By Alfie Hardman
It had been an 11 year journey with 9 separate bands till Bowie found fame. Talk about grafting. There’s an incredible documentary on the BBC iplayer at the moment for you to get your teeth into called Finding Fame. When Bowie as Ziggy Stardust announces it will be their last performance it’s only then that you understand the lengths he went to ensure he had full artistic freedom. It was even news to the band he was playing with. To drop what seemed like everything they’d worked towards, to fire the whole band on stage so Bowie could turn the music industry into his own playground… and just after nine months on being Ziggy.
We later had a masterclass from Marc on him and the advice from Bowie goes as follows.
- Be adventurous with your ideas
- Do something artistically valid
- Learn from the bad experiences
- Find your creative process
- Do what you like doing
- Try something new
- Believe in your work
- The work is never finished until the viewer contributes themselves to the work
- Follow your passion
- Make yourself happy
The room came to an agreement that no. 7 was the most important for young creatives learning to crack the industry. Involving the audience in our work is key and I would bet money that the most exciting work we’ve done this year has followed that rule and because of this they’ve been able to break many others that allows the work to be exciting and new. More importantly, it also sells.
Bowie talks about this grey area the lies in-between your work and the audience. It’s for them to use their own imagination and sculpt it into an opinion of their own. They feel it speaks to them individually, they feel clever and most importantly connected to it. They’ll even listen to it again and again and still draw something new from it.
It’s relevant for all artistic work. Hemmingway used simple prose in his short stories but employed the ‘Iceberg theory’ where you suggest more than you say. In painting even the most naturalistic works are littered with symbols and hidden meanings. Finally when I was flicking through a copy of Magnum most of the photography in the book either demanded a little context or was abstract enough to urge you to find your own meaning.
As for advertising there really is nothing worse than being interrupted by something that treats you like a moron. Spoon feeding you its message of lowly importance.
Thanks Bowie, your spirit lives on. Let us strive to never be “humdrum”.