Tuesday, June 18, 2013

David A Smith: The last of his kind

Here's your daily dose of inspiration.  Meet David A. Smith, a traditional sign writer and graphic designer, among other things.  Actually, he's an artist in the purest sense of the word.  A very technical artist, but as you'll see, he creates masterpieces.  As the video above shows, this guy is a master at so many things...design, drawing, glass gilding, gold leaf, sign making, etc...  The phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" does not apply to him.

(Please note that I have used the term 'artist' and 'master' very carefully, as both are highly overused these days.  For example, Britney Spears is not an artist, period.  Anyway, I'm getting off subject.)  

What's so sad, like so many things these days, is that this beautiful art is completely dying.  Like so many of these great buildings and monuments that are rotting away due to the lack of craftsman and stonemasons, this kind of art is also in danger.  David is one of a handful of guys worldwide who can produce this kind of stuff, whereas there used to be a shop like his on every corner.  Technology is a great thing, don't get me wrong, but we rely on it too much.  (I know, I know...how ironic, coming from a photographer who's never stepped in a darkroom in his life.)  As David says, it's the blending of the old and the new that allows him to do what he does.  

It should also be noted that David does a great deal of teaching as well.  He wants to pass on his knowledge of this lost art before it's lost forever.  If there's a silver lining, it's that I truly believe art like this is on the rise again (relatively speaking).  It's a scarcity, and smart people want the real thing.  It's like the wet plate process in photography...too many people are too good at digital.  It time for the artists to separate themselves and go back to the way things used to be.  

Anyway, I don't consider myself to be a graphic designer, even though I do my fair share of 'design' (aka Photoshop).  I often get depressed or down, or simply feel uninspired in my work.  Then something like this video comes along and bam!, my creative energy really gets going.  So, I say to you- watch and be inspired!

Check out more of David's work here.  

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