The Hardest Part still remains

A few days ago a somewhat heated debate went on at Motionworks. Well, it wasn’t as much of a discussion because in general the participants agreed on the topic. One thing that was still surprising was the lack of culture and, say, humilty and appreciation in the discussion itself. How hard can it be to write “Thank you”? But that’s not my point today.

What’s worth a closer look is the topic of the aforementioned issue, namely: “Does the increasing amount of online tutorials devalue the (established) artists?”

No. Thank you for reading.

Okay, let’s roll this out a bit. Yes, there are hundreds of tutorials online, even for free, only the number and variety of which could easily let one assume that you can learn how to be a Motion Graphics Designer in 2 months. And this assumption is of course ridiculous, because teaching some a technique doesn’t make them an artist. No one’s becoming the next van Gogh, Picasso or Warhol because you show them how to hold a brush.

One field where teaching people how to do stuff has actually boosted the business is cooking. Thanks to all the Nigellas and Jamies there are more people going more often to restaurants spending more money. That’s counterintuitive because we assume that if we tell people how to perform or improve daily actions, they do it all themselves. But what has happened is that people got more educated on the art of cooking and were willing to spend more money on good cuisine.

And there’s another ingredient that’s essential for creating: inspiration. Without the 1% of inspiration the 99% perspiration are not work, they’re labour. People don’t pay a lot for stuff that hasn’t got “it”. So why go there at all?

The hardest part, figuring what to put on the empty canvas, has not been changed. Knowledge of a series of techniques won’t let you do that. That’s just copying. Like assembling LEGOs, it’s fine and good to follow the instructions and build the spaceship, but it’s great when you mix the pieces of several boxes to model a submarine. But the real art is inventing LEGO. Something that enables people to craft with their creativity. Like the Web 2.0, in a certain way.

So the hardest part is still the same, and people who can solve it will still get paid well. It’s only that the perceived entrance barrier to this field has been lowered. But this doesn’t change the game. Not yet.


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