I have been passionate about how ideas can be represented and implemented for active engagement for a long time. When I was 15 or 16, I formed a band and did all of our promotional design (logos, flyers, merchandise, etc) with Photoshop and Illustrator. “How can I best engage my audience? How can I leave a unique impression? How can I excite people?” These were the initial things I found myself contemplating, and I think it was then that I discovered my “inner fire” for design.
In 2014, I founded my company, Noblevision Design (www.noblevision.tv). The questions I ask myself today are much different than the ones I did early on. An important one I often ask myself is “How can ideas best grow into experiences?” From the initial lightbulb moment, to the creation of some tangible visualization of that moment, to the implementation of it so that it is experienced as intended by an audience at large…there is a lot to consider.
To navigate this process:
1) I must never forget the feeling of the initial, creative “light-bulb” moment. This drives everything. It is the heart and soul of the project. To ensure this, I always make some quick mock up of an idea. A simple sketch will do as well. If it is a more raw idea laden deeper in the subconscious, I will write it down in words. I keep a small journal on me nearly always for these applications. Less is more with these notes. It should be just enough to bring back the feeling of the aforementioned “light bulb” and nothing more; verbosity can and usually will distract and distort.
2) Experiment and develop. I will break out my Mac and get straight to work if possible. I vet the idea as it begins to take shape. It’s important to view things empathetically here. I try to innovate with openness. “Is it accessible? Does it innately possess value to others? In execution, will it provide a pleasurable or memorable experience?” A positive experience is ultimately what people are hoping for when they use the internet, decide what restaurant they would like to eat at, or generally buy and consume anything.
3) Work, create, contemplate. Here, there are no rules, just movement with purpose. Achieving a “flow” will result in the best work. This much is certain, always. I experiment freely and let instinct guide me there. Periodically, I cross reference with the initial lightbulb moment. Is it valid? Does it measure up to that? Or have I gone off course? I decide, and move forward decisively.
4) Test. When I feel that I have something, I check it on an audience. I typically turn to a colleague, my fiancé, mother, father, a trusted friend – maybe multiple people – and show them what I have made. I pay attention to what people say, but I pay equal attention to their body language. From there, I refine…or do not refine.
5) Deem completion. Eventually any creative endeavor must be deemed complete and released. Another certainty is that “perfection” is overrated. When “perfection” wins over art, art doesn’t see the light of day. Work unreleased is work un-experienced. Sometimes this part is really easy, other times I need to reframe my mindset. I recharge my confidence or change my self-talk. I relinquish control. It is complete; it belongs to others now.
-MantraReads | Matthew Michael McChesney