I work with visual art professionals every day. Most often I use art references to suggest a style, a palette or a tonality that is appropriate to the brand that we are working on. I always get blank faces.

We need to put the thirst back in design professionals to be aware, appreciative and understand art. Art is an expressive reinterpretation of personal and social experiences. Art can question and answer conundrums that haunt humanity today. So my thursday posts are going to be about the artists who inspired me.

Our design school had an impressive library called the Resource Centre. It was a comfortably cool expanse of tables piled with books and chairs under a large vaulted ceiling. And behind the librarian’s offices, there were tall shelves of aromatic old books. This is where I met most of my artists. One of my first such acquaintances was Paul Klée. A bright yellow vermilion fish on a black background with blue scribbles invited me to his work – the golden fish.

Paul Klee (German: [paʊ̯l ˈkleː]; 18 December 1879 – 29 June 1940) was a Swiss-German artist. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually deeply explored color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory (Schriften Zur Form und Gestaltungslehre), published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are held to be as important for modern art as Leonardo da Vinci’s A Treatise on Painting for the Renaissance. He and his colleague, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, both taught at the Bauhaus school of art, design, and architecture. His works reflect his dry humor and his sometimes childlike perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and his musicality. WIKIPEDIA more

His simplicity of form and the organic colour palette has always been an inspiration. As a graphic designer, I have enjoyed the refined minimalist, almost vector art like quality in his work.  Scroll up and enjoy the Temple Gardens painted in 1920 – Gouache and Ink on paper.

It is important to note that Paul Klee was one of the masters of ‘Form’ at Bauhaus from 1921 to 1931 in Dessau. Bauhaus as a movement made a huge impact, or can I say, was the birthplace of modern design.