This isn’t some silly boasting statement. I actually have 2 desks that I alternate between during my process and creation of a piece work. And that’s not just in my field of work. It’s open for anyone from all fields to use two desks when they are working. There is nothing more satisfying than sliding from one part of my workspace to the desk on the other end. That’s because I use one desk for my digital work, and one for my analogue work.
This subject really comes down to physical vs. virtual. But both should not be seen as opposing forces working against each other, used together, in creative conjunction, can inspire and generate truly brilliant ideas.
On the Analogue desk: it’s all about the process of the action, the touching and feeling of your own creative efforts, kneading clay, the stroke of a marker, spraying paint on canvas, the smell of raw materials. It stimulates your brain’s activity, it’s not just sitting at a computer screen. Its injecting fun into your work, like art class was when you were in school.
This desk consists of nothing more than paper, pens, pencils, markers, paint, brushes, sprays etc. By rule, I allow nothing digital on it. It’s where I sketch my badges and insignias before bringing them to the digital world.
Just look to artists, Javier Perez and Jon Burgerman as prime examples of physical, hand-made, fun art. Its springs with personality, it maintains a human element, because it was created by hand, it wasn’t published through a computer. Even if view through a computer screen. The same can be said for other forms of art online, from hand lettering to portrait drawings.
On the Digital desk: it’s all about the publishing and editing of the work. This is the part of the process where my sketches and artwork is digitized and published online. The cracks filled in and the seams polished. This is where I see the hard work come into fruition and finalised. This desk consists of my monitor, laptop, headphones, speakers, tablets, audio interface etc.
If your work only exists in a digital space, it lacks human affection.
This isn’t to say that the computer isn’t a valuable part of every creatives process, nor that it hasn’t revolutionised how we publish and share our work. It’s an incredible tool for editing your work and fine tuning. Even better for discovering new work, finding ideas, sharing ideas, reaching out to people.
There is something to be said for the feeling of physically creating something. Engaging your senses and articulating a piece of work with your hands. The feel, the smells, the sounds of using these tools on something physical is exhilarating.
This goes back to article #10, where I talked about taking breaks and getting away from the screen. Working with your hands as part of your process kickstarts your mind and reminds us that we can still create pieces of art with our hands, despite the overwhelming technological presence in, not just our working world, but our process of working.
I invite you to try using two desks as part of your workflow, if you can afford the space that is. It’s a mindset to learn, be disciplined about it and keep them strictly separate. It breeds excellent production practice to your work and idea generation.
Think of it as a work area and a play area, on place for creating the work, and the other for editing and publishing.
“I have stared long enough at the glowing flat rectangles of computer screens. Let us give more time for going things in the real world… Plant a plant, walk the dogs, read a real book, go to the opera.” – Edward Tufte