I’ve been wanting to spend more time developing my illustration skills, and after an inspiring trip to HOW 2012 in Boston I got the jump start I was looking for. Last year, I did a bunch of reading about personal style and determined that my personal style is Classic. The classic style clothing, accessories, and paper crafts that I saw in some Boston shops got stuck in my head. I started a pattern illustration project based on a classic-preppy-nautical theme. This hexagon pattern was the first one I made, in a variety of color palettes.
Although I wouldn’t label all of my work as minimalist, it is heavily informed by many of the same principles. Perhaps this comes from my background in graphic design. I appreciate the elegance of minimalism in the same way an engineer would appreciate the simplicity and efficiency of a well-designed machine with no redundant or extraneous parts. However, minimalism seems to be a style that many people don’t get. Some may view it as purely esoteric, but I also wonder if people mistake simplicity for lack, failing to see just how much artistry actually goes into a concise composition solution. Minimalist art is not the same as abstract art, but they do have areas of overlap. Since I’ve previously written much on the subject of abstraction, I’ll try to avoid repeating similar concepts. This post is the first of a two-part series that I hope will offer some insight into the craftsmanship and creativity that goes into paring down a composition of all nonessential components, particularly within the medium of photography. I hope to convince you of the elegance of a reductionist approach to composition, and that achieving simplicity takes much more finesse than you might expect.