There is an expatriate living in Los Angeles. He is older, with a hint of gravel rolling under his accent, and rambles through thoughts with the finesse of a 1950's Porsche changing gears. His appearance is charming, conjuring visions of a Frenchman influenced by the style of Japanese workman cum vintage Americana. His name, is Clive Piercy.
Clive is a Graphic Designer by day and a pop culture cartographer by night. He passionately studies the past and present of photography, art, design, architecture, and fashion, piecing it together in a rather nontraditional way; that is to say, he maps out influencers and the influenced, rather than chronologically charting the historical time line of style and movement. He describes his basement office as the dungeon from Silence of the Lambs, which is incredibly creepy and somehow perfectly suited to his off kilter sensibilities. He sits at his desk, pouring over page after page, night after night, everything transforming into mental resource for him to draw inspiration from when the time comes.
He is the design worlds Library of Congress.
After hearing him speak at a community event at Apolis (in LA's Artist District), I walked away feeling slightly... off. He deeply understands the value of knowing where things come from, knowing their origin and the influences behind their creation. This is an idea lost on a generation that simply wants to create and be "original"; a people group that wants desperately to be known and in the process has lost the value of knowing. Clive, spoke of work being inspired by, rather than copied ("young designers today are great at downloading jpegs, I mean they are spectacular at it!"), because there is, in fact, a difference. Every thread of thought is stitched intentionally through the fabric of his mind; pieces that may not seem to go together at first, suddenly find their perfect form in the final quilted design concepts he places on the table.
I felt off when leaving because I now want to know more. I need to know more. He sparked a desire to understand, to seek out, and to question.
After his talk I went home and dusted off my Bumble and Bumble Hair Stories magazines, devouring the pages with a ferocity I thought to be long gone. It was invigorating and scary. I, for the first time in a long time, want to study under someone who knows more than me, to learn from a master, because (and this may shock you) I don't know everything (I KNOW). I researched tools and looked at classes from some of the most prestigious hair stylists in the industry, where before I saw an intimidating price tag, I now saw an opportunity to learn, to advance my skills and further my craft.
Where is your inspiration coming from? What do you want to learn? Whatever it is, follow it, trust your passion; it will lead you where you need to be (unless it is forging art, joining the cartel or making meth... then maybe reconsider your creative outlets).
Clive, if you see this... thank you. You are a gem of man and I am thankful to have been able to hear you speak.