Remember the last time you were driving on the highway and decided to stop your car to really look at a billboard ad for breakfast cereal? Neither do I. But what if it was a billboard of your mother-in-law, surfing on a wave of milk and cereal, or if the billboard was actually a giant bowl of cereal and someone at the base was giving away free breakfasts? Would you have remembered it then, maybe even stopped your car and taken a picture?
We have been bombarded with images, sounds and smells since the turn of the century (for some reason brands still haven’t figured out how to occupy our senses of touch and taste on a grander scale, and thank god for that). So we, as a society — especially the younger generations among us — have grown accustomed to blocking out large chunks of our visual and auditory fields; be it the lower section on a Kindle screen, the torment that are YouTube commercials between videos or public advertisements on roads and in cities.
All of us are drawn towards things that are different and features that stand out. We like big and juicy apples more than smaller ones. There is a title for the spiciest Chilly pepper, but not for the most common bell pepper. We instinctively notice bright colours in rooms where everything else is beige and grey and we will always recognise the difference between a supercharged Ferrari V12 engine and a Honda Civic (even those of us, who aren’t into cars).
If we like what we do and we enjoy every second of it, it will show in our work. I don’t stop painting when the picture starts to look good, and I’m sure neither do you. Sure, without passion, commitment and a trained critical eye, we may still be able to produce decent work, but if it isn’t remarkable, if we fail to make it memorable, we may as well not be doing it at all, because we will eventually get lost in the great pit of mediocrity, where all the “good” and “ok” dreams go to die.