“If no one hates it, no one really loves it” – Jessica Walsh.

Jessica Walsh is a contemporary graphic designer from the US. Her work is widely recognised for “her lush, tactile style” (NYT). Founder of woman-led creative agency ‘&Walsh’, Walsh has had her fair share of awards and interviews throughout her celebrated career. At some stage in all of this (I can’t seem to find any context), she said:

This quote assumedly notes the power of bold, polarizing design in marketing. It speaks to the idea that all publicity is good publicity. If someone hates what you’ve created, it means that you’ve managed to illicit an emotional response from the viewer and that’s a win. It could also encourage artists to have faith in their work and remain authentic regardless of nay-sayers. Doing work that is widely liked often comes at the expense of the artist’s genuine message or approach – as you are attempting to cater to the tastes of most of the population. This is notable in any arts industry, from music and film to sculpture and visual arts. Works of art that are criticised are works that are talked about, and thought about. They have just as much, if not more, impact on the cultural context that they exist in.

Taking this quote as my inspiration for my ransom note task – I wanted to express my understanding of this idea visually. Whilst I do not entirely disagree, and can see how this quote rings true, I want to question and challenge the sentiment at hand. I believe that a widely adored piece of art can be just as impactful as one that is widely criticised. In fact, works that are popular and beloved are some of the most moving works – they draw on commonalities between the audience and help build community. I think that agreeance is an important part of human interaction, and that the modern persuasion for opposition is at times pointless and harmful. There’s always someone who will disagree, but focusing on commonality helps everyone become more appreciative of the work that they love, and of each other.

Below is my Task 2 Ransom Note:

Post Content Collage
Image: My Collage