April 10, 2019

An afternoon with Andy Warhol


 

Andy Warhol would have dominated Instagram. That’s something our New York creative team realized on our trip to the Warhol exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He saw the world through oversaturated squares before cell phones even existed. Beyond that, he had a knack for creating something extraordinary out of the everyday. But, that’s not the reason that we decided to visit this showcase. Well, not the only reason.

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“I’m still a commercial artist. I was always a commercial artist.”

Before he became a pop icon, Andy Warhol worked in the New York City advertising scene. It’s a scene our team knows all too well. We appreciate—more than most—his ability to feed into consumerism while satisfying the audience’s craving to relate to something familiar, like the comfort of Campbell’s soup. 

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That’s our challenge. Across clients, we’re trying to reach audiences with a message that reassures, that inspires, that excites. It’s about finding the connective tissue between two unlikely pieces. It’s about that moment when someone watches a video or reads a job posting and says, “This is me.”

“Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

Warhol got weird. He also got paid. Exploring the exhibit together, our creative team had a chance to talk about how we define ourselves and how we relate (or don’t) to Warhol as an artist, an advertiser, a communicator, and a content creator. 

Inspiration can be a fraught word for creative professionals. Sometimes inspiration finds us, sometimes we seek it out. And in those moments of looming deadlines with one hand on a mouse and the other holding a cup of coffee, we manufacture our own inspiration. How do we take something familiar and reframe it as something new? 

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It’s that reimagining that informs so much of what he did and what we still do today. Our creative team is tasked with reframing the quotidian, with helping others see the world through a new lens. Warhol found ways to engage with the world around him, including the business world. He was able to see beauty or inspiration in just about anything. 

“Art is what you can get away with.”

Whether we call ourselves artists, communicators, or content creators, we recognize the importance of balancing passion with a career. Likewise, in employer branding, we work to help people identify how their passion, talent, or personality can help them find their dream job. And that’s what our agency is all about.

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A successful client-agency partnership is built on communication and mutual trust. For our team, that means listening to the client, understanding their needs, and creating an artistic vision that helps them take a fresh look at their business. We rely on creativity to turn their brief into a story - then we help others see themselves contributing chapters to that story. We also rely on the skills we’ve built outside the workplace.

Just because we’re creating all day, Monday to Friday, doesn’t mean we stop once we’re off the clock. Like Warhol, we experiment across mediums and find new ways to express ourselves. We’re engaging our creativity whether we’re collaging or writing poetry, reading or watching a movie, or even just scrolling Instagram. It might not manifest itself just then, but we hold those creative reserves for when the moment arises. 

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Most of our team can’t pinpoint exactly when we first encountered Andy Warhol’s work. He’s always been a fixture in pop culture and the art world. With over 900 works housed in the Warhol Museum alone, it’s safe to say he was a prolific creator during his 58 years of life. His impact on the people who encounter his work is immeasurable. Whether we identify with him as an artist or not, creating work with that level of impact is something we aspire to do every day. 

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