J W O
John is a hands–on DIY guy. His creative process and conceptual visual designs encompass a hybrid of analog/digital media using current and repurposed hardware and technology.
As a life–long learner, John is always looking to expand his scope of knowledge. If a project requires new expertise, John actively seeks to increase his knowledge and adapts his skill set as needed.
John’s background has given him years of experience working in a wide range of situations and settings. John enjoys working with diverse groups of people and does so with a high level of detail, tact and humor.
A Favorite Design Quote
None of us exist in a vacuum. Everything about us, where we live and how we live, is inextricably linked to how our forebears lived. Connected to our ancestors via distinct forms, patterns, rhythms and shapes, we belong to societies that are in a continuing balancing act between forging forward and looking back. We cannot escape history and tradition.
Look for inspiration in the everyday world. Everyone has an environment that fosters creativity. This environment facilitates creative risk taking and reduces the fear of failure by countering it with a comfortable environment of a person's own design.
A project's message should be conveyed in more than one way. Look for ways to integrate content: sight, sound, interaction, color, etc. The elements should work hand in hand. Using multiple senses engages your audience.
Using metaphor allows you to convey complex messages and content in a simplistic way using images. It is an excellent technique for reinforcing written content and conveying meaning in a limited amount of space.
Even if you are happy with your design, you must ask yourself if the desired message and intentions are clear. If the answer is no then your design is not effective. It is not art for arts sake unless that is your intention.
The simpler the design, the easier it is to maintain. Simple does not mean non-existent or dumbed-down design but sophisticated, elegant.
Do not assume you know it all or can be an expert in everything. Seek out those people who have the knowledge you seek. Knowing your technical limitations allows you to effectively bridge or fill in the gaps they represent.
Color influences the look and feel of your site both visually and emotionally. Your choice of color needs to reflect your target audience. Color can be used to convey a message as well as to give visual cues. Color is not just pretty be conscious of color choice and its effects.
There is no physical way to accomplish everything yourself. You must trust and delegate. It is important to have faith in other people's abilities. Everyone is a player.
The design should be conceptually driven instead of technically driven. Just focusing on the technical limits the design and leads to unwanted complexity and rigidity. Allow the visual design to guide what is needed technically.
There is no better way to help focus a project than knowing what your audience cares about or what media they prefer.
I view learning as a lifelong process. The student should look beyond the simple facts and figures and take responsibility for their own education. The student should consider the learning process as continuous. This enables the student to adapt and handle the changes faced in life while encouraging thinking on multiple levels.
I use metaphor as a teaching device. I use my own metaphors but prefer to use metaphors based on the student's personal interests if possible. This permits me to see things from the student's perspective. I use the student's metaphor to draw parallels with my metaphors and the material of the course. This provides a means to pinpoint areas of confusion and address them effectively.
I view the traditional as well as the digital studio as a living laboratory. It is a place to discover the creative conditions that foster one's own creative process. The hands-on approach through experimentation and exploration is extremely important. This encourages independent thinking and directs the students to take charge of their own work. Students should acquire a personal intuitive knowledge of their own creative process. This develops a foundation and gives them confidence to proceed creatively.
My artwork is affected by my environment. I place myself in surroundings that stimulate my creativity. The student should discover the environmental factors that are best suited to their creative endeavors. I encourage students to try working in different conditions in and outside the studio or classroom. This facilitates creative risk taking and reduces the fear of failure by countering it with a comfortable environment of the student's own design.
I teach to further my own learning process. The exposure to different perspectives keeps things fresh and fosters an environment for creative insight. Teaching to learn is an effective way to stay current with new technology and research. One of my primary concerns is that my courses stimulate the student's interests and assist the student with building a foundation of working knowledge.
Students should always try to create work to the highest possible caliber given the constraints of the project and the their abilities. Students should constantly strive to extend the boundaries of their abilities. This prepares them for the challenges they will face in the competitive, creative job world. The gauge of this should be set in tandem by the professor's and the student's objectives.
I believe digital and traditional media are equally valuable and that one informs the other. This philosophy is reflected in my own work as well as in how I structure my courses. There is a blending of the two. I feel it is important to have experience in both areas as it widens perspective and increases the number of creative options. For me, it distils down to whatever medium or media (digital and/or traditional) produce the greatest creative result and expression of the artist's vision. The underlying idea is important and it is the conceptual idea that drives media selection. Some of my best student work is from students that have backgrounds in both traditional studio and digital media.