Hanukkah may now be over but there's still Christmas to look forward to! So hide the menorah and break out the Christmas tree---see I grew up with both holidays. While such a practice can lead to some strange gift-giving situations, the joy of celebration and family was never diminished by this time-share arrangement. We all celebrate these special events differently. Such traditions are comforting in their familiarity, so much so in fact that not following them often leads to an unsatisfying holiday experience. And while tradition may be known for stifling change, it also provides the basis for much of our thought and action. It is one of those fundamental common threads that allow us to relate with one another, helping our creations to be understood by others. In other words, the very foundations of inspiration.
All artists are intimately familiar with tradition. One of the most common tools available to any creative is to take the traditional and subvert, reuse, and remix it. This is often the procedure I try and follow in creating this very blog. Art movements from the Medieval to the Pop, Christ to Campbell, have loved exploring traditional themes and symbols. There are few places that have seen conflicts of tradition greater than those of Latin America where ancient and complex native cultures came into violent conflict with the alien influences of Europe. Chilean artist INTI integrates many of his region's traditional patterns and themes into his massive graffiti pieces.
The Christmas tradition is quite unique, at least in America, in that almost everyone is familiar with it even if they don't celebrate the holiday itself. Not only have huge corporations been built around Noel, but strange and fun observances such as Secret Santa and now apparently Christmas GIFs have grown from it as well. One though has always baffled me: the Advent Calendar. The joy of counting down to that magical day with sub-par chocolates stored in a calendar shaped container baffles me. However I can most definitely get behind this slick reinterpretation of the ritual by Shape Design Studio in Manchester. In this beautiful site, the crummy candies are substituted for scrumptious morsels of design. The only thing that baffles me is the strange order of the dates.
Finally, while you might want these guys on your team if there ever truly was a war on Christmas, the video holiday card below by Jacques Khouri is simply too charming to skip. His New Year's resolution is to be more colorful, what's yours?
The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin from our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.