Art? / by Heather Dunmoyer

"Art is the diametric of survival...I'm trying new things, I'm failing miserably at them. Be happy for me. It's all starting to matter again."  - Paul Mullin

This is a quote that I've tattooed on my brain. I have struggled with the concept of art, the relevance and importance of it, as well as the importance of art in the field of graphic design. I think the fact that Art History is required for an undergraduate graphic design degree (in most private and public universities) is an interesting phenomena. From a biased view, I think it is so important to have the backbone of art history to see the progression into the world of advertising and marketing that bred graphic design. We see the crossovers from institutional art to graphic design from the beginning of the 20th century with constructivism, propaganda, campaigns, and pop art in the later part of the century. In so many ways, art helped to cultivate and develop the aesthetic and cultural elements of graphic design. 

As art reaches into the present contemporary movement, it seems as though artists either embrace the digital media that helps to develop graphic design, or it takes a much more medium-based approach. Meaning, using more "primitive" tools or analog tools. The war of screen vs. hands. It's in interesting debate and I believe it to be very subjective as both yield wonderful results. 

One train of thought that I cannot shake is the difference in definition between Art and Graphic Design. Art commemorates emotions and stirs within the viewer an emotion or sensation. The goal for the artist is not to convey a clear and straightforward message, it very often has greater depth in the sense that it does not require a plan or purpose. It is a pure and unprecedented expression. Graphic design is an organized construct of purpose and audience. There is a clear and obvious goal.

This is still a conflict that I mull over and challenge myself with. Regardless, I believe that without art, we would loose the beauty and culture in graphic design. Art can stand without graphic design, but graphic design cannot withhold itself without art.

So now I present you with a contemporary artist who I really admire. Florian Meisenberg.

His soft colors, lines, and shapes spark the creativity that I needed for a recent project. Typography and art can be combined beautifully and I love how his work creates a bridge between the digital and analog world which at times,  seems to be at wits with each other.

Overall, Meisenberg has amazing work, and a great perspective into the importance of art and design.