Drawing Rectangles

Connie Liu

A digital painting of a focused woman sitting on the ground and drawing a rectangle

For so long I had thought product design was my dream job. It combines art, technology, and impact — a perfect field (and perhaps less stressful) for someone who wanted to be a storyboard artist. However, as I got into design, it just felt like consulting with the added responsibility of drawing rectangles. It wasn’t that innovative, and a lot of design was focused on making it as usable as possible, which meant falling in line with general UX practice of how screens should look. As a result, my thinking also became more methodical and logical and predictable.

In my piece, the girl is drawing a rectangle, but even more so we see that it’s a source of light — she’s fraying the hard border into something softer, more organic. A mindset breakthrough from the cynicism. A sign there’s more to discover. It’s my hope that despite the reductionist view I and many others hold about design, there’s a source of brightness in looking at it beyond rote work, in looking at the bigger picture.

Connie Liu is a rising senior at Cornell interested in sustainable systems and meandering on the internet. In her free time she likes illustration and finding hidden spots in cities.