Friday, 24 February 2012

"Authenticity" What am I trying to prove?

Detail of my original "Clematus au Chocolat"
("Inspired" by 19th century  French wallpaper designs)
Authentic, Authenticity ...... two words have  been popping up and around my radar over the last few weeks.

"Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity" (This Coco Chanel quote has been aired on various news features and blogs recently)
Which actually reminded me of the great designer, William Morris and his passion and perhaps obsession with authenticity, see the amazing article written by Michaela Braesel.

What does the word mean?..... and why does it seem to be the latest "Fashion" word. ( I avoided saying buzz word because like Vintage, Bespoke it may become overused, misused for SEO purposes and therefore losing its actual authenticity)

After researching the definitions from Chambers Dictionary and William Morris, then cherry picking the key words which apply to me as a modern day designer and artist ...... voila!
Genuine, true, authoritative, sincerity, integrity, true to ones own personality, spirit or character,
............. When I sell an original painting with the Certificate of Authenticity my intention is to qualify these principles which I believe and aspire to.
However what about originality and how do creative people authenticate originality? Even artists who create spontaneously from memory, they are still using references which they have stored in their head. When do these references become just pure plagiarism?  I use many references, historical, from nature... I use the ideas and imitate techniques and styles of painting which I admire. I then interpret and intend to "fit the design for the purpose it was intended for " but within my own style and personality.
The detail of "Clematus au Chocolat" in the photo has been inspired by an archive wallpaper design. I have altered, redrawn and hand painted the art adding new elements and using current interior colours. I have taken ownership of the artwork and therefore authenticated it.
How does my work compare to artists who use the same references but instead of re working by hand they scan the original with other originals and put together a collage of ideas like a patchwork. The creativity is in the arrangement but is it Authentic?..... perhaps it is, or maybe not.
So if there is a current "Fashion" for Authentic because of hard times... what does that mean?......
Is my work more true and sincere because I have used all the references but created a new original.
William Morris was known to draw inspiration from Medieval design and championed the hand crafted, useful but beautiful piece of furniture and textiles. But he also changed a lot of elements to create the Design of the Time.
To be Authentic is very important to me at the moment and if you have been following my posts you will know that I am currently writing a manual about traditional surface design training.  It is also very interesting because one of the key parts which I shall illustrate is how to put together all these inspirations, references to create a new design. .............
Extra words that I may add to My Definition of Authenticity, are Quality, Balance, Colour Harmony, Composition and following Basic Design Principles..... In my opinion greatly missing in Surface Pattern Designs today..... especially in Textiles for the Home and Wallpapers.
I would like some opinions here..... feel free to comment!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article. However my first response to the word authenticity is the standard definition of authentic: not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique. I don't relate it at all to "Quality, Balance, Colour, Harmony, Composition and following Basic Design Principles." Not sure why you think that it should be attached to "authenticity." I have many designs which to me are authentic, have authenticity, in my defintion, but do not apply "basic design principles." And that is because I don't even know what they are. Perhaps I am an amateur, a beginner, or even naive but I feel my designs are great even without "principles." I still think beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder no matter what the color, balance, harmony, etc. In conclusion, I would not attach descriptives to the word, I'm just saying. Oh and by the way I think your "Clematus au Chocolat" is breathtaking.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...