And, of a truth, whoever has seen this work need not trouble to see any other work executed in sculpture, either in our own or in other times, by no matter what craftsman.
I was unprepared. We often are when we encounter something that moves us in a profound way.
Traveling throughout Italy with my wife on what was both a photo safari for Born to Design Photography, and a celebration of 15 years of marriage, we had come to our day in Florence (yes, I know, "one day in Florence? Have you gone mad!?!?!"). With tickets for the Accademia (home of Michelangelo's David) in hand, we were anxious to get our jam-packed day underway.
Upon finally entering The Accademia (which, by the way, was built specifically to house "the David"), I was taken aback by how large the sculpture is. It is located at the end of a hallway that is designed to make clear (in case you'd forgotten) the real reason you're here. . .
As we walked toward it, it's impact became even weightier. It is a VERY large piece – 14.5 feet tall. It was originally intended to sit atop a cathedral and viewed from a great distance below (which would have been a crime).
We walked all the way around, marveling at the insane craftsmanship before us. Then it hit me. A wave of emotion that was powerful, and unexpected. I turned to Kelly and whispered "wow, I feel like I'm gonna cry". I didn't – but it was close. I can't explain it other to call it "impact".
Michelangelo carved David when he was just 29 years old. It was finished in 1504, and I wonder if the artist himself could have predicted the emotional impact it would still have over 500 years later. I imagine he had no clue.
That's the way this kind of impact often happens – unexpectedly. Which can be frustrating for an artist. As a designer, I strive to create work that delivers an emotional impact; a wow-factor; a visual punch. But, like with David, we cannot completely predict how anything we create will be perceived and what kind of impact it will have on our audience.
I have presented concepts that I thought were out of this world, only to get a lukewarm reception from the client. On the flipside, I have also created designs that surprised me by how incredibly they impacted either a client, or the target audience.
We can know the audience, practice our craft, and create with a vision and purpose – but in the end, we need to leave room for the unexpected, emotional impact that goes well beyond anything we could have planned for or predicted.