Who Needs Creative Arts When There’s So Much Data Available?

The Kaiser is lamenting the state of creative affairs today.

If you work in the creative department of an advertising agency in 2008 you will be hard pushed to find either a member of your team who can remember the old process or somebody who can handle a pencil and can draw – but I bet everyone is pretty savvy with a Mac, Photoshop, Quark and InDesign.
Suddenly everyone with a computer, a mouse and a piece of software could do “creative” stuff, which is morally superb – but has proven to be, functionally and qualitatively speaking, an absolute bloody nightmare and has created what Walter Gropius called an “art-proletariat” – a mass of people misled into believing that just because, they had secured a place in art education (whether it be painting, architecture, design or sculpture), that they had all the tools needed to be artists – and were somehow muddying the waters of creativity.

Gropius, of course, passed away well before the introduction of desktop publishing. But what of The Kaiser’s argument? Are there any real artists left in the ad biz, or did they head for the hills decades ago?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.