As young designers, we tend to feel misdoubt of being influenced by someone in the process of design, and it can often cause our brain not to produce what we actually want. As we live for centuries, there have been so many great artists who have gone great guns; therefore, they all cause us a kind of fear. But of course, this feeling shouldn’t hinder our way of thinking. In a world where we have so many works of our art fields, it is easy to feel anxious about being influenced; yet, it is also the key to lead us to be a creative artist if we’re able to use it wisely.
Design, being a part of the art, carries its creator’s trace on it. We are constituted by our experiences and can create a work of art with the help of these experiences. Our identity forms our pieces. Designers are able to combine what they are able to see with their feelings. In doing so, sometimes they may feel uncomfortable in their process. Since the earlier times, there have been so many drawings, logos, shapes and artists who have formed them. After having seen all, young designers are liable to withdraw themselves and turn their steps towards completely a different field. This feeling is likely to happen because there are so many people whom they can compare themselves. There is one originality and everything has come from it. Therefore, designers think that they may distort their predecessor’s works if they design something just because the piece they want to produce will carry an influence. Here does the problem occur. Does getting influenced have an advantage or a disadvantage?
Learning what design is and what people have put forth for the sake of design is one of the main aims in this process. That a young designer may be affected by a predecessor is quite normal. We all have a mentor in our lives because they’re here to share what they’ve learned in their experiences. The young one doesn’t need to feel bad because eventually, it’s in the hands of the artist.
Influence is a condition in which people want to shape their behaviors, ideas, feelings according to a person whom they admire. They identify themselves with these people in a way. But it’s important to know that influence can occur unconsciously, too. We aren’t able to decide whom to accept or reject. It’s our mind that has seen the keystone of our artwork and we just can’t be aware of that all the time.
Designer means to stay as a student until her/his last breath. There’s no limit to their knowledge. That’s why, a strong designer should see his predecessor’s works, naturally should be influenced by them. If it weren’t necessary, there wouldn’t be any teacher since the original artist. Being affected by a person doesn’t mean to copy their signatures. According to Oscar Wilde, a young artist, who follows an old artist’s way, has become “an echo of someone else’s music.” Being an echo, the young one just makes the old music alive and s/he is creating another music with the trace of the old one, which is something more difficult than having a simple originality.
A highly successful American graphic designer Michael Bierut, whose graphics have come to the life on the streets of New York, worked for Vignelli Associates when he came to the city. Working with Vignelli for years, Bierut recognized him as his mentor and started working under the impress of Vignelli. His designs now look like another branch of the same tree Vignelli has seminated. Bierut has never seen Vignelli’s impact on him something negative and neither he has copied his graphics; indeed, he has been in the desire of learning from Vignelli’s experiences in the whole time. He has learned the responsibility that a designer should have in the world coming from Vignelli’s impact on him. He was aware of the burden of working with Vignelli as a designer but eventually, he got over this hardship and put his signature to several important designs.
“Every single opportunity has the potential to be something that might have some impact on people’s daily lives,”
All of the artists have the ‘eureka’ moment in their lives. You can have it while drinking your coffee, while sitting in your room or in a museum. It doesn’t matter wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. But after the enthusiasm you feel in these moments, it’s meaningless to get afraid that YOU are copying someone. You constitute your works from your experiences that have been shaped by the forms you’ve seen in your lifetime. That something triggers the birth of the idea in your mind doesn’t mean that you’re giving birth to something that has already existed. God created Adam and Eve, we have existed for centuries and have been reproduced in the exact form they have; however, we all have our unique features both physically and mentally. We’re all different human beings.
The world has done something until now, but you have the key to make another difference on it. There has been always an apple in the world but Ronald Wayne has immortalized it with a simple bite and made the logo of Apple Inc universally famous. It has been always the same in each field of art.
Our mentors have been with us to help us find out what they couldn’t do. Overcoming the anxiety of the influence, we will be the creative designers and we inherit our artworks and experiences to the younger generation and they will be the echoers of our songs in this endless circle of art.