In September of this year the touring Bodywork exhibition, or to give it its…
PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
SOURCE BLOG: Long. Strange.Trip.
-by Jim Starr
I’m about to sound a bit self-contradictory, but bear with me.
I love creative people, in all their wacky, whimsical, wavering ways; I am one after all. But I’ll also be among the first to acknowledge how troublesome their – our –wacky, whimsical, wavering ways can be.
Perhaps the stereotypical trait that troubles me the most is the whining. Any of my former charges, those writers, designers, and photographers who’ve had the misfortune to have me as Creative Director, can tell you how uncharitably I react to complaints that sound like victimhood. That may be because I grew up among people who lived through much more troubling life events, so now, in the context of the workplace, over a relatively minor disappointment, that charge can sound hollow to me.
But even in the case of a legitimate complaint, the “poor little me” angle lacks Studs Terkel-like gravitas, especially when it’s coming from someone who is in the enviable position of getting paid simply to come up with ideas.
So you might understand how my eyes rolled and rolled again when I read a recent promotional email from iStock, the online, royalty-free stock image house of Getty Images. Under the headline, “Why Your Job Is Harder Than Ever,” were these sobering words,
“It ain’t easy being a creative these days… A new study of your industry colleagues shows that creativity is in fact under threat. So take a deep breath and look at what’s going on in the hearts and minds of people like you. People who have to deal with requests like “make the black darker.”
I clicked the link to find an infographic titled, “STUDY: CREATIVITY UNDER THREAT.” (below)
“60% had “great ideas” in the last year, but not enough time or support to complete their masterpieces.” Yes, it actually says that.
“10 Things Clients Asked That You Wish They Hadn’t: (No.1) Make it viral.” Oh, the humanity.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve done my share of complaining about clients, marketing managers, and assorted philistines. I’ve ranted. I’ve walked off in a huff. I’ve even invoked an unconventional spelling of “philistine” that starts with an “f” and then has some other, different letters after. But whenever I’ve peeked back around the corner to survey the impact of my emotional reactions, I’ve seen there really wasn’t any. So, while I realize iStock is simply deploying good, old-fashioned pandering as they pat the heads of us sensitive creative folk (there, there), I wish they’d just stop it. As creatives, we don’t need that behavior encouraged.