I recently read an article about design. The idea in the article was, thanks to the internet everyone is just using tutorials to re-create the same stuff over and over. The general idea was that design is dead, and artists are becoming cookie cutters.
I’ve heard this theory before. as early as high school. My art teacher thought that everyone was copying someone. Her favorite example was a car commercial. A guy walks through a museum and sees a car, gets in and drives off. Very original. Then another commercial comes out with another guy looking at the same car, then walks over to another car, gets in it and drives off. Late another commercial comes out where a guy is looking at looking yet another car, this one hanging on the wall. He gets in it and drives off. The idea is that the cars are works of art. But the second and third ads are obviously ripping off the first.
I’ve also read this idea in magazines for the past few years, one designer will make something, everyone will milk it to death, then another artist will make something and the process starts over. So is art dead? Is original design dead?
I think these are questions the art world will fuss over forever. I doubt the argument itself is anything new. The reality is that there will always be two types of artists – those that create and those who copy. There will be some who copy and do a better job that the creator, there will be those that create so well everything else will seem like a knockoff. Everything else will fall in between.
Is this right? Is is wrong? I think the question is leaving out the person that everything may likely get left up to – the client.
Lets be honest, as much as I try to make everything I do as original as possible, I have to sell it to the client. If the client sees something “cool” “trendy” and “hip” they will want it. It is the artist’s job to make it theirs without ripping of the other guy, like it or not. If they can’t, they are not an artist. If they want what’s hot now, and I can’t talk them out of it, I’m going to make the best whatever they want they have seen – while making it as “hot and new” as possible. That’s the job.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not giving the go ahead to steal other people’s ideas. The reality though is that everyone wants what they see working. The question becomes, how do I make this version original and how do I make it likable. I would hope that it is every artist’s dream that we find a client that wants us to make them something that becomes the next big thing in design. But in the end, lets be honest – they want to make a buck, and in reality so do I. Being a starving artist is only cool after we are dead.