I have just come across an article; a fairly standard offering. ‘Ones to watch.’ Once upon a time, these sorts of thing would showcase the best, the brightest new talent. Edgy, but clever. Lateral, but relevant. Interesting to read and look at and a little bit lifting.
This one? Not a bit. Apart from one person out of the ten, it was all navel-gazing, self-expressive, narcissism. It was more fine art than design and illustration. Visually, it had the unrefined aesthetic of foundation level experimentation. Pseudo-political comment with no purpose much beyond self-expression, self-discovery and self-doubt.
Laid bare, the wages of a generation whose selfie arm is longer that the other. A generation of fragile egos craving the validation of unknown likes. Vacuous, shallow and naive (that last one has never been different, mind). However, where once youthful anger would be outward looking and rage against the world’s injustices, now it is introspective and a distraction. It is an Orwellian prophecy made manifest.
I fear what it will do – is doing – to the quality of work being put out there and I fear for society as a whole. Whilst a generation look inwards, though it’s screens, the previous generation are committing greedy acts of injustice, unchecked. Where once the younger generation would expose it, they are too busy self-validating to even see what it right under their noses – probably because that position has been usurped by a device.
I hope – and actually I believe – that things will come full circle in the end and once again quality will count for something. Count for more than the self. It can’t come soon enough. The tide needs to start turning. Let’s hope a year-long pandemic becomes the catalyst and we start to remember what design is all about again.
All that from an article about ten mediocre ‘creatives’, I’m not entirely sure where I was going with it, other than put it out there as a general question; How can we help effect this change in our industry – and society, as one is symptomatic of the other? Do we see it changing, or is it terminal decline?