*This is the first in my “one year on” series of posts. Watch this space.
Last year, the word ‘harrowing’ kept cropping up whenever I described my experience of the World Press Photography exhibition. And this year’s event didn’t fail to disappoint- the experience was so potent that some of my colleagues were compelled to leave. I remember balking at the sheer the immorality of it all- how could photographers exploit these kinds of situations for a photo-op and live with themselves afterwards? I couldn’t seem to get my head around it. So I went to this year’s exhibition, fully prepared to be horrified. But somehow my reaction was different. The images were still as brutal as ever- but I wasn’t as shocked. Maybe I’ve become more worldly between September last year and this June- after all, I’ve taken up street photography myself, and sometimes you need to do what you can to capture the photo- disregarding whether it’s “appropriate” or “what people might say”. I wonder if this has given me some level of understanding as to the lengths and measures photographers go through (some even losing their lives) to bring images to the light from pockets of the world that would otherwise remain undiscovered, unacknowledged and sadly disregarded.
And I suppose, in all honesty- despite the distressing content, it’s a beautiful art, a reminder of the world we live in- the good, the bad and the terribly, terribly ugly.
I rarely go anywhere without my moleskine notebook these days. And it’s funny because I’ve been trying to get in the habit of carrying a pocket notebook for years- after all, inspiration (that inconsiderate bastard!) strikes when you’re least expecting it. But somehow I’d always manage to leave the damn things behind. With the moleskine though it’s different- being just the right size with just the right amount of pages that makes it an almost logical addition to the contents of my bag. And I think part of the reason I’m so enamoured is because the first five pages are dedicated to frantic scribbles from Semi-Permanent- the best to inaugurate an ideas notebook, n’est-ce pas? More about how Moleskine’s gets its branding right here.
A great little web series I just discovered that explores different areas in art. This one about “the complexity and artistry of title design” is a particular goodie! I think I have a pretty sweet job but I sure wouldn’t mind doing something like this for a living:
My sister’s been trying to get me to switch to ASB for the last four years. I wasn’t quite ready to give her the satisfaction of being right, despite my growing irritation at ANZ’s callousness and poor customer service. But I’ll admit, I’m susceptible to good advertising. Watching people running in throngs to switch banks was the last straw for me. I went ahead and signed up to switch banks.
Funnily enough, ASB dropped Droga5 weeks after the ad was launched. But no big deal, right? I wasn’t really there for the ad…that just got my attention. In reality it was about ASB’s superior offering and better customer service. The procedure itself was pretty breezy (after all ASB’s key selling point is about making it “hassle-free”); details were exchanged, appointments were made, it was all very prompt and smiley. But after I walked out the door? Not a peep. Almost two weeks after opening an account I’m still waiting on tenterhooks, with the vague promise of a follow-up letter. A letter? For a bank that’s so onto it in terms of social media (they started following me the day I tweeted about the ad) even this seems a bit dated. How difficult would it be to send a follow-up mail to keep customers up-to-date with what’s happening regarding the switch-over? Changing banks is finicky business, we want to be reassured that we’ve made the right choice. What use is a customer service rep signing off her mail with “We look forward to making all your banking easier” after I plug in my details for the first time, and then completely disappearing off the face of the earth?
Tsk, tsk ASB, I thought you were better than this.
The economy’s falling apart at the seams. It’s either a really good time to be a creative or a really bad one. Go figure.
I’ve been reading How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul (a great book by the way- but I’ll get to that in another post) and Adrian Shaughnessy makes an interesting point: graphic designers today can no longer afford to be one-dimensional. They need to be ‘diplomats, business thinkers, researchers, aesthetes and innovators’- in short, just knowing your stuff isn’t enough anymore. That got me thinking: is specialism dead?
In Helvetica, renowned type designer Matthew Carter briefly discusses his internship at the Enschedé type foundry in the Netherlands, where he spent a year after high school learning how to make type by hand. Despite the skill quickly becoming obsolete (thanks to the advent of computers) the experience would be monumental in shaping his career. I almost envy him. These days more and more creatives are becoming “generalists”, forsaking depth for breadth of knowledge. Becoming a “jack of all trades, master of some” is the minimum requirement to survive in today’s rapidly changing creative landscape. Luckily though, with the explosion of sites like Skillshare, Khan Academy and the impending TedEd, knowledge isn’t exclusive anymore. It’s easier than ever to acquire new skills and dabble in other disciplines.
So yes, with so many opportunities to mix and match and innovate, these are exciting times to be a creative! And yet, watching the intro clip of Helvetica, I can’t help but feel a twinge.
“Art Series Hotels are passionate about supporting the arts in Melbourne and creating unique, inspired experiences for our guests. Although we don’t normally promote stealing the Hotel artwork, we’re excited about the StealBanksy concept and welcoming guests with their creativity and cunning” -Will Deague, CEO, Art Series Hotels
From the 15th of December through to the 15th of January, Australian chain of Hotels, Art Series Hotels, is encouraging the public to “stay the night, steal the art”. And not just any art either but two original Banksys! The first one, “No Ball Games” has already been successfully stolen, just four days after the challenge opened. Clues to its location were posted on Facebook and Twitter. Banksy’s “Pulp Fiction” (see below) is the next one up for grabs. Check out the details here.
On a PR stunt level the promotion reminds me a little of The Grand Tour.