15 minutes of Fame!

The Art and Creative business is packed full of copies.

We are, as creatives, eclectic of our teachers and influences.  It is that hierarchy which defines human tutelage and upward progression.

In contemporary professionals it is what refines the senses and deepens a collective understanding.  It’s how we learn, share and pass it on.  Our day to day business of design, identity development and branding is underpinned by this omnipresent process which drives us and evolves the core and quality of our work, consistently and surely.

The eternal argument of who was first to create Cubism, Picasso or Braque, was born from a time where artists lived in close proximity to  one another and ‘visited’ each other’s studios, exchanged philosophies and in some cases actively encouraged the like minded to emulate their work, believing that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery.

All of that was pre mass communication, TV, internet and social media, lawyers, copyrights and 'fifteen minutes of fame'.

Renowned American artist Andy Warhol is credited with the expression “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” pre internet, in an almost prophetic affirmation of what lay ahead for generations, who supplanted the accepted hierarchy of subject matter and techniques within the arts, which elevated ‘the artist’ to the status of ‘famous’. 

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling, Picasso’s ‘Guernica’, Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’, Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ have somehow become almost anecdotal, substituted by the superficial presence of everyday people and items, burning to be notable, if only for the shortest while.  Likes have replaced like, Share has replaced share;  our new meanings constantly undermine the pivotal moments in our lineage of development.  Our children are growing up inside monitors with little to strive for.


With this new found readymade-ism, human skills ‘Prêt-à-Porter’ and the ‘I can do that’ disregard for a higher art, we have entered a New World ethic of the shortest route to a temporarily-defined fame.  Democratization of the skill factor may be diluting the quest;  Don Quixote tilting at some blurry thing in the distance, which everyone knew, once, but now, no-one can remember its name.

Sadly, this includes piggybacking on existing creations and ideas, then repurposing the creation to make new; the final sequence being to claim fame and notoriety from this ‘original’ creation.

clothesWhere did centuries of creative thinking and personal pride go?  Not to mention recognition and respect for our own.  Have we become so totally obsessed by the possibility of fame, that we feel we are entitled to it, without doing any of the work to get there?  Receiving the prize without running the race seems devoid of logic, lazy and uncharacteristic of anyone who wraps themselves in the mantle of creativity. However, this growing trend continues to surround those in the throng of social media, with an equally readymade audience like Hans Christian Andersen’s story of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

We have always believed that the best way to communicate is to listen, ask, and create a simple message, the shortest distance between two points, but the newly fashioned concept that I am famous because I say I am, beats all records for brevity. 

parisIt also confounds all past principles of rising through mediocrity, to be the acknowledged best at what you do.  To be fair, one of the prime examples and yet contradictions, of this self fulfilling prophecy is Paris Hilton, who in this new found ethos may be viewed as a superficial ‘original’.  But under scrutiny, she could be closer to marketing genius and brand master, than blond ditz with an ego larger than one of her grandfather’s hotels.

Once upon a time, Fame came with the challenges of skill, originality and a high level of preparation, meeting opportunity head on.  The few whom we look up to.  For over twenty years, our work has met those challenges and been successful in driving our clients to their desires, using good values, rules and composure.  The gleeful panic of fame never enters the equation, let alone its fleeting timeline.  We are creatives who build the story, not speed read and scan, developing concepts and implementing things designed to last.

That is why we truly think that all is not lost, in our new hyper speed world, if we begin, or continue to listen to quality advisors, constantly monitor the fine details of our efforts and define from the very outset, what is ours and just how much respect we have for it, then define what belongs to others and be content for their good fortune.  We still have a right to experience everything that an ever expanding world can offer us, especially with simple humility, and never at the expense of short changing and stealing someone else’s efforts to get ahead.

If there is talent and skill and tenacity, then show it, develop it and nurture it.  Claim it by branding it with character, bruised and battered and stronger by experience.  These alone will fight off the transience of this new found fame and insure that the addition to the vastness of art will last for more than 15 minutes.