I love PicMonkey.
For years, I watched graphic designers play in the magical sandbox of Illustrator, doing precisely what they wanted to images, picking exactly the right CMYK color and making art. Now, I dabbled in Illustrator, and I can do some basic things, but the cost of the program made it prohibitive to bring home and experiment with to go beyond the basics.
Now, I can illustrate text or basic images to my heart’s content. But, there’s a problem. I am not an art director. Even with PicMonkey, I am not an art director.
So, what’s a content writer to do?
When I was working at agencies, there were the inevitable art director who was forbidden from speaking with clients (and even sending emails) because client interaction was not his or her forte. But, the art directors who rose above, who led the creative element of the company, always managed to find a voice. How? It was hard, but they realized that what they had to say, their ideas and their vision of the concept in art, was so necessary to the clients that they built the skill set to come into the room. True, they always had a unique style, and it was always clear who the art director was, but he was the one person who stopped the noise when he spoke.
So, what does this leave me with? Maybe art direction isn’t my perfect match, but the content writer and the marketer in me gets the message. I see what the client needs to feel and experience when he or she is interacting with the piece. So, in that way, I am leaning in the right direction.
While PicMonkey doesn’t make everyone an art director, in the same way that Word didn’t make everyone a writer, it is a great tool as long as you don’t get lost in the pretty and remember what you have to say.