It seems the best place to get visual inspiration for me as of late is luxury goods:
It seems that Hermes is killing it with men’s fashion. I saw a powerful guy in Polanco (Beverly Hills in Mexico City) with an Hermes belt, and I went to their website to study their belt design.
Here are my favorite color combinations:
These belts are expensive, so one might think to themselves:
Why would I ever buy a $1,000 belt?
I think this question is besides the point. To me, I’m not personally interested in buying them with my own money. What I’m interested in is:
- What kind of materials are they using?
- What is currently the apex of design in the luxury market, and why?
- Why did they choose these color combinations? For example, I really like the “rogue de coeur” (red) and the “bleu du Nord” (sky blue) color combination. I also like the rogue/bleu electrique
Study luxury goods for design?
My definition of “luxury”is anything that has no utilitarian purpose— essentially art.
Art is anti-utilitarian.
Utilitarian means having a practical purpose/utility. While I love utility, I also love art/design/luxury.
Why is “luxury” seen as morally bad/evil?
Now the problem is this:
We sneer at luxury goods as being superfluous/evil.
For example, a lot of us become indignant and exclaim:
“How dare you buy a $1,000 scarf when you got people dying from unclean water in developing countries”.
But a thought which occurs to me:
What would a world look like in which we didn’t indulge in *any* luxury?
Art as luxury
It seems that the ultimate aim is to become an artist and to make art. This is possible when we have evolved and self-developed so much that we no longer concern ourselves with utilitarian purposes (food, shelter, water, freedom from dying from the cold).
Even us as photographers — we are artists with a camera as our paintbrush.
For most of us, we aren’t trying to become “camera technicians” (people who shoot photos for a living such as wedding or commercial photographers). We are trying to create artwork with our photos.
Thus perhaps if we want to truly evolve as photographers and visual artists, we must re-define art and luxury as being essentially “anti-utilitarian” or “useless”.
I see productivity in two ways:
- Artistic productivity (good): Making lots of art-works, being prolific.
- Toilsome labor productivity (bad): Obsession with email, making more money, churning out more widgets more quickly.
The first is good — artistic productivity. We should avoid getting suckered into the second zone.
At the end of your life, you’re not going to wish you made more money or answered more emails. You’re going to wish you made more artwork, traveled more, experienced more, thought more, and challenged yourself more.
Always start from the end-game and work your way backwards (the “straight line” philosophy in life).
Be bold, brazen, and ridiculous in all aspects of your life and never stop evolving and making art!