Caveat: Please don’t think that I am trying to devalue or attack art, artists or even art students; I am purely criticising the two people I overheard and the conversation they were having.
I overheard a conversation on campus yesterday (yeah, I like to eavesdrop sometimes, sorry) between two art students. From what I gathered, these guys were first years, so I guess I can understand them being a bit carte blanche with their points of view and can't completely hate them for it. They were stood in the coffee queue, having a loud, nonsensical conversation which I can pretty much summarise into...
Now, there’s a lot I could and (kinda) wish I had said to them, but oh well. Anyway, sorry art student, you’re wrong. Designers aren’t the constrained, corporate sell-outs that you wish they were. Arguably, the artist (a-hmm... you) is more vain and self-indulgent than any profession. Let’s face it, artists express themselves. And well, I’m sorry to tell you, but more often than not nobody gives a shit about you or whatever you're trying to express. Designers, however, work to express others. They make and apply their creative efforts for the benefit of people and society. Design is not self-indulgent artistry; it's a creative force for good.
To you two kids in the coffee queue, hopefully over your degree you’ll realise that as much as you try to subvert, you’re part of a wider society; one in which you sit in a overlap within design, business and culture in ways that make you realise that you are not a divine, enlightened darling, with a guild-like ownership on all things meaningful and beautiful, but you are in fact— currently— just a confused kid in a vintage army jacket with a dodgy haircut.
P.S. I believe that art is just as valid and necessary as anything else in society and most art students I know are some of the most interesting and philosophically aware individuals I've ever met. + I know how nauseatingly condescending and grandiose I sound in this post and I’m sorry.