We find an increasing number of computer generated and computer manipulated images in our world today and as college students on the lookouts for jobs and internships we are increasingly aware of that fact. ‘Skills in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator preferred’, and ‘we expect you to come ready to work immediately’ are increasingly found on position listings. In this instantly-gratifying digital age, computer and image manipulating skills are almost as important as language skills because an image can communicate a message so much faster and more succinctly than words–and with fewer problems of people not understanding the language–maybe the culture but a picture is instantaneously accessible to anyone who is not visually impaired.
Take a look at this advertisement released by Creative Designs. Does the glowing sunlight fill you with a sense of optimism and general good feelings about this phone? Does the fact that it seems to be supporting a small bonsai tree reflect how you view the product, in this case a cellular phone? Doesn’t it fill you with a sense of promise about this phone–you almost instinctively like it because your cerebral brain has told you that the recent buzz is that green initiatives are good in everything from the omnipotent Google’s ‘green improvements‘ to being able to request used coffee ground for your garden at local coffee shops.
Yes, there are a lot of ways that you can manipulate images for ‘The Forces of Evil.’ Yes, in a modern society we do expect a rather large percentage of what is presented to us to be digitally altered, which leads to such cultural references as incredible visual stimulus becoming synonymous with something being ‘photo-shopped‘ the same way that ‘Google-ing‘ became synonymous to searching for something on the internet.
We know this, “we all take it for granted that this is how advertising works,” in the words of Chuck Klosterman, in his essay “It Will Shock You How Much It Never Happened” (Eating the Dinosaur pg 183). This generation has grown up to question–to question what we know, what we think we see, and what might spur the actions of others–but that doesn’t mean that we should necessarily expect the pictorial lies around every corner, just that it would behoove us to be aware of the word in which we live and the responsibilities that our reality entails. In terms of advertisers and artists, try to keep in mind that whilst they may not, strictly, have your best interests at heart “but [their motives are rarely] sinister (Klosterman, It Will Shock…, pg 183).”