I know this was like a week old, but it still irks me, and I think there’s one more thing to say about it.
This is, of course, me. I was in a band. I had a record label. I was a photographer. I wrote fiction. And I went into advertising. For… almost fifteen years. I am still, in many ways, “in advertising.” I sit on the bord of a prestigious ad school. I work with tech starts who predominantly make their money off of advertising, and I advise them on advertising. I am writing a book about advertising.
But you know what else I am doing? Making art. Art that I love. That I do not give a fuck if anyone, ever, buys. And I don’t need to make a living off of it. I am working on two novels. I am working on a photo book of blurry photographs taken from Amtrak trains along the northeast corridor. I love my photos, and I consider them art. I will also be shocked if I ever sell more than 50 books of them. But I do not care. Because I don’t need to make a living off of them.
Art and commerce are implicitly combined in this author’s trolling post. Implicit is that advertising is commerce, and you should try and “make it’ as a writer, or as an artist, rather than deign to be part of commerce. So what does “making it” mean? It means making money. It means commerce.
My art, thanks to my career in advertising, is now completely divorced of commerce, because I chose to make a living in something I happened to be really good at instead of something I was not actually all that “good” at, in terms of making a career.
So, now. Whose art is more pure? The artist who has the luxury, thanks to hard work, to create their art without a concern for commerce, or the artist who still has to cater their art to the “market” and make a living off of it?
And no, you don’t have to “stop making art…. unless you agree to sell your creativity to that machine.” What utter bollucks.
Did you know that there was a novel called The Man Nobody Knows that was a modern-day biography of Jesus Christ that was the best selling novel in the United States for two full years in a row? Do you know who wrote it? Bruce Barton, one of the Bs in BBDO.
You probably DID know about Rushdie, Fay Weldon, Len Deighton, Peter Carey, Sir Alan Parker, Sir Ridley Scott, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, and Michel Gondry, however. Ad men, every one of them.
(props to Mark Tungate for this info. His book AdLand: A Global History of Advertising is worthy reading).
Closer to home, the number of people in AWESOME but noncommercial bands I know in advertising is insane. And just last week I was grabbing drinks with a friend who had published THREE books, and stated he’s MUCH happier at his agency job.
Gah. I’m annoyed this trolling even worked on me.