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  • Writer's pictureBradley DeRuiter

Tag. You're it!

Updated: May 28, 2018

I love it when a plan comes together!

 Customized Tags for Custom Knit Goods
Handmade Leather Tags by KiMiYA

I love it when a plan comes together!

As an artist and designer I’m generally up for most experimental endeavors,  but oh how satisfying it is when something you daydream about becomes reality.

It’s even more of a thrill when you impress yourself a little bit and you’re just tickled with how something turns out . It’s OK, I’m not bragging I’m just giving myself permission to rejoice and be a little excited. I have had plenty failed attempts at DiY projects and even explosions in my pottery kiln. We've driven a race car off of a cliff and thankfully lived to tell about it. We've lost tens of thousands of dollars in different business situations. A good plan coming together is about juggling freedom and risk management. Freedom to push the envelope in order to break through barriers of discovery and invention is a key component to creativity. Managing the risks involved to weigh value and safety is morally responsible. That is only heavy to think about when stakes are high and you are a test pilot like Chuck Yeager, attempting to break the sound barrier, let alone discover that a sound barrier exists. Juggling freedom and risk management isn't quite so daunting when it comes to mere art. Or is it? 

On a business trip last fall, I brought a copy of my book Gabriel's Blue Giraffe and the accompanying Blue Giraffe plush toy for my colleague's little girl. Once while on the phone with my colleague, I over heard her daughter complain about wanting to cut off a tag from a toy or piece of clothing, so I made sure that there was no tag on my curated plush toy when I brought it to give to her when we met in person on the trip. This got me thinking about design and function. I confess that I have a strong distain for tags and stickers. I hate peeling stickers off of my fruit and I completely avoid being the one to scrape stickers off of objects that I’ve purchased. It’s pretty pitiful when my fantasy world is occupied with daydreaming about how to sell my pottery, jewelry and knitwear without the frustration of itchy pokey sticky tags.

I have a bracelet that I purchased from Hustle and Hide and I love the little knobby middle gadget that you fasten it with and the buttery soft leather. I have some design ideas coming down the pike for leather earrings. My recent addiction is knitting. I don’t much like sewing or hand stitching things so I decided to see if I could figure out how to stamp, brand or burn leather to make my own tags. A little thing to note about myself, I really geek out when something is brilliantly multi-purposed. The fun thing with these tags that I’ve made for my knit wear, is that if you don’t want them left on your beanie or scarf you can take them off very easily without stretching out the yarn and you can use them to wrap your earbuds or your cords or anything else you need fastened together. 

Design Philosophy

Should design beget function or should function beget design?

So here is my philosophical unnecessary necessity pondering: Should design beget function or should function beget design? It’s kind of one of those, “Which comes first the chicken or the egg?” kind of questions. I’m kind of an idealist who loves it when my ideals become reality. Is it unnecessary to be so concerned with responsibility and jammed up with inhibiting lack of freedom when the stakes are not so high? Perhaps when there is not much risk, is precisely when we should should practice and flex our creativity muscles so that when the stakes are high, we will have the muscle memory to employ and bring what is necessary to leadership and responsible decision making.  What are you making? What your #WIP ? What plans have come together for you and which ones have you swore never to try again? Thank you for hanging out here with me in these musings. 

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