I heard a report last night on National Public Radio about a new documentary on Johannes Vermeer, the mid-17th Century Dutch Master. (No, he wasn't a cigar.)
The film is called "Tim's Vermeer," and in it, the filmmaker Tim Jenison seeks to paint a Vermeer using the scientific technology he believes Vermeer employed to paint his remarkable works.
You can listen to the report here: Vermeer.
Jenison used an assortment of camera obscura technologies, mirrors and lenses and via those technologies replicated a Vermeer. It was all done in an attempt to unravel the way in which Vermeer and others were able to create their surpassing art.
It made me think, of course, of what we do and how we do it.
Too often, I think, we extol the how and ignore the what.
We are meant to create work that excites, provokes, informs and motivates. We are meant to incite lust, desire and passion for our clients' brands. That's the what of what we do.
I personally don't give a rat's ass on how we do it.
If we do it through pushing pixels, an Alexa camera or hot lead.
The science of what we do is the how.
That's for text books.
The what--the Vermeer part of advertising--is what matters.