What if when we were created we were each imprinted with a set of characteristics that are unchangeable throughout our lifetime. This firmware is just there beneath the surface of every decision we make like the foundation of a house. Not talents exactly. More like an inner blueprint of principles that form our decisions and direct what we pay attention to. Some good, some bad. It might not be apparent until we are old, but in hindsight the patterns are obvious.
Earlier this week I looking at the very first iteration of this website from a decade ago. This was 2002, before blogs went mainstream and I remember being so excited about the web as a way to connect with people and share my art. If you don’t look at the source code (holy frames, Batman!), the site still holds up relatively well despite the advances in web publishing.
The thing that I find interesting about my old site is that I can clearly see trends in my thinking that are still very much a part of my work today. Perhaps these are part of my creative DNA. Here are some things I understand about myself:
1. I believe beauty is more interesting in the context of things that are less than beautiful. When I made this site I was dumpster diving with my camera in search of this juxtaposition. I would scan the textures and remix them in ways that are part chaos and part beauty.
2. I am still interested in design patterns that put real world items in digital landscapes. The slides on the art section of my old site show this idea. Snobs dismiss this as skeuomorphism, but I don’t understand those people.
3. I love Easter eggs. Click on the red dots at the top of my old website and you would be rewarded with a poem by Robert Frost.
5. I haven’t taken my headphones since 2001. The photo of my iPod ear buds makes me smile because chances are that is how you will still find me on any particular day. The music I listen to inspires me. It is a constant in my life and always will be.
6. I don’t shy away from self-promotion. Now that I have filled an entire post with naval gazing it is clear that some things never change.
If there are patterns built into our identity, I wonder if understanding them can help us become who we are meant to be. Perhaps this is a secret to finding happiness in our work. Perhaps projects that resonate with our inner map will be more fulfilling. What are some of the patterns in yourself that you recognize?