"...if there isn't that leap that leads to connection, it doesn't matter if you're a car mechanic or a graphic designer, you're not making art."
Author Seth Godin was on hand to chat creativity, art, and more at 99U’s “The Conference.” During a Q&A session he was asked about the roles of artists and designers in the future economy.
“You may know how to use fancy online graphic design tools, you may know how to play at a totally different level than people do online, but if there isn’t that leap that leads to connection, it doesn’t matter if you’re a car mechanic or a graphic designer, you’re not making art.”
He went on to explain the central thesis of his book The Icarus Deception:
“The essence of what I was arguing for in ‘Icarus’ is this thinking that says, the only thing we’re going to pay people for going forward, and the thing that we’re going to respect the most are human beings who figure out how to take what they’ve got, the tools they have, and somehow create a new thing that will offend some people, that will only appeal to the weird, that might not work, that scares us a great deal, because that is why we built all this stuff. We didn’t build it because we need more beautiful, laid out menus. We need it because people want to be touched, they want to be noticed, they want to connected. “
The concept of making a connection through your art is something that could easily be forgotten, particularly because the act of creating can often feel so isolated (and isolating). But it’s definitely the right idea to keep buried somewhere in the back of your mind as you work — you are not only making for you. If you intend for your work to be seen by anybody, really, you are, at least in part, making for “them,” whomever “them” may be. You are trying to connect. Making a connection between artist and customer is what Redbubble is all about, so if you’re creating work and uploading it to this site, you’re already ahead of the game.
Don’t be afraid to “appeal to the weird.”
Watch all of Godin’s very inspiring chat right here: