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How to develop aesthetics?

To begin with, it is worth understanding that aesthetes are not superhumans or beings from another planet. Although an aesthete is a sensitive person who perceives beauty on a purely intuitive level, everyone can develop a sense of beauty in themselves.

 

girl in a forest
Illustration by Tommy Parker

 

It is unnecessary to work in a library or museum, write critical articles, and be a writer or an artist. You don't need some gift to see more in ordinary things than others do. The inner aesthete lives in everyone.

We most often learn about the actual aesthetics of things and the world around us. They don't teach it in school. Understanding aesthetics is one of the distinguishing features of an intelligent person. The inner aesthete is the side of the personality that everyone has to cultivate independently. And this is a path that you either choose for yourself once or avoid.

1. Read Good Books

And yes, we could write about the list of Brodsky or the 200 best books according to the BBC, tell us what influence the classics have on us. But we are still talking about design here, so our advice is "read good design books". Make your list of the best books and periodically return to it. Make bookmarks. Here are some books to look out for:

 

  • Fantasia, Bruno Munari
  • How to See: Visual Adventures in a World God Never Made, George Nelson
  • By Design 2nd edition: Why There Are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV and Other Object Lessons, Ralph Caplan
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
  • Envisioning Information, Edward R. Tufte
  • Design, Form, and Chaos, Paul Rand

 

girl work at home
Illustration by Tommy Parker

2. Participate in Contests

"How will participating in the contest help me develop my aesthetics? What kind of nonsense?" - you say. And we will tell you that being in a community like you will be useful. At competitions, you can get inspiration and honorary prizes if you win and find customers.

 

Illustration by Tommy Parker

 

Also, contests are often about creativity, not about commerce, and plenty of aesthetics there. See the work of other participants and highlight the coolest ones. Become a critic: think about how you could make their masterpieces better.

 

Here are a few contests that you can participate in:

 

3. Go to Museums

Yes, during the world lockdown period, there are problems with physical trips to museums. But what's stopping you from making tea, snuggling in your favorite chair, and exploring museums online? Take screenshots of your favorite paintings analyze them.

 

Illustration by Tommy Parker

 

What was it about Van Gogh that got you so hooked? A trick of the light? A combination of yellow and blue paint? Write it down and use it in your work.

 

4. Put On Your "Tourist" Glasses

Coming to a new country, many of us walk with a sinking heart, admire every pattern on the buildings, and notice all the snow-white pigeons are flying overhead. It's like putting on glasses that make the world look brighter and the grass look greener. And at home, in the bustle of the days, we do not notice what beauty surrounds us.

 

Illustration by Tommy Parker

 

Take a closer look at the architecture of your city's buildings, parks, and nature. You will find much beauty around you. Again, ask what kind of architectural monument is near your house, and also after whom the street where you live is named. Believe, and life will become more attractive. Walk around your hometown and make sketches. So not only will you be able to catch the inspiration, but also to develop aesthetics.

5. Steal Like an Artist

The necessary skill of a web designer is atmosphere and style. If you look closely at the best examples of corporate styles, you can see that these are rather restrictions and not what the thing should be. Designers like to show the Coca-Cola logo as an example of style and atmosphere.

 

Illustration by Tommy Parker

 

In the example of Coca-Cola, you can see several style attributes. This color is a branded bottle with a "skirt", a particular slope of lines, and a logo. Thanks to these attributes, we recognize Coca-Cola unmistakably. And this corporate identity is already "sewn" into the heads of most people. This is the essence of creating an atmosphere and style on the site — using already established patterns of recognition of a particular object, brand, or service. Try to create something new in an already well-known corporate style. Yes, it will be a copy, but it will help you get inspired and develop an aesthetic taste.

 

If you want to continue to understand the world of creativity and thinking, read the article about creative process here.

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