As someone who is currently in the throes of working through mortgage applications and trying to scrounge together enough cash just to survive and live in a place that’s COMFORTABLE never mind some massive mansion that people spend imaginary amounts of money on, I am continuously disheartened living in the present climate. I work in technology, a field that has been good to me for the most part. There is always more to learn and ways to grow in technology, people need it, people depend on it.
Technology however is clearly not my forte or even my passion. From an early age I have always been drawn to art and enamored by its use in all sorts of mediums. I naturally gravitated towards stories, children’s books and comics. I used to stare at this artwork for such long periods of time and often trying to emulate these stories and art styles to just live and breathe the form.
I look at advertisement in the earlier decades (50’s, 60’s even 70’s) that really leaned heavily on art and it just completely bums me out. These ads heavily relied on a personal touch of an illustrator or a painter to captivate an audience and sell a product. Today we have giant billboards of selfies taken on iPhones that plaster the city scapes (Hey giant hideous Apple ad on the Albany St 93 exit) I am so tired of seeing the captured quirky selfie advertisements on billboards, internet ads, trains and buses. There doesn’t seem to be any artistic merit to these advertisements, it’s purely a photo of said person/product. There it is. No editing, no lighting, no grit, no basic component for creating an art piece. There is NO EXPRESSION other than BUY BUY BUY so our CEO’s can continue driving the narrative of wealthy aesthetic and culture.
I think a lot about the advancement of technology and how it has directly stamped out many ventures that artists once had. Not to say that there aren’t ways of adapting and thriving in a digital market, but the types of jobs and opportunities for freelance work are not the same qs they were even 20 years ago. I reflect on this and my time in art school wondering just what the hell anyone was thinking teaching us these antiquated ‘rules’ of illustration and client interaction.
These folks preached the expectations around client relationships for clients that they had already made connections with 15 years prior. We were never going to get these jobs, we were never going to swoop in and steal the client we never had a shot. Instead the market completely changed while we were in school to embrace technology and move forward without the need for illustrators, other than “Hey design my band t-shirt, I can pay you in band merch” (I never did get said band merch for the art job by the way, thanks With The Punches.)
How do I reconcile an aggressive stance on technology while making my living working in the field and using technology in my art making? I look at my output and the jobs and projects Ive been able to finish and accomplish with technology. I wouldn’t have been able to color Legends of Lys or any of the other In The Shade books without an iPad. (On sale now at intheshadepublications.com) I fully recognize
The constant push and pull in society is exhausting especially in regards to technology.
However, the repeated bombardment of advertisements, ideals, projected aesthetic and idolized notions of wealth are like a technicolor fist drilling holes into my head.
The ‘idea’ of perceived wealth being the epitome of where to reach for as a person has become perverted. We witness it on a day to day as the rich and unchained continue to push the country into an overflowing sink of depression.
I guess what I’m saying is I need art to survive. Whether that art is made physically or digitally, the need to express and make things is ingrained in my soul. Art makes life worth living, it brings the soul into the material world. Art is my breathing apparatus in the dirty drowning sink that’s become the day to day. I need art to stay sane and to try and mitigate my stress.
I’m not getting enough of it.