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Old Jan 26, 2012, 2:03 AM   #1
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Default Talent? Who Needs Talent?

What’s the Score? Marketing-13 Talent-7

It is becoming more evident to me, the longer I am in this business, that it has become more of a marketing game than that of talent, for those wishing to succeed in any "Artistic" venture.

I am reminded, that in the last decade and even more so prior to it, if you wanted to get an assignment for a magazine or an Ad Campaign, you had to always pass through the Art Director or Creative Director. Once doing so and if the response was positive, you would be introduced to the Fashion Editor on that particular assignment or the traffic coordinator at the ad agency. You basically were hired because you either had talent, or your work had been seen in a competing magazine or on some billboard and you thoroughly impressed the Art Director or who ever turned you on to them to call you in. So either way, someone recognized your talent. In that environment the score would be closer to Talent-21 Marketing-3.* Not taking in to consideration a great agent.

Today, in most cases, the Art Director has been assigned a more pragmatic and cursory role as a layout artist for the major magazines out there. The decision for hiring the photographer, is in the hands of the Fashion Stylist and Editor more often than not. That has changed the dynamic dramatically and as a result the criteria for choosing talent has changed. It is not only talent that matters, but the celebrity or top model that was used in the image, as well as the recognized Fashion Designer that is featured in it. If you do not have any of these key ingredients, in most cases, it doesn't matter how incredible your image is, it may be passed over due to that glaring over sight.

As a result of this new dynamic, what is more important than ever is NOT talent, (which I believe has taken a back seat role in this scenario) and given rise to the importance of Marketing. Now this in it's own right is another form of creative talent, that must be taken in to consideration as well, when embarking in this or any of the other Media oriented forms of expression. I am not saying that talent does not count. What I am saying is that talent has been re-calibrated so to speak, to reflect the social landscape of our culture. Thus, talent is not only equated by the perceived beauty of the imagery, music or art form, but by the way it has been marketed. The marketing has become an integral part of the art form, thus the art form.

So the next time you observe an image in VOGUE, Harper's BAZAAR, ELLE, Marie Claire, Numero Magazine, or what ever and say to yourself, "I could have done that..." Just be reminded, that you probably could have. So what's the problem then? I suggest you go ahead. But just remember, that having Talent is only around 10% of the formula. The rest is a highly guarded secret.

So what's the score? I'll give you a play by play update as it comes in. But the gap is widening and as of now, it is Marketing-26 Talent-7...

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Old Jan 26, 2012, 5:44 AM   #2
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Marketing 26,Talent 7....? That sums up most things in life today- not just art..!
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 7:06 AM   #3
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It sounds like you need an agent, someone to schmooze on your behalf.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 7:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SIMON40 View Post
Marketing 26,Talent 7....? That sums up most things in life today- not just art..!
Definately, though it isn't as sinister as it may sound. A person who exudes charisma may be better received than a reclusive anti-social type, even if there is a gap in skills between the two. That is an extreme example, but it makes the point.

But let's not start thinking it was better in the old days. From my observations, it was worse.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 8:08 AM   #5
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I happen to think that the more things change, the more they actually stay the same. Because it all boils down to human nature.

Regardless of the type of work, if you want to be successful, your ability in selling yourself gets you in the door, your talents keep there.


So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
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