The Parador

Artful Awareness: Transforming Graphic Design into a Mindfulness Practice

Throughout the past century, modern graphic designers have mastered the duality of externally motivated commercial practice and internally motivated self-expression. For more than a decade, David Grey has explored a third perspective based on philosophical, scientific and spiritual teachings in perception, cognition and the nature of mind as the foundation of the creative process. The experiential wisdom of this holistic approach supports an entirely new ground and path for one’s design process by transforming the appreciation of design elements and principles into a lifelong practice of mindfulness, awareness, curiosity and heart felt joy. 


Studio Visit / Wed Jun 6 6:30 - 8

Exploring Graphic Design as Contemplative Art:
Ground, Path, and Fruition of a Mindful Design Practice

As individuals, we wander through landscapes cultivated by thought and concept. Because of this, graphic designers have a responsibility to develop a heightened sense of perception. We are attentive to the coincidence of opposites. We embrace the combination of deliberate application, serious effort and sudden surprise. We welcome the opportunity to play with image and symbol driven narratives, liquid and concrete properties of typography and the infusion of intuition and intellect. We are contemporary mystics, reflecting the present and visualizing the future.

The sensibility of such a mystic is nurtured by exploring graphic design as contemplative art. This practice expands space and provides support for designers to genuinely see the external phenomenal world and its interconnectedness to our thoughts and agendas, our hopes and fears. We break down boundaries of language and culture by connecting one’s primordial wisdom to the essence of design elements and principles, and by doing so, we are able to recognize that the manifestation of one’s creative path is the direct reflection of the mind’s view. Graphic design becomes much more than just an application of visual communication. It becomes a way of seeing. It becomes a way of appreciating. It becomes a way of being.


Workshop / Wed Jun 12 6:30 - 8

Artful Awareness: Meditation for Creative Minds

This workshop will introduce breathing meditation, calming techniques and mind-body synchronization exercises for use before and during the creative process. These practices focus attention, relieve creative pressure, and quicken sophisticated decision-making. Upon further exploration, individuals gain direct insight into the value of slowing down, being mindful, and relaxing into the "nowness" of the present moment. These practices are supplemented with seeing exercises and teachings on how we perceive, interpret, and project our individual experience of everyday phenomena.


David Grey

David Grey is the Chair of Visual Communications at Endicott College. Prior to this role, he was the founding chair of the Graphic Design Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He holds an MFA in graphic design from CalArts and a BA in psychology from Tufts University. Teaching a practice called "Artful Awareness", David has lead international contemplative design workshops at universities and cultural centers in Milan, Madrid, Berlin, Sao Paolo, New Delhi, Mexico City and, most recently, Kuwait. He is the founder of Sun Mountain School of Contemplative Art and the publisher of Cottage Scholar. In addition to his varied freelance client list, David has been the art director of Clae Footwear (an LA based skateboard company) and Palette Recordings (an LA based techno music label). As a balance to his commercial work, David explores the subtle energies of design elements and principles as mindfulness practice, resulting in large format prints made to "both uplift and ground the space in which they exist".



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