Editor's Letter

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I'm generally against the breakfast meeting (unless it takes place at the end of a long dinner meeting...) but I instinctively know that meeting the artist Gary Baseman first thing in the morning will be, well, different. And it is. When I arrive, the vinyl figure of Baseman's trademark tumescent-nosed character Toby occupies my seat. And Toby sort of, well, participates in the rest of the meeting. When, during eggs, Baseman admits "I want to become a household name," my first thought is "Geez, I'd love to get a load of that household." My second thought is, Of course. Why Not?

Given that your intern is wearing Stella McCartney (courtesy H&M), and a film version of a beautiful and tragic man on man love story from The New Yorker has beaten four out of five Hollywood "blockbusters" senseless, it seems appropriate that an iconoclastic image maker like Baseman would strive to achieve "household" acclaim. The talented, pleasantly devilish Mr. Baseman calls his approach "pervasive art." Baseman and another cross-media artist, Tristan Eaton talk about this dynamic in dual stories in this issue (see p.12).

Baseman sums it up with these words "My goal really is to blur the lines of all the manufactured boundaries between disciplines and media. I feel things should be judged between good work and bad." It's not a new goal. But several converging cultural and business phenomena mean that the timing is better to actually achieve it. And as the dividing line between what's marketing and what's "pure entertainment" disappears, the standard for judging content does indeed become good v. bad-what's authentic and worthwhile or not, not what's a brand message or not. As formats, means of distribution, and the systems and processes by which ideas are conceived and produced all change, Baseman's quip could stand in for a guiding principle for this era of creativity.

It's also a great way to introduce a discussion about this era of Creativity. 2006 marks the 20th anniversary of the publication you're reading. Creativity, we think, is at the heart of everything great-every great product, every great ad, every business success, every sparkle in your eye. And with our anniversary milestone, comes a renewed effort and new ways to chronicle the most inspired ideas, best executions and most interesting people in all areas of consumer culture and to introduce new creative thinking in all its forms, with the aforementioned blurring of lines in mind. Starting with our anniversary issue in March, look for yet more creativity in Creativity. And, look for a celebration of the past 20 years of ad creativity in the magazine and on adcritic.com. As part of the anniversary extravaganza, we'll be taking a look at top ads from the past 20 years and asking for your input on which ones are truly the best of the best. In the meantime, feel free to email me your picks for which ads should be included in that list, and, while you're at it, your thoughts on creativity and Creativity.

Teressa Iezzi, Editor, Creativity/AdCritic.com

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