ADG Perspective

January-February 2019

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Page 17 of 143

1 6 P E R S P E C T I V E | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 F R O M T H E P R E S I D E N T Creative Diversity B Y N E L S O N C O A T E S , A R T D I R E C T O R S G U I L D P R E S I D E N T With every passing year, new technological innovations proliferate in almost every aspect of entertainment, and the skills and crafts involved in the processes of narrative design seem to change at an accelerating rate. Software, hardware, image capture, illustration applications, virtual headsets, communication devices, tablets, even phones have changed the most minute aspects of design and content creation. Along with the speed of change on the creative side is the higher and more specific visual acuity with which audiences and end-users are consuming and perceiving product. With home systems rivaling commercial theatres for sound and image, the viewing experience is morphing as well. Film, television and other content have to work harder to reach for audience while contending with shifting society consumption and the ever-increasing myriad of demands on consumer time. But in the midst of all the continual innovation and reinvention, the core need remains constant—the need for unique voices and original content, and the need for talented, innovative, creative problem solvers with strong visual storytelling choices who can make that original content come to life— artists skilled in transforming concepts into reality or even just the perception of reality. Creativity is not a function of budget, gender identity, geolocation, ethnicity, or any of a plethora of delimiters. Creativity is the ability to see the unseen, to connect the unconnected, to bring to mind and heart the feelings and perceptions of past experiences or futures yet to be, while touching and connecting with the core of the human experience. With that creativity also comes a responsibility— a responsibility to open up the process and create career pathways for those who historically have not been represented or had access to be a part of the creative process. So many stories to tell…so many different ways to tell them…so many who currently cannot picture themselves in a career such as ours, as they do not see themselves readily reflected in our crafts, or do not know how to make the leap into the profession. This year has seen several milestones of representation and inclusion. And yet, we cannot look at those milestones as the destination. They are but rungs on a ladder. We are all part of the journey to make storytelling and the creative process better, more inclusive, and more representative, and more unique as we work to tell stories that span cultures, peoples and times. The talented individuals who comprise the membership of the Art Directors Guild constitute the largest collection of creative and inspired designers and visual thinkers working in the field of entertainment narrative design. As members of this long-standing and influential organization, we must make the daily commitment not only to do great work inventing original concepts and creating a strong sense of place for our projects, but also to invigorate our projects with the complexity and wonder that is part and parcel of the amazing human experience. Whether working at home or anywhere around the world, we have the unique opportunity to set the tone—to educate crews and audiences about our crafts, how we work and why working together as a Guild benefits everyone. We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before. We have a responsibility to our colleagues, our audiences, and to future generations…to discover and lift up those who will follow, and to give them the skills and space in which to express their creativity and tell their stories.

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