Abstract turned out to be a seriously cool show. I usually don’t watch many things that take a long time, I have trouble focusing on movies and such, but this completely grabbed my attention. Abstraction is always a really tough but interesting topic to talk about. I think this is because abstraction is just that: abstract. It’s an obscure way of thinking that is tough to identify with, unless the abstraction isn’t too abstract or it’s properly displayed. Too abstract, like the illustrator in the first episode mentioned, and nobody understands what you’re trying to convey. Too realistic and not abstract enough, and most people don’t like the realism that they see.
The commonalities between the illustrator and Tinker Hatfield, the world-renowned shoe designer are that they both need to constantly innovate and create new abstractions of their work. They typically find some topic or inspiration and then they run with those ideas, developing and learning about the deep inner workings of those ideas or subjects. They then continue to develop the abstraction in their own mind and workings, and continue their own creative process. This is where the process really deviates from person to person and from subject to subject.
The abstraction definitely is a personal thing and nobody can say for sure how well it will be perceived by masses, so I think that generally people keep their abstractions widely understandable. A good abstraction always adds depth to regular thoughts and adds details and thoughts to them and also allows for the consumers interpretation.