I am busy decluttering and regrouping for the new year. My ‘intentions’ have been mind-mapped.
‘Make more art’ has made it into the top three key elements. As well as committing to the 365 project again, I have included:
- Experiment bravely
- Fill more sketchbooks
- Embrace failure (mistakes are spellbooks)
- Enter competitions
- More intentional image-making
- Visit more galleries, more regularly
Recent random thoughts…
Will the recent change to the character limit on Twitter and how we refine our propositions. It is often said that distillation is a creative superpower. Trying to portray an idea in a single image sometimes feels as hard as trying to articulate a challenge or a problem in one word in the business environment. We watched the movie Arrival last week which led me to read up on the (now discredited) Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and linguistic relativity. Does the use of say, emojis, change the way we think?
Useful insights from Jeremy Bullmore, non-exec director of ad agency WPP: “By definition, a good creative brief contains a bold hypothesis. To generate hypotheses you need to speculate: you need to progress from the known to the unknown. But you cannot paint the future in the colours of the past. Other people’s imaginations need to be engaged, excited, signed on as accomplices. And the choice of the language you use is not arbitrary and inconsequential; for an insight to have real potency, the language in which it is couched is at least as important as the inner truth itself. For an insight to have real potency, literal accuracy is less important than its power to evoke.”
Bullmore also famously wrote: “People build brands as birds build nests, from scraps and straws we chance upon.” and then declared it to be demonstrably untrue here. He makes the point that birds intentionally seek materials for nest-building. We must always put in the work.
Talking about market research he says, “Giving high potency to an insight is an intensely creative act: it requires a massive injection of imagination. As with any other creative act, it also demands an understanding of what is already in the receiver’s mind; and just as importantly, what is not already in the receiver’s mind. Metaphors, similes and analogies work only when the reference points are already familiar to their audience.”
I seem to recall Mark Twain saying, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”
This is a wonderful perspective: http://www.thebookoflife.org/art-is-advertising-for-what-we-really-need/
“If advertising images are to blame for instilling a sickness in our souls, the images of artists are what can reconcile us with our realities and reawaken us to the genuine, but too-easily forgotten value, of particular bits of our lives.” We know that art is appropriated by advertising and vice versa and in our spectacle society wheels turn within astonishing wheels. There are some good examples here of where the two overlap.
I regularly see ads in street art format on the walls of buildings in Shoreditch. If I must be bombarded with sales messages, I personally would rather see this aesthetic than traditional outdoor poster sites. But it infuriates some of the street artists who will spray over the messaging and admonish against the commercialisation.
Is the constant digital feedback loop for consumers – and the behavioural analysis that is now technologically possible – different from the classic advertising persuasion piece? This seems to be much more in favour of the individualism of the target, albeit rather creepy when machines ‘know’ so much from our browsing history.
Having rarely worked with a tripod except when shooting video, I am surprised by how detached I feel from the experience, compared with holding the camera up to my face. The slower process is enjoyable and I can understand why Alec Soth favours this with his portraits of strangers. There is time for a connection to form with the subject matter but it feels more like the camera is doing the job, rather than the photographer. Odd.