I just finished reading James Victore‘s book this weekend and it was truly a pleasure to read Victore’s background and description of his work and inspiration.
I had the pleasure of taking a week-long workshop in 2011 from James while I was studying at UW. The book was still in-process during our workshop, so every once in a while he would pull out a little notebook and jot down our really terrible ideas and say it was going to be in the book (to my knowledge, they weren’t, but that’s not to say there won’t be a Book 2). On the first day we all sat quietly circled around a gigantic work table at the center of the room and he rolled in like an urban cowboy (complete with boots and a worn jean jacket). He talked for a bit and we all stayed mute except for the odd nervous laugh until he said this quote Hafiz. Then he said it again. Then he said it again and demanded we write it down and wouldn’t continue until we all got out our notebooks and copied it, dammit.
Whether or not you like Victore’s design, he’s authentic. The same guts, grits, and passion that comes through when you meet him in person is present in his design and I love it. It took me forever to get the book and read it because I didn’t know what to expect. In my head, I imagined it would be like other art books I’ve encountered: a glossy pictures and humdrum descriptions.
I should have known that Victore’s book wouldn’t be like every one else’s — if the full-bleed black pages weren’t a give-away. It was really his story and thoughts more than just emphasis on his work.. It was was really interesting. He’s is a great communicator, he’s written tons of articles and does a weekly Q&A spreading the good word. Victore is basically your prototypical design hero who drops out of art school, does what he wants, and sticks to it so stubbornly that his clients are eventually charmed until he becomes A Big Deal—and I mean that in a good way. It’s what we all hope will happen. He designed what he was passionate about and wasn’t afraid to challenge his audience, and…never stopped. To me, Victore represents someone who has the courage to succeed and the courage to fail. I love it. Gusto. Panache. And all that jazz.
Recommended for any fellow design idealist.