Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inspiration | Nature + Camping

Last week someone asked me, "Where do you find inspiration?". I answered, "As much as I hate sounding cliché....nature." I just keep thinking about how that is so true. Let's face it. The elements and principles of design originated in nature. And we continually emulate the work of God's hands with our own. Whether or not we can individually identify each design element (line, color, shape, space, texture, value) or principle (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety and unity), they exist all around us. Everywhere.

I went camping with the in-laws this weekend and sopped up some nature inspiration. Here's a small visual index of what I found (natural items + man-made adaptations):

Rhythm: When one or more elements are used repeatedly to create a feeling of organized movement. Rhythm creates a mood like music or dancing. These dark coals, although still, feel like they have a lot of rhythm because of the marks the flames licked onto them as well as the flowing layers within each piece.

Color: Color comes from light. Without it we would have no color. When the light hits an object, what we see is actually colored light entering our eyes.

Shape: A shape is created when a line crosses itself or intersects with other lines to enclose a space. Type is essentially a series of shapes, or glyphs. These shapes are geometric. Generally speaking, manufactured items, such as these letterforms, are created using geometric shapes.

Texture: Surface quality of an object (i.e. rough).
Value: The range of lightness and darkness in a picture. Value gives a picture depth. The cracks in the bark are dark because of a different actual color as well as the lack of light that can reach those areas.

Line: The ripples in the water cause what would otherwise be straight lines become beautiful calligraphic lines.
Movement and Repetition: Movement is the path the viewer's eye takes through the artwork, often to focal areas. Here, the focal areas are the light reflections. Repetition makes the artwork seem active. The ripples are repetitive and caused the reflection to look alive.

Pattern: The repetition of an object or symbol is pattern. The rope-maker worked a pattern into the product, probably for visual interest more than functionality.

Ummm: I don't even know what to say about this. It's a close-up (as far as my camera would zoom) of the melting glacier on Mount Adams. Wow. It has form, color, texture, movement, rhythm and variety.

Line: The silhouettes of the trees make sharp outlines.
Shape: When a three-dimensional object become two-dimentional (i.e. a shadow, sihouette or photograph) we see shapes. These tree silhouettes are organic shapes. They are informal and irregular.

Some content pulled from this site and this site.

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