I once heard someone describe advertising as a “secondary glamour industry.” (Secondary, I assume, to the “primary glamour industries” of music, film, and fashion.) Now, first of all, that’s ridiculous. After nearly two decades in this business, I’ve yet to walk down a red carpet, date a Kardashian, or be chased by paparazzi … perhaps those are things reserved for my colleagues on the coasts. But there is one thing we share with our more famous glamour-industry brethren: we get to create for a living. And I think we sometimes overlook how big a blessing that really is. But perhaps an even bigger blessing is how we get to go about creating the things we do.
Throughout much of history, artistry was a solitary thing. Yes, Michelangelo had a few assistants, Warhol had The Factory, and Gutzon Borglum had more than 400 workers assisting him in blasting and sculpting a few presidential faces from a South Dakota mountainside. But all of those projects were still the vision of a single artist. What we do here at Two Rivers, and what is done at most agencies, is collaborative. It’s “collective artistry,” which, although I’m not an accomplished art historian, I imagine is mostly unique in human history.
We’re handed a problem to solve and we take a blank sheet of paper, or an unassigned field of unprogramed pixels, and we go to work … together. Account folks, writers, tech experts, designers, data analysts, media buyers, videographers, and our clients, all working together to create something from nothing. Something functional, yes. Something effective, certainly. But if we’re doing it right, something that is also beautiful. And because we work together, we’re able to create something that is not only better than someone might create on their own, we create something that could only be created collectively. Something that no one person can put their name on, but we can all call ours.
And in its own way, that’s pretty glamorous.