If you'd like to know more about Navy Midnight Press, come with me through the secret 'employees only' door at the sprawling shiny Navy Midnight headquarters complex that doesn't exist.....
A good way to get to know someone is to find out what they like. With this first post, it made sense to start with the foundation of the house - drawing! I love sending and receiving mail, but really the most basic impulse behind Navy Midnight is drawing. Having drawing and design as the center of what I do is, no exaggeration, and sorry for the terrible cliche - a dream come true. I enjoy lots of parts of the process of making cards and getting them out in the world, but drawing hits me in the reptilian brain stem. It's just what I want to do.
The same way writing something down helps clarify thoughts that have been bouncing around in your head, sketching, over time, turns a soup of ideas into refined developed designs, and I enjoy that - both the physical drawing and the mental evolution of ideas.
I look at lots of inspiration (images and real world 3D things, like a bouquet I picked or the sky out my window), mix the soup around for a while by doing quick sketches, throw on some color, try a sketch again, maybe abandon it for a while and switch to another one - or do something else entirely for a while to give things time to percolate. Slowly themes emerge and cross pollinate each other through experimenting and iterating and looking.
When things are going nowhere and everything seems clunky and bad (which pretty much always happens at some point along the way), it usually means I need to take a break and look at something new - a book, a museum or gallery show, a magazine, a garden - either to find some new ingredient for the soup or just to disengage my brain long enough to be able to see things anew. Wherever a design ends up, it's never what I expected back at the beginning. And that's probably my favorite thing - the surprise about where you end up.
"I've never taken a picture I've intended. They're always better or worse." - Diane Arbus.
So true, Diane! I think about this all the time.
So there you have it. Here at Navy Midnight, we're all about stirring the soup and seeing what bubbles up. I like to imagine the soup is in a huge dark cauldron over a fire on the moors on a windy full-mooned night. Of course it's actually a swirl of paper on my desk, but it feels that mysterious, and that keeps me inspired.
Merry Speece •
I enjoyed reading about your creative process. You are so right about the surprises.