Something Amazing and Pure

  • By OSNS

    Published on 20 August 2014

This post talks about seeking the right Praise. I always tell my students to seek and value the right praise, and ignore the rest (that often comes from well meaning boyfriends and relatives who think they know, but of course lack the experience. Because in our profession we are in the opinions business and  everyone has an opinion ! 

Being ignored by mainstream media is a blessing because the mainstream needs to play it safe in order to be marketable, and if you are attracting the mainstream, you are probably more on the safe side. On the other hand, "Something Amazing and Pure" is how the School was described by Christopher Valenti Gabriel the head of "A Studio" in Holland last week, and this definitely is the right praise. 

Gabriel is a graduate of Europe's most interesting place for design learning, The Rietveld Academy. If any of you do know the Rietveld, you will know that it it enjoys the reputation of being Amsterdam's premier place for Design learning, with a selective intake which - like OSNS - has a strong focus on developing the individual. Its approach is highly conceptual and experimental aimed at consistently striving to research new areas and push boundaries, with incredible graduates such as Wim Crouwel. 

This is "The Right Praise" because it is well informed, and as Gabriel is entirely independent of local Australian circles, his opinion is completely unbiased and  truly original. OSNS is not and never will be here for the mainstream.He is not one of the celebrities, trotted out and recycled over and over again on every blog, at every speaker's event, at every conference.

 So, if you are doing something interesting, and want people to know, remember, the world is a big place, and when you travel the world, you soon realise how inconsequential our small scene in Melbourne and Australia really is. Birds of a feather do flock together. Everyone one (each and every one of us) attracts and works with what they deserve. Go out there and ask for it. Don't try to befriend the "cool" people. Don't be a follower. Look wide, open up, start your own show based on what you value, make good work that (thanks to the internet) can now be part of global conversation. If someone local likes you and your work, you want it to be about more than their friend liking your work. Bring interesting ideas and stories into your work, and you will outlast every visual design trends. Be an interesting person. That which is superficial soon fades when move on quickly looking for more exciting bling. 

 It's much better (and more realistic) to get praise from an outsider without self interest at heart, which is why I am so happy that someone as creative and knowledgeable as Christopher, from beyond the Australian sphere values the way we are about pure learning, without unnecessary frills and artifice. Thanks so much Christopher.