Everyone thinks they are funny. Everyone thinks they have style. And with the rise of social media, AI, and cut-and-paste templated creative tools: everyone thinks they are a designer.
As the newest team member of DayCloud Studios and a creative person in multiple veins of my DNA, I appreciate genuine artistry. People who have a genuine gift, create from obscurity and create work that impacts people for a lifetime. Art that makes time stop. Art that makes you want to learn more about the artist who created it. Art that makes you chase it down rabbit holes.
However, as I stated earlier, the truly talented also walk the precariously narrow path that is: if you do something so well it appears effortless, people assume it is. They don't understand the value of your passion. They think because tools are accessible: they can do it too. To quote The Incredibles, "When everyone is super, no one will be"
Why pay this exorbitant price for a hand painting from a local artist, when I can get this "Live, Laugh, Love" sign at Target for $14.99?
Why pay this photographer for an expensive session, when I can filter and Facetune?
Why pay an agency for a logo, when I can have one auto-generated for a quarter of the price?
The ease and glib nature in which we have made genuine artistry obsolete is scary.
The amount of times an actor gets asked "Did they pay you?" as the direct first correlation to the worth of their talent is staggering.
Art is not something that can be bought and sold big box style. Art is created by humans for other humans to consume. To lose the human element in the creation process defeats the purpose of having it at all. It is also not a gift that should ever be exploited, mass-produced or made to feel commonplace. You also wouldn't settle for that mentality in any other profession. So why try to settle for something less than when it comes to creatives? Would you want your open heart surgeon to walk into the operating room and state, "I watched a few YouTube tutorials on this surgery, I think I've got the gist of it" before he slices you open with a scalpel he bought on eBay? No. You wouldn't. So why are you willing to put your income, your business, and your livelihood at the same amount of risk by trusting your marketing exposure to someone who downloaded an app?
Investing in artists is investing in yourself. It's turning over the reins to people who have gifts that aren't common, knowledge and experience that can't be taught, and the grit and persistence to enter the sea of copycats and emerge as the shark who never sleeps.
I have so much admiration for those who take the road less traveled, who chose to make their living by leaving the world a more beautiful place, and who make people think in a world of digital drones. It's a pleasure to be a creative person on a team of creatives and not “the” creative person on a team. It's a feeling of a secret society, a band of misfit toys. We speak our own language and have secret passcodes and ways of thinking and moving. It feels familiar and exciting simultaneously and I'm very excited to do big things in our little agency.
*Disclaimer* These are original thoughts of Kaitlyn Rudeen and Kaitlyn Rudeen only