I’m Russ Mary–and I make shit.

I spent enough time in the field—and in academia—to call out the idea of ad-libbing bullshit in the hopes of justifying what-in-God’s-name you create and trying to quantify it as “art”.

I hate this notion that one needs to explain their methods for others to grasp what they are trying to accomplish. In the guise of art / artists, this is welcomed; complex theory and ideas means interpretations vary. Hours are spent mulling over just what the “artist” (and I use that term loosely in most cases) meant and is implying. Argument against war? Pandering to some sort of victim group? Or perhaps trying to one-up each other in their social circles by predicting the inner-workings of the mind in the complex meaning of human feces smeared on a wall.

I love the idea of design—we are tasked in making sure there is one message and that message is understood by the intended audience. Point A to point B—anything else is technically filler. No fuss, no muss.

Let’s be frank for a second; designers are the middlemen behind trying to understand the gaggle of positive adjectives that our goofy clients try to push onto the audience, and we have to do that fine-line-walking to where we create succinct visuals that don’t make the guy that pays your bills look like a sociopath.

We are the proverbial gnashing teeth of the nonsense and the digestive tract for which a clear, linear message can be dropped off to the client. As disturbing as this picture is, artists discuss and bathe in the facade of bullshit, whereas designers internalize the outside world and compress the noise to make a message that fertilizes the audience.

In the most basic form—I make shit. Be up-front about it. Tell your friends. Don’t hide in secrecy. The more honest you are, the less dancing with the devil you’ll have to do.