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NEWS & EVENTS

KISS: Pelican Gray, Stone Cold and Katy

Keep it simple, stupid.


I was first introduced to the KISS design principle when I was 10 years old and competing for an art scholarship at the Dayton Art Institute. For "try out" day, I had to bring an original piece of artwork and then complete timed "challenges" (like making something out of clay or drawing a still-life) while being judged. This was a really big deal and looking back...it seems like an inordinate amount of stress for a fifth grader! Fortunately, we had a family friend who was a very successful commercial artist (if I remember right, he was working on a national Motorola campaign at the time??). He came over to help me brainstorm what I would create. At some point during that anxiety-ridden afternoon, he says to me bluntly "Keep it simple, stupid."  I was devastated. I thought he was calling me stupid...right to my face...my little 10-year old face. I sucked it up while he was there, but cried and cried for days afterward. It's funny now...but it wasn't funny then!  But you know what? He made his point and it made a huge and lasting impression on me.


So that was a long-winded way of saying sometimes the prettiest, most functional things are the simplest things. Today's mani is three polishes served three ways: China Glaze Pelican Gray, a light shimmery cool gray with a matte topcoat; China Glaze Stone Cold, an awesome textured matte charcoal black with silver specks; and Zoya Katy, a slightly metallic shimmery magenta with a shiny coat of Seche Vite.


Epilogue: I've since discovered that the phrase "Keep it simple, stupid!" wasn't coined by a genius starving artist, but rather a Lockheed Martin Skunk Works engineer. Skunk Works is the Advanced Programs Development arm of the company known for the F-117 Nighthawk and the F-22 Raptor aircraft. The KISS phrase is common US Air Force terminology, specifically when talking software development. So all these years later, at my day-job in the defense industry, I'm still hearing people say "Keep it Simple, Stupid" - but for very different reasons. At least now I don't cry about it!

BTW...I got the scholarship that year and two more years after that. It was a great experience.