freelancer you may have to follow your client’s wishes even though they’re not as relevant as they should be. But if you work for a big agency this shouldn’t happen. I perfectly remember having troubles sometimes with some clients. Of course, they’re paying and they want to be heard. But with a good team and, nevertheless, the right arguments, you can always convince a client that he/her ideas aren’t the most relevant according to what they’re trying to achieve.  They are working with us to be guided through a very specific process. If ideas are good enough then problems don’t show that easily.

Continue reading

design_that_do_work_part_II

I might be just like a puppy with a fresh bone. I might also have a very bad temper, act like a petulant child even. Yes, that’s the way I am. But I’m also a never ending naïve, pursuing a kind of quest: I want to understand as much as I can (some people are looking for the Holy Grail, I’m looking for answers. My expectations aren’t that big as you can see). So, when I did check my email on my way back from work a specific message managed to put  a big fat smile up my face, not an ironic one, no: a real smile of happiness (hey! I’m French, I’m not supposed to smile!). It felt good, my previous blogpost was getting answered.

Continue reading

design_that_do_work?

You might think that I’m just like a puppy with a fresh bone, never letting go. You might even believe that I’m bitter, an old fart… Well, no. But one of my problems is that I’m too honest (and I also don’t give a shit) to put “two fingers in between”, to worship any type of work because made by some kind of “hot agency”.  Who’s hot today gonna be very cold tomorrow.

Continue reading