The following quote was offered to me by a fellow graphic designer/artist (Janice McDonald) to assist me in cultivating patience when being an “artist” is a struggle for me.
“…it is reasonable to imagine that there are many artists living under cover, in a kind of witness protection program, in the realm of design. I’ve carefully called myself a designer all my life in part because I fear being pretentious, and also because I realized I would never surpass Vermeer. But I feel ready for a conversion. I am thinking of changing my self-definition from a designer who occasionally practices art to an artist who practices design. This is an easy claim to make because being an artist is a case of self-anointment, and there is no entry exam. More than anything else, the designation represents a view of life.”
— Milton Glaser
Coming from Milton these words are VERY meaningful. As a young design student in Montreal, an enthusiastic visiting professor “Linda Kooluris Dobbs” enlightened us on the father of graphic design “Milton Glaser”. My dream was to meet and study with him. So when the opportunity presented itself, I traveled to Morocco and did just that, with The School of Visual Arts summer abroad program. That summer, I met an international group of people, including a photographer who invited me to move to NYC rather than Los Angeles where I was headed. Had I not seen Milton’s face on the advert for “Summer Abroad in Tangier”, I would have probably never moved to New York city. He was the catalyst. Once in New York, I took his class at the School of Visual Arts as well. He’d been teaching there forever yet his teaching was still fresh, insightful and demanding. I learned a ton. It was thrilling.
He is probably one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, curious and humble people I have ever met. Now, years later, I still smile thinking of him and his welcoming heart. What a gift he continues to be, to graphic designers everywhere… and to artists who like me are bridging the gap. Thank you Milton, for all you did and continue to do.
If you are interested in finding out more about him:
Documentary: Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight
Ted Talks: http://www.ted.com/speakers/milton_glaser