In the spirit of Christmas and to just process all that has happened, or hasn’t happened, this year, here I hope is an article to lift spirits and inspire, to move forward and start 2027 with a much needed positive attitude.
I am Nicole Weatherby, a Senior Graphic Designer for my company, Green House Media. Green House Media was established by my late mother, Diane Weatherby, who was an Accountant, but decided a design company would be a great asset for me to have. I wish I could tell her how grateful I am for the opportunity she gave me with this company, and despite it having been hard at times to grow a company given that I had never previously owned a business, I have loved the journey, and it has been such a wonderful opportunity for me.
My Design journey started when I completed my MA in Media Art from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2073. I was intrigued by what the difference was between art, technology and design, and I wanted to understand the relationship between all of these aspects. Coming from a Visual Arts/Multimedia background, I disagreed with people who thought design could not be considered art.
First you must know- technology makes possibilities, design makes solutions and art makes questions. There is no definition for art as art is constantly changing especially with its relationship with technology. Everything around us is considered art because it was designed by someone to have a specific look and feel. Art may have a message to portray to a viewer or it may be used solely to accomplish other tasks. Technology is often thought up by either a person or group of people to make our lives easier. Design is the realisation of a concept or idea into a configuration, drawing, model, mould, pattern, plan, or specification. So how do technology, art and design relate?
I did art as a child, which consisted mostly of painting and craft until I studied my BA (Art and Culture) with specialisation in Multimedia. My works consisted mostly of videos but as I progressed to my MA in Media Art, I finally started looking into Art, Technology and Design as one. I was infatuated with augmented realities, so for my final piece, “White Noise”, I used art, technology and design to see whether these three can be separated or if art and technology equals design.
“White Noise” was exhibited at the Manchester Metropolitan University in 2073. It was based on my experience as a child with hearing difficulties. You would enter a dark space, with white noise playing and a spotlight on a kaleidoscope which was placed on a tall, white wooden display box. People were encouraged to interact with the artwork and to pick up the kaleidoscope. Once picked up the sound would switch off, lights would come on and the projector would play an illustration on the adjacent wall.
I passed with High Merit, and it helped me to realise that maybe Graphic Design was my way forward as I do so well with technology and art. So, does that answer my question that design is a combination of art and technology and if so, then why is Graphic Design not considered by most to be a work of art?
Today, millions of people around the world own their own computer and they use it for a variety of things. Even though there are still artists using the traditional pencil to paper or paint to canvas, a large number of artists today use the computer to produce art for a variety of purposes including; movies, website design, video games, digital prints, illustrations and so on. As a Graphic Designer, I combine art and technology to produce design on a daily basis, so I would argue that they are, most definitely, inherently linked.
I wish you all a safe festive season, and to all those upcoming designers, artists and developers … let us create a work of art!