March 21, 2017

Mindfulness: The Heart of Art and Design

One of the goals I’ve been working on over the last few months has been to find a greater differentiation between art and design. Most will say that art asks questions while design provides answers, but I believe the true difference is that art is based purely on emotion and soul, whereas design is solving a problem using calculated methods. Art is created based on what an artist is feeling in the moment; at the heart of art is mindfulness.


I have been practicing mindfulness for a few years now – I know, so trendy. Throughout the past few years, the philosopher in me has found moments of inner peace. The friend in me has found more patience and consciousness throughout my day. The runner in me has found greater satisfaction during runs. But as an artist, I never realized how much power mindfulness holds.


Mindfulness practice concentrates on what we are experiencing in the current moment, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Mindfulness is often practiced through meditation and yoga – don’t worry, you don’t have to become a total hippie and stop wearing shoes or post to Instagram about your #yogaeveryday. With practice, mindfulness can be integrated into daily life. By living in the now, we are less likely to be worried about the future, or regret the past. We form deeper connections with those whom we spend our time with, and it is important to be aware of how these connections affect us when choosing who and what we surround ourselves with. But how can we practice mindfulness through art?


It is said that artists capture the ephemeral, capturing fleeting moments through their work. When we experience artwork, the artist’s memories become our present. How, you might ask. Although we may inevitably live in the eternal now, we can revisit our memories in our head. When we remember, our memory becomes our present moment – stay with me now – therefore, our past can become our present and our present can become our future. Essentially, artists are creating someone else’s future moment in their work, an exceptional power that should be handled with care.


As artists, we need to be mindful of this power when creating our eternal now. But as designers, we should also practice mindfulness in order to learn how to add emotion and soul into our otherwise predetermined solution.Other resources:

Photo of Lyn

Lyn Fonzi, Pace Setter at Fifth Letter, is constantly breaking in new running shoes and new ideas.