But please make sure baby, you’ve got some colours in there.

Calvin Harris said that in his song “Colours”.

I’ve been thinking a lot about colours recently. About how we don’t use them (or wear them) enough. And how great it can feel when you discover two colours that just sing when you put them together.

And then last night’s Flaming Lips gig in Sydney just cemented it for me. 

The Flaming Lips use colour with unabashed, joyful, childlike abandon. Their songs and albums often mention colour (two particular favourites of mine being “Yoshimi battles the pink robots” and “Tangerine”). And their gigs are riots of colour, awash with coloured balloons, confetti and amazingly luminous visual DJ animations.

Perhaps it’s because I’m short-sighted and seldom wear my glasses, but I often register whole sections of my life as washes of colour. Sydney in winter is a melange of browns, charcoals, greys and blacks, with a fleeting glimpse of red. My advertising and design work (and workplace) is endlessly and unrelentingly white, black and navy blue.

An art director who I once worked with once said frustratedly to my (extremely inexperienced and conservative) self. “Nic, you’ve got to start introducing colour into your work. If you keep on working with white space like that you’ll go mad in three years, I guarantee.”.

Well, he couldn’t be more right. Colour is a drug. It brings vibrancy and happiness and joy into our lives. We often view its use as unsophisticated and uncool – something childish and naive. But to my mind that’s its strength, not its weakness. And in these slightly drab times, frankly we could all use a bit of a pick-me-up.

So please make sure baby, you’ve got some colours in there.


~ by Niccola on July 29, 2009.

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