The Power of Politics
After watching Hillary Clinton's speech at the DNC, I was inspired by the power of politics to incite change, or at least the feeling of change in people. What I wonder, though, is how Obama defined "what's right with America" in his speech. Entrepreneurs, teachers, engineers, doctors, and a vague " younger generation full of energy and ideas" are who he brings up. But what about artists and designers? Can they really change the world too? Can they make an impact like a politician can? Sometimes I don't know. Art doesn't always seem to have a clear cause, but I think the best artists make socially conscious work informed by the world around them and aim to have some kind of impact, whether large or small. What about designers? The purpose of design is usually more clear, with a tangible final outcome and intended result, i.e. usually a call to action of some kind (such as to convince people to buy a product).
Most designers don't think they're changing the world, but it seems that most politicians do. But why? At a very basic level, aren't both professions trying to persuade people to take action of some sort? Are they really all that fundamentally different? What about when they come together...when designers produce political work. Now design is not just to keep a business afloat but now design is working for the greater good, is it not? I can tell you from experience that I get fired up about designing work for a candidate I believe in. Why? I think because it feels more personal, and less corporate; I'm not just making something for mass consumption anymore, or something for another business, I'm making something that matters.
Most artists/designers never get the chance to speak in front of millions of people like Hillary and many other politicians do. But I believe their work can speak for them. And though most designers will never get to life-changing status, I still think the work matters. I should mention that Obama did allude to the power of art later in his speech when he brings up a painting he has in his office by "parents who have turned their grief into action." Still no mention of professional artists/designers but I'll take what I can get I suppose.