Who was the most meaningful speaker to you? What exactly did you identify with and why? How do you envision the speaker's influence fueling you and your practice in the future?

For me, hands down, the most meaningful speaker was Chris Ro.

I was introduced to his work this past Fall. If you all remember in our Typography class we had to present a bilingual essay titled Eyes without Ears. Eyes without A Voice. Chris wrote that. When I was looking for the english translation, I stumbled across him and his work. The poetic way in which he talked about his experience really resonated with me. Then I looked up his work and was instantly intrigued.

Beyond the fact we’re both pretty self-deprecating by nature, I identified with a lot of what Chris talked about. For starters, his discussion of his background and the steps, although indirect, he took, resonated with me. I’ve mentioned it a lot this past week, but similar to him I too started out on a completely different trajectory and then through a series of unexpected events and following my own interests, I ended up here. With that, I appreciated how he chose to look at all the other experiences he’s lived as sources of inspiration and exploration, not as lost time or meaningless. Which, I think can be easy to do, especially in this day and age.

Chris’s discussion of logic vs. intuition also struck a chord with me. I loved that he took the time to remind us all to listen to and follow our intuition. I feel like sometimes that’s easy to overlook and I certainly have throughout my experiences. I sometimes struggle between what pre art and design school I called my artistic side and my mathematical side, but I now refer to as “listening to my eyes vs listening to my rulers and guides”. I know for myself, when I get overwhelmed, I can get extra focused on the small numbered detail and forget to take a step back and ask is this actually what I want it to look like? So hearing Chris talk about his own struggle and his decision to free himself from logic was really nice to hear. Moving forward, I definitely plan to incorporate more of that into my own creations.

With that, his discussion of exploration also resonated with me. I’ve been called out many a time for not exploring or making as much. Hearing Chris talk openly about his own exploration and where it’s led him made me wonder where some of my explorations could have taken me had I not written them off. For example, when Chris talked about how he originally explored the ink mistakes that old printers make, and that led him to more of his current work. I wondered what objects I have lying around the house that I can make use of their incorrectness. I have so much, and I am mindful of holding onto things I think might be useful for projects, but I seldom use the items. Instead, they end up collecting dust. So moving forward, I’m going to incorporate them more into my art. Class, be warned, by the end of this program I will have used all 12 of my neon inflatable hammers.

Lastly, Chris’s mention of Flow resonated with me. Just because I, like I’m sure all of us, know what it feels like to be in flow. And I love it there, but I struggle sometimes to get there. Moving forward, I’m going to start being more mindful of what gets me into Flow and with that, where my true interests lie.

3. Reflection