Swatch Revolution

The challenges of creativity on a consumerist environment


Vertigo vs Ecstasy

It is common these days that designer’s work is no longer to bring ideas into existence; instead it seams to be limited to only apply aesthetic into a product of mass consumption. This changing role has serious implications in the way we value art.

In this article I will try to express my vision on what is creativity in a modern world.

Open up a World

The idea of graphic design is usually associated with aesthetics, the make up that is added on top of an already developed product or concept in order to improve its image and sales.
 Through this point of view, design is just a part of production, an extra adjustment in the assembly line to achieve the final goal: increase sales with a more seductive image.

A designer is a person with creative sensibility, often with an artistic background; and good skills in generating visual ideas. But the most important point: A designer is someone who understands the creative process from the beginning to bring things into being, into existence.

In the times of Leonardo da Vinci, it wouldn’t be surprising to find an artist capable of painting canvas and conceive helicopters, or a sculptor who was at the same time an expert in anatomy. A designer needs to have a holistic approach as a creator, inspired by the discovery of the beauty and harmony present in every creative process.

Since the times of the industrial revolution the process of art has been displaced from being an independent conceptual process itself to become just a part of an assembly line. As industries grow, the role of the designer has become more and more specific. Currently we can find fashion designers, interior designers, industrial designers, graphic designers, communication designers, interface designers, light designers, set designers, etcetera; and within each category they can even become more specialised: there are designers specifically for typography, branding, packaging, magazines, print industries, concept artists, art directors, illustrators, 2D and 3D artists and so on.

The artist is still responsible for the idea generation but now from a specific position. Designer’s work is no longer to bring something into existence; instead it is limited to only apply aesthetic into a product. The product or concept has already been determined, in many cases, by a business group that works closely with the financial and marketing department.

 This changing role has serious implications in the way we value the artistic process. The main issue is the frustration for the artist in loosing their creative autonomy, which is by nature a holistic process, ecstatic.

Vertigo and Ecstasy

Any creative person will be sensitive to experiences of “ecstasy”, from the Greek “existanai” which means: “drive out of one’s mind”, something that comes from inside to outside. Ecstasy is an experience that born to be share.
People consciously share ecstatic experiences during creative processes of any type. The result always opens up a new world of possibilities. Creativity then is a constant starting point to new possibilities.

On the other hand, we have experiences of “vertigo”. From Latin “vertere” originally used to represent the whirling movement of liquids. An experience of Vertigo opposes to the experience of ecstasy: “vertigo” is something that comes from outside to inside and is experimented individually. An experience of vertigo will not open up a world or any possibilities. It’s just a pleasant short moment, a feeling that ends up when the stimulus is not present or relevant anymore.

From the consumer point of view, an element of consumption is an experience of vertigo. As its name indicates: “consume”, it extinguish it self once the short satisfaction is reached.
From the designer point of view, creativity applied to process of vertigo is destiny to die like most of the pages of a shallow magazine.

Designer’s work should focus in open up possibilities for new creations. It is vital for all of us to create experiences of ecstasy to make sense of the world and our own existence.