I love/hate Canva

I love it because it makes the graphic production process about a million times faster than it was when I began my career. I hate it because Canva markets itself to businesses so gleefully as a way to not pay creative professionals. I have heard the tone of their pitch. “Hey, busy business person, don’t you hate spending a fortune on artists? And wasting your time by waiting hours or even days for designers to just make a thing? Now with this hack, literally anyone can achieve the same results in seconds. And best of all it costs a tiny fraction of what those fat cat artists would charge.” American corporate culture already undervalues creative contributors to an obnoxious degree. We all get it.

Canva isn’t alone. They’re racing against Figma, Adobe Express, Sketch, and more. Using Canva a few weeks ago, I got a little pop-up asking if I wanted to try out their experimental Artificial Intelligence feature. Type a description, sit back and let the algorithms make art, even paragraphs of marketing copy. Canva sees that their templates and mouse clicks and drag & drop interface are antiquated compared to A.I. The people in the business of ending creative livlihoods are themselves facing obsolescence.


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