"beauty and perfection need a kick in the balls."
A manifesto for designers in a creative rut.
Designers, like most artists, can suffer from creatively stifling perfectionism. How can they be shaken out of this crummy state of mind?
Solution: The Bad and Ugly Manifesto is a zine for creatively blocked designers. Inspired by punk and Dada, it includes laws to get designers thinking subversively about their work. Moreover, the book's disheveled, handmade aesthetic is meant to show readers that, every so often, it's fine to make things that just look plain shitty. :)
NOTE: The state of this zine was so bad (and ugly (I smeared it with some weird dirt)), I threw it out for fear of it rotting away in my room...
Dear designer in a rut,
At this very moment, you’re uncreative as hell. Let me tell you why.
Long, long before you got to where you are now— which is STUCK— you were one of the kids that was a little different. The type that drew, or daydreamed, or joked around too much, so much that it worried the adults around you. You were the kind of kid that saw and did things differently (from the rest in Pre-K). Now, during this creative block, you kinda suck. Why? Because you’re striving for perfection. You’re longing to be taken seriously. You’ve gotta FORGET that and find the PUNK kid in you. Luckily, there’s a way: it’s called The Bad and Ugly Manifesto. Pick it up sometime when you’re ready to stop being lame and start being a rockstar again.
Figuring it out
1. We will always start our work from a space of negativity— rage, boredom, etc.
2. We will pay no mind to logic and embrace irrationality
3. We will subvert functionality
4. We will never not question the illusion of the mainstream
5. We will always seek to provoke and never to comfort
6. We will never treat our projects preciously
7. We will detach our egos from what we create
8. We will not dwell on past decisions and keep on making
The Ecce Homo (in the banner at the top of this page) is the mascot of The Bad and Ugly Manifesto because it's a viral example of an ugly masterpiece.
I made this project because I NEEDED to. I mean, I was in my last semester of design school, and I was fed up with constantly maintaining high standards for my work, everything having to make sense and look beautiful and all. I had the opportunity to create whatever I wanted in one particular class, and I took the chance to make something raw and conceptual. It was worth it in the end, as I got to experiment with a uniquely fun and expressive form of writing that caught the attention and empathy of my classmates during our final critiques.
Fun fact: I can’t lie. Like Marta Cabrera in Knives Out (will the knife references ever end?), dishonesty disagrees with me. That’s how I say what needs to be said. That's what I bring to my work-- unobscured, meaningful communication.
I was born in NYC, raised by Polish immigrant parents. My superpowers include an inability to smell (undeniable lifesaver in this city) and the energy to dance all night long (practice from countless Polish parties). I am a lover of beauty, so much that I document my findings in this visual diary. Reach out to chat in a hybrid bookshop/dance club/cafe sometime. :)