To Old Navy,
Who do you think designs your shirts? Do you think that font was a gift from a higher power inscribed on a stone tablet, or do you think some artist somewhere who understands aesthetics created the angles and weights of each line to make the shirt look the way it does? Who do you think made the layout for your website, some scrub with no knowledge of user interface? And who designed your basic-ass logo? Probably not an astronaut. But maybe it was.
This shirt, in addition to being insultingly dismissive of people who have made art their careers, is also a physical embodiment of an outdated "black or white" mentality that encourages people to categorize and label others based on their career - "careerism," if you will. It says that someone is defined by their job that pays them, rather than them as a person. Most people are much more complex than what they "do for a living." To put all people of a given profession in a neatly labeled box reduces them down to a stereotype: Not all accountants are boring, not all cops are assholes, not all nurses are caring. Stop devaluing the individual based on their career. Who says astronauts or presidents or Old Navy execs can't be artists? Don't allow passions to fall by the wayside only to favor your career.
The most common objection to this design is that it discourages our country's little ones from pursuing a career in art, devaluing the profession. The internet, where SO MANY artists essentially live and conduct business, did not take this insult laying down. The Twitter hashtag #ArtIsACareerToo, in addition to be confusing to read without capitalization, exploded with parody pictures, mocking Old Navy for it's out-of-touch product. Since the December 2015 release of the item, Old Navy has actually pulled the product from it's shelves. Thanks to all the artists who stood up on behalf of other artists.