on taste, the gap, creation, and curation

not really sure where this post is going, so here’s to just starting!

one of my favorite inspirational quotes is by ira glass. it’s been made into many videos, posters, etc., but my favorite is this one:

it’s what made me decide to develop my graphic design abilities more consistently. my big takeaway was that the only way to “close the gap” was to do more and more work.

but the other day i was listening to the wier/stewart episode of obsessed with design and there was an interesting twist.

one of the interviewees said that, of course, anybody who has good taste and skills to bring that taste to life is amazing. i think he used the phrase “mega designer.” but that’s not the only pathway out there to being a designer. it’s also possible to have good taste and then be a curator of things in line with your taste.

this allows you to use your curation to solve maybe the same design problems that a mega designer could. some people sketch, refine details and perfect their own ideas; others curate and recreate and produce clever rearrangements of other ideas. there’s space for both types of designer.*

my old colleague, curtis, wrote earlier this year about the different roles of network leadership and curation was one of them. as the world becomes increasingly connected and content-rich, the world will need more and more curators to help people sift and sort through it all. access to things humans have created in the past is increasing and we are creating more and more content every second.

*  in fact, some people might even say that there isn’t much of difference between those two types of designer because all creativity is is the recombination of disparate elements to solve a problem in a different context.