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July 29, 2005

A quick retort

A quick retort
brings it back to nought

the ball is in
no ones caught

to walk away
is the only play

but defiant now
he calls a foul

she must serve again
and not refrain

from aiming for
the deepest flaw

she spots it now
in quivering brow

shoots to win
takes home the grin

Posted by natalija at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2005

A simple thing that warmed my spirit

madang_coast1.jpg

It is a suprisingly amazing feeling to look up at the sky as you are about to set off for a walk and just before you do, you fix your gaze upon a palm tree a few metres away. Then as your eyes rest on its huge leaves, one of them begins to gently tear itself from the tree, bending over backwards, easing itself off and dropping with a tremendous thud to the earth.

It’s watching nature. It’s catching a moment you’ve never seen before, you just happened to look at that exact second.

So trees do fall in the woods and I not only heard it, I saw it.

Posted by natalija at 1:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2005

Design by committee

This is such a common experience for designers, where multiple stakeholders are making design choices which you as the designer are encouraged to implement. They begin to forget you are the one with the expertise and the vision and instead you become the person to satisfy all tastes…
eg: Person A and B love the blue in logo 1, but C hates it, so we have to lose it to make sure everyones happy. They all think yellow is OK, so we go with that. Then someone suggests brown is good and due to their position in the committee, everyone nods. So now we have yellow and brown, then there is the design itself, 4 people want design 1 and 2 people want design 2, so design 1 wins. Then we add the brown and yellow to it and have the final logo.

Design by committee, completely pointless, completely subjective and completely depressing when looking at the final mishmash of a design.

The designer needs the skill to convince the committee from the outset that they will be consulted with for their perceptions of the company but should trust the designer’s recommendations based on this research and their years of expertise. I’d like tips on how this idea of “designer as expert” can be sold. Anyone?

Posted by natalija at 12:21 PM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2005

In a PNG nutshell

Leave on wood

Things that started out as sweet or interesting and now grate:

The sound of the brothers in the room next door reading prayers and singing hymns every evening between 5.45-6.15, promptly followed by frail old Brother Hugo going downstairs in the room directly below me and attempting to play the same sad and flat “tune” on his trumpet, I’m yet to pick a / the melody.

Being woken at 5am every morning to the tireless screeches of hundreds of bats and birds in the massive tree outside my window.

…. and now to the things that are still fresh and beautiful:

Eating a cream bun at the bakery that I saw locals eating and just wanted to try, it was a huge bright mustard coloured bun with the fakest cream you ever saw and sprinkled with coconut, it was an evil sin in the midday heat but I loved it!

Going to the markets and being able to buy a pile of 10 sweet potatoes for 50 cents.

Trying a Galip nut which grows in the wild, which you peel the thin brown layer off and it sort of looks like cabbage all compressed together and tastes a bit like flower petals (they once were) but then turns into a macadamia kind of taste. mmmm!

Going to eat lunch at the fish markets. Women sit at tiny tables along the riverside with freshly cooked fish and sweet potato, coconut rice and more. Behind them other women are in boats fishing. It all seems so right! & I got a large piece of mackerel for 1 buck!

Having six women staff eager to learn graphic design while I’m here. It’s going to be a crash course over the next 4 weeks. I think I’ll be writing a book on that one, considering that I’m going to have to write it! I think it will be called “Understand good design in 3 hours”.

Sitting in water on the edge of an island being fed coconut and cooked bananas.

Posted by natalija at 7:47 AM | Comments (1)