When we’re creating, we’re always striving for the outcome to be something meaningful that will inspire and connect with people. The recent passing of Hillman Curtis highlighted how precious life is and what his creative achievements were and how they will live on in his works and wise words. I remember having my mind opened to an entirely new way of thinking when I read his book MTIV: Process, inspiration and practice for the new media designer.
This induced a spell of personal reflection – what about me? Indeed, what about ‘we’ – what do we leave behind as creatives? What is our creative legacy?
I recently discovered my Grandfather’s old cigar box filled with his old drawing equipment from the 60’s. He was a technical draftsman for a motor company. His pencils remain in the same condition that they were last used in; slightly blunt, knife sharpened marks on the tip.
Like him, my Father went on to shape a career in technical drawing as an architect. He has his own equipment and methods in the medium. In my discipline I use traditional hand crafted methods as well as digital techniques.
The individual practices may differ, but the common factor is that each of us has a volume of work to look back at. In this case it may be large flat drawers full of intricate precise line work. But for everyone else it could be a timeless design, a building, tagline, a single memorable photograph, a charity film or a series of illustrations. A creative legacy is made up of accomplishments and achievements.
My underlying thought is that sometimes it doesn’t hurt to stop and take stock of what you have achieved, and then objectively seek what you would like to do next. You’re continuously crafting your own creative legacy so it’s important that it becomes something that you can be proud of one day. If life’s a pitch, what’s your leave behind?