Keep Your Eyes Open - Grace Coddington


There are moment's where I tell myself to keep my eyes open. Utilizing the five senses constantly is something that I strive for. I remember when I was a kid, I would always be looking out of the window of my grandma's car and five minutes later I'd fall asleep. I still to this day, fall asleep if I'm in the backseat or even sitting in the front with my Mom when we head to the lake house. Maybe I should get that checked out? My boss at work recommended that I watch the "The September Issue" in which is a small documentary about Anna Wintour and Vogue in creating the five pound issue of Vogue in 2007. In all honesty, I was more intrigued with Grace Coddington's story. I've somewhat confided in her and Identified with her. She was one of the most humble people in the film along with her being a stylist and fighting for her work. She and Anna would constantly butted heads and even at some point, some of Grace's work was removed from the issue. Trust me, It's not hard to hear but it happens. I've been with companies and they've decided not to use my work. At first it hurt, but in the end you realize its not you. It's just something that happens in the creative world today. With being a designer this can be a reality with the "big boy" world as my father calls it. There's always someone that you're emailing or contacting and such. But in my mind that's the thrill of it. As designers we have to have an open eye to the world around us and to keep listening for those natural cues that will inspire us to the daily. Always look for inspiration. Even when you're in a place that you wouldn't think that you can find it, look a little harder.

The 5 Sense

Sight: (eyes) are like a lense. Refracting light and collecting information from the world around us utilizing your two peepers.  front of the eyeball helps to focus images onto the retina at the back of the eye. The retina is covered with two types of light sensitive cells – the cones and the rods. The cones allow us to see color and the rods allow us to see better at night and also aid us in our peripheral vision. All of this information is sent to the brain along the optic nerve.

Touch: (hands) textures and tactile. Nerve endings are on the edges of your fingers and they send information to the brain. There are 4 touch sensations:  cold, heat, contact, and pain. Hair on the body are almost like sensory receptors and create early warning systems for the body.

Taste: (tongue) Our sense of taste comes from the taste buds on our tongue. These buds are also called papillae (say: puh-pih-lee). But, the sense of smell also affects our taste.The tongue is only able to taste four separate flavors: salty, sweet, sour and bitter. But, you might ask, how come different sweet foods taste different if there are only four flavors? That's because your favorite candy might be a combination of sweet and salty. And the chips in your chocolate chip cookie could be a combination of sweet and bitter. Everything you taste is one or more combinations of these four flavors.

Smell: (nose) Our nose is the organ that we use to smell. The inside of the nose is lined with something called the mucous membranes. These membranes have smell  connected a special nerve, called the olfactory nerve. Smells are made of fumes of various substances. The smell receptors react with the molecules of these fumes and then send these messages to the brain. Our sense of smell is capable of identifying seven types of sensations. These are put into these categories: camphor, musk, flower, mint, ether, acrid, or putrid.

Listen (ears): Our ears, which help us hear, are made of two separate parts: the outer ear and the inner ear. The outer ear is the part that others see. It works like a cup to catch sound as it travels past our heads. This part is made of cartilage and skin.From here, sound travels to the tympanic membrane and then onto the inner ear via the three smallest bones in your body. The inner ear is also called the cochlea and is a spiral shaped tube which translates vibrations into sound and sends that message to the brain through the auditory nerve. The brain uses the sounds from both the left and the right ear to determine distance and direction of sounds.

How to use the 5 senses

Sight: I'm not going to say that this one is the most influential one but it's one of the larger ones.  Seeing color systems, products, nature, etc etc is a big way to gain inspiration. 

Touch: touch all of the things. Paper, plants, anything. Texture is a huge thing and it can be utilized in a plethora of ways. Interiors, graphic design, industrial design, product design, etc etc 

Taste: Flavors are a powerful

Smell: This is probably one of my favorites. I love plant life, perfumes, and food. These are all things that extremely powerful and can pull back a memory. Smell is one of the most powerful things that can correlate with nostalgia. 

Hearing: This is a big one for me. I have sensitive ears and I spook like a horse. Music, sounds, nature...It's all relative. 

You can find inspiration in everything.

You just have to be willing to find it !