Style and study

Style and study

Frank Chimero has been taking and responding to questions on his blog. Each one is pretty wonderful. On developing style:

Figure out what you want to SAY. That is what’s important. The lipstick doesn’t keep the pig alive. The guts do. Message dictates the proper aesthetic.

I was reminded of quotations from Matthew Arnold,“Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style.” And Orwell, “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.”

Clear language, rather clarity — in voice, in thinking, in intention, in craft — is the most attractive style of all.

Just one more, (then link away to read them all really). On what it means to “study:”

To study means to spend time with something. Music and books have the benefit of having the qualities of time baked in to them. I can’t experience November Rain in 2 minutes. I can’t watch Citizen Kane in 20 minutes. Infinite Jest is a bonding experience because it asks so much.

Visuals don’t have time baked in to them. … I don’t think most design blogs are places for study. … If a design blog were made in to a successful place for study, it’d be in spite of the format’s temporal qualities, not because of it.

Whether your study is books, visuals, films, something else, or it all at once, I believe in finding enforced listening moments. In music, intentional pauses can be woven into the sound, but in other media, I believe we can find and create them. Pauses, more intentional space, may allow for time to study.