The Art of the Find

On a rare scroll through Twitter the other night, I stumbled across a blog I’d never seen before. Created by a designer and web developed named Reagan Ray.

Reagan is a curator. He collects things he loves, category by category, and shares them with the world. From famous Texans, to comic book super hero lettering, to his top 22 sci-fi films.

His most recent post takes you through the title lettering of all the Oscar Best Picture winners. From the 1927 Wings to Parasite. It’s a beautiful scroll. Having it all collected in one, clean place, allows you to look and make new connections and think in new ways about the work.

A section from Reagan Ray’s ‘Best Picture Lettering.’

Curation itself can be an art form – the act of actively looking for things you love, things that inspire you, and collecting those things from the corners of the world. That’s a gift for others to find. A place for others to find appreciation.

In a Wired interview, musician, Brian Eno, said:

“An artist is now a curator. An artist is now much more seen as a connector of things, a person who scans the enormous field of possible places for artistic attention, and says, What I am going to do is draw your attention to this sequence of things.

(Here’s the full quote for free)

Scrolling through my Pinterest boards, I see the collections of things that have inspired me visually. Flipping through my notebook, I see the quotes I’ve curated and documented in pen.

Looking through my movies-watched list, I can see patterns. Scrolling through my saved Instagram posts, I see phases of art as I scroll through months and years of saved artworks. Cartoons, then comic book illustrations, then lino-cut prints, then ultra minimalistic posters. Then architecture photographs, fashion illustration and logo designs. We are all curators in a sense.

Looking through your curated collections from seasons passed can show you what you cared about. What you liked best. What was making an impression.

What we curate doesn’t only help guide what we make or what we share, it also tells us about ourselves. It can invigorate us, or show us our own growth.

Curating doesn’t just document the world around us, it documents us.

1 thought on “The Art of the Find”

  1. Oh my gosh, yes. I heard an anecdote once about a Japanese secretary who took notes for a meeting between Japanese and American businessmen or something – afterwards, when the Americans received the notes and didn’t understand why they didn’t seem to accurately reflect what they’d experienced in the meeting, she said she had not recorded what was said but what hadn’t been said. Art absolutely happens in the choosing; what’s not there just as much as what’s present, order, arrangement, and the narrative of the experience. Love this.

    -LS

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