Claim creative work. Art is Work

Claiming creative work: Creativity is inherent in the human being, but designers, architects and artists still continue to give explanations to get clients to recognize our work.


Art is Work

«Art is Work» is the phrase that welcomes the great graphic designer in the Manhattan studio (NYC) Milton Glaser (1929-2020)

I remember that in 1987 he went to the University where I had just started my Graphic Design career, to give a keynote talk together with Jean Michel Folon , on the occasion of an exhibition both held at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, which I was also able to attend.


It was there that Milton Glaser, showing a first projected image, pronounced that phrase: "Art is work" , and told the students that we were taking our first steps in the career, that we never give away our work , that being an artist was a profession and not just a hobby or entertainment, that the fact of loving and enjoying our work does not take away its status as such, that there are people who need our "art" and they must be willing to pay for it.


Remembering again

In 2018 I traveled to New York City and of course the city was filled with its iconic "I LOVE NY" design in all the gift shops, and it occurred to me to think if I would still have his studio in Manhattan, I looked it up on my cell phone's GPS and finally found it, a few blocks from the Chrysler Building.

And there I found 31 years later with that phrase that I had forgotten: "Art is work" and I started to think about the number of times that our "artistic" profession is underestimated or undervalued when it comes to set a price for our work.

What got me thinking is why Milton Glaser chose to put that phrase at his studio entrance over any other, when anyone would expect at least a logo, for one of New York's most prestigious design studios.

But it was not so, the first thing that this great graphic designer wanted you to understand "in three words" is that if you go to his studio and intend to hire his services, you must pay!

Claiming the creative professional

This is the first of a series of blogs that I will write on my website and in the first person, told from my own experience and perception in almost 30 years of profession.
The mission of all of them, in addition to informing about topics related to design, it is to vindicate the professional creative work of the graphic designer through everyday topics such as visual image design, web design, etc.

Through my articles, I intend for clients to know a little more about the aspects that are often not seen in the jobs that designers entrust to us, in addition to making them know a basic language necessary to understand us.
But above all things, they understand that designing is a creative process, which takes time and requires a professional perspective that allows the client's idea to be carried out effectively.

Studies, knowledge, education, training, professional ethics, and above all "experience", are some of the factors that validate that "professional sight" that designers are willing to provide.

When a client decides to hire a professional it is that they need to solve an identity or communication problem of their own, and that is not found in video tutorials or on the web.


Competing with incompetents

Graphic design has some "negative" factors for the professional's role, and that is that many of its digital tools are available to anyone and free of charge, and its basic use may seem very simple and intuitive to encourage a person or company. to dispense with the services of a professional.

There are countless pages on the internet that encourage people to create their free logo, their website without programming knowledge, their online store, or simply their posts on social networks, using predesigned templates that will look "professional" without being an expert.
And so it is that anyone can make visually acceptable “designs”, but conceptually wrong.

Designers are often forced to compete with this in terms of budgets, and it really cannot, since they are totally different universes. The designer's experience, vision and quality are not taken into account ... only the price and everything comes down to a number without any added value.


Things by their name

A brand or logo is not a cartoon, a website is not a Facebook or Instagram profile, and those are not solid structures to insert into a competent commercial market, they are just complements to a much more strategic and complex structure.

I once read a meme that told a great truth: "Who believes that a professional costs expensive, does not know how expensive an incompetent costs"
Do things Bad takes time and money and does not achieve the objectives set. Why not get it right from the start with a trained professional?

Many times clients call me to "help" them fix something that they themselves tried to do with little knowledge of design, claiming that they don't have a budget ...
"You can't run a marathon in flip flops, and try to win it ”, is one of my phrases always ready for the occasion.

Every start-up of a business, however small, requires strategic planning and prior economic investment, otherwise it will be doomed to failure.


What is the price of an idea?

Creatives sell products and services that are often intangible, subjective, unreal ... but necessary!
As necessary as an idea itself, which is not seen, but is heard and felt, and above all, it solves communication problems in people's daily lives.

That is what the creative process is about, generating ideas that serve, that inspire, that communicate, that transcend, that catch on, that transcend, that arrive ...
An idea is the first step to start the engine, and if that idea is creative, coherent, logical and successful, the journey will be more fluid and enjoyable, and the most optimal results.

“Art is work”… I invite you to work together making art a certain way to achieve your goals.
This humble tribute to the master Milton Glaser who left us recently, precisely the day his 91st birthday.

adrian pablo conti director

Adrián Pablo Conti

I am a Graphic and Web Designer graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (FADU-UBA)
Since 1993 I have run Web4, my own freelance graphic and web design creative studio, located in the City of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Me I specialize in the development of visual identity, institutional communication, web sites and online stores, editorial design, catalogs, magazines and packaging design, among others.

All the images shown in this article are their own or were obtained from the web for illustrative purposes and belong to their respective authors.

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