For our prompt of “Phone” today, I opted to go back in time to when phones were more than just digital bricks. Today’s version can do so much more, but the result is an object that lacks a lot of visual interest. When I was a kid, all of our phones had rotary dials and while this is not something I miss from a usability standpoint, they did look really cool. Like most early technical wonders, phones were treated like little sculptures of art. They were, indeed, rather large so they were not easily hidden from view. But, as we enjoy the progress that comes with our ever-changing times, I miss the lack of aesthetic beauty from the past. Our phones, televisions, and even our books are now just little black boxes of varying sizes. Visually boring, to be sure, but it makes the need for handmade art even more important and necessary. So, cheers to all of the artists, crafters, and makers in the world for creating each day and making the world a much more visually interesting and exciting place to live!
There are lots of things available these days in a “vintage” or “retro” look though I’m not entirely sure what the age cutoff is for these terms. And many items that aren’t required in the age of digital, like record players, still hold a special appeal with a sound that can’t quite be replicated digitally. I can only think it’s all an answer to those little black boxes. There’s no longer a functional need to add many of the visual elements that appeared on things before. And, as the manufacturing mentality continues to drive things to be made more and more cheaply, aesthetic enhancements are always the first things to go. I used to work in product development for several years and this was always the case, and got progressively more the case as the years moved forward. But there are still lovely things that pop up from time to time where a bit more time and energy was placed in created something visually stunning. And the resulting effect is always instant. The product suddenly has more perceived value. And that always makes me happy to see.
And when it comes to a product like paper, even the super good stuff, it’s really just paper until we artists add our own unique aesthetic. Though, yeah, the good paper, will definitely help in enhancing the look of things. But, it’s still the act of the maker that transforms paper into something special. I think that’s a really wonderful thing indeed. And though the objects that surround us have become more simplified over time, the things we can create on just a single sheet of paper are often quite astounding. We can bring an object of history back to life again, relive cherished moments, capture a treasured view on a vacation, and create a unique gifts for friends. This is why I love making things so much. The possibilities are limited by only my own dreams and imagination. And, as I watch all of the wonderful things that our community makes each and every day, I’m thrilled to still be living through a very special time, like those glorious good old days, back when phones were fancy.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!