Monstress Mid-Living: Progress Report 01

I was overwhelmed by the response to my survey! 56 respondents right off the bat–and still counting! I’ve been using the data to help me start delving into some themes for the project and already I am blown away by the flood of ideas I am having. After 15 years of working as a professional designer, I have become convinced that gleaning data from people is an essential part of my workflow, no matter where on the fine art / commercial design continuum I am working from.

Google survey form results

A shot of the data so far…

Data is just gold, man. As simple as my survey was, it means I am at least attempting to create from a place of circumspection, not navel gazing. There is a practice in interaction design called Persona Creation: you basically use research to help you come up with a realistic ideal user, a fictional character who becomes a testing tool for your team. I have never been lucky enough to see it done well. Too often, I watched as teams basically created a virtual yes-man, always happy with their choices. This is not a condemnation of the practice: once again, I am sure it is great when actually done well.

I just really like to hear directly from people. I’m at a phase in my life when my time is so limited, I cannot risk going down too many garden paths before finding  some nuggets of truth. I need traction now, and as my work draws on product design, I am really digging the overlay of the Design Cycle on my creative process.

So I am processing the answers, sketching, and I may print some tests for an initial sculptural idea tomorrow! Very exciting, very scary as well but I don’t feel so alone since I have some tacit collaborators already. Thank you all for contributing! More to come

Filed under: Art


Libby Clarke is an artist, designer, and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA in Printmaking from James Madison University and her MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Professionally, Libby has worked as an interaction art director for over 12 years for such companies as and Currently, she serves as an Assistant Professor at the New York College of Technology in Brooklyn, New York. As an artist, Libby has produced a series of multi-media conceptual products under the name Monstress Productions since 1996. She gives workshops and lectures across the United States on the intersection of art, activism, and technology, and her pieces are exhibited and collected internationally.