I promised a rant on one of my previous posts. I apologize for not fulfilling the promise sooner. I did create several drafts but they all sounded like bashing instead of ranting. Writing the post kinda got pushed back in my To Do list until I got a phone call from a client this morning. Client hired a husband-wife team to handle some of his photography needs. Apparently all the vertical images they sent were horizontally oriented. I guess auto rotate didn’t work so they all had to be rotated manually. I volunteered yesterday to write a Photoshop action that will flip them right side up. Client said that the wife (in the husband-wife team) does graphics so she’s going to try to create the action herself. My phone rang this morning and now I’m supposed to go to their place to write the action for them.
What You Need to be a Successful “Creative”
A1. Declaration: You need to declare yourself as one. Say it with conviction too – I am a photographer! I am a graphic designer!
A2. Aggression: You need to go all out in getting your work into people’s faces. Chase calls this “pimping your work.”
A3. Ability to influence people into thinking that your work is good.
A4. Persistence: You need to be able to shrug off setbacks and move on to point A2 instantaneously.
That is all.
What You Do Not Need to be a Successful “Creative.”
B1. Talent. Art is extremely subjective. What’s crap to one is a brilliant masterpiece to another. You can spend as much time as you want developing your “talent” but it’s absolutely certain that people out there will not like your work. Why bother.
Digital technology has made the creation of photographs and images basically free (no need to spend on film, ink, developing, charcoal, paint, etc). Try. Try. Try. Try. Try. Lenin said that there is quality in quantity. Churn out new work like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
B2. Skill (technical). Once again – art is subjective and creating digital work is basically costless. Go online and you will find a multitude of technically incorrect images from people making a living off them. See point A3 above. It doesn’t matter if your work has zero technical merit as long as you can convince your audience that they’re desirable.
Can’t get the white balance right? Slap a Hipstamatic filter (or similar) and call it vintage effect.
Can’t get an image with enough resolution for your design work? Create an Instagram look with filters and borders and make it look hip. It’s in.
Out of focus and blurry? Say that the emphasis of the image is the “captured moment”
Improperly exposed? Fix it in Photoshop, turn it black and white to make the resulting noise desirable, and call it creative.
I have met and worked with plenty of people who do not know the nuts and bolts of their craft – graphic designers who do not know ppi/dpi, photographers who do not know flash sync speed, graphic designers who can’t make a simple rotate image Photoshop action, photographers who do not know compression and distortion characteristics of different focal lengths, etc. Despite all off those inadequacies, they all had points A1 thru A4. Check out Chase Jarvis’ post on how to make it as a professional photographer. Notice that points B1 and B2 are not mentioned as well.
Now go forth and do the damn thing.