Albert Dorne: "When you go into the business of commercial art... you elect to make certain compromises"

Continuing Albert Dorne's expatiation on "The Satisfaction of Compromise":

To justify itself and the money paid for it, advertising art must be primarily an extension of the copy idea.

This doesn't mean that you as the artist cannot assert your own thoughts, nor must you be a spineless technician who sacrifices all his beliefs in a blind effort to please the advertiser or publisher who pays the bills. Many an artist has made a better picture by refusing to bow completely to the whim or command of a client and many more will do so through the years.

On the other hand, if I seem to be polishing an apple for the art director, don't get me wrong. While most art directors in the business today are extremely able, there are entirely too many who have spoiled a lot of potentially good pictures because of too much "master-minding" of the artist.

When you go into the business of commercial art you do so of your own choice. In making that choice you elect to make certain compromises:

(1) finish someone else's ideas; (2) work for art directors or buyers; (3) please a great number of people, some who understand art, most who don't; (4) do hurry-up work; (5) become part of an effort to sell merchandise successfully and convey information to the public and influence his thinking and choice of products.

If you want to be a "fine" artist - that is, an easel artist - and work for your own amazement - that's fine if you can afford it. Someone will enjoy your pictures, even if it's only yourself.

But if you want to make money, someone - and I mean the one who pays -

- must get more out of your picture that merely the esthetic pleasure provided by your efforts.

To be a successful commercial artist or illustrator you must please millions of people.

* My Albert Dorne Flickr set.

* Thanks to Brian Postman for contributing the Famous Artists magazine cover scan!

Blog Archive