DSVC October Review: Timothy Goodman

“Art is whatever you can get away with” Andy Warhol.
Tim didn’t actually lead with that, he actually began with his affection for d*ck jokes. They led to a discussion of comedy and one of his favorite comedians, Woody Allen, “A master of taking clichés and flipping them with a new or provocative observation”, said Tim. His playful sense of humor led to his interest in trying to insert the suggestive idea whenever he could in his early work. But with his keen sense of style and wit he was able to get a few through the approval process and along some that he couldn’t.

For the college students in the crowd, Goodman had a great observation in his attempt to fund his education. Coming from a modest background he was constantly looking for ‘free’ money and would research the thousands of scholarships out there and apply for whatever he could. But this led to his insight that in writing for each of these scholarships he was retelling his story to wildly different donors over and over, selling himself to these various audiences. This process had greatly aided when interviewing and prospecting for freelance.

Tim punctuated his presentation with the following quotes:

  • If you want to change your look – change your tool.
  • The work you ought to be doing is the work you should be doing.
  • Find what you love and let it kill you. Charles Bukowski

These quotes helped describe his “design installations” for the Ace Hotel and AirBnb headquarters where he freehanded the large scale projects shown below.

But then we came to the groundbreaking area that Goodman and his partner in experimentation, Jessica Walsh created “40 Days of Dating”. Tim started off this section with the quote, “In the particular lies the universal” by James Joyce alluding to his introduction of viewing the everyday from a new perspective. These are two friends at opposite ends of the dating spectrum:

“Tim is afraid of commitment, often dating many girls at once, and he’s losing sight of what a healthy relationship means. Jessica is a hopeless romantic, jumping into relationships too quickly, always looking to find “the one.”

They decided to try to record their trial dating through blogging, typography and video. With no outcome known, these two friends filled out questionnaires at the end of the night not knowing what the other would say but posting them for the world to see anyway. They were a hit in the blogosphere and were courted by a few members of the press:

NBC Today Show, CNN, BBC News, TIME Magazine, ABC News, Fast Company, New York Daily News, Cosmopolitian, Gawker, BuzzFeed, Adobe, Mashable, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, National Review, PolicyMic, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, Metro NY, Opening Ceremony, Dot Complicated, Daily Mail, TimeOut New York, HelloGiggles, Washington Post, New York Magazine, The View

We were informed that a movie has been optioned and they are now forming a partnership for new self-authored ideas. At the end of the presentation Tim was asked where he considered himself an artist. He said that he thought that being called “Artist” would be pretentious and inaccurate. But with so much self-authored work, he’s blurring the line and creating a new path for a new generation of designers and old.


Portfolio Commentary :: Inspiration through design heroes

I enjoy helping students build their portfolios and helping them as they finish their assignments to completion. But many times the student isn’t sure how to take their project to completion. When they don’t have any reference of ‘great’ or ‘inspirational’ design this is not a surprise. When you don’t know where you’re going or what your destination looks like, it’s hard to get there. So the instructor or reviewer tries to steer them down a path, but in many cases, one they themselves would take.

My projects tend to start with research on inspiration for that particular assignment. Finding what they feel are great examples for that project category. The next week the students present what they’ve found and this begins a dialogue on why those examples are great. Not everyone has the same opinion but through sharing these examples we have an idea of where the assignment is heading, what the finished product might look like and my expectations for the assignment.

If I’m the only one sharing examples then the tendency is for the student to follow what I like. In early classes when students are still forming opinions this is an OK beginning, but at the senior level students should really be directing me as to what they’re trying to accomplish rather than me being the guide so late in their design education.

And think about when it really counts… at your first job. If your agency is working on an assignment for a new client, you might not have good examples to go by. How are you going to let your boss know what you think the completed project should look like? Will you spend many hours coming up with ideas that may not be in the ballpark? Or will you show examples of where you think the project might go so that you can have a dialogue about where the project could go?

When we look to inspiration we’re not looking to copy but to help use that as a guide to the level of concept and execution as to how our own project may look.

A site to explore a passion for teaching design