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My first “Brain” design!

You can laugh – most people would hardly call this a brain design! But it really is the first one I can recall creating that mentions the brain.

What was I thinking?

OK, this began as a photograph I took in Paris some years ago. It’s the Le Stryge (the vampire) gargoyle on the Notre Dame Cathedral. I didn’t know that at the time, but Wikipedia very kindly filled in the gaps in my knowledge. This medieval figure has been watching over the ever-changing Paris landscape for hundreds of years. You can’t tell from this angle, but the gargoyles served a functional purpose. The medieval builders were sort of like the Shakers that way, right? Ok, maybe not, but function and form were both extremely important to them. And back then, they had to create flying buttresses (extra angled walls) sticking out from structures to keep the walls from falling down and the roofs from collapsing in.

Plus, Gothic architects and builders were just starting to figure out how to incorporate windows without creating a structural fall-down hazards. They did a darn good job, didn’t they? Notre Dame is still standing. You may have heard about the stained glass windows in Notre Dame? There are these fancy rose windows that really show off what they could do.

Back to the gargoyles.

If a 21st century American were needing the function of the gargoyles, he would probably add utilitarian gutters and aluminum downspouts. Yep, the gargoyles were a rain control feature! Most of them could be seen with rain water spurting out of their mouths during a downpour. That kept the rain water a little away from the building and foundation and probably scared the bejeezus out of the illiterate population at the same time. I don’t know if the gargoyles were originally painted. Many medieval structures were once gloriously colorful. We think of them as classic stone and the painters would probably be crying at all that gray rock and wondering what happened to their brilliant red, yellow, blue and real gold designs!

So, this photograph got morphed through some delicious OnOne software and became the design you see now.

It struck me as I was looking at it that this vampire gargoyle actually looks tired, holding his head in his hands and sticking his tongue. After hundreds of years, he was really tired of sitting there with his wings still, looking at the streets and buildings of Paris.

I suddenly could relate! My brain was full of things to do, I was staring at a hundred projects that haven’t moved. So, Brain is tired. Can’t think anymore. was added to the sticker version of this design.

This is really how things get created, you know. So much depends on what is going on in the designer’s life at the moment!

How does the Le Stryge gargoyle’s expression strike YOU? What kinds of products does he belong on – if any?

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