By the looks of this blog, you might think we over here at Alstin eat, breathe and sleep all that is recruitment and retention. Every so often we’ll stray from the HR talk and bring you more on some of our favorite things, places and activities that also populate our daily lives.
I enjoy being able to make my living doing graphic design, which I tend to think of as aesthetic problem solving in two dimensions. Coming up with something that not only works, but does so with a twist brings a lot of satisfaction. Being able to do so under the absurd timeframe of contemporary deadlines adds to that feeling. And yet, as a creative endeavor, it’s missing something…
Call me old-fashioned, but knocking something out on the computer, either to end up online, viewable by millions, or as a brochure that might be seen by hundreds or even thousands, lacks a tactile individuality. One postcard looks like all the other printed ones, and if you wanted more, just call the printer. The masthead on this blog looks the same to everybody on their own screens. The designs may be effective, but they’re not precious.
One could say that my hobby is starting hobbies. I’m a poly-amateur (from the Latin “amare”-to love), and find that most of the pursuits I engage in revolve around having something to hold, hear, or taste. They’re one-offs, culminations of efforts that are intimate expressions of myself.
A recent loss of a Danish Modern figure in an ebay bidding war started me down the path to woodcarving this past winter (I thought I could do just as well). I started off with a stylized teak cat, followed it up with a number of 2″ tall teak woolly animals (mammoth, buffalo, rhinos, another mammoth), an oak manta ray, and finally an 8″ tall mammoth made from black cherry with poplar tusks. All that within the span of six weeks before losing interest (at least for now).
When I look at the pieces, I do like the way they look, but I LOVE the way they feel in my hands and in my heart. Their weight, their polish, and their smell are all intimate sensory experiences, but what I appreciate the most about them is their uniqueness and individuality–their preciousness. - j